ODDA AT SØRFJORDEN IN HARDANGER

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 HardangerfjordVisit Sunnhordland

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

FJORDS NORWAY - The iconic and colourful houses in Odda.
The iconic and colourful houses in Odda.

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.

FJORDS NORWAY - Opo river in Odda, Hardanger.
Opo river in Odda, Hardanger.

Some highlights from Odda and the surrounding area

FJORDS NORWAY - Låtefoss Waterfall in Oddadalen Valley in Hardanger
Låtefoss Waterfall in Oddadalen Valley in Hardanger.

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.

FJORDS NORWAY - View from Lilletopp at Tyssedal towards Odda (left) and Sørfjorden in Hardanger.
Panorama view from Oksla above Lilletopp at Tyssedal towards Odda (left) and Sørfjorden in Hardanger.

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.

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.

Elvestien along the river Opo in Odda

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.

Buerdalen – Guided tours on Buerbreen Glacier and to Mt Reinanuten

FJORDS NORWAY - Buer Restaurant in Buerdalen Valley close to Odda.
Buer Restaurant in Buerdalen Valley close to Odda.

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.

Tyssedal by Sørfjorden, the neighbour village to Odda

FJORDS NORWAY - Kraftmuseet in Tyssedal.
Kraftmuseet in Tyssedal.

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.

FJORDS NORWAY - Tyssedal Boutique Hotel in Tyssedal in Hardanger.
Tyssedal Boutique Hotel in Tyssedal in Hardanger.

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.

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

Hike to Lilletopp in Tyssedal

Sørfjorden (towards south) seen from Mt Oksla above Tyssedal.
Sørfjorden (towards south) seen from Mt Oksla above Tyssedal.

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, from the time when the power plant was in operation.

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.

Tyssedal Via Ferrata

The pipelines seen from Lilletopp. The Tyssedal Via Ferrata runs on the mountain next to the pipelines.
The pipelines seen from Lilletopp. The Tyssedal Via Ferrata runs on the mountain next to the pipelines.

Are you looking for an adrenaline-filled experience combined with the history of Tyssedal Power Plant and the the most breathtaking view over Sørfjorden? Then the Tyssedal Via Ferrata is the right challenge for you.

This adventure starts inside Hydroelectric Power Museum (Kraftmuseet) with a tour and film about the history of Tyssedal Power Plant. Then the adventure continue outside Kraftmuseet, to a climbing experience along the steep pipelines between Kraftmuseet and Lilletopp, which is the top of the pipelines.

Included in the price is a tour and film in the Power Museum, a guide, climbing equipment and the world’s best view and nature experience.

Trolltunga in Hardanger

FJORDS NORWAY - Trolltunga in Hardanger
Trolltunga and Lake Ringedalsvatnet.

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. The hike to Trolltunga and return takes around 10 to 12 hours or more.

SEASON – Summer – normally you can do the hike from mid July to mid September, all depending on the weather and the amount of snow in the mountains. Normally the terrain in the high mountains along the trail to Trolltunga is covered with snow well into the summer. See the official website of Trolltunga for more information about the hike, season and guiding.

IMPORTANT – 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, also in summer. Always check the weather before you go hiking. For safety reasons, it is recommended to avoid hiking in thunderstorms, in fog, in bad weather and when there is snow and ice in the terrain and on the paths.

Always bring good clothes and hiking shoes. And have enough food and water in your rucksack.

NOTE – There are poor mobile coverage, and in some places there are no mobile coverage at all, along the trail to Trolltunga. In any case, it is recommended to bring an extra power bank to charge your phone.

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.

GUIDE – Trolltunga Adventures arrange i.a. guided hikes to Trolltunga and to experience a steaming sauna by the fjord.

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.

Oddadalen Valley and the Waterfalls

FJORDS NORWAY - Låtefoss Waterfall in Oddadalen Valley in Hardanger
Låtefoss Waterfall in Oddadalen Valley in Hardanger.

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.

RIB-Boat Safari from Odda

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.

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. Odda is one of several stops on the Cider Cruise on Sørfjorden.

FJORDS NORWAY - Lofthus in Hardanger. View from Lofthus Camping towards Lofthus and Sørfjorden.
View from Lofthus Camping towards Lofthus and Sørfjorden. Odda is situated at the innermost part of the fjord.

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.

Hike to Lake Bondhusvatnet

Lake Bondhusvatnet in Kvinnherad. Hardanger, Norway.
Lake Bondhusvatnet in Hardanger.

If you drive from Odda through the 11,150 meter long Folgefonn tunnel to Mauranger and continue seven kilometers to Sundal and a bit up the valley, you can walk the 2.5 kilometer long gravel road to Lake Bondhusvatnet.

The hiking route is surrounded by beautiful and wild nature with steep mountains and waterfalls on all sides. This is a nice hike on a good gravel road.

At the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, Bondhusbreen Glacier was much larger than it is now, and the massive glacier could be seen from the outlet of Lake Bondhusvatnet.

Today, the glacier has retreated and the glacier arm is much smaller, but it can still be seen from the outlet of Lake Bondhusvatnet.

Summer Ski on Fonna Glacier Resort

There are three Summer Ski Centres in Norway. One of them is Fonna Glacier Ski Resort which is located on the Folgefonna Glacier in Jondal in Kvinnherad in Hardanger. Restaurant FONNA is located at 1199 masl, at the base of the ski resort.

From the ski resort you have fjord view to the Hardangerfjord. From the top of the ski-lift you can see towards the Hardangerfjord in several directions.

FJORDS NORWAY - Fonna Glacier Resort and Summer Ski in Hardanger.
Fonna Glacier Resort and Summer Ski in Hardanger.

Some pictures from Odda and the surrounding area

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

Norplan

Hotels and 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.

Trolltunga Hotel – Odda
Woodnest – Odda
Hardanger Hotel – Odda
Trolltunga Camping – Odda
Tyssedal Hotel – Tyssedal
Hotel Ullensvang – Lofthus

Odda and Hardangerfjord – Useful Links

Trolltunga Active
Trolltunga Adventures
Trolltunga Shuttle Bus
RIB Boat Fjord Safari on the Hardangerfjord
Trolltunga Via Ferrata
Trolltunga Sunset/Sunrise
Trolltunga Winter
Guided Glacier Hikes at Folgefonna Glacier
Folgefonna Summer Ski Center
Guided Kayak Trips – 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.

Map Overview – Odda