Odda, Norway

Odda municipality has approximately 7.000 inhabitants and covers a area of 1.616,0 km2 lies in the Conty of Hordaland. The district centre is Odda, Tyssedal, Skare and Røldal. In Odda surroundings have two national parks (Hardangervidda and Folgefonna), Trolltunga above Ringedalsvatnet lake, Røldal with the deepest snow in Europe, an unique Røldal stave church, Buerbreen glacier an arm of the majestic Folgefonna glacier, Skjeggedal, Sandvinvatnet lake and the historical industry town Tyssedal. In Tyssedal you can see the fantastic Hydropower station by the fjord and its stunning surroundings.

In Oddadalen valley you will find numerous waterfalls, created by melt water from the glacier. A ravine between Hardangervidda and Folgefonna. In this unique valley there are numerous waterfalls within a distance of 10 km; Tjørnadalsfoss waterfall, Strandfoss waterfall, Vidfoss waterfall, Espelandsfoss waterfall and Låtefoss waterfall.

During the 19th century, Odda was one of the most sought after destinations for cruise passengers and other tourists. The landscape in the area provides compelling contrasts and the cultural history is fascinating.


Odda is a municipality and town in the county of Hordaland. The town of Odda is the centre of the landscape of Hardanger, located at the end of the Hardangerfjord. In 1927, Erling Johnson, working at Odda Smelteverk, invented a process to produce fertilizers. This process is now known as the Odda process. Odda is a modern town which grew up around smelters built at the head of the Sørfjord branch of the Hardangerfjord, drawing migrants from different parts of Norway. The carbide production and the subsequent production of cyanamide was started in 1908 after the water power plant was operational and provided the necessary electricity for the arc furnaces. The plant was the largest in the world and remained operational till 2003 shortly after the plant was sold to Philipp Brothers Chemicals Inc. The Norwegian government tried to get the site recognized together with other industrial plants as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


The Folgefonna glacier is just west of Odda and is one of the largest glacier in Europe. Experienced guides offer guided trips over the glacier. Enjoy the hour´s walk up to the glacier through the fertile greenery of the Buerdalen valley with its precipitous mountainsides. At the head of the valley, you can spy the vast crevasses in the ice and hear the glacier groan and creak as it imperceptibly moves. Every year at Whitsuntide, you can join an organised skiing trip and cross the Folgefonna from fjord to fjord. To the east and south of Odda is the Hardangervidda National Park, a beautiful area of mountain plain with excellent walking and Europe´s largest flock of wild reindeer.


Trolltunga at 1,100 meters above sea level and is a spectacular rock formation that stands horizontally out of the mountain about 700 feet above Ringedalsvatnet in Skjeggedal. To get to Trolltunga you must travel to Odda, then to Skjeggedal via Tyssedal. The hike takes approximately eleven hours return from the parking lot in Skjeggedal. You can take the Mågelibanen (funicular) or follow the trail along the path up to Mågeligtopp. From here you have to go east about 3 hours to get to Trolltunga. Tourist Association have cabins in the area where the accommodation is possible at Reinaskorsbu with 6 beds. The area opens up to the rest of Hardangervidda, and can be the starting point for longer trips, such as to Hårteigen.


From the station close to the Ringedals Dam and the Vetlavatn lake, the Mågelibanen funicular ascends 430 meters up the 42 degrees steep mountain side to the top station Mågelitopp, 960 meters above sea level. Experience wild and beautiful nature with a view to Folgefonna, Hardangerfjord, Hardangarvidda and Skjeggedal. It is a pendulum car (1 up and 1 down) taking 9 persons. Open June – August. Open for groups throughout the year. The Mågelibanen is part of an industrial landscape connected to the listed hydroelectric power station in Tyssedal and the industry in Odda.

Mågelibanen was built 1911-1912 by Tyssefaldene for transportation of workers and equipment to the mountains in connection to the building of a 600 meter long transfer tunnel between the lakes Øvre Bersåvatnet and Nedre Bersåvatnet in the Tyssedalsfjellene. The funicular was later used for supervision and maintenance of mountain installations. The funicular has also been used for hydroelectric constructions in the area. When the funicular opened, it made the spectacular rock formation Trolltunga and the attractive mountain plateau of Hardangervidda accessible to the public.


Ringedalsdammen lies in Skjeggedal and was listed under the time Rangvald Blakstad (1866-1929) was the Director of A/S Tyssefaldene from 1913 – 1923. The dam was built in granite. Ringedalsdammen is 521 meters long and 33 meters high. The width is 4 meters at the crown of the dam and 21.5 meters at the base. Magazine capacity is 407 million m3. Ringedalsdammen is decorated with a crown formed as a model of a medieval castle. In the middle you can see the initials Rangvald Blakstad and annual figures for dam construction period: From Ringedalsdammen you can walk into Ringedalen, or you can go over the dam and up to Mosdalen. Ringedalen is suitable as a starting point for hikes in the mountains, hunting and fishing, or hiking the Hardangervidda plateau.


Låtefoss waterfall has a free fall of 165 metres. Famous “twin” waterfall close to route 13. Låtefoss waterfall is the king among our waterfalls and an internationally famous attraction. At the southern end of the waterfall, you might follow the path leading to where the hotel was previously Iying. Today you only observe the ruine of the hotel estate.


Located 8 km from the heart of Odda, Buerdalen Valley is a beautiful, wild, and lush valley wedged between towering mountains. The area is ideal for area for cycle rides, and bikes can be hired at Odda Camping. At the very end of the valley you´ll find the spectacular ice blue Buarbreen Glacier, an arm of the majestic Folgefonna Glacier. If you´re well equipped with sturdy footwear, you can follow the way-marked trail from the car park to the glacier. The trip takes approximately 3 hrs return. If you would like to walk on the glacier, contact a guide.


Folgefonna is Norways third largest glacier. On the very top “Holmaskjær” you may spend the night in a mountain cabin built and owned by Odda Turlag (Rambling Association). The trip takes about 5-6 hrs one way. Glacier trips can be ordered at local glacier guides.


A collection of dairy farm houses. In Hilldalsdalen south-east of Odda, about 600 metres above sea level. The oldest houses date back for the 17th century. Dairy farming was here as well as many other places stopped during the 1950s. Today the farm remains as a beautiful memory from the old days. Toll bar. Key at Hildal Camping.


A big stone serving as an attraction. It is Iying there in sheer defiance of the law of gravity. The stone fell down March 12th 1978 and has been named after landowner Oddmund Hildal.


A valley with traditional dairy farming near Røldal. At the end of the valley you can see Valldalsdammen 700 meters above sea level, height 90 metres (a stone and gravel-filled dam). Valldalen is one of the most frequently used gateways for hikes on Hardangervidda, f.inst. to Sandfloeggi, the highest point of the plateau, 1.719 metres above sea Ievel. Sale of genuine goat cheese.


The old main route between Hordadalen and Seljestad goes through a ravine with steep mountain sides on both sides. The road was built during the years 1859-65, and it is open during the summer season. Close by the road you can have a look at the stone memorial “In memory of postman G. Turveit. Buried for 56 hours under a snow avalanche 3.1 1903. He dug himself out with the post horn”. The road is open for cars (width less than 2 metres).


The highest point on the road between Eastern and Western Norway (Haukelifjellet). The present road follows mainly the old route. Restored workers’ hut. Open during summer season.


The heritage landscape Mannsåker – Hjøllo and the heritage trail passing through the same area is available throughout the year with entrance from 4 places, Vasstun, Nedre Hjøllo, the bottom and the top of Ragde. Along the heritage trail there are signposts with information and pictures. The normal road from Vasstun to Hjøllo is frequently also in use for walks.


The workers’ dwellings in Odda is a department of Norwegian Hydropower and Industrial Museum furnished with typical objects from industrial workers’ homes in 1910 – 1950. Sightseeing in 5 different flats with furniture, exhibition and multi media programme. Open: mid June – mid Auguet.


Built in 1670. It is a longship type church, divided into choir, ship and “weapon house” with ths tower above. This type of “standard churches” were often called “master builder churches”. The church lies where there was formerly a church, the old church from before 1300 was torn down when the new one was built. Stones from the old church were usud in the foundation wall of the new church.


From 1930. Almost a copy of the old stone church in Odda.


Norwegian Hydropower and Industrial Museum is a vital and untraditional museum that keeps the dramatic history of waterfalls, international tourism, workers culture, the art of engineering, international capital and not at least how the electricity changed Norway. The museum shows the history and special architecture of Odda and Tyssedal through photo collections, permanent exhibition, multimedia programme and sightseeing in workers’ dwellinge, historic power station. The museum has an art and photo gallery, sales of home crafts and souvenire, and cafe. Opening hrs. summer: May 20th – Sept 2nd. Remaining year: Tue – Fri: 1000 – 1500. In the centre of Odda the museum has a department with historic workers dwellinge in a natural yard and garden area.

Tyssedel Power Station lies as an architectural pearl by the Hardangerfjord. The steep and impressing penstock that previously lead the water to the turbines, was a pioneer plant. In 1918 this plant was the biggest in the world. The power station was the first high pressure station in Europe, and is an heritage of national importance. Experience the history of technology among high, white piller columns, blue turbine, brass details and a marble control panel.


Come join us from fjord to mountain and waterfalls, along a marked paths to mountain lakes rich in fish. In Tyssedal you´ll find buildings with exciting architecture and outdoor swimming pool. Impressing is the powerplant Tysso (1906 – 18) with power station, penstock distribution reservoir and keeper´s house. In Skjeggedal, the Ringedalsdammen is located (1910 – 18), constructed in stone copying the old middle age castles – with parapet at the top. Tyssedal and Skjeggedal is a journey through “the new Norway”; from the mill house (1830) through Norwegian history of hydropower to the monument Elektra unveiled in 2000.

Tyssestrengene waterfall are east of the village of Tyssedal and the total drop is 646 metres, while the tallest single drop is 312 metres. The waterfall are fed by the Tysso river before flowing down into the Ringedalsvatnet lake. Tysso river has a length of 1.87 kilometres. The Trolltunga is located near the waterfall.


Consecrated in 1965. Modern church, designed by architects for Tyssedal. Outside pillars carry the church.


Waterslide down a river gorge 40 km south of Odda is Røldal. Here you can go kayaking in rivers and lakes, horse-riding over the Hardangervidda, rock-climbing and ice-climbing, or fish for trout in the Røldalsvatnet lake. You can visit one of the charming mountain farms in the area, where goats are set out to pasture during the summer. The area also has perfect wind conditions for paragliding – if you are feeling adventurous, you can take a tandem flight with an experienced “pilot”. Or try something even more unusual – watersliding down a river gorge in a wet suit, helmet and lifejacket.

The Røldal market is held every year, around Midsummer Day, and is an interesting exhibition of traditional handicrafts. Join the pilgrimage which ends with midnight mass in the stave church for a particularly memorable evening in Røldal.


Museum of culturel history. The clustered buildings have been preserved as they were originally. In Rabbestova you can see a collection of utility articles from the municipality. Of special interest is a collection of clothes and christening robee. Guided tours. Open all days in July.


Production and sale of goet cheese. Sighteeeing. Cafe.


One of the most importent churches in western Norwey in the Middle Ages. The church was probably built in the 12th century and decorated inside in the 16th. century. Around the turn of the century, the local congregation wanted to demolish Røldal stave church because of its strong connections with Catholicism. Fortunately, the local priest stepped in and saved this beautiful stave church. The crucifix which hangs over the entrance to the choir is believed to be some hundred years older and rumoured to have healing powers. The church is adorned with paintings and furniture from the 17th century.

The Stave Churches are constructions of high quality, richly decorated with carvings. In virtually all of them the door frames are decorated from top to bottom with carvings. This tradition of rich ornamentation appears to go back to the animal carvings of the Viking age. The dragons are lovingly executed and transformed into long-limbed creatures of fantasy, here and there entwined with tendrils of vine, with winding stems and serrated leaves. The elaborate designs are executed with supreme artistic skill. The stave church doorways are, therefore, among the most distinctive works of art to be found in Norway. However, it is difficult to connect them with the Christian gospel.


Skare is a village with approximately 336 inhabitants and is located near highway 13 in Odda valley. Skare church consecrated in 1926. Near the building site at Skare. “Chapel church” built in timber according to old tradition. Skare has a kindergarten and elementary school. Among industrial enterprises in the village is Skare sawmill, Skarsmo trading and Skare Auto (auto repair). The village has several cultural activities.


Røldal Skicentre can offer downhill trails and off-piste riding for all abilities. Our resort includes a chairlift, five draglifts, over a dozen trails, unlimited freeskiing terrain all above treeline in the deepest snow in Europe. We can accomodate all your alpine needs, from first-timers to the adventure-seeker and hardcore racer. The chairlift transports all guests to 1.000 m.a.s.l. Up here, with breathtaking views of the valley, steep mountains and the rest of the ski resort, you will find a cafe, a beginners lift and a great area for picnics and snow play. More experienced riders have four more draglifts to explore. Our summit lift takes you all the way up to 1.300 m.a.s.l, with miles and miles of freshly groomed trails or untouched powder waiting. The upper lift and offers a spectacular view of the Røldal Lake and the nearby mountain ranges.


Mountain trout from Tyssedal: Mountain trout can be caught in lakes up in the mountains, but it is difficult to get hold of. For catering establishments, good access and supply is important. Tyssedal, can boast a mountain trout breeding farm – located in a hall inside the mountain. The water used is pure mountain water from Hardangervidda, heated by excess heat from the Tinnfoss plant. This mountain trout is from the Tunhovd stock, a wild population found in mountain lakes at Hardangervidda. The farm has never been hit by any disease, and the fish has not been vaccinated or medicated. A high-quality product, free of any additives.


Odda Golfclub is a golf course with 6 holes and a variation of difficulties. The course lies at Outokumpu Norzink Industries in Odda.