Our hike to Viglesdalen is one of the most memorable and beautiful hikes we have done in Norway. There was never a dull moment, the sceneries were constantly changing before our very eyes. In one day, we have walked past towering cliffs, majestic waterfalls, serene lakes, and stony paths. Our only regret was we didn’t have a tent with us ; otherwise, we could have spent at least a couple of days in the valley.
Viglesdalen is a valley found in the province of Hjelmeland in Ryfylke region. There is a trail to this valley which was built in 1907-1912 by Swedish landworkers. They were also responsible for the construction of stone bridge over the river to facilitate the herding of sheep to and from the mountain pastures.
Special Information :
Hike : Viglesdalen Hike
Level of Difficulty : Moderate
Distance : 7.2 kilometers
Duration : 3 hours (one-way)
Ascent : 442 meters
Starting Point : Parking, small village of Nes (From Tau, follow the R13, exit at a secondary road to Tveit, all the way to Nes. Drive up to the end until you reach the parking area. The drive takes at least 30 minutes. The parking, which is situated by Storana river, has picknick tables, toilet and garbage bins.)
Campsite : Parking, Rv 638
4137 Nes, Hjelmeland
Coordinates : N: 59.14948 E: 06.34683
DOING THE HIKE
We were preparing for our hike when a Norwegian couple arrived with their dog, Pippi. They were fully prepared to hike, both with big backpack, also the dog. We had a short chat with them, later a longer chat when we saw them again at Viglesdalen. After having some tips about the hike, we decided just to wear our normal hiking shoes and not the boots! We started hiking at 12.00. We crossed the bridge in going to the other side of the river Storana, from there, there were already clear T-red marks which guide the hikers along the trail. From Nes, the track climbs for the first stretch, walking on some irregularly formed stones, passing a farm on the right side. Afterwards, we walked on some more steeper grounds, but nothing so unusual yet. We could hear the sounds of the water rushing through the river, we could see the high mountains on our left side!
After almost an hour hike, we were rewarded with the first sight of a waterfall, the Sendingsfossen! It is about 50m high and from where we were, we had a very good view of the falls! We could see how the white waters violently rush to the river below it. Finding a tricky way to come closer, clutching the trees on the way, it was more beautiful as we could see the whole picture, from the flat area until it has a free hard fall unto the deep! It was a sight to behold! We continued our walk, all the time having the view of the river below us, and catching a glimpse of some very small falls.
After about half an hour, we reached another magnificent waterfall, the Hiafossen! This waterfall is bigger and higher than the first. It is magnificent! They look like two waterfalls separated by a big boulder in between! We walked to the falls so close as possible, and from where we stood, we could feel some outbursts from the falls! It was a very special moment being able to stand so close to this wonderful work of nature. It was such an emotional experience! We had to be careful, though not to slip or fall, as the welcoming rocks and violent waters could be very cruel!
We continued our hike, during which we were treated to very scenic views of the environment, from mountains and valleys to rivers and small lakes and a couple more waterfalls but this time, just small ones. We made a lot of stops along the way as we couldn’t go on without stopping and admiring the nature where we were in. The paths might be going up and down, steep and low, but we didn’t care and didn’t notice. We were absorbed in the beauty around us! Finally after another hour, we reached the Lake Hiavatnet. It was again a beauty to behold! The reflection of the green mountains was to be seen clearly back in the waters. There should be lots of fish in this lake, but since Hans did not have fishing permit, it was for us of no use. From here there was an old stone bridge constructed between 1907-1912, to cross the river Storana, which separates the Hiavatnet lake from Viglesdalen .
Crossing the stone-bridge, the trail runs further through stone-covered pathway, with a view of the lake on the right side and the rocky mountain on the left side. This is the most difficult part of the hike. Some areas are dangerous for falling debris; we had to really look at where we were walking as the stones could be tricky. One wrong step, and we have either broken ankles, or we are in the waters! After a sturdy hour-long walk, we finally arrived to the beautiful, serene, scenic Viglesdalen!
It was a superb place between two towering mountains, from a distance we could still see snow on top of the mountains. There is a tourist hut in the valley, owned by Stavanger Trekking Association, where hikers could rent a room and use some basic facilities. Pippi was already here together with her Norwegian friends, plus three other hikers. It was very relaxing to be here. Knowing that Hans and I made this hike again, and be rewarded with this wonderful place! Too bad we had to go back again. It would be nicer if we could camp for even a night.
But after maybe 45 minutes rest and chatting with our fellow hikers, it was again time to hike back. It was already 17.30 and we wouldn’t want to be still on the road so late. The way back did not take any longer than 2.5 hours, with some very short stops. We still saw many hikers, about 10 more, along the way who were also planning to camp in the valley! And we thought, Öh yeey! Its going to be busy at the campsite!” It was 20.00 when we finally returned to our camper. The parking area was busy, with about 8 other cars that were parked there, but with only 1 camper….ours.
Hans and I were tired, but we didn’t care! It has been a rewarding and successful day of hiking for us! It was no doubt one of the nicest hike we’ve done so far, a hike that we are both willing to do once again. That night, we treated ourselves with a very good dinner, fried fish which Hans himself caught in Tau by the ferry harbour.