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Destination: the underdog of fjords; why Lusterfjorden deserves your visit

Late May or early June is undeniably the most picturesque time to pick the majestic fjords as your destination. Above 700 meters, a substantial blanket of snow often lingers, while the steep slopes and valleys burst into vibrant bloom. The greenery is so fresh and vivid that it almost dazzles the eyes. The snow appears as powdered sugar atop a delectable cake of pure beauty. For those with a penchant for cultural history, you might spontaneously find yourself whistling the tune of 'The Sound of Music.' However, once you've finished your melody, allow me to continue my tale. I first ventured here about three years ago, precisely around this time. It was a sun-drenched weekend.

As a birthday surprise, I had rented a cottage right on the shores of Lusterfjord. From our bedroom, we could hear the thunderous waterfall, which plummeted some 400 meters down, about 5 kilometers from our cottage on the opposite side of the fjord. And as we savored our breakfast, a group of five dolphins gracefully swam by. It was all rather idyllic.

Luster itself is an ancient hamlet tucked away along the fjord coast. It boasts a small stone church dating back to the year 1120, a handful of charming wooden cottages, and a terrace frequented by a few occasional tourists and Norwegian car enthusiasts of a specific make or model during the summer. There's a small supermarket, and that's about it. The village is surrounded by fruit trees and houses built in the 1940s and 1950s. The connecting road from the highlands is often no wider than one campervan, often necessitating some reversing to pass one another. The Norwegians tackle this with ease and a certain resignation. It has always been this way, and it always will be. A friendly wave is exchanged once vehicles pass each other.

You typically stumble upon this place by accident as you make your way from the roof of Norway towards the well-trodden paths of the western fjord coast. Most people drive right past this stunning piece of nature, which, in my opinion, is a grave injustice. Therefore, I'd like to offer some tips to hopefully entice you to spend a few days here. First and foremost, there's accommodation. There truly is something for everyone.

I, as a habitual penny-pincher, stayed in a reasonably basic but incredibly charming cabin on the grounds of Dalsøren Camping. As I mentioned before, it's right on the water, and that's precisely why you're here: the view. It's a charming, old-school campsite where as many Norwegians as tourists stay, creating a familiar and friendly atmosphere. People barbecue on the large stone pier, and children jump into the ice-cold water.

The most spectacular stay has to be

For the most romantic overnight stay, look no further than Nes Gård. Book the glass mirror house (Suite with Terrace, as it's called) with a breathtaking view of the fjord, the mountains, and the waterfalls. At Nes Gård, you'll instantly feel like you've entered an unreal paradise. This place exudes a down-to-earth magic that perfectly complements the surroundings. They serve typical Norwegian cuisine and are very helpful in making your arrival and stay as pleasant as possible. In my humble opinion, this is by far the best starting point for exploring Lusterfjorden and the surrounding areas. With various glaciers, Norway's oldest stave church, and numerous cultural highlights just a stone's throw away, you could easily reserve three nights here. You can also book kayaks, day trips, and, upon request, guides to show you around.

Another equally romantic and idyllic location is Beste Bakken. To get straight to the point, here you can rent a glass house right in a field where alpacas graze (can be a little hot in the summer though). The incredible cheerfulness that this brings is sure to warm even the coldest of hearts. The same goes for the entire setup of Beste Bakken. Beste Bakken is an charming place where adventure, culture, and good food are the focal points. The buildings are modern and comfortable, rich in tradition, and offer a cozy, homey atmosphere. The other 14 bedrooms they rent out are of utmost comfort and offer a stylish (in the classical sense) backdrop for a rather romantic stay. All the bathrooms are exquisitely tiled, and several feature bubble baths. And there's also an outdoor jacuzzi. I mean, come on!

The food they serve here is also of the highest standard. Fresh ingredients and the attention and love put into the dishes make the culinary experience absolutely unique. A significant portion of the ingredients comes from their own garden. And here, too, every effort is made to make your stay as easy and enjoyable as possible. Oh, and those alpacas - they're so cute. Book a night or two, it's worth every penny.

If you're still not convinced to visit Lusterfjorden, let me give you one final nudge. On a stonecast's distance from Lusterfjorden, you'll find amongst a ton of other attractions:

I hope I've managed to persuade you. Lusterfjorden remains undiscovered by the masses, offering an exceptionally exclusive and unique experience. Here, you won't find long lines of camper vans, columns of motorcycles, or tourist shops selling trolls and quirky hats. Lusterfjorden is precisely the opposite: a place of warm hospitality that is seldom encountered. Lusterfjorden really deserves your visit!

**Getting there: Public transport is a bit of a hassle (understatement), so it is most wise to reserve a car in advance at your airport of arrival. Since Norway has one of the best fast-charging networks in the world, I would advise you to rent an electric car. Better for the environment, cheaper to charge and it gets you everywhere. Check here for availability.


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