Scenic cruising Eidfjord
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In the shadow of snowy peaks and near stunning blue-green fjords, Eidfjord is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful villages in Norway. Even though it has a population of less than 1,000, scores of visitors come here each year to bask in the area's natural splendor. Hardangervidda, near Eidfjord, is Europe's largest mountain plateau as well as Norway's largest national park. Interestingly, the legendary polar explorer Roald Amundsen, who led the first expedition to reach the South Pole, and Fridtjof Nansen, who made the first successful crossing of the Greenland interior, both used Hardangervidda to prepare for their expeditions. Walking, hiking, cycling and cross-country skiing are popular, and the area is home to Europe's largest population of wild reindeer. Numerous canyons, including the famous Måbødalen Valley, lead south from the Hardangervidda plateau to the fjords along the coast, and about 16 kilometers (10 miles) south of Eidfjord, visitors can see the dramatic 182-meter-tall (597-foot-tall) Vøringfossen waterfall. In the center of Eidfjord stands the 14th-century stone Eidfjord Kirke, while outside town the famous Kjeåsen Mountain Farm sits on a ledge some 600 meters (1,968 feet) above the Simadalsfjord.