Ulvik Norway

Visiting Ulvik Near Bergen – Hidden Gem on Hardangerfjord

None of us knew anything about Ulvik when planning a trip to Norway. We were going to housesit in Bergen, so the first thing we knew we wanted to do was to see fjords. And the first one on the list was Hardangerfjord.

The plan was to do panoramic hiking, have an adventure in the Trolltunga area, visit Odda, get to a glacier, and experience some other exciting things.

But, Ulvik wasn’t on our radar.

Until the moment when we needed to find budget accommodation for a few days on the way from Oslo to Bergen and later when driving from Bergen to Hardangerfjord.

looking at Ulvik fjord in a distance
Anywhere in Ulvik the landscape is stunning
Bergen to Hardangerfjord
Ulvik nature

How & Why We Decided to Visit Ulvik, Norway

We owe our discovery of Ulvik to the fortunate find of affordable accommodation in the area (for us it was couchsurfing) when on our road trip through southern Norway.

To economize on our Norway adventure, we opted to rent a car in Gothenburg, Sweden – a notably cheaper alternative – and embarked on a journey to Bergen, with planned stops in Oslo and the Hardangerfjord region.

Given our tight budget, especially by Norwegian standards, the prospect of staying in traditional lodging for even a single night seemed financially daunting. Camping wasn’t feasible due to the absence of a tent, and sleeping in the car wasn’t our preferred option. Couchsurfing was a possibility, but we were fortunate enough to come across a welcoming host in Ulvik, who not only provided affordable accommodation but also offered to acquaint us with the charm of the town where he resided.

Driving through Norway without pausing to appreciate its breathtaking landscapes would have been a regrettable oversight. Thus, finding a way to slow down and enrich our road trip experience became essential. Thanks to our hospitable host in Ulvik, we were able to immerse ourselves in the magic of a town we might never have discovered otherwise.

whites nights in Ulvik Norway
From the terrace of a place where we stayed in Ulvik at night! I took this photo after 23:00 in June during the midnight sun. It was amazing to experience this phenomenon for the first time in my life!

Yes, Ulvik is a magical and very charming town. It is situated right at the corner of Hardangerfjord, is tucked in the mountains, and has impressive nature.

It impressed us so much that we made a plan to revisit Ulvik during another trip from Bergen to the Hardangerfjord area. And from all our hearts recommend you do the same.

Things to Know About Ulvik Before You Go

It is Situated Directly on the Hardangerfjord

Ulvik is situated on the third-longest fjord in the world and the second-longest fjord in Norway which is why it is already a special place and very beautiful.

The Hardangerfjord has deep blue waters, towering cliffs, and an intensely green landscape. Ulvik, located on the eastern shore of the fjord, overlooks all of that together with tranquil forests lining the fjord’s edge.

Its fjord area is a haven for nature lovers and those seeking a peaceful retreat amidst magnificent panoramas. You can come here to hop on a boat away from too many tourists, walk around the village overlooking the mountains, or simply enjoy the serenity of village life on such a big fjord.

Ulvik is on the Road From Bergen to Hardangerfjord

views around Ulvik

Ulvik village

This is why it is very convenient to visit it on a road trip in the area and there is no need to get off your main route. No matter if you travel from Bergen to Hardangerfjord or from Oslo to Bergen, detouring to Ulvik will take less than half an hour of your time. But this detour will definitely leave lots of memories.

If you don’t take a ferry, in order to get to Odda or Eidfjord you need to pay for a Hardanger bridge crossing (the price is around $20). Before you even get to the bridge, turn onto road 572 towards Ulvik which goes through the fjord and opens up amazing views.

Another option is to drive to Hardanger bridge but before getting on it, to make a turn to 572 East. It would take around 15 minutes to drive there. And 15 minutes back to the bridge and main road.

Side note: Our host told us that the price for the bridge with time may possibly decrease or be removed at all. He said that’s how the government usually pays for construction. Sometimes they set a toll for a newly built road, bridge, or tunnel. And once the expense is paid, the toll is partially or completely removed. So who knows, maybe when you are there, the bridge crossing will be free.

It is Less Known Among Tourists

on the way from Bergen to Hardangerfjord

While most visitors to the Hardangerfjord area flock to Eidfjord, Kinsarvik, or venture all the way to Odda – and rightfully so, as these towns are definitely worth a visit – they tend to draw large crowds. In contrast, Ulvik remains a serene haven, often overlooked by the masses. With its picturesque charm, it’s surprising how many people are unaware of its existence.

With a population of just over 1,000 people and relatively few tourists, Ulvik stands out as one of the quietest spots along the Hardangerfjord. Whether you’re here for a few hours or a full day, you’ll enjoy the tranquility of life the town offers.

During our three-day stay in Ulvik, we encountered only a handful of tourists – a couple of buses dropping off and picking up Chinese tourists, some bikers leisurely exploring the area, and a boat of sightseers snapping photos of Ulvik from the water. Apart from these occasional sightings, the town remained remarkably peaceful, allowing us to fit in organically with the local ambiance and truly savor the essence of Ulvik.

Things to Do in Ulvik, Norway 

Are you familiar with those situations when you plan to visit and do a bunch of activities in a place you travel to, but then you get there and barely cover half of what you planned? That’s us. And that’s a story about Ulvik.

There is no way to squeeze all the fun things this town offers in just one day. You technically can, if you rush, but why would you?

With the number of activities and things to do in Ulvik, you can stay busy for a few days, so it may be nice to plan an overnight stay here as we did.

Explore the Hardangerfjord Without Too Many People

One of the best ways to achieve a level of intimacy with nature on Ulvik Fjord is by taking a boat tour or kayak excursion there. A really nice place where to rent kayaks is B-Active Center. They even offer small tours of the area with a guide.

Not far from the shore it is possible to spot seals and dolphins, and if you take a tour, also learn about the wildlife here.

Go on a Roadless Tour Along the Fjord

view of Hardangerfjord from Ulvik

One of the most adventurous things to do in Ulvik is to hop on an inflatable boat and go by water into the Osafjord branch of the Hardangerfjord. In this way, you’ll have the opportunity to explore remote fjord villages and admire spectacular scenery that is inaccessible by road.

You start from Ulvik and travel into the 13-kilometer-long Osafjorden, passing several historic villages along the way and seeing the traditional way of life in these villages and gaining insights into the lives of the people who have inhabited the area for generations.

Do it with Hardangerfjord Adventure company and prebook tour a few days in advance since they are not located in Ulvik (especially when visiting in summer).

Visit Ulvik Main Church

In the center of Ulvik, by the water (surrounded by a tiny park area), there is a historic wooden church that dates back to the 12th century. It is not a place where to spend hours but make a stop here to admire the old church building and take beautiful photos.

The church is known for its picturesque location overlooking the fjord. 

Make a Stop in One of the Fruit Orchards


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A post shared by Hardanger Saft og Siderfabrikk (@hardangersaftogsiderfabrikk)

Ulvik is famous for its fruit orchards, particularly apple orchards which thrive in the mild climate created by the surrounding fjord landscape.

Here, you can experience some of the finest apples in Norway, benefiting from the fertile soil and favorable growing conditions. When you visit Ulvik, get a chance to immerse yourself in the fruit-growing heritage of the region by wandering through the orchards, picking your own apples, and savoring the taste of freshly pressed apple juice.

The farm that we visited and liked was Hardanger Saft-og Siderfabrikk located on the hill (location here), so besides apple cider tastings you also get some pretty views of Ulvik from above!

Go Hiking

Of course! Being on the Hardangerfjord and not going to hike in the area would be a huge miss! The fjord landscape offers a plethora of hiking trails that cater to all levels of experience, from leisurely walks to challenging treks.

There are several hiking trails around Ulvik that offer spectacular views of the fjord and surrounding mountains. But our favorite one was the ‘Ulvik Panorama Trail’ which starts from the village center and goes up towards rocky outcrops. The trail is relatively easy and suitable for hikers of all levels.

But once in the village, you’ll see other trails (or simply asphalt roads) in different directions and all of them are quite scenic.

Rent a Bike & Cycle Around

biking along the Hardangerfjord
View from the road 572 – you can go by bike or car

Another way to explore the scenic countryside surrounding Ulvik is by bike which you can rent from the same B-Active center that I mentioned above for the kayaks.

Besides bikes, guys working at the center can share bike routes that take you through orchards, along the fjord, and into the mountains.

Continue on a Scenic Drive to Osa

A road from Ulvik to a small village Osa (on the eastern shore of the Hardangerfjord, near Ulvik) is part of the Hardanger National Tourist Route, a scenic drive that passes through some of Norway’s most breathtaking landscapes.

Once you are there with a car, go on a drive to Osa and enjoy the views of the fjord, waterfalls, and mountains.

Go Fishing

If you love fishing, Ulvik will be a surprising place where to participate in this activity. Fishing in the fjord is allowed and it is possible to catch trout, salmon, and cod in the fjord’s water.

Finally – Just Relax

streets in Ulvik

Ulvik is so naturally beautiful and captivating that even without participating in specific activities or attractions, you can still have a fulfilling experience simply by being present in the surroundings and soaking in the beauty of the place. Even if you decide to take it slowly and be kind of lazy, you’ll still have a memorable visit, regardless of whether you choose to engage in any activities on this list or not.

Mark and I planned to do lots of hiking and visit an apple cider farm but ended up just walking around and enjoying peace and tranquility. We really didn’t want to do anything except take delight in nature. And it also felt like so much.

During one night we also drove to Hardanger Bridge and walked on it. It was absolutely exciting to see the fjords from above.

Where to Stay in Ulvik?

If you are a budget traveler like us and decide to stay overnight in Ulvik (and couchsurfing is not an option) then look into Hardanger Gjestehus or a room through Airbnb. Those are the cheapest options in the area.

We personally, as mentioned earlier, stayed with a Couchsurfer. But when we were waiting for his confirmation we did research where we could stay if he wasn’t able to host us.

The guest house was the most budget-friendly option at that time. Probably because we were looking at the last minute. However, later we found a few cheaper rooms on Airbnb.

A Few More Tips for a Visit to Ulvik on Hardangerfjord From Bergen 

The weather in Ulvik, as probably anywhere in Norway, can be unpredictable. I highly recommend taking layers with you and a sweater. It can be warm and sunny one minute and then cloudy and windy a moment later.

When we were there in June, it was quite chilly and windy to the point that we had to wear pants and long sleeves.

Another thing to remember – since the town is small, don’t expect a lot in regard to places to eat. There is one coffee shop, two tiny grocery stores, and a few restaurants, including the one at the hotel. Our favorite one was Den Grone Kafe mainly because of the location on the water.

Other Unique Places to Visit in Norway

For anyone who is planning to drive from Bergen to Hardangerfjord or from Oslo to Bergen I highly recommend visiting a lovely town Ulvik, which is tucked away in the mountains at the corner of Hardangerfjord. Visiting Ulvik reminds of a fairytale.. #norwaytravel #norwayfjords #visitnorway #hardengerfjord #bergenroadtrips
Make sure to include a cute little town Ulvik in your itinerary when visiting Hardangerfjord from Bergen. Ulvik in Norway is full of stunning hikes, viewpoints and quite a few interesting things that will keep you busy during the entire time you are there. Discover Ulvik either you are traveling from Oslo to Bergen, on your drive from Bergen to Oslo or when visiting fjords in this part of Norway #bestofnorway #hardangerfjord #triptonorway

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  1. I love visiting small towns when I travel, especially if they have beautiful views like Ulvik! Bergen is on my shortlist for Europe trips, so hopefully I can squeeze in Ulvik as well 🙂

    1. I know, right? We often experience the same – return from a place just to realize that missed or passed by something that was worth visiting!

  2. I must say… my wife is from this town and we’re spending 17th of May there. It’s amazing. We LOVE water skiing with her family. It’s amazing how everyone knows everyone and it’s just so amazing there! <3

  3. I ran across your blog, Anya, as we are planning on visiting Sweden & Norway, Spring, 2026! Sweden is home of my grandfather, & Norway my Grandmother (mother’s parents), who I lived with for many years when I was younger. My mother never was able to go visit her many cousins, aunts & uncles, but I am going! So happy you mentioned Ulvik – the home of my great-grandmother & my grandmother. In fact, tracing back to 1610, we can trace her family as apple, cherry orchard & dairy farmers. Some of her family moved to south of Stavanger by 1790. We hope to travel from Stockholm through Dalarna, where my Grandfather was from (Falun), & then into Norway. Appreciate the tips on renting a car, parking & other things to do & see.

    1. Hi Dave, thank you so much for sharing your incredible family history and travel plans! It sounds like you’ll have a fantastic adventure ahead, filled with personal significance and exploration of your family’s heritage.

      Before you go, I’ll have many more posts about that area on my blog, so I hope to see you here again. But if I don’t, then safe travels to you! Enjoy every moment reconnecting with the places that hold such deep family ties!

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