This is great hiking country in summer, as parts of Fjaerland lie within the Jostedalsbreen Nasjonalpark (Jostedalsbreen National Park), a landscape that ranges from mountains to glaciers, from fjords to low-lying valleys. Our favorite of the scenic routes is at the southern tier of the park, lying between Lunde and Fjaerland, and crossing Marabreen.
At the head of the fjord lies the Bøyaøyri Estuary, a protected nature reserve, 2km (1 1/4 miles) north of the village. In the spring and fall migrations, 90 species of birds can be spotted passing through the area. Some 50 species make their nests at Fjaerland, so birders from all over Scandinavia flock here.
The best trail for the average visitor in good physical condition is from the Supphelle Valley up to the mountain hut Flatbrehytta. The more adventurous go on from this mountain hut to explore the glaciers. The local sports association in Fjaerland has mapped out 10 other trails, ranging from a relatively easy 1-hour walk to more difficult treks of 5 to 6 hours. At visitor information, you can pick up a map, Turkart Fjaerland, for NOK80 ($16/£8), outlining all these walks in great detail.
It's possible to drive within 500m (1,640 ft.) of the Supphelle Glacier. You can stroll over and actually touch the ice, if you want to. During a period in summer from the first of July to August 10, you can take guided glacier trips on Supphelle, starting from the car park at the northeast of the Norsk Bremuseum, 4km (2 1/2 miles) off Rte. 5. Trips leave Monday to Saturday at 9am, and the jaunt includes a hike up the Kvanneholtnipa Mountain, at 1,640m (5,379 ft.).
In town, you can visit the Norsk Bremuseum (Norwegian Glacier Museum; tel. 57-69-32-88), which is open June to August daily 9am to 7pm. In April and May, and again in September and October, it's open daily 10am to 4pm. Admission is NOK110 ($22/£11) for adults or NOK50 ($10/£5) for children, with a family ticket going for NOK240 ($48/£24). This is very much a hands-on museum. Exhibits inform you about how fjords are formed, and there is a multiscreen audiovisual show on the Jostedal Glacier. You can perform your own experiments with thousand-year-old glacier ice. You can also see a mammoth tusk from the largest mammal ever to live in Norway; it's some 30,000 years old. Exhibits also tell the story of Ötzi, "the man from the ice," whose 5,000-year-old body was found in a glacier in the European Alps in 1991.
Time permitting, you should also visit Astruptunet, lying across the southern shore of Lake Jølster and reached from the center of Fjaerland after a 10-minute drive. Celebrated for his landscapes, Nicolai Astrup (1880-1928) was one of the country's best-known and most-reproduced artists. You can visit the studio where he died and wander about a colony of little sod-roofed buildings. Some of his artwork is on view. Guides bring Astrup alive again with their colorful anecdotes. On-site is a cafe serving old-fashioned sour-cream porridge, tasty waffles, and coffee. The location is at Sandal i Jolster (tel. 57-72-67-82), and admission is NOK50 ($10/£5) for adults and NOK25 ($5/£2.50) for children. It's open daily May 23 to the end of August 11am to 4pm.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.