In the river Lygna south in Norway lies the mighty Kvåsfossen waterfall. The waterfall itself is a beautiful sight, but the real jewel is hidden inside the mountain beside the waterfall. Here you’ll find Norway’s longest salmon ladder in a tunnel. A 220 meters tunnel has been carved out to help the salmon pass the waterfall so that they can travel further upstream.
Kvåsfossen – Sørnorsk Laksesenter (Kvåsfossen – Southern Norway Salmon Center) was finished in mid-2017. The visitor center is very informative with great facilities. The building is partly hanging over the river, and large windows make for spectacular views. A sitting area invites you to take a break and admire the beautiful nature. The more adventure seeking guests can venture outside onto a small balcony that allows you to watch the river from above.
Inside the visitor center is an interesting elk exhibition, together with a small gift shop and a cafe. The cafe is charming and serves home-made cakes. We toured what the center had to offer on the upper floor, before heading for the stairs leading down to the salmon ladder.
Our senses are almost overwhelmed as we approach the salmon ladder. At the bottom of the ladder, the water passes by with massive roars. The sunlight outside the tunnel blinds our eyes after the dark walk inside the mountain. The air is humid and cool, and right before us is the gold in the mountain. Panoramic windows allow us to see the salmon inside the human-made pool in the river. We see not only one, but multiple big fish, many with the characteristic jaw. Amazed at the fantastic view, we are just standing still, observing nature right before our eyes. This is not an aquarium, but pure nature.
We loved our visit to Kvåsfossen. The center magnificently displays nature and is an outstanding experience. We are sure that Kvåsfossen – Sørnorsk Laksesenter will have lots of visitors in the years to come!
Visit Kvåsfossen between the end of October and the end of December. If you are lucky, you get to see the salmon spawn in the river!