Kvinnafossen (I’ve also seen it spelled Kvinnefossen) was a gorgeous 120m roadside waterfall that faced the vast Sognefjord (Sognefjorden; said to be the longest fjord in the world).
Julie and I first saw this waterfall at the tail end of our self-tour of the Luster Fjord (Lustrafjorden – the easternmost arm of Sognefjorden), where we made an out-and-back detour on the way to Fjærland and beyond.
We were blessed with great weather during that visit in 2005 so we got to see the vivid sky-blue colors in the waters of the fjord while the bright white of the falls contrasted with the deep blues of the sky.
In 2019, I managed to fit in a long out-and-back detour taking advantage of the long daylight hours as I got to witness both the falls as well as the pink clouds of the magic hour of sunset.
This waterfall was pretty easy to visit as it was pretty much roadside.
Not only could we see Kvinnafossen directly from the bridge across the Kvinna Stream, but there was also a short jaunt towards an awkward view back up at the falls with the road bridge fronting it.
That was pretty much the extent of our visits each time we’ve been here.
That said, I can imagine that the best views of this falls would be from the vast Sognefjord itself.
We can’t say anything more about that option since we didn’t do it, but I can totally see how it can provide a satisfying contextual look at the falls.
Theories behind Kvinnafossen’s Name
There seemed to be an association of Kvinnafossen with a few myths and stories largely because the word kvinne was Norwegian for “lady” or “woman”.
The first such story that we encountered in our research was that when the flow of the falls was “just right”, a rock formation around Kvinnafossen would cause the falls to resemble the shape of a woman.
Apparently, fjord cruises on Sognefjorden used to pull up close to the falls to try to view this phenomenon.
The next story we came across in our research said that a woman plunged to her death at this waterfall (though we’re not sure why it happened).
Thus, the falls was named after her.
This event might have also fueled the next story, which some believed that the falls can make a screaming sound reminiscent of some woman either screaming in distress or screaming in a state of joy.
Well, we couldn’t corroborate these claims based on our experience at the falls.
However, we have seen photos from the literature showing Kvinnefossen in its highest flow (probably during the melting snow season of Spring) shrouding the road across it with mist (giving passing cars a car wash).
It wasn’t the case both times I visited the falls, but I’d imagine it would be quite a sight (especially for cruises that would be fortunate to see such a phenomenon in context)!
Julie and I drove to Kvinnafossen along the Fv55 heading south some 33km from the Rv5/Rv55 junction at Sogndalsfjøra (or just Sogndal).
So we’ll pick up the driving directions from there.
Continuing south on the Fv55 from Sogndal, we drove for another 32km before arriving at the small car park on the left just past the road bridge fronting Kvinnafossen.
This drive would typically take over 30 minutes.
It’s worth noting that we also stopped for another waterfall that looked regulated at about 7km south of Sogndal.
The falls was between the townships of Leikanger and Hella.
For geographical context, Sogndalsfjøra was about 55km (an hour drive) south of Skjolden, 105km (about 90 minutes drive) east of Førde, 139km (over 2 hours drive) south of Stryn, 72km (over 90 minutes drive with a ferry crossing) north of Flåm, 219km (over 4 hours drive with ferry crossings) northeast of Bergen, and about 315km (over 5 hours drive) northwest of Oslo.
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