Hiking in Norway: A Guide

Samuel Clennett
31.03.20
5 minute read

Norway’s hiking trails are world-famous, and for very good reason. This astonishingly beautiful country offers jagged mountain peaks, wild landscapes and of course, the dramatic fjords. Whether you’re a day tripper or a multi-day explorer, there are limitless hiking opportunities for all abilities in Norway.

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Your travel money sorted, let’s get ready to hit Norway’s hiking trails.

Hiking in Norway

The most popular hiking trails in Norway offer the chance to see the country’s most iconic scenery, including alpine lakes, idyllic fjords and majestic waterfalls. You’ll encounter everything from native wildlife to UNESCO World Heritage sites.

But many of these routes are not for the faint-hearted. There are difficult, strenuous climbs and rocky, slippery terrain to navigate on many multi-day hikes in Norway. You’ll need to be physically fit and well prepared, but ambitious trekkers will be rewarded with unforgettable experiences.

There are of course plenty of shorter, easier walks available in Norway. You can spend a half day searching for musk oxen in Dovrefjell National Park, or tackle an invigorating 2 hour scramble up Reinebringen mountain.

And of course, there are many opportunities for hiking near Oslo – a city surrounded by easily accessible nature trails, peaks, secluded lakes and island beaches.

Best hiking trails in Norway

Once you’ve been hiking in Norway, you’ll want to return time and time again. Here are some of the top hiking trails in Norway to add to your bucket list⁹,¹⁰,¹¹.

  1. Reinebringen Mountain

This Lofoten Islands walk is perfect for novice to mid-level experience hikers, as it offers a 2-3 hour round walk up the summit of Reinebringen. Head to the fishing village of Reine on the Moskenes island, make it right to the top and you’ll be rewarded with views of Reinefjorden and Kjerkfjorden. Look out for the Lofoten Wall, a sheer granite wall rising impressively out of the Arctic Sea.

  1. Pulpit Rock (Preikestolen)

This is one of Norway’s most popular hikes with tourists, so you can expect the trail to be busy during peak summer months. Not a hike for those afraid of heights, Pulpit Rock hangs 600 metres over Lysefjord – offering unbeatable panoramic views.

  1. Kjeragbolten

This strenuous 6-8 hour hike up the Kjerag mountain is a steep one, but you’ll find something truly amazing at the top. A giant boulder wedged tightly between two cliffs, offering a bridge between the two – if you dare to brave the heights and step across.

  1. Besseggen Ridge

This popular trail in Jotunheimen National Park is a lengthy one, taking around 5-7 hours to travel a thin ridge between alpine lakes. You’ll be surrounded by some of the highest mountain peaks in Norway, climbing steep inclines to enjoy breathtaking scenery.

  1. Dovrefjell

This unique location in central Norway is one of only a small number of places in the world you can see musk oxen in the wild. If you go at the right time of year, your chances of finding a herd after just a couple of hours searching are good.

  1. Galdhøppigen Mountain

Another fantastic hike in Jotunheimen National Park, this day trip takes you to the summit of the highest mountain in Northern Europe. This may sound terrifying to novice hikers, but there are several trails to choose from. Some involve extreme climbs, while for others you will need to go with a guide.

  1. Trolltunga

Norway is bursting with weird and wonderful topography, which naturally attracts tourists and hikers. Trolltunga is one such feature, a thin sliver of rock jutting out impossibly high up over Ringedalsvatnet lake. Step out (carefully) onto it if you dare! You can expect this 7-10 hour hike to be busy, as Trolltunga has become a popular tourist attraction in recent years.

  1. Romsdalseggen Ridge

This route traverses a narrow ridge high above Åndalsnes town and the fjords. It’s a difficult 8.5 hour point-to-point hike, but the views are worth it - on a clear day you even may be able to see as far as the Atlantic Ocean.

  1. Hardangervidda National Park

This is the largest national park in Norway, spread across an enormous mountain plateau. It offers trails for both casual walkers and seasoned hikers, the latter can test themselves with a 7-12 day hike across the whole plateau – staying in one of many public huts along the way.

Guided tours

A guided tour is a great way to ensure your safety on one of Norway’s wilder hikes, and it also offers the chance to learn more about the country from an experienced local. You may even get to see things not normally available to the public, such as glaciers and snowy winter scenes.

A guided hike to Pulpit Rock from Stavanger² can cost from $200 AUD³, while an overnight trip to Trolltunga⁴ could set you back upwards of $633 AUD⁵. A 3-6 hour guided blue ice hike across Juklavass Glacier⁶ costs from $100 AUD⁷ per person.

Things to watch out for when hiking in Norway

Hiking in Norway can quickly turn dangerous if you aren’t prepared. You’ll need high quality equipment, including proper hiking boots, along with a map, compass and plenty of warm layers and waterproofs. The weather in Norway can be unpredictable and change suddenly, particularly on the mountains where the wind can be extreme⁸.

The best time to hike in Norway is summer, between May and September⁹. This is when it is warmest, and when most trails are open. At other times, snow can make some trails impassable.

Norwegians are hiking enthusiasts, and are usually happy to offer advice. If you aren’t sure of your route or whether or not to hit the trails, seek local advice or go with a guide.


If you’re a hiking fan, Norway is an unmissable and truly unforgettable destination. Pull on your walking boots and you’ll get the chance to see deep fjords, snow-covered mountain peaks, incredible landscapes and so much more.


Sources:

  1. NOK Travel Card
  2. Pulpit Rock
  3. Conversion Rate
  4. Trolltunga Trip
  5. NOK to AUD
  6. Juklavass Glacier
  7. NOK to AUD
  8. Hiking in Norway Advice
  9. Norway Hiking
  10. Top Hikes
  11. Norway and Svalbard

All sources accurate as of 12-March 2020.


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