90km (56 miles) N of Voss; 219km (136 miles) NE of Bergen; 204km (126 miles) SW of Fjaerland

You'll get fjord fever if you stay here at the junction of Vetlefjord, Esefjord, and the Fjaerlandsfjord. That's a lot of fjords. But there's more. Balestrand lies on the northern rim of the Sognefjord, Norway's longest and deepest fjord. "Just how deep is the fjord?" we asked a local. "A mermaid could swim all the way to China," he said. Call that West Country exaggeration. The fjord actually measures some 1,308m (4,290 ft.) deep.

When Esias Tegnèr wrote of the snow-covered mountains and the panoramic Sognefjord in the saga of Fridtjof the Brave, the book sold widely and sent an array of artists to the area in the mid-19th century.

Soon Hans Gude, Hans Dahl, Johannes Flintoe, and other well-known Scandinavian artists were painting the fjord and mountain landscapes. Their art became so popular that regular visitors started to flock to Balestrand to take in the glories of the area for themselves -- and so they have continued to this day.