Fjord Tours Articles / 16 Jun 2020

Food and Drink Producers in Norway: Sognefjord

Imagine sitting with your feet dipped in the turquoise waters of the Sognefjord as the sun warms the rest of your body. You regularly place a freshly picked raspberry on your tongue. It tastes sweet and sour at the same time, a taste that is typically the Norwegian raspberries from the Sognefjord area. All around you see high mountains with waterfalls that bring with it the cleanest, clearest water in the world. This is the Sognefjord at its best.

Did you know that Norway’s finest raspberries come from the Sogndal area?

We had a chat with local berry producer, Omar Vangsnes from Sognabær AS, about their environmentally friendly and sustainable production of the culinary berries. He had a lot of interesting things to say!

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Photo: © Sverre Hjørnevik / www.fjordnorway.com

Sognabær AS is the largest raspberry producer in Norway and we operate with both raspberry and strawberry production. Vangsnes protrudes as a marked headland in the Sognefjord over the fjord above Balestrand. There is a mild winter climate here, and lots of sun because the area is so open, which is favorable for berry production. All water used in the production is melted snow and rain from the mountains!

We carry both raspberries and strawberry production under the open sky and in a wind tunnel that protects against the weather here in Western Norway. We start harvesting strawberries on June 1st until as late as autumn. Between 20 and 25 June, we start harvesting raspberries, which last until the end of August / September.

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There is a high demand for the quality of the berries. Everything that has high enough quality is picked up in small baskets that are sold on to Bama, one of the national distributors. At least one truck collects berries from Sognabær every single night of the season! The berries are then shipped to stores across the country, so there are always fresh berries in the stores. Berries that do not meet the quality requirement are used for jams, juices, and miscellaneous. All berries are picked and used.

This year, production will be somewhat reduced due to COVID-19. It is difficult to obtain enough manpower from abroad, as we normally do. Of course, this can lead to new thinking as well. Maybe we open to self-picking!

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Photo: Sverre Hjørnevik/www.fjordnorway.com

Explore the Nærøyfjord

If you are interested in visiting the Sognefjord area, there are several eco-tourism destinations calling for you. A visit to Nærøyfjorden is highly recommended, and you can get a full fjord experience on our Sognefjord & Nærøyfjord in a nutshell tour.

Glacier hiking on Nigardsbreen

If you want to get "up close and personal" with a glacier, we highly recommend checking out our Sognefjord in a nutshell & Glacier hiking trip. During the tour, you get to experience and explore the Nigardsbree, one of the finest glacier formations in Norway, as well as enjoying some spectacular views!

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Photo: Nigardsbreen glacier - Jostedalen Breførarlag

Other tours and experiences in the Sognefjorden region

The Sognefjord is often called "The King of fjords" and extends 204 km (127 miles) inland, has a maximum depth of 1,308 meters, and the mountains surrounding the fjord tower to heights of 2,000 meters. The inner end of the Sognefjord is covered by Jostedalsbreen, the biggest glacier in continental Europe.

This region where the Sognefjord meets the glaciers and some of Norway’s highest mountains is considered one of the world's most beautiful travel destinations. The glaciers on the top of the mountains, down the steep mountainsides to green farmland and deep fjords will definitely make a lasting impression. There are loads of tour and things do in this area and you can read more about the Sognefjord region here!