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?

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?

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?

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?