Lake Bondhusvatnet and Bondhusbreen Glacier was one of the first places the English tourists visited when they discovered Norway in the mid 1800´s.
In the late 1800´s and early 1900´s, the Bondhusbreen Glacier was much larger, and the massive glacier could be seen from the outlet of the lake.
Today, the glacier has retracted and the glacier arm is much smaller, but it can still be seen from the outlet of Lake Bondhusvatnet.
The Hike to Lake Bondhusvatnet
Drive to Sunndal in Kvinnherad by the Hardangerfjord. If you start from Odda, drive through the 11.150 meter long Folgefonn Tunnel to Mauranger and continue seven kilometers to Sunndal. From Sunndal, drive up Bondhusdalen Valley to the end of the road where you can park your car.
The trail towards Lake Bondhusvatnet starts at the parking place. Continue hiking on the 2.5 kilometer long trail to the outlet of the lake. The trail is surrounded by beautiful and wild nature with steep mountains and cascading waterfalls. The Bondhuselva River runs along the trail. It is a wild river with many beautiful waterfalls. The trail, or “Isvegen” (the Ice Road), was built in 1863 to transport ice blocks from the glacier down to the Hardangerfjord from where they were shipped to foreign countries.
It is an easy hike on a well prepared trail which is also great for people in wheel chair. The hike to the outlet of Lake Bondhusvatnet will take you approximately one hour (two hours both ways).
After the hike to Lake Bondhusvatnet, you need to stop by Olaløo Farm Restaurant to fill up your tank with local food and drinks. During the summer season in June and July, they have an open café, otherwise you have to book in advance.
If you have the time, you should also consider hiking to the innermost part of the lake, below the Bondhusbreen Glacier (two hours hike from the parking lot, one way).
The Bondhusbreen Glacier is a glacier arm of the Folgefonna Glacier, the third larges ice-cap in Norway. The Folgefonna Glacier is situated between Sørfjorden and the Hardangerfjord.
The Bondhusdalen Valley was formed during the ice ages, from glaciers that were situated where the Bondhusbreen Glacier lies today. Later, around 7000 years ago, the valley became ice-free. Around 4000 years ago, the climate again became colder, and the Folgefonna Glacier as it is today was then formed.
Between the Bondhusbreen Glacier and the Parking Place at Sundal, there are several moraines which were created by the retreats and the growth of the glaciers. The trail to the lake and to the foot of glacier goes through many of the moraines and several landslide blocks. See map from GRIND with Moraines in the Bondhusdalen Valley (Map: Moraines are marked in green, Landslides are marked in grey blocks).
The Folgefonna Glacier is a “hub” for many activities. Fonna Glacier Resort is one of three Summer Ski Centers in Norway and is located on the Folgefonna Glacier in Jondal in Kvinnherad. From the Ski Resort you have fjord view to the Hardangerfjord. You can ski on the glacier and swim in the Hardangerfjord on the same day.
A great place to stay is HARDANGER FJORD LODGE at Mauranger. Beyond lodging, Hardanger Fjord Lodge also offer guide services, sauna, yoga sessions, and homemade dinners for those who book in advance. Fonna Glacier Resort is only a short drive away.
Glacier Hiking and Glacer Kayaking are among other activities you can do on the Folgefonna Glacier.
WARNING! Don´t try to copy this stunt. Location: Fonna Glacier Resort.
Skier: Benjamin Forthun. Camera: Tom Erik Haukland
The Hardangerfjord area, the orchard of Norway, is known for Summer Skiing at Folgefonna Glacier and a spectacular fruit tree blossoming in spring. Drive in the Hardanger area and see all the great waterfalls. Hike the famous Trolltunga Hike or the Queens Panoramic Trail between Kinsarvik and Lofthus. Join a Fjord Cruise on the Hardangerfjord which is located in the county of Vestland, near Bergen, in the middle of Western Norway.
- GRIND – University in Bergen: Bondhusdalen Valley
- UT.no: “Isvegen” (the Ice Road) between Sunndal and Bondhusbreen