Read on for the complete guide with everything you need to know to embark on the hike to Månafossen Waterfall yourself.
If you’re planning to visit Stavanger in Western Norway this summer and plan to go on a hike other than Pulpit Rock, this post is for you! I’ve had the chance to hike to Månafossen Waterfall during the Easter holidays and am still absolutely in awe of this place!
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Where to find Månafossen Waterfall
Månafossen is a 92-metre high waterfall, situated close to the village of Frafjord (about an hour’s drive from Stavanger). The mountain range there is called Frafjordheiane and it’s the same mountain range where you can also find Flørli 4444 and Kjerag. The area is 418 km2 big - meaning that Månafossen is just one of many options for a hike in this stunning scenery!
How to get to Månafossen
The easiest (and pretty much only) way to get to the starting point of the hike to Månafossen Waterfall is by car. Whether you’re visiting Stavanger by car from mainland Europe or plan on renting a car in the city, driving to Frafjord yourself really is the easiest option as there is no public transport available to get to Månafossen.
If you don’t feel comfortable renting/driving a car abroad, you could also join our Scandinavia and Nordics Travel FB group to see if you could maybe join other hikers on their trip.
Finally, if your budget allows, you could also embark on a private guided hike to Månafossen with OutdoorLife Norway (cost: 7000 NOK per group).
All about the hike - or rather: the climb
The hike to the main viewpoint of Månafossen is only 400 meters long, however, it’s a rather steep climb on bare rocks that’s absolutely not accessible for wheelchair users or anyone with difficulty walking.
It’s an intermediate hike despite its short length, as it requires you to climb up bare rocks with the help of a metal chain. This might sound a lot scarier than it really is, though!
I was terrified when I first heard of the climb but turns out, it’s actually really easy and there were lots of children getting up the mountain as well.
The first part of the hike consists of a staircase made out of rocks, before the first climb begins. The trail then consists mostly of bare rocks with a couple of wooden staircases in between. I personally made it up the mountain without any break in 20 minutes and trust me, I wouldn’t describe myself as a very fit person at all!
Just bring proper hiking shoes with a good grip on uneven terrain as there won’t just be rocks but also tree roots. Also, make sure to be extra careful if the ground is wet. I personally wouldn’t recommend a hike to Månafossen Waterfall in the rain anyway, as the rocks can be super slippery when wet, but if you do it anyway, just make sure to be extra careful!
And speaking of danger: Last summer has unfortunately seen a tragic fatal accident at Månafossen as one hiker fell off the edge, so please, don’t step too close to the edge - it’s not worth dying for Instagram after all!
Viewpoints of Månafossen
Once you’ve made it to the top, there are a couple of viewpoints of Månafossen Waterfall where there aren’t any trees covering the view. Chances are that the very first one will be super crowded if you do like me and visit on a public holiday, with people standing in line in order to get their picture taken - super annoying, I know!
If that’s the case, just continue up the mountain for a couple of meters as there’ll be more good viewpoints to come.
If you’re up for a longer hike, you can also continue following the signs to Friluftsgarden Mån - an old farmhouse that’s been abandoned in 1915 and now used as a cabin by the local outdoor association (you have to reserve a bed beforehand). You’ll be able to find toilets at the farmhouse, as well as a sauna and small exhibition about the local area.
The hike to the farmhouse at Mån takes a half hour from the viewpoints at Månafossen, and you’ll also cross a bridge on your way from where you’ll also have a nice view of Månafossen Waterfall.
Facilities at the parking lot
There’s a large parking lot at the beginning of the hike with a couple of dry toilets and some tables/benches right by the stunning river. Basically, it’s the perfect place to relax after hiking up to the waterfall as you’ll be able to dip your toes into the water or just sunbathe without the sound of a roaring waterfall (believe me, it’s SO noisy up at the viewpoint).
Parking costs 40 NOK and you have to pay via the Norwegian banking app Vipps. If you don’t have that app - well, basically there’s little you can do... Even on super busy Good Friday, I didn’t see any parking officials around and I highly doubt that anyone will give you a ticket for not being able to use the Norwegian banking app (which you can only use with a Norwegian phone number).
Keep in mind that I’m writing this in April 2019, meaning parking costs are likely to change over time.
Accommodation close to Månafossen Waterfall
As the waterfall is only an hour’s drive from Stavanger, you can easily stay in the city and go on a day trip to do the hike to Månafossen. More affordable hotels in Stavanger include, for example, St Svithun’s Hotel and Stavanger Bed & Breakfast.
The area surrounding the waterfall, however, is absolutely stunning, and well worth staying at for a night or two!
In the close by village of Frafjord, for instance, you’ll find Frafjord Spa which is situated right by the fjord and offers super scenic views. And after a hike in the Norwegian mountains, who could say no to a massage? I certainly couldn’t!
Another super scenic place in gorgeous surroundings is the old dairy factory turned candle factory and hotel at Byrkjedalstunet. The hotel rooms there are situated in old reconstructed farmhouses of the valley Dirdal and I come here like once a week as part of my job as cruise guide, and always wish I could stay the night!
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