Gaular has a varied landscape. Several waterfalls, rapids, lakes and wide rivers flow through the district. Along these waterways, you will find villages, farms and hilly terrain. Nowhere else in Norway can you find so many waterfalls in a limited area - and so easily accessible.
The most famous waterfalls in Gaular are Likholefossen, Eikjelandsfossen, Osfossen, Vallestadfossen and Laukelandsfossen. Bygstad is a village located at the inner end of Dalsfjorden, which is known as the "Viking Fjord", partly because the Viking chief Artle Jarl had his headquarters here. On this excursion, we will take you to the countryside around Bygstad.
A wooden lakeside chapel
First, we visit Hestad Chapel, a beautiful wooden church located in a charming landscape. The chapel has a history that dates back to the Middle Ages. Before the road on the south side of the lake was opened in 1884, the lake was the main transportation route through the Gaula river valley. The chapel was sited on a small peninsula near the middle of the lake, making it the perfect location to reach at all times of year. In the summer, people went by boat through the strait to the chapel, while in winter they sledded across the lake. The old chapel was demolished in 1805 and a new one was built on the same site.
The spirit of a grand old country villa
Next is Åmot Country Villa, where you have the opportunity to experience an authentic Norwegian atmosphere. The interior of the building tells the story of strong female characters – you can literally feel their collective spirit while you are there.
Although it was recently renovated, the villa still feels like a country home. Most of the furnishings are authentic family pieces with a history of their own. An atmosphere of pomp and ceremony from the 1890’s is still evident, but is inviting, not stiff. Attention has been paid to every beautiful detail, from floor to ceiling. Enjoy a guided tour, including coffee and “svele” – a local pastry.