The Hardangerfjord

The 180 km long Hardangerfjord is the second longest fjord in Norway, and it has seven tributary fjords. These comprise Maurangerfjorden, Fyksesundsfjorden, Granvinfjorden, Ulvikfjorden, Osafjorden, Simadalsfjorden and Sørfjorden.

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. Or hike H. M. Queen Sonja´s Panoramic Trail between Kinsarvik and Lofthus. The Hardangerfjord is located in the county of Hordaland, near Bergen, in the middle of Western Norway.

 

Fjord Hikes - Fjords Norway

Some highlights from the Hardangerfjord area

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. 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 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.

Fjord Cruise on the Hardangerfjord

This tour from Fjord Tours takes you to Hardanger. 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 the boat stops at Herand, Utne, Lofthus, Kinsarvik and Ulvik berfore it ends up in Eidfjord. This fjord cruise starts with bus from Bergen. Season: 1st May to 31st October

 

Trolltunga Hike

Ten years ago, only the locals knew about Trolltunga. Due to social media like instagram and facebook,  the hike to Trolltunga has now become one of the greatest hiking icons in Norway with more than 100.000 visitors in 2018. The visitors come from all over the world.

Trolltunga is a rock formation that juts out horizontally, 700 metres above Lake Ringedalsvatnet in Odda Municipality  in the Hardangerfjord area.

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.

It´s starting point is at Røte in Kinsarvik and ends at Lofthus, making it a total of 16 kilometres 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 km 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 kilometre long road towards Ryfylke and Preikestolhytta Mountain Lodge. It was autumn and a great time of year for hiking in the Norwegian mountains.

Pictures from Hordaland and Hardanger

While you are in the Hardangerfjord Area

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 7 kilometre to Sunndal, you can do the 2.5 kilometer hike to Lake Bondhusvatnet. Easy hike on well prepared trail, also great for persons 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.

Buerdalen Valley and Buerbreen Glacier

From Odda, drive to the inner part of the Buerdalen Valley, to the Parking Lot at the innermost part of the valley. From here you can hike up to the Buerbreen Glacier and to the surrounding mountains with fantastic view down to the beautiful and wild nature around Odda and Sørfjorden in Hardanger. For guided tours on the glacier, contact the Tourist Information in Odda.

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.

WARNING! Don´t try to copy this stunt! Location: Fonna Glacier Resort.
Skier: Benjamin Forthun. Camera: Tom Erik Haukland

Lofthus in Hardanger

Sørfjorden is a 38 kilometre 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.

Kjeåsen Mountain Farm and Simafjorden

Eidfjord at the eastern part of the Hardangerfjord is a great base for nature experiences and activities. Drive to to Kjeåsen Mountain Farm in Eidfjord and enjoy the great view down to Simafjorden and to Eidfjord at the innermost part of the Hardangerfjord.

 

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.

Useful Links:

Hardangerfjord: Official page for the Hardangerfjord area
Visitsunnhordland: Official page for the Sunnhordland area
Hotel Ullensvang in Lofthus
HM Queen Sonja`s Panoramic Hiking Trail
The Trolltunga Hike
Information about the Låtefoss
Information about Vøringsfossen Waterfall

Fjord Tours: The Norwegian Fjords
Fjord Tours: Plan and book fjord travel, accommodation and activities
Fjord Pass: Great Discounts on Activities and Attractions in the Fjords
Visit Norway: Official page for Norway
Fjord Norway: Official page for Fjord Norway

Activities in the Hardanger and Sunnhordland Area

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 Tours – Lofthus
Hike to Vøringsfossen Waterfall
HM Queen Sonja´s Panoramic Hiking Trail
By car to Kjeåsen Mountain Farm in Eidfjord

Map Overview – The Hardangerfjord Area

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