Magical and mighty Hardanger
Hardanger offers everything from Netlix’s Viking sets to an industrial book town, Trolltunga, Vøringsfossen waterfall and glaciers that tower over the fjord.
If you want to experience the rawest, deepest and most fascinating aspects of Western Norway, Hardanger is the destination for you. It takes about four hours to get to Hardanger directly from the airport at Sola, and you will arrive in Odda, the industrial town at the heart of the Sørfjord. The adventure offers some of Norway's most spectacular mountain hikes, gigantic waterfalls, cider safaris from village to village along the fjord, and extraordinary spa and hotel experiences.
Hardanger is not only known for its fresh apple cider and blossoming plum orchards. It also tells the history of how the industrial nation of Norway became established more than a century ago. Towering waterfalls were channelled through pipes, and the energy produced by the turbines could power smelting plants that brought enormous revenues to the local communities. Much of the industry has now gone, but the atmosphere is preserved and the communities remain.
If you travel along the main road from Odda towards Kinsarvik, you can stop at the different villages and soak up enough inspiration to see you through winter. There are paths up the mountainside to viewpoints that will take your breath away. At the top of Eidfjord you can drive up the hairpin bends in Måbødalen valley and behold Vøringsfossen – the most beautiful and powerful waterfall in all of Norway.
On the north side of the Hardangerfjord is the beautiful Norheimsund, with wonderful hotels and RIB boats that allow you to experience the landscape from the fjord – a sight for the gods. If you want to get even closer to the fjord, take a sauna on a floating jetty and jump out into the autumn-cold water, or go kayaking and break the mirrorlike surface with your paddle.
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