Lifestyle

How To See Norway’s Epic Waterfall Vøringsfossen

From blooming orchards to dramatic waterfalls plunging right past the roadside, there is color and beauty everywhere you look in Norway’s Hardanger region. Vøringsfossen is one of the most popular waterfalls not just in the region, but in all of Norway.

The powerful waterfall plunges down almost 600 feet into the Måbødalen valley as part of the rapid transition from mountain plateau to fjord.

A popular road trip destination

As part of the the national scenic route Hardangervidda and very close to another (Hardanger), the waterfall is a popular stop for those taking a road trip around the fjords or traveling between between Oslo and Bergen.

Two different viewing platforms with parking lots near the roadside are available on either side of the waterfall. To see the power of the waterfall from the valley floor, an old 19th century mountain trail leads down from Fossatromma.

The controversial architecture

In 2020, architect Carl-Viggo Hølmebakk’s staircase creation split opinion. The footbridge links the two main visitor areas either side of the waterfall. While it gives visitors a new perspective on the incredible natural scenery, it has been criticised by many as a blight on the landscape.

“A circus in the mountains” is how the Norwegian author, photographer and mountain climber Stein P. Aasheim described it at the time, adding it was the “worst maltreatment ever” of a Norwegian nature icon.

How to get to Vøringsfossen

Aside from the road itself, Vøringsfossen is the main attraction on the 42 mile long Hardangervidda national scenic route that crosses the biggest high-altitude mountain plateau in northern Europe. Unlike many of the scenic routes, the Hardangervidda route remains open throughout the year.

The road is kept clear whenever possible but conditions change rapidly during the winter. In the event of sudden bad weather, parts of the section across the mountain plateau may be closed or subject to convoy driving, so allow plenty of time.

Vøringsfossen is well signposted from the scenic route, known on maps as route 7. It’s approximately 11 miles from Eidfjord and 45 miles from Geilo.

Where to stay near Vøringsfossen

The nearest town is Eidfjord, a delightful fjordside town that offers several accommodation options. Numerous campsites in Øvre Eidfjord offer a budget option.

For those who want the time to fully appreciate the waterfall from all angles, the historic Fossli Hotel overlooks the attraction. A walk down to the waterfall before breakfast is the best way to experience the nature with no crowds. You’ll follow in the footsteps of Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg, who was among the famous creators to have stayed at the family-owned hotel in its 120-year life.

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