Accommodation & Dining,  Aurland,  Destinations

Vangsgaarden Hotel Review, Aurland

Tucked away in stunning Aurland (my hometown!), at the hilt of the Sognefjord – (the longest fjord in the world, in case you were wondering) – you’ll find an absolute treasure: Vangsgaarden!

It’s not just any hotel; it’s the one that I, your trusty Norwegian travel blogger, have the joy of calling my childhood haunt. I know, right? Who gets to say they grew up in a place like this!

Every nook and cranny, every garden path, every delectable dish served here, I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing. Not just because I grew up running around the gardens, but also because I worked in the bar and reception from I was 18 to 21.

Don’t even get me started on the lineage – Vangsgaarden has been lovingly managed by the same family for generations. So, am I biased? Probably! But I guarantee, one night at Vangsgaarden, and you too will understand why this place is one of my all-time favourites in the whole of the Sognefjord.

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A photo taken from the water of a small village nestled at the base of a large, green mountain, with a cloudy sky above. In the center of the image are several white fisherman's cabins along the waterfront. This is the village of Aurland in Norway, along the Aurlandsfjord.
Vangsgaarden and its beautiful cabins are the row of huts right at the waterfront, and the red-roofed building behind.

Vangsgaarden Gjestgiveri (Guesthouse) Review

Now that I have shared my own personal history with Vangsgaarden Gjestgiveri (Gjestgiveri translates to Inn or Guesthouse), it’s time to dive into my review!

I stayed here last summer when researching my travel guide, Moon Norway. Of course, I visit their restaurant, Vangsgaarden Gastropub, whenever I am home. It’s a go-to spot for meeting friends for a drink or a nice meal.

History and name

The name Vangsgaarden derives from two words: Vangen and Gården. Vangen is the name of a village or town center, and the hotel is located right by the fjord in the center of Aurland. Gården means “the farm” or “the cluster”.

Originally, Vangsgaarden was the most central cluster of houses owned by the same family in the village, hence the name.

A historical corner room with red velvet furniture and a window facing a beautiful fjord outside.

Aabelheim, a historic building where breakfast is served, has an interesting backstory. It was once the home of the County Parson in the 1800s, Ole Aabel. The house is named after him (*Aabel + heim means ‘the home of Aabel‘). Some believe that his presence still lingers, and locals often share stories of hauntings in his old home.

Don’t worry, though, none of the guest rooms are located in Aabelheim. However, you might hear some footsteps in the attic during breakfast.

Buildings and refurbishment

Vangsgaarden comprises multiple buildings, including the renowned Vangsgaarden Gastropub (a restaurant worth visiting even if you aren’t staying), the main building with reception and newly refurbished guest rooms, an additional building with guest rooms in the garden, the historic Aabelheim, and 8 sought-after fjord cabins.

The rooms are all refurbished with modern amenities, but in a traditional, almost old-fashioned style, so you truly feel like you are staying in a wealthy farmhouse from the 1800s.

The cabins offer stunning views and are in high demand, so book early to wake up to the fjord just outside your window. They also have a deluxe cabin, named ‘The View’. This cabin offers not only superior views of the breathtaking fjords, but also a extra leg room to stretch out and relax.

Imagine waking up to the awe-inspiring sight of the majestic fjords, with their cascading waterfalls and rugged cliffs, right outside your window. Experience the serenity and tranquility of life by the fjords as you sip your morning coffee and soak in the natural beauty that surrounds you.

A steak plated with potatoes and root vegetables, with a dramatic sky and mountains in the background.

Rooms at Vangsgaarden

The rooms at Vangsgaarden are charming, neat, and offer either a fjord or garden view. The fjord view is the most popular, so be sure to request it early if you want to secure one of those rooms.

It goes without saying that in a building where one side faces the fjord and one faces the garden and mountains, not all rooms can have a fjord view. Yet, when I worked in the reception, I had loads of guests upset that not all the rooms had a fjord view..

The cottages have a main bedroom, loft, seating area, and small kitchen – perfect for longer stays and self-cooking. You can also opt for breakfast with your booking. The local grocery store is just a 2-minute walk away.

A double room at Vangsgaarden hotel in Norway, with red bedding over white sheets, and a fjord view outside.

Things to do near Vangsgaarden

If you have decided to stay at Vangsgaarden, you’ll be happy to hear that there are plenty of things to do nearby! Below are a few of the most popular activities in Aurland and the surrounding area!

  1. FjordSafari: Get up close and personal with the breathtaking fjords on a thrilling safari. Perfect for those looking for a blend of adventure and natural beauty.
  2. Flåm Railway: Take a ride on one of the world’s steepest railway lines. With panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and fjords, it’s a must-do!
  3. Aurlandsdalen Hiking: Strap on your hiking boots and explore the stunning Aurlandsdalen valley. The hike offers unrivaled views of Norwegian scenery down the valley.
  4. Viking Village in Gudvangen: Step back in time at the Njardarheimr Viking Village. Here you can learn about famous Vikings, their culture and traditions from the resident reenactors.
  5. Kayaking on the Fjords: Experience the tranquility of the fjords in a whole new way. Paddle your way through serene waters, surrounded by towering mountains.
  6. Stegastein Viewpoint: A drive up to this viewing platform is a must. At 650 meters above sea level, it offers breathtaking views of the fjord, mountains, and valleys.

Remember to pack your sense of adventure, and I am sure you’ll have an unforgettable time by the fjords.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, it is clear to see why Vangsgaarden in Norway has become one of my favorite hotels. Its charming atmosphere, breathtaking views, and impeccable service truly make it a standout choice for any traveler.

I am always delighted to hear that many guests have chosen to stay at this hotel after reading my blog and recommendations. You know I love sharing my best tips for the area where I grew up!

If you are looking for more comprehensive information on hotels in Flåm and the surrounding area, I invite you to read my complete guide here. It offers detailed insights, helpful tips, and recommendations to ensure that you make the most out of your stay in this picturesque destination.

Whether you are seeking adventure, tranquility, or simply a memorable escape, my guide will provide you with all the information you need to make informed decisions and create unforgettable memories.

Thank you for taking the time to read my review and for considering Vangsgaarden as your accommodation choice. I am confident that you will be as captivated by its charm as I am.

As always, I highly recommend booking your stay in advance. As soon as you have decided where to stay, make your reservation. They are very popular, and usually fully booked in the summer months. When I worked there, I more than once had to disappoint drop-in travelers hoping to get a room for the night without a reservation.

My opinion on deciding to travel around western Norway without booking your hotel in advance is another post for another time.

Check availability and book your stay at Vangsgaarden here!

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