The fact that the road crosses the biggest high mountain plateau in Northern Europe tells you something about what lies in
wait, but not everything. Here you will encounter vast plateaus, deep, lush valleys, high mountains, glaciers in the far distance,
waterfalls and azure fjords. Hardangervidda offers a variety of experiences starting from where the road snakes lazily across
the wide plains to the narrow, steep, untamed valley of Måbødalen, until suddenly you are no longer in the high mountain region
but in the little village of Eidfjord innermost in the Hardangerfjord. In winter, road conditions over the mountains change
from hour to hour and often you will find yourself driving in a convoy behind large snowploughs striving to clear the road
for drivers. This is also a thrilling experience. The plateau can be inhospitable in wintertime but in summertime it is far
more welcoming. The terrain is ideal for walking and you have the chance to catch your own dinner if the fish are biting in
one of the many wonderful mountain tarns. Remember that at this high altitude the weather can be changeable even in summer
but that in itself is an integral part of your contact with nature. The Hardangervidda plateau boasts one of the biggest populations
of wild reindeer in Europe and if you are very patient and very lucky you can marvel at these amazing animals in their proper
element. Perhaps that’s when we first understand who belongs here and who is just a passing guest.
People have crossed the mountains for perhaps more than 1,000 years but it was only at the beginning of the last century that
roads were established. Many of these follow the original paths and cart tracks, so even though much has changed, it’s gratifying
to think that we are often following in the footsteps of those who roamed the mountains many centuries ago.
Vøringsfossen is Norway’s best-known waterfall, and it’s easy to understand why it makes such an impact on people. The water
thundering down the mountainside in a free fall of 145 metres is an impressive sight. The valley of Måbødalen is a spectacular
part of the route and can be admired from the car window although you should perhaps make a stop to discover the rare and
beautiful flora. Once you’ve reached the high mountain plateau, you will experience a stunning panorama with the Hardangerjøkulen
glacier in the background.