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.

Season and Safety

Many of the activities and attractions mentioned on this website are open only in summer and are closed in winter. This also applies to many of the roads and accommodations mentioned. Season and opening time will vary. It depends on where it is and what activity, attraction, road and accommodation it is, it usually opens in the summer and closes in the autumn, depending on i.a. the amount of snow and the risk of avalanches in the area. Read more about season, important safety information and your own responsibility…

Important information about roads in western Norway: Remember that many roads in western Norway are prone to landslides, especially in rainy and snowy weather. This may include rock falls, rockslides, landslides, debris flows, mud flows, erosion, snow avalanches and rock avalanches. Some of the roads are particularly well-known for their high level of mass movements exposed over them. The roads in the Hardangerfjord area are some of these exposed roads, and many of the roads are narrow and winding.

Lofthus by Sørfjorden in Hardanger

Lofthus is an idyllic fjord village situated in the northern part of Sørfjorden, on the eastern side of the fjord. Sørfjorden is a branch of the Hardangerfjord, the Queen of the Norwegian fjords.

Lofthus is referred to as the Orchard of Hardanger. In addition to apples, a lot of cherries (moreller) are also grown in Lofthus. Every year, a Morelle Festival is held, where among other things, there is an official Norwegian championship in Cherry Stone Spitting.

Hotel Ullensvang in the centre of Lofthus is one of Norway`s beautiful Historic Hotels. Lofthus Camping is perhaps the most beautifully situated campsite in Norway.

There is a grocery store, Bunnpris, in the centre of Lofthus in addition to a bakery and pastry shop, café´s and restaurants and cider sales from local fruit farms.

Visit Hardangerfjord is the local Tourist Information for Lofthus and for the Hardangerfjord Area.

The composer Edvard Grieg and Lofthus

Around the year 1880, the world famous composer Edvard Grieg built a composer’s cabin in Lofthus which he called Komposten. The composer´s cabin can today be seen in Hotel Ullensvang´s garden.

The beautiful nature in Lofthus and in the area around the Hardangerfjord gave the composer a lot of inspiration for his national romantic music. String Quartet in G minor and Den Bergtekne are both inspired by the fjord and the beautiful nature in Hardanger. 

A beautiful detour in Lofthus

Join me on a short detour in Lofthus. On this ride you can see colourful small wooden houses in a beautiful cultural landscape that is surrounded by thousands of apple trees and with a great view down to the Sørfjord. On the way we pass Lofthus Camping, perhaps the most beautifully situated campsite in Norway.

Dronningstien Hike – H.M. Queen Sonja´s Panoramic Trail

The Dronningsstien hike is famous for being one of HM Queen Sonja´s favorite hiking trails. The normal starting point is at Røte in Kinsarvik and ends in Lofthus, making it a total of 16 kilometers long. The 6-8 hour long hike is heavy and steep and it is recommended for more experienced hikers.

Other popular hikes that starts from Lofthus is the hike up Kråkestien to Vetlehedlesetenipa, the Elvedalen hike (the River Valley hike) and Fruktstien (the Fruit Trail).

FJORDS NORWAY - Dronningstien in Hardanger is one of HM Queen Sonja´s favorite hiking trails in Norway.
Dronningstien in Hardanger is known to be one of HM Queen Sonja´s favorite hiking trails in Norway.

Taste Hardanger

You get the Taste of Hardanger when you visit some of the apple-tree-farms which produce their own cider. At Taste Hardanger you get an overview of the many apple-tree- and cider-farms that you can visit in Hardanger. You can also join a Cider Cruise on Sørfjorden in Hardanger, where you can combine a fjord cruise with a visit to the farms and a taste the local cider products. Lofthus is one of several stops on the Cider Cruise on Sørfjorden.

FJORDS NORWAY - Lofthus in Hardanger. View from Lofthus Camping towards Lofthus and Sørfjorden.
Fruit Trees in Hardanger. View from beautiful Lofthus Camping towards Lofthus and Sørfjorden.

Hardanger National Tourist Route

The 158-kilometer-long Hardanger National Tourist Route passes through the scenic Hardangerfjord area, where for more than a century travellers have come to experience mountains, fjords, waterfalls and glaciers. Two great hikes in the area are the hike to Trolltunga and HM Queen Sonja´s Panoramic Trail. The area offers many opportunities for hiking, outdoor adventure and culture experiences. The road that goes through Lofthus is part of the National Tourist Route.

A drive along Sørfjorden from Kinsarvik to Lofthus

The drive along the nine kilometer long road between Kinsarvik and Lofthus is a great experience, with farms and beautiful cultural landscape on the hillsides between mountains and fjords as a backdrop. The road is part of the Hardanger National Tourist Route. Many of those who will hike Dronningstien stay at Hotel Ullensvang in Lofthus and drive along this road either before or after the hike, depending on where they start the hikes from. Remember that the road is narrow and winding and in many places there is room for only one vehicle in the width, so you must drive carefully and be prepared to stop and reverse to the nearest meeting place. In connection with the many mountain hikes you can do in the area, you can book transport along this road at Hotel Ullensvang.

The historic Hotel Ullensvang at Lofthus

At Hotel Ullensvang in the centre of Lofthus you can take a proper break in one of Norway`s beautiful Historic Hotels. The hotel’s history dates back to 1846 and is situated by the shore of Sørfjorden which is a branch of the Hardangerfjord.

Taste the flavours of Hardanger from Hotel Ullensvang. Take in the breathtaking views upwards towards the Hardangervidda mountain plateau and the Folgefonna glacier, and down to the beautiful Hardangerfjord. You can relax in the swimming pools and enjoy the delightful gardens with private beach.

The hotel in Lofthus by the Hardangerfjord is the perfect base for excursions to Trolltunga (the Troll`s Tongue) and HM Queen Sonja’s Panoramic Hiking Trail.

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

In a rowboat on the fjord outside Hotel Ullensvang in Lofthus

If you stay at Hotel Ullensvang in Lofthus, you can borrow a rowboat and enjoy the silence and the nature around beautiful Sørfjorden, a branch of the Hardangerfjord.

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

Lofthus in Hardanger – Map Overview