Advanced level hiking in Norway
Norway is a hiker's paradise with so many incredible routes to choose from. Here we recommend some of our favourites for the more accomplished hikers among you.
Hiking in Jotunheimen
Jotunheimen, meaning “home of the giants”, is Norway’s most famous national park and home to Northern Europe’s highest mountain, Galdhøpiggen (2469m) There are three main entry points to Galdhøpiggen, we recommend starting from the bridge at Spiterstulen, which is located 1100 meters above sea level. Here you are actually between the two highest mountains in Norway: Galdhøpiggen and Glittertind.
You will climb up both Svellnose (2272m) and Keilhaustopp (2355m) before reaching the acclaimed Galdhøpiggen in 2-3 hours. You should expect to be up and down in around 5 hours. There is a small cabin at the top, great for taking a rest from the cold winds and possible snow but on a clear day, you can see up to one-fourth of Southern Norway!
Besseggen Ridge has a special status among Norwegians and hiking the ridge is considered a rite of passage, no matter your age. The iconic view is characterized by the colorful Gjende and Bessvatnet lakes. Gjende is a stunning emerald color and very long and narrow. Bessvatnet is a deep blue and among Norway’s clearest lakes.
Hiking the Besseggen Ridge takes anywhere between 6 to 9 hours to complete the hike. Despite the challenging route, during the short hiking season from the end of June to mid-September, more than 60,000 hikers complete the trip. This makes Besseggen one of the most trafficked hiking routes in Norway. For a quieter hike, go early in the season or on a weekday in September.
Hiking in Lofoten
Travelers flock to Lofoten to take in the dramatic scenery and hike the trails. The most popular hike is arguably Reinebringen, and its trail has been recently upgraded with stone steps. It’s popularity though, has resulted in parking chaos, queues up the mountainside, and some dangerous situations.
To have a pleasant experience, try and hike early in the morning or later in the day. Even better, choose a different hike for a quieter trail and more unique experience. There are no bad views in Lofoten and any hike or viewpoint will make a mighty impression.
Hiking on Senja
Senja is a compact destination with beautiful and diverse landscapes. Hiking trails are sprinkled all over the island, and commonly lead to the top of the nearest mountain. On the northern and western sides of Senja sit dramatic mountains that plummet into the Atlantic ocean, alongside beautiful sandy beaches.
To the south, by Ånderdalen National Park, lie pine forests, lakes, and wetlands. A short drive away is Kaperskaret with the sensation of traveling over a high mountain pass. In the east the landscape softens once again with birch woods and small farms.
Segla is Senja’s most popular hike. A steep trail leads up the southern side of the mountain to the peak 639 meters above the ocean below. At the top, there are wonderful views of Mefjord and the surrounding mountains. The sheer western cliff will give an adrenaline kick to anyone game enough to peer over the edge.
Nearby trails which are popular with locals, such as Barden and Keipen can often be quieter but with views equally as magnificent.
The hike across Romsdalseggen ridge starts by taking a bus from the Norwegian Mountaineering Centre (Norsk Tindesenter) in the centre of Åndalsnes. The bus takes you to Isfjorden and on through fantastic cultural landscape to Venjedalssetra and the route starts in the car park where you are dropped off.
The ascent up Hestheia along Tverrelva river is moderate and you get a last chance to fill your water bottle at Hestheia, so remember to do so before you leave the river. There is a sign-posted and well-marked fork in the path up where the terrain levels off; turn west up the steep mountainside that takes you up onto Romsdalseggen ridge. The hike is pretty exposed in some places and should take around 8 hours to complete. The descent down into Åndalsnes is steep and can be demanding at the end of a long day. Be sure to stop at the famous Rampestreken viewpoint on your way down if the crowds are not too many.
Troll's Tongue, as this 10,000-year-old rock formation is called in Old Norse, is one of the most iconic places in Norway. You've undoubtedly come across stunning pictures of people sitting on the tip of the tongue.
A round trip of 22 km from the parking lot for most people will be a +10 hour hike. The total elevation is roughly 900 meters and requires a good level of fitness. One of our favourite trips is to take camping gear and sleep out under the stars. The queue out onto the rock is also much much shorter early morning and late evening.
Been inspired to go on a hiking trip in Norway? Check the great trips we offer HERE