Hiking in Norway

If you are planning on hiking in Norway, you won't be short of places to choose from. Norway has some of the most dramatic landscapes in the world and hiking really is the best way to appreciate their beauty. From frozen mountains in the north to tranquil forests further south, and from extensive national parks to rugged coastline and steep sided fjords, there really is something for everyone.

We have picked out some of the more famous hikes and routes throughout Norway, but don’t feel you have to stick to these as are there are many thousands more. Some of the hikes are only possible in the summer months and we strongly recommend you do your homework before embarking on some of the longer hikes. Stay safe, pack for the trip and avoid these top mistakes!

Popular hikes in Norway

Reinebringen Hike - Lofoten Nord Norge, North Norway

Located on the island of Moskenesøya at the southern end of the Lofoten archipelago the Reinenbringen hike is popular with visitors to the islands. It is a steep climb up to a small ridge where you get breath-taking views of the village of Reine and the surrounding islands.

Because it is one of the more well-known hikes in the area the track can get busy and can be degraded in parts. If you want to get away from the crowds there are plenty of other hikes around the Lofoten islands and Hiking Lofoten is a great resource and available in English, French and German.

The Pilgrim Trail - Dovrefjell National Park

The Pilgrim Trail, also known as the St Olav Way, or the Gudbrandsdalen is a 643km historical trail running from Oslo to Trondheim over the Dovrefjell mountains. It follows the pilgrimage route of the canonised medieval King of Norway, St Olav.

Although the whole trail can take approximately a month to hike, but many people choose to pick out sections along its way such as the path over the Dovre mountain plateau. For instance Fokstugu to Oppdal is around 85km and should take you around 4 to 5 days. If you want to pick out your own trip, and walk in the footsteps of St Olav, we recommend the Pilegrimsleden website and their trip planner.

If you are looking for accommodation in the area Norgesbooking have a choice of cabins.

Besseggen Ridge Hike -Jotunheimen National Park

The Besseggen Ridge hike is very popular in Norway and for good reason. The route follows a 14km path over the Besseggen mountain ridge in the east of the Jotunheimen. It is a one way hike with a 1km section of ridge roughly in the middle where you get stunning views over the Jotunheimen and the lakes Gjende and Bessvatnet. Whilst Bessvatnet is a deep blue colour, Gjende, which is 400m lower than Bessvatnet, is a light green colour due to the clay it picks up from glacial runoff. The whole experience is topped off with the bonus of wonderful ferry ride along Gjende!

The Besseggen Ridge hike can be done in either direction. Either walk from Gjendesheim to Memurubu and return by ferry, alternatively most people prefer to start their trip with the ferry to Memurubu and hike to Gjendesheim. The Gjende Ferry does get booked up, so we do recommend you either pre-book your ticket on their website and check out their Frequently Asked Questions.

If you are looking to undertaken the Besseggen Ridge hike and are looking for accommodation, Norgesbooking have a number of cabins in Beitostølen which is just 35km away.

Galdhøpiggen Hike- Jotunheimen

Galdhøpiggen in Jotunheimen is Norway’s highest peak at 2,469m above sea level, and attracts many hikers each year. There are three ways up the mountain, easy, hard and extreme so choose the route that suits your ability. Also make sure you go prepared, the weather at the top of the mountain is always much colder and extreme than lower down and it is easy to get caught out without the correct gear!

The Hardangervidda National Park

Vidda translates as plateau and the mountain plateau which makes up the Hardangervidda National Park is a truly unique place. It stretches over 10,000 km2 and is above the tree line giving the landscape a dramatic ruggedness. There are plenty of well-established hikes and trails criss-crossing the plateau. For shorter trails suitable for all the family checkout Hardangervidda.com. For longer hikes such as Mount Gaustatoppen or the Saboterus’ trail checkout the Hardangervidda National Park Route website.

If you are planning on visiting the Hardangervidda National Park and are looking for accommodation, Norgesbooking have cabins in Telemark to the south or Geilo / Hallingdal to the north east.

Trolltunga Hike, Hardangerfjord

Trolltunga literally translates as Troll’s Tongue and it gets its name from the tongue shaped outcrop of rock that hangs precipitously above the lake Ringedalsvatnet.

If you want a photo of yourself on the rock then you need to undertake a challenging 23 – 27km out-and-back hike from Skjeggedaland to Trolltunga where you then need to brave the rock itself! It isn’t for the faint hearted and shouldn’t be attempted unless you have a certain level of fitness and experience, or in winter months. Safety precautions need to be adhered to as in recent years there has been a growing number of mountain rescues for tourists who have been poorly prepared.

The Trolltunga hike is just off the Hardangerfjord between the Hardangervidda and Folgefonna national parks, about 3 hours east of Bergen.

Preikestolen or the Pulpit Rock hike

Preikestolen or the Pulpit Rock is an angular piece of rock, shaped out of the mountain by ice thousands of years ago. It hangs 600m above Lysefjord and makes for one of the most impressive viewing points in the world. You can take a moderate to challenging 4 to 5 hour hike from the Preikestolen Mountain Lodge where there is parking.

Information for oversees travellers

Since 1957 Norway has enjoyed the so called right of access (“allemannsretten”) which is part of the Outdoor Recreation Act. It is a traditional right from ancient times and ensures that everybody can experience nature, even on larger privately owned areas.

It means you can roam where you like, but just don't create any damage, interfere with nature or leave any litter.  Simply enjoy your hiking in Norway!

Useful links

  • Visit Norway has some great tips on hiking in Norway, lists on what to pack for an hike, and information about the right of access rules and regulations
  • Make sure you follow the safety in the mountains guidelines
  • Check the weather before you leave  yr.no or storm.no


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