Road trip Hardanger in Norway 🇳🇴
The road trip Hardanger is one of the highlights of Norway because of the famous waterfalls Låtefossen and Steinsdalsfossen! Read all about the route, highlights along the way and which sights there are near the road trip route.
About the road trip Hardanger
The road trip Hardanger is located in southeastern Norway. The route is a total of 158 kilometers and is located around the Hardangerfjord, after which it is also named after. The route is also near the national park Hardangervidda.
The route runs from Låtefoss to Steinsdalsfossen and consists of several roads. These roads can be found on road maps under numbers 13, 550, 49 and 79. The road trip Hardanger goes along the entire 38 kilometer long Sørfjord and also on both sides of the Hardangerfjord.
The roads of the route are also widely used by the inhabitants of the region, which is why the roads are cleared of snow during the winter months. This allows you to drive on the tourist route all year round.
Where most tourist routes are a through route, the road trip Hardanger consists of 4 parts. This is largely because a ferry has to be used twice on the way to the other side. The ferry trip is an ideal break to enjoy the fjords from the water.
The route consists of the 4 parts Låtefoss – Kinsarvik, Utne – Jondal, Tørvikbygd – Norheimsund and Steinsdalsfossen – Granvin.
Route of the waterfalls and fruits
The road trip Hardanger is mainly known as the route of the waterfalls. There are several large and well-known waterfalls along the route, such as Låtefossen, Steinsdalsfossen and Skjervsfossen. You can also easily drive to the Espelandsfossen or the Tvindefossen, these two waterfalls are located on connecting roads.
The Hardanger region has been known for its many fruit trees since the 14th century. There are many orchards in the area and in the spring white flowers can be seen everywhere when these fruit trees are in bloom. In the fall, all the trees are full of fruit. Tasting this delicious fruit is very easy, because many fruit growers have a small stall along the road where you can buy the fresh fruit.
The fruit is also widely used to make cider. The ‘Scandinavian champagne’ is among the best in the world and the cider producers in Hardanger have already won many awards for it.
The region is also known for its culture and traditional costumes. The Hardangerbunad (traditional costume) is known for its colors and embroidery. It is also considered by many to be the country’s most popular costume. The Hardanger Folk Museum in Utne, along the way, shows more about the traditions and folklore of Hardanger.
The famous rock Trolltunga
Norway is known worldwide for its beautiful fjords and rock formations, including the Preikestolen and Trolltunga. The Trolltunga is located along the road trip Hardanger.
The rock formation rises 700 meters above the mountain lake Ringedalsvatnet and is one of the most beautiful and impressive cliffs in Norway. The Trolltunga can only be reached by a long walk. There are three walking routes, varying from a total of 20 to 40 kilometers (total there and back).
The most beautiful routes in Norway
In 2005, the Norwegian government designated a total of 18 routes as the most beautiful routes in Norway, the so-called National Scenic Routes. These Nasjonale Turistveger, as it is called in Norwegian, are the highlights of the country in terms of routes and show the diverse landscape and many sights. The road trip Hardanger is also one of these routes. The routes with National Scenic Route status have been specially adapted to welcome tourists. View points and parking spaces have been realized along the routes, as well as sanitary facilities.
Route and highlights of the road trip Hardanger
The road trip Hardanger is located around the Sørfjord and Hardangerfjord in Norway. The route consists of 4 parts, not all of which connect to each other.
The route runs between Låtefoss – Kinsarvik, Utne – Jondal, Tørvikbygd – Norheimsund and Steinsdalsfossen – Granvin. The route and sights are listed in a row from Låtefoss to Steinsdalsfossen, but the route can of course also be driven in another direction.
Route from Låtefoss to Kinsarvik
Double waterfall Låtefossen
The Låtefossen are located at the beginning of the road trip Hardanger, right next to the road. This double waterfall is one of the most famous in Norway and has attracted many tourists every year for centuries. By car you come close to the waterfalls whose water flows under the road.
The Låtefossen waterfalls are about 165 meters high and are fed by meltwater, so in spring and summer the two waterfalls are at their most powerful. There is a parking lot and a small visitor center along the road. So you can safely make a stop to admire the famous waterfalls.
Hike to the Trolltunga rock
The Trolltunga is seen by many as one of the highlights of Norway. The protruding rock resembles a tongue and rises 700 meters above the lake Ringedalsvatnet. In total, the rock formation is 1100 meters above sea level and can only be reached via a long hike. The walk of 20 to 40 kilometers in total (there are 3 different routes possible) is mainly suitable for advanced walkers.
At Tyssedal, a place that lies directly along the road trip Hardanger, there is one of the 3 parking spaces from which hiking trails lead to the Trolltunga. The route from Tyssedal is the longest, it is (round trip) in total about 40 kilometers long and the walk takes about 15 hours in total. A free shuttle bus runs from the car park to car parks P2 and P3, where the shorter routes of approximately 28 and 20 kilometers in total (round trip) start to the Trolltunga.
Combine with the Hardangervidda route and road 550 along Aga
If the route is combined with the nearby road trip Hardangervidda, it is recommended to add a 5th part to the road trip Hardanger. From the route Hardangervidda, which ends at Eidfjord near Kinsarvik, you can then drive a through route to Steinsdalsfossen.
From Eidfjord, continue on route 13 to Kinsarvik and begin the Hardanger route here. From Kinsarvik the route is then driven to Låtefoss, to drive back here and take road 550 to Utne at Odda. This road is not part of the tourist route, but it connects to the route and takes you past sights along the Sørfjord. The pinnacle of this road is Agatunet, a small village of houses built around the year 1220. The village has guided tours and historical exhibits.
Do you start the road trip Hardanger from Steinsdalsfossen? Then you can continue at Utne on the road 550 to Odda, then to Låtefoss and then to Kinsarvik. After the end of the route you can continue on road 13 to Eidfjord to drive the Hardangervidda route.
Route from Utne to Jondal
Resting place Hesthamar
Resting place Hesthamar is located near a small village, in an environment that is dominated by fruit growing. The simple rest area consists of a parking lot and picnic tables. Several paths lead from the parking lot to the Stone Cross memorial and the beach on the Hardangerfjord. From the beach there is a beautiful view of the fjord.
During the fruit growing season, fresh fruit can be bought from roadside stalls, the fruit comes directly from the orchards in the region.
Resting place Hereiane
The Hereiane resting place is located on the Folgefohn peninsula, directly along the road 550. At the resting place are several picnic tables to quietly enjoy the wide view of the Hardangerfjord on the one hand and the rugged mountain landscape on the other side of the road.
Resting place Hereiane has a service building with toilets. The building is wheelchair accessible and only open from early May to late October.
Route from Torvikbygd to Norheimsund
This part of the route consists of road 49 and starts at the ferry between Jondal and Tørvikbygd. From here the road runs along the edge of the Hardangerfjord to Norheimsund, where the route makes a small side road to the Steindalsfossen waterfall.
Walk behind the Steindalsfossen waterfall
The Steindalsfossen waterfall is also one of the more famous waterfalls in Norway. Not because the waterfall is very high and wide, but because of the hiking trails at the waterfall. From the parking lot you can easily walk on the path to the waterfall, after which the path continues even further behind the waterfall. Without getting wet you can walk behind the Steindalsfossen to the other side, to have a beautiful view of the special waterfall from all sides.
Near the car park is a small tourist office and sanitary facilities. These facilities are closed from late October to early May.
Route from Steinsdalsfossen to Granvin
Resting place Steinstøberget
Steinstøberget resting place offers a beautiful view of the Hardangerfjord and the glacier Folgefonna in the distance. It is a spacious rest area with an area near the parking lots, including the service building with sanitary facilities and seats to enjoy the view. At the water there is also a plateau, here you can sit directly at the foot of the Hardangerfjord or, for example, fish.
The rest area is wheelchair accessible and the sanitary facilities are open all year round.
At the end of the road trip Hardanger is Granvin, where you drive along the large lake Granvinsvatnet. A little further along the road to Voss is Skjervsfossen. Skjervsfossen consists of two 150 meter high waterfalls that plunge the water down. Around the falls are walking paths, stairs, various lookout points and there is an opportunity to park. There are also sanitary facilities, but these are closed from the end of October to the beginning of May.
To get to the Skjervsfossen, at Granvin take the mountain road towards Voss. Highway 13 goes through a tunnel towards Vossevangen, but the two waterfalls are not visible from the tunnel.
Highlights near the road trip Hardanger
The road trip Hardanger is one of Norway’s highlights, but the country has so much more to offer. The country has an infinite number of sights, so it is important to always plan a tour well. This way you reduce the chance that you miss beautiful places. Below we give you a few places of interest in the vicinity of the road trip Hardanger.
Walking tour Dronningstien
Hiking trail Dronningstien is located in the mountains near Kinsarvik, right off the road trip Hardanger. The route is named after Queen Sonja, who likes to walk here. The hiking route leads through the mountains and offers beautiful views of the fjords and mountain lakes. The route is 16 kilometers in total and takes about 8 to 9 hours.
The National Scenic Route Hardanger can easily be combined with the road trip Hardangervidda, which is also a National Scenic Route. This route is only a few kilometers from Kinsarvik and you can easily drive here via road 13. The Hardangervidda route crosses the highest mountain plateau in Europe, passing Vøringsfossen waterfall and narrow and steep Måbødalen valley along the way.
If the road trips Hardanger and Hardangervidda are combined, you can get even more out of the route Hardanger. By adding road 550 between Odda and Utne to this route, there is no need to drive twice. You will also see more of the Sørfjord.
Summer ski area Fonna
Summer ski area Fonna is located in the mountains between the Sørfjord and Hardangerfjord. The area officially called Fonna Glacier Ski Resort is the place to go skiing all year round, while enjoying beautiful views from the mountains. The ski area is about 1200 meters above sea level and accessible via a toll road. You have to pay for both the toll road and the ski area.
The 150 meter high Espelandsfossen is located near road 572. From Granvin you can take this road to the valley Espeland, where the waterfall is located near the lake of the same name. Near Odda there is also a waterfall with the same name. Since the road trip Hardanger passes through Odda, it can also be visited during the drive.
The Vossevangen region is known for its many waterfalls. If you continue from the tourist route to Vossevangen and choose road E16, you will automatically pass the famous waterfall Tvindefossen. This waterfall of 152 meters high lets water from the overlying river fall down step by step.
Get on the Bergensbanen train
The Bergensbanen is a 484-kilometre-long train route between the cities of Oslo and Bergen in Norway. The drive takes 6.5 to 7.5 hours (depending on departure time) and crosses the Hardangervidda mountain plateau. From the train there is a beautiful view of the very diverse Norwegian landscape and you can see cities, but you also reach an altitude of about 1220 meters. Because of the beautiful view, the Bergensbanen, also known as the Bergen Line, is considered one of the most beautiful train routes in the world.
The well-known train stops at Voss station, in the town of the same name, which is close to the route. From here it is a short drive to Bergen or a longer, but certainly very beautiful, drive to Oslo.
The city of Bergen
The city of Bergen is almost 2 hours drive from the road trip Hardanger, close by for Norwegian standards. It is the second largest city in Norway and is located between the mountains. From the mountains. where you can go with the Fløibanen, among other things, you have a beautiful view of the area and the city. The city of Bergen is not only known for the surrounding nature, but also for the historic harbor area.