Røldal, Hardanger, Vestland, Exploring Norway

Røldal, Hardanger – Exploring Norway

Røldal is a locality in western Norway. It lies within Ullensvang Municipality in Vestland County and is home to around 320 inhabitants. This is a mountainous region with more than 50 peaks reaching more than 1.000 meters in altitude. Røldal itself is located at an altitude of 414 meters above the sea. For centuries Christian pilgrims traveled to the Røldal Stave Church, today it is skiers that do a pilgrimage to the ski resorts in the area.

A Short History of Røldal

Travelers have for centuries traveled to Røldal. Initially, it was pilgrims who wandered here to visit the stave church and its crucifix with healing powers. The stave church was built in the 13th century and is still one of the main attractions, even though the pilgrims have been replaced by tourists.

It would actually take until 1958 before Røldal was connected to the electricity grid. In addition, it wasn’t until 1968 that the village had a road connection with the outside world that was open all year round.

Things to Do and See

The hiking possibilities are endless. The number of viewpoints is limitless. Nature is all around and the mountains surround this small village. There is also the old stave church to explore, which is enjoying the beautiful scenery in which it was built so many centuries ago.

Røldal Stave Church

The Røldal Stavkyrkje was built sometime during the first half of the 13th century. It was for centuries an important destination for pilgrims, one of the most prominent in Norway. That period lasted from the Middle Ages up until 1835. The pilgrims went here due to a crucifix that was said to have healing powers.

The stave church is the center of the local parish, it was once a Catholic Church but is today a part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Norway.


Røldalsvatnet is the nearby lake at which shores Røldal is located. The lake is surrounded by mountains like Nilsanuten (1103 m), Stordalsnibba (1111 m), Fjetlandsnuten (1282 m), and Odlandsnosa (1460 m). In addition to the views of the mountains, the lake is also known for its fishing possibilities. Fishing does, however, require a fishing permit.

Røldal Skisenter

Røldal Skisenter is a ski resort located up in the mountains a few kilometers to the west. A total of seven lifts take visitors up the mountain with the highest peak at an altitude of 1.300 meters. There are twelve different slopes taking the skiers down the mountainside.

How to Get to Røldal

  • Flights: Bergen Airport (BGO) is 174 kilometers to the west. It offers both domestic and international flights.
  • Car: Røldal is located along Road E134 to the east of Skare and Horda.

The driving distance from 5 major Norwegian cities, according to Google Maps:

  • Oslo – 305 kilometers (4 h 32 min)
  • Bergen – 176 kilometers (3 h 27 min)
  • Trondheim – 688 kilometers 10 h 28 min)
  • Narvik – 1581 kilometers (24 h)
  • Kirkenes – 2139 kilometers (29 h)

Find out more about other destinations in Norway by visiting our page Exploring Norway

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