Tjørnadalsfossen, Norway

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Tjørnadalsfossen in May 2015

So many of the waterfalls in western Norway (the fjords area around Bergen) can be viewed without any hike required. I viewed 22 waterfalls when I was there in 2015, and only 5 of them required any hiking. Tjørnadalsfossen (sometimes Tjødnadalsfossen) is one that does require some hiking. And it’s absolutely worth it.

Tjørnadalsfossen is not far outside of Odda. In that same vicinity, you can see Strondsfossen, Vidfoss, Låtefossen, and Espelandsfossen without any hiking. But Tjørnadalsfossen, as I said, though, is definitely worth the hike. You can’t see the falls from the start of the trail, and it’s only about 0.3 miles before you reach the falls, but suddenly, you’ll catch a glimpse of the falls, and they’re absolutely breathtaking. At 1657′, they almost reached into the clouds!

The hike isn’t particularly difficult. I found it to be moderately easy. I believe it does climb a bit uphill, but the hike is short, as I mentioned. If you’re in the area, and you’re looking for waterfalls, Tjørnadalsfossen is absolutely required (along with all of the other waterfalls in Norway!).

Directions:

  1. From the town of Odda, drive appoximately 5.5 kilometers south along Røldalsvegen-13 (Rv-13).
  2. If you’re headed south, the parking area for the falls will be on your left.
  3. Park and start the hike to the falls.

Accessibility: 8/10 (easy/moderate)
Height: 1657′
Length of Hike: 0.6 miles round-trip

Where in the World is Tjørnadalsfossen?

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Steinsdalsfossen, Norway

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Steinsdalsfossen in May 2015

Norway has so many beautiful amazing waterfalls, and I only viewed 20 or so during my week there. Steinsdalsfossen is just one of those beautiful amazing waterfalls, and it also happens to be very easy to visit. (Many others are also easy to visit, which is why you can see so many without much difficulty.)

Steinsdalsfossen is easily accessible by a parking area off of road Fv7 (Steinsdalsvegen in that vicinity). From the parking area, it’s a short walk to get a closer view of the falls, though in this case you can get a much closer view. The trail leads you directly behind the falls. It’s a powerful waterfall, so you can expect to get a bit wet. It’s a pretty awesome experience.

Directions:

  1. The waterfall is off of road Fv7. It’s east of Bergen, so you’d probably be taking E16 and then turning right onto Fv7. (Fv7 is a very narrow road in places with some blind curves.)
  2. The parking area is a bit west of the town of Norheimsund.
  3. From the parking area (there might be two, one being closer to the falls), it’s a short hike.

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Height: 160′
Length of Hike: Roadside (very short hike to go behind falls)

Where in the World is Steinsdalsfossen?

Fossen Bratte, Norway

Fossen Bratte

Fossen Bratte in May 2015

As I was looking at some pictures of waterfalls in Norway, I realized how many waterfalls in the country are easy to visit. Since the terrain is so varied, roads are often built where they can be built! That might sound like a weird statement, but there’s limited space for a road. So often, waterfalls are right next door to the road in Norway.

Fossen Bratte is just one of these easy-to-visit waterfalls in Norway. This one isn’t terribly far outside of Bergen, about an hour or so by car. And to view it, you just have to pull off to the side of the road. There’s a designated parking strip, and if you want you can get closer to the falls, though you can also view them from the car.

At 263′, it’s actually one of the “shorter” waterfalls I saw in Norway. And yet it’s obviously a rather wide waterfall and it widens even further as it drops. As I mentioned, you can get closer to the falls, as there is a trail that leads toward the base. It’s definitely worth a stop, and you’ll be able to find many more falls along your journey.

Directions:

  1. From Bergen, take the E16 “east”.
  2. At the intersection of E16 and Fv7 (Hardangervegen), veer right onto Fv7.
  3. Drive about 22 km to the falls, which will be on your right. If you miss them, you’ll enter into a tunnel and will have to figure out a way back.

A note about directions: Fv7 is a narrow road. I took it because I wanted to see waterfalls, but it ended up everyone was directed down this road because of a rockslide on the E16. It created massive backups on a narrow road (due to already existing construction). Obviously these issues are fixed, but the moral of the story is to check the road conditions before you head out.

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Height: 263′
Length of Hike: Roadside, short hike to get closer to falls

Where in the World is Fossen Bratte?

Kjosfossen, Norway

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Kjosfossen in May 2015

I’m trying to figure out where to start this post. Is this a post about a waterfall or a post about a railroad? Let’s see if I can sort out the answer to my own question. I’m guessing you can’t disconnect the two in this case.

Kjosfossen is a beautiful waterfall. It’s a very-easy-to-visit waterfall, and yet the only way that you’re going to see it is via the Flåm Railway. If you’re in the Bergen area and you have the time (or if you’re traveling between Oslo and Bergen), you should take the time to visit Flåm. From Flåm, you have many options. You can take a cruise through Nærøyfjord and see the many Waterfalls in Nærøyfjord. Without much planning, you can hike to Brekkefossen. A third option would be to take the Flåm Railway from Flåm to Myrdal (or vice-versa).

Along the way, you’ll see a number of waterfalls. Kjosfossen and Rjoandefossen are the two more impressive falls along the way, with Kjosfossen being the main attraction because there is a designated stop just to see the waterfall. Along the journey, you’re given a few minutes to get out and take pictures of the falls. There’s even a platform that allows you to get these amazing views…if it weren’t there, you wouldn’t have any chance of getting this close since the cliffs are pretty steep in this area. Part of the excitement of the trip is that you’re climbing 2,833 feet over 12.5 miles, with a big portion of that climb in the latter half of the trip.

Directions

  1. You want to get to Flåm, which is along the E16 Highway. Enjoy the trip…it’s a curvy drive and there are a LOT of long tunnels near Flåm.
  2. In Flåm, purchase tickets for the trip. I would suggest purchasing tickets for later in the day. Some of the trains were sold out and packed. I waited for the last trip of the day and the train was maybe 1/4 full. It was awesome, to say the least.
  3. One of the stops is for Kjosfossen, so enjoy the view!

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Height: 735′ (though you can’t see all 735’…)
Length of Hike: “roadside”

Where in the World is Kjosfossen?

Vidfoss, Norway

Vidfoss in May 2015

Norway has an abundance of waterfalls, and anywhere else this would probably be a stop of its own. And yet in Norway, Vidfoss is just another waterfall. The major waterfall along this portion of Norway Route 13 is Låtefossen. Låtefossen has its own parking stop. On the other hand, Vidfoss doesn’t have a designated parking area or even a designated stop.

If I remember correctly, I had to very quickly pull over to the left side of the road as I was headed north. This required that I found an area that had enough space along the side of the road. It also required that no cars were coming in either direction. Considering how narrow this road is, that seemed like a feat in and of itself. (The road at this point is rather “wide”. It later gets narrower and narrower until it sometimes seems like a one lane road!) After pulling over, I quickly took a few pictures and then went on my merry way! It was an enjoyable stop on a rainy day.

Directions:

  1. This one is relatively simple from a directions perspective. You’ll be able to see the falls as you’re driving along in either direction along Norway 13 between Odda and the intersection of Norway 13 and 134.
  2. If you’re headed south the waterfall will be to your right, and you will likely find a place to pull over on this side. Låtefossen is about 2-3 miles south of Vidfoss, so if you end up passing Vidfoss, you can turn around in a few miles.

Accessibility: 10/10 (roadside)
Length of Hike: none
Height: ~1000′

Where in the World is Vidfoss?

Waterfalls in Nærøyfjord, Norway

Likely the largest of the waterfalls in Nærøyfjord

When you’re in Norway, one of the best way to see much of the fjords is by boat/cruise. There are multi-day/week cruises that go up and down the coastline and weave through the fjords, but there are also shorter excursions that occur for those that want a bit more freedom when planning their itinerary.

I took two different short 2-3 hour cruises while in Norway. One of them was from Flåm to Gudvangen (or vice-versa). It passes through two different smaller fjords, Nærøyfjord and Aurlandsfjord. Each of them has a number of very obvious waterfalls that drop hundreds of feet down into the waters below.

This post focuses just on those in Nærøyfjord. From my pictures, I counted at least five different noticeable waterfalls in the fjord. There were also many other finer, wispier waterfalls that might only be there when it’s rained for a few days (which might be pretty frequently!).

One of the waterfalls, the one that should show up first in the pictures, is large enough at its base that you might notice a boat pulling up to the falls themselves. Our larger vessel didn’t do that, so if that’s something that interests you, I would ask around in Flåm. While on the boat, I think they gave a name to the waterfall, but I couldn’t remember it even minutes after, and the name doesn’t seem to show up in online searches.

The way the cruise is set up, you can start at Flåm or Gudvangen, and this means you can connect onto other modes of transportation. From Flåm, you can get on the Flåm Railway, and connect to Oslo or Bergen (via Myrdal). From Gudvangen, you can catch a bus to Voss. I drove a rental car, and ended up hitting many of the same stops along the way.

Directions:

  1. This cruise starts in Flåm or Gudvangen. You need to figure out how to get to either of those cities, both of which are on the E16. This is one of the main roadways in Norway, but it is still narrow compared to our main roads (interstates, etc.).
  2. You can find out more info about the cruise I took here.  There was another “operator” selling tickets, but I have a hunch it might really be the same company. If I’m wrong, let me know :). The cost of the cruise was about $50 USD at the time, and lasted for approximately 2.5 hours.

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Distance of Hike: N/A
Height: Not sure…Pretty tall! Upwards of 600-900′

One of the waterfalls in Nærøyfjord that is closer to Gudvangen

This waterfall may be even taller than what you can see…

Where in the World are the Waterfalls in Nærøyfjord?

Hesjedalsfossen, Norway

Hesjedalsfossen in May 2015

After visiting waterfalls, I often post the first waterfall that I saw in that state/country. In this case, it’s a bit more complicated. Norway has too many waterfalls to keep track of. On the second day I was in Norway, I took a fjord cruise, and there were so many “small” waterfalls along the way. Some of these waterfalls along the fjord cruise through Osterfjord were rather tall, but they weren’t very wide…and in Norway, with an abundance of waterfalls, to be named (or to be advertised), they have to meet multiple requirements.

I haven’t sorted through all of the photos yet, so I’m sure I’ll be posting something about these other waterfalls, but I figured I would start with the one named waterfall I saw on this cruise, Hesjedalsfossen (or Heskjedalsfossen on some sites). After looking at the notes I had printed about waterfalls before heading to Norway, I realized there are multiple ways to visit this waterfall. The fjord cruise might actually be the easier option. The alternative, provided here, requires a drive down some rather narrow roads. (Though even some of the “main” roads in Norway are surprisingly narrow, but I hadn’t discovered that yet!)

I saw this waterfall on the Rødne Fjord Cruise, which starts in Bergen. You won’t see this waterfall every time you take this cruise, as it apparently is only visited during the 3.5 hour cruise, which sails around the island Osterøy. The 3.5 hour cruise doesn’t cost any more than the 3 hour cruise, so I would say it’s worth it if you have the time. I did almost fall asleep near the end of the cruise, but my body was still adjusting. Instead of listing directions, I’ll list the link for the cruise below.

Directions:

Rødne Fjord Cruise

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy, if you’re cruising!)
Distance of Hike: not applicable
Height: 295′

Where in the World is Hesjedalsfossen?