This fjord is 179 kilometres long. It is the third largest in the wrold and the second largest in Norway. Beginning at the Atlantic ocean south of Bergen it stretches in a north east direction to the mountain plateau of Hardangervidda. At its deepest point this fjord is 800 metres. The entire area encompassed by the fjoord contains only 70,000 inhabitants.
About 10,000 years ago the ice here began to melt. The land then rose up and the high pressure of the melting water under the ice formed this and other fjords. These fjords were explore intensively by the explorers who were trying to find a way around by the north to the Spice Islands because the already discovered routes were controlled by the Portuguese and Spanish and so it was called the North Way or Norway. Because of its outstanding features of glaciers and waterfalls Thomas Cook was already sending tourists here every week about 150 years ago. Some of these waterfalls have now been harnessed to provide electricity for industries in Norway. The local people who had turned to industry are now turning back towards tourism.
This huge scenic area offers almost every kind of natural landscape typical of Norway. It has scenic waterways, hiking trails, mountain plateaux and beautiful orchards for cultivating apples and cherries. There ae marvellous fish farms which annually are producing 50,000 tons of salmon and rainbow trout.
This fjord of Hardanger has five satelite fjords all of which are now a national park. Here are contained two of Norway’s largest glaciers, Folgefonna and Hardangerjokulen and these are the most popular waterfalls in the country.
There are various musuems you can visit such as the Hardanger Folk museum and the Hardanger Ships Preservation centre. Go to Hardanger Akvasenter and see the exhibitions on the quay.
Take a boat ride to one of the fish farms and with underwater cameras you will see the salmon and be shown how they might finish up in your local restaurant at home Visit Art House Kabuso, and see examples of modern and ancient artworks, hear some well performed high quality classical music and have a small snack in the café. Go Icehiking on a 1,000 year old coastal glacier in Juklavasa for five or six hours with your children all under safe supervision. Take your cap, gloves, sunglasses, lotion, waterproof clothing and a lunch Pack. You can go on three kayak trip and listen to the folklore and history from your guide. Try your skills in the Ships preservation centre. Walk the ropes and visit the workshops. Young and old will enjoy this visit.