When driving from Bergen to Hardanger the road wil take you right past these two amazing waterfalls if you go the route via Kvamskogen. This time of year, when the snow is melting in the high mountains the waterfalls are particularly impressive and powerful. Bring your rain coat and go exploring. These waterfalls are just there, waiting for you to come close up and admire.
The areas around the waterfalls allow for picnics and shorter or longer hikes. For the children coming up close to one of these waterfalls will make a great experience of the wild nature we have in Norway.
This is probably an underestimated place to stop enroute from Bergen to Kvamskogen. I cannot count the number of times I have driven past here without realizing it was very much worth a stop, especially in the spring.
If you take your time to stop here and walk about 400 metres along the river and the road you will get close up and se how wonderful this area is. Mørkhølsfossen comes down from the water at Røssebotnen, via the Verkafossen and into a rounded pool, and joins another river in the valley.
It is possible to walk along both sides of the Mørkøls bridge, an old bridge from 1898. However, to get to the view point where you see the waterfall from straight ahead and you better walk along the main road side of the river.
I would imagine this to be a great place to go for a swim on really hot summer days, when there is less water in the river and warmer. The area around the pool allows for sunbathing or picnic. Although it is pretty close to the main road the sound of the waterfall dominates the place.
Fossen Bratte: The Bridal Veil waterfall
Fossen Bratte, also called the Bridal Veil (Brudesløret) is a large impressive waterfall easily accessible from the main road RV7 when driving between Bergen and Kvamskogen/ Norheimsund in Hardanger.
In the spring time the water masses that flow through here are enormous, due to all the snow melting from the high mountains at Kvamskogen. This year in particular we had large amounts of snow late in the season making June this year a great time to explore this impressive waterfall.
The Fossen Bratte can be accessed by stopping at the side of the main road just before the Fossen Bratte tunnel. If you simply want to see the waterfall and go close up I recommend stopping here.
It is also possible to go along the old main road outside the tunnel, this can be accessed from either side of the Fossen Bratte tunnel. Here you will also find the War memorial from World War II. There were battles between Norway and Germany here during the occupation of Norway in 1940. Go there to learn more about the history. From the war memorial site the waterfall can be seen from a different angle.
Another piece of history concerning Fossen Bratte is the tragic accident in 1951 when a newlywed couple from France having their honeymoon in Norway drove off the road at the cliff and drove into the waterfall and died. Several people think this is why the waterfall is also named the Bridal Veil, but facts says this is not really the case. Fossen Bratte was called the Bridal Veil by locals before this.
Visiting these waterfalls is a great thing to do on a rainy day, as the waterfall will make you wet either way, and the scenery and power is just as impressive without a blue sky.
If the weather is good this is a great area for having a picnic and rest from your road trip, offering typical Norwegian nature combined with an interesting history.
If you want to go hiking in this area it is possible to hire a guide to take you on a real summit hike. One alternative is to hike to Storagrønova at 1016 m.a.s.l. This hike is described at www.ut.no This can be accessed from the RV7 main road between Mørkhølsfossen and the Fossen Bratte.
Next waterfall to chase is the Steinsdalsfossen upon arriving in Norheimsund: Steinsdalsfossen – walk through the waterfall .
See also the post about the Vøringsfossen hike accessible from Eidfjord in the innermost Hardanger on the way to Hardangervidda.