Balestrand is a popular base for exploring Norway's spectacular Sognefjord. The dramatic 200-kilometre-long fjord cuts inland from the Norwegian Sea roughly half way between the west coast towns of Bergen and Alesund and the town of Balestrand has been welcoming travellers for more than 150 years.
Cool, clear mountain air and a scenic setting on the north shore of the fjord make Balestrand a nice place to spend a few days during a tailor-made Norway holiday. The pretty stave church of St Olav is well worth a look and has an interesting story - it was built in 1897 in memory of Margaret Kvikne, a vicar's daughter from Yorkshire who married the local curate, and remains part of the Diocese of Gibraltar.
There are hiking trails in the steep and rocky surroundings made famous through the work of Norwegian landscape painters such as Hans Gude and Hans Dahl. Boat trips on the Sognefjord and its sub-fjords are also popular activities during a holiday here.