municipality in Vestland, Norway

Voss is a in a municipality in the inner part of Hordaland, between the great fjords of Sogn and Hardanger. Voss is known to be the adventure capital of Norway. Voss is also the major winter destination in Hordaland with two ski resorts and long skiing traditions. Voss village is are surrounded by rivers, mountains, fjord and lakes, and there is a wide range of challenges at all levels. A web of valleys converveges at Voss village, locally known as Vossevangen, which is also the centre of the municipality. The village sits at the eastern end of Vangsvatnet lake. Voss village is a station on the Bergen-Oslo railway line little over 1 hour by train or car from Bergen. Voss village is a transport hub as key roads and the railway intersect.

Voss village

Understand edit

Voss is the wide interior district in Hordaland county. Even if not directly at one of the great fjords, Voss is still a good base for a visit to fjords of Norway. From Voss the great Sognefjord and the romantic Hardangerfjord in less than 1 hour. Voss village, Vossevangen, sits a lovely lake, Vangsvatnet, and is a key station on the Bergen railway as well as a hub for roads Bergen-Oslo and roads north-south in the fjordland. A web of valleys converge at Voss village and Vangsvatnet is the confluence of several rivers. Below the lake Voss is connected to the inner fjord through a narrow valley. Voss river, Vosso, flows through the narrow valley through Evanger lake and drains into Bolstadfjorden. Vosso is known for its large salmon, average has been over 10 kilogram and records at 30 kg. The unique Vosso salmon is largely extinct. Evanger lake and Bolstadfjorden are narrow and complicated. Voss lake and village is only 50 meters above sea level. Voss is the only notable village in West Norway not situated at a salt water.

Road E16 and Bergen railway between Voss and Bergen.

From Voss the uplands at Myrdal and Finse is only an easy train ride away, areas that are available by train only. From Voss village several valleys stretches into the hinterland: Raundalen (with Bergen railway), towards Granvin and Hardanger, towards Myrkdalen, Vik/Vangsnes (road 13), and Opheim-Stalheim (road E16 to Gudvangen and Flåm). Raundalen valley cuts right east into the bedrock and the Raundal river partly flows through gorges, the road is dead end only the railway continues through a tunnel (Gravhalstunnelen) to Myrdal in Flåm district. The Gravhalstunnel from Raundalen to Myrdal is more than 5 kilometers and was the longest tunnel north of the Alps when completed in 1905. This railway tunnel was an engineering achievement as work began from both sides and workers missed by only 4 centimeters deep in the bedrock. The British army for many years used Raundalen area for winter training.

In the area you will also find a wide range of activity providers - including rafting, paragliding, mountain walking and guided excursions. Year-round there is a lot of cultural events, the most famous being The Extreme Sports Week - the world's biggest extreme sports festival.

Voss is sheltered by surrounding mountains giving relatively dry and warm summers and relatively cold winters. As Bergen has unstable weather and little snow, many travel from Bergen to Voss for skiing. Voss has a drier and more stable weather, winters are colder and summer warmer. In the Myrkdalen there is often heavy snowfall making the new ski resort there popular. Myrkdalen in 2018 was ranked as the 5th best ski resort in Norway, up from 9th in 2017. Good off-piste options and children's area.

Voss has a long history, and have been welcoming international tourists for almost 200 years. Visitors come to experience the magnificent scenery - never-ending vistas of mountains and nearby glaciers and fjords, lakes and fast-flowing whitewater rivers - and to have plenty of active fun year round.

Get in edit

Voss within Hordaland

It is easy to get to Voss by train, bus and car from gateways such as Bergen and Oslo with a number of international arrivals. The town is centrally located in South West Norway, only somewhat more than 1 hour from Bergen, 6 hours from Oslo and ”In the Heart of Fjord Norway”, between the famous fjords Sognefjorden and Hardangerfjorden.

Bergen is the main gateway for both international and national arrivals to this part of Western Norway, for arrivals by plane, bus or boat. If you are on a round trip without a car, there are several destinations in the region that have connections to Voss by public transport. Here are the main gateways:

By plane edit

Bergen Airport Flesland[dead link] is the closest airport to Voss, with non-stop international flights from larger scale European airports such as Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Copenhagen, London, Stockholm and Reykjavik. Low-cost airlines also operate non-stop flights to Bergen from international airports such as Paris, Berlin, Prague, Warsaw, Riga and London.

There are also, of course, direct flights from several Norwegian airports, including daily departures from Oslo Airport Gardermoen with SAS and Norwegian airlines.

By train edit

The original Bergen-Voss was built in challenging terrain (photo 1890)

Voss is a central stop on the Bergen Railway between Oslo and Bergen. The service to Bergen by train is fairly frequent, with several local trains making the run. The journey from Bergen takes about 75 minutes and costs kr 189 for one adult. Timetables available on the Norwegian State Railways (NSB) website.

At the time of construction the Bergen-Voss and Voss-Finse-Geilo stretches of railway were engineering achievements.

By bus edit

Busses from Bergen are operated by NOR-WAY and Skyss and take about 100 minutes.

By car edit

Road 13 from Vik runs across Vik mountain pass.
Road from Granvin through Skjervet gorge. New road in tunnel.

Voss is centrally located on the main road network in Western Norway. On Route E16 between Oslo and Bergen and on the North/South inland route RV13.

  • Bergen - Voss:
    • Route E16 via Arna and Dale (100 km, 1 hr 20 min)
  • Oslo - Voss:
    • Route E16 via Filefjell (420 km, 7 hr)
    • Route 52 via Gol and Hemsedal (400 km, 6 hr 30 min)
    • Route 50 via Hol and Aurland (380 km, 6 hr)
    • Route 7 via Hardangervidda (400, 6 hr)
    • Route 7 via Gol and Geilo (360, 5 hr 30 min)
  • From Førde and Balestrand: Road 13 including ferry Dragsvik-Vangsnes.
  • From Hardanger including Eidfjord:
    • Road 13 through Granvin
    • From Granvin lake scenic detour via old road through Skjervet

Get around edit

Voss Gondola opened in 2019 and lifts visitors, paragliders and skiers from the railway station to Hanguren summit above the village.
  • Ski lift to Mt Hanguren (return ticket: kr 100). The gondola lift to Hanguren has been dismantled. A new lift is expected to open in 2019.
  • The railway runs east-west through Voss district serving Raundalen valley to the east and Evanger to the west.
  • Northern part of Voss district (Stalheim, Oppheim and Myrkdalen ski resort) is available by bus and car.

See edit

  • 1 Bordalsgjelet Gorge. The deep and dramatic Bordalsgjelet Gorge has information boards, viewpoints and benches. When snow and ice does not affect accessibility you can also follow a footpath that leads alongside the gorge. Here you will have excellent views of the fascinating potholes. Remember, however, for your own safety: Keep to the marked footpaths.
  • 2 Stalheim and Stalheimskleiva (35 km (22 mi) north of Voss driving on the E16). Stalheim is known for the great view down the gorge-like Nærøydalen valley with unusual shapes and tall waterfalls. The best view is from the plateau at Stalheim hotel, though often crowded by busloads of tourists. You may be required to pay for a cup of coffee to be allowed access to the plateau, as it is private ground only accessible through the hotel. Two of the waterfalls are beneath the hotel and not easy to see from there. Stalheimskleiva is one of the steepest roads in Northern Europe, built during 1842-1846. The road has 13 hairpin bends. On either side of the road you can see the Stalheim Waterfall (126 m) and the Sivle Waterfall (142 m). Stalheimskleiva is a one-way road going down. As of May 2021 the road is permanently closed to motor vehicles due to unstable conditions of the fundament.    
  • 3 Tvindefossen Waterfall (12 km (7 mi) north of Voss driving on the E16). A 152-metre waterfall by Tvinde Camping. There is a road/footpath to the top of the falls. Kiosk. This walk combines well with a Car Walk, either to Afdal-Prestølen or Leidal-Hustveit.
  • 4 Skjervet waterfall (Skjervesfossen), Skjervesvegen, Granvin (When driving between Granvin and Voss in the summer, you can drive the old road Skjervesvegen through Skjervet instead of the tunnel on road 13.). 24 h. It's a steep valley with hairpin bends and waterfall. At the top, you are able to park the car and enjoy the view. Until 2011 the hairpins were part of road 13 and the only road between Voss and Hardanger. Since 2011 a long tunnel bypasses this difficult stretch. The old stretch is part of national tourist route Hardanger. Driving in summer is easy. From Granvin: At the upper end of lake leave the main road between the tunnels. From Voss: Turn left off the main road some 300 meters before the tunnel. Until 1988 Voss and Granvin port were connected by railway through Skjervet, one of the steepest in Norway. Rail tracks have been removed and converted into bicycle and pedestrian road. Free.
  • 5 Swimming pool, Prestegardsmoen. Near Voss Camping in Prestegardsmoen there is an outdoor swimming pool with a diving tower plus three water chutes and a paddling pool. Fun for the whole family. Kiosk available for refreshments, ice, chocolate etc.
Ancient Finnesloftet, a guild hall from 1295 AD.
  • 6 Finnesloftet. Finnesloftet is a medieval wooden building near Voss village, built in year 1295. It is one of the oldest non-religious wooden buildings in Norway and this is one of the few in Western Norway. Norway is the only country with a considerable number of ancient wooden buildings, about a half of these in Telemark and only a small number in Western Norway. Finnesloftet belongs to the Finne farm, presumably a rich property in the middle ages. This building is of the loft type, a traditional two-storey building for storage, bedrooms and official receptions. During the middle ages and well into the 17th and 18th centuries two-storey houses were uncommon, and two-storey lofts were the most prestigious and elaborate buildings. Finnesloftet is unique among loft as the first level is a log construction while the second is a stave construction like stave churches. The upper level of Finnesloftet was presumably used as guild hall and was in the middle ages more prominent in an area with only small single-storey houses.  

Do edit

Winter edit

Voss is the skiing capital of western Norway

With two ski centres and long skiing traditions, Voss is a popular and one of the most established ski destinations in Norway. It is not without reason that World Cup Events are frequently held here. Voss is also one of the most natural snow-reliable ski destinations in Norway. On altogether some 50 kilometers of well prepared alpine slopes, you can ski in varying terrain from nursery slopes to demanding terrain for the most experienced. There are also great possibilities for cross-country skiing in Voss, in close proximity to the ski centres as well as in the wider Voss area. Services and facilities in the two ski centres include: terrain parks, ski schools and ski rentals, children's play areas, food & drink facilities and areas for cross country skiing.

  • 1 Voss Resort (5 kilometres North of town centre). The Voss Resort is one of the longest established ski centres in Norway and its welcome centre is situated in Bavallen.
  • 2 Voss Fjellandsby - Myrkdalen (25 kilometres North of town centre). The area of Myrkdalen where you can find the welcome centre of Voss Fjellandsby - or "Voss Mountain Village" if translated into English.
  • Guided Tours. For small and large groups Voss Rafting Senter offers a range of guided tours during the winter months, from sunset snow shoes tours, to skiing tours in the hills around Voss.

Summer edit

Winter paragliding from the ski slopes.
  • 3 Voss Rafting Senter, Nedkvitnesvegen 25, +47 56 51 05 25, . Voss Rafting Senter has a broad spectrum of activities like white-water rafting, sportsrafting, riverboarding, waterfall rappelling, canyoning, obstacle course and wilderness camp for tourists, companies, bachelor parties, societies, schools and friends. All products are related to water sport and based on strict safety procedures and the crew is highly professional in all aspects. Voss Rafting Senter`s motto is to "Guarantee To Wet Your Pants!" under controlled settings. Voss Rafting can offer everything from adventures family rafting to extreme rafting trips in world class. Activities from kr 330.
  • 4 Voss Golf, Golfparken 3, Skulestadmoen Voss, +47 400 04 490.
  • 5 Voss Gondol, Voss railway station. Gondola lift directly from the railway station to Hanguren summit, fine panorama of Voss district. Very expensive. 425 NOK (round trip).

Buy edit

Eat edit

  • 1 Tre Brør Café, Vangsgata 28 (on the town square), +47 56 52 99 25. Su–Th 11:00–21:00, F Sa 11:00–01:00. Great place for lunch, dinner or a drink. Has a comfortable and cosy setting. Main course: kr 85-185.
  • 2 Store Ringheim Restaurant, Molstervegen 44 (Follow Ringheimsvegen from the town center approx 1km, then turn left and follow Molstervegen 400 m), +47 95406135, . Thur - sun 17:00 - 21:00. Inside a restored old barn at Store Ringheim, offers set menus and an ala carte menu. There is a strict policy to make all food from scratch. Also they strive to find the best local ingredients from local farmers or in the nature. There is also a patio, where the meals can be enjoyed outside, in good weather conditions.

Drink edit

  • 1 Voss Bryggeri, Kytesvegen 396, 5706 Voss. Thursdays 16.00-19.00 Fridays 16.00-19.00.. Brewery with a fairly large selection on tap, but do note the short opening hours. You can buy growlers (large bottles) there too. You must pay a kr 100 for a growler, which is refundable when you return it empty.

Sleep edit

Fleischer's hotel sits at Voss railway station. It is a typical wooden hotel from the golden age, built in 1889 in a Swiss chalet style.
Cross country tracks at Mjøfjell in Raundalen.
  • 1 Voss Camping, +47 56 51 15 97, . Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Tent: kr 150, Cabin for 2 people: kr 600.
  • 2 Tvinde Camping, Tvinde (12 km (7 mi) north of Voss), +47 56 51 69 19, .
  • 3 Voss Hostel (Voss Vandrerhjem), Evangervegen 68, +47 56 51 20 17, . Dorm: kr 335, Summer dorm: kr 235 (sleeping bag needed, shared showers/toilets), Double: kr 930, 10% discount with HI membership, rates include bed linen and breakfast.
  • 4 Fleischer's Hotel, Evangervegen 13 (Next to the railwaystation), +47 56 52 05 00, fax: +47 56520501, . Fleischer's Hotel is an old hotel that in the past has been visited by royalty and nobility as well as the ordinary tourist and traveler. Modern comfort and facilities have been incorporated into the old building in a natural way. All rooms have en suite bathroom, mini-bar, telephone and television. Amenities include a restaurant, bar, swimming pool, solarium, Jacuzzi and sauna, as well as a separate conference section.
  • 5 Jarl Hotel, Elvegata 9, +47 56519900, fax: +47 56519901. Hotel Jarl is a modern family-run hotel in the centre of Voss - by the river "Vosso". All rooms have bathroom, TV and mini bar. Swimming hall, sauna and solarium. Light and intimate restaurant, lounge and bar. Large car park. Free transport to the railway station and the alpine centre.
  • 6 Park Hotel Vossevangen, Uttrågata 3 (located centrally, close to Vangsvatnet), +47 56531000, fax: +47 56531001. Park Hotel Vossevangen has 131 rooms, including 15 deluxe rooms and a side wing with multi-bed rooms. All rooms have their own bathroom and toilet.
    • Restaurant Elysée. International cuisine based on local ingredients, comprehensive wine menu. Excellent food and wine. Choose from the a la carte menu, or order a 3, 4 or 5 course set menu with wine.
    • Café Stationen. A cafe with a distinctive character and good atmosphere all year round. Outside seating during the summer.
    • Pianissimo Piano Bar. A Cosy piano bar is located in the middle of the hotel. Sink down into a comfy chair, relax with a drink from the well stocked bar, and be entertained by evening performers from Monday to Saturday.
    • Pentagon Night Club. F Sa 22:00–02:00. Pentagon is one of the biggest night spots in Voss. It is busy, with good dance music and a great atmosphere.
    • Winecellar. Extensive winecellar. The most comprehensive wine collection in Norway. Wine tasting and wine seminar.
  • 7 Gamlahuset, Kvåle i Raundalen, +47 478 64 107, . Gamlahuset is located at the small farm Kvale in the valley Raundalen at Voss, approximately 17 kilometers east of the centre of Voss. Gamlahuset has two big living rooms, three bedrooms, kitchen, two toilets and a bathroom. There are beds for 8 persons. The house, which is from around year 1800, was renovated in 2007. In several of the rooms the authentic style is kept. The house is 100m². Weekend prices from kr 1500 and week from kr 2500.
  • 8 Store Ringheim Hotell og Restaurant, Molstervegen 44 (Take Ringheimsvegen from the center for about 1km, then Mølstervegen about 400m), +47 95406135, . Check-in: 16:00, check-out: 12:00. Beautiful boutique style hotel in an old restored farm building situated on the hillside 1.2km from Voss center. The place offers a stunning view over nearby farm landscape and distant forests and snow patched mountains. 6 unique rooms with good beds and ensuite bathrooms, flat screen TV, free Wi-Fi, free parking and a choice of complimentary tees and coffes. Daily service of the rooms and a good breakfast with many local, high quality products.
  • 9 Voss Mountain Lodge (Mjølfjell Ungdomsherberg) (East on road 5386). Youth hostel and lodge at the end of the road in Raundalen valley about 35 km from Voss village. Steep path 300 meters from Ørneberget stop on Bergen railway.  
  • 10 Stalheim Hotel, +47 56 52 01 22, fax: +47 56 52 00 56, . A 124-room family run hotel with long traditions. Standard double room kr. 1500 per night.
  • 11 Stalheim Fjord & Fjellhytter, Brekkedalen 16-24, +47 56 51 28 47, . Cabin: kr 4000-6500 (per week during high season).

Go next edit

Voss is a convenient place to stay while exploring the Hardangerfjord to the south of Voss. As it is located on the Bergensbanen railway, a stay here can also be combined with a day-trip to Flåm with the Flåm railway (starts on Myrdal station on Bergensbanen).

Routes through Voss
Edinburgh (unconnected)Bergen  W   E  StalheimGudvangenOslo

This city travel guide to Voss is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.