Flowering Hardangerfjord hero

Experience the Flowering Slopes of the Hardangerfjord

Scandinavia’s most beautiful springtime experience.

Photo: Shutterstock
February 2024
The cherry trees in Japan or California’s “Super Bloom” are certainly beautiful. But in Norway you can enjoy an equal—if not superior—springtime spectacle when the apple trees along the fjords are in bloom.

Every spring, a pink and white explosion sweeps through the flowering orchards that cover the slopes of the Hardangerfjord—one of Norway’s longest, most beautiful, and most famous fjords—as hundreds of thousands of apple trees burst into bloom. It’s a magical and weather-sensitive phenomenon that usually starts in mid-May and lasts a month, but it can begin as early as April.

The fjord and the flowering have long attracted tourists, as evidenced by the Utne Hotel, which has been welcoming guests since 1722. This is a wonderful place to stay for those who want to keep things beautiful and traditional.

Aga Sideri
Photo: Aga Sideri

From flowers to cider

The apple blossom is not only a beautiful and visual feast for the eyes but also an important time for apple growers, as it marks the beginning of the growing season when the apple trees are pollinated and then bear fruit. Forty percent of Norway’s fruit is actually produced around the Hardangerfjord, as it has a climate that is particularly suited to growing fruit.

The apples are then used in the very successful local cider industry. One tip is to visit some of the famous cider breweries, such as Store Naa Siderkompani or Aga Sideri, both of which are located along the Sørfjord, a tributary of the Hardangerfjord. Stopping to sample the local cider is highly recommended!

Salmon Eye
Photo: Tobias Lamberg Torjusen

Beyond the flowers

The Hardangerfjord is an adventure in itself. Once your eyes have feasted upon the blossoming hillsides, don’t miss out on excursions to the spectacular, protruding Trolltunga rock. Walk behind the famous Steinsdalsfossen waterfall or visit the Salmon Eye, the world’s largest floating art installation, where you can learn about Norwegian aquaculture and enjoy a luxurious meal at Restaurant Iris.