The Hardangerfjord is considered to be the blossoming garden of Norway, in the spring this part of the country is buried in fragrant flowers, and in the summer it turns into a huge orchard. Locals say that here you can try the most delicious cherries in Norway. The other side of the Hardangerfjord is picturesque glaciers, a mesmerizing mountain landscape and mild climate. It is not surprising that this particular fjord offers the best relaxation in the country.
The fjord is on the list of the best and must-see Norwegian attractions. It is located at a distance of 330 km from the capital of Norway and only 40 km from Bergen (south-east direction). The fjord is surrounded by mountains up to 1.5 km high, there are many beautiful waterfalls that amaze with their power.
Hardangerfjord is the third longest in the world and second in the country. Its length is almost 180 km, it stretches from the island of Bemlo to Odda. The central part of the fjord is located on the Folgefonna Peninsula (Utne village), then it is divided into several arms. There are 13 municipalities on the banks of the Hardangerfjord, and the fjord itself consists of several smaller fjords. The most famous:
What to see
If you prefer outdoor activities and hiking, the fjord will surely captivate you.
- Wöhringfossen Waterfall. One of the most beautiful sights in Norway with a height of more than 180 meters, the waterfall consists of several streams of water. There is an observation deck for travelers. The rainbow is a frequent phenomenon here, therefore, going to the waterfall, be sure to bring a camera with you.
- Steindalsfossen Waterfall. The water stream falls from a height of only 50 meters, but tourists are attracted by the opportunity to take a walk between the waterfall and the rock wall.
- Folgefonna Glacier. Its area is more than 200 sq. Km. Travelers come here to the famous ski center and go with a guide to the realm of eternal ice.
- Rock Troll Tongue. The journey is not only fascinating, but also dangerous, because a piece of rock, where everyone wants to go, hovered at an altitude of 700 meters, and its width at the edge is only a few centimeters. The rise takes from 6 to 11 hours.
Hardangerfjord hospitably welcomes guests of Norway, who vacation families. For children, there are also many interesting places to relax.
- Mikkelparken park. This is a whole kingdom of entertainment and attractions – slides, mini-golf, cars, castles.
- Hardanger Aquacenter. This is not a simple aquacenter, it tells how fish farming is organized, guests personally observe the process through a special camera installed in the water, guides talk about the life features of different types of fish.
- Eidfjord is a natural center. The vast territory contains exhibits demonstrating the nature, landscapes and wildlife of Norway. The exhibits of the Center are unique.
- Maritime Museum. The exposition demonstrates how locals designed and built ships in different historical periods. Masters work here, who show the main stages of the construction of the vessel. You can also learn about the behavior in the sea and ocean, here they teach to behave competently in extreme situations, for example, when meeting with a whale.
- The estate in Rosendal is the smallest palace in Scandinavia, which was built in the Renaissance. An extensive entertainment program has been prepared for tourists. You can also take a walk to Hatteburg Falls. In the village there is a tourist center where vacationers will be told in detail where and what to see. Farm Treo – part of the estate – welcomes guests, it shows how cute Norwegian sheep live and how to spin sheep’s wool.
For real travelers who do not like to stay long in one place, in Hardangerfjord in Norway there are many routes for hiking and cycling.
One of the most striking and memorable routes is a trip to the Sulf Fjord (R 551 route northward through Sondal and the tunnel). In the western part of the fjord is the Folgefonn Glacier, in the eastern part – Hardangervidda Park. Another attraction is the HPP Museum and the unique power station in Tussedal. Driving along the R 550 highway, you will find yourself in the village of Agatunet, an ancient settlement protected by the state.
On its territory are 40 buildings of the Middle Ages. Moving further north, 17 km, is located one of the most romantic places in the country – the village of Utne. You can also get here by ferry from Kvandala or Kinsarvik. Hardanger Museum is located near the ferry pier. The exposition is represented by household items and handicrafts. In Utna there is a nice hotel, built in the style of a medieval English castle. Here you can stroll through the cozy garden where ancient varieties of fruit trees are grown.
The eastern shore of the Sør Fjord is no less picturesque, follow the R 13 highway, after about 30 km you will find yourself in an amazing beautiful relaxation area – Lofthus. If you want to try the famous Norwegian cherries, go south from Lofthus to the village of Ullenevang, where you will visit an old stone church. If you move on past Kinsarvik, after 40 km you will find yourself in the small village of Eid Fjord.
Another interesting place to visit is the Hardangervidda Plateau. A large deer population lives here and it is in this place that more routes have been laid for tourists who like to ride bikes or skis. It is often fished in a mountain lake. More than a hundred species of birds and animals live on the plateau, and the flora has more than 500 species.
The town of Voss attracts travelers who go to Norway to ski. Here is the best ski center in the country. There are excellent conditions for biathlon, freestyle and skiing.
Other outdoor activities include rafting, kayaking, horse riding, fishing and hunting, parachuting.
The easiest way to see the Hardanger Fjord in full is by traveling on a ship departing from Normheimsund. During the cruise, the ferry enters all the villages.
Cuisine and restaurants
Gardening is the main activity of local residents, the first gardens appeared in the 13th century. Based on German horticultural traditions, new varieties of apples, cherries and plums were bred in the Hardangerfjord. In the vicinity of the fjord, there are many farms that each year harvest from 50 to 70 tons of fruits and berries. In addition, there are many farms where different varieties of fish are grown.
Not surprisingly, the two main culinary attractions on the Hardargerfjord in Norway are fruits, berries and fish. Be sure to order a fruit dessert in a cafe or restaurant – a pie with fruit filling. Open places where you can eat and enjoy the surrounding landscapes are very popular. Please note that many owners of cafes and restaurants offer their own, exclusive dishes.
Where to stay
The starting point is the settlement of Voss , from here all excursion tours begin and here they end. The town is located north of the coast, at the intersection of two routes – E 16 and R 13. The geographical location of Voss is considered unique – on the shores of Lake Wangs-Vatn. Of great interest are the 13th century church, built in the Gothic style, an ethnographic museum. R 13 passes through a picturesque area, past the Chervefoss waterfall.
Odda is a small town where people come who plan to climb a rock. Troll’s tongue. The settlement is not rich in sights, they gather on the road to the top of the cliff and rest after the descent.
Ulvik is a small industrial town. It houses a smelter and is actively developing a new type of industry – aquaculture – fish farming. In the village you can fly by seaplane and visit a small wooden church. You can get here on the highway R 7 from Granvin .
Moving further in the same direction, you can get into the village of Outesse , which is located in the bay of the same name. The settlement has an old church and a museum with an exhibition of sculptures of Ingebrig Wick.
Nurheimsund is an ideal place for a short rest. The decoration of this cozy resort is a small port. There is a great hotel. In fine weather, you can cross the fjord and take a trip to the Folgefonna Glacier.
How to get there
- By public transport. Buses depart daily and travel to Odda. Travel time is approximately 7 hours.
- By air. Direct flights follow to Bergen, the route takes a little less than one hour. A bus runs from the airport to Nurheimsund. The road takes several hours. Another possible option is to get there by boat, which follows Roussendal.
- By car. The road takes about 6 hours. You need to go along the highway E 18, then along E 134 and R 13. The end point of the route is Odda.
- By train. There is no direct train connection to the fjord, but from Oslo you can get to Geilo, Bergen or Voss. From these cities, there are bus routes to the Hardangerfjord.
- By car. You can get there in just 1 hour, you need to go along the highway E 16 and then along R 7. The end point of the route is Nurheimsund.
- By bus. Flights depart daily to Herheimsend. Travel time is 1.5 hours.
- By boat. Daily flights to Rusendal.
And how to get to Bergen, see here .
- By car. It will take 3.5 hours to drive along the E 39 highway, from here a ferry to Mortavika follows. Then again along E 39, then along E 134 and along the highway R 13. The final destination is Odda.
- By public transport. Buses are daily, come to Odda. On the road will take about 9 hours
- By air. Direct flights to Bergen are provided, planes fly in 40-45 minutes. There are buses to Nurheimsund, and water transport links to Rusendal.
- By car. You need to go along the highway E 6 to Dombosa, then along the highway R 15 and R 51 to Skammesteyna. Turn left and take the E 16 motorway, which leads to Vossa, from here on the R 7 motorway you can reach Granvin and Nurheimsund.
- By plane. There are daily flights to Bergen, approximately 1 hour to go. Then you can transfer to a bus that goes to the center of Nurtheimsund. Boats to Rosenendal also depart from Bergen.
It is important! The best way to get around the fjord is by public transport and a rented or personal car. The best excursions are water ones; they rent a boat for them. If you want to travel to another fjord, take the ferry.
Eyewitnesses say that it is impossible to describe in words the Hardangerfjord. You must definitely come here and enjoy the grandeur of the wild.
Doubt it worth seeing the sights of the Hardanger Fjord? Then watch the video.