The Most Famous Waterfall in Norway

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Vast quantities of water plunge 182 meters down after Vøringsfossen drops down from the Hardangervidda plateau to the Måbødalen valley. Now, the Norwegian Public Roads Administration has made the area safer, created unity and cohesion between the various viewing points to heighten the nature experience.

It is just an impressive sight in natural and idyllic surroundings. Måbødalen is narrow and steep, and this beautiful valley stretches from Eidfjord through to Hardangervidda, where it is possible to see the waterfall from the bottom of the valley. There used to be several roads passing through Måbødalen, and in the 1780’s stone steps were built (1300 in total) to make the journey easier.

The Most Famous Waterfall in Norway
Visitors looking at Vøringsfossen from Vossli. Photo: Silja Lena Løken / Statens Vegvesen

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If you want to see Vøringsfossen from the bottom of Måbødalen, you can park at Fossatromma and follow the old road down to the old waymarked trail from 1872 leading into the waterfall. The waterfall can be very loud, especially when discharge is great, and the drizzle from the waterfall can make the experience rather cool in more ways than one. From the main road it takes half an hour to walk to the waterfall.

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The Most Famous Waterfall in Norway
Vøringsfossen is just an impressive sight in natural and idyllic surroundings. Photo: Silja Lena Løken / Statens Vegvesen

The Most Famous Waterfall in Norway
Over time, Vøringsfossen has been visited frequently, and the landscape surrounding the waterfall has borne evidence of wear and tear. However, the Norwegian Public Roads Administration has improved the attraction considerably, both visually and safety wise. New viewing platforms, a spectacular footbridge across the river as well as new paths and improved visitor facilities such as parking and toilets have been constructed. The project has been designed by architect Carl-Viggo Hølmebakk.

The Most Famous Waterfall in Norway
Toilet facilities at Vøringsfossen. Photo: Tonje Tjernet / Statens Vefvesen

Architect Carl-Viggo Hølmebakk
Carl-Viggo Hølmebakk is a Norwegian architect who attended the Oslo School of Architecture and Design in 1984, and the Cooper Union in New York in 1985. Hølmebakk has designed several viewing points and rest areas along the National Tourist Routes, including Sohlbergplassen in Rondane, and he has received several prizes for his designs.

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The Most Famous Waterfall in Norway
The Norwegian Public Roads Administration has improved the attraction considerably, both visually and safety wise. Photo: Silja Lena Løken / Statens Vegvesen

The attraction is partially wheelchair accessible. The toilets at Vøringsfossen are closed in winter from November to the beginning of May.

Read about other scenic routes here

Feature image (on top): Kjersti Wold

The Most Famous Waterfall in Norway, compiled by Tor Kjolberg

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