The unique combination of fjords and mountains makes Norway a hiker’s dream vacation. Trails range from easy to difficult, offering options for hikers of all experience levels. The best-known trails are: Preikestolen (The Pulpit Rock), Kjeragbolten, and Trolltunga (The Troll’s Tongue). If you want a more intimate experience, use one of the lesser-known trails. Regardless of where you explore, there is breathtaking scenery in every direction. Add hiking to your Norway adventure!
Preikestolen, The Pulpit Rock (Easy)
The shortest and least challenging of Norway’s famous hikes is the Pulpit Rock, a 3.75 mile hike with an ascent of ¼ mile. It will take approximately two hours to reach the flat mountain plateau that sits almost one-half mile above the Lysefjord, and the views are absolutely stunning. Unless you want to share the viewing platform with hundreds of tourists, try to avoid June and July as these are the peak months.
The mountain range Kjerag is best known for its rock that is wedged between two cliffs. This hike is located in Lysefjorden. It is a slightly more challenging hike than Preikestolen at 6 ¼ miles roundtrip and an ascent of 1/3 mile. There are some steep climbs along the hike but chains have been put into place for you to hold on to. Allow approximately 3 hours to reach the rock.
Trolltunga, The Troll’s Tongue (Difficult)
Number three on the list of best hikes in Norway is the Troll’s Tongue, a 17 mile roundtrip journey that will require a full 10 to 12 hour day to complete. As one of the more demanding hikes in Norway, it is important to have the proper clothing and equipment, along with plenty of food and water. There are several options for guided tours if you feel more comfortable embarking on the hike with an experienced guide. The hike to Trolltunga has a rise of ½ mile and is one of the most scenic cliffs in all of Norway. It hovers .44 miles above Lake Ringedalsvatnet and is situated ¾ miles above sea level.
Romsdalseggen Ridge (Moderate)
Located in the heart of Romsdalen, hiking the Romsdalseggen Ridge will deliver gorgeous views of the Romsdalsfjellene mountains and take you through some of the most beautiful landscapes in Norway. This 6.25 mile hike will take approximately 7 hours and, from the top of the ridge, you can see as far as the Norwegian Sea. There are two alternative routes, the more popular and scenic option is Normalruta, while the path that goes via Høgnosa is a good option for those who are afraid of heights.
If reaching the summit of Norway’s highest peak is on your bucket list, then the hike to Galdhøpiggen is a must. At 8,100 feet above sea level, this is not only the highest peak in Norway but also the tallest mountain in all of Northern Europe. Galdhøpiggen is located in Jotunheimen National Park and the hike is approximately 7 hours to the top, involving a crossing the Styggebreen glacier.
The hike to Gaustatoppen is found in Norway’s Telemark region, more specifically in Rjukan, and is known for its views over one-sixth of Norway on a clear day. The 5.3 mile roundtrip journey will take approximately 4 hours and is even doable as a day trip from Oslo at a 2.5 hour drive each way. If you want to see the views without doing the hike, you have the option of taking the funicular railway called Gaustabanen. It lets you off very close to the top.
Besseggen Ridge (Difficult)
For the most popular one-day hike in Norway, look no further than the Besseggen Ridge, located in the eastern part of Jotunheimen National Park. Upwards of 30,000 people complete this hike every season and the surrounding landscape is absolutely spectacular. The trail is quite steep and narrow near its highest peak, which reaches a height of 1 mile, but otherwise the trail climbs quite steadily and markings along the way make it easy to follow. Hiking between Gjendesheim and Memurubu will take approximately 6 hours, but the good news is you only have to hike it in one direction since a ferry runs between the two ends of the hike.