Norway’s best mountain hikes
Kristin Krohn Devold, former Secretary General of the Norwegian Tourist Association, offers a few inspirational facts about some of Norway’s best mountain hiking (Source: Visit Norway).
Preikestolen is a flat rock formation shaped like a gigantic pulpit that towers over Lysefjord. There is a good path from Preikestolen mountain hut to the top of the 604 metre high plateau. The walk takes between four and five hours to the top and back and you should allow around an hour at the summit to relax and take in the view.
This is probably the most popular of all mountain hikes for Norwegians and was also described in National Geographic magazine in 2014 as one of the world’s best hikes. It encompasses steep pathways and airy vistas, with views over Jotunheimen National Park. Looking down from on high, you will see a blue lake on one side and a green one on the other. The hike to and from Besseggen takes between seven and eight hours.
On a clear day, you can actually see about a sixth of Norway from the top of Gaustatoppen. The mountain is accessible from the car park at Stavro, between Rjukan and Tuddal and it takes around three hours to reach the top and two to come back down.
At 2,469 metres, Galdhøpiggen is Norway’s highest mountain. The view over Jotunheimen National Park doesn’t get any better than this. The mountain is easy to access from either the Spitersulen or Juvasshytta mountain huts. The easiest trek starts from Juvasshytta and this route is also suitable for children who are used to hiking.
Aurlandsdalen, Fjord Norway
The mountains meet the fjord in Aurlandsdalen. The landscape here is varied, with rocky peaks and verdant valleys, and as you walk, you will also encounter rushing waterfalls and abandoned mountain farms. The hike starts at the Geiteryggshytta mountain hut (or Østerbø mountain hut, for a shorter route) and ends at Vassbygdi.
Slogen, Fjord Norway
Slogen is possibly the most picturesque and dramatic hike in the Sunnmør Alps, in the northern part of the Fjord Norway. The hike to the top is steep and the final section requires some easy climbing. The hike to Slogen rises 1,500 metres directly up from Hjørund Fjord to the mountain summit and takes around five hours. The descent takes a little less time. There is also a shorter version that starts from Patchellhytta mountain hut.
The classic triangular route in Rondane National Park takes between four and five days. The hike is suitable for beginners and takes you round some of the highest peaks in Rondane. The hike starts at either Rondvassbu, Bjørnhollia or Dørålseter mountain huts.
Romsdalseggen, Fjord Norway
Romsdalseggen is located close to Molde in the north of Fjord Norway. The hike takes you over a mountain landscape with stunning views over fjords, peaks and waterfalls. The starting point is in Vengedalen and hikers can choose between three routes with different levels of difficulty. The most extreme route requires climbing equipment and the hike takes between six and nine hours to complete, depending on the chosen route.
Dronningeruten (The Queen’s Route), Vesterålen Islands
One of the most popular hikes on the Vesterålen Islands north of Lofoten is Dronningeruten, or the Queen’s Route. This hike offers the very best of Vesterålen: wonderful coastline, beautiful beaches, cosy villages and dramatic mountains with spectacular views. The hike starts in Stø on the isle of Langøya and follows the coast towards Nyksund. From here, the route winds up into the mountains and then back to Stø. It takes about eight hours to complete the walk.
Reisadalen stretches from Kautokeino in Finnmark to Saraelv in Troms in the far north of Norway. The mountain plateau of Finnmarksvidda is almost completely flat but is still a picturesque landscape with towering mountains in parts of the valley. From the town of Kautokeino, it takes a whole day to reach Reisjavri lake. To get there quicker, take a taxi from Kautokeino to Biedjovaggi and walk the final four kilometres from there to Reisjavri.