A mountain hike gives you the feeling of freedom, the feeling of coping with the forces of nature. Every mountain and every summit has its personality, its charm and its identity. The Trolltunga, the “Troll tongue”, has its own character.
This formation exists only once, it is incomparable, unique! It seems as if with every step you are approaching the realm of the trolls, a realm carved in stone that opens before you. Mystical, majestic and with an enchanted atmosphere – deep inside the mountain world where the trolls are at home.
Photo: Scott Sporleder / Matador Network / www.fjordnorway.com
Between fjords, villages and small towns lie some of the most beautiful and dramatic mountain formations in Norway. They have been there for thousands of years – shaped and tanned by ice ages, wind and weather.
You don’t need several days to get to the depths of the West Norwegian mountains. If you are looking for more challenges than the mountains around Bergen have to offer, we recommend a trip to Skjeggedal in Hardanger near the traditional industrial town of Odda. The hike to Trolltunga, one of Norway’s most spectacular mountain formations, begins there. Trolltunga is situated at 1100 metres above sea level, about 700 metres above Ringedalsvannet lake near Skjeggedal. People from all over the world come here to make the fantastic hike the Trolltunga. Thanks to numerous reports in the international media, this excursion has become very famous in recent years. During a short summer season, about 100,000 people make this hike every year.
10 -12 hours hike:
If you want to go to the Trolltunga, you should be in good physical condition. Take your time, because this long and demanding hike will take you 10-12 hours to get there and back. Each route is 11 kilometres long and the difference in altitude is more than 900 metres. But the effort is worth it. Somewhere in the mountains you will find your destination: A unique experience in Norwegian Fjell with a fantastic view over dramatic and partly untouched West Norwegian landscapes.
The hike starts with a steep 450m climb from Skjeggedal to Mågelitoppen. From here you follow the path along the disused Lorenbahn Mågelibanen. Once you reach the top, the hike continues for about four hours in relatively flat terrain with few ascents to the east, until you finally reach the Trolltunga rock spur – undoubtedly one of the most breathtaking mountain formations in Fjord Norway.
The entire hike is signposted and along the way you will find signs telling you how far you are and how far you are.
After a long, sometimes strenuous, but also scenically inspiring hike, you are finally at your destination after 5 – 6 hours. And what a sight! Like a fossilized tongue, the rocky promontory rises into the nothingness of the sky. Now you have to climb onto this tongue and soak up the view over Norwegian landscapes as you have never experienced them before!
Trolltunga protrudes horizontally from the mountain – like the tongue of a troll knocked out of the stone. It has been hanging there for thousands of years, just waiting for you to take the few steps to its surface, enjoy the view, exhale and congratulate yourself on climbing one of the most famous and unusual rock plateaus in Norway. If you look up, you’ll see Folgefonna, one of Norway’s largest glaciers. If you dare to look over the edge of the rock, you will see Ringedalsvannet lake 700 metres below in Skjeggedalen valley. If you’re a bit afraid of heights, just take a few steps out on your tongue to make a selfie and immortalise the moment for friends and acquaintances. You will be impressed! Be careful in any case, because up there the laws of nature apply.
The hike to Trolltunga is possible from mid-June to mid-September. Before you leave, you should plan well; good outdoor clothing, sturdy shoes, plasters, food, drink, map and compass are part of the equipment on this excursion. Start the hike early in the morning and follow the weather forecast. You will hike through a radio hole and will therefore not be able to use your mobile phone, and if you plan to stay overnight on the way, your own tent is the only option. You can of course plan and carry out this hike on your own, but it is also possible to book a hike with a mountain guide, as it takes place in July and August.
If you want to spend the night in the mountains near Trolltunga, you will need your own tent.
The season depends on current snow and weather conditions and therefore varies from year to year. June 15 – September 15 Recommended season (normal season) September 16 – October 28 Possible with guide October 29 – February 16 NOT recommended, very dangerous February 17 – June 14 Possible with guide (snowshoe/ski tour)
For further details about the hike, accommodation or maps, please contact the tourist information office in Odda at [email protected]
Every year there are several search and rescue operations here. For your own safety, act responsibly and prepare well. Start early in the morning. Already in September the days are short and the nights very cold. We recommend to start the hike no later than 8:00 am.
Check the weather forecast before you leave and be prepared for changing weather! All nature-based activities are at your own risk. You will need sturdy hiking boots, extra warm clothes, rainwear and be prepared for bad weather.
Bring a map and compass, plenty to eat and drink, a flashlight and simple first aid equipment. The weather in the high mountains can change quickly – check the current weather forecast before going to Trolltunga.
DO NOT hike in strong winds, heavy rain or fog at Trolltunga. In the mountains it is always colder than down by the fjord. Respect nature.
Arrival and parking:
If you are coming from Bergen, we recommend that you drive to Odda or Tyssedal the day before and spend the night there. An alternative is to drive early in the morning from Bergen to Skjeggedal. (Parking NOK 120 per day). The 150km drive takes about three hours and is an experience in itself – through the Hardanger region, Norway’s orchard, the magnificent Hardangerfjord and then along the Sørfjord, where the mountains plunge vertically into the fjord and wait to be climbed by you. We wish you God tur!
By car: Take road 13 to Tyssedal (6 km from Odda). Follow the signs to Skjeggedal and Trolltunga. After about 7 km you will reach the car park in Skjeggedal, parking fee NOK 500/day, 250 places. The proceeds will be used to repair the public facilities in the area.
Alternative parking for a maximum of 30 cars at Topp, 4 km from Skjeggedal towards Trolltunga. Very steep and narrow path with narrow curves, 400 m of altitude with up to 17% gradient. Only for experienced drivers. All-wheel drive is recommended only for cars with a maximum height of 2 meters. Access forbidden for motorhomes and motorcycles. The path will be opened at 07:00 in the morning, and only for the first 30 cars. Payment at the beginning of the route. www.trolltunga-road.com
By public transport: Between Odda and Skjeggedal: (starting point of the hike) Trolltunga Shuttle: (15 June – 15 Sept.) Pick up service from most of the overnight places in Odda. www.oddataxi.no
Hiking the Troll’s Tongue (Trolltunga) – short version
The Trolls Tongue (Trolltunga in Norwegian) might have the sickest view on the planet! To get there you bike, hike and climb the Via Ferrata. A tough hike – but the view makes it worth the struggle! More info: http://www.fjordnorway.com/en/WHAT-TO-DO/Hiking/Picture-perfect/Trolltunga/
Take a trip from Bergen to idyllic Flåm.
Fjord tours and cruises
Discover the world-famous fjords of Bergen.
Surrounded by seven mountains, Bergen offers ideal conditions for hiking.