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Langfoss
   Hordaland, Norway

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This waterfall has been surveyed, mapped and measured in person by the World Waterfall Database.
Photo of Langfoss Langfoss is among the tallest unregulated waterfalls in Europe, veiling a total of 2,008 feet as it slides violently into the calm waters of the Åkrafjord. Flowing out of a small tarn, the stream funnels into a steep, narrow gorge and explodes out and into a nearly vertical plunge of around 400 feet. Without pausing for even an inch, the water slams into the ragged bedrock wall of the fjord and continues sliding down another 500 feet at more gradual pace before becoming steeper again, where the falls spread out into a wide veil for the majority of the final 1,100 foot descent into the sea, culminating in triplet chutes which accelerate beneath the E134 bridge.

Officially the falls have been measured to stand 612 meters (2,008 feet) tall, however this measurement seems to stem from a measurement from the tarn just above the falls, which is situated at 612.9m above sea level (2,010 feet). Given that the stream likely loses more than two feet between the outlet of this lake and the legitimate top of the falls, the falls may be a little shorter than commonly reported (very possibly under the 2,000 foot mark), but not by much if that is the case. It will take a detailed survey of the stream at the top of the falls to establish a truly accurate measurement, and until then we will assume the measurement of 2,008 feet is accurate.

Like most major waterfalls in Norway, Langfoss has been targeted for integration in a hydroelectric generating system many times. Given that there are at least a dozen significant lakes which feed into the falls, the consistent streamflow and great change in elevation is certainly a tempting target for energy production. However, we have been told that Langfoss has been indefinitely protected from hydro development by recent government action (the specifics of which are unclear), and given that there are so few 2,000 foot+ waterfalls in Norway left unregulated, this is certainly good news.

HISTORY AND NAMES


  • Also Known as: Langfossen
  • Langfoss is the Official name of this waterfall

Translated to english, the name of the falls literally means Long waterfall – which is certainly a colorfully descriptive, though perhaps uninventive moniker. We should also note that while most waterfalls in Norway are titled with the suffix –fossen, Langfoss is the correct spelling, sans the trailing –en (as best we can tell, the difference is essentially equivalent of titling a waterfall as “Fall” rather than “Falls”).

Our thoughts


Langfoss makes a very legitimate claim for the title of the best waterfall on the Eurasian continent. In compiling our World’s Top 100 waterfalls list, we debated for seemingly endless periods whether the regulation of Mardalsfossen would allow Langfoss to surpass it. Ultimately it can be seen as a draw in many cases. Mardalsfossen is perhaps more regal in that its drops are mostly free-falling and purists may not see Langfoss as a legitimate waterfall in that regard. However, we cannot stress with enough emphasis how impressive Langfoss is, and that it is without question a legitimate waterfall and ultmately the regulation of Mardalsfossen is what allowed Langfoss to take the title of Norway's best. When surveyed in June of 2011, so much spray was being ejected from the base of the falls that attempting to cross the bridge below the falls on foot would have been tantamount to taking a stroll during a hurricane. On the previous version of this website, we concocted a rating system that ranked Langfoss as the most scenic waterfall in the world. While this may not necessarily be a fair or accurate title, there is absolutely no doubt that Langfoss is truly one of the greatest waterfalls on the planet.

Location and directions


Langfoss is visible from the E134 about 8.2 kilometers west of the western portal of the Rullestad Tunnel near the head of the Åkrafjord. The falls are absolutely impossible to miss as the road crosses directly in front of the base of the cataract. Travelers heading westbound from Odda or Røldal should be aware, there is an automated toll station located about a kilometer east of Langfoss. As of 2011, the toll was NOK 40 each direction, so if you are coming from and returning east, visiting Langfoss will cost NOK 80 (it is worth it).

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

Additional Nearby Waterfalls


Name of Waterfall Distance
Sagfossen 3.21 mi / 5.13 km
Rullestadjuvet 4.75 mi / 7.59 km

 

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User comments


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