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SUMMER BY THE HARDANGERFJORD

Wildly beautiful

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Discover Hardangerfjord in winter

Hiking to Vøringsfossen in Hardanger .
Photo: Visit Norway
Hiking to the Vøringsfossen in Hardanger .
Photo: Visit Norway

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 of those places. Let the natural rage of the waterfalls spray your face, and the rich flavors of the world’s best cider fill you up.

Hiking to Vøringsfossen in Hardanger .
Photo: Visit Norway
Hiking to Vøringsfossen in Hardanger .
Photo: Visit Norway

Standing on Trolltunga is a question of “when” rather than “if” for the expert hiker (but no worries if you aren’t – there are plenty of less strenuous world-class hikes in the area).

You’ll surely earn a mark for toughness after the 10–14 kilometres to the top, as this is no hike for quitters!

With Trolltunga Active and Trolltunga Adventure, you can join guided hikes to the tip of the mountain’s protruding tongue all year round.

Hiking Trolltunga .
Photo: Robert Bye / Unsplash
Hiking Trolltunga .
Photo: Robert Bye / Unsplash

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!

Trolltunga sunset/sunrise in Hardangerfjord .
Photo: Algirdas Zabitis / Trolltunga Active
Trolltunga sunset/sunrise in Hardangerfjord .
Photo: Algirdas Zabitis / Trolltunga Active

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 an activity goldmine.

People climbing the Via ferrata at Trolltunga .
Photo: Visit Norway
Climbing the Via ferrata at Trolltunga .
Photo: Visit Norway

Let the skilled Folgefonni Glacier Team lead you across the mighty Folgefonna. Soak up some knowledge about the natural forces responsible for the deep cracks and changes in the glacier.

And don’t forget to enjoy the view of the mystical blue ice underfoot and the turquoise fjord that seems to stretch to the edge of the world.

Glacier hiking at Folgefonna .
Photo: Yrjan Olsnes / Visit Norway
Glacier hiking at Folgefonna .
Photo: Yrjan Olsnes / Visit Norway

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?

Summer ski at Fonna glacier ski resort in the Hardangerfjord region, Fjord Norway .
Photo: Visit Hardangerfjord
Summer ski at Fonna glacier ski resort in the Hardangerfjord region, Fjord Norway .
Photo: Visit Hardangerfjord

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? Butterflies in your stomach are guaranteed!

Feel the power from the cascading water, and let the sound drown 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 extra steps.

Hiking by the Vøringsfossen in Hardanger .
Photo: Visit Norway
Hiking by the Vøringsfossen waterfall in Hardanger .
Photo: Visit Norway

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 a most unusual angle of the rapids!

Steinsdalsfossen in the Hardangerfjord region .
Photo: Bjørn Andresen / Statens Vegvesen Architect: Jarmund / Vigsnæs AS
Steinsdalsfossen in the Hardangerfjord region .
Photo: Bjørn Andresen / Statens Vegvesen Architect: Jarmund / Vigsnæs AS

Speaking of special – Hardangerfjord has the prettiest orchards in Norway.

In spring, the hills are speckled with white flowers, and in autumn, they are heavy with fruit – like the juiciest apples you’ll ever taste!

Blooming in Hardanger .
Photo: Haara / Visit Norway
Blooming in Hardanger .
Photo: Haara / Visit Norway

Experience for yourself why the cider houses in Hardanger keep winning awards for their “Nordic champagne”.

Cruise the Sørfjord with the Cider boat, or join the guided fruit and cider route in Ulvik (tastings included).

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 – yum!

Hiking the Cider-route .
Photo: Haara / Visit Norway
Hiking the Cider-route .
Photo: Haara / Visit Norway

Aga sideri is one of several high-quality cider producers in the Sørfjorden area. Once a traditional family farm, Aga is now a hip and award-winning cider company.

The apples here get plenty of love and care to become the golden happy bubbles of your dreams.

Aga Sideri in the Hardangerfjord region .
Photo: Øystein Haara
Aga Sideri in the Hardangerfjord region .
Photo: Øystein Haara

Only 50 metres from this cider paradise lies Agatunet, an idyllic hamlet with houses dating back to around 1220.

History lies thick between these wooden walls, and you can join guided tours, art shows, and cultural and historical exhibitions.

Agatunet in Hardanger .
Photo: Frode Inge Helland
Agatunet in Hardanger .
Photo: Frode Inge Helland

Here, you’ll also find the historic Utne hotel, that has been serving guests for more than 300 years and promotes itself as a “Cider hotel”.

The hosts associate the charm of creaking floorboards with staying in an old history book.

And it is no secret that the hotel you stay in will give you a feeling for the area. In Hardanger, the struggle will be to choose among all the unique and historic hotels!

Utne Hotel in Hardanger .
Photo: Matt Coch / Utne Hotel
Utne Hotel in Hardanger .
Photo: Matt Coch / Utne Hotel

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...

Hotel Ullensvang in the Hardangerfjord region, Fjord Norway .
Photo: Visit Hardangerfjord
Hotel Ullensvang in Hardangerfjord, Fjord Norway .
Photo: Visit Hardangerfjord

...Which might be the best choice after a full day’s hike. For instance up the Munketrappene stairs to the famous HM Queen Sonja’s panoramic hiking trail.

Hiking Dronningstien in the Hardangerfjord region, Fjord Norway .
Photo: Visit Hardangerfjord
Hiking Dronningstien in Hardangerfjord, Fjord Norway .
Photo: Visit Hardangerfjord

Before you leave the Hardangerfjord region, you need to experience yet another historical attraction: the secret gardens of 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 barony of Rosendal .
Photo: Visit Norway
The barony of Rosendal .
Photo: Visit Norway

But in Hardanger, culture comes in many different clothings. Some claim that the Hardangerbunad is Norway’s most popular national costume, with its various colour and embroidery combinations.

In nearby Utne, the Hardanger Folk Museum will give you a deeper understanding of the rich traditions and folklore of the area.

The Hardanger bunad .
Photo: Visit Norway
The Hardanger bunad .
Photo: Visit Norway

Are you ready to start exploring?
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Bondhusvatnet in Kvinnherad in the Hardangerfjord region .
Photo: Tor Hveem
Bondhusvatnet in Kvinnherad in the Hardangerfjord region .
Photo: Tor Hveem

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    Photo: Trolltunga Active
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    Photo: Trolltunga Active
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    Photo: Discover Norway
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    Photo: Visit Fonna
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