Sognefjorden / Hella, Sogn og Fjordane County, Norway

About Kvinnafossen

Hiking Distance: roadside
Suggested Time:

Date first visited: 2005-06-29
Date last visited: 2019-07-21

Waterfall Latitude: 61.20944
Waterfall Longitude: 6.64775

Waterfall Safety and Common Sense

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.

Kvinnefossen_009_07212019 - Kvinnafossen as seen from my visit in July 2019
Kvinnafossen as seen from my visit in July 2019

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.

Kvinnafossen_006_06292005 - Kvinnafossen as seen from our first visit under a beautiful day in late June 2005
Kvinnafossen as seen from our first visit under a beautiful day in late June 2005

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).

Kvinnefossen_006_07212019 - Looking across the wide Sognefjord from the bottom of Kvinnafossen after the sun had set during my evening visit in July 2019
Looking across the wide Sognefjord from the bottom of Kvinnafossen after the sun had set during my evening visit in July 2019

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)!


Kvinnafossen resides near the town and municipality of Leikanger in Sogn og Fjordane County, Norway. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their website or Facebook page.

Rv55_034_07212019 - Part of the Kvinnafossen experience was driving along the Fv55 road, which pretty much ran alongside Sognefjord and its side arms like the Lusterfjord during my July 2019 visit
Kvinnefossen_008_07212019 - Awkward view up at the full height of Kvinnafossen from the viewpoint below the Fv55 road
Kvinnefossen_013_07212019 - Looking up at Kvinnafossen from the Fv55 road bridge
Kvinnefossen_015_07212019 - Another look back up at the Kvinnafossen from the Fv55 road bridge over the Kvinna
Kvinnefossen_020_07212019 - Looking back across the Sognefjord towards the last remnants of pink clouds after sunset during my 2019 visit to Kvinnafossen
Kvinnefossen_021_07212019 - Looking towards the Fv55 road bridge over the Kvinna Stream
Lustrafjorden_065_jx_06292005 - Lustrafjorden seen en route to Kvinnafossen along the narrow county road 55 during our late June 2005 visit. This photo and the rest of the photos in this gallery took place on that day
Sogndalsfjorden_002_jx_06292005 - About 7km south of Sogndalsfjøra, we spotted this roadside waterfall though we didn't know its name (possibly near Fardal?)
Leikanger_001_jx_06292005 - View of part of Sognefjorden from around the town of Leikanger
Leikanger_002_jx_06292005 - Looking out towards the wide open body of water of Sognefjorden
Leikanger_007_jx_06292005 - Another view out towards the wide open Sognefjorden along Rv55
Kvinnafossen_001_06292005 - View of Kvinnafossen from the pullout we stopped at
Kvinnafossen_004_06292005 - View of Kvinnafossen without the guardrails
Leikanger_008_jx_06292005 - Julie spotted this obscure waterfall as we left Kvinnafossen and headed back east towards Sogndalsfjøra

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.

Kvinnefossen_001_07212019 - The small car park along the Fv55 near Kvinnafossen
The small car park along the Fv55 near Kvinnafossen

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.

It was about 3km east of the ferry at Hella and about 10km west of the Fjord Hotel at Leikanger.

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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Video showing off the falls from below the bridge then from on the bridge

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Tagged with: leikanger, sogn og fjordane, sogndalsfjora, sogndal, hella, sognefjorden, luster, skjolden, norway, waterfall

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Johnny Cheng

About Johnny Cheng

Johnny Cheng is the founder of the World of Waterfalls and author of the award-winning A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls. Over the last 2 decades, he has visited thousands of waterfalls in over 40 countries around the world and nearly 40 states in the USA.
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