The majestic Kjosfossen in Norway is one of the most visited waterfalls, with good reason. Not only is it frequently featured on lists of the most beautiful waterfalls in Noway, but many people will also agree that it’s the highlight of the Flamsbana. Here is everything you need to know about the Kjosfossen, from how to reach the waterfall to where to find the best spot on the viewing platform. I’ve got you covered.
Sidenote. Just to clarify, fossen in the Norwegian language means waterfall. So in my article, I’ll be using Kjosfossen and not Kjosfossen waterfall because otherwise, I’d just be repeating myself 😉
Interesting facts about the Kjosfossen
- Kjosfossen is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Norway.
- I cannot pinpoint the exact height of the waterfall. Some sources on the internet say the height is approximately 225 m. Others say it’s 93 m.
- It’s unique in that you can only reach the waterfall via train.
- The waterfall isn’t just a pretty sight. The small power station at the Kjosfossen captures the energy of the falling water and converts it into electricity which is used to power the Flamsbana.
How to reach the Kjosfossen
The only way to reach the Kjosfossen is via train, more specifically, the Flåm Railway. Running between Flåm on the Aurlandsfjord up the mountain to Myrdal, the Flamsbana is one of the most scenic train rides in the world. Along the way, the train makes a couple of stops. The one just before you reach Myrdal is the viewing platform for Kjosfossen. You can purchase your ticket for the Flåm Railway here. Just keep in mind that tickets tend to sell out fast, particularly during summer. Therefore, my advice is to purchase your ticket well in advance.
As I mentioned above, the Kjosfossen cannot be reached via any other mode of transportation. There are no roads nearby, so driving to the waterfall by car is not an option. There are also no hiking routes to the waterfall (and walking on the train tracks is not permitted). Although there are bicycle paths throughout the Flåm valley, none of them passes by the Kjosfossen.
The best view from the platform
The Flamsbana will stop at the viewing platform for approximately five to ten minutes. It’s a quick stop, so you’ll want to make the most of your limited time here. My best tip: to get the best view of the Kjosfossen, move all the way to the left side of the platform. For some reason, the people stick to the right side as if the train will depart without them. Don’t worry, it won’t. From the right side of the platform, you only get a glimpse of the waterfall, so move on over to the other side.
The Kjosfossen is truly spectacular! The water crashing over the rocks sounds like thunder. It drains out all the other sounds around you. Be sure to take a moment to enjoy this natural wonder, the sound of crashing water in your ears and the cool spray on your face.
As you can imagine, spray from the waterfall and crowds of people make decent photography a bit challenging. I took photos with my Sony mirrorless camera and my husband took photos with his iPhone. In the end, his photos were better.
During high season, the summer months, music will start playing and a woman will appear next to the waterfall. She is Huldra, a forest creature from Scandinavian folklore. Professional dancers from the Norwegian Ballet School bring the legend of Huldra to life. I think the performance is a nice touch as it creates a mystical atmosphere. But I’m equally happy to just enjoy the waterfall on its own without any theatrics.
More about Huldra
Even though I think the dancers with the music is a little bit touristy, I enjoyed the story of Huldra. In Scandinavian folklore, Huldra is a beautiful forest creature with a secret. She has a tail but she keeps it hidden, covered up beneath her dress. According to one version of the legend, Huldra will seduce men and marry them. Then, depending on whether the man is a good or bad husband, she will either lose her tail (good husband) or he will also grow a tail (bad husband).
I had the opportunity to visit the Kjosfossen during a shore excursion on my Northen European cruise this summer. For me, the waterfall was definitely the highlight of riding the Flamsbana. There is just something about being confronted with the strength of a natural force like running water. Do you agree with me? What was your favourite part of riding the Flamsbana?