Hardangerfjord


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Hardangerfjord is the second longest fjord in Norway, at 96 nautical miles long, and the fourth longest in the world. The fjord extends in an inverted ‘V’ shape, extending roughly 60 miles northeast into mainland Norway, and then running another 30 miles southeast to its terminus at the town of Odda, with fabulous scenery en route.


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When we made a day trip to Hardangerjford by car from Bergen in 2018, we really wished we had time to take Dirona down the scenic waterway. This year we finally did, and it was even more beautiful than we remembered.

After spending six weeks exploring every nook and cranny in Ryfylkefjordane and then Sunnhordland, we cruised Hardangerfjord similarly over the following two weeks. Half of that time was spent at Odda, where we made several excellent hikes, including the famous Trolltunga. In Hardangerfjord, we also visited many famous Norwegian waterfalls and toured a working salmon farm.


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Below are highlights from Aug 28th through Sept 10th, 2020. Click any image for a larger view, or click the position to view the location on a map. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at mvdirona.com/maps.

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Odda Arrival
The town of Odda, at the head of Norway’s second longest fjord Hardangerfjord, has been a popular tourist destination since the early 19th century. Visitors have continued to flock there ever since to experience the spectacular natural beauty of Hardangerfjord and the surrounding area, particularly the famous rock formation Trolltunga.

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Husadalen Valley
The hike into the Husadalen Valley is considered one of the most beautiful in Norway because of the the spectacular scenery, including four major waterfalls along the way. The long-time tourist route Fossastien follows the river Kinso, with great views to 337ft (103m) Tveitafossen, 377ft (115m) Nyastolfossen pictured, 200ft (60m) Nykkjesoyfossen and finally 800ft (246m) Sotefossen. The trail also passes a historic power station, parallels its penstock up to a dam, and crosses a suspension footbridge over the river Kinso near Sotefossen.

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Voringsfossen
Voringsfossen is the best-known, most visited and most photographed waterfall in Norway. More than 650,000 visitors arrive annually to watch the falls plunge 597ft (182m) from the Hardangervidda plateau into the Mabodalen valley, alongside twin waterfall Tyssvikjofossen. Platforms built around the plateau provide wonderful views, as does a newly-completed pedestrian bridge over the flow. And the base of the falls can be reached on a trail through the Mabodalen valley alongside the river Bjoreio.

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Tyssedal Via Ferrata
The Tyssedal Via Ferrata course near Odda, Norway follows the path of the century-old penstocks that once supplied water to the Tyssedal power plant, with sweeping views along the way. The top of the penstocks is 1,300ft (400m) above sea level, with industrial buildings dating from the early days of the power plant and more great views. We really enjoyed the climb, both for the scenery and a chance to be up-close to this historic feat of engineering.

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Trolltunga
Norway’s iconic rock formation Trolltunga juts out horizontally 2,300ft (700m) above the lake Ringedalsvatnet, providing incredible photo opportunities of visitors perched way out on the edge. The hike there is one of the country’s most popular, with 80,000 annual participants, but also is among the most challenging.

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Buerbreen
Buerbreen is a glacial arm off the east side of the Folgefonna icefield near Odda, accessible through a relatively easy and interesting hike with excellent views to the glacier en route. We’d already hiked up to the west side of the icefield at Fonnabu, and after hiking to Buerbreen we’ve now stood on both sides.

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Ryfylke Scenic Route
The Ryfylke Scenic Route is one of 18 National Scenic Routes in Norway, and one of the longest and most diverse. The road leads alongside and above steep-sloped fjords, across lake-filled mountain plateaus, and past dramatic gorges and waterfalls. We drove a small portion of the route in 2018 when we visited Pulpit Rock from Stavanger, and covered much of the rest of it from Odda.

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Eidfjorden
Spectacular Eidfjorden is the innermost arm of Hardangerfjord, extending 16 nm inland from the mouth of Sorfjorden and branching into Osafjorden, Ulvikjforden and Simadalsfjorden. At the terminus of Simadalsfjorden is the beautiful Sima Valley, where high above is the famous farm Kjeasen. Dubbed the “world’s most inaccessible farm,” Kjseason is 2,000ft (600m) above sea level and was reachable only on foot until 1974.

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Fyksesund
We’ve seen a lot of fish farms in Norway and around the world, but have never set foot on one. So when we learned about the Hardanger Akvasenter, a working fish farm that is open for tours, we contacted them to find out if we could arrange a private visit. The answer was an enthusiastic yes, and we had a great time touring the farm and learning more about the industry. The farm is situated at the mouth of the waterfall-filled Fyksesund, a beautiful arm of Hardangerfjord, that we also toured by tender while we were in the area.

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Norheimsund
Steinsdalsfossen is one of the most popular waterfalls in Norway because you can walk behind it and out to the other side. The falls are easily reachable on foot from the harbour at Norheimsund, along a loop trail that circles the lake Movatnet.

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Show locations on map Click the travel log icon on the left to see these locations on a map, with the complete log of our cruise.

On the map page, clicking on a camera or text icon will display a picture and/or log entry for that location, and clicking on the smaller icons along the route will display latitude, longitude and other navigation data for that location. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at mvdirona.com/maps.

 
 


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