SØRFJORDEN IN HARDANGER

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.

Sørfjorden has attracted travellers since the dawn of time, ever since English tourists discovered Norway in the mid-19th century.

Visit HardangerfjordVisit Sunnhordland

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

INFORMATION ABOUT ROADS ALONG SØRFJORDEN – Many of the roads in Western Norway can be prone to landslides and avalanches, especially in rainy and snowy weather. The roads along Sørfjorden are some of these exposed roads.

Sørfjorden and Hardanger – Norway’s Orchard

FJORDS NORWAY - Sørfjorden in Hardanger seen from Mt Oksla above Tyssedal.
Sørfjorden in Hardanger seen from Mt Oksla above Tyssedal.

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 more than 500,000 apple trees scattered around Sørfjorden and throughout Hardanger.

In the villages around Sørfjorden, there are cafés and restaurants and sales of produce from local orchards. On Taste Hardanger’s website, you get an overview of the many fruit and cider farms that you can visit. Most of them are located around Sørfjorden. At the bottom of this page you will find an overview of the cider producers along Sørfjorden.

There is also a separate Cider Cruise on Sørfjorden, where you can combine a fjord cruise with a visit to some of the farms and taste the local cider products. Remember that if you want to visit local cider producers, you must book this in advance.

It is also a great experience to join a Fjord Safari in a RIB boat on Sørfjorden from Odda to Lofthus and back. On this boat trip you will experience spectacular nature and a vibrant cultural landscape along the fjord.

Enjoy the heat in a sauna and jump into the fresh water of Sørfjorden. HEIT SØRFJORDEN SAUNA has a sauna that is located by the wharf in Ossvik by Sørfjorden, and it is heated with wood. Ossvik is located approximately six kilometers south of Lofthus. Sauna season: All year round, but check the website for season and booking. You must book an appointment in the sauna in advance. Bathing is at your own risk.

The roads along Sørfjorden

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

The roads along Sørfjorden are narrow and winding, and in many places there is only room for one vehicle in width. So there you have to drive carefully and be prepared to stop and reverse to the nearest meeting place.

Also remember that many of the roads in Western Norway and roads described on this website are prone to landslides, especially in rainy and snowy weather. Some of the roads are particularly known for their high level of mass movement exposed above them. The roads along Sørfjorden are some of these exposed road sections.

Road conditions are often poor and the risk of landslides and the risk of avalanches are high, and the roads are often covered in snow and ice in winter. Winter tires are required in winter.

The road along the east side of Sørfjorden is part of the Hardanger National Tourist Route.

Sørfjorden, created for adventures and activities

FJORDS NORWAY - Trolltunga in Hardanger
Trolltunga in Hardanger. Lake Ringedalsvatnet below.

As one of the most spectacular rock formations in Norway, Trolltunga has in a short time gone from being unknown to becoming one of Norway’s most famous tourist attractions. This is a relatively long and hard hike in the High Mountains and a guided hike is highly recommended. From Tyssedal you turn upwards towards Skjeggedal, which is the place where the hike to Trolltunga starts. The hike to Trolltunga is demanding, a round trip takes around 10 to 12 hours or more. Season: Summer, guide is recommended. See the official website of Trolltunga for more information about the hike, season and guiding.

Buer Restaurant in the Buerdalen Valley, close to Odda, is a fantastic experience and a must visit for the foodies. From there, you can walk in beautiful and wild nature up towards Buerbreen Glacier, where you will meet the guides from Hardanger Breføring who will take you on an unforgettable guided tour on the glacier. Remember to book a guided tour in advance.

The Hardangerfjord
The Hardangerfjord seen from Dronningstien.

Dronningstien, HM Queen Sonja’s Panoramic Trail, is known to be one of HM Queen Sonja’s favorite hikes. The mountain hike runs between Røte in Kinsarvik and Lofthus and has a panoramic view of the outer part of Sørfjorden and to where Sørfjorden meets the Hardangerfjord. This is a long hike, 16 kilometers in total. The 6-10 hour long hike is heavy, steep and demanding and is recommended for more experienced hikers. Season: Summer, guide recommended.

The Husedalen Valley near Kinsarvik is a popular hiking destination with great scenery and mighty waterfalls. If you walk the entire hike between Kinsarvik and Fjaoene, you can see four beautiful waterfalls if you wish; Tveitafossen, Nyastølsfossen, Nykkjesøyfossen and Søtefossen waterfalls. The hike to the innermost waterfall, the round trip, takes around six hours or more. The hike is heavy, steep and demanding and it can be slippery to walk on the trail. Season: Summer.

Join a Fjord Safari in a RIB boat on Sørfjorden from Odda to Ullensvang and back. This is a fast-paced experience with a few quiet breaks in the boat along the way, where you will be “served” information about the fjord and the nature seasoned with local stories. You will experience spectacular nature and a vibrant cultural landscape along the fjord.

FJORDS NORWAY - The Hardangerfjord seen from Dronningstien above Kinsarvik
The Hardangerfjord seen from Dronningstien above Kinsarvik.

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.

Blossom in Hardanger

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

Hardanger 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 hundreds of thousands of fruit trees scattered all around the Hardangerfjord.

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 along the Hardangerfjord.

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.

Odda and Tyssedal – From industry and hydropower to adventures and activities

FJORDS NORWAY - Kraftmuseet in Tyssedal.
Kraftmuseet in Tyssedal.

Odda is an old industrial town at the southernmost end of Sørfjorden, which has transformed from an industrial town into an adventure town. The melting plant in Odda was in operation from 1908 to 2002, but went bankrupt in 2003. The remains of Odda Melting Plant are now protected and will be preserved for future generations.

Odda is now a great starting point for exploring the wild and beautiful nature in the Hardangerfjord area.

FJORDS NORWAY - Remains from decommissioned and preserved industrial buildings in Odda.
Remains from decommissioned and preserved industrial buildings in Odda.

Tyssedal, like Odda, is an industrial village that was settled and developed by the hydropower and metal industries in the early 20th century. Both iron, steel and aluminum plants were started in Tyssedal, but it did not last many years before they were closed down.

The history of the stately and beautiful Tyssedal Hotel goes all the way back to when the hydropower adventure began. The hotel was then used as accommodation for the management of the power plant. Today it is a great boutique hotel and restaurant which is an experience in itself.

The hike to Lilletopp and Oksla is short, but the reward is a great view down towards Sørfjorden and to the surrounding mountains. Lilletopp is the top of the pipelines, which runs steep down to the power plant in Tyssedal. Kraftmuseet (the Hydroelectric Power Plant Museum) which is a cultural history museum, is today located in the old hydropower plant down by the fjord in Tyssedal.

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.

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.

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.

Lofthus – Like music to both our and Edvard Grieg’s ears

Hotel Ullensvang by Sørfjorden in Hardanger.
View from Hotel Ullensvang by Sørfjorden in Hardanger.

In the middle of Sørfjorden, between Odda and Eidfjord, lies the idyllic fjord village Lofthus with the historic Hotel Ullensvang. Lofthus have attracted travellers since the dawn of time, ever since English tourists discovered Norway in the mid-19th century.

The historic Hotel Ullensvang is located down by the shore of Sørfjorden, and the hotel’s history goes all the way back to year of 1846 AD. There you can relax in the sauna at Ullensvang Bad with a panoramic view of Sørfjorden and the surrounding mountains, followed by a refreshing dip in the outdoor pool.

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

Around year 1880 AD, the Norwegian 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 the area around Sørfjorden and the Hardangerfjord was a great inspiration for his work and his national romantic music.

In addition to apples, a lot of morels 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 arranged. Later in the autumn, the Hardanger Music Festival is arranged, also in Lofthus.

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

Agatunet Farm Cluster at Nå

FJORDS NORWAY - Agatunet Farm Cluster in Hardanger, Norway.
Agatunet Farm Cluster at Nå in Hardanger.

Agatunet is a farm cluster with 67 protected buildings located in the village Nå on the west side of Sørfjorden in Hardanger.

The history of Agatunet goes back several thousand years. The oldest building in the farmyard is Lagmannsstova from 1220, it is a log house on high basement walls. Sigurd Brynjulfsson, who was one of King Eirik Magnusson’s advisers, lived there. This is the oldest medieval building in the country that still stands.

Today, Agatunet is a museum with exhibitions, experiences, a café and a shop.  But most of all, Agatunet is a beautiful place to be and to see, experience and to explore.

Utne, Utne Hotel and Hardanger Folk Museum

FJORDS NORWAY - Utne in Hardanger.
Utne in Hardanger.

Utne is an idyllic small village located down by the Utnefjord in Hardanger.

There is one of Norway’s oldest hotels and the first hotel in Hardanger, beautiful and historic Utne Hotel.

Utne Church is located right next to the hotel. The beautiful church was built in 1895.

At the very end of the small village and right above the fjord you will find Hardanger Folk Museum. There you can walk in the museum farmyard which is an old farm cluster. Folk costumes and national costumes, Hardanger embroidery patterns, harding fiddle and folk music, old building customs and building protection are some of the things you can see and experience at the museum. In addition to the museum yard and exhibitions, there is a café and gift shop in the museum.

Låtefoss Waterfall in the Oddadalen Valley

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

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.

WINTER – The road conditions are often poor, and the roads are often covered with snow and ice during winter. Winter tires are required in winter. There can be periods when there is no plowed parking space by the viewpoint in winter, so it may not be possible to park there in these periods.

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

Hotels and Accommodation by Sørfjorden

There are many places to stay along Sørfjorden. Here you can read more about where you can stay in Odda, Tyssedal, Lofthus, Kinsarvik, Utne and other places along the Sørfjorden.

Utne Hotell – Utne
Raaen Hytteutleige – Utne
Aga Fjordapartments – Nå
Trolltunga Hotel – Odda
Woodnest – Odda
Hardanger Hotel – Odda
Trolltunga Camping – Odda
Tyssedal Hotel – Tyssedal
Hotel Ullensvang – Lofthus
Ullensvang Gjesteheim – Lofthus
Lofthus Camping – Lofthus
Kinsarvik Fjord Hotel – Kinsarvik
Kinsarvik Camping – Kinsarvik
Mikkelparken Ferietun – Kinsarvik

Eat and Drink by Sørfjorden – some recommendations

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

Buer Restaurant in the Buerdalen Valley, close to Odda, is a fantastic experience and a must visit if you are in the area around Sørfjorden. Here we are talking Michelin…

The restaurant at Utne Hotel in Utne is widely known. There you can take part in Cider tasting, and the restaurant serves first-class short-travel food and drinks. Guests who do not stay at Utne Hotel must send a request in advance.

Lofthus Expedition is located down by the fjord in Lofthus. They serve great experiences with food and drinks in beautiful premises. In summer, you can sit outside on the pier if weather permits. They also arrange concerts at regular intervals.

Local Cider Sales by Sørfjorden

Harding Sideri – Grimo
Hajen Sideri – Grimo
Aga Sideri – Nå
Store Naa Siderkompani – Nå
Alde Sider – Nå
Kvestad Sideri – Nå
Edel Sider Åkre Gård – Nå
Hardangerbonden – Sekse
Hardangergutane – Hovland
Lofthus Sideri – Lofthus
Helleland Gard – Lofthus
Alvavoll Frukt- og Sidergard – Lofthus
Lofthus Ekspedisjon – 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.

Sørfjorden in Hardanger – Map Overview