- Eidfjord - destination of cruise ships
- The sights and activities of Eidfjord and the surrounding area
- Eidfjord on your own
- Eidfjord - Organized trips to Vøringsfossen waterfall
- Hardangerfjord Bridge
- The conclusion of our visit to Eidfjord
At the end of the Hardangerfjord, Norway's second longest fjord, lies far to the east of Bergen the town of Eidfjord. The unusual cruise destination is surrounded by nature. At first glance, Eidfjord looks like any farming village, especially as the region is known as Norway's 'orchard' due to its mild climate. Above all, apples, plums, peaches and berries thrive in the landscape.
Eidfjord - Panorama
Eidfjord - destination of cruise ships
It is noteworthy that the municipality, which has a population of 545 (estimate 2023), sees many calls by cruise ships between the months of April and October. In 2023, a minimum of 73 visits by small and large cruise ships can be expected. Especially when the sun is shining, the ships offer their passengers the unforgettable experience of hours of magical fjord passage. Eidfjord has a relatively short pier where ships dock. The small, sparkling clean town should not hide the fact that Eidfjord is one of the wealthiest municipalities in the country due to the production of hydroelectric power.
The sights and activities of Eidfjord and the surrounding area
Eidfjord is a popular tourist destination all year round. Hotels, guesthouses and guesthouses, cafés and restaurants as well as the cruise ships that sail through the 178-kilometre-long Hardangerfjord to Eidfjord bear witness to the appreciation of the place.
The Hardangerfjord is part of the fjord landscape, which is one of Norway's greatest attractions. Popular tourist destinations in the area are the Vøringsfossen waterfall, 20 kilometers from Eidfjord, and the subsequent, higher Hardangervidda plateau. The waterfall has long been one of Norway's most visited natural monuments. Measuring around 8.000 square kilometers, Hardangervidda is described as the largest high-altitude rock plateau in Europe. Of the area, 3.422 square kilometers are reserved for Norway's largest national park of the same name. The area is largely protected from human influences. Visitors staying in Eidfjord for several days will explore the plateau and national park or Hardangerjøkulen glacier. You might also visit the Hardangerfjord Bridge, Norway's longest suspension bridge, or the country's highest waterfall, Skytjefossen. The waterfall is only twelve kilometers from Eidfjord.
Eidfjord on your own
Day guests on cruise ships have other priorities. They take a walk around the town and most of them go to Vøringsfossen waterfall, unless they book one of the excursions offered by the ships.
Eidfjord is an enchanting place, especially when the sun is shining. Ships of up to 350 meters in length dock at the pier. If, which is rather rare, two ships call at the same time, one of the two anchors in the fjord. The local tourist information is just a few steps away from the berth. Their employees distribute city maps, rent bicycles and kayaks or book their guests a bus trip to Vøringsfossen waterfall.
Eidfjord does not have many attractions apart from the surrounding mountains and the Eio River, which flows into the fjord. Of note are the Old Church, an Iron Age burial ground, and the Nils Bergslien Art Gallery. Incidentally, all of these destinations are served by the Troll Train as part of 50-minute round trips when ships call at them. The Troll Train is one of those "bimmel trains" familiar from tourist regions. Tickets for the Troll Train are available from the tourist information office, as are tickets for fjord cruises on RIB boats.
The Troll Train
Gamle Kyrkje - the old church
Dedicated to St. James the Apostle, the white-painted Gamle Kyrkje was built in 1309. The Romanesque stone church offers space for almost 100 visitors in its hall-like interior. The wooden pews are from the Renaissance period. A wooden barrier, more than a man's height, separates the church from the sanctuary.
The new church built in 1981 is within sight of the church. The existence of the new church explains why Gamle Kyrkje is now only used for special occasions. The cemetery adjoins the "old" church.
The church is 850 meters from the cruise terminal.
Nils Bergslien Art Gallery
Nils Bergslien, who lived from 1853 to 1928, was an artist who was well-known beyond Eidfjord. He learned his trade in Oslo and Munich, and in 1887 he moved to Eidfjord. His main work was dedicated to the rhythm of life of the rural population and the surrounding landscape.
Nils Bergslien Art Gallery
The national-romantic artist created landscape paintings, portraits and sculptures. His motifs come from fairy tales, legends and Norwegian history. He is famous for his large-format panoramas of the Hardangervidda plateau and the mountains of western Norway.
A number of his artworks are exhibited at the Nils Bergslien Art Gallery. The art exhibition is located between Hotel Vøringsfoss and the local government building.
A little off the beaten track, the unassuming Hæreid Iron Age Burial Site is Western Norway's largest Iron Age and Viking Age burial ground. The approximately 350 burial mounds were created between 400 and 1.000 AD.
Eidfjord - Organized trips to Vøringsfossen waterfall
There is a distance of 20 kilometers between the town and Vøringsfossen. On the western edge of the Hardangervidda plateau, Vøringsfossen falls 183 meters into the narrow and steep Måbødalen. A visit to this natural spectacle with a free fall of 145 meters is indispensable. Vøringsfossen is Norway's third highest waterfall and one of the most famous in the country.
Depending on the season, up to 150 cubic meters of water per second fell in the past. Since 1980, the Bjoreio river, the tributary of the waterfall, has been dammed behind the Sysen dam for the purpose of generating electricity from the Sima hydroelectric power station. The power plant hidden deep in the rock is also the reason for the prosperity of the municipality of Eidfjord. A huge turbine wheel in front of the municipal administration in Eidfjord stands as a symbol for electricity generation.
During the tourist season between June 1st and September 15th, about twelve cubic meters of water per second are fed into Vøringsfossen because of the spectacle.
The tourist buses stop below Fossli Hotel.
The Fossli Hotel, a regular guest of which was the Norwegian pianist Edvard Grieg, is several hundred meters above sea level. Paths lead from the hotel to a number of well-secured viewing platforms and to an extraordinary pedestrian bridge with a span of 47 meters and 99 steps. The bridge offers the best views of Vøringsfossen.
In 2023, the bus ride to the waterfall booked at the tourist information office will cost NOK 360 (EUR 30,30). According to hearsay, it is also possible to take a public bus to the waterfall. Because of the circumstances involved, we recommend organized bus travel.
Tourists also like the impressive Hardangerfjord Bridge. Inaugurated in 2013, the two-lane bridge structure is a fine example of Norwegian engineering. The 1.380 meter long bridge has two lanes for motor vehicles and separate footpaths and lanes for cyclists.
Cruise ships with a total height of no more than 55 meters pass under the bridge at the arrival and departure end. Its passengers see the bridge as an encore to the hour-long panoramic journey through the Hardangerfjord. The drive through the fjord is another highlight.
Fiordland - Hardangerfjord
The conclusion of our visit to Eidfjord
At first glance it seems unusual that a cruise ship like that Nieuw Statendam, with a capacity of 2.500 and more passengers, calls at a destination like Eidfjord. After hours of enchanting travel through the Hardangerfjord, the journey is known to be the goal, and at the end of the journey the view falls on high mountains, meadows, green, wooded slopes and an untamed river. The place is dominated by purpose-built buildings on manicured grounds, the pier, the tourist information and the town hall. Hotels, guesthouses, restaurants and cafés as well as a few nice shops provide the tourist infrastructure. Eidfjord is definitely worth a visit. In order to get to know all the sights in the area, it should be a few more days.