Two of Norway’s lesser known hiking gems: Hornelen and Flørli 4444

Text: Anne Bloksgaard Nielsen Published 10.02.2022

Preikestolen (the Pulpit Rock) and Kjeragbolten often top many hiking enthusiasts’ Norwegian “bucket list”, but our northern neighbour has many other spectacular hiking trails to offer. In this article, we present two hikes that should also feature high on your list.

Hornelen – Preikestolen’s forgotten big brother

Between Bergen and Ålesund you can visit Preikestolen’s lesser-known big brother, Hornelen. It’s said Hornelen is Northern Europe’s highest sea cliff, and its characteristic formation rises 860 metres above the fjord right on the west coast of Norway.

The two most popular routes to the top of Hornelen begin at Hunskår and Berleneset respectively. Both routes are well signposted, but in some stretches the trails are demanding, in varied terrain.

Nonetheless, the view from the top is worth the effort! From here you can see out across the small islands of the archipelago and inland over the dramatic fjords and mountain peaks. And if you dare, you can crawl all the way out to the edge and look straight down at the tiny little boats sailing on the fjord almost a kilometre below you.

Flørli 4444 – The world’s longest wooden staircase

In Flørli, you’ll encounter a hiking challenge unlike any other. In fact, the climb to the top follows a wooden staircase with no less than 4444 steps!

The journey starts at the small town of Flørli which can only be reached by ferry. The enormous wooden staircase was built more than 100 years ago when the hydropower plant in Flørli was built, where the water was channelled down the mountainside through the huge pipes that run alongside the staircase.The climb is challenging (and not for people with a fear of heights!), so allow plenty of time for rests and photo stops along the way.

Like Preikestolen and Kjerag, Flørli is located by Lysefjorden, so you’re guaranteed a rich reward for your efforts when you reach the top of the staircase around 700 metres up and can catch your breath while you look out over the spectacular fjord landscape. From here, you can either take the stairs back down again or follow one of the signposted paths across the mountain.

Did you know that...

The climb to the top of Flørlitrappen is the same as walking all the way up the Empire State Building twice – or the Eiffel Tower more than 2.5 times?