Archive For The “Europe” Category

Trolltunga

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. Rated extra-demanding by the Norwegian Trekking Association, the…

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Tyssedal Via Ferrata

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…

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Voringsfossen

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…

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Husadalen Valley

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 above, 200ft (60m) Nykkjesoyfossen and finally 800ft…

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Odda Arrival

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. Besides the scenery, Odda also…

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Sunnhordland

Sunnhordland

The Sunnhordland district of Fjord Norway includes the mountainous islands and waterways just north of Haugesund at the mouth of Hardangerfjord. The region is full of beautiful, sheltered anchorages and has many excellent view hikes and other attractions, highlighted in their informative tourism brochure. After three weeks leisurely cruising Ryfylkefjordane directly to the south, we…

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Fonnabu

Fonnabu

After getting closer and closer to the Folgefonna Icefield with each hike, we finally reached the glacier from Sundal at Fonnabu. The hike was challenging, at 8 total miles (12km) one-way from Dirona with an altitude gain of 4,767ft (1,453m), but very much worth the effort. We initially walked on the wide and beautifully maintained…

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Sundal

Sundal

Sundal has been a major tourist destination since the mid 1800s, when people flocked to the area to ascend the Folgefonna icefield. Initially visitors walked up to the glacier and crossed with horses and sleighs, but by 1890 demand was sufficient to build a carriage road up to the plateau. 150 years later, reaching the…

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Eldoy Islands

Eldoy Islands

From the summit of Tysnessata, the complex group of islands we could see along the northwest shore of Stord looked ideal for exploration by boat and tender. We found sheltered anchorage there in the Eldoy Islands, where we stayed for three nights, extensively explored the area by tender and also waiting out a small weather…

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Gripnesvagen

Gripnesvagen

Gripnesvagen is a beautiful, nearly land-locked anchorage at the north end of Tysnes with a great view to the islands’s highest point, 2467-ft (752m) Tysnessata. From the east side of Tysnes we cruised through the narrow and scenic channel Lukksund to spend two nights at Gripnesvagen, where we toured the area by tender, hiked up…

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Husnesfjorden

Husnesfjorden

We enjoyed the anchorage below Hovlandsnuten so much that we spent a third night there. After climbing Hovlandsnuten and Melderskin, we gave our hiking boots and legs a break on that final day and toured Husnesfjorden by tender. After passing through the scenic waterway Laukhammarsundet south of our anchorage, we crossed to the east side…

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Melderskin

Melderskin

The summit of 4678-ft (1426m) Melderskin has a spectacular view east to the Folgefonna Icefield. The vistas west along the way up are impressive too, but the eastward scene is breathtaking, all the more so because it’s hidden from sight until the summit is reached. With an average grade of 26% over a 3-mile (4.8km)…

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Hovlandsnuten

Hovlandsnuten

Hovlandsnuten soars 2,385ft (727m) nearly straight up along the east shore of the island Tysnes. On a beautiful, sunny day, we made a four-hour run from Etnefjorden and anchored directly below the mountain. A quick tender ride brought us ashore and we were at the top within two hours. The view isn’t apparent until the…

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Olsfjorden

Olsfjorden

While we were rounding the world in Dirona, so too was the oil rig Polar Pioneer, including a stop at our home port of Seattle. The rig circumnavigated in 2014-2016, starting in Norway, then to Singapore and on to Alaska for an assignment, then to Seattle and back to Norway via South America. While in…

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Matersfjorden

Matersfjorden

Matersfjorden is one of the wettest regions in the country and in 2005 received 8.8 inches (223 mm) of rainfall in 24 hours, the second highest ever recorded in Norway. The fjord also is home to the 230MW Blafalli Vik power station and some fabulous scenery, with 4,087ft (1,246m) Ulvanosa soaring above the waterway and…

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Mjelkhaug

Mjelkhaug

The five-hour return hike to 3,300ft (1,005m) Mjelkhaug is a combination of two other hikes: a three-hour circular loop to Nordjfell, with a one-hour extension to Varhaugselet and an additional hour to reach Mjelkhaug. All three hikes have excellent views west into Hardangerfjorden, while from Mjelkhaug you also can see the Folgefonna glaciers. On another…

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Kattnakken

Kattnakken

The large TV tower atop 2,375ft (724m) Kattnakken on the island of Stord was a common sight as we traveled around the mouth of Hardangerfjord. We first spied it from the summit of Siggjo on the adjacent island of Bomlo, and decided that would be our likely next hike. From the anchorage at Karihavet, we…

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Siggjo

Siggjo

1555 ft (474m) Siggjo on Bomlo was prominent in the skyline north of our anchorage at Karihavet near Moster. And if the summit was so visible, we could be sure the views from the top would be excellent. Our second day at Karihavet dawned beautifully clear, so we set off in the tender to hike…

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