"Hordaland - if you don't mind the rain" Hordaland by Saagar

Hordaland Travel Guide: 997 reviews and 2,832 photos


Hordaland is the most self-conscious part of Norway. People here are sure-footed, rooted in proven traditions and carry a certain pride.
Most visible this is no doubt in the main city, and Norway's second largest, Bergen. One of the most well-kept and beautiful cities in Norway, it has a civic pride unlike anything you will find in Norway. Bergeners are hopelessly in love with themselves and their city and talk about it, too! It's a bit endearing - the rest of the nation does tolerate it on this account!

Hordaland most of all is a county of industrious (literally) coastal people. Much of the oil industry is run from here and the southern county neigbour Rogaland. Behind the coastline are huge areas of mountains, some - in fact much - raped by hydropower exploitation. It still leaves much for travellers; Folgefonn area, Hardangervidda plateau's western part, Stølsheimen mountains and all the fjord landscapes of Hardanger, Austevoll, Osterøy, Øygarden, and the big islands south of Bergen.


Access to Hordaland is easy. From Oslo the main links are by train (Oslo-Bergen about 7 hrs), bus (Haukeliekpressen 8-9 hrs), plane (30-35 mins). From other places in Norway, bergen access is also easy by plane, and by boat from coastal Norway's cities: the coastal express liner startes from here and plods all the way up to the Russian border, there are fast boat links from Stavanger, Haugesund, Måløy, Florø and the Sognefjord villages (mainly summer).
A Ryanair connection from UK to Haugesund airport south of Bergen has increased interestr in short visits to Hordaland by air. Otherwise there are passenger ship connections to Newcastle (UK) and air connection to a nukber of European destinations.

Things to do in Hordaland

Seeing the landscape
Boating the fjords
Skiing Voss' downhill tracks
Rafting and kayaking the rivers
Kayaking the fjords and islands north and south of Bergen (Bømlo especially)
Check out the only city in Norway with a real urban culture: Bergen
Check out Bryggen UNESCO World Heritage waterfront in Bergen, some museums and cultural sights
Sample Grieg's music and his composer home
Eat excellent seafood
Buy an umbrella

When to go?
The Hordaland/Bergen weather can be just terrible. For summer visitors, better come early; late May and June is the best period and with the fruit flowering it is the best time to look around.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Diversity, beautiful coastal nature, mountains, Bergen city
  • Cons:Humpty-bumpty travel scene, abysmal weather statistics
  • Intro Written Jan 8, 2006
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