‘The fruit trees start flowering in May, first the plum trees and cherry trees at the same time, followed by the apple trees. The air is pure and clear, and the fjord is a sparkling blue,’ says Olav Bleie, apple grower and cider producer on the Sørfjord in Hardanger. He is one of the many local farmers who tend to the blossoming hillsides along the fjords in Fjord Norway every spring.

But the explosion of colour and fragrance doesn’t come from the apple, pear, cherry and plum trees alone. The magical atmosphere comes from all the nature in bloom in the fjord landscape, from Ryfylke to the Hardangerfjord, the Sognefjord, Nordfjord, the Geirangerfjord and the fjords in the north of Fjord Norway. If you visit one of the fjords in bloom between the end of April and the second half of June, you’re guaranteed memories for a lifetime.

© Visit Hardangerfjord

Cider safari in Hardanger

In order to really see Fjord Norway in bloom in spring, you need to be mobile. The changing weather, which is the main ingredient in the explosive growth season, leads to considerable variation in the timing of the flowering season and between areas. If you would like to experience spring in the apple region Hardanger, we recommend driving from Odda past Lofthus and Kinsarvik to the Hardanger Bridge. On this route, you can enjoy spectacular views of the Folgefonna glacier to the west and row upon row of apple trees in bloom on the hillsides to the east. There are also many apple orchards along the west side of the fjord. See our tour guide to the spring flowering season in Fjord Norway.

© Visit Hardangerfjord

In Lofthus, right beside the venerable Ullensvang Hotel, you can stop and do the ‘Fruit Trail’ between rows of blossoming apples trees. You can also buy a bottle of apple cider from one of the farms you pass. Or you can join a cruise, ‘Cider safari’ in the Sørfjord, that visits local producers like Aga Sideri, Åkre gård – Edel, Alde Sider and Hardangergutane. Their delicious products are so highly rated that ‘Cider from Hardanger’ has been designated a protected geographical brand in the EU on a par with Champagne.

‘If the popularity of cider from Hardanger keeps growing, we soon won’t have enough apple trees here,’ says Olav Bleie, who runs Alde Sider on the west side of the Sørfjord.

© Visit Hardangerfjord

Spring flowering in the south

For those who are fascinated by exotic flora, a visit to Flor & Fjære in Stavanger makes for a spring experience beyond compare. On the little island of Sør-Hidle, a 20-minute boat trip from the wharf in the city centre, the Bryn family has cultivated a sea of flowers, bushes, and trees not found in the flora of Fjord Norway.

Thanks to its professional shelterbelt design and a very mild climate, you can experience 50,000 annuals, Hollywood palm trees, Japanese banana trees, Spanish cork trees, and Australian eucalyptus in the garden paradise at Sør-Hidle.

Flor & Fjære organises return boat trips from Stavanger every day from May onwards, where guests get to experience a trip on the fjord, a guided tour of the exotic garden, and a three-course dinner in the gourmet restaurant with sea views that has been serving visitors to the island for more than 20 years.

Flor & Fjære|© Flor & Fjære

If you find yourself further north during the spring flowering season in Fjord Norway, the meadow of daffodils at Gossen is a must-see. The meadow in front of Aukra church, beside the island’s ferry quay, has been a sea of yellow every April since the 18th century. The minister Alexander Borch brought the flower bulbs back from central Europe on his way back from a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. The mild climate of Fjord Norway has suited these bulbs so well that they have multiplied every year since and are now the first sign of spring in Aukra.

© Øyvind Leren

If you would like to experience a riot of flowers in Sunnmøre, head to Valldal, Norddal and Stordal, which make up a celebrated area for berries, fruit and vegetables innermost in the sheltered fjord landscape. Here you are in the very heart of Fjord Norway, surrounded by snow-clad mountains and fjords. A wide range of activities are also available here, from glacier walks and summit tours to kayaking, climbing and abseiling.

Rhododendrons and delicacies

The north of Fjord Norway is a paradise for people who love flowers, and at Svinvik arboretum on the Todalsfjord, Nordmøre Museum has a collection of conifers from across the world, shrubs, orchards, and old perennials. The professional green fingers behind the project have cultivated magnificent rhododendrons in the garden.

© Svinviks arboret

When spring comes around in mid-May, Svinvik arboretum serves homemade apple cake decorated with apple tree blossoms – a specialty for flower lovers. A walk around the arboretum can easily be extended into a longer walk on the surrounding trails, and yet another experience awaits after that. At Svinvik gard, you will find one of the most authentic restaurants in Nordmøre, which offers menus based on local fare like game from the Trollheimen mountains, shellfish from the Todalsfjord, and vegetables from neighbouring farms.

Springfulness

Did you know that the sounds, smells and sights of spring produce serotonin in the brain. It creates a unique kind of happiness. We call it SPRINGFULNESS.

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