Herdalssetra in Norway is one of the most magical places I have ever been. It is a magical farm located in in a mountain valley above the Geirangerfjord. Friendly sheep and horses with foals greeted us when we entered the gate. A tall mountain towers over the traditional grass huts with a waterfall to the side.
We stayed in one of the old grass huts that were originally for traditional sheep-herders. It felt like we had the magical farm all to ourselves. We watched sunset at midnight as the sky turned all shades of pink and purple.
If going to Norway, I hope that you’re able to visit Herdalssetra and experience this magical place for yourself. This guide will help you to plan your trip to Herdalssetra in Norway.
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5 Things to do at Herdalssetra
From Herdalssetra, there are tons of hiking trails. Since the little farm village is surrounded by tall mountains, there are an abundance of trails to summit these surrounding mountains. Once entering the farm, there are a few vague trail signs pointing in the direction of the trail, but you definitely need a trail map to hike these trails.
We attempted hiking one of the trails, but we started later in the day and it was hard to follow the trail as the trails here are not heavily used. Paper maps can be purchased from DNT centers or the national park visitor center in Gerianger.
2. Visit the waterfall
When you arrive at the farm, you will see a waterfall out in the distance to the left of the main mountain in the middle. The waterfall is a short walk from the farm and worth walking to. From the farm, it doesn’t appear very large, but as you get closer, you will see how big of a waterfall that it actually is.
If you follow the gravel road past the barn where the goats are milked, there is a path that leads to a bridge that crosses the stream. If you come here in the late afternoon, there will likely be hundreds of friendly goats waiting on the other side of the bridge to be milked (and cuddled).
Follow the faint trail towards the waterfall and walk up the side of the waterfall. We enjoyed sitting beside the waterfall here soaking in the view.
3. Watch the animals
One of my favorite things about Herdalssetra was all of the animals. There are so many beautiful animals on the farm and the view is a bonus. The sheep around the farm were so friendly and wanted all of the pets. They followed us around with their sweet little babies. There were also horses freely roaming around with two little foals. When the horses ran around our house at night, it sounded like thunder.
The farm is also one of the largest goat farms in Norway. The goats are milked in the large barn twice a day. If you are at the farm in the evening, around 6pm, you can see the goats being led from the barn back into their fields. It is really neat to see so many goats following the farmer in a single file line. If you go hiking from the farm during the day, it is likely that you’ll encounter the goats on the trail. They are very friendly and like to be petted.
4. Relaxing at the farm
You don’t have to go hiking to enjoy the farm. It’s a beautiful scene and a very peaceful place. We sat in little folding chairs that the AirBnb had for us to use. We saw another family have a fancy picnic with their folding table and chairs nearby. It is a nice place to enjoy the view and relax.
5. Farm Tour
Herdalssetra is a working farm and sometimes offers tours to visitors. They give tours of the barn where the goats are milked and give demonstrations on how their goat cheese is made. When they are open, they reportedly sell some snacks made from the goat products. During our visit, they were not open for tours, but be sure to check the Herdalssetra website for their hours of opening during your visit.
Things to do nearby Herdalssetra
Since Herdalssetra is in the Geriangerfjord area, there are a ton of other gorgeous things to do in the area.
One of my favorite things that we did near Herdalssetra was kayaking on Geriangerfjord from Norddal. Cruise ships do not stop at Norddal, so it is a very peaceful town without many tourists. If you’re wanting to kayak on Geriangerfjord, I recommend renting kayaks from Norddal.
The Joker grocery store in Norddal rents both single and double kayaks. All rentals include the paddles and life jackets. When we visited, for a double kayak it was around 400 NOK (around $40) for 3 hours. They had much more affordable rental prices compared to the kayak rentals in Gerianger.
Gerianger is one of the most popular towns to visit in the West Fjords of Norway. Almost every cruise ship stops here, and for good reason. It is a beautiful town. Even though I think that Gerianger is overrated, it is still beautiful and has many things to do. In Gerianger, there is the Norwegian Fjord Visitor Center where you can learn about the fjords and get more information about the area.
Gerianger has lots of shops and some restaurants. Some popular activities to do around Gerianger include the Gerianger waterfall trail, kayaking to the Seven Sisters, and driving the Gerianger-Trollstigen national scenic road.
Things to know before visiting the farm
There is no cell phone service
There is absolutely no cell phone service at Herdalssetra. If you plan on hiking from Herdalssetra or using your phone for instructions to get into your AirBnb (us lol), be sure to download anything you need prior to driving the road up to Herdalssetra. If you forget to do this, you will have to drive 20 minutes down the hill (and pay the toll road fee again) until you have service). On the bright side, it is a great place to unplug and be away from service.
There is water and outside toilets, but no stores for food
At Herdalssetra, there are 2 outhouse toilets, which are very clean and not stinky. There is also a spigot of fresh water close to the outhouse. The closest store with food is in the town of Norddal, around 20 minutes away. If staying in an AirBnb at Herdalssetra, be prepared that there is not electricity or running water in the house.
Watch out for sheep on the road and poop on the ground
When driving up to Herdalssetra, you will likely encounter sheep on the road. They like laying on the road and running up to cars. Be on the look out for sheep while driving. Since you’re on a working farm and the sheep and horses roam around the houses, there is a lot of animal poop around. I don’t recommend wearing your nicest shoes lol.
Where is Herdalssetra?
Herdalssetra is located in an upper mountain valley above Norddal. It is 40km, around 1 hour drive from the town of Gerianger.
How to get to Herdalssetra
From the town of Norddal, continue up into the valley to Herdalssetra. I used Google Maps XXX to help us navigate there. The road up to Herdalssetra is a gravel toll road. Before entering the road, you will have to pay via credit card around 900 NOK ($9 USD). To get to Herdalssetra, follow gravel road essentially until it ends. The road is over 20% grade in parts, but is a well-kept road. There is a series of several livestock gates to open and close after you pass to prevent the goats from getting loose.
Staying at Herdalssetra
The only way to stay at Herdalssetra is to stay in one of the huts on the farm. A few of the huts are available for rental on AirBnb. We stayed in one of the huts and it was a wonderful experience. Grass covered the roof and there was a clear view of the mountain and waterfall from the porch. Inside was a little kitchen with a gas stove, two small beds, a kitchen table, and a woodstove. It was such a lovely experience.
There are two AirBnb listings at Herdalssetra. To find these AirBnbs, search “Norddal, Norway” in the search bar.
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I hope that you are able to visit this magical place. Let me know any comments or questions you have below in the comments.
Thanks for reading!