Odda at the southernmost end of Sørfjorden, a branch of the Hardangerfjord, is the “hub” for the adventurous people who want to visit the Hardanger area.
Here you get information about Odda and Tyssedal and about other places worth visiting in the Odda area.
Visit Hardangerfjord and Visit Sunnhordland are the official destination companies for the Hardangerfjord area.
INFORMATION ABOUT ROADS IN THE ODDA 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 Odda area and along Sørfjorden are some of these exposed roads.
Odda, the adventure town in Hardanger
Odda is the perfect base if you want to explore the wild and beautiful nature in the Hardangerfjord area. The 180 kilometer long Hardangerfjord is the second longest fjord in Norway, and it has seven tributary fjords. Sørfjorden is one of the tributary fjords, and Odda is an historical industrial town at the southernmost end of the fjord. Odda has now transformed from an industrial town into a town of activities and adventures.
There are sometimes a lot of rain and snow in Western Norway, which can cause a great danger of landslides, avalanches and rockfalls. Odda, Tyssedal and the area around Sørfjorden in general is a landslide-prone area. There may also be a possibility that some of the roads in the area will be closed for short periods, especially in winter, due to the weather and the risk of rock and snow avalanches and other conditions.
Some highlights from Odda and the surrounding area
Trolltunga is one of the greatest hiking icons in Norway. The Oddadalen Valley with the famous waterfalls like Låtefoss and Tjørnadalsfossen Waterfalls. Buerdalen Valley and Buerbreen Glacier at Odda. Join a RIB-Boat Fjord Safari on Sørfjorden from Odda to Ullensvang and back. Climb, securely clipped onto a metal cable, the Tyssedal Via Ferrata or Trolltunga Via Ferrata.
Lake Bondhusvatnet was one of the first goals for foreign tourists. Fonna Glacier Resort is located on the Folgefonna Glacier in Jondal in Kvinnherad. From the Ski Resort you have fjord view to the Hardangerfjord. Kayak on a glacier lake or hike on Folgefonna Glacier with start at Rosendal.
In the middle of Sørfjorden, between Odda and Eidfjord, you find the beautiful village Lofthus with Hotel Ullensvang. A great hike is along Dronningsstien, one of HM Queen Sonja´s favorite hiking trails, between Kinsarvik and 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.
The remains of Odda Melting Plant
Odda Melting Plant was in operation from 1908 to 2002 and went bankrupt in 2003. The remains of the melting plant are now protected and will be preserved for future generations.
A nice experience is to walk Elvestien along the river Opo in Odda. The trail was made as part of the flood and erosion protection of the river after the extreme-weather in 2014 which led to flooding and destruction along the river. This is a great walk that takes 20 to 30 minutes. The gravel path is about two kilometers long and runs along the east side of the river Opo, between the centre of Odda down by Sørfjorden and lake Sandvinvatnet which is 88 masl.
Lake Sandvinvatnet at Odda
Beautiful lake Sandvinvatnet separates Odda and Oddadalen valley with the great waterfalls. Trolltunga Camping and Trolltunga Hotel in Odda are both at the lakeside with great view to lake Sandvinvatnet. Buerdalen Valley with Buarbreen Glacier and the fantastic Buer Restaurant is a short drive up the valley from the north-west side of the lake.
From Odda it is a short drive to Buer and to the parking lot at the innermost part of Buerdalen Valley. Buer Restaurant is a fantastic experience and a must visit if you are in Buerdalen. Here we are talking Michelin…
From there you can walk in the beautiful and wild nature up to Buerbreen Glacier where you will meet the guides from Hardanger Breføring who will take you on an unforgettable glacier hike on the glacier. They also offer guided mountain hikes to Mt Reinanuten. Remember to book glacier guide or mountain hike in advance. Plan to have enough time on the hike up to the glacier so you do not arrive too late for the agreed glacier guide. The mountain hikes starts from Buer Gård. Booking, season and more information on Hardanger Breføring´s website.
Like Odda, Tyssedal is an industrial village that was settled and developed by the hydroelectric power and metal industry in the early 20th century. Both iron, steel and aluminum plants were started up in Tyssedal, but it did not take many years before they were closed down.
Today, an ilmenite-plant are operated in Tyssedal. The Hydroelectric Power Museum, which is a cultural history museum, is today located in the old hydroelectric power plant in Tyssedal.
It is also from Tyssedal you take off towards Skjeggedal which is the starting point of the Trolltunga hikes. The history of the beautiful Tyssedal Hotel dates back to when the hydroelectric power adventure began in the early 20th century. The hotel was used as accommodation for the management of the hydroelectric power plant.
Today it is a great boutique hotel and restaurant which is an experience in itself.
The hike to Lilletopp is short, but the reward is a great view down towards Sørfjorden and the surrounding mountains. Lilletopp is where the caretaker’s residence is located. No one lives at Lilletopp anymore, but there is a small café there during the high season in the summer.
From Lilletopp you can continue the hike to Mt Oksla where you have a great panoramic view down to Sørfjorden. There is a steep stairway and then a short hike from Lilletopp to Mt Oksla.
Be aware that parts of the trail up to Lilletopp and Mt Oksla have steep sections. There are also some steep wooden stairs that are rotten and in poor condition, watch out for this. Keep a safe distance from the steep sections of the trail as it is easy to stumble / fall in these sections and at Mt Oksla itself. The trail is not very well marked, so it is easy to make mistakes in some places. Therefore, it is important to be focused throughout the hike and keep a close eye on where the trail is going. Read more about the hike at ut.no (Norwegian text only). It takes about 30-45 minutes to walk up to Mt Oksla.
NOTE – There is a parking lot close to Tyssohallen Sports Hall in Tyssedal. You can buy a parking ticket in the reception at Kraftmuseet which is located down by the fjord in Tyssdal. From Tyssohallen, you can walk along the road towards Skjeggedal until you reach the Toppelvsvingen turn which is the second 180-degree turn on the road above Tyssohallen, see map. The distance from Tyssohallen to Toppelvsvingen where you start the hike is 1.2 kilometer and takes around 15 minutes to walk. At Toppelvsvingen there is a small parking lot (this parking lot is often busy) with an information sign where you can read about the hike. From there there is a marked trail towards Lilletopp and Mt Oksla. Season: Summer.
You can also visit Kraftmuseet Museum for a guided tour of the museum and a guided tour inside the tunnels in the mountain at Lilletopp. There you can learn more about the history of hydropower in Tyssedal. Season and opening hours, see Kraftmuseet’s website.
As one of the most spectacular cliffs in Norway, Trolltunga has during a short time gone from being an unknown place to become one of Norway´s most famous tourist attractions. This is a relatively long and hard hike in the high mountains. The hike is not suitable for children! It is a long and demanding mountain hike that starts from Skjeggedal not far from Odda, you should be an experienced hiker to do this hike. Due to the challenging and long hike in rapidly changing weather, we recommend you to join a Guided Hike to Trolltunga.
GUIDE – Trolltunga Active is based at Odda, and offers guiding, equipment rental and accommodation. Some of the adventures Trolltunga Active can offer is Trolltunga Hike, Via Ferrata Trolltunga and Tyssedal, Fjord adventures and Winter adventures.
The hike to Trolltunga and return takes around 10 to 12 hours or more. In the mountains 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. Season: Summer, see this link to website for more information about the hike, season and guiding.
The video below is from a summer-hike to Trolltunga with a few short detours. The detours were done to get some extra great views.
From Odda there is a short distance to the Oddadalen Valley with the famous waterfalls like Låtefossen and Tjørnadalsfossen Waterfalls.
Låtefoss is a 165 meter high waterfall cascading into the Oddadalen Valley, 16 kilometer south of Odda. The Oddadalen Valley is 10 kilometers long, there are many waterfalls ending into the valley. Låtefoss is the most famous one, and it is funneling under the rustic six-arched bridge along Riksvei 13 (Route 13). Parking place beside the waterfall.
SEASON – Best time to visit is early Summer. Then the waterflow in the waterfall is at its “maximum” and is a fantastic sight.
NOTE! The car park at Låtefoss is small and narrow, and the car park can sometimes be full. It can be a challenge to park there, and there is a lot of traffic going straight past at high speed. You have to be careful and aware of many people and a lot of traffic in terms of parking.
Join a RIB-Boat Fjord Safari on Sørfjorden from Odda to Ullensvang and back. On this RIB-boat tour you will experience spectacular nature and a living cultural fjord landscape.
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. Odda is one of several stops on the Cider Cruise on Sørfjorden.
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. 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.
If you drive from Odda through the 11150 meter long Folgefonn Tunnel to Mauranger and continue seven kilometer to Sundal and drive a little way up the valley, you can do the 2.5 kilometer long hike to Lake Bondhusvatnet. A nice hike on well prepared trail.
There are three Summer Ski Centres in Norway. One of them is Fonna Glacier Resort which is located on the Folgefonna Glacier in Jondal in Kvinnherad. From the Ski Resort you have fjord view to the Hardangerfjord.
Some pictures from Odda and the surrounding area
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 Dronningstien (the Queens Panoramic Trail) in the area around Sørfjorden. 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.
Accommodation in and around Odda
There are many places to stay in Odda and in the nearby area. Here you can read more about where you can stay in Odda and by Sørfjorden in Hardanger.
Odda and Hardangerfjord – Useful Links
Trolltunga Shuttle Bus
RIB Boat Fjord Safari on the Hardangerfjord
Trolltunga Via Ferrata
Guided Glacier Hikes at Folgefonna Glacier
Folgefonna Summer Ski Center
Guided Kayak Trips – Lofthus