Waterfalls are everywhere in Norway..big and small..low and high…near and far…they are a sight to behold; a wonderful creations; a beauty to admire! In the course of our journey in Norway, we have seen quite a few of them. By some we had to cross rivers and climb mountains just to be able to admire them; while for others, they are just situated along the roads. But we just couldn’t get enough of them. After our Husedalen waterfalls hike in Kinsarvik where we were fortunate to see not one, but four equally impressive waterfalls, we then drove further to Eidfjord, about 30 kms up north to see yet another amazing waterfalls : THE VORINGSFOSSEN.
THE ROCKY HIKE TO VORINGSFOSSEN
Voringsfossen waterfalls is one of the best known waterfalls in Norway, The waters from the Bjoreio river plunge 182 m from the Hardangervida plateau into the Mabodalen valley which forms the waterfalls. The name vorings means the respected one.
Obtaining the hiking map from the tourist office, we drove to the parking where the hike should begin. It was 15 kms from the village of Eidfjord and we had to pass 4 tunnels. Immediately after the fourth one, the Mabodaltunnel, we had to drive a bit right to park at designated areas, which were just along the road. It was also a resting place, and from there a path led to the waterfalls, about 1.7 km. The hike is estimated to be finished in 1.5 hours, and surprisingly, it was the first time that Hans and I made it within the allotted time.
The path leading too Voringsfossen waterfalls was a rocky one. I think almost 2/3 of the path must be made walking on stones and big rocks. You couldn’t miss it, as they were lots of red-painted arrows drawn on many rocks, guiding the hikers along the way. We just had to be very careful, making sure we didn’t miss a step, or bump our heads into some of those big rocks that were just found along the trail. We were lucky because it didn’t rain that day, otherwise it would be dangerous to do this hike because of the slippery and muddy paths. Anyway, after 45 minutes walking, we reached a kind of viewpoint where an information board about the falls is situated. From here, we already had a good view of the falls.
But we wanted to have a BETTER VIEW. So we crossed the old wooden hanging bridge that hangs over the river. PRECAUTION: One person at a time must cross the bridge. Crossing the river was a bit easy.
Further we walked thru muddy stony path. After about 10 minutes, we reached a point where we thought, this is it! We had a magnificent view of the VORINGSFOSSEN WATERFALLS! We did it again! From where we stood, the watersprays reached us, getting us a bit wet, and so were our cameras. After about 15 minutes there, it was again time to get back, the same way. We have seen maybe about 6 other hikers along the way. After about half an hour, we reached our camper again. Driving away from the parking was a bit of a problem, because we couldn’t turn around easily. We had to drive entra 1.5 kilometer, passing another tunnel before we could make a turn. We then returned to the village to spend the night there.
STROLL AROUND EIDFJORD
Eidfjord is a touristic camper-unfriendly village at Hardangervida. Why did I say so? Here you find a very large hotel by the fjord,; infront of this hotel is a small port where big cruise boats arrive with hordes tourists. There are lots of hotels and campings in the village. And campers are not allowed to park by the port or by any other parking places there. Every little place has this board : NOT ALLOWED FOR CAMPERS! We have not encounter this kind of welcome during our trip, only here in Eidfjord. And all at once, it was like Schwangau and Fussen in Germany once again, where it was almost impossible to find a place to stay the night. Or you have to go to a camping, which we did not want!
Anyway we were able to find a small place, just at the side of Joker supermarket, in the village. It was a grass area, not even a parking. But what the heck! We would just stay here for a night and leave again the following day. The next day, we decided first to stroll around this village, following the route to the river down to Eidfjord lake, and to the area where old big burial grounds from the Vikings era should be found, which we didn’t see. It was 2-hour stroll, bringing us to the lake and at last, to a viewpoint where we had a nice fabulous view of the village and the fjord. It was just a pity that it was cloudy that day; we didn’t have a clear view.
After coffee, at around 13.30, we drove 15 kms back to Hardanger Bridge as we plan to go to Bergen, and on the way, see another waterfall. We passed thru a viewing point for the hardanger Bridge. We stopped here fro a while and took some pictures. We then drove to the bridge, which was 1.3 km long, and cost us 150 NOK on toll fee. The tunnels here by the bridge has a rotunda with nice blue lighting, which is quite unusual. Anyway, we took the R 7 Hardanger Tourist route, and my! It was exciting and nervous-wrecking as well. The road was really narrow and winding. At one point we had to stop to wait for the opposite traffic to pass. All the time, we were hoping that no big vehicles would come in our opposite direction. After more than 2 hours of driving in this road, from Hardanger bridge to small village of Alvik, we had a short break, where Hans tried his luck again with fishing…but again, no luck. It was almost 6 pm when we reached the place called Oystese, a rather attractive big place, where we did the needed groceries, and decided to stay the night. We parked at a big parking area just beside the Hardangerfjord Hotel, with view of the fjord and the cemetery.
- Rijksvegen 22 5783 Eidfjord (beside supermarket Joker)
Coordinates : N: 60.46605 E: 7.06897
- Hardangaerfjordvegen 619
5610 Oystese (Kvam)
Coordinates : 60.38685 E: 6.20239
THE STEINDALSFOSSEN WATERFALLS
After a very good night sleep in Oystese, and our usual breakfast, we continued our trip to Norheimsund, which was just about 9 kms further. It was 10.30 when we finally arrived at Steindalsfossen waterfalls. It was not yet too busy. The waterfalls is already visible even from a distance. There is a big parking area at the place, with information center and a couple of souvenir shops which sell rather low-priced items. We had here our coffee and cappuccino for only 1 euro each!
Steindalsfossen waterfalls is another one of the popular waterfalls in Norway. It has a fall of 50 meters, and what is rather special in this falls is that people could walk behind the falls safe and almost dry. There is a pathway made from the carpark up to the falls, going behind it and coming out of the other side. After admiring the waterfalls, we spent some times snuffling around the souvenir shops. The prices here were quite reasonable as compared to other shops we’ve been before.
Here you are, the two famous waterfalls we’ve chased for three days (July 12-14, 2015): the Voringsfossen and Steindalsfossen waterfalls. And these are not the last, as we still have a long way to go in Norway… Stay tuned!