Buarbreen Glacier Hike in Odda (With Epic View)

The Buarbreen Glacier hike is a fantastic way to get up close and personal with a hanging glacier. 

Starting from the National Park Farm above Odda in the Folgefonna National Park, the hike climbs through forest and over streams, rivers and rocks to reach take you close to the Buarbreen Glacier itself.

If you have never seen a glacier before, and want to get up close to one, this is a great way to do it.

It is a quite popular hike so do not expect to be alone up there. When we did it a few weeks ago, there were around 100 people or more on the path in the afternoon.

Buarbreen Glacier

Buarbreen Glacier in the distance

Buarbreen Hike Difficulty

Although the Buarbreen Hike is quite short at around 3 hours return, and only 2.7km in each direction, it is still a challenging hike if you ask me. First, you have to climb up over 420m (1350ft) and the terrain is far from easy, especially if it has been wet (which is most of the time in Norway). 

Buarbreen valley view

View back down the valley on the Buarbreen hike

Second, there are quite a few challenging features to tackle on the path (apart from the slippery and muddy path and rocks). For example, there are wooden and metal bridges, including a small suspension bridge with a very precarious rock stepping stone entrance and rope exit with little place to pass others.

Buarbreen suspention bridge

The tricky suspension bridge – Buarbreen Hike

Then, there are various places, mostly towards the end where you need to pull yourself up on ropes to overcome the rocks in front of you.

Now, don’t let me put you off doing the hike. As I saw every man and his dog (literally with dogs) including kids and people wearing crocs, no kidding! It is just that you should be aware that it is not the “walk in the park” many claim it to be, and you should come prepared both mentally, and physically and have the right equipment (good shoes, clothes against the rain etc).

How To Get To The Hike

After driving to Odda, you have to keep left out of town after crossing the bridge, then be careful not to miss the left-hand turn (which is signposted to the glacier), just after the Trolltunga Campground. It is a very narrow road, so go slowly and be prepared to pass other cars and campervans along the way. This is a typical narrow Norwegian mountain road!

Buarbreen Parking & Camping

At the top, you will arrive at the parking. It costs 150 NOK (Krone) a day to park. You don’t need a card, it scans your car number plate. You just have to pay on your way out with a credit card at the exit.

Buarbreen parking camping

Upper parking for campervans – where you can also camp

Campers Note: you are allowed to camp on their massive grass car park (tents and campervans – see the image above). We actually paid just over 180NOK when we left the next morning, so I think it costs more if you stay overnight.

There is space for a few to park before the car park if you want to save money. Just be prepared to walk a bit further.

The hike begins either on the left or right end of the long grass parking lot after the new restaurant building (Note: This is a great place to have a fantastic meal or just a snack and coffee by the way!). The left path is gravel and very easy, for a few hundred meters. The right-hand one goes through the grass and forest like the rest of the path.




Hiking Time
5.5km return
Starting Point
Buarbreen Glacier Car park
Public Transport
Parking for 150NOK