The feeling of white sand, hot sun and crystal clean water. Whether you seek solitude at the beach or prefer the company of friends, family, or fellow villagers, Bygland offers unique opportunites to create your perfect beach day. There are plenty of sandy beaches here, in the village that boasts some of the warmest summers in all of Norway. (It gets snowy in the winter, though. In Bygland, you'll get all the seasons.)
Bygland municipality / Setesdal region / Agder county
Setesdal, including Bygland, is renowned in Norway for its rich folk traditions encompassing a wide array of folk art, including bunads, wood carvings, rosemaling, and folk music, such as fiddles and steving. This traditional music and dance are UNESCO-listed Intangible Cultural Heritage.
But old, beautiful folk art doesn’t mean that the door is closed for new ways of thinking. On the contrary, Bygland welcomes newcomers with open arms. Fresh perspectives are good, and the municipality wants to accommodate new villagers. For those who need a place to run their business from, Bygland can offer locations – of course with state-of-the-art WiFi. The village has full coverage, so to speak. The municipality has focused on being on top digitally, so that people are able to work (and play) without those annoying technical troubles.
So, after you’re done with your morning bath in Byglandsfjorden, you can take a deep breath of fresh air and start the day.
Old Traditions, New Thoughts
Bygland offers several activities for older children and teens, with a popular youth club that has a weekly gathering with music, dancing and just hanging out, teenage style. There is also a municipal cultural school, for those who enjoy music and arts.
-The thing about this place is the way people volunteer, Anne explains.
-Everybody chips in, whether it is working with the youth or joining the local sports club. It creates a strong sense of community, which is also good for the children. For example, every other week Frivilligsentralen invites the villagers for dinner. We gather a lot of people and eat a hot meal together; that is also typical for the spirit of Bygland. Talking over good food – that’s just so enjoyable, Anne says.
Photo: Bygland kommune/Håvard Smeland
Speaking of the young ones, what would they say about Bygland? Well, since Mother Nature is known as a great playground, the small kids would probably jump for joy. And if they want swings and a regular playground, there is that too.
Organized Activities – or Just Playing Around
In sum, Bygland is a good place to live if you want the safety of services nearby – but still wants to enjoy the quietness of nature and the outdoor way of living. (Let’s be honest, though – the library isn’t open at all odd hours, and the doctor’s office isn’t open every day. But a tiny bit of planning is all it takes.)
-It’s a great place for the kids, Anne says.
-The schools are good, it’s safe here, and the children get to grow up with plenty of nature and outdoor activities.
The people of Bygland work in all sorts of jobs, but farming -most farmers raise sheep- and forest work dominates. But when work is done, the villagers take to the lake. Boat life, swimming and other water sports are popular leisure activities for the people of Bygland. If you prefer to find your own little slice of watery heaven, it’s not hard to come by – the lake is big enough for everyone.
Photo: Marion Solheim
A Safe and Warm Community
But are there dangerous animals in the woods of Bygland? If you take a look at the municipality scutcheon, you’ll see a big lynx. The region has quite of lot of lynxes, but not to worry – they are not at all dangerous for people.
-No, no. We are not at all afraid of the lynx, Anne states.
-It is extremely shy, and way more afraid of us. It is not even an issue here.
There are great hunting opportunities in the woods around Bygland, and here it’s not uncommon for the teenagers to start early on, often with skeet shooting. Safety first!
Photo: Anne Fauske
The surrounding woods, which cloak the steep valleys surrounding the lake, are a haven for hikers and a habitat for the southernmost wild reindeer herd in all of Europe. Anne herself stumbled upon three gazing reindeer during a bike ride, an encounter that delighted her.
-Yes, that happened to me. I had to blink twice, it was pretty cool, she laughs.
In the late summer, we recommend taking a stroll in the woods and picking mushrooms and berries. According to the locals, the forest abounds with nature’s gifts.
From Water to Woods
On the subject of things not found anywhere else in the world, the steamboat Bjoren from 1866 is the only wood-fired boat of its kind. Some would say it’s a a floating technical museum. It has a regular route at Byglandsfjorden, and every Sunday in June, July and August there is a 2.5-hour round trip, starting in Bygland (the pier next to the main beach) or the village of Byglandsfjord.
Get on board, lean back, listen to the seagulls and the soothing waves, and take a moment to relax.
Unique Boat Trip
Cut off from the ocean, the ancient salmon adapted to the freshwater environment, evolving into something truly remarkable. And wouldn’t you know - the lake is still there, today known as Byglandsfjorden.
Genetic analysis of bleka tells the tale of a very healthy, clean fish. Cooks in the area talk about the delightful taste. So, if you catch a bleke or five in Byglandsfjorden, you might end up with one of the most unique dinners you’ll ever have.
In addition to soaking in the lake, perhaps you want to bring your fishing rod. Aside from getting trout, you might also end up with a very, very unique fish at the hook – the bleke. This is a dwarf salmon strain that cannot be found anywhere else in the world! It’s also really tasty.
The story of the Byglandsbleke (or simply bleka) began some 10 000 years ago, more specifically at the end of the Ice Age. During the Ice Age (80 000 - 10 000 years BC) the ocean rose as a result of the heavy load of ice, which pressed down the land and also carved out fjords in the landscape. At the end of the Ice Age, when most of the ice disappeared, the land rose. Most of the migrating salmon went off to the ocean, but some stayed behind and ended up being trapped in a lake.
Photo: Fyri/Baring Fish
The Ice Age Salmon - Bleka
Bygland has a relatively large air sports community, with Bygland Air Sports Club at the forefront. The club organizes hang gliding, paragliding, skydiving, and tandem flying. They have even invented a special chair that allows wheelchair user to jump in tandem!
Everyone is welcomed here, from young to old.
-Our motto is “We just want to have fun”, says prime mover of Bygland Air Sports Club, Amun Røstøen Løvland.
-The people here are very including and warm, it’s a good vibe, he says.
Every year, Gamaveka Extreme is held in week 30. Air sports enthusiasts gather, often with their entire family, for great days in Bygland and Setesdal. People stay in hotels, camping cars, tents, and hammocks and have a great time together. Both on the ground and in the air. Bygland is buzzing with life during Gamaveka Extreme, and laughter and adrenaline are all over the place.
Dancing in the Wind above Byglandsfjorden
Photo: Anne Fauske
-Byglandsfjorden and the surrounding nature is a huge plus, Anne Fauske says. She is the manager of Frivilligsentralen (volunteer center), lives in Bygland and takes full advantage of all that the Bygland nature has to offer.
-There are plenty of hidden beaches along the lake for those who seek solitude, she says. Or you can go to one of the more lively ones.
-The great thing about this place is the short distance from the lake to the woods and the mountains. It’s easy to enjoy a range of outdoor activities without travelling far. Here I can go kayaking and hike the mountains the very same day if I feel like it, she says. And she might do just that; Anne likes to swim in the lake, kayak, take a run in the woods, bike, go skiing and hike the mountains.
-It’s a lot to do here for outdoorsy people, she laughs.
-I would definitely say life in the village revolves around Byglandsfjorden.
Also by the lake shore, there is a café called Stoga and a restaurant/pub named Bjoren Brygge. At the latter you can get hearty traditional food; there is no fast food in sight. In the summertime, concerts are held here – and the locals enjoy great music of all sorts.
A peak at Bygland Museum. Photo: Marion Solheim
Bygland has around 200 residents and is nestled by the scenic freshwater lake Byglandsfjorden. The lake winds its way throught the Setesdal valley for 34 kilometres and has always been the heart and lifeline of the villages surrounding.
Speaking of hearts, Bygland is also the administrational center of the municipality, with a variety of services. Kindergarten, schools, health care, a big sports hall, and an array of electrical car charging stations, to name a few.
Down by the waterside you’ll find Bygland Museum, a beautiful open-air museum with old farm buildings from the 17th century and onwards.
Life is Simple. Add some Water.
Photo: Marion Solheim
Where is Bygland?
Junior high school
Public services in the village
Electric car charging
Private services in the village
Leisure in the village
Vinmonopolet (wine and liquor shop)
Public services within 45 min
Private services within 45 min
Leisure within 45 min
In and Around the Village
Note that not all available houses in the village are listed on freysta.com. Feel free to contact the municipality for more information about available homes. Best of luck with finding your dream home!
The closest airport is Kristiansand airport, Kjevik. From Kjevik it's a one and half hour drive north to get to Bygland. There are also buses going from Kristiansand to Bygland.
The municipality welcomes new thoughts and businesses. Bygland municipality facilitates and encourages new establishments and the further development of existing businesses.
The municipality collaborates with the Setesdal Intermunicipal Political Council and has its own business development fund used to promote economic development in the municipality. The fund is primarily intended for economic purposes, such as company support, facilitating business development under municipal management, community development, various types of development work, and more. The fund can also be used for municipal investments in lasting assets
Setesdal Inter-Municipal Political Council (IPR) is an inter-municipal cooperation between the municipalities of Bygland, Evje and Hornnes, Valle, Bykle, and Åseral. Their purpose is to develop the Setesdal region, with a main goal of vibrant and inclusive local in the region.
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