Norway has some of the most beautiful mountains landscapes in the world, and you know what that means – thrilling and sometimes even dangerous, one-of-a-kind hikes. Whether you’re looking to enjoy views of the beautiful lakes and beaches or stand on rocks that are practically suspended in the air, Noway will not disappoint you!
Our guide to the best hikes in Norway includes unique trails, spectacular views and some rather thrilling experiences. From trails that are perfectly suitable for beginners to those that will have even the most experienced hikers fear for their life, here are the top ten hikes in Norway!
One important thing you should know is that it’s only possible to do most of the hikes between June and September. And even then you should have winter shoes and clothes prepared, even crampons and ice axes on some of the more demanding hikes.
Weather in Norway changes rapidly, and you need to be prepared for the worst. With an increasing number of tourists over the years, their volunteer rescue teams have their hands full at all times. It goes without saying that you should be as careful and as responsible as possible, in order to save yourself and the Norwegians any headaches.
For more info on Norwegian hiking customs be sure to check out their mountain code. And stick to it!
Image courtesy of designmilk
The Kjeragbolten hike is one for the bucket lists – at least its very end is, where you have to make the decision whether or not it’s worth it stand on a potentially deadly rock just for the photo. The trail itself is not too difficult, but it does include about 600 meters of climbing. While no technical equipment is necessary, it’s recommended that this adventure be undertaken only by people who have at least some trekking experience. Mostly because the trail becomes fairly difficult if it starts raining, due to the amount of slippery rocks.
The views along the way are out of this world, and they make the entire hike worth it even if you have no intention whatsoever of stepping onto to the Kjerag. And nobody would blame you if you wouldn’t dare – unless you’re 100% confident you’re not going to plunge to your death, it’s best to admire the suspended boulder from afar. Otherwise, one wrong step could be fatal.
The good news is that it’s actually a lot easier and nowhere near as scary as it looks in the photos – you just can’t see the path to the boulder over the Lysefjord in the photographs.
St. Olav Ways are some of the greatest hikes in Norway. They’re actually pilgrim paths to Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim, and there are nine trails that feature over 3000 kilometers of exquisite scenery. But, perhaps the most beautiful one is Gudbrandsdalsleden, which takes you to Trondheim from Norway’s capital.
The path is some 643 kilometers long and it’s definitely not something you should take lightly. It will take you at least a month to complete it, and that’s with hiking 20-25 kilometers every day. Although the path itself is not technically difficult, it will require a lot of preparation and sacrifice. But if you manage to complete it, I’m pretty sure you will find the whole experience life-changing. After all, that’s the whole point of pilgrimages.
There are numerous spots worth stopping by along the way, but the one you absolutely shouldn’t miss is Sygard Grytting. The farm feels like something from a different time, with medieval decorations everywhere. The food here is delicious, so it’s definitely worth it to stop just to recharge your batteries.
The Gudbrandsdalsleden trail includes lots of pit stops along the way, from sheltered cabins where you can spend the night in your sleeping bag to hotels that serve gourmet food. You will have access to hot water and electricity on the trail, so it’s not like you’d be stranded in the middle of nowhere for a month.
Preikestolen is a hiking trail that should be on the list of all people who visit Norway. It’s a beginner friendly trail, so people of all ages are welcome on the trail.
The hike starts at Preikestolen Mountain Lodge and from there it’s about two hours to get to Pulpit Rock. There is a big parking lot at the base camp, so if you’re just heading there for the day, you will have somewhere to leave the car. Alternatively, you could spend the night in the area – this is a pretty popular hiking trial so there’s lot of accommodation options for hikers and backpackers.
You also have the option of taking a bus to the Preikestolen Mountain Lodge – it departs from Stavanger city, but there’s really not of information available about the route and departure times. Because of that, we highly recommend renting a car and getting on the ferry, as the quickest and easiest way of reaching the trail starting point.
Pulpit Rock towers over the Lysefjord and it offers spectacular views. It’s worth it to go through all the hassle of reaching the trail just to be able to enjoy the scenery at its end. However, bear in mind that as an easy trail, it’s one of the most popular ones in Norway. Meaning that there’s probably going to be lots of other people on the trail and ultimately at Pulpit Rock, so be prepared for crowds.
Galdhøpiggen is the tallest mountain in Northern Europe, and supposedly it’s so easy to reach that school children do it at least once a week. If that’s true, then you should be able to do it with your eyes closed. At least, that’s what you would think.
Bear in mind that the Norwegian definition of ‘easy’ might not align with yours – while there are in fact multiple ways to reach the tallest point in Northern Europe, none of them are actually a piece of cake. The more demanding trail takes you over a glacier and requires you to have some technical hiking equipment, while the easy trail only alternates between snowy fields and craggy rocks. You still have to climb for more than 400 meters in an hour on the easy trail, and you’ll spend quite a lot of time asking for the next break.
So, when they describe parts of this trail as easy, they actually mean steep ascents, slippery rocks and lots of sheep along the way.
It’s entirely worth it to go out of your way to complete this trek, if only for the bragging rights. You will be able to say that you proudly stood at the tallest peak in Norway, and have photos of the dramatic scenery below to back up that claim.
The return trip is a lot shorter than the initial hike since it’s mostly just going downhill. Just be sure to have some walking poles as they will help you stay stable and they’ll allow you to descend much faster.
A few years ago the Trolltunga hike was only known to the locals. But, due to Instagrammers visiting the area and making it popular on social media, the popularity of the hike dramatically rose, and it saw more than 100,000 visitors in 2018 alone!
The trail to Trolltunga is a pretty long and demanding one. It’s 14 kilometers in one way, and it will take you at least 10-12 hours to reach the end of the trail and come back. You can shorten it by an hour or so by joining the shuttle bus and skipping 400 meters of the ascent. It is recommended that you book a seat on the bus though, considering it gets pretty full – it takes you all the way from Tyssedal to Skjeggedal, which covers a fair bit of the trail.
Since a lot of people are flocking to Trolltunga just for the Insta photos, they now offer guided tours that are suitable even for people with little to no experience in challenging mountain hikes. If you’re a stranger to steep ascents and climbs, it would probably be best to join a guided tour.
Troll’s tongue is a rock formation that protrudes horizontally above Lake Ringedalsvatnet. It’s some 700 meters above the lake, and the views are absolutely incredible – the only thing that could make this scenic spot better is if someone offered bungee jumps from the rock. Fingers crossed!
The Vidden trail is a spectacular hike just outside Bergen. You could technically begin the trail at downtown Bergen – head to the Fløibanen that’s just outside the historic part of the town, and instead of getting in the cable car just continue to Fløyen. However, bear in mind that this will just add 2 extra hours to the hike, so unless you’re really in the mood to enjoy the idyllic scenery, it might be best to just conserve your energy and ride the cable car to the true starting point of the trail.
From Fløyen it’s about 13 kilometers to Mount Ulriken, which is one of Bergen’s best known and most majestic mountains. The trail is very scenic, as it takes you near a lake and over some spectacular landscapes. It’s also a popular skiing trail in the winter, when there’s enough snow on the mountains.
Also, you don’t actually have to hike back to Bergen – there’s a funicular that can take you home, which is pretty great considering the uphill hike tends to be rather exhausting.
Image courtesy of Henrik Johansson
Svolvaergeita And Svolvaer Fløya are both above Svolvaer and provide spectacular views of the town below. And you can do both hikes in a day – we’d recommend climbing Svolvaergeita first, as it only takes about 45 minutes to reach it from the parking lot near the cemetery.
The beginning of the path is probably the hardest part, since it includes some very big and steep rocks that you can’t really pass without using both your hands and feet. Soon after you’ve passed that part of the trail, you’ll come at a crossroads – to your right is the short trail that takes you to the Svolvaergeita, and the path left will take you to Fløya.
Svolvaergeita is also known as ‘The Goat’ – it’s a rock pinnacle that’s a very popular climbing spot in Lofoten Islands. The climb is only about 50 meters, and it’s suitable even for beginners since there are plenty of handholds and footholds along the way. But it’s still recommended that you have at least some prior climbing experience, and it would be best to go with a guide – if only because they will provide you with all the climbing equipment, so you don’t have to carry around harness just for the short climb.
When you’ve repelled down the rock head back to the trail fork and continue to hike up to Fløya. At one point the trail nearly levels out, before it become pretty steep again and takes you to the amazing peak. You can even see the rocky horns of The Goat from here, as well as the entire town of Svolvaer.
Segla is easily the most popular hike in Senja as the demanding trail rewards with some unbelievable views. However, don’t be fooled by the short length of the hike – the steep rocky trail can be difficult even for experienced hikers. The trail is mostly dirt and rock and although it’s not clearly marked it’s really hard to miss – just look up at the peak and you’ll know if you’re heading in the right direction.
Once you’ve passed the base of Segla, the trail becomes very steep and difficult. You’ll need to be entirely focused on the path ahead, and stick to the right side of the narrow trail if you don’t want to face the cliffs below. If you do, then veer a bit to the left – just be very careful. The sight of the cliffs below is undoubtedly impressive, but also slightly frightening.
The end of the trail rewards you with enchanting views of Øyfjord, Mefjord and even the Senja’s tallest mountain Breidtinden, which lies on the southern side.
The Flørli 4444 is one of the most unusual hikes in Norway. You’re actually climbing up 4444 stairs so it’s anything but traditional! The trail is very steep and tiring even for experienced hikers, due to the sheer exhaustion you will feel around the first 500-step marker – just 8 more to go! But getting to the top rewards you with an amazing sense of accomplishment, stunning views and a decent hiking trail for the return trip.
It’s not advised to descend via the stairs because it’s deemed unsafe, due to how steep the incline is at certain points. The stairs are also quite narrow, and encountering people who are going upwards would be just uncomfortable and dangerous for all of you. Luckily, there are two different trails you can take to get back to Flørli – Rallarstien and Store Runden. Both trails are very scenic and take you through some stunning nature, but we recommend the first one if you’re too tired simply because it’s an hour shorter.
Ryten is one of the most popular hikes in Lofoten Islands – it’s not very difficult and the end of the trail rewards you with spectacular views of the Kvalvika Beach. The trail is not very steep or strenuous, so it’s a hike suitable even for people with little hiking experience.
The best thing about this trail is that the views along the way don’t stay the same for too long. The trail begins in a field of wildflowers, switching to rocky mountain landscape and then sweeping lake views.
When you get to the top you’ll be rewarded with the beach views, which might just entice you to go for a swim. But only for a minute, since the icy cold will remind you that you’re in fact in Norway after just a few seconds. At least you can take all sorts of creative photos here – there’s a cliff that juts out of the rocks similar to Trolltunga, and if it’s not too windy you can really get some awesome and crazy pics! Even though that’s not the actual end of the trail, lots of people stop there to enjoy the views and take photos.
Continue about five minutes up the hill and you will reach the official summit. You can return via the same trail – it’s the fastest and easiest way. Or you can actually go down to the beach, but that’s going to add a lot of time and and distance to the hike.