Hardangervidda is a large mountain plateau in southern Norway, situated between the cities of Oslo and Bergen. The area around is at an average elevation of 400m (1200 ft) above sea level, while the plateau itself is at an average elevation of 1,100 m (3,500 ft). So the norwegians call it “the mountains” altough is is not that high. Parts of Hardangervidda a declared as a national park.
Hardangervidda can be translated as the width of Hardanger. The area around is called Hardanger, as there is a fjord in the west of the plateau which gives it the name (Hardangerfjorden)
The plateau is the largest plain in Europe, covering an area of about 2,500 square miles (6,500 km²) at an average elevation of 1,100 m (3,500 ft). At some parts going up to the plateau means steep ascends. The plateau is mostly treeless and dominated by mooreland. Different lakes and rivers cross the Hardangervidda. The west and east of the Vidda are singnifically different. Rocky and steep areas will be found in the west, while the east is more green and lovely. A small glacier area ist situated south of Finse, see the description of SP´s Pulsar Hardangerjökulen
The eaysiest way to reach Norway is by plane. The airports of Oslo and Bergen destinations of the big airlines. Some low-cost carriers actually go there or go to some smaller airports near those cities.
It is also possible to reach Norway by boat with a ferry from England, Denmark, Germany or the Netherlands. When you want to bring your car, the ferry would be best choice, however they are really expensive.
The railway system in Norway is not that developed. It is possible to reach Oslo in about five hours from Stockholm.
Some enterprises offer bus services to Norway. Probably for most of the people they travel much too long.
Starting points for visits of the Hardangervidda mostly are Finse, Geilo and Haukeliseter.
Hardangervidda is easy to reach by car, bus and train, depending, were you want to start. From Oslo or Bergen the Hardangervidda about three and a half hours away. Be cautious in winter. Some roads may be closed due to snowfall and ice (Signs: Vảg stengt).
By bus it is possible to go to Haukeliseter in the south of Hardangervidda (bus called “Haukeliekspressen”). Finse can be reached by train from Oslo or Bergen (so called Bergen train). Some norwegians take the night-train from Oslo to Finse and ski the Vidda on one day to go back to Oslo with the last bus from Haukeliseter. To Geilo you can go by bus and even by train.
There is no red tape. Mountaineers and skiers are welcome to Norway in case that they obey the “Allemansrätten” (means everybody´ s law). According to that unwritten rule you, as a hiker, climber or skier, may stay everywhere with a tent. Conditions are that you keep a distance to the next house of at least 150m (450 ft) and take all your rubbish with you when you leave. Making a fire is mostly not allowed. Leave the place where you stayed in the state you found it.
According to the Allemansrätten camping is allowed. It is possible to use the facilities of the hut, when you camp near them. Mostly they have showers and food. In winter the huts are closed for the most time, except the easter holidays.
Around the area there are a lot of camping sites. Spending holidays in cabins is very popular in Norway, so it is pissible to rent small huts.
I can also recommend the youth hostel in Uvdal, east of the Vidda. Very nice accomodation and a marvelous host.
Around the area there a a lot of cabins, hotels and hostels. To stay in a youth hostel is a cosy and cheap possibility. In winter, escpecially while the easter holidays it may be a problem to find a nice place.
Geilo Youth Hostel
Lienvegen 137, 3580 Geilo, phone: + 47 32 08 70 60
Rjukan Youth Hostel
Kvitåvatn Fjellstoge, 3660 Rjukan, phone: +47 35 09 20 40
Uvdal Youth Hostel
3632 Uvdal, phone: +47 32 74 30 20
The following huts are the biggest ones in the area. They often provide sleeping facilities for more than fifty persons. Most of them have showers and offer meals. Gas and food is also available
The hut is at a height of 1222m. Phone: 56 52 67 32; coordinates UTM: N 6718929.9 E 418241.00
Haukeliseter is south of the Hardangervidda at a height of 986m. Phone: 35062777; coordinates UTM: N 6633190.9 E 398737.00
A smaller cabin at 945m. Phone: 97692632.
Heinseter ist at 1095m. Phone: 906 65 041
At 1167m. No phone; coordinates: UTM: N 6650849.7 E 400397.56
Phone: 35 09 05 10; coordinates: UTM: N 6659223.9 E 464913.00
Phone: 478 13 660; coordinates: UTM: N 6702370.9 E 429201.00
No phone; coordinates: UTM: N 6666661.9 E 433433.00
Phone: 90 11 80 56; coordinates: UTM: N 6672388.1 E 454028.84
Phone: 415 50 404; coordinates: UTM: N 6680505.9 E 436359.00
Phone: 908 52 245; coordinates: UTM: N 6672864.9 E 415800.00
Phone: 482 19 414
Books and maps
We used the Turkart 26: Hardangervidda 1:100.000. You can buy that nearly everywhere in book stores around that area.
Usually one will not need a book for travellng Hardangervidda. In case that you want one, Lars Schneider, Outdoor Kompass Südnorwegen. Trekking-, Kanu-, Bike- und Wintertouren (only in german) or Tonia Körner, Norwegen: Hardangervidda. OutdoorHandbuch. Der Weg ist das Ziel
External LinksNOR-Way (bus lines from Bergen and Oslo)
Color-Line (main Ferry Connection to Norway)
Norwegian Youth Hostel Association
Norwegian Trekking Association
(Lots of informations about cabins, tracks and opening times)