DRONNINGSTIEN 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.

 

Hiking - Safety, Responsibility and Season

The nature in Norway is beautiful but also dangerous. It is important to read about your own responsibility and how to explore the Norwegian nature in a safe way.

BEFORE YOU GO HIKING – THE NORWEGIAN MOUNTAIN CODE
This hike is not suitable for children! The weather can change dramatically in the Norwegian mountains. This is why 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 bring good clothes and hiking shoes. And have enough food and water in your rucksack. Due to the challenging and long hike in rapidly changing weather, we recommend you to join a Guided Tour.

NOTE! Most of the hikes described on this website are intended for experienced hikers that know the area. This is one of those hikes. We recommend to use a map and compass on this hike, it also often happens that this mountain area is shrouded in fog.

SEASON & WEATHER: Season is depending on temperature and snow. Seasons mentioned on this website are approximately dates. It is recommended to avoid hiking if there are ice and snow in the terrain and on the trails. Always make your own evaluation about the danger of landslides before and during the hike. Always check the weather before you go hiking. For safety reasons it is recommended to avoid hiking in Thunderstorms and in fog and bad weather!

Use the information you find on fjords.com at your own risk and your own responsibility. Errors and omissions may occur. Always make your own evaluation. Adapt your own risk to your own skills and by choosing where, when and how you travel. Fjords.com is not a guide or a travel planner, and the information on the pages should not be used accordingly. Marked and mentioned routes are not accurate and will also often change for various reasons, always look for updated information.

Visit Hardangerfjord

Visit Hardangerfjord is the official destination company 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 you to join a Guided Tour at Dronningstien.

SEASON: Mid July to August, depending on temperature and snow.

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

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 descent down to Lofthus

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 more that 500.000 fruit trees spread around in Lofthus and Hardanger. Lofthus is also referred to as the Orchard of Hardanger.

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.

You can do the hike from July to Mid September, all depending on the amount of snow in the mountains. A perfect base for excursions to HM Queen Sonja´s Hiking Trail and the Trolltunga Hike is Hotel Ullensvang in Lofthus. It is an approximately 15 minutes drive from the hotel 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 Hotel Ullensvang.

Lofthus in Hardanger

The idyllic fjord village Lofthus is best known for its apple tree blossoming, the composer Edvard Grieg and the historic hotel Ullensvang. In the 13th century, British monks teached the locals how to cultivate fruit trees. You can see the result of this today, with more that 500.000 fruit trees spread around in Lofthus and Hardanger.

FJORDS NORWAY - Lofthus in hardanger, view towards Sørfjorden
Lofthus in hardanger, view towards Sørfjorden

Hotel Ullensvang in Lofthus

Sørfjorden is a 38 kilometer long branch of the 179 kilometer long Hardangerfjord, the “Queen of the Fjords”. In the middle of this fjord arm, between Odda and Eidfjord, you find the beautiful village Lofthus with the historic Hotel Ullensvang. Take a proper break at the hotel, one of Norway`s Historic Hotels. The hotel’s history dates back to 1846 and is situated by the shore of the Hardangerfjord.

Fjords Norway - Hotel Ullensvang at Lofthus in Hardanger.
Hotel Ullensvang at Lofthus in Hardanger.

 

The Hardangerfjord Area – What to See and Do

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 the Vøringsfossen Waterfall and all the other great waterfalls. Hike the famous Trolltunga Hike or the Queens Panoramic Trail in the area between Odda, Lofthus and Kinsarvik. Lake Bondhusvatnet and Bondhusbreen Glacier was one of the first places the English tourists visited when they discovered Norway in the mid 1800´s. Join a Fjord Cruise on the Hardangerfjord which is located in the county of Vestland, near Bergen, in the middle of Western Norway.

FJORDS – Accommodation in Western Norway

HM Queen Sonja´s Panoramic Hiking Trail – Map Overview