Langfoss

Etne Municipality / Akrafjord, Hordaland County, Norway

Rating: 4.5     Difficulty: 1
Langfoss

TABLE OF CONTENTS



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INTRODUCTION

Langfoss (literally pronounced and translated like "Long Falls") was a powerful cascading waterfall that tumbled down almost the entire length of a mountainside before spilling into the Åkra Fjord (Åkrafjorden; "OH-kra-feeord-un"). According to the literature, it was said to be 612m tall making it one of the tallest waterfalls in Norway as well as in the world. And from looking at the maps, I noticed that there were numerous lakes as well as a large catchment for snowpack where they ultimately would drain over the falls giving it its year-round flow.

Julie and I were able to view this waterfall from a couple of different choice spots. The first view (as seen in the photo at the top of this page) was from a bus stop along the E134 highway providing a panoramic view of both the Åkrafjord and Langfoss. From this vantage point, we could see the falls dwarf some of the structures near its base providing some visual clues as to its overall size (as well as its magnitude and grandeur). By the way, that bus stop came in handy because it allowed us to momentarily get out of the car and soak in the scene before us without getting in the way of traffic (see directions below).

The other way we saw the falls was from near its base. There was a large well-signed car park and we spent some time trying to appreciate the size of the falls from up close. I recalled it was even spraying the road (or at least the bridge spanning its watercourse), which kind of gave our rental car a bit of a car wash. In any case, Julie and I were content enough with our experience of Langfoss that we didn't explore any other ways it could have been experienced (though I'm now curious about these other ways to see the falls).

The waterfall was unregulated and allowed to flow wildly, which was definitely apparent during our visit in June 2005. However, I had read a sign near its base saying that there were plans to develop hydroelectric schemes that would impact the behavior of the falls. I guess it shouldn't be surprising that this waterfall would be targeted for harnessing hydro power given its voluminous flow. Despite there being some local opposition to such efforts (according to the same sign), the ever-increasing energy demands and implications to the local economy can't be ignored. So who knows when this gorgeous waterfall might be sacrificed like many of the country's other majestic waterfalls?




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PHOTO JOURNAL

This was our view of the thundering Langfoss from the car park by its baseThis was our view of the thundering Langfoss from the car park by its base
Not far to the northeast of Langfoss was the Odda Valley (Oddadalen), which featured numerous major waterfalls, including Låtefossen, which is pictured hereNot far to the northeast of Langfoss was the Odda Valley (Oddadalen), which featured numerous major waterfalls, including Låtefossen, which is pictured here
A more focused look at Langfoss over the ÅkrafjordThis is a more focused look at Langfoss over the Åkrafjord
Further to the north of Langfoss at the northern end of Oddadalen was the well-situated town of Odda at the southern end of the South Fjord (Sørfjorden)Further to the north of Langfoss at the northern end of Oddadalen was the well-situated town of Odda at the southern end of the South Fjord (Sørfjorden)
This was the E134 heading west towards the Rv13/E134 junction near Skare on the other side of the Røldal TunnelThis was the E134 heading west towards the Rv13/E134 junction near Skare on the other side of the Røldal Tunnel

A pair of waterfalls we noticed across a lake (I think is called Rullestadvatnet)A pair of waterfalls we noticed across a lake (I think is called Rullestadvatnet)

Zoomed in on Langfoss as seen from the bus stop not far from a tunnelZoomed in on Langfoss as viewed from a bus stop not far from a tunnel

We finally left this view when there were some low-lying clouds obscuring the top part of LangfossWe finally left this view when there were some low-lying clouds obscuring the top part of the falls

Looking back at the watercourse of Langfoss flowing by the E134.  That blue sign was telling us there was a dreaded toll plaza 1km further eastLooking back at the watercourse of the falls flowing by the E134. That blue sign was telling us there was a dreaded toll plaza 1km further east

Julie checking out Langfoss from the car park near its baseJulie checking out the falls from the car park near its base

Notice the shops to the lower right trying to capitalize on the prime locationNotice the shops to the lower right trying to capitalize on the prime location

We went a little further east of Langfoss along the E134 just to see if there were other views of the falls, but it turned out there weren'tWe went a little further east of the falls along the E134 just to see if there were other views of the falls, but it turned out there weren't

Another look at an impressive waterfall across Rullestadvatnet as we were driving away from Langfoss towards OddadalenAnother look at an impressive waterfall across Rullestadvatnet as we were driving away from Langfoss towards Oddadalen

Some random waterfall seen from a bridge west of the Rv13/E134 junction near SkareSome random waterfall seen from a bridge west of the Rv13/E134 junction near Skare


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VIDEOS OF THE FALLS




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DRIVING DIRECTIONS

Since Julie and I approached the falls from the east, we'll describe the driving directions starting from the junction of the E134 highway and the Rv13 by the town of Skare (about 18km south of Odda via Oddadalen Valley or 23km west of Røldal).

From this junction, we headed west on the E134 passing through the the Åkra Fjord Tunnel (Åkrafjordtunnelen) along the way. At roughly 18km or so from the Rv13/E134 junction (shortly after the tunnel), there was a bus stop on the right side of the road. That was where we briefly pulled over and took photos.

Proceeding further along E134 for just under 2km (just past a toll station), there was a large car park with a small snack bar, gift shop, and picnic tables near the bridge where E134 got sprayed by the mist of the falls.

For context, Odda is 134km (about 3 hours drive with a ferry crossing) east of Bergen. Skare is 323km (about 5 hours drive) west of Oslo and 179km (over 3 hours drive with some ferry crossings) north of Stavanger.

Finally, there was one thing to note about our visit regarding that toll station (bomstasjon). It turned out that since the station was before the base of the falls, we actually had to pass through that toll station twice since we were coming from the east, and then we had to head back east after visiting the falls. Unfortunately, we had to pay that toll twice! Given how expensive things were in Norway, that certainly didn't help with our travel expenses.




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ITINERARIES

For more information about our itineraries involving this waterfall, check out the following links.




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MAP OF THE FALLS



Click here for the full World of Waterfalls map





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TRIP REPORTS

For more information about our experiences with this waterfall, check out the following travel stories.




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TRIP PLANNING RESOURCES




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NEARBY WATERFALLS




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Sleeping to the Sound of the Falls (Langfoss) 
I know this wonderful fall since the 70`s. I´ve often been there, when I was a young man. At that time it was possible to rise up a tent between …

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