The county contains nearly one-quarter of the Hardangervidda National Park, the largest mountain plateau in Europe, rising 1,000m (3,280 ft.) to 1,200m (3,936 ft.) high and covering an area of 7,500 sq. km (2,925 sq. miles). The park is home to some 20,000 wild reindeer, the herd supplemented in the summer months by horses, goats, and sheep brought here by local farmers to graze. The park is also home to the southernmost habitats of the snowy owl, the arctic fox, the lynx, and other creatures from the frozen tundra of the north, as well as a diverse bird population, ranging from ravens to eagles.
Hiking trails carved centuries ago by footpaths of early settlers cut through the mountainous area, leading to a series of more than a dozen tourist huts (log cabins). The local tourist office will provide maps and more information if you want to go hiking.
Before going on a hike, stop in at the Hardangervidda Naturscenter, Øvre Eidfjord (tel. 53-55-59-00; www.hardangervidda.org), which shows an informative 20-minute movie and offers geological exhibitions of the park. It's open June to August daily 9am to 8pm; from April to May and in September and October, hours are daily 10am to 6pm. Admission is NOK110 ($22/£11) for adults, NOK50 ($10/£5) for children, NOK240 ($48/£24) family ticket. On-site is a restaurant that makes a good luncheon stopover, plus a souvenir shop.
Several canyons, including the renowned Måbø Valley, lead down from the Hardangervidda plateau to the fjords. Part of the 1,000-year-old road across Norway, traversing the Måbø Valley, has been restored for hardy hikers. At a point 18km (11 miles) southeast of Eidfjord, you'll see the dramatic Voringfoss Waterfall, dropping 145m (476 ft.). It's reached along Rte. 7.
Back in the center of Eidfjord, the Eidfjord Kirke dates from the 14th century. Built of stone, it can be visited with a guide; ask the tourist office to make arrangements. The local tourist office also rents boats and bicycles. Bikes cost NOK100 ($20/£10) per half-day, NOK150 ($30/£15) per day. Kayaks cost NOK150 ($30/£15) per day; canoes are NOK350 ($70/£35) per day.
You can also make an excursion to a small mountain farm at Kjeåsen Farm, lying 6km (3 3/4 miles) northeast of Eidfjord. This is one of the most panoramic sites in all the fjord country. If you climb to the top of the mountain, allow 3 hours there and back. The climb is extremely difficult and recommended only for those in Olympic-competition physical shape. The farm lies 600m (1,968 ft.) above sea level by the Simafjord.
Numerous lakes and rivers in the county offer good trout fishing. Two rivers, the Eio and the Bjoreio, as well as Eidfjord Lake, boast salmon and trout fishing.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.