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Has anyone driven the "Hardanger" scenic route from Bergen

Checking if anyone has actually rented a car in Bergen & driven the "Hardanger" scenic route from Bergen ?

I want to get a sense of time how long will it take accounting for stops in between to reach Kinsarvic / Eidfjord.

Here is what I could gather using google maps -

Bergen - Granvin / Kvanddal - 2h
Granvin - Steinsdalsfossen - 1h
Norheimsund - Tørvikbygd - 15 m
Tørvikbygd - Jondal - FERRY 1h
Jondal - Utne - 50m
Utne - Kinsarvik - FERRY 1h
kinsarvik - Eidfjord -- 30m

So approximately 7 hours to do the above + Let us add 2 hours for stops in between ---> 9hrs
So if I start driving from Bergen at around 10 am, then by 7pm I should reach Eidfjord.

Does it add up ? Can someone who has done this actually comment ?

Posted by
5709 posts

Hi Sudipto, hopefully someone who has done the route will be along with their real-world experience. In the meantime, I would just note that I have always read that one should add 20% (?) to any estimated Google maps driving times, and second that with your two ferries on there, you're going to need to add in time for approaching and waiting for the ferry, and then getting off the ferry too (since you can't just drive up and way from the ferry but rather have to be there according to its timetable and wait with the other customers).

One other idea is to also try out Via Michelin's trip planner for the same routes and see what time estimations it gives, and see if it is similar to or varies very much from Google Maps's projections.

I imagine it's going to be a beautiful drive, but that sounds like a VERY long day.

Posted by
1439 posts

Was driving the area 3 times by own car ('14, '16, '18).

In general doable. Comments:

  • You can add 10-20% to Google Maps times. It is one of the worst tools to use in Europe.
  • No need to make the detour via Granvin. Just do Bergen - Steinsdalsfossen. Sun stand is better in the morning for photos.
  • You fully ignore waiting times for the ferries. Typical Google planning.
  • Do not stop the day in Eidfjord. Try to reach Voringsfossen by 6 pm. Best photo light.
  • Tip: Drive the Hardangerbridge once / twice on way Kinsarvik to Eidfjord. The underground circle leading to the bridges look somehow space-like (12th photo in top picture series about driving in Norway). Picture 13 is ferry to Kinsarvik.
  • Check traffic issues Norway in the morning before leaving Bergen.

In general: a journey through Norway shall not be planned by minutes. That is part of the experience.

God tur.

Posted by
70 posts

Thanks Kim.

I have always read that one should add 20% (?) to any estimated Google maps driving times, and second that with your two ferries on there, you're going to need to add in time for approaching and waiting for the ferry ...

Yes agreed; that is why I added 2 hours to the 7 hour estimate.

One other idea is to also try out Via Michelin's trip planner

Good suggestion ... just tried that. The timing is about 10-15 minutes more overall. Not much different.

Yes it would be a Long day... but MarkK has a good suggestion to cut down the time.

Posted by
70 posts

As always, very Helpful hints @MarkK. Will keep all of those points in mind particularly about the added timings.

Couple of questions -

No need to make the detour via Granvin. Just do Bergen - Steinsdalsfossen.

I was doing the detour to follow the Hardanger scenic route as advised. So you are suggesting that I can safely skip the "Granvin - Steinsdalsfossen" drive without missing much in terms of scenery / drive. Would really like to do that as it cuts down my travel time by almost 2 hours. Probably would miss out on "Steinstøberget" & "Skjervsfossen", but I guess I have to compromise on something.

Do not stop the day in Eidfjord. Try to reach Voringsfossen by 6 pm.

I was thinking of a night halt at Eidfjord and doing the "Hardangervidda Scenic Route" including Voringsfossen the next day before driving back to Bergen. You thing it would make much of a difference in visiting Voringsfossen in the evening vs morning ?

Posted by
1439 posts

As mentioned I would replace the Granvin to Norheimsund part by a later detour Hardanger bridge and if you want to extend add Skjervsfossen. Reason: To me the fjord gets more beautiful at its inner ends. You skipped Sorfjord for example - way to Odda which is also Hardanger route and even down to remarkable Latefossen. Understandable because you cannot do everything. But that is a much more scenic part to me than Granvin - Norheimsund.

The 530 is a very nice little road, sometimes narrow and on higher altitude. Your eyes wll get bigger if a bus will come along into the other direction :-)

Your day shall end in Eidfjord to sleep but do the detour trip at the end of that day if you have sun - otherwise you can do it the next morning. There is a looong curve before reaching the first parking area at the waterfall. Make a little stop there and walk back along the curve. With a little luck you will have a rainbow over one of the side falls, not the main fall. After this drive back to Eidfjord.

Posted by
70 posts

Wow @MarkK - you are a living encyclopedia on Norway. THANKS a Million !!

You have cleared all my doubts about how to attempt this drive. Will try to do as you say.

Posted by
1439 posts

"you are a living encyclopedia on Norway."

Thanks but I am not. There is so much missing, also traveling in other seasons.

Have a good and safe journey.