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The Serene Hardangerfjord

Hardangerfjord - the land of waterfalls

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We are keen for as many customers as possible to review their holiday. To make it easier to do so, since 2 October 2015 we have included a specific review section on our post-holiday questionnaire, and this is what we now publish here, unedited. Read our full review policy >

Ms C Darbyshire  Stockport July 2018

We had a lovely holiday and the walks were very good and the notes generally easy to follow.  The odd signpost was either broken or missing but didn't cause a major problem! The hotels were very nice, staff friendly and excellent food.  A stunning area to explore and we had fabulous weather, bit too hot for some of the walks but can't complain, the views were incredible.  

One thing, I should have taken my flip flops to give my hot feet a break and to potter down to pool, fjord side etc at hotels.  Just didn't think it would be so warm in Norway!

Mr M Elderfield  London July 2018

Big thanks for a great holiday and was so impressed by Inntravel staff helping us out on a Saturday.

David & Elizabeth, Tasmania   July 2018

The walking was wonderful, with the highlight being the Queen’s walk. It is an experience not to be missed if the weather is reasonable. The hotel runs a bus to the upper car park on Saturdays during the season. The Granvin to Ulvik walk was also very good. While the falls are the main event on the waterfall walk, the first 3 to 4 kms is a beautiful stroll, like walking through a fairyland forest. All the arrangements were slick and the bus transfers easy.  While the Ullensvang is a marvelous hotel, the Brakanes Hotel was our favourite for its stunning location. Would have loved another day there in preference to Voss. The only downside to us were the meal arrangements. Ullensvang was well organized and had the best food but Voss and Ulvik were like a rugby scrum, competing with hungry hordes from the buses for largely uninspiring food. Perhaps Inntravel could consider offering an al a carte option or the ability to “trade in” a buffet for a menu meal. Most people appear happy with the buffets so maybe we are hard to please but one of the joys of Inn to Inn walking is the food. We definitely recommend the walk but be aware there is no fine dining.

 

Anon   July 2018

We enoyed the trip immensely. The fjord scenery was spectacular throughout. Despite a taxing ascent and an endless descent, the Queen's Walk was particularly beautiful and well worth the effort. Another standout walk was between Granvin and Ulvik, a route that was lovely and almost devoid of people. The hotels were all very comfortable and the staffs were gracious. The hotel food was a bit uninspiring, but perhaps that is just the nature of Norwegian cuisine. Overall we highly recommend this trip.

Mrs R Quantrill  Bradford-on-avon July 2018

Arriving in Norway by ferry is such a treat with magnificent views of the coastline and islands. 

 

INNTRAVEL NOTE: These customers arrived in Bergen by ferry from Denmark

AV   June 2018

This is the third holiday we’ve done with Inntravel, and the best so far. A good variety of walks, wonderful scenery (though we had very mixed weather), some really tasty food, and friendly Norwegians. Highlight of course, Hotel Ullensvang – an amazing place.

Mr A Farquhar  Richmond June 2018

This is our second walking holiday with Inntravel and again full marks to Inntravel for their excellent choice of locations and walks. Excellent hotels with picture perfect views and good food. Norway was stunning (helped by temperatures in the high twenties - rare for Norway in early June!). Everything worked like clockwork with everything booked by Inntravel in advance leaving us with no worries but to get ourselves from place to place. We particularly enjoyed the train journey from Bergen to Voss. The walk from Granvin to Ulvik along the post road was challenging but a real treat with varying terrain. Dipping our feet in the lake on the plateau was welcome. We took a micro towel along in our day pack on all the walks to enable us to refresh our feet in the many fjords and streams along the way. Walking poles are essential. Sitting in 28 degree heat on the hotel balcony in Lofthus looking at the glacier over the fjord was a surreal experience. Inntravel suggested taking plastic storage boxes along to make up our picnic lunch from the breakfast buffet. This was invaluable advice as it enabled us to take along salads/dressings and fruit. We fell in love with Norway but it is extremely expensive. We bought bottles of wine at our departure airport so we could enjoy a relaxing drink on our balcony at the end of the day.

Ms C Smith  USA June 2018

Our 7th trip with Inntravel over 11 years, and we’re already plotting our next…

Hardangerfjord highlights for us include all three longer hikes (especially the superb Queen's Walk/Monks' Steps), sipping and savoring the local APAL eplebrennevin, and the Voss folk museum. Like others, we added an extra day at Hotel Ullensvang and did not regret it. The shorter walks were a bit more “town and tarmac” than we personally prefer, but they also gave us a rich sense of life and agriculture along the fjord edges. Norway is indeed serene!

We also thoroughly enjoyed both our Bergen city add-on at the start of the trip and Oslo city add-on at the end. It was fun to compare and contrast two remarkably different cities. The beautiful rail journey between Bergen and Oslo is a great way to gain a sense of the scenic interior of the country. Hotel Rosenkrantz in Oslo has a particularly fine breakfast buffet, and we appreciated their included light dinner on the upper floor in the evenings. The attached Brasserie Paleo restaurant at Rosenkrantz is exceptional – a splurge that is well worth it. The Viking Museum and Munch Museum in Oslo were both trip highlights for us.

All transportation was 'easy breezy', and thanks for ordering up the fine weather!

 

INNTRAVEL NOTE: As described above these customers enjoyed adding a short stay in Bergen, at the Clarion Hotel, and in Oslo, at the Thon Hotel Rosenkratz, at either end of their Serene Hardangerfjord walking itinerary.

Carrie   May 2018

The Kinsarvik waterfalls and walk up to Nosi were my personal highlights. Stunning views as well as the very lovely Hotel Ullensvang with its luxurious facilities and great levels of personal service.

Ms F Scrivener  Lutterworth September 2017

Personal highlights - seeing the Northern Lights (get onto the internet to look at the forecast for these - to make sure that you go and take a look at the right time if the forecast is good!). Sea Eagles and lots of wonderful walks - with lots and lots of hill climbs (we are told by our GPS gadget that over the 2 weeks, we walked for around 80 miles and climbed at least 2 miles!). We learned to be wary of pictures of hikers on walking trails against red backgrounds and of talk of ropes and chains to assist with the walks!  These make for challenging, if exhilarating walks!

 

INNTRAVEL NOTE: These customers combined our walk, The Serene Hardangerfjord, with a single-centre stay, Lofoten Cottages - an Arctic Island Discovery

Mrs S Carlyle  Lymington September 2017

Our highlight? The walk to Queen's Trail via Nosi. Monks' Steps much easier to negotiate than expected and lots of beautiful flowers and berries.

 

 

Mr R Smith  Australia August 2017

Hotels at Voss, Ulvik, Kisarvik and Ullensvang were excellent. The choice of walks suited us well (we did the Monks Steps and enough of the Queens Walk to get the view in good weather).

Mrs L Ganes  USA August 2017

The falls outside of Kinsarvik were particularly beautiful.

The views from your balcony at the Brakenes Hotel and Hotel Ullensvang were spectacular.

I love to swim, and it was fun to swim at Hotel Ullensvang and glimpse at the Fjord while breathing.  It was also outstanding to sit in a sauna and have windows overlooking the Fjord.

Mr G Hancock  Australia August 2017

The holiday around and above the Hardangerfjord and waterfalls provided brilliant views and photo opportunities. It lived up to our expectations although it was quite a different experience from the Catalan Pyrenees we did last year which was more hotel to hotel walking than the bus transfers in this holiday. For those wishing to do the Queens Walk above Loftus, it is necessary to have gear for very cold air temperatures in early September. The Hovden Circuit and Monks steps above Loftus was a fantastic climb with rewarding views.

Mr P Arnold  Leatherhead August 2017

Enjoyed the walk from Granvin to Ulvik, even in the rain. The Hotel Ullensvang was wonderful for the end of the main tour and the information boards around the village about the fruit were interesting.

Mrs V Zeitlyn  Cambridge August 2017

Highlights of the holiday : the Husedalen waterfalls walk - do go on up to the 3rd/4th waterfall - it is really worth it and gives you spectacular views over the 'whaleback' rocks.  It's a bit of a scramble back down over the edge of the rocks to pick up the path.  I particularly enjoyed the two low level walks in Lofthus - it was pleasant walking with open views of the fjord and very picturesque.  I preferred them to the longer and more strenuous hikes as you were less enclosed and therefore able to see further.  Do visit both the folk museums - they are fascinating, particularly the one in Voss.

Top tip: Take walking pole(s) - going across the streams can be slippy business and I found it so much easier using a walking pole to give extra balance. 

Also, when connections allow, eat breakfast after 8am as then the tour groups have left for the day and the buffets are quieter.  In the evening, find out from reception when they are expecting any tourist buses in and plan to eat dinner accordingly.  Take your own water bottle as they do not provide drinks in the picnics (except for Ullensvang).  It might be worth taking a small coffee flask also as they will fill it for you.

We added a day on in Bergen and really enjoyed looking round this very pretty city.  The Hanseatic Museum was excellent and well worth joining a tour.  We also went to the Leper Museum which was an interesting, if sombre, stop.  The Edvard Munch gallery in the Kode Museum was wonderful, and although 'The Scream' is not part of the collection, seeing his other paintings gives you insight into this artist.  There are many other wonderful paintings by Norwegian artists to see also.  We had a room upgrade at the Clarion Hotel Admiral and had a beautiful view over the harbour.

Anon   August 2017

Despite the weather being cooler and wetter than you should expect for August we were prepared and had a lovely walking holiday.  Waterproofed shoes were essential and walking poles helped, especially on the very wet and uneven underfoot walk between waterfalls 1 & 2 and the route to the plateau via The Monks Steps and Nosi. The pool facilities at Ullensvang were excellent.

Mrs E Harrison Bregman  USA July 2017

The views were ASTOUNDING.  And they got better and better - we couldn't believe it could get more beautiful, and then we went on the Queen's walk - and it did! That would be one of our tips - take a car from Hotel Ullensvang part of the way up the route towards the Queen's walk if you are deterred by the length of the hike. It cuts off some of the steep hiking and made for about an hour's walk along a nice gradient up to the plateau and the official start of the Queen's walk. The views along that walk will stay with me forever! The travel from inn to inn could not have been easier and in each hotel we felt warmly greeted and well taken care of.

Stephen S   July 2017

Smooth travel arrangements and excellent hotels leave you free to concentrate on enjoyment. The Hotel Ullensvang was a particular delight.  If we were to do this again, we would add the extra day in Ulvik as otherwise it is really just an overnight stop. That also gives a more relaxed day after the walk from Granvin into Ulvik, giving you more energy for the walk to the Kinsarvik waterfalls. Queen Sonya's trail from Loftus (Hotel Ullensvang) certainly delivers the promised outstanding views, but is also demanding and includes some scrambling over and around rocks - be prepared for it to take longer than the notes indicate unless you are a regular hill walker.

K   July 2017

What keeps us coming back to Inntravel is the responsive approach the agency takes. Whereas one may wait days for, or never receive, replies from other agencies, Inntravel guarantees a quick return and an effort to accomodate all requests. I have actually made an effort to try other places, but when the comparison is made, I usually end up back here. So well done to your staff.

Anon   July 2017

Fantastic holiday, really well organised. Great hotels and lovely walks.

Deborah   July 2017

Norway was a revelation to us, incredibly beautiful, the landscapes dramatic and awe inspiring. It was very strange to experience the light nights, I was wearing sunglasses at 10.30pm on a particularly sunny day, the pearly evening light added even more drama to the sensational views we enjoyed at every hotel. We were so glad we had booked an additional night in Bergen as it would have been a shame not to have explored this very pretty little city with its fascinating history and lovely old buildings.

Anon   July 2017

Walks were lovely especially the Queens trail and Ullensvang Hotel was a very atmospheric and beautiful place with many corners to relax in- an abundance of textiles colours and comfort!

Mr S Wright  Nottingham July 2017

Except for Bergen the room allocation at all other hotels was perfect. Bergen was worth the extra night to explore the city. The walks were an excellent variety. The food at all the hotels was magnificent. We were impressed by the courtesy that we met everywhere. Even car drivers stopped to allow you across pedestrian crossings.

Tip - On arrival at each hotel ask what time the tour buses arrive and depart to ensure that you are not queueing at the buffet!

Anon   June 2017

This was an excellent introduction to the Hardangerfjord, with a lovely range of walks which showed the fjord and the surrounding countryside off well.  We particularly loved the stays in Kinsarvik and Lofthus, and a real highlight was the walk to the Monks Steps with fabulous views over the fjord, followed by a soak in the infinity pool back at the hotel, overlooking the fjord.  It was a really well organised trip, with interesting, varied walks and - on the whole - a good range of hotels.  The transport links and walk descriptions were excellent, leaving us with no decisions to make!

Mr G Horsburgh  New Zealand June 2017

The walk from the museum to Raudstadt involved a couple of slightly difficult stream crossing because of recent heavy rain.

Like former Inntravel clients, for us the stay in Hotel Ullesvang was special.  It didn’t hurt that, for reasons that are illusive, we were upgraded to a 6th floor suite  -  nor that the Queen of Norway was staying and picked up by the Royal yacht which was quite a spectacle  -  enhanced by the hotel’s usual midsummer celebration with children in national costume.  

Plans for our full day in Lofthus went a wee bit awry.  We thoroughly enjoyed the climb up to Hovden despite a light drizzle turning to steady rain.  We have an excellent photo of trees at the top of Hovden against a background of thick cloud!

Mrs S Young  Dumfries June 2017

What a wonderful holiday – travelling as a single I always appreciate Inntravel's attention to detail and know that everything is going to go to plan. Norway has long been on my bucket list and have just returned from a great holiday – hotels were all fantastic with the most wonderful views. I did enjoy the walks, especially the walk from Granvin Church to Ulvik and the walk up the Monks Steps to Nosi. I was very sad not to be able to continue up to the plateau as the weather closed in and would also have loved to walk the Queen's Walk, but once again the weather didn't play ball.

All the travel arrangements between villages went extremely well and I particularly enjoyed the bus trip from Northeimsund back to Bergen – we passed through some beautiful country. I'm so glad that I added an extra night onto my stay in Ullensvang and also had two extra nights in Bergen on the way out – both very well worth while.

I would say to others going on this holiday, good rain gear and suitable walking boots are essential – it can certainly rain. The weather can very quickly change from sunshine to rain then back again!

Thank you Inntravel for a wonderful introduction to Norway – I will certainly return.

INNTRAVEL NOTE: This customer enjoyed a city stay in Bergen followed by our Serene Hardangerfjord walking holiday

Mrs A Turner  Australia June 2017

We enjoyed a wonderful week of walking and found the walking guide an excellent resource. How thoughtful to include a plastic sleeve to protect walk pages. At centres where there were many options, Inntravel notes guided us to the most interesting and picturesque routes. All the arrangements for travel and accommodation worked beautifully. We appreciated having the Walking Notes and maps sent to us well in advance of us leaving Australia. We certainly look forward to our next holiday with Inntravel.

 

Dr J Reisman  USA June 2017

Wonderful way to explore and enjoy the Hardangerfjord and surrounding area; with a well organized self-guided walking trip.

Mr B Bottle  Petworth May 2017

Highlights: The walk from Granvin church to Ulvik was very rewarding with varied and very beautiful scenery.  The waterfall walk from Kinsarvik was hard work but again the waterfalls were well worth the effort even though the fourth waterfall was shrouded in mist that day. The 1100m climb to Nosi and on to the plateau and the end of the Queen's Trail somehow seemed easier (thanks to the monks' work) and provided spectacular views of the fjord and the plateau itself - a great finale, and great facilities in the hotel to help the legs recover.

We did the Nosi climb on the day we arrived at Lofthus departing at around llam, but if you could arrange baggage transportation from Kinsarvik to Lofthus it would allow the Queen's Trail to be tackled from Midnes on that day, as an alternative to getting the bus all the way to Lofthus.

In Voss we wanted something a bit more challenging than the suggested routes so followed a route via Bordalsgjelet, Gjelle, Hovden and the Roset hut towards Sandfjellet and Grasidetoppen. We turned back just as we were reaching the plateau c.900m as the mist moved in. It was a bit of a trek to the beginning of the climb and maybe a bit much for the first day so perhaps a better alternative would have been a route via Vassdalen then north towards Valberg, returning via Molsten.

 

Mr J Anderson  Frodsham May 2017

Amazing walks and stunning scenery. The waterfall walk round Kinsarvik and the queens walk were both challenging walks but extremely rewarding in terms of some of the most amazing views. The waterfalls are progressively more impressive, the third being the most dramatic I have ever seen!

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