Encompassing several small villages in the district of Buskerud, Ål is a sprawling municipality between Oslo and Bergen. It centres around the elongated Strandafjorden and has long been known for its small-scale farming and as home to the only stave church in Hallingdal to be preserved at its original site.
Things to do in Ål
Occupying a historic farm on the outskirts of Ål is the Ål Bygdamuseum, which is clustered with buildings dating back the 17th century. You can explore the original residence, the schoolhouse and the flour mill while enjoying scenic views across the Strandafjorden and Sangfjell. In addition to an exhibition dedicated to farm-to-table dining, the open-air museum hosts themed days throughout the year.
Located adjacent to the whitewashed Torpo Church in the village of Torpo is a 12th-century stave church, which is the oldest building in Hallingdal. Dedicated to Saint Margareta, it is one of only two stave churches in Norway signed by its craftsmen. Marvel at the intricately carved main portal and step inside the columned interior, which was lovingly restored by the municipality.
Visiting in the winter months? Head to the Ål Skisenter, which boasts one of Norway’s most popular slalom trails. It is equipped with snow cannons that ensure good snow coverage throughout the season. You can take advantage of the well-groomed downhill ski trails or the large family area, as well as the designated beginner runs.
Getting around Ål
Ål is just under three hours’ drive from Oslo and Oslo Airport while Bergen is four hours away. Trains connect to both Oslo and Bergen from the Ål railway station while buses travel between the municipality’s villages. The centre of Ål village is compact enough to explore on foot and ski lifts connect to the Ål Skisenter.