Turtagrø – design hotel in the mountains

At 884 meters above sea level, you find one of Norway’s  architectural gems. Turtagrø Hotel has it’s origin back to 1880’s, when the Drægni family established their hotel business.

Unfortunately the original hotel burned to the ground in 2001, but the late Ole Drægni decided to have a new hotel built. He hired the amazing architects Jarmund/Vigsnæs Arkitekter (jva.no), and from day one, the new hotel became a landmark. The pictures will have to speak for themselves. The interior and furniture is specifically designed, piece by piece.

Turtagrø Hotel. Photos: Bergphoto.net

The hotel is the natural starting point for many of the most stunning hikes in Norway. With the third highest peak in Norway, Store Skagastølstind (“Storen”, at 2405 meters), as the most attractive for climbers, there are still handfulls of of other peaks to be reached without the use of ropes. Fannaråken has a DNT-hut at 2067 meters, and it’s just a three hour walk from the hotel.
– Some pics from Fannaråken and Skogadalsbøen (also DNT)
– Read my story from Fannaråken sunrise (pdf, in Norwegian, English, German)

In April, May and June conditions are excellent for spring skiing and snowboarding. But there are no lifts, though. Still High Camp, the ski/snowboard touring festival organized by Fri Flyt, gathers more than 700 participants the second weekend of May.
The road up to the hotel is open all year. The road across Sognefjellet to Lom normally opens around 1st of May, and the road to Øvre Årdal opens mid to late May.
Story on skiing in Hurrungane + Sogndal (Sogn + Sogndal Skisenter) 2014
Skiing Soleiebotntind + Fannaråken 2012
– Skiing pics from the area,
– Some more from Nordre Skagastølstind

Turtagrø Hotell, with Skagastølstindane in the background

Turtagrø Hotell, with Skagastølstindane in the background. Photo: Bergphoto.net

Anne Marit Lia skiing Dyrhaugstind with Riingstind and Austabotntind in the back. Photo: Bergphoto.net


Turtagrø Hotel + Wikipedia article in Norwegian
High Camp
(touring/backcountry ski/snowboard festival in May) by Fri Flyt Magazine

More on Norway’s best skiing and ski resorts (work in progress):
Narvik Skisenter ski resort
Bjorli Skisenter ski resort
Stryn Sommerskisenter Glacier summer skiing resort
Hemsedal Skisenter ski resort

Photos from the downhill EC at Hafjell

From August 4th to 7th, Hafjell Bike Park hosted the European Championship in downhill mountainbiking. The trail got really popular among the riders, and despite a few rainy days, the sunny day of the finals left everybody with memories of a perfect event.

I went to Hafjell to shoot some photos, and I published just about all of them on my website, Bergphoto.net. Please see below these shots for links to a couple of videos giving you the roundup of what happened.


Here’s the NRK 30 minute roundup of the event (unfortunately in Norwegian):

A full run through the track by Espen Johnsen:

Also check out this amazing tricopter film from the top section (+ some from “NM-løypa”):

Hafjell Bike Park
Hafjell Freeride Klubb

European Championship results (pdf): MEN WOMEN JUNIORS

Tur? What is it and where does it go?

Aurlandsdalen, 71 grader nord, 2004. Photo:  Bergphoto.net


A lot of tourists bump into the word “tur” when they travel in Norway. This could be a typical conversation between a foreign visitor and his/her Norwegian host planning what to do.

– Do you want to join for a “tur” tomorrow?

– What is “tur”?
– Normally it is a walk, but it could also be running, biking, or cross country skiing in winter.

– What do you do on a “tur”?
– Nothing specific, really. We have a look around, and when it is time for a break, we have a picnic with sandwiches from our backpack.

– Why don’t you just stay home, watch a movie, and have your dry sandwiches at home?
– You feel much better outside, and it is great exercise.

– But why do you want to go out now, the weather is bad?
– It is so nice when you get back here in front of the fireplace.

– How long does it take?
– It depends. Anything from half an hour to all day. Or more.

– Where does it go?
– Typically on a narrow trail, that passes viewpoints or ends up on a peak. Or around a lake. Or across an island. Sometimes you do not decide until you are out there.

The Norwegian “tur”?
The Norwegian meaning of the word “tur” could be numerous things. Normally, we refer to it as a recreational hike in rural surroundings. But it is still mostly an urban phenomenon, to get away from traffic and paved roads and suck in some fresh air. Because when you travel around to pittoresque gems in deep fjords, it is not that common for the locals to have visited the surrounding peaks or places that tourists travel the globe to see.