One of the most beautiful and overlooked places in Norway is a little town called Odda. It is known to some for two reasons: the famous double waterfall located right next to the road, and the epic Trolltunga hike. Although these two things are what led me to Odda, there are a lot more reasons to stay in Odda for a few days.
Well before my trip, a friend sent me a video clip of Lattefossen, and I was mesmerized by the double waterfall cascading down over the rocks, then slipping under the road, complete with cars driving by. When planning my trip, I realized this beauty is located in the town I wanted to stay the night before my hike of Trolltunga, so I knew I had to visit.
Although the bus drove past the waterfall and I got a glimpse of it, I sought out how to get back as it was too far from the center of town to walk. Luckily the visitor center was able to direct me to a shuttle service that would bring me out there with other visitors, let me stay for fifteen or twenty minutes, then bring me back.
Yes, the waterfall was as amazing as I expected! I loved watching the water and contemplating what it would be like in the spring when the snow is melting, or what it would look like in the middle of the winter. I definitely wouldn’t go to Odda just for the waterfall as the town is a long way away from anything else in Norway, but if you want to be there anyway, it is well worth the visit.
Trolltunga means, ‘troll’s tongue’ and gets its name from the rock protruding out like someone sticking their tongue out. And Scandinavia is known for their trolls, so why not add that to the name? Odda is a great place to stay the nights before and after the hike as there are regular hiker shuttles to and from the trailhead.
This long, scenic hike is well worth the entire experience, not just for the iconic picture on the end of the tongue. Check out my post Hike Trolltunga in Norway for more information.
Beyond the Obvious
What else is there to do in Odda? The answer: lots! Located between two national parks and at the tip of a scenic fjord, Odda is the outdoor enthusiast’s playground. There are a lot of hikes in the area, some with shuttle service, some requiring a car of your own (the visitor’s center rents these little smart vehicles for two people that look fun and may be a cheaper option).
In addition to hiking, there are lots of water sport activities, both guided and not, glaciers you can visit, lots of beautiful waterfalls that aren’t Lattefossen, historic and beautiful churches, and the well visited Norwegian Museum of Hydropower and Industry.
What are you waiting for? If you are drawn to any of these activities, book a trip to Odda!
If you don’t have a car, it is easy to get to Odda. I got to Odda from Stavanger via the Kolumbus bus. They have several departures every day, are comfortable, clean and easy to use. It’s worth having the timetable in hand so you know how long you have to wait between buses. The route I took dropped us off at a truck weigh station, where the local bus picked us up for the last short leg of the journey. Without the timetable, this would have been concerning, but knowing what to expect made this a seamless transfer.
When I left, I took one of the many buses going to Bergen. Odda’s visitor’s center has a list the many buses that take this route daily, as well as other routes. Unless you have a very specific time you need to leave, pay attention to how long the journey takes as some are more direct than others. Two useful website are the Kulumbus bus website and the Norway Bus Express website, but it does not list all routes. When in question, contact them directly.