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.

Visit HardangerfjordVisit Sunnhordland

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

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

Some highlights from the Hardangerfjord area

Fjords Norway - View from Kjeåsen Mountain Farm towards Eidfjord and the Hardangerfjord.
View from Kjeåsen Mountain Farm towards Eidfjord and the 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.

Apple tree blossoming in Ulvik in Hardanger.
Apple tree blossoming in Ulvik in Hardanger.

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.

Bergen – The Gateway to the Fjords

Bergen - The Gateway to the Fjords. Mt Ulriken in the background.
Bergen – The Gateway to the Fjords. Mt Ulriken in the background.

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.

Bergen is also the gateway to the Hardangerfjord. The most popular fjord cruises start from Bergen Bus Station, Bergen Railway Station and from Bergen Strandkaiterminal.

Charming Bergen.
Charming Bergen.

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.

Bryggen (The Hanseatic Wharf) in Bergen has since 1979 been on UNESCO´s list over World Cultural Heritage Sites. Bryggen is a series of wooden houses along Bergen Harbour, originating from the Hanseatic (German) activities in Bergen from around year 1350.

At the innermost part of Vågen, the Bergen Harbour, you find the famous Fish Market where you can buy all sorts of fish, shellfish and local products from the fishermen and farmers in the Bergen area.

If you visit Bergen, you should take the Fløibanen Funicular to Mt Fløyen. Both Fløibanen and Fløyen are great experiences, with the best view over Bergen City, Vågen Harbour and Byfjorden (the City Fjord).

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.

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.

Sørfjorden in Hardanger

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

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

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.

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 and Trolltunga Adventures are based at Odda, and offers guiding and equipment rental.

Some of the adventures they offer are Trolltunga Hikes, Dronningstien hike, Via Ferrata Trolltunga and Tyssedal, Fjord Adventures and Winter Adventures.

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.

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 - 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.

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.

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.

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.

Lofthus in Hardanger

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

The idyllic fjord village Lofthus is best known for its apple tree blossoming and the composer Edvard Grieg. Lofthus is an idyllic fjord village situated in the northern part of Sørfjorden, on the eastern side of the fjord.

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.

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.

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

Blossoming in Hardanger

FJORDS NORWAY - Apple Tree Blossoming in Lofthus in Hardanger.
Apple Tree Blossoming in Lofthus in Hardanger.

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 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.

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.

Agatunet Farm Cluster at Nå

FJORDS NORWAY - Agatunet Farm Cluster at Nå 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 NORGE - Utne in Hardanger.
Utne in Hardanger.

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

Destination Herand by the Hardangerfjord

Idylliske Herand ved Hardangerfjorden.
Idylliske Herand ved Hardangerfjorden.

Destination Herand offers tailor-made tours and adventures in the beautiful area of Herand in Hardanger. Herand is an idyllic village located down by the Hardangerfjord.

One of the four sections of the Hardanger National Tourist Route, the road between Utne and Jondal, runs through the village. Here you have the Hardangerfjord and Folgefonna National Park with wild mountains, glacier arms, waterfalls and rivers as wonderful backdrops.

In addition to hiking tours, Destination Herand also offers photo safaris and adventures by bike and kayak starting from Herand, which can perhaps best be described as a beautiful national romantic postcard.

FJORDS NORWAY - The village of Herand is idyllically located down by the Hardangerfjord.
The village of Herand is idyllically located down by the Hardangerfjord.

Ulvik in Hardanger

FJORDS NORWAY - Ulvik and Ulvikafjorden in Hardanger.
Ulvik and Ulvikafjorden 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.

Ulvik, which is the name of both the village and the municipality, is located northeast and at the innermost part of the Hardangerfjord. Bergen Railway runs through Ulvik Herad, and Finse Station at 1222 masl is also located in the municipality. From fjord to high mountains is therefore descriptive of Ulvik.

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. Some of these farms are located in Ulvik.

Brakanes Hotel in Ulvik is idyllically located down by the Ulvikafjord and is one of several Historic Hotels in Norway. Brakanes’ history began as early as in 1860, and the hotel has since been expanded at regular intervals.

Activities and adventures with Hardangerfjord Adventure

Hardangerfjord Adventure is an adventure and activity company in Hardanger and the Hardangerfjord that operates from Øystese, Norheimsund and Ulvik. Here you can join a Fjord Safari with Rib-boat and guided hikes and ski trips in beautiful surroundings where you will discover the hidden gems in Hardanger.

Hardangerfjord Adventure arranges fixed tours from Øystese, Norheimsund and Ulvik in addition to tailor-made private tours.

FJORDS NORWAY - Fjord Safari on the Hardangerfjord with Hardangerfjord Adventure.
Fjord Safari on the Hardangerfjord with Hardangerfjord Adventure.

The Historic Brakanes Hotel in Ulvik

FJORDS NORWAY - Apple Tree Blossoming in Ulvik in Hardanger. View from Brakanes Hotel towards Ulvikafjorden.
Apple Tree Blossoming in Ulvik in Hardanger. View from Brakanes Hotel towards Ulvikafjorden.

Brakanes Hotel in Ulvik is idyllically located down by the Ulvikafjord and is one of several Historic Hotels in Norway. Brakanes’ history began as early as in 1860, and the hotel has since been expanded at regular intervals.

In April 1940, the hotel burned down, but was rebuilt as a boarding house in 1949. The boarding house quickly became too small, and a new Brakanes Hotel was built in 1952.

The hotel is today run by the hotel chain Fjordtind, which also has hotels in Eidfjord and Øystese.

FJORDS NORWAY - The Historic Brakanes Hotel in Ulvik in Hardanger is beautifully located down by the Ulvikafjorden.
The Historic Brakanes Hotel in Ulvik in Hardanger is beautifully located down by the Ulvikafjorden.

Røldal Stave Church in Røldal

FJORDS NORWAY - Røldal Stave Church in Røldal, Hardanger.
Røldal Stave Church in Røldal, Hardanger.

Røldal Stave Church is estimated to be built between year 1200 and 1250 AD. The original church was built with the Stave Construction.

During reconstructions in 1844 and between 1913 and 1918 AD, it was discovered that Røldal Stave Church was different from other stave churches. The original  walls were covered and protected by new outer walls during the last reconstruction.

In the Midde Age, Røldal Stave Church was one of the most important churches in Norway for pilgrims. Due to this, the church received large donations from the pilgrims, and the village of Røldal became quite prosperous.

Røldal Stave Church is currently in use as a regular church, but there are also guided tours in the summer. See the website of Røldal Stave Church for season and opening hours.

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 AD. Season: See Go Fjords website.

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. Video by Go Fjords. Season: See Go Fjords website.

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 Hardanger

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

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.

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

FJORDS NORWAY - 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.

Road Trip from the Lysefjord to the Hardangerfjord

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

A few years ago I had a Road Trip in Ryfylke, Sunnhordland and Hardanger, and visited some of Norway’s best-known and most beautiful tourist icons.

On this round trip, I started with a hike to Mt Preikestolen and got to see the fantastic view of the Lysefjord. In Hardanger I hiked to Lake Bondhusvatnet, visited Låtefoss Waterfall in Oddadalen and spent the night at Ullensvang Hotel in Lofthus.

I went up to Heng which is the starting point of the Dronningstien Hike and got to see the wonderful view of four branches of the Hardangerfjord; Sørfjorden, Utnefjord, Eidfjord and Kinsarvikbukti.

The last part of the drive went from Kinsarvik to Eidfjord, up Måbødalen and over Hardangervidda Mountain Plateau. On the way I took a short detour to Fossli Hotel to see the panoramic view over Vøringsfossen Waterfall.

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.

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.

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.

Lake Bondhusvatnet

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

Oddadalen Valley, Lake Sandvinvatnet and the Waterfalls

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

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.

The 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.

Summer Ski on FONNA Glacier Ski 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.

The road up to FONNA Glacier Ski Resort

View from the road between Jondal and Fonna Glacier Resort.
View from the road between Jondal and Fonna Glacier Resort.

The 19 kilometer long road that goes from Jondal to Folgefonna Glacier and FONNA Glacier Ski Resort is an experience in itself.

The road that goes from the Hardangerfjord (0 masl) to Folgefonna Glacier (1199 masl) takes about 30 minutes to drive, and goes through beautiful cultural landscape with small farms with cultivated land, forests, rivers and waterfalls to snow-covered high mountains and glacial landscapes.

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. The road is also a wonderful and tiring experience for those who swear by cycling.

The road is closed in winter and usually opens between mid May and early June, this depends on the amount of snow. More information about opening hours on FONNA’s website.

Kjeåsen Mountain Farm and Simadalsfjorden

Fjords Norway - View from Kjeåsen Mountain Farm towards Eidfjord and the Hardangerfjord.
View from Kjeåsen Mountain Farm towards Eidfjord and the Hardangerfjord.

Eidfjord in the eastern part of the Hardangerfjord is a great base for nature experiences and activities.

You can drive to Kjeåsen Mountain Farm above Simadalen in Eidfjord and enjoy the great view down to Simadalsfjorden and to Eidfjord in the innermost part of the Hardangerfjord.

NOTE – It is not allowed to enter the private properties at Kjeåsen. Respect privacy.

NOTE – You need to drive on a steep and narrow road and through a 2.6 kilometer long tunnel up to Kjeåsen. The tunnel is also steep and narrow. Due to this, traffic to and from Kjeåsen is regulated so only one direction can be driven at a time. There may be some waiting time because of this. You need to have this in mind when planning the drive in both directions.

NOTE – It is forbidden to walk or bike through the tunnel.

NOTE – The road is closed during winter, depending on temperature and snow.

Vøringsfossen Waterfall

Vøringsfossen Panorama seen from the viewpoint at Fossli Hotel
Vøringsfossen Panorama seen from the viewpoint at Fossli Hotel

Between Eidfjord and the Hardangervidda Mountain Plateau, 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.

Vøringsfossen Waterfall is a viewpoint located along the road that is part of the Hardangervidda National Tourist Route.

A new viewing platform and a viewing bridge above the Vøringsfossen Waterfall has been constructed in conjunction with the Hardangervidda National Tourist Route. There is a short walk to both of those viewpoints from the parking lot at Fossli Hotel.

SEASON – June to September, depending on temperature and snow. NOTE – You should never walk on the viewing platforms and the bridge if there are snow and ice, this is not safe!

The Hardangerfjord Area – Geology and Landscape

The Hardangerfjord has its main direction from southwest to northeast in Vestland 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 one 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.

FJORDS NORWAY - View from Dronningstien in Kinsarvik. Five of the branches of the Hardangerfjord can be seen: Utnefjorden, Granvinsfjorden, Sørfjorden, Kinsarvikbukta and Eidfjorden.
View from Dronningstien in Kinsarvik. Five of the branches of the Hardangerfjord can be seen: Utnefjorden, Granvinsfjorden, Sørfjorden, Kinsarvikbukta and Eidfjorden.

Hotels and 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 Hotel – Eidfjord
Vik Pensjonat og Hytter – Eidfjord
Rosendal Fjordhotel – Rosendal

 

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 – The Hardangerfjord Area