For a significant hiking destination like Norway, spending time outdoors is a must. While late spring is the peak hiking season, you can start planning your trip now. Here's a selection of the most popular hiking destinations in Norway to inspire your next visit.
Preikestolen (the Pulpit Rock) hike
Located in Western Norway, Preikestolen is one of Rogaland county's most visited hiking spots. If you follow travel photographers on Instagram, you must have seen dozens of photos of its dramatic cliffs. It’s the perfect observation spot as it rises 1,981 feet (604 meters) above the Lysefjord.
Preikstolen plateau is an 82-square-foot (25-square-meter) wide granite monolith, locally known as Hyvlatånnå (planed tooth). The deepest point of the Lysefjord floor is 1,500 feet (457 meters) below sea level. The hike leading up to Preikestolen starts from the Preikestolen Mountain Lodge and takes 5 hours and is 2.4 miles (3.8 km) long. But don't get too relaxed about it. There are some steep stones on the way.
A rock formation like no other – Trolltunga (Troll's tongue), and its unusually edged shape, is on every hiker's bucket list. Set aside at least 10 hours if you want to finish the trail and reach the edge. The path goes through high-mountain terrain so be ready for a physically demanding challenge. And remember: it's all going to be worth it when you're at the top!
Starting from Skjeggedal, the round-trip hike is 17.3 miles (28 kilometers), with ascents of up to 2,624 feet (800 meters). With plenty of steep cliffs and no fences, a guided hike is recommended. This is especially true from October to May when conditions are not as nice for a hike.
For those who want to visit Lofoten and want to find a hike close by, you will undoubtedly come across Reinebringen mountain during your research. Despite being only 1,469 feet (448 meters) high, Reinebringen offers one of the most prominent hikes in the area. The spectacular view from the summit flaunts the incredible scenery of the Lofoten Islands and charming coastal villages.
Since 2019, a stairway conveniently leads you most of the way to the top and consists of 1,560 steps. When the weather gets warmer, roughly 1,000 people ascend the mountain every day. In order to avoid the crowds, start your hike in the morning. Then watch not only where you place your feet but also what's above you as there have been a few rock falling incidents.
Besseggen ridge hike
The 9.6-mile (14-kilometer) hike involving land and water starts at Gjendesheim to Memurubu and back. During the short summer season, the route attracts over 60,000 hikers, making it one of the most popular trails in the mountains. Most people come for the dazzling views over Jotunheimen's peak and the backdrop of the Bessvatnet and Gjende lakes.
You can't miss out on the most picturesque point, which lies half-way through the trail. There you'll find the Besseggen ridge, approximately 1 kilometer-long at an elevation point of 820 feet (250 meters). The hike takes 7-9 hours and becomes difficult during rainy days, so make sure to follow the weather forecast.
Not many hikers know that Aurlandsdalen (Aurland Valley) was historically one of the main trails connecting the eastern and western sides of Norway. Located in the Flåm and Aurland part of the Sognefjord, the valley allures visitors for its lush beauty and green landscapes.
The 19-kilometer route of the Aurland Valley is a rather classic yet still demanding hike. Usually, hikers choose to start at Østerbø and head downhill to Vassbygdi. Afterward, you can choose between the Aurland river path or the newly-restored original route, with an outlook of the valley from higher up.
The hike to Geirangerfjord reaches approximately 1837-feet in elevation elevation with a medium difficulty level and takes approximately 5 hours. To get to Geirangerfjord, you start the trip on a sightseeing boat from the village of Geiranger, which stops at the Skagehola dock.
Once you reach the shore at Skagehola, you take a set of steep stairs carved into the rock up to Skageflå, a historic mountain farm. While you hike, you are exposed to stunning views, but nothing compares to the majestic panorama seen from Skageflå. Up there, you get scenery overlooking the waterfalls of Dei Sju Systrene (The Seven Sisters), towering cliffs, and the steep slope of the fjord itself. When you're ready, head to the next boat or continue hiking on the route back to Geiranger.
Perched just southwest of the village of Lysebotn in Norway, Kjerag is a 3556-feet-tall mountain. It's the highest summit of the 26-mile-long fjord: Lysefjord. The pinnacle of the hike is the boulder of Kjerag, wedged in between a mountain crevasse. Bear in mind that you can only reach Kjeragbolten from June to September.
To complete the 6.8-mile trail to Kjerag, a round-trip hike takes approximately 7-8 hours. With some sections requiring you to pull yourself up or endure several strenuous climbs, the Kjeragbolten is among the most challenging routes. If you're an inexperienced hiker, make sure to prepare for this mountain adventure in advance.