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You can get impressions of places through Instagram – but some places you need to see, feel, and smell for yourself.
The Hardangerfjord region in Fjord Norway is one such place. Feel the natural power of the waterfalls as the mist sprays your face, and taste the rich flavours of the world’s best cider.
For the advanced hiker, reaching the top Trolltunga is a question of “when” rather than “if”. However, don't worry – there are plenty of less strenuous world-class hikes in the area, too.
You’ll surely earn a mark for toughness after the 10–14 kilometres to the top, as this is not a hike for quitters!
Do you want to bask in the glory of having made it to the top for a while?
Spend the night glamping in a sunset/sunrise dome with a glass ceiling!
For another exhilarating adventure, try one of the via ferratas in the area, or explore the world’s third-longest fjord in a kayak or on a RIB safari.
Come to think of it, the whole region is a goldmine of activities.
Let the skilled Folgefonni Glacier Team lead you across the mighty Folgefonna. Soak up some knowledge about the natural forces responsible for the deep crevasses and changes in the glacier.
Enjoy the unique sight of mystical blue ice underfoot and the turquoise fjord that seems to stretch to the edge of the world.
The opportunities continue at the summer ski resort Fonna, where you can ski for the first time, tweak your already excellent freestyle skills, or go cross-country skiing.
Or maybe you’d like to see if snowshoeing is your thing?
Prepare for jaw-dropping sights as you venture out on the Norwegian Scenic Route Hardangervidda, which will take you to some truly impressive sights.
One of the highlights is the Vøringsfossen waterfall.
Do you dare to step out on a viewpoint that hangs above one of the deepest canyons in Norway? An adrenaline hit is guaranteed!
Feel the power of the cascading water, as the rushing sound drowns out everything else.
If you continue through the narrow Måbødalen valley, you’ll reach the fjord village Eidfjord, another activity hub.
A detour up to the old mountain farm Kjeåsen, 600 metres above the fjord, is well worth the hike.
The route goes on to Øystese and Norheimsund, which have several excellent museums, as well as another unique waterfall: Steinsdalsfossen.
Check out this pathway behind the 50-metre drop, which gives you an inside view of the waterfall!
Hardangerfjord is home to the prettiest orchards in Norway.
In spring, the hills are speckled with white flowers, and in autumn, the trees are laden with fruit, including the juiciest apples you’ll ever taste!
Taste for yourself why the cider makers in Hardanger are repeatedly winning awards for their “Nordic champagne”.
Syse gard is one of three farm stops on the cider route. For five generations, the farmers here have made all of their products on site. Taste their jams, cider, apple juice, ice cream, and exquisite lamb meat – delicious!
Aga sideri is one of several high-quality cider producers in the Sørfjorden area. Once a traditional family farm, Aga is now a hip, award-winning cider company.
The apples here get plenty of love and care to help them become the golden, happy bubbles of your dreams.
Only 50 metres from this cider paradise lies Agatunet, an idyllic cluster farm with houses dating back to around 1220.
There is certainly a lot of history in its wooden walls. Agatunet offers guided tours, and hosts art exhibits and events, and cultural and historical exhibitions.
Here, you’ll also find the historic Utne hotel, which has been welcoming guests for more than 300 years and calls itself "the cider hotel".
With its traditional charm and creaking floorboards, the hosts liken a stay there with being inside an old history book.
And it is no secret that the hotel in which you stay will give you a feel for the area. In Hardanger, the struggle will be to choose among all the unique and historic hotels!
One example is the noble Ullensvang hotel in Lofthus, where you can go for a swim both indoors and outdoors, or just lie back and admire the fjordscape from a steaming hot sauna...
...Which might be the best choice after a full day of hiking. One popular trail is up the Munketrappene stairs to the famous HM Queen Sonja’s panoramic hiking trail.
Before you leave the Hardangerfjord region, you must experience yet another historical attraction: the beautiful gardens at Baroniet Rosendal.
This castle from the 1600s might be the smallest in Scandinavia, but its scenic park and rose garden make up for it many times over.
The culture wears many costumes in Hardanger. Some claim that the Hardangerbunad is Norway’s most popular national costume, with its many colour and embroidery combinations.
In nearby Utne, the Hardanger Folk Museum gives you a deeper understanding of the rich traditions and folklore of the area.
Are you ready to start exploring?
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