Stranda is a municipality in the county of Møre og Romsdal, Norway.
Stranda was established as a municipality January 1, 1838 (see formannskapsdistrikt). Stordal was separated from Stranda January 1, 1892. Sunnylven was merged with Stranda January 1, 1965.
Stranda consists of three smaller towns and one larger central town. The smaller towns are Hellesylt, Geiranger and Liabygda. The central town, bearing the name of the municipality, has about 3500 inhabitants. Stranda is also known for tourist attractions like the Geirangerfjord and Sunnylvsfjord.
The Old Norse
form of the name was Strönd
. The name is identical with the word strönd
Until 1918 the name was written Stranden.
The coat-of-arms is from modern times (1986). The figure symbolizes 'fjord and mountains'.
The West Norwegian Fjords, entailing Geirangerfjord
was inscribed on UNESCO
's World Heritage List
in 2005 at the 29th Session of the World Heritage Committee
, South Africa
. The West Norwegian Fjords is the first natural World Heritage site in Norway, and the third natural site in the Nordic
- Baltic region
The West Norwegian Fjords are characterised as the best geologically developed and preserved example of classic fjord landscape. The geology and ongoing erosional processes have provided a basis for the active development of ecological and biological processes as well as the development of traditional, in part extreme, land use that has not harmed the integrity of the natural site.
Due to its beauty, the site represents some of the most visited sceneries in the Nordic countries. The area offers exceptional examples of landforms shaped and developed by ice and water, a unique landscape with significant geomorphological features, and a very young landscape in terms of Earth history that is continuously being formed by active erosional processes. The area represents the most extreme, dramatic and magnificent fjord landscape in the world and has an exceptional natural beauty and aesthetic importance.
Tourism has long and strong traditions in Stranda. Geiranger and Hellesylt arelong been well known destinations. The first cruiseship
with tourists from abroad came to Geiranger in 1869. Today Geiranger is the second largest cruise-port
in Norway, visited by 160 cruiseships every summer. It's also said that regarding all the cruiseships in the world, every fourth of them visits Geiranger. Besides the Coastal Steamer (Hurtigruten
) runs daily round trips Ålesund-Geiranger April to mid September. Altogether about 700.000 tourists visit Geiranger each summer.
Royal persons, especially Queen Sonja
, have contributed to make the fjord famous all over the world. By annual trips, visiting and even spending the night on these abandoned mountains farms, and publishing a book about these trips with her own photos that have also been exhibited among other places in New York.
Sports and leisure
Stranda offers fantastic possibilities for all sorts of sport and leisure activities. There are marked tracks for hiking or one can join organized trips/tours (Stranda Turlag, Stranda IL Trim, Sinclus Park Hellesylt, Geiranger Næringslag).
In the alpine area at Strandafjellet open Nov.-April, you'll find 6 skitows and alpine pistes of very good standard. Each winter great alpine competitions are being arranged here. Strandafjellet is one of the few places in the world where you can actually ski from the top of a mountain and the whole way down to the fjord. Every year about 250 telemark skiers come together in the race Alperittet to see who is the fastest skier from 1230m above sea level and down to the fjord.
Strandafjellet has several times been stated as one of the best places in Norway to go skiing, especially great if you are a fan of off-pist skiing.“Experiencies beyond expectations are awaiting you”. “Like a paradise” are expressions that are used about Strandafjellet.
Service facilities are being built, the infrastructure is being modernized. Building sites for 200-300 cabins/chalets are available. Things are really developing at a high speed!
Stranda municipality is known for being a good place to live in. Sport associations, shooting teams, song and music groups, humanitarian and Christian societies work conscientiously for children and grown-ups. In the municipality there are sporthalls, alpine areas, machineprepared tracks for cross-country skiing
as well as areas for off-piste skiing
in powdersnow, football grounds, swimming halls, tennis and a golfcourse. In the centre of Stranda there is a modern culture centre. In Hellesylt one may visit Hægstad Gård which contains woodcarvings, scenes from Peer Gynt
by Henrik Ibsen
, and in Geiranger the new Norwegian Fjord Centre shows local history and pictures from Geiranger.
Trade and industry
The municipality of Stranda has a great variety as to trade and industry. About 160 farms produce milk and meatproducts. Many factories have long traditions for making meat products, especially salted and cured meat. Also the making of furniture and textile products is an important industry that gives good work to many persons. Stranda is the place where P.I. Langlo
industralized the furniture industry in Norway in 1929. (There is almost no unemployment in the area). The Grandiosa
factory, Norway's biggest pizza
-producing factory is situated in Stranda. There are also much aquafarming and many fish processing factories in the municipality. Tourism is, of course, a very important business in the whole district.
Notable people from Stranda