Sunndal National Park Centre has registered a total of 70 large and small waterfalls in the Sunndalen valley alone. Vinnu is the best known in the valley itself, since American waterfall observers declared it to be the sixth tallest waterfall at 865 metres. The water comes from the glacier Vinnu, which is the biggest glacier between the Svartisen and Jostedalsbreen glaciers.

1. Vinnu

Above one of Norway's loveliest picnic areas, the world’s sixth longest waterfall, Vinnu, plunges 865 metres down the mountainside. It is ranked 77th among the world’s most beautiful waterfalls, according to worldwaterfalldatabase.com. The part of Vinnu beside the picnic spot at Holskeidet north of Sunndalsøra, is ranked the highest rapids in Norway!

The waterfalls at its best

The amount of water in the waterfall varies, naturally enough, and it is most impressive in June, particularly after a heavy rain shower and high temperatures in the mountains. No wonder the waterfall, or just ‘the fall’ as the locals like to call the phenomenon, is also described as looking like a bridal veil when the wind blows along the mountainsides. Make sure you´re careful when you´re driving on the classified road, as tourists often stop to take photos of this impressive sight.

© Oddgeir Visnes

2. Lindalsfallet

Lindalsfallet, or Lindalsfossen, is the most majestic waterfall, which makes its way down into Åmotan in upper Sunndal. It has a free fall of 110 metres. The waterfall cannot be seen from either Jenstad or Svisdalen, which means you have to walk some distance. Ørnsnydda at Jenstadsida is a great viewpoint for the view across to the Lindalsfallet waterfall, and is well worth the trip. But be careful along the edge of the gorge as the stones and topsoil are loose.

The meaning of Åmotan

"Åmotan means river meeting – and there can hardly be a better definition of this natural phenomenon."

‘Å’ means river and ‘mota’ means meeting. Åmotan quite simply means river meeting, and there can hardly be a better definition of this natural phenomenon south of Gjøra, where rivers from six valleys meet. Both the Lindalsfallet and Svøufallet waterfalls meet here. Old mountain farms cling to the mountainside above the gorge. You can see Åmotan at close range if you go on a Tractor Safari with Visit Waterfalls.

3. Svøufallet

Svøufallet is ranked among the 100 most beautiful waterfalls in the world! At the car park beside the waterfall on the way up to Svisdalen, you'll find yourself standing above Svøufallet where you can watch the waterfall plunging 156 metres. Its total fall however is 313 metres.

If you would like to walk down to Åmotan and experience the intensity of Svøufallet, which is known as a horsetail waterfall, it’s best to go down from Jenstad. We can promise you a real cold shower! You'll get a real sense of Åmotan up close, not least during the spring flood and after it has rained a lot in the mountains. Åmotan can take your breath away, both literally and metaphorically.

Svøufallet waterfall in Sunndal|© Oddgeir Visnes

4. Tågfossen

Tågfossen, or Tågbekken as it’s known locally, comes down from Tågvatna lake (1,088 metres) and ends up in Dalavatnet lake at the bottom of the valley. Tågfossen waterfall thus has a free fall of more than 700 metres. The waterfall is an impressive sight in early summer, especially after warm weather, but it can be reduced to a trickle or stop completely in late summer. It is ranked as the 28th highest waterfall in the world, but comes in as the 9th longest continuous waterfall with its 706 metres. Tågfossen waterfall is also a popular destination for base jumpers, and for ice climbing in winter.

Tågfossen waterfall in Sunndal|© Oddgeir Visnes

Along Norway´s wildest detour

You may have heard of the Trollstigen road in Romsdalen valley? One of Norway´s most dramatic and frequently visited natural attractions? In Sunndal, we have Aursjøveien road – a section of road that is not as well known, but that a lot of people compare to Trollstigen. Waterfalls are lined up along this road from Sunndalsøra to Eidsvåg. Although most of the water in this area is conducted through pipelines to large dams, there are still many impressive free-falling waterfalls. The most spectacular among them are Tågfossen and Mardalsfossen.

5. Mardalsfossen waterfall

It´s impossible not to spot Mardalsfossen, a plunge waterfall over several levels, in the Eikesdalen valley. The fall is 655 metres in total, while the highest single fall is said to be 297 metres, although the height varies depending on who you ask. There is a waymarked path up to the waterfall from the car park in Mardalen valley. The walk takes about 45 minutes. You can walk right up to the waterfall, but be prepared for a shower. Both waterfalls are plunge waterfalls and the uppermost fall is the biggest. The waterfalls culminate in a somewhat smaller cascade at the bottom.

Seasonal waterfall

The river Mardøla is regulated for power development by Grytten power plant, but from 20 June to 20 August, it releases three cubic metres of water per second all day as a tourism initiative. The water is otherwise conducted by pipe to Grøttavatnet and Mongevatnet reservoirs.

Mardalsfossen waterfall|© Mattias Fredriksson

Written by Tommy Fossum