Norway’s second-longest fjord, Hardangerfjord stretches nearly 124 miles (200 kilometers) inland from the Atlantic. Highlights include a massive glacier covering more than 77 square miles (200 square kilometers) and Troll’s Tongue (Trolltunga) rock, hanging 2,300 feet (701 meters) above Ringedalsvatnet Lake in Odda.
Hardangerfjord starts about 50 miles (80 kilometers) south of Bergen and heads northeast while branching into smaller fjords. Visitors can take guided walks on the glacier or hike on well-marked paths around the fjord. The hike up to Trolltunga is challenging and not for the faint of heart, but rewards hikers with sweeping views of the fjord and surrounding area, as well as some fantastic photo opportunities. There are also several interesting museums along the fjord, including the Hardanger Folk Museum in Ullensvang, the Norwegian Museum of Hydropower and Industry in Odda, and the Hardanger Maritime Museum and Kabuso Art Centre in Kvam.
Private guided day trips and self-guided tours from Bergen generally travel the length of the fjord, taking in the waterfall- and mountain-dotted scenery along the way. Some tours travel by a combination of bus, train, and boat, so visitors can experience diverse viewpoints.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Hardangerfjord is a must-visit destination for outdoor and adventure lovers.
- Hardangerfjord is an easy 1-day tour from Bergen.
- There is an excellent tourist infrastructure in the area, with plenty of well-marked trails and cabins, if you want to stay overnight.
- Trolltunga is a challenging 1-day hike that requires proper gear and good footwear.
How to Get There
Hardangerfjord is more than an hour’s drive from Bergen, where you can catch a boat (daily) to the village of Rosendal on the southern shore of the fjord. To explore the fjord by boat, numerous services run guided sightseeing tours, stopping at towns, such as Herand, Utne, Lofthus, Kinsarvik, and Ulvik. Alternatively, skip the hassle by visiting on an organized tour that leaves from Bergen.
When to Get There
Hardangerfjord is accessible year-round but is perhaps at its prettiest in spring when the area’s many fruit trees are in bloom. The best time to hike to Trolltunga is between May and September—snow and ice can create hazardous conditions outside of those months.
Orchard of Norway
Sometimes known as “the orchard of Norway,” around 40 percent of Norway’s fruit is grown around Hardangerfjord. English monks introduced apples to the region in the 13th century, and today one of its most famous products is a strong, alcoholic cider.