The Valdres Region of Norway Posted by on Nov 9, 2011 in Culture, Language, Nature


The other day I posted about Rakfisk Festival, which is a festival that takes place every year in celebration of fermented trout and char, as well as other local food production and handicrafts.  Fagernes, a small city in the region of Valdres, Norway is where the annual festival takes place.  Although I´ve driven through Valdres, I did not really know that much about the region–until now.  So, I thought I´d write a bit about the Valdres region of Norway and what it is known for, what one can do there, etc.


First, I´d like to begin by saying that the dialects people speak from this central region of the country are very different than the rest of the country. When I studied at the University of Oslo, I had a class with a girl named Karine who was from Valdres  and I could literally barely understand her.  My Norwegian is by no means perfect, but I am fluent and I can understand all other dialects I´ve heard.  This one was tough though.  I mean, it was almost like the different between spoken Norwegian and Danish-she used completely different words sometimes.  For example, here are some words where you can see a marked difference between a Valdres dialect and standard bokmål:

Examples of local words Squirrel – Norwegian: ekorn, Valdres: ikødn All right (as in an all right person) – Norwegian: grei, Valdres: snodig (which in Norwegian normally means strange/funny) Lonely – Norwegian: ensomt, Valdres: aule

Oppland County

Let´s move on to geography and demographics.  Valdres belongs to the fylke (county) of Oppland and is made up of 6 municipalities:

  • Sør-Aurdal (The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Bagn)
  • Nord-Aurdal (The administrative centre of the municipality is the town of Fagernes)
  • Vestre Slidre (The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Slidre)
  • Øystre Slidre (The administrative centre of the municipality is the village Heggenes)
  • Etnedal (The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Bruflat)
  • Vang (The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Vang i Valdres)
Valdres is situated between the valleys of Gudbrandsdal and Hallingdal (dal means valley) approximately halfway between Oslo and Bergen.  The major European highway E16 runs through it and it also has an airport (in Fagernes).  This part of the country is stunning with all of the mountain ranges and valleys and small farms.
Historically, agriculture was a major industry in Valdres, but today tourism and trout fishing have surpassed agriculture as forms of livelihood.  There is plenty to do for tourists who visit Valdres.  Valdres is well known, as mentioned earlier, for trout fishing, as well as cycling, hiking, horse riding, rafting, golf, and of course skiing in the winter.
Let´s go to Valdres! 
Tags: , ,
Keep learning Norwegian with us!

Build vocabulary, practice pronunciation, and more with Transparent Language Online. Available anytime, anywhere, on any device.

Try it Free Find it at your Library
Share this:
Pin it

About the Author: kari

I attended St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN, where I majored in Norwegian and History. During college, I spent almost a year living in Oslo, Norway, where I attended the University of Oslo and completed an internship at the United States Embassy. I have worked for Concordia Language Villages as a pre-K Norwegian teacher and have taught an adult Norwegian language class. Right now, I keep up by writing this Norwegian blog for Transparent Language. Please read and share your thoughts! I will be continuing this blog from my future residence in the Norwegian arctic!


  1. Lise:

    The valdres dialect is not the only dialect that’s difficult to understand. My dialect, Verdals dialekta (dialect) is difficult to understand too. Likeeee…. En Jente (a girl) in verdals dialekta it gets Æn Værsj. And no, nå (now)- nu. Verktøy or bestikk (tools or cutlery)-Hainnfenn. Her and der (here and there)-Hen and Den. And some may say to jeg skal til søppelplassen, in verdals dialect it gets- æ ska te skratroten and so on…

    • Bjørn A. Bojesen:

      @Lise Wow, Lise, I guess I would have difficulties understanding you (når du prater fort!) 🙂

  2. Arlene Quam:


    As editor of the Budstikken, Valdres Samband’s newsletter, I am asking you for permission to insert some of your Valdres related text into the publication if space permits.

    You would, of course,be given credit.

    By the way, Kari is also my daughter’s name.

    Thank you for your time.

    Arlene Quam

    • Bjørn A. Bojesen:

      @Arlene Quam Arlene Quam,
      Kari is no longer active at this blog.
      I’ve sent you a mail.