In a country with 47 national parks, northern Europe’s tallest mountains, thousands of miles of coastline, laws permitting wild camping and the world’s most famous fjords, it’s no surprise that hiking is an integral part of Norwegian lifestyle.
Norwegians adopt “friluftsliv”—an outdoors lifestyle—year-round and in the summer and fall this means hiking. Marked trails criss-cross the country while wooden cabins provide shelter and basic overnight accommodation for longer tours.
Whether you want to spot wild reindeer and diverse birdlife or simply enjoy the spectacular scenery, Norway has a hiking trail for you. Here are seven of the most famous hiking routes in Norway.
Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock)
Despite the fame enjoyed by the fjords farther north, the Lysefjord has long been called the most beautiful of Norway’s fjords by poets, writers, and painters.
Crowds gather on Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock) for an unforgettable view of Norway’s Lysefjord.
Perhaps the stunning fjord view from Preikestolen has something to do with that. The flat clifftop shot to global fame after its appearance in Mission: Impossible – Fallout but visitor numbers were already at record highs.
In a typical pre-pandemic tourist season, more than 300,000 visitors made the four-hour return hike to the clifftop, which includes an ascent of more than 1,600 feet.
Don’t be fooled by its popularity—this hike has a moderate level of difficulty and requires proper clothing and footwear.
Also overlooking the Lysefjord, the Kjeragbolten hike is also known for its end point—a glacial boulder caught in a mountain crevasse with a 3,200 feet drop below. The view—and photo opportunity—draws a surprising number of international visitors.
This photo opportunity is the main reason international visitors take the all-day hike to … [+]
Be prepared though, because the strenuous 7-mile roundtrip hike with an elevation gain of more than 1,800 feet takes up to 8 hours. This is not a good choice for inexperienced hikers.
Trolltunga (The Troll’s Tongue)
Yet another destination hike made famous through images shared on social media, Trolltunga also suffers from long queues of hikers wanting to replicate the iconic photograph of a lone hiker jumping on the unique rock formation almost 2,300 feet above lake Ringedalsvatnet.
Tourists can queue for an hour to get the famous photograph at the end of Norway’s Trolltunga hike.
This is despite the challenging nature of the hike, which is a 17-mile roundtrip (10-12 hours) or 12.5-miles (7-9 hours) if you’re able to snag a space on the shuttle bus to the alternative trailhead. Tourist authorities recommend starting the hike before 8am.
Jotunheimen National Park is home to Norway’s tallest mountains and hiking trails galore. The most famous—Besseggen—is …….