Brekkefossen, Norway

Brekkefossen

Brekkefossen in May 2015

Norway has many waterfalls, and a great place to start your journey to find waterfalls is Bergen. I flew into Bergen, stayed a few days there, and then started my waterfall hunting. (Well…I had seen some waterfalls on a cruise, but that didn’t require much effort.) I stopped at a few different places, and then set my sights on Flåm, a village found at the end of Aurlandsfjorden. Flåm is the home of the Flåm Railway, which is famous for its 2800′ elevation change over 12.5 miles. There are even a few waterfalls to be viewed along the Railway, such as Kjosfossen and Rjoandefossen.

Those falls can be viewed from the train. Brekkefossen can be viewed partially from spots in Flåm, but to get a more intimate view, you can hike to the Brekkefossen. I don’t think there was parking at the trail head of Brekkefossen, and anyway, it wasn’t a difficult hike to the trail head from Flåm. It’s about a 1 mile hike to the trail head/base of the falls, and it’s mostly on flat ground. It’s the hike up to get closer to the falls that classifies this as probably the most difficult hike I did while in Norway.

At a height of 2050′, Brekkefossen is pretty tall! It’s not a climb to the falls, so it’s not wildly steep, but you have to hike a pretty significant elevation in a pretty short distance. It must have not been the most difficult hike I have ever been on…I think I was prepared for the difficulty level. But, still, it was an adventure indeed. You’re greeted with a portion of a beautiful waterfall (of which most in Norway are)! Now, if you’re not up for the steep hike, you still can get a pretty good view of the falls from afar, so you can still check it off the list if you’re ever in Flåm.

Directions:

  1. Head to Flåm, which is along a main road, E16. There are some very long tunnels you have to pass through if you’re headed east into Flåm.
  2. I stayed in Flåm at the Fretheim. From there, I hiked back toward the E16.
  3. There are a few different ways to get to the road of interest, but you want to end up on the other side of E16 on a road Nedre Brekkevegen, heading essentially south for a few tenths of a mile. You’ll pass some apartments and hostels along the way.
  4. You’ll then end up at the trail head for the falls.

Accessibility: 3/10 (moderate/strenuous)
Height: 2050′
Length of Hike: 2 miles round-trip

Where in the World is Brekkefossen?

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?

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?