Voss has approximately 14.000 inhabitants and covers a area of 1.805,8 km2. The administrative center of the municipality is the village of Vossavangen. The main centre of population is the town Vossevangen or Vossavangen. Voss is situated on the main road and railway line from Oslo to Bergen. Voss muncipality is the largest rural municipality in Hordaland. The people of Voss make their living mainly from agriculture and tourism, both in the summer and winter. Voss has cultural traditions stretching back centuries and continues, today, to be an important centre for folk music.
Voss is also an excellent base. The ski area, to the north of the town, is accessible via a cable car, Hangursbanen from the town. There is also chair lift access from Bavallen, a short distance to the northeast of Voss. You can hire a boat and water skis, go sailing on a fishing boat or up in the sky in a seaplane. The possibilities are almost limitless. Paragliding, rafting, gliding, hanggliding, mountain climbing, fly-fishing, parachute jumping, riding, windsurfing and hiking and plenty of other possibilities we haven´t even thought of.
The town´s proximity to the Sognefjord and its position between Bergen and Flåm on the scenic railway have made it popular with tourists. One of the sights is the Tvindefossen waterfall. The Voss Museum displays several old farmsteads. Next to the open-air part, there is a museum building with over 20,000 items from traditional farm life. The village has more than 100 shops, and cafés, pubs, piano bars and nightclubs ensure a great afterski. At the restaurants you can try exotic local specialties. Voss can offer accommodation for 2.500 visitors.
Vossavangen is located in the center of Voss at the north-east edge of Vangsvatnet lake. Vossavangen takes its name from the Old Norwegian word vang (Norse Vangr) that can mean field or meadow, and refers to a large grass field lying between the church and Vangsvatnet lake. According to legend, the people of Voss were forcibly converted to Christianity by king Olav, who later became St. Olav. A stone cross situated in Vossevangen is said to have been erected at this time. The town contains a stone church from 1277, with a 16th century excentric, octagonal steeple. Vangschurch is still in use with service every Sunday at 11.00.
Vangsvatnet lake is used for various water based extreme sports activities like Kite surfing and boat dragged paragliding. The Vosso River flows through both Vangsvatnet lake and Evangervatnet lake before it empties into Bolstadfjord by Bolstadøyri village. Vangsvatnet lake is named after the place Vangen, the center and old churchsite of Voss.
HANGURSBANEN CABLE CAR
Hangursbanen is a gondol cable car is 1126 metres long and has a top altitude of 660 above sea level. It is owned and run by Voss Resort, a local ski resort in Voss. The cable car goes from ca 500 metres from the train station at Voss, up to the Hangursrestaurant, which is in the same building as the cable car top station. The cable car runs in winter, in the skiing season and in summertime. There are two gondolas on the lines, the Dinglo (red) and the Danglo (blue), which goes on each own side, but on the same cable. When one is at top, the other one is at the bottom. The names come from the swaying from side to side which is “dingling” in Norwegian slang.
The varied mountain terrain around Voss could have been made for winter sports. It is not without reason that Voss has fostered more Olympic participants than aqy other place in the world. Voss offers excellent nursery slopes as well as demanding terrain for the most experienced. Voss has also excellent facilities for powdersnow sports. The alpine slopes as Voss lie between Hanguren and Bavallen, with a fantastic view. The area is easily accessible with a cable car running from Voss centre and excellent parking facilities in Bavallen. Voss has more than 40 km prepared slopes, divided among 14 runs from green to black. A total of 10 lifts carry you safely up to almost 1.000 metres above sea-level.
On Slettafjellet you will find snow board park with Big Jump, Fun Box, Half Pipe and Boardcross. An eldorado for snow board users. A children´s play area with a separate children´s lift. When the ski lifts close for the day it´s after ski time and you can choose between many pubs, bars and restaurants. Voss centre is full of life. We can offer our guests a variety of swimming pools and a active centre with bowling, squash and a health studio. The cinema in Voss gets all the latest films. We can offer ice fishing or skaiting on frozen lakes, or how about a ride on a horsedrawn sleigh ?
In front of Voss Railway station there is a memorial stone. Knute Rockne revolutionised American football with his expertise in tactics and strategy. Knute Kenneth Rockne was an American football player and is regarded by many as the greatest coach in college football history. His biography at the College Football Hall of Fame calls him, “American football´s most-renowned coach”.
If you are travelling by car, take the Stalheimskleivene road down to Sognefjord. The road which winds through 13 bends from the bottom to the mountain top – engineering at its best. The beautiful view over the Nærøy Valley, from Stalheim Hotel lies on the mountain, has for nearly 200 years been one of the highlights in many a traveller’s visit to Western Norway. Many artists, painters and poets, both famous and not so famous, have through the years found inspiration to great works of art in this dramatic but at the same time harmonic landscape, and it is our hope that also you will find inspiration to your own next work of art here at Stalheim.
The famous Stalheim Hotel lies just a short distance from the falls. The river Stalheimselvi is funneled through a small opening in a cliff before flowing out over the falls, into a bowl-shaped gorge at the bottom, ejecting a large spray of water at the bottom. When driving down the famous Stalheimskleiva, a road with so many curves, you will have a good view on Stalheimsfossen and Sivlefossen waterfall. In every curve you will see either the Sivlefossen or Stalheimsfossen waterfall. Sivlefossen is 160 meters (780 ft) and Stalheimsfossen are 126 meters (414 ft).
Tvindefossen waterfall is 12 km from Voss, usually said to be 152 metres high, but likely only 110 metres, is formed by a small stream, the Kroelvi, tumbling over a receding cliff. It is famous for its beauty. Buses sometimes stop for people to admire it. Tvindefossen waterfall was painted in 1830 by Johan Christian Dahl.
The water at Tvindefossen waterfall acquired a reputation for rejuvenation and revival of sexual potency that made it one of the most important natural tourist attractions in western Norway, with as many as 200,000 people a year from the U.S., Japan and Russia visiting and filling containers with the water. Beside the waterfall just outside Voss centre, set in lovely surroundings, you can find a campingsite.
Mølster Farmstead is a group farm consisting of 16 buildings with a common courtyard. The farms were in operation until 1925, when the last farmers, Arnfinn and Botolv, donated the entire complex to Voss Folk Museum. The oldest building on the group farm is the open-hearth room used by Botolv, which is probably from the 1500s. At Mølster there is a large collection of country art, furniture and old equipment of various sorts. Permanent and special exhibitions are displayed in a museum building that was opened in 1985. It is located upstairs in the valley about 2 km from Voss.
Mjølfjell is a village area located in the eastern part of the Raundalen valley. Mjølfjell is served by the train station on the Bergensbanen railway line, Mjølfjell Station, both local trains from Voss and the Bergen to Oslo express trains make regular stops there. Mjølfjell has a grocery store, a chapel, and a military training facility. There are about 500 cabins in the area that are used for vacationers.
Just outside the town is Finnesloftet, a wooden guildhall believed to be the oldest profane wooden building in Northern Europe. Finnesloftet dates from around 1250.
In front of Voss Railway station there is a memorial stone of Knute Rokne.
Dating from 1023 when the population of Voss Christened.
The War Memorial
Commemorates those from Voss who fought in the war against Sweden in 1808- 1814.
Knut Nelson Memorial Stone
Senator of Minnesota 1895. Senator until his death in 1923. Had he been born in USA he would probably become President.
The Mossafinn Memorial, the Sivle Monument, the Sivle Memorial, Heiagjengen, the Bergslien Monument, the Tvinde Monument, Merkesmannen, Sjur Helgeland Memorial.
Smalahove (smoked lamb´s head) is a traditional dish, usually eaten around and before Christmas time, made from a sheep´s head. The skin and fleece of the head is torched, the brain removed, and the head is salted, sometimes smoked, and dried. The head is boiled for about 3 hours and served with mashed rutabaga and potatoes.
Lamb´s meat and mutton is very popular in autumn, mainly used in fårikål (mutton stew with cabbage). Pinnekjøtt, cured and sometimes smoked mutton ribs that is steamed for several hours, is traditionally served as Christmas dinner in the western parts of Norway.
Voss has a wide range of habitats, everything from high barren mountains to rich fertile valleys. The large areas of coniferous forests provide food and shelter for a whole host of species, while the many wetland areas are regarded as some of the most interesting birding habitats in the county. There is a bird reserve at Lønaøyane with marked paths and a tower hide. Over 155 species have been seen at this locality. Many are common Scandinavian species, but the area has also produced the unexpected like the Great Egret, European Hobby, and Woodlark.
UNESCO´s WORLD HERITAGE
The West Norwegian Fjords of Geirangefjord and Nærøyfjord was inscribed on UNESCOs World Heritage List in 2005. The two fjords are situated 120 km from each other and they are separated by the Jostedal glacier. The World Heritage Site possesses a unique combination of glacial landforms at the same time as each area is characterised by its own outstanding beauty.
Geirangerfjord and Nærøyfjord stretches through the municipality of Aurland, Lærdal, Norddal, Stranda, Vik and Voss.
At Voss ski resort you will find 40 km of groomed alpine slopes, from beginner areas to demanding runs for advanced skiers. There are 10 ski lifts, including a gondola from the village, a snow park and a children area. Snowmaking facilities guarantee perfect conditions all season.
Ekstremsportveko is a sport and music festival that is hosting various competitions. The 2013 event Ekstremsportveko is from xxst of June – xxth of June.
Voss has some 500 lakes and rivers for fishing. With light tackle you can catch trout and char. Only freshwater fishing is allowed in Vangsvatnet lake. All wild salmon and sea trout must be let back into the lake as soon and unharmed as possible. Freshwater fishing is allowed with fishing rods and hand lines if used from the bank, from boat or on the ice all year around. In the period from 15th of April to the 20th of August fishing with rods or hand lines i allowed up to 100 meters from the outlets of the rivers Vosso and Bordalselvi. This includes the stretch up to the first bridge above both rivers and on the stretch between these two outlets.
Fishing with rods or hand lines closer than 200 meters from the outlet of lake Vangsvatnet is not allowed at any time. Use of otter is allowed from the 15th of May to the 15th of July.
Voss Golfclub is a golf course with 6 holes and a variation of difficulties. The course lies at Norheim close to Lønahorgi (1.410 metres), approximately 9 km from Voss Center.
Innersvingen Golf is a place where you can simulate a game of golf.