Bondhusvatnet in Mauranger is Hardanger’s Instagram hotspot this summer. But this is not a new tourist attraction: tourists have been making pilgrimages here since the middle of the 19th century!
At 190 meters above the fjord, a 40-minute walk from the car park, is the green, sparkling Bondhusvatnet. In the background we see the ever-shrinking Bondhus glacier, which rises ever higher up the mountainside with each passing year.
Bondhusvatnet, Bondhusbreen and Isveien
It is precisely the glacier that was the major tourist attraction back in time. In the 19th century, tourists rowed across the water for a close look at the glacier, which then went further down towards the turquoise-green water. This was a welcome extra income for the farmers in the village.
It was also the Bondhus glacier that created the road leading up to the water. For the wide driveway that makes the trip so nice to walk also for families with children, preferably with children in a pram, the name Isveien. The road was built in 1860 to transport ice blocks down to Sunndal and further out into Europe. There, the ice was to be used for cooling fish and in large households. The first load of ice was actually loaded as early as 1822, and then the ice was carried on its back (!).
Today, Bondhusvatnet has had its renaissance, much thanks to Instagram-friendly nature, colors and idyllic surroundings.
Trip to Bondhusbreen and Vetledalen
On the right side of the water there is a hiking trail that eventually leads over bridges and forest trail down to a beach on the other side of the water. Here we could see several who had pitched tents. It is also this road you follow, if you want to go further up towards the glacier, to Vetledalen. There you will see warning signs that you should follow. You should calculate four hours for that trip.
Useful info about the trip
The trip is signposted with 2 hours at a leisurely pace, but we spent in under just under 40 minutes up.
There is a large parking lot at the start of the trip and it is signposted from the road at Sunndal.
Note the sign that there is a bathing ban: At car parks, please note that this is the drinking water for the village, and thus it is forbidden to swim there.
Overnight at Bondhusvatnet?
Many people choose to camp in the area around Bondhusvatnet or in nature in general. There are also camping opportunities in Sunndal (Sunndal Camping) just below. In addition, you will find accommodation at Mauranger Kro & Gjestehus *, as well as on the little gem Hardanger Fjord Lodge.