Exploring the Kingsroad over Filefjell

Maristova - Borlaug

Facts

Duration
2 hours
Distance
7 km
Difficulty
Beginner
Suitable for
Everyone
Available periods
May - October

Description

The stretch between Maristova and Borlaug is 7 km long, and has an elevation of 300 metres. Most is on grassy track and is the original Kongevegen.

Bordering sections are the mountain stretch Kyrkjestølen – Maristova and Borlaug – Borgund Stave Church.

If you start at Maristova and head west, you will immediately encounter the spectacular wooden bridges – all built according to instructions issued by the Director-General of Roads, J. C. Hammer, in 1794. These were the type of bridges that formed part of Kongevegen when it was completed in the 1790s.

Kongevegen then continues along straight, grassy stretches.

 

TRY A SMALL DETOUR

If you like, you can take the short detour around Honingane – and old mountain dairy farm area with buildings dating back to medieval times.

You then have to cross the E16. By Honingane, there are several bridges from at least four different routes. Where you are walking is a gravel road from 1860. The name of the area, “hone”, is an old term for goat.

By one of the bridges, the mountain farm has been rebuilt and can be used for breaks or overnight stays. There is a box with a key on the wall. Please call +47 900 53 796 (Lærdal municipality, cultural office) to obtain the code. Bring a sleeping bag. There is no electricity in the cabin. Outside toilet facilities both for those who stay overnight and for hikers.

 

FURTHER DOWN

This detour leads along the river, down to the new E16 bridge by the tunnel entrance. Walk underneath the bridge, and back up again towards Maristova. You will then meet the original Kongevegen (follow the signs). Do not follow the tarmac road, which is the old E16, down the valley. Kongevegen is up on the hillside, to the left of the old E16 and the river.

Kongevegen then widens and leads down the valley, and after approx. 1.5 km you will cross the river at the Brattebakken suspension bridge. 

In the summer of 2019, outside toilet facilities will be placed here for the hikers.

When on the other side, continue straight across the E16 and you will see stone steps leading up the hill. The route continues across Raudgalden, one of several sections of the road feared by travellers in earlier times. The name derives from the reddish (raud) colour of the mountain.

 

GRAM

After Raudgalden, continue behind farmyards and smallholdings until you reach Gram – which is an old Norwegian term for king.

Go through the gates and into the yard (originally the old E16). It may look as you are entering private property, but this is the correct route – do not walk anywhere else, such as behind the barn. Maybe some of the lambs will come and say hello? Remember to close the gates behind you.

As Kongevegen continues there are some trails, but you will mostly walk the original route until you reach Borlaug – a village at the very top of Lærdal valley.

Borlaug has been an important hub for travellers between east and west for hundreds of years. It has always been part of the road across Filefjell, and in the 1840s the road across Hemsedalsfjellet was completed.

Visit Borlo Farmyard, and stay the night at HI Borlaug Vandrarheim.

Borlo is a privately owned museum, featuring old buildings and equipment. There are information displays on all the farmhouses.

At Borlaug you will find a indoor toilet at Statens Vegvesen's facility on the other side of the E16.

If you continue straight ahead along the next section, which is Borlaug – Borgund Stave Church, you will pass the farmyard and walk down the outfields on the original Kongevegen – marked by a stone wall. After a few hundred metres, you have to cross a fence and then walk along the E16 (mostly behind a low mound) for approx. 500 m until you reach the junction with the turn-off to the centre of Borgund.

At the junction, follow the county road towards the centre of Borgund.