Hiking 2 - 4 h 4.4 km
Galdane’s reputation as one of the country's most challenging stretches dates far back. The valley was narrow and the terrain steep, and the route was particularly treacherous in icy conditions.
Before Kongevegen through Galdane on the western side of the valley was built in the 1790s, people used the old public foot and packhorse track across Seltunåsen on the eastern side. Although the new route was shorter, the terrain was harsh, steep, and exposed to landslides. An environment that in 1790 was deemed unsuitable for the project by Iwer Moss, the Road Inspector appointed by Director-General Hammer.
As transport requirements changed, the road soon proved inadequate. During the period 1845–49, a new route – Den Bergenske Hovedvei – was built across Seltunåsen. However, in the 1870s also this was replaced. This time with a new road along the river down in the valley, which served as main road until the Selta tunnel (E16) opened in 2004.
A hike along the old Galdane roads is like walking through a treasure trove. In addition to an extraordinary road system, there are plenty of traces of those who have been here before us to explore. The legendary Olavsklemma, Galdane cotter's farm, and gun points from the Second World War are only a few examples. On top, there is the valley’s spectacular scenery, with its dramatic formations and lush flora, to enjoy.
Kongevegen was built up of walls that were many meters high that meander through steep and landslide prone terrain to the north of the Lærdal River. This particular section of the road that was called the ‘Bergen Highway’ had stonewalls up to 15 meters high which it got quite the reputation for.
When the big flood in 1860 tore out the Steine Bru Bridge over the Lærdal River, the section of Kongevegen on the northside of the valley once again became the main passing.