Monks’ Steps and Nosi: Fantastic Fjord View.
Start: Start by the supermarket in Lofthus(or Lofthus Camping, Hotell Ullensvang or Opedal School).
End: Nosi, 950 masl
Parking: By the supermarket in Lofthus. During school holiday by Opedal School.
Public transport: Bus from Odda, Eidfjord, Geilo, Voss stops by the supermarket in Lofthus. Expressboat ”Hardangerfjord Sightseeing” stops by the supermarket in Lofthus (bus connection to/from Bergen and Norheimsund).
Grading: The trail is steep all the way. Difficult
Length: about 6 km one way
Hight difference: 950 metres
Time: 2-4 hours one way
Advice: The trail is steep, suitable shoes is advisable. Bring something to east and drink. Do not continue into Hardangervidda National Park without a topographical hiking map, compass and warm clothes.
Season: When the snow has melted, June-September
Description: When starting by the supermarket in Lofthus, follow road RV 13 northwards. After 50 metres take local road Fv102 on the right and walk direction Lofthus Camping. After about 300 metres, by Opedal School, take a steep paved road on right hand. After about 300 metres the road splits and take the dirt road on right hand. Follow this dirt road up the mountain, it is signed with ”Nosi”. From about 400 masl a track cuts the dirt road several places. The track is shorter and steeper. The dirt road ends at about 700 masl, from where the track goes to Nosi. Between 600 to 800 masl the so-called Monks’ Steps are found along the track. These steps were laid in order to facilitate the access to Hardangervidda in old times.
The view is excellent on this trail. From fjord level the rock called Nosi, looks like a nose, hence its name. Remember to write your name in the book in the box by Nosi. A few hundered metres above Nosi the Hardangervidda plateau opens up. The view at the top is spectacular: fjord, waterfalls, Folgefonna National Park and Hardangervidda National Park. Do not continue into Hardangervidda without a topographical hiking map, compass and warm clothes.
Variation: Return to Hovden/Skodnasete the same way, and from there reutrn on the south side of Hovden, where there is a very steep track through some dense wood. The lower part is a dirt road which leads through a residential area, or to the River Valley, before returning to the supermarket via the Fruit Trail.