Hjelle is the perfect place to leave your worries behind, take a dip in beautiful surroundings in Vågen harbour, visit idyllic Hjellesetra, try your fishing luck in the Eidselva river, challenge friends to a football match or head into the magnificent Fladalen valley that ends where Movatnet lake shimmers under the towering mountains.
Hjelle district comprises the villages of Heggjabygda, Holmøyane, Nesbygda and Hjelle with the Mogrenda residential neighbourhood as its centre. Everyone has their favourite spots and activities in the area, from the natural meeting point at Gildra, hiking to Hjellesetra, the power history at the Kviafossen waterfall, kayaking on placid Hornindalsvatnet lake (Europe’s deepest), to swimming in Vedvikvågen harbour and hiking to the peak of Stad municipality’s highest mountain, Glittereggja (1,298 metres above sea level). In Grøndalen in Heggjabygda, Stad municipality borders Volda, and on the way to Kjøs one crosses the border to both Stryn and Volda. In many ways, Hjelle is the perfect location for those who commute to other parts of the region. In other words, it’s an excellent place for those who want to live in Stad but work in Stryn, Grodås, Volda / Ørsta or other towns in neighbouring municipalities. Bjørkedalen is another beautiful border area between Volda and Stad, where residents on both sides of the border have always had close contact dating back to the Viking Age.
However, there is one place that means more to us than anywhere else. Hjelle school is close to the hearts of Hjelle’s inhabitants. Here, we foster a strong sense of community, and work to build a bright future together. The school is where people come together across generations to share experiences in both everyday life and on special occasions. On the sports field, there are games and activities all through the week, both unorganised activities and sport organised by the Heia IL sports club. The Hjelle school band rehearses in the gym, and the D-kor women’s choir rehearses in the music room. Both the gymnasium, the football field and more are built on a voluntary basis by the enterprising residents and stand firmly as the foundation of the village.
Hjelle district is also rich in leisure activities beyond Heia IL and Hjelle school band. At the Tua joint facility in Fladalen, at the entrance gate to Stigedalen, you will find the main facility for shooting and cross-country skiing in Stad municipality. Here, both the local ski and rifle clubs train throughout the year. Fladalen is also a favourite hiking spot and an attractive cabin area. Along Hornindalsvatnet lake, you can cycle from Mogrenda to Kalvatn on county road 5744, an unofficial “National Scenic Route” as good as any. The view from Melheim when you round Åsebønakkjen with Eidselva flowing into the Nordfjord is simply majestic.
If you are really lucky, you can actually experience both ice skating in the winter and swimming in the summer at Hornindalsvatnet lake, which is also the main water source for Nordfjordeid. The water, which runs in pipes under the pedestrian and cycle path from Nor bridge to Nordfjordeid, is in many ways the green and healthy main artery of the village.
By the way, did you know that the armed forces are central to both history and daily life in Hjelle district? At Firda barracks, Home Guard brigade HV11 has its base for exercises and training sessions. It’s easy to notice when the military is present.
Hjelle district also has the somewhat dubious honour of hosting Norway’s most rockslide-prone road, country road 664, which ends in Navelsaker. A wonderfully idyllic village that will get a safer and more reliable road if the inhabitants of Hjelle district have the final say. On the south side of the lake, you can visit Holmøyane trade school’s art exhibitions, order a new kitchen from Hjelle carpentry workshop, get your dream design from Feel Free Productions, or browse for harnesses for your Fjord horse at the harness maker in Holmøyvika, while taking in the view of the high mountain farm Furefjerding on the northside of the lake.
In Hjelle district, the business community is strong. A very large proportion of the production of milk and meat in the municipality comes from the farms in the area. In addition, there are several businesses who have long been working with one of our municipality’s foremost hallmarks, which also adorn our municipal coat of arms in conjunction with St Sunniva, namely the Fjord horse. In Leivdalen, you’ll find some of the largest farms and the most famous niche store for miles next door at Toregarden, where you can do everything from shopping to enjoying your Saturday coffee or visiting the Christmas market.
Across the valley, you’ll find Norsand and Eid Betong, a concrete supplier which is our largest construction business. They deliver everything from crushed stone, stones, pebbles, concrete and work of all types within the profession. A little further east, you will find one of the municipality’s oldest and most traditional campsites. At Nesjartun camping, you can buy fishing licences both for the lake and the river, rent a motorboat or a wooden boat, or rent a cabin and enjoy the view of Kjellvorneset, Vedviknibba and Lindvika.
At its base in Frislida, you will find Ut av Huse, which offers everything from art to kayaking courses on the placid Honndalsvatnet, which the lake is called colloquially. If you are really fit, you can actually kayak from Nor, cross the county border over to Møre and Romsdal in the east and have your Sunday coffee in Grodås before paddling back towards the sunset in the west alongside green-clad hills and past sheep grazing by the water’s edge.
At Hjelle, you can grow up to become a rock star from Heggjabygda, a reality show winner from Vedvika, a European champion in shooting or brass band, a 4H member in Hestehoven or Heggrosa, a kayaking or clothing entrepreneur, football goalkeeper for Sogndal, or cross-country skiing star. There is nothing you can’t achieve and if you live in Hjelle, whether your dream is to become a farmer, nurse, rock star, teacher or something completely different.
Here in the east, where Hornindalsvatnet lake turns into the Eidselva river, we dare to dream big while remaining down to earth at the same time. We hope and believe that you who are reading this will either come to Hjelle district to join us in the land of your dreams, realize your dream or stop by to visit us in Heggjabygda church, at gatherings in the Vonlund, Hjelle or Nesjarhall community centres, or at concerts and sports events at Hjelle school. Regardless of whether you are looking for a permanent place to live or are just visiting, you are welcome to come to our Hjartestad, our home in Stad that is close to our heart. And, if you have any questions about anything, contact your nearest local, or “Hjellar”, or the village development association or Hjelle district’s development association, and we will help you together. Make sure to also visit ut.no for some wonderful hiking trails in our district.
The outdoor recreation area at Gildra is a favourite hiking destination, with a well-organised picnic area and beautiful views.