Ulvik municipality has approximately 1.500 inhabitants and covers a area of 720,7 km2. The district centree is Ulvik, Finse and Osa. The main attractions are Finse, Hardangervidda mountain plateau, Hardangerjøkulen glacier, Osa mountain and Ulvikpollen. Most of the inhabitants live near Brakanes, and some in Osa and Finse. The first hotel was built in 1860. Today has the village, with it´s three hotels, one pension, and different kinds of holidays homes and camping grounds about 70.000 overnight stays a year.
A rich variety of common and less common birds are to be observed in the various types of biotope in the area. The wide forest-clad areas around Ulvik are easily accessible on foot and should be visited. Ulvikpollen is one of the very few marshland areas of Hordaland county and is protected. Bird life is very rich, over 80 species are observed. Especially at ebb tide it is very alive. Near this area observation cabins have been put up, from where you can study the birds at your leisure.
Row out onto the fjord on a calm day and enjoy the peaceful lapping of the clear waters. Or get a colourful bird’s eye view of the whole area on a trip by seaplane. As you hover high above the blue-green fjord, surrounded by green fields and meadows, you can spy the white ice of the Hardangerjøkulen glacier and the stony grey plateau of Hardangervidda in the distance, a beautiful mountainous area full of adventure and not far to drive.
Towards the end of May, the fruit trees blossom and people come from all over the country to enjoy the delightful colours and fragrances. The autumn brings with it, not only the most incredible shades of orange and purple, but delicious, ripe fruit – each variety of apple has its very own character and taste.
Ulvik is in the heart of a rich cultural landscape which is best explored by foot. Take a trip to the burial mounds at Nesheim where finds have been made from both Bronze and Iron Ages. At Sysehagen, you can visit the disused cotter’s farm, Ljonakleive. Don´t miss out on a trip to Osa to enjoy the magnificent scenery in Norddalen valley or the birdlife at Ulvikpollen Nature Reserve. Close to one hundred species of bird nest in this marshland, among them the lapwing, heron and mandarin duck.
One of Norway’s most beautiful stave church portals comes from the stave church which once stood proud in Ulvik. The portal is now on exhibit at the Bergen Museum. The interior of the current church in Ulvik was exquisitely adorned with rose paintings by Lars Osa in 1923. Ulvik also has a number of galleries where more modern art and traditional handicrafts such as tapestry and wood carving are on display. The climate in Ulvik is different from the coastal climate. It is hotter in summers with more possibilities for bathing and sun bathing. Winters are colder and with more snow.
The Hardanger Bridge is a suspension bridge across the Eidfjorden branch of Hardangerfjorden. The bridge connects the municipalities of Ullensvang and Ulvik. It replaced a ferry connection between Bruravik and Brimnes, and thereby shortens the driving time between Oslo and Bergen. It is the longest suspension bridge in Norway.
The first traces of human activity at Finse are 7000 years old. Hunters and gatherers lived and hunted reindeer in the Finse area. Archaeologists have located several camps at the islands on Finse Lake from these peoples. The first tourists at Finse were British Lord Garvah and his son who in the 1850s used Finse as their base for hunting and fishing trips. A series of stone cabins, referred to as the “Lord Cabins” are still visible around Finse. The best known of these is “Lordehytta” in the Foldaskardet which remains in excellent condition.
The modern Finse community was created as part of the construction and operation of the Bergenline Railway. Finse is located on one of the most sheltered areas on the alpine stretch of the railway and was, for this reason, picked as the centre of the manpower needed to clear the track of snow in the winter.
After the opening of the railway in 1909 Finse “Mountain Chalet” (later Finse Hotel) was opened and it quickly became the desired holiday spot for European jet-setters like the Prince of Wales, Sonja Henie and Fridjof Nansen.
In 1914 Norway´s first indoor skating-rink was constructed at Finse. Triple-Olympic champion Sonja Henie lived temporarily at Finse and used this facility to practice for her three Olympic gold medals. The Skating rink was unfortunately demolished after Finse was bombed by the English during World War II.
Throughout the 20th century Finse has been used by numerous explorers to test equipment for polar expeditions. During the Second World War the Germans established a top-secret research base here in order to test the qualities of different engines and fuel types in a high altitude arctic climate. It was these research efforts that led to the English bombardment of Finse in 1943.
In more resent years Finse has been the location for many movie productions. The most famous of these was Star Wars Part II (the Empire Strikes Back). All the winter scenes of the movie where shot at the Hardangerjøkulen Glacier.
THE NAVY ROAD (Rallarvegen)
Memorial of the construction of Bergenline Railway (Bergensbanen) 1885-1902. A ride on Rallarvegen is the most fascinating and dramatic cycling experience in Norway and perhaps Europe. The road itself the rail, bridges, workmen´s huts and guard stations are all memorials of construction and operation of Northern Europe´s highest railway station.
The Road provides you with a journey through Norwegian culture, history and nature. It is perhaps one of the most dramatic natural experiences you will ever encounter on a mountain bike. The road has a total length of 95 km included the stretch Upsete – Mjølfjell. Rallarvegen starts at Haugastøl in Buskerud County, continues to Finse and descends into dramatic Flåm in the fjord county of Sogn & Fjordane County.
Migrant workers mussum at Finse. The museum shows preparation work, projecting and construction of the Bergen Rail in the years 1871 to opening in 1809. Vital forge and museum cafa: Rotaren cafe with sales of souvenirs. Located in the eastern locomotive garaga at Finse. Open July – August or by appointment. Documentation Centre of Bergen Rail and separate theme exhibition “The fight against the snow” in and by eastern locomotive garage with historical snow ploughe and exhibition of how this high mountains distance between Oslo and Bergen was kept open during the winter storms.
FAGERNUT GUARD STATION
Located 10 km east of Finse, 1310 metres above see level. The highest positioned guard station of Rallervegen and in the country. Exhibition of the life of rail guards and families in the high mountains of Bergen railway. Information and Rallar cafe. Seeeon: July – August.
Consecrated in 1858. The interior was decorated with rose painting in 1923 by the painter Lars Osa. Church concerte. Open all days.
BAKING DAY IN ULYIK
Sundays June – August you may observe “baking maids” make flatbread and krota cakes in Mossova at Brakanes. The word “mosstove” is a local Harding expression for firehouse or brewing house. The house is one of the few remaining buildings at Brakanes from before the 2nd world war. Baking from 1600-1800, meet at Mossova close to the parking lot at Rica Brakanes Hotel.
GRANNYS LIVING ROOM
An offer to those who would like to visit a Western Norwegian fruit farm and taste some of the domestic products. The visit starts with a stroll in the orchard where you will learn about modern fruit farming as well as the history of this farm. Then you enter “Granny’s living room” where coffee and homemade cakes in the season will be served. In the fruit season you might buy fruit to bring home. Min. 6 persons.
HJELTNES HORTICULTURAL COLLAGE
Norway’s oldest (1901) and the only one in Western Norway. Fine park with good possibilities for walks. Spice and rose garden. Ecological demonstration garden. “Green competence centre” arranges various courses within the area of vagetablea etc. Contact the competence centre for programme. Sightsseing for groups contact Ulvik Tourist office.
From the bronze age at Nesheim. From the iron age at Tunheim, Viknes and Øydve. Bowl hollows from the bronze age in Solhovden and at Tunheim.
The impressing Olympic sculpture “Stream Nest” built of 23.000 bricks and 3.000 timber sticks with music by Geir Løvold was moved to Osa after the Lillehammer Olympics in 1994. It has already become one of Western Norway’s grand attractions. Here you also find the sculpture Rambukk by Allan Christensen and the trolls of Johannes Hjelmeland, being the favourites of all children. Also a demonstration garden for ecological cultivation of about 200 different species of herbs. Here is also a heated swimming pool and a guest house always ready for up to 80 guests. Season: May – Sept.
The waterfall lies about 10 -15 minutes walk from Stream Nest and Hjadlane Galleri. The waterfall is regulated and therefore may vary.
1.250 metres above saa level. Road open May – Sept. (dependent on weather) 20 km from centre of Ulvik. Terrain for hiking, fishing and small game hunting. Toll road. Hardangerjøkulen glacier can be seen from Osa mountain but is easier to reach from Finse.
Hunting license for small game hunting sold for Ulvik Statsalmenning at the tourist office. In advance you must pay the national license for fishing and hunting. Other ereee open for emall game hunting: Dalen – Slondalen – Brauaane Grunneigarlag, Grunneigarlaget west of Tysso, Osa – Saevardtveit – Hallingskeid Grunneigarlag, Vetle Uppsete Grunneigarlag. Information of hunting and fishing licence and fishing- and huntingperiods Ulvik tourist office.
The beach is at “Holmen”, at the innermost part of Ulvikpollen, near the sports centre.
SAUNA – SOLARIUM – SWIMMING POOL
Brakanes Hotel – sauna, solarium and fitness centre with jacuzzi and swimming pool. Strand Fjordhotel – sauna and swimming pool. Rica Ulvik Hotel – sauna and solarium.
Ulvik Vass-skiclubb arranges water-skiing every Wedn. Sat. and Sund. from the Club house near the sports centre during the summer season. Water skiing slope international plastic jump.
Finse Skicenter is 200 height metres, 850 length metres. Finse is known for its good snow conditions. The slalom hill has a top point of 1.450 metres above sea level. This gives almost 1 km downhill skiing. Capacity in the POMA-tows is 700 pers/hr. Floodlight and preparation machine. Fine ski terrain in the high mountains, about 60 km marked tracks around Finse. Marked cross country tracks in all directions, both for beginners as well as experienced skiers.
Drevtjørn Ski & Tursenter is run on voluntarily basis by Ulvik Idrettslag and is situated at Stokkavatnet along Rv 572 between Ulvik and Granvin. Drevtjørn Ski & Tourcenter a 5 km Iong ski tracks (3 km. flood-lit track), parking, biathlon area. There is usually snow in this area from about mid December to mid April, which means that you may experience the first tiny leaves on the birch trees down by the fjord while there’s still possible to go skiing in this area. Your choice will be to decide whether to just “stroll” in the ski-centre or to go on a longer trip into the mountains.
Fitjo Slalom small piste. Myråsen some Ski jumps.
Rod-angling for mountain trout is allowed in Ulvik Statsalmenning and the area Sotnos – Solsæ – Tyssedal provided you have paid the fishing license and the local license. Common license covering Statsalmenningene. Hardangervidda: Other areas where fishing is allowed: Dalen – Slondalen: Brauaane Grunneigarlag. Osa – Sævardtveit: Hallingskeid Grunneigarlag, Vetle Uppsete Grunneigarlag.
Golf Clubs in Hordaland.