Reading material for those who love the camping life

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By: Grete and Johan Bjarnaberg
Motorhome and Caravan magazine, December 6

New destinations in scenic surroundings!

Since the summer of 2020, we have talked about choosing campsites that are not located along our main roads, or campsites that are large and close to the city. Most of us choose just among these, if we are going on short trips for fun and enjoyment. Of course, this also applies to the undersigned. But then we tried something else.

The challenge this time is to find campsites and plan your trip without choosing the obvious campsites. We live on Biri and the trip we are planning is a round trip via Fagernes over Tyin to Lærdal, via Sogndal, over Sognefjellet to Lom, then over Valdresflya, via Fagernes and back to Biri. The obvious choices for us would normally be Fagernes Camping, Lærdal Ferie og Fritidspark, Kjørnes Camping in Sogndal or Nordal Turistsenter in Lom. Many people travel to these places and it is often full. None of these were an option on this trip because we wanted to travel to other campsites that are most likely not full at this time of year.

New destinations, better planning

We are well acquainted with the journey we are embarking on from before, but new destinations and better planning gave us many new impressions and new experiences. Camping Norway has an incredible amount to offer just by looking! We chose to spend the night at a brand new campsite for us, namely Bøflaten Camping in Vang Municipality at the end of Vangsmjøsa.

Natural choice

Bøflaten Camping is a natural choice for you who drive East / West in Norway. It is idyllically located close to the water and with the surrounding mountains reflected in the lake. On sunny days, this must be absolutely stunning. Very pleasant staff, newly renovated sanitary facilities, beautiful kitchen, large playground for the children, short-cut lawns and a great location make this probably one of the Top Three Campsites for me in 2021. The journey further over Tyin and down to Lærdal is incredibly beautiful with lots to see on with. Kongevegen, which runs along the same stretch, is a historic road and Borgund Stave Church is a natural stop for those who choose to drive or walk this road. 

Jostedal

We drove past the campsites in Lærdal and Sogndal on our trip and as expected they were both full. We had another, smaller, slightly secluded place as our next destination, namely Jostedal Camping in Jostedalen. Jostedalen is a valley that runs from Gaupne in Luster municipality in Sogn og Fjordane. The road through the valley, Fylkesvei 604 is in many places quite narrow and runs along the river Jostedøla and we follow the road until we arrive at the campsite. The road is used, among other things, by the many who go to the Nigardsbreen glacier.

Strong forces of nature

Jostedalen is a beautiful valley with incredible nature shaped by strong natural forces both summer and winter and the river at the bottom of the valley attracts a lot of attention and activity. Not only for fishing but also water activities such as rafting and swimming. The nature around the river varies greatly, but the further up you get the wilder and more beautiful it becomes. Jostedal Camping turned out to be an excellent campsite, but with almost no guests. 8-10 units were there when we arrived and was a stark contrast to the full campsites we had driven past. Here is beautiful nature, a silence you can only experience in such places. New state-of-the-art cabins, state-of-the-art newly renovated toilets and a great new sanitary building. Large common areas and a place it is impossible not to thrive on.

Silence and nature

Hiking trails for the active and beautiful lawns for those who just want to enjoy the silence and nature. The hosts live and breathe for the campsite and the welcome is impeccable when you arrive. You will also find a small Joker shop nearby, so you do not have to worry about refills in the fridge. Jostedal Camping is a gem and it is a mystery to me that such a nice campsite will struggle with few visitors from Norwegians. With open borders, there are plenty of foreign guests visiting Jostedalen and the glaciers in the area.

Snow shovels on Sognefjellet

The next day we traveled on and the trip over Sognefjellet is an experience in itself. Winding roads wind up towards Sognefjellet and well up snowdrifts of both 3 and 4 meters to be passed. The view of the mountain with both Galdhøpiggen and Glittertind are majestic peaks worth a trip in themselves. The trip further towards Lom is great and as expected it was full at the campsite in Lom, but we continued a bit more and took the trip over Valdresflya and stopped at Beitostølen Hytter og Camping. There was plenty of space here and this is a great and large campsite in an area in Adventurous development.

New acquaintances

We are in the middle of a pandemic and the most stringent Covid19 measures we encountered here, with a sanitary napkin on the sanitary facilities. We completed the trip to test out new campsites and new destinations that would like to be off our main roads and we were not disappointed. Both Bøflaten and Jostedal Camping were new acquaintances and neither of them disappointed. My experience, and others I have talked to, is that in the slightly smaller places, the hosts are, if possible, even happier to have you as a guest than those who are filled up daily. The standard has become so good even in the slightly smaller places that you as a guest do not lack anything by choosing untraditional.

We encourage members in Norsk Bobil og Caravan Club to choose new destinations and visit campsites a little off the main roads. You will probably be pleasantly surprised as we were. Good trip!!

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