Etne district is a particularly diverse and interesting
tourist destination, offering everything
from outdoor activities in the mountains and on
the fjord, to lake and river fishing, to a varied
agricultural landscape rich in cultural heritage.
Geographically speaking, the district is in three parts: To the east, the Åkrafjord with spectacular scenery and the mighty Langfoss, Norways fifth highest waterfall (612 m). To the west, the ferry port of Skånevik, the jewel of Sunnhordland, with its busy harbour and southcoast atmosphere.
To the south, the agricultural landscape of Etne with its wealth of cultural treasures. Etneelva, one of western Norways best salmon rivers, flows down from Stordalen, a beautiful valley rich in history, including several rock carvings.
Sæbøtunet, beside Etnesjøen lake, is a museum of local history and rural life. Elsewhere in the district, there are numerous his-toric churches, hill forts and burial sites. Stødle was a seat of power in the 12th century, when Erling Skakke and his son Magnus ruled the land.
Outdoor activities of all kinds are well catered for in Etne, with everything from designated swimming spots and waymarked trails to unspoiled mountain plateaus. North of the Åkrafjord you will find superb and dramatic wild country, including the village of Eikemo, with no road access, where goat farming is the main source of income. The southern tip of the Folgefonna National Park borders the Åkrafjord, and over a fifth of the national parks area lies within Etne district. The Etnefjella mountains have a network of waymarked hiking trails and bothies stretching from Olalia in the west to Seljestad in the east, with over 40 great fishing lakes along the way.
The old post road from Stavanger to Bergen crosses the mountains between Etne and Skånevik.
Another post road, through the Rullestadjuvet gorge, will soon be fully restored. From here you can make a detour to see the distinctive potholes known as trolls cauldrons in local folklore.
Throughout the district, the fjords offer a variety of activities and good fishing spots. You can rent a boat or kayak in various locations, including Stordalsvatnet lake. Recommended destinations for a day trip on the fjord include the island of Taraldsøy, off Skånevikstranda, and the Romsa islands in Vindafjord district. At Osnes near Etne you can take a breather or follow the nature trail in the grounds of the Olav Vik Foundation.
Etne tourist info. centre Tel: +47 53 77 14 40 www.etne.kommune.no