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An important and well-protected trading station since prehistoric times, HELLESYLT is now little more than a stop-off on tourist itineraries, with most visitors staying just long enough to catch the ferry down the fjord to Geiranger. For daytime entertainment, there is a tiny beach beyond the mini-marina near the ferry quay, the prelude to some very cold swimming. Or you could splash about (as many do) in the waterfall in the village centre, but by nightfall, when the day-trippers have departed, Hellesylt is quiet and peaceful.
The tourist office (June & late Aug to Sept Mon– Fri 9am–6pm, Sat & Sun noon–6pm; July to late Aug daily 9am–8pm; Tel:70 26 38 85) is a five-minute walk from the jetty in a modern building that doubles as an art gallery (same times; 50kr). On display is a set of kitsch-meets-Baroque woodcarvings illustrating Ibsen's Peer Gynt by a certain Oddvin Parr from Ålesund. It's all rather strange, but good fun all the same. Hellesylt has one hotel, the Grand (Tel:70 26 51 00, Web: www.grandhotel-hellesylt.no ; May– Sept; Price: Kr800-1000), whose fancy wooden scrollwork and high-pitched gables have been a local landmark since 1871. However, the interior has been patchily restored and guests are put up in the modern annexe next door. The main competitor is the HI hostel (Tel:70 26 51 28, Web: www.vandrerhjem.no ; June– Aug), pleasantly set on the hillside above the village beside Hwy 60 – a steep 350-metre walk up the signed footpath from the jetty. They have cabins (Price: Kr350-600), which suit a family of four nicely, as well as both double rooms (Price: Under Kr350) and dorm beds (125kr); facilities include self-catering and a bike store. Rowing boats can be rented at the Grand, which also sells fishing licences and rents out fishing equipment. Finally, Hellesylt Camping (Tel:90 20 68 85; April– Sept) fills out the shadeless field beside the fjord, about 400m from the quay.