Ål is a village in steeply sided Hallingdal valley in the Buskerud region of Norway. The Ål area has around 50 trout fishing waters both in the valley, the rivers and on the mountains.
Ål is a three hour car journey from Oslo or around four and a half hours from Bergen, both of which have international airports. There is a train running between Oslo and Bergen which also stops at Ål. It is considered one of the most world’s most scenic train journeys, so many visitors fly into Oslo and fly out of Bergen and stop off part way.
Ål in Winter
Visit Ål in winter and you won’t be short for things to do, even if you are not a fan of skiing. Although the area has a great selection of downhill and cross-country options there are plenty of other winter activities to enjoy, including one of the longest toboggan runs in Norway. You can also try your hand at ice fishing in the Rødungen North (among others) in the Bergsjø area.
The Ål Skisenter has everything you need to organise your skiing. If you want to try the tobogganing (and we recommend you do) you need to head up past the Ål Skisenter to the Skarslia Skisenter (Norwegian only) in the Bergsjø area.
It is also a fantastic opportunity to try dog sledding. There are a number of places you can try this and each sled takes two people and the activity lasts two to three hours. The season is weather dependent and operates whilst the lakes are frozen. To find out more you should contact the Ål Tourist Information t: (00 47) 32 08 10 60, email enquiries firstname.lastname@example.org
Ål in Summer
Ål is the perfect place to get back to nature. There are so many outdoor opportunities to explore, most notably hiking, fishing and cycling!
Fishing in Ål
One of the key summertime activities in Ål is trout fishing and there are many areas to explore. Although in Norway you have the ‘right to roam’ you do need a license if you wish to fish. Licences can, among other places, be purchased from the Inatur website (Norwegian only) which you can have on your mobile phone, and you also need to adhere to the seasons which vary depending which area you wish to fish. If you need any advice the tourist centre can help you.
The Bergsjø area has about 20 idyllic fishing waters where you can get trout, and you need only one licence for all these waters!
Cycling in Ål
Ål is a great location for cycling, especially mountain biking and there is a bike park in the village.
If you don’t want to take your own bikes, Hillbilly MTB are an Ål based company where you can hire anything you need and also try out their bike park. They also offer guided tours, and even host a popular MTB bike festival called Hillbilly Huckfest in July. If you are fan of MTB then why not visit and watch some amazing skills and in the evening catch the concerts!
Ål isn’t just for mountain biking, it is also popular with road cyclists too, although you will have more flexibility with a mountain bike. The Trailguide.net website is great for finding the route to suit you whether it be along the valley floors or up high on the mountain plateaus.
The hiking around Ål is fantastic and all enjoy commanding views of the countryside. You can get leaflets about the hikes at the Ål tourist centre, and some popular areas are:
If you are hiking anywhere in Norway please make sure you are appropriately prepared and be aware of the daylight hours. Make sure you allow plenty of time to get down off the mountain. It really isn’t fun trying to find your way home as it is getting dark. Visit Norway has a good selection of safety tips.
High and Low activity park
The biggest and boldest climbing park north of Oslo you will find a great combination of zipwires and obstacles throughout the treetops! The park has over 50 frames on poles and trees to explore with a great range of trails of varying levels. There are mini trails for the little ones, extreme trails for the brave, and of course a great selection of happy medium options. This is a thrilling experience for both children (from 110cm) and adults alike and the whole family can have fun together. You are fully secured the whole way. This is open during the summertime.
The park also has a giant indoor play centre which is a 300 sqm indoor play area on several floors where you can climb, roll, slide, crawl and jump. There is also a farm where you can visit animals like rabbits, sheep, horses, pigs and hens. And don’t forget to try the supercool Adventure Mini Golf and the bike park!
Ål Cultural Significance
Torpo Stave Church
A Norwegian stave church is a medieval wooden Christian church which was once common throughout north-west Europe. Most of the remaining stave churches left today can be found in Norway.
Torpo Stave Church can be found in Hallingdal just along the valley from Ål. It was originally constructed in around 1160. Part of the church was then demolished in 1880 to make way for a new and more modern church, but the Society for the Preservation of Norwegian Ancient Monuments intervened. Torpo Stave Church is only original stave church left in Hallingdal. It is also the oldest building in Hallingdal.
Ål Bygdamuseum is a hillside museum farm featuring 32 old buildings of historical interest. These include a number of farm houses, a school house and dwellings of working trades such as the black smith, the flourmill and a cowshed. Some of the buildings feature rose paintings in them and the museum frequently hosts festivals and events.
Rose Painting Art / Rosemaling
There is an exhibition of the traditional Rose Painting in Ål.
Traditional food from Ål
Local bakeries offer traditional pastries such as rømmebrød which is a thin sweet pastry, or lefsekling which is a pastry with sugar and butter. Alternatively you could try the gommokaku which is a little round pastry made with curdled milk. You can also visit Leveld Lefsebakeri.