One of the best things about traveling abroad for someone who loves to shop (like me) is discovering new designers and brands that you can’t easily find at home.  Dale of Norway is one of those brands.

Dale of Norway is the leading manufacturer and distributor of authentic Norwegian knitwear. Known for their traditional Nordic designs, they have been the official supplier of sweaters for the Norwegian Olympic Ski Team since 1956.

When visiting Norway, you won’t have any trouble finding these sweaters and hats in souvenir shops in both Norway’s biggest cities like Oslo and its smallest villages like Geiranger.  In fact, while in Norway, you can even visit their factory and outlet shop at their corporate headquarters in Dale (just 25 miles northeast of Bergen in Western Norway) to purchase one of their newest designs or find a bargain on last season’s popular styles. Moreover, a visit to the headquarters will give you an opportunity to take a museum and factory tour to learn more about the brand and see production in action.

A rich history of quality production and traditional design

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If visiting the company’s headquarters in Dale, you can arrange a museum and factory tour by emailing the company in advance or working with a tour operator.  On the museum and factory tour, you’ll learn about the history of the Dale of Norway brand dating back to 1879 when Peter Jebsen opened the textile mill next to the natural waterfall from the Dale River. You’ll also get an up close view of the traditional methods and expertise that goes into making their classic pieces.  A tour takes about 30-40 minutes.

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Classy cold weather fashion

Of course, if you prefer shopping, then skip the tour and head straight to the store.  In the large shop, you’ll find all of the newest pieces produced by Dale of Norway.  From casual sweaters and ski hats that would look great on the slopes to more formal cardigans for a dressier occasion, you’ll find it difficult to choose just one sweater to take home with you.

For the ladies, consider picking up one of their most popular sweaters, the timeless Christiana zip cardigan. It’s made of mid-weight Merino wool that blends softness with a signature knitting technique that produces a durable piece that will last for years.  With its gorgeous rosette detailing, Nordic pattern, and elegant, feminine design, this flattering sweater will never go out of style. This top seller is machine washable and comes in red, blue, gray and black.  It retails for $438, however, if you buy it in Norway, you can get 25% back for the Value Added Tax (VAT) bringing it down to $328.  I chose the Christiana in black, and it has been a great addition to my wardrobe.  It’s dressy enough to wear to the office on a cold winter day or chic enough to pair with jeans for after-work drinks on a crisp fall evening.

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For the gents, consider the Glittertind sweater named after Norway’s second highest peak, “twinkle peak”.  It’s a weatherproof, water-resistant sweater with a sporty design featuring traditional Norwegian patterns and a modern fit.  However, the outlet shop carries a wide variety of styles and colors to choose from, making it equally as difficult for the gents as it is for the ladies when it comes to choosing one!

For the bargain-hunter, there’s a second room in the shop that is well-stocked with everything from hats and coats to classic sweaters for men, women and children.  The savings range from at least 50% off to up to 70% off.  During my visit, I scored a gorgeous knit waterproof jacket with a removable fur hood in one of my favorite color combinations, black and pink.  It retailed for 3999 Kroner (about $585 with the current favorable exchange rate) and was on sale for 1999 Kroner.  With 25% back for the VAT, the gorgeous knit jacket ended up costing me $220, a savings of $365!  Hey, living in the northeastern United States, you can never have too many warm, stylish, quality sweaters, so I stocked up!

Shopping Tip:  If you can’t make it to Dale, Norway to buy your Dale of Norway sweater, check out their website. They run seasonal sales where you can find items reduced by 40%.

Getting There from Bergen

It’s quite easy to get to Dale of Norway from Bergen on the train.  Be sure to tell the NSB agent in the ticket office that you need a round trip ticket to “Dolla”, not “Dale” (as I had been mispronouncing it).

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When you arrive in Dale by train, you’ll see the Dale of Norway factory in the distance.  Don’t be tempted to take the main road into the village to get there, as it’s the “long way.”  Instead, cross the tracks to reach the foot path, and then proceed towards town.  The footpath will open up right at the entrance to office building.  The store is located at the back of the building, so simply make a right and walk down the hill, and you’ll see the entrance.

A trip to Dale of Norway will take up about a half day.  It takes about 40 minutes to get to Dale on the train, and plan another 30-40 minutes for the tour and about 25 minutes for shopping.  There’s also parking onsite if you decide to drive. 

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