Bykle district has a population of 902, and
its highest point is Sæbyggjenuten, 1,507
metres above sea level. The Otra river runs
through the district and has been a source of
hydroelectric power for over a century.
Several huge reservoirs have been built on the Otra and its tributaries, including the Vatnedal reservoir with a capacity of 4.3 billion litres. You can drive or walk all the way to the top of the dam.
The earliest settlements in Bykle date back over 1,500 years, and hunting and fishing were traditionally essential to survival. Right up until the 1950s, it was usual for one man to trap 500 ptarmigan in a single winter. Hovden was a centre of iron production in the Viking era and the early Middle Ages. Visit Hovden Jernvinnemuseum and let your Viking guide explain the extraction process.
Admission is free to all museums in the district (Lislestog steading, Bykle church and Hovden Jernvinnemuseum), which are open daily from 11 am to 5 pm throughout the summer.
Hovden has been a tourist destination for well over a century. The first mountain lodge, Hovdehytta, opened in 1911. Expansion of the tourism and ski industries began in the mid 1960s with a small ski lift, followed by a chairlift to the summit of Nos (1,120 m).
The ski centre has further expansion scheduled for winter 2008, including brand new lifts and ski runs in the Breive area. For 40 years, Hovden has been positioning itself as Norways leading mountain destination south of Hardangervidda.
Nowadays almost 20,000 people spend the Easter holidays in Hovden, making it temporarily the third largest city in the county of Agder.
Hiking, cycling, fishing, chairlifts in Bykle you can mix active pursuits with relaxation.
The mountain lakes can be warm enough to swim in, but if you prefer your water a little warmer, try Hovden Badeland with its indoor and outdoor pools heated to 30°C all year round. Dont forget your golf clubs the ninehole course at Ørnefjell (Eagle Mountain) is the second highest in Norway and, to date, the only one with artificial greens.
Tourist Information on (+47) 37 93 93 70 or visit www.hovden.com.
Have a great summer in Bykle! www.bykle.kommune.no Tel: (+47) 37 93 85 00