Borgund Stave church, Norway.

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Borgund Stave Church

Top choice in The Western Fjords

Some 30km southeast of Lærdalsøyri along the E16, this 12th-century stave church was raised beside one of the major trade routes between eastern and western Norway. Dedicated to St Andrew, it's one of the best known, most photographed and certainly the best preserved of Norway's stave churches. It's simple, inky interior and sublimely rustic altar are deeply moving. Beside it is the only free-standing medieval wooden bell tower remaining in Norway.

Buy your ticket at the church's visitors centre, where an exhibition (included with admission) on this peculiarly Norwegian phenomenon, as well as recent early Viking finds from a nearby archaeological dig, are evocatively displayed. There's also a nice two-hour circular hike on ancient paths and tracks that starts and ends at the church.