To the east of Bergen, the most inviting target is the 180km-long Hardangerfjord (whardangerfjord.com), whose wide waters are overlooked by a rough, craggy shoreline and a scattering of tiny settlements. At its eastern end the Hardangerfjord divides into several lesser fjords, and it’s here you’ll find the district’s most appealing villages, Utne, Lofthus and Ulvik, each of which has an attractive fjordside setting and at least one an especially good place to stay. To the east of these tributary fjords rises the Hardangervidda, a mountain plateau of remarkable, lunar-like beauty and a favourite with Norwegian hikers. The plateau can be reached from almost any direction, but one popular starting point for the extremely fit is Lofthus, with this approach involving a stiff day-long climb up from the fjord.

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