Located in the district of Hardanger in Norway, Hardangerfjord is the world's third largest fjord and Norway's second largest, making it a key port of call on many Norwegian fjord cruises. Starting at the Atlantic Ocean, Hardangerfjord cuts deeply into the country for 111 miles, has many branches and is 2,624 feet at its deepest point. With origins which date back around 10,000 years to a time when Scandinavia's land mass began to rise, causing the flooding of the valley's lowest parts, Hardangerfjord is certainly one of the most ancient wonders you'll experience on any cruise. Part of the fjord is also home to another of Norway's most spectacular wonders, the vast Folgenfonna glacier, which covers an area of 85 square miles.
Hardangerfjord and its surrounding district are home to many spectacular wonders, many of which are the subject of cruise ship shore excursions which explore the area. Of course, you'll be ‘visiting' the fjord itself from the moment your cruise ship enters it from the Atlantic Sea.
Sightseeing in Hardangerfjord Read More
Voringsfossen is one of Norway's most spectacular waterfalls and always popular with visitors thanks to the truly spectacular views you'll have on it on your journey to it. It's quite a challenging walk to the top of the viewing area, but once there, you'll enjoy an exceptional calendar. If you've more time to spend when visiting the area of Hardanger where the falls are situated, then be sure to take a look round the Hardangervidda Nature Centre. Set in beautiful natural surroundings, it is designed to educate visitors on the ecology of the area by way of a number of exhibits and an impressive aerial film. Another waterfall in the Hardanger region and one which is perhaps a little easier to access is Latefossen, which cascades down the mountainside in Odda and is notorious for the amount of spray it generates, which, though it makes for some amazing photo opportunities, can leave you very wet if you don't bring adequate waterproof clothing with you. It's also possible to take an excursion to witness the awe-inspiring Folgefonna glacier while in Hardanger, as one of the glacier's largest outflows, Baurbreen, is relatively easy to access from the nearby town of Odda which lies in the region, close to the Hardangerfjord.
One of the key man-made attractions in the Hardanger district is Ulvik Church, located in the Ulvik municipality which begins on the shores of the Hardangerfjord. The church was consecrated in 1859 and is the home to a copy of one of the Middle Ages' most renowned works of art, Ulvikantemensalet. It's an attractive building generally but the beautiful Norwegian rose painting which adorns the interior is particularly memorable.
Shopping in Hardangerfjord
Shopping experiences in Hardangerfjord are generally centred on the region's local produce and traditional arts, so you'll have plenty of opportunity to pick up local, hand-crafted gifts during your visit. Hardanger Bestikk, meanwhile, is a stockist of products from Scandinavia's largest stainless steel manufacturer, so stylish kitchen utensils are big business here. If you're familiar with Isklar mineral water, you'll be interested to know that it is made using the Folgefonna glacier's meltwater. It is of course available throughout Hardangerfjord.
Eating out in Hardangerfjord
Hardangerfjord is renowned for its fish farming to such an extent that it is one of the world's major fishing regions. Naturally then, many of the dishes in the region are seafood-based, though Hardanger's also famous for its fruit and berries, meaning that many of the deserts you can sample contain the region's celebrated apples and cherries.