Vindhellavegen Hiking Trail

Loop starting from Borgund Stave Church

  • Photo: Samuel Taipale

  • Photo: Sverre Hjørnevik

  • Photo: Samuel Taipale

Essential info

  • Destination: Filefjell Kongevegen
  • Season: April–November
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Distance: 4.1 kilometers (loop)
  • Elevation Gain: 280 meters
  • Duration: 1–2.5 hours

About Vindhellavegen

Vindhellavegen, the most spectacular stretch of Kongevegen over Filefjell, begins next to Borgund Stav Church. The road goes through the Vindhella and swings you back and forth down the steep road to Husum. The road is good depiction of what types of roads were possible to build before the time of the dynamite. Built in 1842-43, the road was only suitable for horse and cart.

The road is now covered with grass and it is not a long hike from Borgund Stave Church, which is one of Norway's best preserved Stave churches and definitely worth a visit.

Getting there

Car
Vindhellavegen is located right next to road E16 between Oslo and Bergen. From Bergen, it takes 3.5 hours to drive and from Oslo it takes 4.5 hours. There is parking next to Borgund Stave Church, which is the starting point for the hike along Vindhellavegen.

Bus
From Bergen, the Øst-VestEkspressen Bus departs daily at 0910 and arrives at Borlaug 1300. From Borlaug, take the local bus to Borgund (Lo Aust) Book your ticket for the bus from Bergen to Borlaug with NOR-WAY Bussekspress here.

Everyday, aside for Sunday, there is a bus departing Oslo at 0840 and arriving in Borgund (Lo Aust) at 1434. 

Trail description

Hiking along Vindhellavegen starts from the parking area next to Borgund Stave Church Visitors Center and goes past the entrance to the church and up into the forest. You will hike along a trail for a short while before arriving to the historic Kongevegen. 

The Kongevegen road is a grassy and even surface. The road rises slightly to the top of the Vindhellaskaret (about 500 meters) and drops slightly, over the next few hundred meters, until it becomes dramatically steeper. The road continues in big turns down towards Husum.

Instead of hiking on the same route back to the Stave Church, follow the Sverrestien trail from Husum back to Borgund. This route takes you a bit to the south. History tells us that King Sverre used this trail to bypass the farmers who were waiting to throw stones to kill him and his men in 1777. 

Facts

The construction of Kongevegen was an engineering achievement during its time in history and the section through Vindhella is the most beautiful historical road today in Norway. In 2017, Kongevegen over Filefjell was awarded the EU's highest cultural heritage award, Europa Nostra. Vindhellavegen contributed a lot to winning this award.

Road History

Until 1793 the travelers followed paths

1793: Kongevegen opens and it becomes possible to use a horse and cart. The Kongevegen road follows the terrain up and down.

1843: The road is enhanced with walls which made the usage of carts much easier and shortened travel time. 

1872: Dynamite was now being used and a new road was built along the river between Husum and Borgund.

Amenities

  • Borgund Stave Church Visitors Center - Here, you will have access to information, guides, souvenir shop, toilets, and a cafe. Open from May 1st to September 30th. 


Where to stay

Map

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