Hardanger

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Hardanger is a traditional region in Hordaland, Norway. It comprises the Hardangerfjord and surrounding area. Despite its location below the glacier and the rough highlands, Hardanger enjoys a mild climate and has for centuries been a centre for fruit production in Norway. But Hardanger also include wilde waterfalls, alpine summits, high plateaus and major glaciers.

Panorama of the mountains along the Ulvikfjord, a side arm of the Hardangerfjord in Western Norway.

Regions[edit]

Hardanger (green) within Hordaland county

Hardanger consists of the following municipalities: Jondal, Kvam, Granvin, Ulvik, Eidfjord, Ullensvang and Odda

Towns[edit]

  • Odda - The only real city in the region. Industrial city settled in the far end of Sørfjorden.
  • Norheimsund - Commercial center of the region. Entrance point when arriving from Bergen.
  • Øystese - Commercial center. Almost merged with Norheimsund.
  • Rosendal - Small village that is a popular stop among tourists. Famous for Norway's only barony, dated back to 1665.
  • Ulvik - Small village in the deep end of the Hardangerfjord.
  • Granvin - Small village. Entrance point when arriving from Voss.
  • Eidfjord - Small village. Entrance point when arriving from Oslo.
  • Lofthus - Small village. Home to the annual cherry-festival

Other destinations[edit]

Hardangervidda - Largest mountain plateau in Europe and the largest national park in Norway. Folgefonna - Glacier located on the east side of the Hardangerfjord Kvamskogen - Mountain area. Home to several skiing resorts.

Understand[edit]

When thinking of Norway, most people think of fjords and mountains, and to that degree, Hardanger is one the most stereotypical Norwegian areas in Norway. The region covers the area from Kvam in the west, up north along the Hardangerfjord to Granvin and Ulvik in the north, Eidfjord in the east, and down along the Sørfjord to Odda in the south. Roads cling to the mountainsides along the fjord, and there are three ferries crossing the fjords. Apart from the grand nature, the region is most famous for it's huge fruit production. Farms growing apples, pears, cherries and plums cover almost all the fields along the fjords. This makes the region a spectacular travel location during the fruit blooming in May and early June. The region is also home of several notable artists, musicians and writers. The mountain-areas of the region are good locations for skiing and winter sports. The Folgefonna glacier also has a summer-ski center.

Bondhusbreen arm of Folgefonna

Get in[edit]

By car


From Bergen

  • Follow E39 to Arna where you enter E16, which will take you all the way to Norheimsund. 74km.

From Voss

  • Follow RV13 south to Granvin. 26km.

From Oslo

  • Follow E18 to Drammen, from there take E134 to Kongsberg. Follow RV40 for about 150km where you enter RV7. Follow this road to Eidfjord. 328km


By bus

From Bergen

From Voss

From Oslo


By train Bergen and Voss are the nearest railway stations.

  • NSB operates the railway from Oslo and Bergen to Voss. Use bus from Voss.


By boat

  • There are no boat lines serving Hardanger, however you can easily sail here in your own boat. Follow the Hardangerfjord to Norheimsund where you will find a well equipped guest-harbor.

Get around[edit]

The easiest way of getting around once you reach Hardanger, is by using a car. If you bring a bicycle, the area is well suited for biking trips. Hiking in Hardanger is also recommended.

By bus[edit]

If you would like to travel by bus or coach, the national coach operator is called NOR-WAY Bussekspress. Further regional and local buses are managed by the public transport authority in Hordaland, Skyss on Public Service Obligations. In Hardanger, you may find some lines to be rather infrequent. Some lines run only a handful of times per day, some only on schooldays and so on. Even so, the network does cover most areas.

See[edit]

Vøringsfosse waterfall and canyon below.

Nature[edit]

  •    Vøringsfossen waterfall and canyonMåbødalen/Hardangervidda (Road 7). 24 h. About 180 meter fall into a wild canyon. The waterfall has been a major tourist attraction and icon since it was first described by visitors in the 1800s. Road 7 along the canyon is a masterpiece of engineering. The road makes a full circle within the mountain in order to make the steep ascent. Free.
  •    Hardangerjøkulen (glacier)Finse/Hardangervidda (Road 7). 24 h. One the large glaciers in Norway, between road 7 (Hardangervidda road) and Bergen railway (Finse-Myrdal). Visible from a long distance because of its elevation above Hardangervidda plateau. Caution: Hiking the glacier is only for experts, do not attempt a hike on your own. Free.
  •    Folgefonna (glacier). 24 h. One the large glaciers in Norway, Hardanger's main glacier, between Sørfjorden and main Hardangerfjord. Visible from a long distance because of its elevation above the deep fjords around. On clear days it is visible from Bergen and from the ocean. Arms of the big glacier stretch into the valleys below, for instance at Odda (Buerbreen) and Mauranger (Bondhusbreen in Sunndal). Summer ski resorts on the glacier. Caution: Hiking the glacier is only for experts, do not attempt a hike outside marked trails at the ski resort on your own. Free.

Culture[edit]

  •    Kinsarvik churchKinsarvik village (Road 13). Ancient (about 1160) masonry church.
  •    Tokagjelet gorge/road 7Norheimsund (Road 7). Legendary road construction through Tokagjelet gorge above Norheimsund village. Old road construction still available from new tunnel deeper in mountain.

Itineraries[edit]

Do[edit]

Eat[edit]

Hardanger is famous for it's fruit. Small fruit stalls can be found along all major roads from late summer 'till mid-fall. Most of these stalls are not manned, but rely on the honesty of the customer. Most often there is a small jar where you leave the money for the purchased products. Stealing from these jars would be considered extremely rude.

Drink[edit]

The Hardanger apple-cider is world famous, and should be tried if you find yourself in the region. The cider comes in both alcoholic and non-alcoholic variants. However, due to national law, the variant containing alcohol can no longer be sold outside the state owned liquor store, where it is only rarely available, The non-alcoholic variant is sold from the fruit stall along all major roads from August 'till early October. The price ranges from 50NOK to 80NOK per litre.

Stay safe[edit]

Go next[edit]

Routes through Hardanger
Hønefoss ← Geilo ←  E Riksvei 7.svg W  Trengereid (E16)
Stavanger ← Suldal ←  S Riksvei 13.svg N  VossBalestrand



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