HARDANGERFJORD – THE ORCHARD OF NORWAY

The Hardangerfjord area,  the orchard of Norway, is known for it´s spectacular fruit tree blossoming in spring.

Drive in the Hardanger area and see all the great waterfalls. Hike the famous Trolltunga or H. M. Queen Sonja´s Panoramic Trail between Kinsarvik and Lofthus.

SEASON & 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…

Some highlights from the Hardangerfjord area

FJORDS NORWAY - Beautiful fjord view - Ulvik in Hardanger.
Fjord view – From Ulvik in Hardanger.

The 180 kilometer long Hardangerfjord is the second longest fjord in Norway, and has seven tributary fjords. These comprise Maurangerfjorden, Fyksesundsfjorden, Granvinfjorden, Ulvikfjorden, Osafjorden, Simadalsfjorden and Sørfjorden. The Hardangerfjord is located in the county of Vestland, near Bergen, in the middle of Western Norway.

At Taste Hardanger you get an overview of the many apple-tree- and cider-farms that you can visit in Hardanger.

Dronningsstien, one of HM Queen Sonja´s favorite hiking trails. Trolltunga is one of the greatest hiking icons in Norway. Lake Bondhusvatnet was one of the first goals for foreign tourists. The Oddadalen Valley with the famous waterfalls like Låtefoss and Tjørnadalsfossen Waterfalls.

Buerdalen Valley and Buerbreen Glacier at Odda. Fonna Glacier Resort is located on the Folgefonna Glacier in Jondal in Kvinnherad where you also can join a Guided Walk on the Glacier. From the Ski Resort you have fjord view to the Hardangerfjord. In the middle of Sørfjorden, between Odda and Eidfjord, you find the beautiful village Lofthus with the historical Hotel Ullensvang.

Enjoy the great view to Simafjorden and Eidfjord from Kjeåsen Mountain Farm in Eidfjord. The Måbødalen Valley and Vøringsfossen Waterfall are two tourist attractions visible from the road. You can drive to the view point and see the Vøringsfossen Waterfall from above, or you can do a short 45 minutes hike and experience the waterfall from the below.

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

Hardangerfjord

Hardangerfjord is the local Tourist Information for the Hardangerfjord Area.

 

Bergen – The gateway to the Fjords

Bergen is the second largest city in Norway and is known as “The Gateway to the Fjords”, and some believe that Bergen is the most beautiful city in Norway. The most popular fjord cruises start from Bergen Bus Station, Bergen Railway Station and from Bergen Strandkaiterminal. Mt Fløien and Fløibanen Funicular, the UNESCO World Heritage protected Bryggen in Bergen and the composer Edvard Grieg’s home Troldhaugen are three of the main attractions in Bergen.

Odda at Sørfjorden – The “hub” for the adventurous people

Odda is the perfect base if you want to explore the wild and beautiful nature in the Hardangerfjord area. Sørfjorden is one of the tributary fjords of the Hardangerfjord, and Odda is an historical industrial town at the southernmost end of the fjord. Odda has now transformed from an industrial town into an adventure town. Trolltunga Active is based at Odda, and offers guiding, equipment rental and accommodation. Some of the adventures Trolltunga Active can offer is Trolltunga Hike in all seasons, Via Ferrata Trolltunga and Tyssedal, Fjord Adventures and Winter Adventures.

Lofthus and Hotel Ullensvang in Hardanger

Sørfjorden is a 38 kilometer long branch of the 179 kilometer long Hardangerfjord, the Queen of the Fjords. In the middle of this fjord arm, between Odda and Eidfjord, you find the beautiful village Lofthus with Hotel Ullensvang. Take a proper break at the hotel, one of Norway`s historic hotels. The hotel’s history dates back to 1846 and is situated by the shore of the Hardangerfjord. This is a perfect base for excursions to Trolltunga and The Queen’s Panoramic Trail between Kinsarvik and Lofthus.

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.

Ulvik in Hardanger

Ulvik in Hardanger is known for its Apple Tree Blossoming, Cider Production and not at least as the home of the poet Olav H. Hauge. But most important, Ulvik is an idyllic fjord village that is worth visiting all year round.

Fjord cruise on the Hardangerfjord from Bergen to Rosendal

Join a fjord cruise on the Hardangerfjord to beautiful Rosendal. This fjord cruise starts in Bergen, you get to experience the idyllic archipelago and the Hardangerfjord which is surrounded by snow-capped mountains and mighty waterfalls. You have three hours to explore Rosendal on your own while the boat is waiting at the quay. You can explore the Barony in Rosendal with its magnificent garden which is full of beautiful and fragrant flowers. The Barony is Scandinavia’s smallest castle and was finished built in 1665.

Fjord Cruise on the Hardangerfjord and explore Vøringsfossen

This tour from Go Fjords takes you to Hardanger, Norway`s orchard. You will experience the Hardangerfjord, the Queen of the Fjords. You will see picturesque villages along the fjord and a beautiful lush landscape with waterfalls, rivers and steep mountains. The cruise starts at Nordheimsund and ends up in Eidfjord. See video from the Fjord Cruise below. This fjord cruise starts with bus from Bergen.

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.

Trolltunga in Skjeggedal, Hardanger

Long and demanding Hike. Skjeggedal in Odda, Hardanger in Vestland.
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. You start at Skjeggedal at the east side of Sørfjorden in Hardanger, north east of Odda. The hike to Trolltunga and return takes around 10 to 12 hours. 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. Due to the challenging and long hike in rapidly changing weather, we always recommend you to join a Guided Hike to Trolltunga. This hike is not suitable for children!

Season: Summer, see this link to website for more information about the hike and season. See map…

The video below is from a summer-hike to Trolltunga with a few short detours. I walked the detours to get some great extra views.

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

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

The Hardangerfjord area – Geology and Landscape

The Hardangerfjord has its main direction from southwest to northeast in the Hordaland county. It has its beginning where the fjord meets the open sea – the North Sea – and can be followed 180 kilometer inwards to Eidfjord. It also has a number of tributary fjords.

The Hardangerfjord mainly follows the limit between the more than 1 milliard years old Precambrian rocks largely on the southeast side of the main fjord and the 400 to 500 million years old rocks belonging to the Caledonian mountain building, which mainly are on the northwest side of the fjord.

Road Trip from the Lysefjord to the Hardangerfjord

A few years ago I had a roundtrip in the Ryfylke and Hardangerfjord area visiting some of Norway´s most famous and beautiful tourist-icons.

I started from Oslo on a Friday afternoon after work and drove the 450 kilometer long road towards Ryfylke and Preikestolhytta Mountain Lodge. It was autumn and a great time of year for hiking in the Norwegian mountains.

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.

Hardangervidda National Tourist Route

The 67-kilometer-long road passes through the Hardangervidda National Park and Northern Europe’s largest mountain plateau. The Måbødalen valley and Vøringsfossen Waterfall are two tourist attractions you can see from the road. There might be a chance that the road is closed in short periods during winter.

Tailormade Fjord Cruise on the Hardangerfjord

Hardangerfjord Fjord Cruise offer private chartered cruises in the Hardangerfjord. With base and marina in Jondal in the middle of the Hardangerfjord, they operate the whole fjord including Bergen – Os – Rosendal – Ullensvang – Eidfjord – Ulvik and Odda. A Fjord Cruise can last from a few hours to several days.

Lake Bondhusvatnet

If you drive from Odda through the 11150 meter long Folgefonn Tunnel to Mauranger and continue seven kilometer to Sundal, you can hike the 2.5 kilometer long trail to Lake Bondhusvatnet. Easy hike on well prepared trail, also great for people in wheel chair.

Oddadalen Valley and the Waterfalls

Odda is a great hub if you want to see some of the most beautiful and wild nature Norway has to offer. There is a short distance to the Oddadalen Valley with the famous waterfalls like Låtefossen and Tjørnadalsfossen Waterfalls.

Fonna Glacier Resort

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.

Glacier Hiking on Folgefonna Glacier with Guide

Folgefonni Breførarlag provide glacier guiding at the Folgefonna Glacier between Odda, Jondal and Rosendal. In addition to the Blue Ice Hike on the glacier they also arrange guided kayaking, skiing, snow shoeing, climbing and bicycling tours. Folgefonni Breførarlag is based in Jondal, but arrange tours all over the Folgefonna Peninsula.

Kjeåsen Mountain Farm and Simafjorden

Eidfjord at the eastern part of the Hardangerfjord is a great base for nature experiences and activities. Drive to Kjeåsen Mountain Farm above Sima in Eidfjord and enjoy the great view down to Simafjorden and to Eidfjord at the innermost part of the Hardangerfjord. NOTE! You need to drive on a steep and narrow road and through a long and steep tunnel up to Kjeåsen. This tunnel is closed in different time intervals due to the tunnel is one-way drive. You need to have this in mind when planning the drive in both directions. The road is closed during winter, depending on temperature and snow.

Vøringsfossen Waterfall

Between Eidfjord and the Hardangervidda Mountain Plateou, the Måbødalen Valley and Vøringsfossen Waterfall are two tourist attractions visible from the road. You can drive to the view point and see the Vøringsfossen Waterfall from above, or you can do a short 45 minutes hike and experience the waterfall from the below. This is part of the Hardangervidda National Tourist Route.

Accommodation by the Hardangerfjord

Accommodation in the Hardangerfjord area
Accommodation in the Sunnhordland area
Trolltunga Hotel – Odda
Woodnest Treehouse – Odda
Hotel Ullensvang – Lofthus
Hardanger House – Jondal
Hardangerfjord Hotel – Øystese
Utne Hotel – Utne
Brakanes Hotel – Ulvik
Hotel Vøringsfoss – Eidfjord
Eidfjord Fjell & Fjord Hotel – Eidfjord
Vik Pensjonat og Hytter – Eidfjord
Rosendal Fjordhotel – Rosendal

FJORDS – Accommodation in Western Norway

Great Hotels in the Fjords of Norway
Bath and Spa Hotels in the Fjords of Norway
Fjords Living – Special Accommodation in the Fjords of Norway

FJORDS – Useful Links

Go Fjords – Big and Small Fjord Experiences
Visit Norway – Official page for Norway
Fjord Norway – Official page for Fjord Norway

Hardangerfjord – Official page for the Hardangerfjord area
Visit Sunnhordland – Official page for the Sunnhordland area

Map Overview – The Hardangerfjord Area