Steinsdalsfossen in Hardanger

Explore "The ring of waterfalls"

Steinsdalsfossen in Hardanger

Ten of the world's 30 highest waterfalls are in Norway - Enter the "ring of waterfalls"

Standing at the foot of some of the world’s highest waterfalls, surrounded by steep mountains, sparkling glaciers and rivers running into the narrow fjords, is a breath-taking experience. Ten of the world’s 30 highest waterfalls are in Norway, and you can see the most spectacular waterfalls up close on a ‘ring of waterfalls’ day trip.  

The majestic waterfalls in the Fjord Norway region are an important part of the Norwegian fjord landscape. They are regarded as the link between the mountains, glaciers, fjords and ocean. It is easy to travel around Vestland and experience the biggest waterfalls up close, to get a sense of the enormous forces of nature at work when thousands of litres of water cascade hundreds of metres down mountain sides.

A ring of waterfalls

Some of the most magnificent waterfalls in Western Norway are found beside Norway’s two longest fjords, the Hardangerfjord and the Sognefjord. If you plot in the most popular waterfalls in Hordaland on a map, you can see that they form a circle between Bergen in the west, Voss in the north, Hardanger in the east and Sunnhordland in the south. The road network brings the circle together, and, as well as seeing the waterfalls, you can experience some of the best natural and cultural highlights, culinary delights and unique accommodation in Vestland.

The most famous waterfalls 

Although all these waterfalls are spectacular in their own way, there are a few even more breath-taking than the others.  

1. Vøringsfossen 

Vøringsfossen is by far the most famous waterfall in the Bergen region. With a fall of 182 meter, the water cascades down the mountainside into the narrow and rugged Måbødalen valley near the small village Eidfjord, close to the Hardangerfjord. You can view the waterfall from a metal viewing bridge which spans 47 meters across the waterfall.  

  1. Vøringsfossen - 5 useful tips before visiting
    Vøringsfossen has a fall of impressive 182 meters.
  2. Fjordcruise at the Hardangerfjord
    Experience a journey through a landscape of majestic mountains, roaring waterfalls and idyllic orchards, on your way to the beautiful Queen of fjords
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2. Steinsdalsfossen 

Steinsdalsfossen is located in Norheimsund, a pictoresque small village next to the Hardangerfjord. Steinsdalsfossen has an impressive drop of 50 meters, but also has a special feature. You can actually walk behind the waterfall on a path that goes to the vantage point on the other side. The view of Steinsdalsfossen from behind is truly special. 

If you would like to visit Steinsdalsfossen waterfall on a guided tour, you can join this 6 hour bus tour from Bergen called "Chasing the Waterfalls of Hardangerfjord".

3. Tvindefossen 

 Just a few kilometers east of Voss you will find Tvindefossen. This waterfall has a drop of 110 meters, with the water cascading down several “steps” in the mountainside. There’s an interesting myth about Tvindefossen. It’s rumoured to be both a fountain of youth and that the water from the waterfall can increase your potency.    

Entry from the south, north and east

Several of the waterfalls in the ring of waterfalls are situated beside the road. So close to the road, in fact, that it almost feels like the road runs through the waterfall. Viewing platforms have been built at some of the waterfalls so you can safely walk out to get the best views, like at Vøringsfossen Waterfall. At some of the others, you have to walk a short distance through beautiful landscape to get to the waterfall. There is generally most water in the waterfalls when the snow and ice melt in the spring, but precipitation means the waterfalls are often big and beautiful all year.

You can drive straight into the ring of waterfalls whether you come from the Hardangervidda plateau in the east, the Setesdalen valley in the south or from the Sognefjord in the north. Many people choose to hire a car and start the round trip in Bergen and combine visiting the waterfalls with other activities and experiences in the region. But don’t forget to visit the waterfalls, one of the biggest icons in the Norwegian fjord landscape!      

The waterfalls - an important part of the fjord identity

The waterfalls in Western Norway are the result of developments that have taken place over millions of years. The landscape was flat before the massive revolutions on the Earth’s surface caused parts of the land to rise along the area that is now Western Norway. During a succession of ice ages, enormous volumes of ice, rock and snow carved their way through the mountains that lead the water to the ocean. These processes have created the incredibly beautiful fjord landscape, and the waterfalls as an extension of this.

For Norwegians, waterfalls are more than just a beautiful sight. The huge forces of nature have been harnessed to produce power, which provides green energy for much of Norway’s industry.  

Safety tips

Walking close to the large waterfalls can be dangerous. The currents in the rivers are strong, and the ground along the rivers is often weak, slippery, wet and uneven. Read the safety instructions and the signs along the paths and beside the waterfalls, and do not go beyond fences. Be particularly careful in winter when the water freezes to ice, and in the spring when the water level is high.

Find several other day trips by car from Bergen