Høse bridge
Høsebrua © Statens Vegvesen. Foto: Dag Jenssen
View from hotel
Energihotellet © Statens Vegvesen. Foto: Dag Jenssen

Short Break: Power & Design

National Tourist Route
Place to eat

Suldal is Norway's hydroelectric treasure trove, where in our fjord villages, you find yourself at the intersection of hydropower, untamed nature, and power architecture. Today, Suldal accounts for over 8 percent of Norway's annual power production. Two of the major hydropower developments in the municipality are the Røldal-Suldal project in the 1960s and the Ulla-Førre project in the 1980s, where the Ulla-Førre project was once the largest hydropower project in Northern Europe. To this day, hydropower leaves its mark on the municipality with exciting power architecture, the largest dam system in Norway, and ongoing efforts to balance power production with the preservation of our resources.

In this short break package, you get a glimpse into the power municipality of Suldal, where untamed nature, power architecture, and local culinary experiences take center stage.

Day 1: Explore the Power Village of Nesflaten

Start your short break with a drive along the Ryfylke National Tourist Route to the Energihotellet design hotel in the small village of Näsflaten, whose closest neighbors are the high peaks of Suldalsvatnet.The hotel was designed by architect Geir Grung in connection with the Røldal-Suldal hydropower development. Here, you can relax with a book and coffee in front of the golden fireplace or enjoy excellent views from the modern rooms. In the evening, indulge in their four-course dinner featuring local ingredients. A stroll around the village of Nesflaten provides insight into how hydropower has influenced this small West Coast village with unconventional functionalist houses and the administration building of Hydro's Røldal-Suldal facility, locally known as the "UFO." Overall, the area stands as one of the finest and best-preserved examples of functionalist architecture in Norway.

From the hotel you can enjoy great hiking experiences in the immediate area, both in the center of Nesflaten and in Høgfjellet. Nipe is one of the most iconic peaks in the area and gives you a fantastic view of Suldalsvatnet and the village of Nesflaten. The construction roads from the power development also offer great cycling experiences from the hotel, where you can hire e-bikes. You can also set out on Suldalvatnet, which stretches from Roalkvam to Suldalsosen. If you want to fish in the lake, you can get a fishing license at inatur.no. Guests at Energihotellet also have access to the local heated swimming pool.

Day 2: Wild nature and engineering

Start the day with a better breakfast with a view of Suldalsvatnet and the village of Nesflaten. Today the trip goes up into the high mountains to Gullingen and Blåsjø, where the construction road from the Ulla Førre development takes you past the Gullingen tourist center into the Suldalsheiane with waterfalls, mountain water and great hiking areas. The road is also suitable for cycling. Here you first come to the mighty Oddatjøn dam, which with its 142 meters dams the artificial lake Blåsjø, the highest and largest concrete dam in Norway. In 1989, the dam received the Concrete Element Prize.

Feel free to combine the trip with hiking, summit tours, or visits to nearby tourist where Stranddalen has its own hosts welcoming you during the summer season tourist hut hosts throughout the summer season. From Napen you get a view of Oddatjørndammen and Førrevassdammen and the surrounding area. Several of the lakes are also suitable for swimming and fishing.

During the winter season, the road to Blåsjø is closed due to snow. Then you can explore miles upon miles of marked ski slopes. Here you can also find twig runs, cross-country skiing, light trails and other summit tours. Suldal tourist office has its own map for ski slopes in the Gullingen area. Feel free to end the day with a wood-fired stomp or a trip to Suldal Bad.

Day 3: Architecture tour in spectacular landscape

The architecture tour is Norway's only architecture route in a one-day format and offers both historical and modern world-class architectural works. The trip takes between 2-3 hours from Suldal via Sauda to Røldal, and is a journey in a spectacular landscape from the fjord to the high mountains. Here you get great stops such as the award-winning Høsebrua, Ostasteidn, Almannajuvet and Svandalsfossen. You can also enter a visit to Røldal Stavkyrkje and Guggedalsloftet/Kolbeinstveit. During the winter season, the road between Sauda and Røldal is closed. Then you can make use of RV13.

Feel free to combine the trip with a visit to the municipal center Sand with its white wooden houses close to the Sandsfjorden. Here you will find local shops, cafes, cultural center, a museum, and your own beach. In the summer season, you can visit the Salmon Studio where you can see the Suldal salmon on their way up the river to spawn. Here you can learn more about how they have worked to look after the wild salmon population in Suldalslågen, western Norway's most water-rich river which has been affected by both the Røldal-Suldal development and the Ulla-Førre development.

Price and order?

This short holiday is tailored to your needs and wishes and can be combined with a number of other experiences and places to stay. This can be explored further here at VisitSuldal.com.

Contact Energihotellet directly or Visit Suldal for more information and tips for a meaningful holiday in Skattkammeret Suldal.