It’s hard to express how special the entire country of Norway is without actually being there. Sure, it’s rainy, but it’s also insanely green. Yes, it’s hard to navigate, but they’ve built the most impressive roadway I’ve ever seen! Tunnels stretch for miles and miles through the mountains–big enough to have multiple traffic circles within. The people who live there are happy and kind. Farms line the hillsides. Practically everyone paints their house in lively colors. And hiking seems to be a favorite national pass time.
One of the most popular hikes is Trolltunga, just outside the small city of Odda. The elevations are high. Glacial lakes sparkle in the distance. Beautiful rocks make up the entire landscape. Most people estimate the hike takes 10-12 hours, but we did it in just under 8 hours. Below, I’ll walk you through our adventure.
Hiking Trolltunga in one day, with Bergen as your starting point:
- Wake up 30 minutes before sunrise and eat a quick breakfast. Pack water bottles (that you’ll be able to refill as you find fresh running water along your hike) and snacks.
- Pick up your rental car. (I pretty much always use Hertz, even in other countries. But for some reason, this pickup was more complicated than usual–so don’t forget to plan in extra time.)
- Start making your way to Odda. The road trip will take around 3.5 hours.
- Park and pay. There are several levels of parking. By the end of the day, some of the closer lots can fill up.
- There is a small portion of the hike that is accessible by authorized bus. You can pay to be driven a few miles up the mountain. Personally, I thought it was well worth it because we started our journey later than most hikers. Plus, the paved road up that segment of the hike isn’t all that scenic, so you aren’t missing much.
- Get walking! Keep track of your pace so you don’t wind up trapped on the mountain after the sun sets. In the peak of summer, the sun is out for about 18 hours a day–but during the peak of winter, it only shines for about 5 and a half hours of the day. Plan your trip accordingly.
- Once you reach the Troll Tongue, wait your turn for pictures. Our timing worked out really well so we only waited about 5 minutes before taking our photos. But I’ve heard the line can get pretty long.
- Start heading back down the mountain.
As you walk, keep an eye out for streams where you can fill up your water bottles. Make sure to stay hydrated!
Here it is! The Troll Tongue! The rock itself was formed in the Ice Age. In the distance, you can see Folgefonna Glacier. The hike is about 16 or 17 miles. With all the running around and picture-hunting, I walked about 22 miles.
Once we completed our hike, we dragged ourselves back into the rental car and made our way to the AirBnB. We stayed in a very quaint cabin, which you can see in the picture below, perched under the white building on the hillside. We had no electricity or running water. But honestly, all we needed was a place to crash. You don’t always get to wake up surrounded by lakes and glaciers, and when you do, electricity isn’t a necessity.
Once we got going the following day, we explored the tiny city. There were several easily accessible hikes and waterfalls. Tiny cottages dotted the hillsides and glaciers loomed in the distance.
We drove a different route back to Bergen so we could see even more of the Nordic countryside. Around every turn there were little farm stands selling produce, and you guessed it, even more waterfalls to admire. Well, what do you think? Are you getting the magical vibe Norway radiates?