Buardalen – a hike to the edge of the glacier

From the town of Odda, getting to the glacier is easy. An 8-kilometre drive takes you up to Buer (250 m), and you can already see the glacier from the parking lot. A marked trail leads right up to Buarbreen, a majestic glacier arm of Folgefonna.

The trail meanders up through the lush valley of Buardalen, surrounded by steep mountains. Every winter, the sun disappears from view for months at a time. Soon you will find the sounds of civilization replaced by the sound of the raging river Buarelvi, which carries large quantities of meltwater down to Sandvinvatnet lake.

In the 1890s a hotel was built at Buer (250 m) to accommodate the tourists who came from afar to see the magnificent glacier. One hundred years the glacier arm reached down almost to the uppermost farms. In 1897, the powerful wind blast from a huge snow-slide blew the hotel off its foundations. It was never rebuilt.

Allow three hours for a leisurely round-trip walk, from Buer to the glacier’s edge and back. Be sure to wear good hiking boots and bring a bite to eat. The adventurous might yearn to join a guided excursion on the glacier itself. Inquire at any of the Folgefonna gateways.