Licensed Guide and Norway Tour Planner

Hjørundfjord Guide

The Hjørundfjord stretches for approximately 35 kilometers (22 miles) and is characterized by its dramatic landscapes and serene beauty.

Hjørundfjord is less frequented by tourists compared to some of the more famous fjords, offering a quieter and more secluded experience. The fjord is actually a “fjord arm” of the greater Storfjorden, but in this guide I will focus only on the Hjørundfjord since I think this is the most scenic and see-worthy part.

Surrounding the fjord you have the Sunnmørsalpene mountain range, giving the fjord a scenic backdrop. You’ll see mountain peaks reaching 1,700 metres (5,600 ft) straight up from the fjord.

When to Visit

The Hjørundfjord can be visited all year around, but plan your stay depending on your preferences for weather, outdoor activities, and the overall experience you seek. Here’s a short summary for different seasons, along with approximate temperature ranges:

Blog: See my packing list for Norway.

Summer (June to August): Summer is the peak tourist season in Hjørundfjord. During this time, temperatures typically range from 10°C to 20°C (50°F to 68°F), but it might get warmer on a good summer day. Days are long, providing ample daylight for outdoor activities such as hiking, fjord cruises, and kayaking. The landscapes are lush and vibrant, making it an ideal time for exploring the fjord.

Late Spring (May) and Early Fall (September): Late spring and early fall offer a quieter atmosphere with fewer tourists. Temperatures during these seasons range from 5°C to 15°C (41°F to 59°F). The weather is generally pleasant, and you can still enjoy outdoor activities with the added advantage of a more tranquil experience.

Winter (October to April): Winter in Hjørundfjord can be cold, with temperatures ranging from -5°C to 5°C (23°F to 41°F). While some activities may be limited, the fjord's surroundings transform into a snowy wonderland. Winter sports enthusiasts can explore opportunities for snowshoeing, downhill and cross-country skiing.

Getting Into

There are several roads taking you into the Hjørundfjord and road 70 goes along most of the north-western park. At the north and mid-points are ferry connections for taking you across the fjord and at the north tip, there is a ferry over to the city of Ålesund.

Train: There is no train to the Hjørundfjord, but you can take the Dovre Line to Dombås, and from there the Rauma Line to Åndalsnes with Vy. The fjord is easiest to reach with a rental car from Åndalsnes.

Bus: There is a Vy Bus from both Bergen and Oslo to nearby Ørsta corresponding with a bus to Sæbø on the west side of the fjord. The bus to Sæbø is a local bus operated by Frammr, and you can find the schedule here. Once in Sæbø you can use ferries to get to different places on the fjord.

Ferry: In the summer there is an express ferry from Ålesund to Øye which also stops in Trandal, Sæbø, and Urke. Buy tickets and see the schedule at Cruise Service. Another option is to get in touch with Christian Gaard Shuttle Boats, these are smaller ferries that can be ordered and will take you to any destination on the fjord (send them an email to enquire).

There are local car ferries operating various crossings. Sæbø - Leknes, Sæbø - Trandal, Leknes - Trandal, Festøya - Hundeidvik, Festøya - Solevåg These don’t need to be booked, you just show up at the dock. Find the schedules at Frammr. Note that none of these go to the village of Urke. You’d have to take the one from Ålesund or do the private Skyssbåt to get there.

Flight: There are no airports inside the Hjørundfjord area, but you can fly to the nearby Ørsta-Volda Airport with Widerøe and make your way from there with a rental car or public transport. Find flights to Ørsta-Volda here.

Another nearby (and better connected) airport is in Ålesund.

Car: A fun way to experience the Hjørundfjord is by rental car. You can easily get to the fjord from Ålesund (ferry crossing at Solevåg - Festøya), or drive from Åndalsnes (3 hours) or Bergen (7 hours).

The charming and scenic road 70 from Festøya to Store Standal is one of my favorite fjord roads.

Camp fire at the fjord lake - Midsummer

Places to Stay

Secluded and a bit off the beaten path there are not tons of places to stay along the Hjørundfjord, but luckily there are a few strong options that I can highly recommend.

The Sagafjord Hotel is conveniently located in Sæbø with a dramatic view of the Sunnmøre Alps and the Hjørundfjord. Rooms are modern and comfortable with great views and the restaurant serves up a tasty lunch every day. The staff are helpful and can assist you in finding fjord activities. The Volda airport is just a 40-minute drive from the hotel. I think this hotel is a great starting point for exploring the Hjørundfjord since several of the ferries come in here.

Hotel Union Øye is a historical hotel dating back to the late 1800's, and is a landmark in this area. Each of their rooms is uniquely designed and a victorian garden, old farmhouses, a library and a palm room with a bar makes this into a very special place. The hotel has their own restaurant for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

For a budget option check out the cabins rented out by Urke Camping. Urke is a beautiful little village by the fjord surrounded by mountain peaks. Christian Gaard close to Trandal offers farm stays and a cabin.

Note that prices for hotels highly fluctuate throughout the year, and if you book early you can sometimes find good deals! The high season in Norway goes from June to August.

Places to Eat

Restaurants are not plentiful, so for a decent restaurant head to Restaurant Sagafjord at the Sagafjord hotel, or check out the restaurant at Hotel Union Øye.

If you are close to Trandal, I recommend the Christian Gaard Restaurant offering a seasonal menu. Expect everything from bacalao to deer burger and brown cheese ice cream.

You can find a supermarket in Sæbø and Urke.

Things to Do

Despite its small size the Hjørundfjord has a lot to offer! Along the fjord are plenty of idyllic small villages framed by the majestic Sunnmøre Alps.

Here are some of my recommendation for things to do:

Fjord cruises

Cruising the fjord is obviously a highlight for many of those who come here. To do so, you have three good options:

  • Take the express ferry between Ålesund and the Hjørundfjord. It stops in several locations and you can read more here.
  • Contact Christian Gaard Shuttle Boats and enquire for a smaller boat to take you to specific locations.
  • Ride the local ferries connecting small villages along the fjord. Find schedules at Frammr. If you look up the Hjørundfjord, on for instance Google Maps, you can see small dots across the water indicating where these ferries cruise.

A fourth option is to cruise the fjord in a kayak. Find tours at Go Fjords.

Hiking

The area around the Hjørundfjord is known for its good hiking trails with two popular summits being Slogen and Saksa.

Slogen presents probably one of the best views in the Sunnmøre Alps. It’s a fairly strenuous and steep hike (5 hours one way) to get to the top, but if you are in good shape, it is well worth the climb! You can start hiking from both Øye and Urke, but for more information I recommend you to check out this article.

Somewhat less strenuous of a hike is to the top of Saksa (2-3 hours one way). You can start this hike from Urke and the views you’ll be rewarded with are nothing less than breathtaking. Read more and also consider joining a guided tour here.

For hiking in the winter time you can go on a Guided Snowshoe adventure with 62 Nord.

Other Activities

hardangerfjord with a boat in the distance

How to Get Around

Public transportation

The Hjørundfjord is connected together by convenient ferries taking you from one village to another, and also by private ferry services.

For public transport check the website ENTUR which is helpful for tour planning in the area.

hardangerfjord with a boat in the distance

Join us on Patreon

A happy Rich Steves Tour Group on a sunny day with Pål in Norway

Become a part of the virtual viking Norway With Pål family, support, and get exclusive content and perks!

Subscribe For More

Pål handing you a plate full of delicious Norwegian waffles

Get my digital recipe book with seven traditional and tasty Norwegian delights!

Please enter your name.
Please enter a valid email address.
Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.

Donate on Paypal

Pål sitting on some rocks close to the water

Did you find this helpful? Your support helps me to continue sharing all about Norway. Tusen takk! Thank you!

DISCLAIMER: Products on this page may contain affiliate links, and I might make a small sum per purchase. For you this does not affect the product price, but supports me and my work, and makes me able to continue sharing my passion for Norway with you. Thank you, tusen takk!