Licensed Guide and Norway Tour Planner

Hardangerfjord Guide

If the Sognefjord is the King, then the Hardangerfjord is the Queen.

With her 127 km (79 miles), she is the second longest fjord in Norway and is situated in a region with majestic waterfalls, plenty of fruit orchards, and a rich cultural history.

When to Visit

The Hardangerfjord in Norway is a stunning destination with a diverse range of attractions, and the best time to visit depends on your preferences and the activities you want to experience.

Here are breakdown of the seasons:

Blog: See my packing list for Norway.

Spring (April to June): Spring is a lovely time to visit as the landscape comes to life with blossoming fruit orchards and vibrant flowers. The weather is generally mild, with temperatures gradually warming up. This is a great time for hiking and outdoor activities as the days become longer.

Summer (July to August): Summer is the peak tourist season, and for good reason. The weather is at its warmest, with long days and mild evenings. The fruit orchards are in full bloom, creating a picturesque setting. It's an ideal time for exploring the fjord by boat or hiking the surrounding trails.

Autumn (September to October): Autumn brings a different kind of beauty to the Hardangerfjord with the changing colors of the leaves. The tourist crowds start to thin, providing a more tranquil experience. It's a good time for photography as the landscape takes on warm and golden hues. This is also fruit harvest season, and you can expect an abundance of fresh fruits.

Winter (November to March): Winter is a quieter time to visit, and if you enjoy a serene atmosphere, this might be the season for you. The snow-capped mountains create a picturesque scene, and you may even experience the beauty of the fjord in a different light. Some activities like winter sports, if available, can be enjoyed during this season.

Getting Into

The Hardangerfjord can easily be reached by ferry, bus or car. A good starting point can be Bergen or Voss. You can also get there in a day by driving road 7 from Oslo, ending up in Eidfjord.

Train: There is no train all the way to the Hardangerfjord, but you can take the Bergen Line to Voss and hop on a local bus from there. Find train to Voss on Vy and bus routes at Skyss. If you are heading to Eidfjord, at the very west of the Hardangerfjord, you can get off the Bergen Line at Geilo, and ride the VY25 bus from there.

Bus: With the Nor-Way Haukeliexpress Bus, you can depart from Oslo, Bergen, or Haugesund. You can ride this bus to Seljestad or Smørtjørnsmoen and change to a local Skyss bus which can take you to Odda and further along the Hardangerfjord.

Also see the VY25 bus (mentioned above) which can take you from Geilo to Eidfjord. There are also local buses from Voss to the Hardangerfjord.

Ferry: Rødne operated the Hardangerfjord Express ferry that goes between Bergen and Rosendal. Norled has a bus and ferry connection that can take you to Norheimsund and Eidfjord.

Flight: There are no airports inside the Hardangerfjord area, but you can fly either to Bergen or Haugesund and make your way from there. Search for flights here.

Car: A fun way to experience the Hardangerfjord is by rental car. There are roads going along large portions of the fjord offering great views of the fjord itself and the surrounding landscape. At a few points you’ll find car ferries getting you from one side to the other. These ferries are not necessary to book, just arrive at the terminal and line up.

Hardangerfjord village on the water

Places to Stay

The Hardangerfjord has plenty of good options when it comes to lodging. From larger hotels to small and quaint fjordside inns. Below I’ve listed some of my favorite places for staying in this region, and listed them according to which village they are situated in.


Eidfjord is at the very east end of the Hardangerfjord and is a nice place to stay if you want to be close to sights such as the Vøringsfossen Waterfall and the Norwegian Center of Nature. It’s also close to the Hardangervidda mountain plateau where you find a lot of hiking trails.

For a standard hotel in Eidfjord with a fjord view check out Vøringfoss Hotel. Vik Pension has both rooms and small cabins for rent. They have their own garden, terrace, restaurant and bar.


Kinsarvik is a small village with 600 residents. There is a convenient ferry connection between Kinsarvik and Utne. Huse Guest Farm has vacation houses in an idyllic old farm atmosphere. Mikkelparken Vacation Resort rents comfortable and modern cabins with fully equipped kitchens.

Note that prices for hotels highly fluctuate throughout the year, and if you book early you can sometimes find good deals! The high season in Norway goes from June to August.


A bit further south along the fjord is Ullensvang, also known as the “outdoor capital” of Norway. Ullensvang is neary the popular hike to Trolltunga, the scenic Queen’s trail and also the Folgefonna glacier. For a 4-star hotel with its own spa, check out Hotel Ullensvang. If you are on a budget and want a basic and traditional hotel, see Ullensvang Gjestheim.


Utne is a village on the northern end of the Folgefonna peninsula. It’s a cute little village where you’ll find the Hardanger Folk Museum. I can highly recommend a stay at the historic Utne Hotel.


Other places you might want to stay is the Hardanger Panorama Lodge in Ulvik with the most impressive modern cabin I’ve ever seen. The Thon Hotel Sandven is a good bet for an affordable and comfortable hotel in Norheimsun.

Places to Eat

Quite often your hotel will have a restaurant where you can enjoy lunch or dinner, or you might go for a picnic next to the fjord.

Here are a few restaurants in the region that’ll give you a nice food experience:

Things to Do

The Hardangerfjord area in Norway is known for its picturesque landscapes, and outdoor activities.

Here are some of my top recommendations for Hardangerfjorden:

Fjord cruises

The landscape of the Hardangerfjord might not be as dramatic as other fjords in Norway, but it still has plenty of charm and beautiful scenery. Norway’s Best has a nice cruise taking you between Eidfjord and Odda with stops in Ulvik, Lofthus, Aga, Børve, Nå, and Tyssedal along the route. The Norled and Rødne cruises going from Bergen (mentioned above) are also good alternatives. For higher speed and more thrill try out a RIB-safari.


The Trolltunga hike is one of the most popular hikes in Norway. You can read more about it here, but note that it is a fairly strenuous hike. A bit less strenuous hike, but still very scenic is the H.M. Queen Sonja’s Panorama Hiking Trail, known in Norway as “Dronningstien”. I’d say this might be one of the most popular hikes in Norway.

An easy hike is to go to Bondhusvatnet Lake near the Folgefonna glacier. A round-trip takes about two hours and by adding another hour, you can get all the way to the glacier.


The Hardanger region is “cider-mecca” and the local producers are eager to introduce you to the “Champagne of Norway”. If you want to visit a local producer and/or sample some cider, I’d recommend you to check out these places:

  • Spildegarden (Øystese) - Four generations cider producer.
  • Syse Gard (Ulvik) - Traditional western-Norwegian farm.
  • Aga Sideri (Ullensvang) - Farmhouse-lounge and cider tastings.

Other Activities

For more activities and guided tours, check out GetYourGuide Hardangerfjorden.

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How to Get Around

Public transportation

The Hardangerfjord is connected together by convenient ferries (see earlier about Rødne and Norled) and there are also buses connecting the region. However, if you have time and budget for it, I’d recommend you to rent a car. This will make it easier for you to get around and you can explore places that are hard to get to by public transport.

For public transport, check out Skyss (buses) or Norled (ferry) and Rødne (ferry). The website ENTUR can also be helpful for tour planning in the area.

Yellow camper van driving through Norway

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