It’s no secret that Hardanger is like a picture postcard and almost everywhere you look you will feast your eyes on thundering waterfalls or fruit trees in bloom. Everything you’ve ever heard about Hardanger is true. Dramatic roads run through dramatic scenery and there is a wealth of variation to absorb. The roads in Hardanger impose their own pace and you must adapt to the natural tempo. The road may follow a shelf along a steep-sided valley or it might literally pass through apple orchards; perhaps it is this closeness that is the unique quality of the stretch. Here the experience is in the drive. The perfect holiday would be to drive in springtime at the height of the fruit blossoming season, stop to fish in the Hardangerfjord and then return when fruit picking is underway in late summer. Then Hardanger will reveal its unique aspects that change with the season and are all equally worth exploring.

History

Fruit has been grown in Hardanger since the 14th century, and boat building and the quarrying industry have been vital for the local community. Artists and tourists have always drawn inspiration from nature and its grandeur. Not all roads in Hardanger have retained their former importance and new and more modern alternatives have been built, but as scenic routes the old roads are as attractive and eminent as at any time.

Experiences

Waterfalls exert a magnetic attraction on us and Hardanger is the perfect destination for waterfall enthusiasts. Hardanger is framed by large waterfalls: Steinsdalsfossen, Vøringsfossen, Skjervefossen, Låtefoss and Furebergfossen. They are all different but all have the power to hypnotise us. The force of these waterfalls is so enormous that often we simply stand and stare. Discussing which of them is most beautiful then becomes merely an academic exercise. They all possess their unique qualities, like Steinsdalsfossen where you can follow the path behind the cascade, or Låtefoss with its twin falls that perhaps attracts more admirers than most tourist attractions.

Cycling

This scenic route has three “arms” that are connected by ferry crossings. Hardanger is a popular tourist area and there is a lot of car traffic during the summer months. The quietest cycle ride is along the old road from Jondal to Utne (County Road 520), which runs along the Hardanger fiord and along lush orchards. The road from Norheimsund to Granvin (County Road 7) will also give you a great view towards the fiord, but this section has more traffic. On this route you should start you cycle ride with a visit to Steindalsfossen. In terms of traffic, the most demanding part of the route is the one from Kinsarvik to Odda and from there onwards to Låtefossen (National Road 13). There are also a number of tunnels here, but most of them can be bypassed on the “outside”.

Hiking

There are plenty of hiking options in Hardanger, and many of them will give you a panoramic view of the fiord arms in the area. The highly challenging walk to Trolltunga is the best known hike around here. Every year around 100,000 visitors embark on this walk in order to take the iconic picture of themselves on Trolltunga above Lake Ringedalsvatnet.

But Hardanger also offers a large number of hikes without the same crowds. A walk to Buarbreen gives you a close look at the glacier, but also lets you experience one of the beautiful valleys in Western Norway. Here you also get to see the Folgefonna glacier at close range. Husedalen is well-known to many people, and international tourists are particularly numerous among those who come to see the four waterfalls of Nykkjesøyfossen, Søtefossen, Tveitafossen and Nyastølfossen, which are found on the outskirts of Hardangervidda National Park.

Nearby you will also find Dronningstien - the Queen's Trail - which is well known for being one of the Queen’s favourite walks. Further west by Jonsdal and Herand you will also find hiking trails to Vikanuten, Samlen and - perhaps the nicest of them all – Haugsvarden, with an amazing view of the Hardanger fiord all the way to the top.

You will find more great roadside hikes in the Outtt hiking guide.

Norwegian Scenic Route Hardanger consists of four stretches: Granvin - Steinsdalsfossen (Road 79/49), Norheimsund - Tørvikbygd (Road 49), Jondal - Utne, and Kinsarvik (Road 550) - Låtefoss (Road 13), a total distance of 158 km. A ferry operates from Tørvikbygd - Jondal and from Kinsarvik - Utne - Kvandal. Norwegian Scenic Route Hardanger is open for traffic throughout the year. The section across the Hardangervidda mountain plateau may be closed for short periods during the winter if the weather is bad. There are restrictions on the length of buses on County Road 550 between Alsaker and Herand and the maximum length is 12.4 metres. In the menu below you will find useful links that we hope will be helpful. For more tourist information, please contact local and regional tourist agents.

Travelling by electric car? Map of EV charging points in Hardanger.

Traffic and road information - Telephone +47 815 48 991.
Traffic alerts in map >>

GPS: Granvin 60.529691, 6.728418 -
Steinsdalsfossen 60.36635, 6.089795 -
Tørvikbygd 60.300897, 6.171586.
Jondal 60.275681, 6.251585 -
Utne 60.424003, 6.211802.
Kinsarvik 60.375893, 6.719231 -
Låtefoss 59.944362, 6.584351

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