The beautiful Hardangerfjord is just 4 hours away from our hometown Jørpeland in Ryfylke. Sørfjorden (the Southern Fjord) may be the most stunning sidearm of the Hardangerfjord. Here, mountain walls rise more than 1,000 meters up from the sea. At their base, you’ll find narrow roads, winding along the fjord’s shoreline, past picturesque apple (cider) and other fruit farms. The summits on the west side of the fjord are blanketed with glaciers forming the Folgefonna ice cap, while the Hardangervidda mountain plateau borders the east side of the fjord. And everywhere you look, you’ll find roaring, steaming waterfalls, tumbling down hundreds of meters.
The last years, Hardanger has fostered a true Norwegian hiking icon: Trolltunga. However, there are tons of stunning mountain hikes all around the fjord.
On this adventure, we used Hardanger Hostel B&B in the cozy town of Lofthus as our base. Outside the summer season, it is a so-called Folk High School. For me, it is where my Norwegian life chapter started in 2006.
From Lofthus, we hiked Dronningstien from Kinsarvik and back, following the rim of the Hardangervidda, offering vistas of the fjord, Lofthus, the surrounding mountains, and the glaciers. Along the way, we visited the Rjukandefoss waterfall, before hiking the hundreds of years-old Munketreppene (The Monks’ Staircase) down again.
In Husedalen Valley, you can hike from Kinsarvik up to the Hardangervidda mountain plateau, passing 4 breathtaking waterfalls along the way.
On the west side of the fjord, we hiked Buførevegen. Parts of the trail are stone-paved by Sherpas from Nepal, and you could call the trail a Stairway to Heaven. The steep parts are rewarded with fantastic views of the fjord, Lofthus, and the east side mountains.
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