Norwegian Road Trip Day 1: Viking Village (part 2)

Last I left you we had just seen some amazing Norwegian Waterfalls on the way to Gudvangen. Why were we headed to this small village in Aurland, Sogn og Fjordane? To visit the Viking Village of course!

The Viking Village is nestled between the  Kjelfossen (one of the tallest waterfalls in Norway, 755 metres) and the spectacular Nærøyfjord. During the Viking period, Gudvangen was an important place for trade and it’s name translates to a ‘place of the gods’. So this is a fitting location to step back in time and experience the Viking way of life.

Before we visited the Viking Village,  we took some photos on the Nærøyfjord. It is the most majestic fjord. The water is so clear and catches the shades of green from the mountains that dominate the landscape.

 

 

 

The Viking Village is not exactly an attraction with actors like the other heritage museums you find across Scandinavia. Rather the Vikings you will encounter are committed to living the Viking lifestyle and are very knowledgeable about the Viking way of life. The village itself is made of timber buildings, which are carved similarly to how they would of been in the Viking age and the materials are sourced from near the fjord. The ironwork is all handmade by an experienced blacksmith, as are the paints that decorate the buildings and the handcrafted goods.

When we arrived we entered the ticket building, which sells books and gifts as well. We were told to meet our Viking guide at the post for our complementary tour at a set time. These tours are included in admission and are available in Norwegian and English. Stepping into the village was really like going back in time. The people were dressed how you imagine a viking may, the buildings and props seemed authentic and the backdrop of the mountains was beautiful. I wish I knew prior that you can actually stay here overnight. I would have loved to wake up here.

We first looked around before our Viking guide found us. There wasn’t many other tourist around, since we arrived quite later in the afternoon. So we weren’t hard to spot. I can’t remember our guides name, but I do remember that he was Scottish. He explained how the Scots had dealings with the Vikings, which gave his perspective an interesting twist. He then took us on a guided tour for 45 minutes, that I assume was tailored to us. He took us to see the god’s, the chickens, the chief’s building, the blacksmith and clothes maker. We spoke about the different gods, the chickens, the kinds of clothes people wore, the equality of men and women, the chief and genetics of the Viking people. We also met some other vikings, who told us about what they do as a profession. I really appreciated the personal touch of the tour and hearing the Vikings lifestyle experience.

 

 

After our tour we went in a clockwise direction to visited all the buildings in the village. We did a couple of activities that you will see below, as well as having a late lunch in the Viking Food Court. Since there was no paper map, labels or information, we took our time and use our imagination as we walked around. Usually I like to read about the facts, but to be honest with a toddler it was nice to just relax and not get bogged down in the didactic details.

Below are the photos from each building and some of the activities we did on our own or with help from some of the Vikings. You can see a rough map of the village here.

 

Black smith’s house

 

 

Chickens and Gods

These chickens are actually the same breed that vikings would have had. Octavia was able to feed them which was really fun for her with one of the Viking ladies.

 

 

The chief’s house

This is the largest building in the centre of the village, we did spend a portion of our tour in here. The owner of the Viking Village is the chief, which you can see in the majority of the photographs on their website. We did get introduced to him and I regret not getting a photo with him. He really looks the part more then anyone else in my opinion.

 

 

Clothing store

 

 

Warriors house and viking ship

Marco and Octavia had fun playing with the Viking weapons. This house was one of the more interesting ones and the ship was also pretty amazing too.

 

 

Viking homes

 

 

 

 

Wool maker

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Viking homes

 

 

 

 

Viking ladys’ home

This nice Viking lady told us that she had a lot of children, she was blowing a bull horn to call them in for dinner. She dressed Octavia up as a little Viking girl, which was adorable.

 

 

Crafter’s house

These Viking ladies were busy crafting items things. They didn’t say anything to us. So I am not sure if they spoke English or were ready to go home. They had some interesting items for sale, but unfortunately they were trading in Norwegian krones, hence the high price tags.

 

 

Target practise

The Viking lady that dressed Octavia helped me learn how to shoot a bow and arrow. Its a lot harder then it looks.

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Food House

 

 

Viking Food Court

Just before leaving we decided to have a late lunch at the Viking Food Court. We weren’t really hungry, we just wanted a bit of a snack. This afternoon that had everything on offer, except the oats. I was a bit disappointed they didn’t have them since O loves them. The cook was also disappointed because its one of signature dishes. It was late in the afternoon, so it was a bit of an awkward time to eat.  Marco ended up choosing both dishes, which were the lamb sausage and Thor’s Hammer (beef). The cook recommended both with Honey Marinated Roasted Vegetables and Viking Bread. I think we got lost in translation, since I wanted to get something different but we ended up with the same sides for both dishes. The sausages was pretty delicious. The beef was also nice, but we needed to ask for a big chefs knife to cut it, since our wooden knives could not get through the meat. I didn’t mind that one either, but it was a little too black for me. The bread was nice, but the vegetables were sensational. Although I wasn’t that hungry I wish there was a little more of the sides considering the price and how delicious they were.

 

 

That brings us to the end of this post. Next we will be heading to Flåm and spending the night in Aurlandsvangen.

25 thoughts on “Norwegian Road Trip Day 1: Viking Village (part 2)

    1. Thanks so much Amitesh. No, I’m definitely not tough enough for the Viking life. It’s was summer and I was cold, so winter would of killed me lol it definitely gave me big new respect for there ancestors. I was surprised to find out that they did have such a large population and there aren’t related with the Indigenous peoples.

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  1. Hello,

    I have enjoyed reading your Norway trip reports. I see that you also visited the Oslo folk museum. If you were only to visit one, which would you choose – the Viking village or the Oslo folk museum.

    We probably would only spend a few hours no matter which site we visit.

    Thanks! Kristine

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Kristine, I’m so happy that you found them useful! If I had to choose I would definetely go with the Oslo Folk Museum. The reason being that there it’s so much larger, so you have more to see, learn and people to interact with. The Viking Village is relatively small and the guided tour is quite short. So once that is done you can walk around for another 10 minutes to see what you missed and/or have lunch, which is quite pricey. So in terms of value for money and time I prefered the Oslo Folk Museum. The scenery and personalised guided tour at the Viking Village makes it worth it if you doing a road trip out of Oslo and have a couple of hours to stop. If you have kids I can say that my daughter had fun at both, but Folk Museum also had animals, lots of interesting buildings to explore and a playground. The cafe was also much more kid friendly and had more options if your on a budget. The only con was the pram was a pain to push in the cobbled streets and grass. Just also consider the time of year, because I believe the Folk Museum doesn’t open the buildings during the off season. I hope this helps!

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      1. Thanks so much for the additional information. We will be taking the ferry from Gudvangen to Flåm. Since we will be in Gudvangen anyway, I was thinking about making a stop in the Viking village.

        However, once we arrive in Gudvangen, we either have a two hour wait or a five hour wait for the next ferry.

        If we decide to visit the Viking village instead of the folk museum, do you have any thoughts on whether we would have enough time in two hours to see everything or whether we should take the five hour wait. I’m just not sure if five hours is way too long but two hours is too short and we should just skip it altogether?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Two hours is more then enough time. I did go in the afternoon so there was only two other couples that visited on the day. The guided tour was not more than 30mins and they took us through straight away. Afterwards, we had dinner there and walked around which was about another 30 minutes. The village itself is really tiny. Depending on the time your going, I would email them and book the guided tour, so that you don’t have to wait if there are lots of other people there at the same time. The activities at the Viking village are really just set up if you want to have fun for a few minutes and the Viking kitchen a restaurant. I was expecting more things going on, but then perhaps its different in the busy times. After our tour only one of the staff, the viking lady spoke with us and dressed up my daughter. I think some of ther others didn’t speak English so they didn’t interact with us. I just recommend asking as many questions to our tour guide, because the experience is really what you make of it.
        Also when we were there, the only thing that was there to see was the fjord and the petrol station. However, there was construction next to the fjord. So now you should be able to visit the Joker Gudvangen, Nærøydesign and Souvenir Shop. Personally, I would try and fit it all in 2hours, because if between visiting the village, shopping and eating 5 hours is way to long. As beautiful as the fjord is I couldn’t stare at it for 2 hours lol

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