DRONNINGSTIEN PANORAMIC HIKING TRAIL IN HARDANGER

In Hardanger, by the Hardangerfjord in South-Western Norway, there is a hiking trail called Dronningstien. The trail is famous for being one of HM Queen Sonja´s favorite hiking trails. Map to use: Hardangervidda Vest 1:50000.

It´s starting point is at Røte in Kinsarvik and ends at Lofthus, making it a total of 16 kilometers long. The 6-10 hour long hike is heavy and steep, so it is recommended for more experienced hikers.

Visit HardangerfjordVisit Sunnhordland

Visit Hardangerfjord and Visit Sunnhordland are the official destination companies for the Hardangerfjord area.

About season and other important information

GRADING – Challenging. ALTITUDE DIFFERENCE – This hike starts at approximately 200 masl (Parking at Røte). Highest point at approximately 1120 masl.

GUIDE – We recommend the use of a guide on the hike along Dronningstien. Trolltunga Active organizes guided hikes along the Dronningstien trail. There you also get information about season and other practical information.

SEASON – Mid July to August, these are approximate dates that depends on the weather, temperature and the amount of snow in the mountains.

SAFETY IN THE MOUNTAINS – You should follow the Norwegian Mountain Code when hiking in Norway. It can change from summer and sunny weather to winter and frost in minutes! Always check the Weather Forecast before you go hiking. For safety reasons it is recommended to avoid hiking in Thunderstorms, in fog, in bad weather and when it is snow and ice on the trail and in the mountain! Always bring good clothes and hiking shoes. And have enough food and water in your rucksack.

NOTE – This hike is not suitable for children! This is a long and demanding hike, you should be an experienced hiker to do this hike. There are several steep, narrow and exposed sections on this hike.

NOTE – We recommend to use a map and compass on this hike, as parts of the hike go in the high mountains where there is no clearly visible trail. It also often happens that Dronningstien is shrouded in fog.

There are however, multiple view points along the way, so an option for less experienced hikers would be to hike only a part of the trail. Whether you hike the whole trail or not, you can expect stunning, paranomic views of the Hardangerfjord

FJORDS NORWAY - The Hardangerfjord seen from Dronningstien above Kinsarvik
The Hardangerfjord seen from Dronningstien above Kinsarvik

HM Queen Sonja`s Panoramic Hiking Trail

The Hardangerfjord seen from The Queens Trail above Kinsarvik.
The Hardangerfjord seen from The Queens Trail above Kinsarvik.

Direction: Drive 2.5 kilometer of steep and narrow road from Kinsarvik to Røte where you can park the car.

From Røte you follow the forest road to Heng (890 meters above sea level). This is where the marked Queen`s Trail begins.

At Heng you can see down to the Hardangerfjord, and the view is breathtaking. The four branches of the Hardangerfjord meets here; Sørfjorden, Utnefjorden, Eidfjorden and Kinsarvikbukti.

Heng is a great place for a break and to take in the view to the fjords, the surrounding mountains and the Folgefonna Glacier on the other side of Sørfjorden. The photos in this article were taken at Heng.

The descent down to Lofthus

FJORDS NORWAY - Lofthus by Sørfjorden in Hardanger.
Lofthus by Sørfjorden in Hardanger.

The trail goes south towards Lofthus, and the highest point is 1100 masl. Part of the descent towards Lofthus is on the famous Munketreppene (Monk`s Steps), 616 steps of large stones that was built by British monks in the 13th century.

The monks also teached the locals how to cultivate fruit trees. You can see the result of this today, with hundreds of thousands of fruit trees spread around in Lofthus and Hardanger. Lofthus is also referred to as the Orchard of Hardanger.

You can do the hike from July to Mid September, all depending on the amount of snow in the mountains. Normally the terrain in the high mountains along the Dronningstien is covered with snow well into the summer.

The hike ends down by the fjord at Lofthus. A great way to end a great hike is a relaxing sauna with panorama views of the Hardangerfjord followed by a refreshing dip in the outdoors pool at Hotel Ullensvang. Hotel Ullensvang is a great place to stay if you are exploring the area around Sørfjorden.

It is an approximately 15 minutes drive from the Hotel Ullensvang to Røte in Kinsarvik, the starting point of HM Queen Sonja´s hike. In connection with Dronningstien and the many other mountain hikes you can do in the area, you can book transport along this road at Shuttlebus Hardanger.

Sørfjorden in Hardanger

FJORDS NORWAY - Sørfjorden in Hardanger seen from Mt Oksla above Tyssedal.
Sørfjorden in Hardanger seen from Mt Oksla above Tyssedal.

The 38 kilometer long Sørfjorden is one of the many side fjords of the Hardangerfjord.

Along Sørfjorden are small picturesque villages like pearls on a string, surrounded by fjords, mountains, waterfalls and rivers and not least all the fruit trees that are widely known for their beautiful blossoming in spring.

In the villages around Sørfjorden, there are cafés and restaurants and sales of produce from local orchards.

Here you can read more about Sørfjorden which has attracted travellers since the dawn of time, ever since English tourists discovered Norway in the mid-19th century.

But Sørfjorden and Hardanger have attracted travellers long before the tourists rediscovered our country in the 19th century. As early as the 13th century, British monks taught local people how to grow apple trees. You can see the result of this today, with with many hundreds of thousands of apple trees scattered around Sørfjorden and throughout Hardanger.

The Hardangerfjord Area – What to See and Do

Fjords Norway - View from Kjeåsen Mountain Farm towards Eidfjord and the Hardangerfjord.
Hardangerfjord.

The Hardangerfjord area,  the orchard of Norway, is known for Summer Skiing at Folgefonna Glacier and a spectacular fruit tree blossoming in spring.

Lake Bondhusvatnet and the Bondhusbreen Glacier in Kvinnherad was one of the first places the English tourists visited when they discovered Norway in the mid 1800´s.

Drive in the Hardanger area and see the Vøringsfossen Waterfall in Måbødalen in Eidfjord, the Låtefoss Waterfall in Oddadalen and all the other great waterfalls in the Hardangerfjord area.

In summer, you can take part in a Cider Cruise on the Hardangerfjord, where you can combine a fjord cruise in beautiful nature with a visit to some of the local farms along the fjord. Remember that if you want to visit local cider producers, you must book this in advance.

Odda, in the heart of Sørfjorden,  has now transformed from an industrial town into an adventure town. Trolltunga Active and Trolltunga Adventures are based at Odda, and offers guiding and equipment rental. Some of the adventures they offer are Trolltunga hikes, the Dronningstien hike, Via Ferrata Trolltunga and Tyssedal, Fjord Adventures and Winter Adventures.

Combine a fjord cruise on the Hardangerfjord with a trip to Måbødalen to see the mighty Vøringsfossen Waterfall from the new viewing platform and viewing bridge built in connection with the Hardangervidda National Tourist Route.

The Hardangerfjord is located in the county of Vestland, near Bergen, in the middle of Western Norway. Bergen is the second largest city in Norway and is known as The Gateway to the Fjords. Bergen is also the gateway to the Hardangerfjord.

Dronningstien – Guide

We recommend the use of a guide on the hike along Dronningstien. Trolltunga Active organizes guided hikes along the Dronningstien trail. There you also get information about season and other practical information.

Hotels and Accommodation at Lofthus and Kinsarvik

Hotel Ullensvang at Lofthus
Ullensvang Gjesteheim at Lofthus
Lofthus Camping at Lofthus
Kinsarvik Fjord Hotel in Kinsarvik
Kinsarvik Camping in Kinsarvik
Mikkelparken Ferietun in Kinsarvik

 

HOTELS - LINKS - FAQ

Here you will find an overview of recommended HOTELS in addition to SPA & BATH HOTELS and OTHER ACCOMMODATION PLACES in Western Norway. The combination of beautiful nature, activities that you can do in all four seasons and a stay at a great accommodation is unique. A stay in one of these places will do you good, both for body and mind.

There are ten restaurants that have awarded Michelin stars and Michelin awards in Western Norway. Eight of the Michelin restaurants are in Stavanger and two in Bergen. Here you will find FJORDS MICHELIN, where you will also find a list of recommended hotels in Western Norway, recommended by Michelin.

USEFUL LINKS is a list of websites with great information on Norway and the Fjords. FAQ is an overview of articles that answer the most common questions you have when planning to visit the fjords in Western Norway.

HM Queen Sonja´s Panoramic Hiking Trail – Map Overview