It is best known for its fjords and the cruises that take visitors jutting cliffs that form the fjords, but there is much more to this Scandinavian country than that.
Norway, which includes deep coastal fjords and mountains, foothills, and glaciers, has many outdoor activities for those who need to enjoy the great outdoors. Hiking is the best way to explore this dramatic landscape because it is one of the best ways to see it.
Nothing beats the feeling of pushing yourself to climb higher for a view that’s even better than the last time you took a break.
Add in the satisfying sense of accomplishment as you sit out of breath looking across yet another breathtaking vista, and it’s no surprise that hiking is one of Norway’s most popular outdoor activities (alongside cross-country skiing).
Hiking in Norway is appealing because it can be done at almost any age, from young to old. After all, the landscapes are as varied as the ability levels.
Norway’s hikes are among the best in the world, ranging from gentle or mildly strenuous to challenging and downright dangerous, and here are a few examples.
Find more information on the hikes listed below in the Norway travel guide.
When Is the Best Time to Hike in Norway?
The hiking season in Norway lasts from late spring (May-June) when nature awakens from its winter slumber until late summer (early to mid-September). Summer is ideal and practical: many hikes can be dangerous or inaccessible. Mountain roads are reopened after being closed for the season, and the very long hours of daylight at this time of year allow for more time to engage on extended hikes without the risk of being out after dark.
Hiking in Norway: 7 Amazing Hikes to Try
Surløytenuten, Blefjell, Telemark
This hike, located in the mountainous area of Blejfell, is little-known but offers rewarding views for much less effort. Mountain landscapes frequently entail, you know, trekking to the region with stunning scenery and then more hiking on top of that, resulting in a long and strenuous walk.
On the other hand, this relatively easy walk gives you the kind of terrain you’d expect at high altitudes without having to hike there.
This hike Begin in a pine forest, takes in a variety of landscapes, including bogs and low-lying vegetation, and offers peak views from Surlytenuten’s summit, which is 1,096m above sea level.
This region of Central Norway includes highlands that are part of the Dovrefjell mountain range. This wild area offers hiking in Norway tailored to your specific abilities and itineraries.
You are free to walk for 2 hours or several days, using the mountain huts set up throughout the area as accommodation. The houses are bare, spartan shelters, but they are far preferable to sleeping outside.
The musk oxen that live in this mountainous scrubland are arguably more famous than the hiking in the area. A visit to the 1,693-meter-square Dovrefjell–Sunndalsfjella National Park, which offers DIY musk-oxen-spotting, is a significant draw to the region.
The one-night hike from Kongsvold to Reinheimen hut is a surefire hike that virtually guarantees a musk-ox sighting and encompasses all aspects of Dovrefjell in one. It’s 16 kilometres each way, and the distance makes it moderately difficult, but it’s completely worth it.
Just two hours south of Oslo, this area offers an easy coastal walk along the intricately craggy coastline of the Hvaler Archipelago.
A leisurely meander through the plethora of islands and islets, swaths of blue sea, and narrow channels that comprise this fascinating collection of land-meets-sea is a blissful experience.
A hike on the island of Vestery from Guttormsvauen to Kuvauen is a great way to experience this unique Norwegian landscape. It is a treat for the eyes and not too strenuous on the legs. It’s great in any season, but especially lovely in the summer, when a quick stop at the beach allows for plenty of time for a picnic or barbecue.
The old harbour at Kuvauen, with its historic fishing huts, is a fantastic piece of human history that looks quaint and idyllic against the backdrop of a shimmering sea.
Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock), Lysefjord
Despite being one of Norway’s most famous natural attractions, it’s easy to see why. One of Norway’s most famous views is the favourite 25 x 25-meter block of rock that hangs 600 meters above the crystalline surface of Lysefjord.
It can get quite crowded here, especially on a clear day, so chances are you won’t have the entire vista to yourself, but given the unique beauty of this location, you can forgive everyone for wanting to come and see it.
The hike begins at a carpark in nearby Preikestolhytta and takes about 1-2 hours one way to the majestic Preikestolen itself, which is so well-known that it is also known as Pulpit Rock in English.
UNESCO-protected Geirangerfjord is a destination in and of itself, a heritage site that bears witness to Norway’s quintessential landscape: the fjords. From any vantage point, the nearly a dramatic vista is created by vertical mountainsides, craggy hiking trails, and the still waters of the fjords themselves.
Waterfalls like Friaren (“the Suitor”), Brudeslret (“the Bridal Veil”), and the famous De syv sstrene (“the Seven Sisters”) cascade down the sheer faces of the fjords like sheets of mist.
Trollstigen (“troll road”), a must-see winding mountain road, is also an alternative way to get to the Geirangerfjorden area. With such sights, hiking in Norway is an easy and tourist-friendly experience.
While there are short walks to Lsta and Vestersfjellet that provide beautiful views, the best place to fully appreciate Geirangerfjord while avoiding crowds is from Keipen’s summit.
Scrambling up the steep side of this 1,379-meter-above-sea-level pinnacle is a summer job that is not for the faint of heart. The journey from nearby Geiranger (after which the fjord is named) will take you a full day, but the incredible view is likely to be yours to enjoy alone and a fantastic reward for the challenging climb.
Mount Skåla, Stryn
Another summer mountain climb, the summit of Skla, offers views of the fjord, glacier, and mountains stretching below. From the village of Loen on the fjord’s shore, it’s a steep ascent that continues up to the summit of Skla, which stands at a lofty 1,848 meters.
The rugged and steep nature of the climb is only recommended for “Experts,” though many beginners and intermediates attempt it.
Indeed, with a perfect artificial path to the top, it would be a good goal for anyone looking to challenge themselves, as long as you’re fit – and provided you start early. However, inexperienced hikers may take longer, five hours to get up and two to three hours to get down.
Every year, a Skla Opp race is held from Loen to the mountain’s summit. This year’s event is on August 18th, and it’s exhausting just thinking about walking up Skla, let alone racing up.
Until 2010, the number of hikers on this now-famous trial was less than 800 per year; in 2016, the number of hikers route was 80,000. It’s one of Norway’s most famous hikes, if not the most famous.
It’s named after the rock formation that marks the halfway point of this circular hike, a sharply jutting out of the hillside that resembles a troll’s tongue (hence the name).
Ringedalsvatnet, a lake in the Hardanger region, is visible from the cliff, as is the Folgefonna glacier group in the distance.
Despite its fame, the hike from Skjeggedal to Trolltunga and back, which takes about 12 hours, is not for the faint of heart. However, in 2017, a new route was opened that avoided the steep climb from the carpark to the Mglitopp plateau.
During the hiking season, the new car park atop the plateau has only 30 parking spaces and opens at 7 a.m., so get there early if you want to avoid one of the most challenging to hike. The Trolltunga trail is open from about June 15th to September 15th.
Multi-day treks around the fjord and the Trolltunga area are also possible, allowing you to get away from the crowds and see the famous fjord from various perspectives.
You’ll also be able to spend the evening and early morning hours at the famous vantage point if you take one of these treks. This method is one of the world’s Top 100 Travel Adventures.
Hiking in Norway
To put it mildly, this is only a small selection of the hiking opportunities available in Norway. We’ve compiled a list of hikes ranging from beginner to advanced to give you a place to start when planning your trip. Without a doubt, the most popular hikes, such as Trolltunga, would send you to Norway. Don’t be afraid to look into other options; this country has no shortage of epic landscapes and scenery to explore.
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