Fjelleventyret: Big adventures in nature from a small family farm
By Eva-Kristin U. Pedersen | Photos: Fjelleventyret
In the very heart of Norway, right at the junction between majestic mountains and the mesmerising Geirangerfjorden, is a small family-run farm that is setting a new standard for rural tourism in Norway. If you’re looking for somewhere to really embrace Norwegian nature, Fjelleventyret is the place for you.
“We’re located right between Jotunheimen, Reinheimen and Breheimen national parks, so this area really is great for anyone who wants to immerse themselves in nature,” says Hanne Forberg, who runs Fjelleventyret with her husband, Magne Håvard Forberg. Magne is a very experienced mountaineer – just the sort of person you would like to accompany you on long journeys into Norwegian mountains.
Horseback riding and more
The couple has been running horseriding activities at Fjelleventyret for six years, together with their partners the Langaker family from Oslo, and has on hand 22 Icelandic horses and four professional riders. Guests can enjoy long horseback-riding excursions with lunch by the bonfire. “When riding a horse into Lundadalen, surrounded by the enchanting Hestbreapiggene mountain range, you feel small. It is really beautiful,” Forberg says.
Apart from horseback adventures, both rafting and canyoning are available, as are guided tours to the nearby mountain peaks for those that are looking for a serious challenge. “We are close to a number of 2,000-metre peaks as well as to Galdhøypiggen, Norway’s highest mountain,” Forberg explains.
In the winter, skiing and Alpine ski touring – whereby you walk up and ski down – are popular choices. But whichever activity you choose, you are bound to be awestruck by the incredible scenery.
“One of the nearby rivers comes directly from Breheimen national park. The water is profoundly turquoise and for many visitors, it is the first time they’ve seen a river of that colour. Many are taken aback when they see it,” Forberg says with a smile.
While you are there, be sure to visit the famous Lom Stave church, ten minutes away from the farm, and pencil in a trip to Geirangerfjorden – perhaps the most beautiful of all Norwegian fjords – located only one hour to the west.
The home of the mountain reindeer
In the autumn, hunters can also partake in a special hunt for a unique animal. The wild reindeer is an ancient reindeer species found only in this area of Norway. Hunting is permitted under a quota scheme administered by the Norwegian government, and hunters from all over the world come to the Skjåk-area to participate in the unique event. “We’ve even had royal guests here,” Forberg says.
Both for hunters and people that are simply keen to be in nature, the little farm is a perfect hub. Up to 30 guests can sleep in rooms finely-decorated in traditional Norwegian style, relax in the sauna or on the large terrace, and enjoy homemade food at the restaurant, Spiseriet.
Top-quality, regional food
Spiseriet is Mrs. Forberg’s responsibility. She is a chef with ample experience in both Michelin-starred restaurants in Norway and abroad. “I’ve worked in Tuscany, close to Montepulciano, and was struck by how proud of and focused on regional food Italians are. When we opened the restaurant here, I wanted to do the same. Everything we serve is 100 per cent local and homemade,” she stresses.
Forberg lists homemade charcuterie such as sausages made of deer and wild sheep, as well as juniper-smoked salmon, as some of their special treats. She also notes that portions are generous as “people that have been out in the mountains all day are usually hungry!” When it comes to drinks, as well as locally-brewed beer, Spiseriet boasts a thorough wine selection with something to suit every palate – and wallet.
Meanwhile, the dishes are also suitable for children. “Food options when travelling with children in Norway used to be limited to hot dogs and burgers. We don’t want that. We want the children to be able to taste the homemade food. If needed we give them smaller portions,” Forberg explains.
Fjelleventyret is well adapted to children, who will enjoy the outdoor activities every little bit as much as the adults. “It is wonderful to see parents coming back with their children after a day of excursions and activities. The children enjoy themselves and the parents are happy,” Forberg says enthusiastically, adding that their guests range from families to groups of friends and work colleagues.
Rural tourism – a touch of serenity?
“Rural tourism has become increasingly popular in Norway. Those who live in cities, especially, crave a more personal touch than that of large urban hotels. They need to be seen. In a small place like this, things are more down to earth. We’re a family business – even our youngest daughter Julie does her part as a horse-trainer in the winter. We are happy to have a coffee with our guests, maybe give them tips on where to hike the next day or set them up with the neighbours for rafting or canyoning. The attention we give to each individual guest really sets us apart,” Forberg says.
Getting to Skjåk is easiest by car. Fjelleventyret is five hours’ drive from Oslo and four from Trondheim. The nearest train station is Otta, about one hour’s drive from the farm. That might seem long if you are used to short transfers, but the joy of indulging in pristine nature and the peace and serenity that awaits at this unique spot is worth the journey.
Subscribe to Our Newsletter
Receive our monthly newsletter by email