6 reasons why you need to visit Undredal in Fjord Norway
Tucked into the shores of Aurlandsfjord, surrounded by steep mountains, the tiny village of Undredal enchants travelers all year long.
There’s more goats than people here!
We’re not exaggerating: the village of Undredal has a population of less than 100 people (around 85, to be precise) and as many as 500 goats! Why this 1 to 5 human-goat ratio, you ask? The answer lies in Undredal’s location.
Thanks to the fact that steep mountains surround it from three sides and the fjord from the fourth, the village had been impassable for centuries. Goats can roam the fjord-side slopes though, and graze on the grassy slopes, which made them the preferred farm animal of the area. To this day, if you’re lucky, you can still see some goats on the hills as you approach Undredal.
It’s all about the cheese
Credit: Thea Hermansen | FjordSafari
Undredal is world famous for its cheese production — another fact explained by its location. Since there was no road access in the past, the goat milk would curdle by the time the farmers could hop on a boat and distribute it; so turning it into cheese instead was a logical step.
Both the brown and the white goat’s cheese created here are legendary and still produced the traditional way. There’s even a cheese festival taking place every other summer! But regardless of the festival, any time you visit you’ll have the chance to savor these local delicacies, check out the museum that showcases the whole process of cheesemaking and, of course, buy some cheese before you go!
There were no roads until the late ‘80s
Remember how we said that Undredal used to be impassable? The first road connection was created in 1988; before that Undredal was only accessible by boat.
Nowadays, the picturesque village can be reached from Gudvangen, Flåm and Aurlandsvangen via two lengthy tunnels, the Gudvanga and the Flenja. This helped immensely both with tourism and with the development of local industry.
You can visit Scandinavia’s smallest stave church
Norway’s stave churches are certainly a must-see attraction — and in Undredal you’ll have the chance to visit a rather unique one! The Undredal Stave Church is actually the smallest stave church in all of Scandinavia that’s still in use.
Built in 1147 and restored in 1722, the church has white clapboard sidings on its exterior (quite unusual for a stave church) while its medieval chandelier can still be found inside.
It’s a great starting point for outdoor adventures
Undredal is very conveniently located amidst mountains that offer excellent hiking trails throughout the year. And if you prefer your outdoor adventures to be of the watersport variety, both the Aurlandsfjord and the nearby Nærøyfjord are excellent choices for kayaking from Undredal. The waters here are so still you can try it even if you don’t have a lot of kayaking experience!
It’s only 10 minutes from Flåm!
You already know Flåm, with its one of a kind railway and scenic views, is a great place to visit (if not to have as your base) when touring Fjord Norway. Well, thanks to that tunnel we mentioned earlier, Undredal is only a 10-minute-drive from Flåm. Of course, you can also do it like the Vikings and hop on a boat to explore the whole area instead!