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 hundreds of thousands of fruit trees spread around in Lofthus and Hardanger.

Visit HardangerfjordVisit Sunnhordland

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

INFORMATION ABOUT ROADS IN THE LOFTHUS AREA – Many of the roads in Western Norway can be prone to landslides and avalanches, especially in rainy and snowy weather. The roads in the Lofthus area and along Sørfjorden are some of these exposed roads.

Lofthus by Sørfjorden in Hardanger

FJORDS NORWAY - Lofthus by Sørfjorden in Hardanger.
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. There is also a petrol station, approximately 2.3 kilometers north of the centre of Lofthus.

Cider Cruise on the Hardangerfjord

FJORDS NORWAY - The Cider Cruise boat docks in Lofthus.
The Cider Cruise boat docks in Lofthus.

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. The selected fruit and berry farms grow apple trees, plums and sweet cherries and produce short-travelled ciders where you can both taste and buy the local cider products. The cider cruise runs between Eidfjord and Odda and also stops in Ulvik, Lofthus, Aga, Nå and Tyssedal.

Read more on the website of Norway´s best_ for more information about the Cider Cruise, season and booking. Remember that if you want to visit local cider producers, you must book this in advance.

FJORDS NORWAY - The Cider Cruise runs along the entire Sørfjorden, which is part of the Hardangerfjord.
The Cider Cruise runs along the entire Sørfjorden, which is part of the Hardangerfjord.

Blossoming in Hardanger

FJORDS NORWAY - Blossoming in Hardanger. Nothing is more beautiful…
Blossoming in Hardanger. Nothing is more beautiful…

Idyllic Lofthus is widely known for the wonderful apple trees, plum trees and morel trees blossoming in the spring. In the 13th century, British monks taught the local people how to grow fruit trees. You can see the result of this today, with thousands of fruit trees scattered all over Lofthus.

You can get a taste of Hardanger when you visit one or more of the many farms that grow apple trees and produce local cider in their own farms in Hardanger. Several of these farms are located in Lofthus where you can visit the farms and buy and taste the local cider products. Lofthus Sideri, Helleland Gard, Alvavoll Frukt- og Sidergard, Opedalstunet and Lofthus Ekspedisjon are all located in Lofthus and are well worth a visit. 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.

Fjord Cruise on the Hardangerfjord

In the summer you can experience a great round trip by boat on the Hardangerfjord. The tour starts from Bergen with bus to Nordheimsund and then a fjord cruise from Norheimsund on the Hardangerfjord. The fjord cruise passes the idyllic fjord villages Herand, Utne, Lofthus, Kinsarvik and Ulvik on the way to Eidfjord. The return to Bergen goes back the opposite way. Season: See Go Fjords website.

Festivals in Lofthus

In addition to apples and plums, a lot of Sweet Cherry (Morelle in Norwegian) are also grown in Hardanger. Every year, the Morelle Festival is held in Lofthus, where among other things, the official Norwegian Championship in Morelle Stone Spitting is organised.

Later in the autumn, the Hardanger Music Festival is arranged. It is a festival where classical chamber music and folk music are served to audiences from both far and near. Concerts are organized in all municipalities in Hardanger, also in Lofthus.

FJORDS NORWAY - Edvard Grieg's composer's cabin at Hotel Ullensvang.
Edvard Grieg’s composer’s cabin at Hotel Ullensvang.

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. The video below is from a nice summer day in Lofthus. Music: Edvard Grieg – “Morning mood”.

Skredhaugen Farmyard in Lofthus

Skredhaugen Farmyard in Lofthus in Hardanger.
Skredhaugen Farmyard in Lofthus in Hardanger.

Skredhaugen Farmyard is part of the Hardanger and Voss Museum and is located around three kilometers north of the center of Lofthus. The artist Bernard Greve bought Skredhaugen in 1918 and developed the farmyard to what it is today.

Skredhaugen Farmyard consists of a collection of old houses and buildings from the area around Lofthus and Sørfjorden, and is now maintained by the foundation “Skredhaugens Vener”. In addition, the cultural landscape around the farmyard is maintained by a herd of goats.

They also arrange concerts in addition to other events at regular basis. Skredhaugen Bygdetun is open in the summer, in addition to opening on request. See Skredhaugen Farmyard´s website for more information about the opening dates and opening times.

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

From Dronningstien, view from the mountains above Kinsarvik. Sørfjorden to the left.
From Dronningstien, view from the mountains above Kinsarvik. Sørfjorden to the left.

The Dronningstien trail is famous for being one of HM Queen Sonja´s favorite hiking trails. The most normal starting point is at Røte in Kinsarvik and ends at Lofthus, making it a total of 16 kilometers long.

This is a long hike, a total of 16 kilometers to walk. The 6-10 hour long hike is heavy and steep, so it is recommended for more experienced hikers.

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.

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.

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

FJORDS NORWAY - From Lofthus. A detour is often worth taking.
From Lofthus. A detour is often worth taking.

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 Dronningstien and the many other mountain hikes you can do in the area, you can book transport along this road at Shuttlebus Hardanger.

The historic Hotel Ullensvang at Lofthus

Hotel Ullensvang by the Hardangerfjord
Hotel Ullensvang by the Hardangerfjord.

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.

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.

References

Wikipedia
Tidsånd

Hotels and Accommodation in Lofthus

Hotel Ullensvang at Lofthus
Hardanger Hostel B&B
Ullensvang Gjesteheim at Lofthus
Lofthus Camping at Lofthus

FJORDS NORWAY - Hotel Ullensvang in full bloom. Lofthus by Sørfjorden in Hardanger.
Hotel Ullensvang in full bloom. Lofthus by Sørfjorden in Hardanger.

Eat and Drink in Lofthus

Lofthus Ekspedisjon in Lofthus
Fløy Bakeri in Lofthus
Kompaen Bistro og Deli in Lofthus
Eat and Drink at Hotel Ullensvang

FJORDS NORWAY - First-class and short-travelled food and drinks at Lofthus Ekspedisjon.
First-class and short-travelled food and drinks at Lofthus Ekspedisjon.

Short Travelled Cider Sale in Lofthus

Lofthus Sideri
Helleland Gard
Alvavoll Frukt- og Sidergard
Opedalstunet
Lofthus Ekspedisjon

FJORDS NORWAY - Lofthus Sideri is one of several apple cider farms with sales in Lofthus.
Lofthus Sideri is one of several apple cider farms with sales in Lofthus.

 

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.

Lofthus in Hardanger – Map Overview