Norway is known for its fjords and incredibly picturesque landscapes. We took a trip to Odda this summer and the most spectacular natural wonder you will see upon entering Odda, is the ‘Låtefossen’. Two massive mountain waterfalls, where you simply have to stop to take pictures. Very touristy, but it’s a must! We stayed at the Tyssedal hotel, which is approx.10min drive from Odda town center. We recommend it, it’s clean, has good beds and super friendly staff. Breakfast is pretty basic.
The only reason for visiting Odda was to hike to ‘Trolltunga’ (and meet up with some friends who were visiting from London), but when we researched closer, we thought it might be a bit too ambitious with up to 10 hours hiking. So we chose another trail, called the Dronningstien – The queens trail.
Don’t let the name fool you, it goes up to 1100 meters altitude in the mountains between Kinsarvik and Lofthus. And if you manage to hang in there and get to the top, you will be rewarded with an amazing panoramic view of Sørfjorden and the Folgefonna glacier. Even if you don’t make it to the top – you will still have amazing view along the trail. Dronningstien starts from Lofthus (or Urheim) and is about 30 minutes drive from Tyssedal hotel.
TIP: Pack a lot of water and a good stash of carbs and fruit, and chocolate too (good for kick starting the engine after some hours).
We parked in Lofthus center and started the hike from there, which added at least an hour to an already long hike. If you are not entirely fit, we recommend to drive up the dirt road some of the way up the mountain side. There is a parking there and that is also were the trail actually starts. The trail is estimated to take 6 hours return. It took us 7 hours total. Alternative is to drive to Urheim and start from there. Some say it’s easier to start there. On the last bit of ascent from Lofthus you will meet the ‘monk stairs’, these are old pilgrim stirs in the mountain that has been renewed and made longer by sherpas from Nepal.
TIP: Hardanger is known for its apple cider, don’t forget to get some with you. They taste amazing.