Heiene areas - Ryfylkeheiene, Frafjordheiene, Setesdalsheiene and Austheiene Mountains Guide

This rock at Kjerag is hovering 1000 meters above the Lysefjord!


"Heiene" is a common name on the areas Ryfylkeheiene, Frafjordheiene, Setesdalsheiene and Austheiene. These areas together constitute a great mountain area in southwestern Norway, with great diversity and lots of things to see.


The southern coast of Norway has a forested terrain with small narrow valleys and short fjords. Almost at the southernmost point, near Kristiansand, the valley of Setesdalen ends. Setesdalen is very very long valley, descending from as north as Hardangervidda, down to the coast. On each side of Setesdalen are mountains - Heiene.

Austheiene, on the eastern side of Setesdalen are relaxed, with only the northern part higher than the forestline. On the western side of Setesdalen you will find Setesdalsheiene and Ryfylkeheiene, a terrain far more mountainous than Austheiene. The central area has large lakes and many small mountains and hills. Most of the area lies at an altitude between 1000 and 1400 meters, not a very high altitude, but well over the forest line. Further west, the fjords come in, and as elsewhere in western Norway, the terrain falls abruptly into the narrow fjords.

South of Lysefjorden, the mountains are called Frafjordheiene. The terrain here is dominated by steep valleys with morains and waterfalls. A very typical west - Norwegian terrain. Further north, in the areas between the fjords of Ryfylke, you will find similar terrain, but more wild, and without lodges.
Along Lysefjorden itself you will find the mountains very steep. The tourist site of Prekestolen (the Pulpit Rock) ends in a vertical drop of 600 meters straight into the sea. Further in the fjord, you will find less visited Kjerag, with a vertical drop of 1000 meters.


Heiene is far south and west, and is very vulnerable for the wet winds from the North Sea and Kattegat. This means that Heiene, especially the part west of Setesdalen get fair amounts of rain. Many have gotten to try their skills in orienteering here during conditions of dense fog and snow. The terrain consisting of many small mountains and hills does certainly not help!

Legal status

As other mountain areas in west - Norway, Heiene was very attractive for its hydro power potential. Many great lakes at high altitude and vertical drops down to the fjord was exactly the right terrain for hydro power-stations. Today, many of the lakes in Heiene has been regulated. The largest, Blåsjø, is the largest water-magazine in Norway. The power station in Lysebotn is the highest power producer in Norway.

Despite the hydro power production, Heiene remains an attractive area for touring. It's a huge area, and most of it is untouched. There are few dams, and the large lakes does not seem unnatural when you approach them.

Heiene - Ryfylkeheiene, Frafjordheiene, Setesdalsheiene and Austheiene Routes

Getting there

Approaching Heiene with public transport is a matter of taking the bus up Setesdalen from Kristiansand. This bus leaves Kristiansand about twice a day, depending on the season. You can get off at Valle, Bykle or Hovden. The easiest way to get to Kristiansand is to take the train from Oslo or Stavanger. Another option with public transport is to go with catamaran from Stavanger to Lysebotn. This boat will bring you in the spectacular fjord of Lysefjorden, with some of the highest mountain-walls in Norway, including Prekestolen (600 m) and Kjerag (1000 m). Sometimes it's possible to get off the boat at Fløyrli. If you want to access Heiene from the north, you can get to Haukeliseter by bus from Oslo, Bergen and Haugesund twice a day. Good starting points are Haukeliseter, Suldalsosen, the haul road to Blåsjø, Årdal, Hunnedalen, Ådneram and the Lysefjord area.
This route map shows only the central Setesdalsheiene.
If you have your own transport you can also start from Setesdalen, but now you also have the more interesting option to start from the west. Kvildal, Funningsland and Nes, all in Ryfylke gives good access to a very exiting terrain. Another possibility is to start from Frafjord. This will bring you up to the beautiful waterfall of Månafossen not far from the parking place.


Hiking and Skiing

The area of Heiene is so great that it's impossible to mention all the possible routes. The greatest area is the central area of Setesdalsheiene, between Setesdalen and the fjords of Ryfylke. The terrain here is mostly hilly with an altitude at approximately 1000 meters. You will find that this area gives easy hikes, and yet more varied terrain than yuo will find on eastern Hardangervidda for instance. There are many lodges, so you don't have to carry everything on your back. A great area for beginners. Skiers in the same area should be more careful, because of the changing weather-conditions in the area. The terrain also makes it difficult to find the way in winter. Only a few slopes are marked in winter here.

In the south, Frafjordheiene presents a more difficult terrain. The valleys are steeper, and so are the mountains. You should be well fit for hiking in Frafjordheiene, and skiing is only for the experienced. But both will give you a range of possibilities. The valley of Månadalen with the waterfall of Månafossen is beautiful. Not to mention the ascent of the wild Kjerag with the 1000 meter drop to the fjord, which is absolutely stunning. A curiosity in this area is the small village Fløyrli by the Lysefjord, where a self-service lodge is located. From Fløyrli, a pipeline is ascending the mountains. Next to the pipeline is a staircase. The stairs go from sealavel and up to 750 meters and is Norway's longest, with over 4000 stairs! Certainly an alternative to the path!

Austheiene, east of Setesdalen presents easy forested terrain. A nice relaxed area, both for skiing and hiking. Ski areas can be found in Heiene, in Sirdal and in Hovden in Setesdalen.

In the north, Ryfylkeheiene joins Hardangervidda at Haukeliseter. In the southwest, Ryfylkeheiene merges into Frafjordheiane and Bjerkreimsheiane. Recently, a network of no-service cabins has been built in these mountain areas, convenient for people living in the Stavanger area. To the east, Ryfylkeheiene merges imperceptibly with Setesdalsheiane.


The enormous walls at Lysefjorden has not previously been well known as climbing-areas, but are getting at it now. The area has many walls of 500 - 1000 meters height, as well as many local crags. And it's great climbing directly up from the fjord! Climbers should (literally) look out for base-jumpers, as basejumping has become extremely popular at Kjerag. Information about the climbs is available in Stavanger.

Tourist Offices and Others Around Ryfylkeheiene, Frafjordheiene, Setesdalsheiene and Austheiene

Starting point - Haukeliseter Fjellstue

Haukeliseter Fjellstue, easily accessible from the E134 across Haukelifjell, and Mogen Turisthytte at the end of Lake Møsvatn (boat M/B Fjellvåken II from Skinnarbu by Route 37), right in the middle of the Hardangervidda mountain plain and the Ryfylke/Setesdal moors. Haukeliseter is also one of the best kitesportareas in south of Norway. The lake Ståvatn, nearby gives a good opportunity by all winddirections. Contact the nearest Rauland tourist office for hiking suggestions.
Contact - Haukeliseter Fjellstue
Haukelifjell, NO-3895 Edland, Tel: 35 06 27 77, Fax: 35 06 27 78, Email: info@haukeliseter.no Internet: http://www.haukeliseter.no

Rauland tourist office

Rauland Turist AS, N-3864 Rauland Tel. +47 35 06 26 30, Fax: +47 35 06 26 31, E-post: info@visitrauland.com Internet: http://www.visitrauland.com/

Starting point - Suldalsosen

There are various possibilities to go for a walk in Suldal. The marked trails around Suldalsosen are being selected by the Suldal tourist office. The have made a map (click at turløper) of it. From Vikane you can start your walk, or you can drive to the start of other walks.
N- 4230 Sand, Tel: (+47) 52 79 05 60, Fax: (+47) 52 79 06 01 Email: post@suldal-turistkontor.no Internet: http://www.suldal-turistkontor.no/

Årdalstangen Tourist Office at Årdal in the Sognefjord area

Torget 2, 6885 Årdalstangen, Årdal, Tel: 57663010, E-mail: post@visitardal.no Internet: http://www.sognefjord.no/

Kjerag towers in Lysefjorden

Because of this the fjord is considered a genuine nature document and a geological pearl. The Pulpit Rock and Kjerag are the most famous mountain formations. Thousands of people find their way here every year. In this wild landscape people have clung to the hills and the mountainsides for thousands of years. The Kjerag Plateau itself is barren, with stones and smooth bedrock. From there, there are trails to Flørli, Frafjord and Hunnedalen.

Atavanger b.a.s.e. klubb at Kjerag

A small volunteer B.A.S.E. Club to make B.A.S.E. jumping better and safer every year. The season for jumping at Kjerag is from the 1st of June through the 31st of August. Also offer B.A.S.E. course at Kjerag. Contact: Tel: +47 90117115, Email: stein.edvardsen@lyse.net Internet: http://www.basekjerag.com/

Tourist ferry on the Lysefjord

You can also try the classic Lysefjord trip starting with the tourist ferry on the Lysefjord and continuing with the exiting ascent from Lysebotn into the mountains in Sirdal, either by bus or using your own car.
Tourist ferry on the Lysefjord
NO-4004 Stavanger, Tel: 5153 85 85, Email: fjord@tide.no Internet: http://www.vfc.no/

Sirdal Tourist Office

Sirdal has over one hundred bolted routes for climbing. The largest ones are located in Hunnedalen, Liland and Sirekrok. The tourist offices are located at Kvæven (head office) and Tonstad. The one at Kvæven is open all year around, whilst the one at Tonstad is only open during the summer season.
Sirdalsferie AS
N-4443 Tjørhom, Tlf: (+47) 38 37 78 00, Email: post@sirdalsferie.com Internet: http://www.sirdal.no/

Ådneram Skitrekk Ski Resort

The major ski-centres are located in Sauda and Sirdal. Sauda’s ski-centre is called Svandalen, whilst in Sirdal you can choose between Ådneram, Ålsheia, Fidjeland, and Tjørhom. To drive to Sirdal from Stavanger will take you approximately 2½ hours, whereas Sauda is a long way by car – approximately 3½ hours.
Ådneram Skitrekk
Ådneram, 4443 Tjørhom, Tlf: 38 37 11 43, Mob: 99 44 11 44, post@aadneram-skitrekk.no Internet: http://aadneram-skitrekk.no/

Tourist information center in Forsand

The tourist information in Forsand can be found at the Lysefjord centre situated close by the ferry quay at Oanes.
Lysefjordsenteret AS
Oanes - 4110 Forsand, Tel: 51 70 31 23, Fax: 51 70 37 50, E-mail: info@lysefjordsenteret.no Internet: http://www.lysefjordeninfo.no/en/

Preikestolen, Kjerag and the Lysefjord at Hjelmeland In Ryfylke

They will provide depth information about attractions,experiences and where to stop overnight in Ryfylke.
Reisemål Ryfylke
NO-4130 Hjelmeland, Tel +47 51 75 95 10, Fax +47 51 75 07 83, E-mail: info@ryfylke.com Internet: http://www.ryfylke.com/en/

Kjerag / Lysebotn Tourist Camp at Lysefjord in Ryfylke

Lysebotn, NO-4127 Lysebotn, Tel: 908 32 035, Email: mail@lysebotn-touristcamp.com Internet: http://www.lysebotn-touristcamp.com/

Austheiene Tourist Office In Arendal Region

Region Arendal tourist office
P.O.Box 324 / Sam Eydes plass 1, N-4803 Arendal, Tel +47 37 00 55 44, Fax +47 37 00 55 40, Email: turistkontoret@arendal.com
Internet: www.arendal.com

Arendal and Oppland Trekking Association

12 cabins in Austheiene hills, and Store Torungen lighthouse, P.O.Box 369, N-4803 Arendal, Tel +47 37 02 32 14, Email: aot@turistforeningen.no Internet: www.turistforeningen.no/aot

Setesdalsheiene Tourist Office In Tinn and Western Telemark

In Tinn and Western Telemark you will find the high mountains with Hardangervidda and Frolandsheiene towards Hovden and Setesdalsheiene.

The tourist information offices in Telemark

Telemarkreiser AL - main office for Telemark
Phone: + 47 35 90 00 20, Fax: +47 35 90 00 21, Email: info@telemarkreiser.no

Kragerø Tourist Information Office
Address: Torvgt. 1, 3770 Kragerø, Phone: + 47 35 98 23 88, Fax: + 35 98 31 77, Email: post@visitkragero.no

Langesund Tourist Information Office
Open 16 June - 16 August, Address: Kongshavn, Phone: +47 35 96 53 20, Fax: + 47 35 96 53 21

Brevik Tourist Information Office
Open 16 June - 16 August, Address: Storgt. 117, 3950 Brevik, Phone: +47 35 56 51 79

Porsgrunn Tourist Information Office
Open 16 June - 16 August, Address: Porsgrunds Porselænsfabrikk, 3900 Porsgrunn, Phone: +47 35 55 43 27

Skien Tourist Information Office
Address: N. Hjellegt. 18, 3724 Skien, Phone: +47 35 90 55 20, Fax: +47 35 90 55 30, Email: info@grenland.no

Nome Tourist Information Office
Address: 3830 Ulefoss by Ulefoss Locks, Phone:+47 35 94 35 08, Email: tur-nome@online.no

Bø, Sauherad and Nome Tourist Information Office
Address: Stasjonsvegen, 3800 Bø, Phone: +47 35 06 02 00 Email: turistkontoret@boitelemark.com

Notodden Tourist Information Office
Address: Servicetorget, Teatergt. 3, 3674 Notodden, Phone: +47 35 01 50 00

Seljord Tourist Information Office
Address: Granvin Kulturhus, 3840 Seljord, Phone: +47 35 06 59 88, Email: info@seljordportalen.no

Morgedal Tourist Information Office
Adress: Norsk Skieventyr, 3848 Morgedal, Phone:+47 35 05 42 50

Fyresdal Tourist Information Office
3870 Fyresdal, Phone:+47 35 04 14 55, Email: turist@fyresdal.kommune.no

Vrådal Tourist Information Office
Postal address: P.O. Box 44, 3853 Vrådal, Phone:+47 35 05 63 70, Email: info@vraadal.com

Nissedal Tourist Information Office
Address: 3855 Treungen, Phone:+47 35 04 57 00, Email: turist@nissedal.kommune.no

Dalen Tourist Information Office
Address: 3880 Dalen, Phone: +47 35 07 70 65, Email: info@visitdalen.com

Rauland Tourist Information Office
Address: 3864 Rauland, Phone:+47 35 06 26 30, Email: info@visitrauland.com

Rjukan Tourist Information Office
Address: Torvet 2, 3660 Rjukan, Phone:+47 35 08 05 50, Email: info@visitrjukan.com

Åmot Tourist Information Office
Address: Tenestetorget, 3890 Vinje, Phone: +47 35 06 23 00

The official tourist and convention website for the Stavanger region: http://en.visittelemark.com/

Frafjordheiene at Stavanger City in Rogaland County

Frafjordheiene is common name for the mountain range between Lysefjorden Høgsfjord, Frafjord and Hunnedalen. This area is included in the land plan for national parks, but are still not protected. Rogaland has no national parks today, and major mountain ranges in the county is heavily dominated by hydro power. Frafjordheiene is one of the few untouched mountainous areas in the county. The two rivers in the area, Espedal watershed and fjord the river is finally protected. The area has a great variety of magnificent, beautiful scenery with varied forest, a host of fishing lakes and beautiful waterfalls. In countries plan for national parks from 1986 was Frafjordheiene proposed as a national park, but so far nothing has happened. More details info will be found at Stavanger Tourist Office in Rogaland county.

Stavanger Tourist Office

Domkirkeplassen 3, 4006 Stavanger, Tel: 51 85 92 00, Fax: 51 85 92 02, E-mail: info@RegionStavanger.com The official tourist and convention website for the Stavanger region: Internet: http://www.regionstavanger.com/en/

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