The farm as you see it today is from 1744 and has been with the current owner family since 1870.
As a result of the christening of Norway around 1033 the pilgrims started their pilgrimages to Nidaros (Trondheim). This ended in 1537 as the Danish King introduced the Lutheran Church in Norway. During this 500 year period pilgrims were hiking through the valley Gundbrandsdalen on their way north. They were carrying stones; one for every committed sin. On arriving at Varphaugen (Warphougen) they would stop and throw away the stones to free themselves of their sins. Hence the name.
Today the farm has again become a popular stop for pilgrims wandering the pilgrim route to Nidaros. At Varphaugen they may stop and rest, eat, shower and rest before continuing their march.
Tourism business was started at Varphaugen already in 1947. Rafting activities were added in 1989 when the owner founded Sjoa Rafting Center as an additional business.
Norwegian Wildlife & Rafting AS (NWR) was founded in 1984 as Norway’s first rafting operator. The company introduced and developed commercial rafting and canyoning in Norway and Sjoa and has been at the forefront of the development of these activities ever since. NWR moved its activities to Varphaugen and joined forces with Sjoa Rafting Center in 2005.
Today the farm is run as a rafting center, and it is the oldest of its kind in Norway.
The farm features:
Welcome to Sjoa Rafting Center at Varphaugen Gård!