Vøringsfossen: The Famous Waterfall in Fjord Norway

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Norway's Vøringsfossen is a popular tourist attraction in the fjord region. Here's everything you need to know about visiting the famous waterfall.

There is colour and natural beauty everywhere you look on a road trip through Norway's Hardanger and Hardangerfjord region. Blooming orchards line the roadside while dramatic waterfalls plunge right by.

Aerial view of Vøringfossen in fjord Norway.

Of those waterfalls, Vøringsfossen is one of the most famous. Not just in the region, but all of Norway. The powerful waterfall plunges down more than 180 metres at the top of the Måbødalen valley as the landscape rapidly transitions from mountain plateau to fjord.

After years of living in Norway, I finally paid the waterfall a visit for myself in 2019. As part of a long road trip around the fjord region, Vøringsfossen was the perfect stop-off between Hardangervidda and Eidfjord for us.

I love taking photos when I'm travelling around Norway, both for this website and simply my own enjoyment. One of the frustrating things about visiting Vøringsfossen is that it's really hard to get everything in one shot! So I've turned to the pros:

Vøringsfossen and the Måbødalen valley.
Vøringsfossen and the Måbødalen valley.

Not bad eh? As that photo hunts at, it's a truly fantastic natural site.

A popular road trip destination

I mentioned the waterfall was a handy stop for us on a road trip. In fact, the waterfall is a recommended stop on the Hardangervidda national scenic route. It's also very close to the Hardanger scenic route.

As such it's a popular stop on many road trip itineraries whether you're exploring the fjords or simply travelling by car between Oslo and Bergen.

Because of its status as part of the scenic route, Vøringsfossen is equipped with many handy facilities for tourists. Two different viewing platforms with parking lots near the roadside are available on either side of the waterfall.

Måbødalen valley in Norway.
Måbødalen valley. The top of Vøringsfossen is just visible at the bottom of the picture.

To truly appreciate the power of the waterfall, you can head down to the valley floor. Getting there is fun, as an old 19th-century mountain trail leads down from Fossatromma.

Controversial architecture

However, not all the tourist facilities have been well received. In 2020, a new metal footbridge bridged the gap above the waterfall giving the public a fantastic never-before-seen view while linking the two parking lots.

Bridging a waterfall like this created huge controversy in a country renowned for leaving its natural sites as they are. There are no barriers at “dangerous” places like the Preikestolen clifftop, for example.

Designed by architect Carl-Viggo Hølmebakk, the footbridge has been criticised by many as a blight on the landscape.

Controversial footbridge at Vøringsfossen.
Controversial footbridge at Vøringsfossen.

One of the biggest critics was Norwegian photographer and mountaineer Stein P. Aasheim. He said the footbridge was “a circus in the mountains” and “the worst maltreatment ever” of a natural landmark in Norway.

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. During the winter it can be an astonishing site, but care must be taken.

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 waterfall.
Vøringsfossen is a popular tourist site in Norway. The controversial footbridge can be seen at the top-left.

The Vøringsfossen parking lots are well signposted from the scenic route, which is detailed on maps simply as route 7. The waterfall is approximately 11 miles from Eidfjord and 45 miles from Geilo.

If you're visiting Eidfjord during the summer, particularly on a cruise ship, it's likely that organised tours will be put on from the village to the waterfall. While expensive, these tours will be a convenient option.

If you're a large group, you could consider a taxi, although it's well worth getting a quote first especially if you plan to stay at the waterfall for a while. For four or more people, it might prove a good value option.

Where to stay near Vøringsfossen

There aren't that many options to stay very close to the waterfall. The most obvious is the best choice for anyone wanting to fully appreciate the natural beauty of the area. That's the Fossli Hotel.

Fossli Hotel at Vøringsfossen.
Fossli Hotel at Vøringsfossen.

Why is a stay here so valuable for that goal? Well, it's located a short walk from the waterfall. A stroll along the trail in the evening or before breakfast is a fantastic way to take in the views with relatively few people there.

There's also a historic element to a stay at Fossli. Over the years it's provided accommodation for many creatives, all of whom were keen to get inspiration from the natural landmark.

Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg is among the famous guests to have stayed at the family-owned hotel. You can check rates and availability with our partners at Booking.com.

There are other nearby options too. The nearest town is Eidfjord, a delightful fjordside town with several accommodation options. If you're backpacking and/or on a budget, there are a few campsites in nearby Øvre Eidfjord.

About David Nikel

Originally from the UK, David now lives in Trondheim and was the original founder of Life in Norway back in 2011. He now works as a professional writer on all things Scandinavia.

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2 thoughts on “Vøringsfossen: The Famous Waterfall in Fjord Norway”

  1. I would like more information about the Kvikne churches and their locations. Are they in the city of Kvikne or what highway do we use to get there and what town are they near?

  2. Hi David,

    I will be visiting Norway in mid August and would love to see Voringsfossen, and I have two questions. I will have a rental car. What is best route and approximate time to get there; and second, It really looks dramatic but I imagine these pictures were taken in the spring or very early summer when water is plentiful. What should I expect in mid to late August for waterflow and drama?
    Thanks and I hope to hear from you or someone.


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