Breathtaking fjord panoramas, stunning mountain peaks and glaciers within easy reach — this is what awaits you on these eight-day hikes in Norway's wild west. A truly unique landscape, one that — still today — was noticeably shaped by the last Ice Age, you will experience a wild and romantic region nestled between the snow-capped peaks and the mile-long fjords—a place that is bound make every hiker's heart skip a beat.
The best way to get to the starting points of the hikes is by car. All day trips are best explored on a two-week round trip through Fjell and Fjord Norway. Except for parking fees at some particularly popular destinations, hiking or entry to national parks in Norway is free of charge. Some of the hot spots are also served several times a day by buses from the larger towns; places in which you're also going to want to spend some time. The campsites themselves are usually very well equipped and wild camping is also permitted under certain conditions.
Climb the peaks in the western fjordland, gaze down 2,000 feet (600 meters) over the steep rock face of the Preikestolen, walk historic trade routes in Borgund, feast on traditional waffles in Rondane National Park—and visit the home of the giants and their spectacular glaciers on the Jostedalsbreen. You will hardly find a more varied hiking program anywhere else. Mountain boots, rain jacket and of course your camera should accompany you on every hike. And don't forget to visit the wonderfully cozy mountain huts of the DNT, which offer rustic rooms and a sumptuous breakfast buffet — the perfect basis for every hiking day.
A spectacular fjord panorama awaits you on the plateau of Preikestolen near Starvanger. This short day tour takes you from Preikestolhytta, reachable by car, to the Preikestolen and back again.
Start is the well-developed Preikestolhytta on Revsvatnet. Despite the short distance you should wear sturdy shoes to climb the rocky meters to the summit of Neverdalsfjell at 709 meters. From up here you can watch the hustle and bustle on the free-standing plateau of Preikestolen.
If you are free from giddiness, you should absolutely look at the naturally formed platform of the Preikestolen and from there the 600 meters into the depth - a breathtaking moment, especially since no fence, no grid, not even a rope separates you from the abyss.
Have a picnic break and enjoy the spectacular view over the Lysefjord before making your way back over the rugged cliffs, past deep blue mountain lakes and back to the hut.
A hike along Europe's highest mountain pass is a special experience. Even if the cross-country season here sometimes goes until August, you can explore the wild mountain area in summer on foot well.
You start at the Sognefjellshütte and lead first parallel to the road to the highest point of the road FV55 at 1434 meters, which is characterized by a small sign on the so-called Fantesteinen.
There you turn off and walk past the numerous small lakes of the plateau to the top of the Bøverbreen, a spur of the Smørstabbreen. Here you are close to the glacier. You can ask for tours of the glacier itself in the Sognefjellhytta.
Continue along the Utla River until you reach an ancient archaeological site where you will return to Sognefjellshytta. Passing several waters, the path meanders through the colorful landscape back up to the hut, where you can reward yourself with a waffle for the tour.
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One of Norway's most beautiful and spectacular walks leads across the Besseggen ridge in Jotunheimen.
You start at the large DNT hut Gjendesheim and follow the path steeply up the mountain. The view of the Gjendesee is already impressive.
After the Veslfjellet, a gentle climb leads down to the Besseggen ridge, the so-called "band". When climbing down, do not forget to occasionally enjoy the spectacular view: to the left of the Besseggen ridge the turquoise-blue Gjendesee 600 meters lower, to the right the dark blue Bessvatnet, one of the probably cleanest lakes in Europe.
Behind the Bandet, at an altitude of 1604 meters, the path again leads up the hill and along the steep slope, the Gjendesee on one side, the mighty mountains of Jotunheimen on the other.
At the height of the DNT hut Memurubu arrived the trail leads in many small serpentines down the mountain to the refuge. From there, after a break in the hut's café, you can either hike along the lake shore back to Gjendesheim, or take one of the boats that depart directly from the quay in front of the hut.
Glacier you can touch on this day tour through the beautiful valley of the Austerdalsbreen.
From the parking lot you follow the well signposted and recognizable path into the glacier valley. The path always leads along the glacier brook past huge boulders and tiny birches. To the left and right of you rise steep cliffs of the valley - it is hard to believe that only a few years ago everything here was covered with a thick layer of ice.
As soon as you arrive at the end of the valley and climb the boulder hill, the view opens onto the Austerdalsbreen, which is fed by the glacier runs Odin, Thor and Loki, which in turn are part of the Jostedalsbreen. On one of the large boulders left by the glacier as it retreats over the years, you can take a break from this spectacular view before returning to the parking lot looking out over the valley.
On the way back from mid-2018, you should make a detour to the Tongestølen Turisthytte, which will be rebuilt after the complete destruction in 2011 according to the plans of the famous Norwegian architecture firm Snøhettas.
A short but rewarding hike will take you to one of the most beautiful vantage points in Western Norway: the Molden, whose mountain slope drops steeply down to 1116 meters from the sea.
The hike starts at the parking lot. You follow the gravel road for a short distance, before a narrow path branches off to your left up the hill. From now on it is always uphill to a small plateau with a wooden shed above the tree line, around which a few sheep graze peacefully.
The path branches off again to the left up to the summit and leads over some large rock steps until the terrain levels. The last piece of boulder field leads you directly to the summit - a small stone pile of rocks at 1116 meters.
The best view is from the edge near the radio masts on the other side of the plateau. Along the way, the path along the northern edge of the summit plateau, where you look down on two fjords, is worth the trip: the Lustrafjord on your right and the Gaupnefjord on your left.
Arriving on the east side of the fashions, the mountain drops steeply down into the fjord and you can see a spectacular fjord panorama over the Lustrafjord. There is hardly a better place for a break.
On the way back, make a detour to a small vantage point in the forest, from where you have a beautiful view over the valley, before the hike ends again at the car park.
In both summer and winter, Norway's oldest national park is a popular destination for outdoor sports enthusiasts. The goal of this day hike is the Peer Gynt Hut, which awaits you with delicious waffles.
You start at the parking lot in Mysusæter and follow the road towards the valley a little bit before the colorful hiking trails turn right. After a short stretch of grassy holiday cabins, the path branches off into the forest and soon meets the River Store Ulla, which makes its way into the valley in many small waterfalls.
You follow the path along the waterfalls to the bridge over the Store Ulla. There, a sign already points the way to the Peer Gynt hut. As you ascend the plateau, you can observe the various vegetation zones of the north particularly well: from small mixed forests over raised bogs and birch forests to the barren fjell landscape above the tree line.
Once you reach the plateau, a broad path, the peaks of the Rondane Mountains always on your right, leads to the Peer Gynt Hut.
After a long break, you can explore the area before the same path leads you back to the bridge over the Store Ulla. Here you can continue straight ahead following the road and take a close look at the holiday homes of the Norwegians before you return to the car park.
This short, crisp hike takes you to the local mountain Sogndals, the Stedjeåsen. From there you have a great view of the Sognefjord and the surrounding countryside.
From the parking lot at the church, there are some stairs between residential buildings up to the start of the trail. After just a few meters, you can enjoy a beautiful view of Sogndal, before the dense coniferous forest on the rise swallows you up.
In the gloomy forest, the ruins of former settlements seem even more mystical. The path winds steeply through the forest to a fork in the road. Follow the path to the right and a short time later you are standing at the top of Stedjeåsen. Only a small wooden sign gives an idea of where you are, between trees and raised bogs.
If you follow the circular route on the mountain, you reach the southern edge and have finally reached the actual goal of this hike: the lookout point on the Sognefjord. Make yourself comfortable on the forest floor or one of the stones and enjoy the fjord panorama before you make your way back.
This short circular walk leads you from the Stave Church Borgund over an old trade route, on which more than 300 years ago Norway's kings and their entourage traveled.
The trail starts behind an inconspicuous gate just above the entrance to the cemetery of the Borgund Stave Church. From here, a trail leads through a small wooded area until it meets the old trade route, the Vindhellavegen.
Follow the Vindhellavegen until you are at its highest point. From here you can already imagine the serpentines on the other side of the mountain. As you pass the Blacksmith's Cave, look to your left, where you can still see the original path with a 1: 4 incline - unscathed with 18th century transportation.
The trade route continues downhill until it hits the road again. Here at the small parking lot is an unusual monument - it is dedicated to the first car tourist in Norway. Beduin, a Dutchman, came here as early as 1901 on his way to Lærdal.
For the way back you have two options: Either you follow the paved road and enjoy the view of the torrent and its countless waterfalls and rapids on your right, or you branch off on the Sverrestigen and follow the path of King Sverre over the mountain and back to the stave church.