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   Hordaland, Norway

This waterfall has been surveyed, mapped and measured in person by the World Waterfall Database.
Photo of Balåifossen Balåifossen is a very tall but rather low volume and inconsequential multi-step waterfall found along the Osafjord in Ulvik. The falls’ namesake stream drains from several modest tarns perched over 1,000 meters above the sea and upon reaching the edge of the fjord the stream skips, veils and plunges for a total of 2,510 feet in a long chain of falls before ending on an alluvial fan and flowing more calmly into the sea. Because the drainage area feeding into the falls is quite small, the volume of water flowing over the falls is rather low – even during periods of peak flow – and as a result the falls do not appear to consistently flow beyond July.
Seasonal Discharge
This waterfall occurs along a stream that is known to vary greatly in volume and as a result may not flow consistently year round or may dry out completely during certain periods.


  • Balåifossen is the Unofficial name of this waterfall

Our thoughts

When we surveyed the falls in June 2011, we were expecting it to be a much more impactful waterfall – not so much because of its great height (though our initial estimates turned out to be too generous by over 250 feet), but because many pictures we have seen showed a considerable volume of water present in the falls. It’s very possible that the falls flow well as long as snow is melting in the basin above the falls, but without a consistent source of melt water the stream shrinks in volume quickly. Even though the falls are easy to view, we left quite disappointed with this one and would not recommend that visitors to Norway seek it out unless they are already in the immediate vicinity (and even then it isn’t really worth the time).

Location and directions

From the town of Ulvik follow Route 300 towards the small town of Osa, for just under 5km to where the road parallels the Osafjord. There are several small pullouts along the water where the falls can be seen on the opposite side of the fjord. The falls can also be distantly seen from Route 572 as it climbs up the hillside from Ulvik en route to Espelandsdalen and Granvin.

Balåifossen is shown in the center. Additional nearby waterfalls (if any) can be found in the list below.

Additional Nearby Waterfalls

Name of Waterfall Distance
Kyrfossen 1.55 mi / 2.49 km


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Photo of Balåifossen

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Photography tips

The falls have multiple facings as they twist down the mountainside, but in general the mountainside is open to the west, so afternoon is the best time to photograph the falls.

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