Everything is in transition, and in April and May we enjoy several seasons at once. Spring is the season offering the most variety. While the mountains are still in winter, it is spring-like, verdant and warm down by the fjord.
«I choose April,
In it the old will tumble,
In it the new grows;
It makes a mighty rumble,
Yet peace is not so precious,
As that his will man shows.»
Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson, 1869
We see everything coming to life. We savour the sun and the light, the birch bedecked in new greenery, ski trips in shorts, freckles on sun-warmed skin, rafting, canyoning and a kayak trip on the fjord. There are fish in the fjord too, if fishing is what you enjoy best.
Spring is the perfect time to take your department to Juvet for a gathering or seminar – both for social reasons, and also for the professional dividends.
Spring is an uplifting time of year, and is an excellent time for the forward planning of management and strategy work. We offer a calm, sheltered and inspirational environment for both individuals and businesses that want to organise their own adventures – whether for a private event, an important management seminar or a productive strategy meeting.
Skiing in the spring sunshine of April, May and June – possibly in shorts and T-shirt – is balm for body and soul.
When the road towards Trollstigen eventually opens, it is easy to reach the summits around the Trollstigen plateau. We can readily reach a handful of peaks at an altitude of almost 1800 metres in only two to three hours: Ringshornet, Storfjellet, Alnestinden, Breitinden.
We can also reach the top of Trollveggen (the highest vertical rock face in Northern Europe) at Stabben or Bruraskaret, and look all the way down to Romsdalen.
We can start right from Juvet: First, we trudge along with our skis attached to our bag for half an hour, then we clip on our skis and head for Trollkyrkja (1762 metres above sea level) and Høghornet (1450 metres above sea level). We can make this trip right up to the beginning of May – an unforgettable spring experience!
Stranda ski resort is open until 1 May, and we can take full advantage of the invigorating powder-snow conditions until the end of April.
Just outside Juvet
Short day trips and roundtrips – you don’t have to go far. There is plenty to explore, and there are hidden gems right on your doorstep when you’re staying at Juvet.
You are on historic ground. This is the area where Olav Haraldsson, the king who was canonised as a saint after his death in Stiklestad in 1030, spent a night under an overhanging rock on his flight through Valldal to Sweden in the winter of 1028/29.
At Alstad he miraculously cleared a path through an impenetrable rocky slope, Skjervsura, and today you can walk this route, which is called Olavsvegen – Olav’s road. You can also drink from the Olavskjelda well, which according to legend will ward off disease.
Wet and wild
Valldalen is a beautiful, fertile valley, a lush and well-tended agricultural village, and a popular spot for people who enjoy what nature has to offer, as well as a sheltered climate.
The river winding its way through the valley has a long history as a salmon river, but is also one of the best rivers for other freshwater activities.
You can raft from the waterfall at Hoel all the way down to the fjord, a stretch of more than 11 kilometres that offers small drops, whirlpools, foaming currents and gentle sailing.
The river is one of the best rivers on which to try rafting for the first time. Contact Valldal Naturopplevingar (Valldal Nature Adventures) to register for an invigorating river adventure!
If the volume of water is not too large, you can go canyoning at Kringla below the steep and dramatic Gudbrand gorge. Experience abseiling, Burma bridge, zip-lining over the river and “body rafting” down the river past the new rooms at Juvet.
Round off the experience by swimming to the shore at Stamphølen, slipping into the hot tub at Juvet and feeling your body slowly return to a normal temperature.
You have the opportunity to paddle through some of the most dramatic fjord arms in Norway. Valldal Naturopplevingar rents out kayaks and all you need for such adventures. You can also rent a boat and fish in the fjord, where the fish are plentiful.
On the south of the fjord, you can visit the abandoned fjord and mountain farms Kaste, Kvernhusneset and Osvika.
On the north side of the fjord, right by Fjørå, you can see traces in the mountainside of the Tafjord disaster in 1934. Nearly 40 people from Fjørå and Tafjord lost their lives in the floods after 300,000 cubic metres of stone crashed into the fjord from Heggurda mountain.
Trips to Tafjord
Tafjord is a very historic village with many stories to tell about its geology and special biological diversity. Discover facts about the development of hydroelectricity and hear of the adventures to be had walking from cabin to cabin in the Tafjord mountains.
There are traces of people and their struggle to survive throughout the area. At the highest summits, we find hunting equipment left by the hunters who came to the area when the ice retreated 10–11,000 years ago. There are many ancient roads, and summer pasture farms bear witness to the transhumance farming that ended in the 1950s.
The 90 metre-high Zakarias dam in Tafjord was built in 1967, and forms part of the extensive power generation in the mountains surrounding this village. The hydropower museum down in the village presents information about the construction and development of clean hydroelectricity, and demonstrates how this “clean” energy has given a new basis for life. The Power and Avalanche Centre (Kraft- og skredsenter) in Tafjord tells us another, dramatic account of the ominous mountain and the avalanche that occurred here – and an avalanche that could strike in the future.
The Ålesund-Sunnmøre Trekking Association has a network of 10 unattended and attended cabins on Tafjord Mountain, with Reindalseter as the centre point. The cabins are located within a day’s walk of each other and all have their own character. They are all situated in fantastic hiking areas known for their special geology and biological diversity.
Spring is an excellent time to take a trip to Geirangerfjord, which is a part of the world West Norwegian Fjords heritage area.
About 250 people live in Geiranger village in the winter, while in summer it can be packed with tourists who come by fjord and by road. Since it does not get really busy here before high season begins in June, it is great to be able to wander around this village in spring before the tourists arrive.
A visit to the World Heritage Area Fjord Centre is almost obligatory and gives you an insight into the small details of cultural history as well as the large-scale geological history of our area.
Trips to Geirangerfjord
The famous Geiranger fjord is on the UNESCO world heritage list. Here you can witness the powerful waterfalls known as “The Seven Sisters”, “Bridal Veil” and “The Suitor”, which hurtle from dizzying heights down the vertical rock face, to crash into the dark waters of the fjord below.
You can still see the farmsteads clinging to the steep mountainsides along the fjord. People have farmed here for hundreds of years, but these mountain farms are abandoned today –their doors were closed for the last time in the second half of the 20th century.
The ferry trip between Hellesylt and Geiranger lasts for an hour, and the ferry is a prime location from which to view this magnificent landscape with its many cultural monuments – either from the sun deck or while enjoying a delicious meal in the lounge.
A ferry operates between Valldal and Geiranger during the school holidays. The trip takes three hours.
City life and architecture
Those of us living in Sunnmøre can reap the benefits of town and city life. The charming coastal city of Ålesund – Sunnmøre’s capital – is only a 90-minute drive from Juvet. It is a “must see” destination for those interested in architecture and marine life.
Ålesund has almost 50,000 inhabitants. With its face to the ocean
and its feet in the water, it is washed by sea spray every day as it
takes in the sea view. The city is a gateway between the open ocean and
the fjords behind it. The fishing industry has been important for
Ålesund’s growth since the 19th century.
Today the city has one of the biggest ocean fishing fleets in the country. It is a vital and secure harbour, and a central trading city for the region.
Take the opportunity to climb all 424 steps up to the Fjellstua lodge, and take in the panorama of the city, the ocean and the archipelago around it.
If you travel to Ålesund via Hjørundfjorden and take the 15:10 ferry from Sæbø to Trandal and Standal, you’re in for an unforgettable little mini-cruise.
Art Nouveau City of Ålesund
850 houses were left in ruins after the great fire of Ålesund in January 1904. Only one person died in the fire, but ten thousand people were left homeless. The people of Ålesund received help from the entire country in their efforts to rebuild their city, and crucial aid from Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany. Within a few years, Ålesund was rebuilt as a modern city in art nouveau-inspired architecture, and the town still features houses from this time.
The Art Nouveau Centre, which is housed in the original apothecary building by the sound that gave the city its name, is one of almost 400 houses rebuilt in art nouveau style after the fire. Visit the Art Nouveau Centre and obtain an insight into the history of the city fire and the great rebuilding of the city.
If you wish to spend the night in Ålesund on the way to or from the Juvet, you should try Brosundet Hotel – an old fish-canning factory that has been developed into a hotel, decorated by the internationally acclaimed Snøhetta architects.
Life at sea
The pulse of the port city of Ålesund is inextricably linked to the sea. The local inhabitants have learned the fine art of walking in the wind and battling with the elements to maintain a steady course when storms are raging – which is not unusual. Traditionally, the city has made a living from life both below and above the surface of the sea, and the city has made its mark in both fishing and shipping in the region.
It is therefore not surprising that the Atlantic Ocean Park is located here, which enables you to stay warm and dry while getting acquainted with some of the rich diversity of marine life.
If you are not averse to some sea spray, you can go ocean fishing with Actin and Stein Magne, some of the most experienced ocean fishing guides on the coast. Stein Magne always guarantees a catch – and you’ll hear some good stories on the trip as well. You can bring your catch back to Juvet, and we’ll cook up something delicious.