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19 January 2020
During your time traveling through Norway, you can forget about trains, planes, and automobiles. The best way to experience Norwegian culture and scenery is to take to the outdoors. As the land of mountains, valleys, and fjords, it makes complete sense that hiking in Norway is a little slice of paradise for a true outdoorsman.
If you're not planning on hiking at all during your time in Norway, it's time to change that. This isn't just a destination for advanced trekkers who are capable of climbing the highest mountains for weeks on end. There are plenty of day hikes - even hour-long hikes - that serve as an unforgettable starting point for beginner hikers.
Check out the best hikes in our trekking map of the top 16 best hiking and trekking tours that Norway has to offer. We've covered everything from easy half-day Norway fjords hiking excursions in the West to multiday trekking tours through strenuous mountainous terrain.
The best Norwegian trekking vacations include a trip to Reinbringen, a peak that overlooks the fjords of the Lofoten Islands. The views are unbelievably outstanding, so don’t be surprised if you spend more time than expected taking it all in. From the summit of Reinebringen, you’ll be overlooking 3 major landmarks, including Reinefjorden, Kjerkfjorden, and the Lofoten Wall.
The view from the top is often called the most beautiful in the world, and this description is not far off. From start to finish, hiking Reinebringen can be completed in less than 3 hours, but don’t like the quickness fool you. With steep inclines, this hike can be quite challenging, so wear the right shoes and take your time.
Besseggen Ridge is another popular spot for Norway hiking with views that rival Reinebringen. This hike is located in central Southern Norway in the Jotunheiman National Park. Similar to Reinebringen, Besseggen is challenging, but the main difference is that it will take a full day to complete (rather than a few hours). If you’re up for a daylong adventure, this is the one. According to National Geographic, this is one of the most exhilarating hikes in the world.
Also called Pulpit Rock, Preikestolen is one of the most visited outdoor viewing points in the world. You certainly won’t have the massive rock platform to yourself as you look out onto the magnificent Lyesfjord. Just search Preikestolen on Youtube to see how many daily visitors make their way to the top of the nearly-2000 ft formation. Any Norway hiking tour is incomplete without Preikestolen.
A Norway hiking trip to the summit of Keipane is the ultimate way to revel in all things Geirangerfjord. This hike focuses on the Geirangerfjord World UNESCO site, and although it’s the most spectacular in the area, it’s also the most challenging. Starting and ending in Homlong, the hike takes about 5 hours to complete.
If you want to skip out on the challenging steep climb of Keipane, you can easily do so by just focusing on the flatter farmland trails in Geirangerfjord. One of them is the Homlongsaetra hillside Farm, which offers a nice view of the Seven Sisters waterfalls.
Hiking Norway isn’t all about mountains and fjords, you’ve also got several options for sandy beach hikes. Some of the best beach hikes can be found on the Lofoten island chain, especially on the island of Moskenes. The two beaches to focus on are Horseid and Bunes, both just a quick trip from Reine.
If you have time to hike along both Moskenes beaches, do it. Huge granite peaks are surrounding both, and the cerulean blue waters are like nothing you'd ever expect from a European beach. This is a prime spot to experience the Midnight Sun that can only be seen from the Arctic Circle. If sunshine at midnight is something you'd like to experience, plan your trip during the summer season.
The Trolltunga trek is the best hiking in Norway for visitors to Hordaland County. The literal translation of Trolltunga is troll’s tongue, which is perfectly fitting for this 10,000-year-old rock formation. Now that you know the translation, it will be impossible for you not to imagine a troll’s tongue jutting out over the panoramic views of Ringedalsvatnet Lake.
Copyright: Designmilk / CC 2.0
Kjeragbolten hiking vacations aren’t for everyone, but if you’re into rock climbing, you’ll love this climber’s paradise. The entire hike takes about 6 hours to complete, and many people have said it’s one of the most spectacular hikes in the world. But keep in mind, most of these people are into rock climbing.
So what’s the big deal about Kjeragbolten? This 7.5-mile hike is exhilarating the entire way through, but the main attraction is the massive boulder that is lodged between two rock walls. Daring hikers like to hop on the boulder for a quick photo op, but this is something that should only be done when the sun is shining and the rock is free from ice and snow.
Copyright: Ole Brastad / CC 2.0
Northern Europe’s highest peak, Galdhøpiggen, stands at over 8100 feet and overlooks Jotunheimen National Park in southern Norway. As long as you have some experience with hiking, you’ll have no trouble making it through this glacier hiking Norway trek (it crosses the Styggebreen glacier). If you’re worried about making it to the top, though, the easiest starting point is from Juvasshytta.
Copyright: Sebastian Werner / CC 2.0
Of all the hiking trips in northern Norway, the Queen's Route is one of our favorites. The combination of panoramic mountain and sea views is worth every physically-taxing minute of the hike. But if Queen Sonja could complete the 9-mile hike back in 1994, so can you.
The route runs from Nyksund to Stø, two small fishing villages that hold a lot of historical significance. If you can, try to spend some time in both locations; you’ll get a true Norwegian experience if you do. Advanced hikers love the fact that the Queen’s Route takes you through a huge range of terrain, including everything from the shoreline to marshland.
We’ve already talked about the highest peak in northern Norway, but the highest peak in the south of the country poses a unique set of challenges from Galdhøpiggen. The summit of Gaustatoppen is not an easy one to reach, but we can assure you that you’ll have fun as you journey along the hiking trails in Norway to reach the top of Gaustatoppen.
The entire trek from start to finish is about 5 miles, and it’s a great family hiking excursion (as long as the entire family is in decent shape). You’ll be tired once you reach the peak, but feel free to take a break and sit down for a drink at the summit cafe.
Kleivstua Loop is conveniently located in the Oslo area. Getting here is a quick trip from the city, but embarking on the loop is not nearly as easy. It's not an overly strenuous hike, but it's a long way that will take at least two full days to complete. Most hikers choose to break the 12-mile hike into 3 easy days to enjoy nature to the fullest, but finishing it in 2 is doable. There are cabin to rent along the way, so if you're not into camping, that's completely OK.
Depending on the route you take, you could spend just a few hours or several days exploring the hiking trails of Doverefjell. Doverefjell is a mountain range in central Norway, making it the perfect place to encounter Norwegian wildlife. Exploring the Doverefjell National Park is your best bet for laying eyes on wild musk oxen, especially if you stay near the park’s natural water sources.
Take a look at any number of Norway hiking maps and you’ll see that the Hardangervidda is the best hiking in Norway destination if hut to hut trekking is your thing. There are about 30 public huts across the Hardangervidda mountain plateau, which makes it easy to create customized hiking tours based on your personal outdoor preferences.
The Hardangervidda trek isn’t just for hiking fanatics, but it’s the perfect outdoor adventure for Star Wars fans. Remember that scene on the ice planet Hoth from The Empire Strikes Back? Well, if you do, you’ll be able to lay eyes on the very spot where George Lucas himself directed one of the greatest movies of all time.
Knivskjellodden isn’t for the faint of heart. This secluded rocky trail is the furthest northern point of mainland Europe (that’s right, it’s even further north than North Cape by less than a mile). The trail is just over 12 miles, so most people break it up into two days. If you’re looking for a secluded hike away from the crowds, you’ll love everything about the Knivskjellodden hiking trails in Norway.
Copyright: Lars Schneider / CC 2.0
The majority of the Norway hiking tours we’ve mentioned so far have the potential to be called “the most beautiful destination in the world,” but this is even more true for Romsdalseggen Ridge. Views from the top of the ridge overlook Romsdal Mountains and the Norwegian Sea. It’s difficult to put the astounding beauty into words, but trust us when we tell you that it’s worth the strenuous 7-hour uphill climb.
We haven’t covered many long-distance hut to hut hiking Norway treks, so it’s about time we focus on one of the best. When it comes to the best long-distance hiking in Norway, nothing compares to the Lysefjord. The entire trek around would take 6 or 7 days, but it can be broken up into segments if 2 or 3 days is your max.
The main Lysefjord route takes you through a few of the best hiking trails in Norway that we’ve covered so far, including Preikestolen and Kjeragbolten. The route passes through 7 different cabins, so you’ll always have a warm place to sleep each night. If you want to do a shorter Lysefjord trek, just take the ferry directly to your ideal starting point.
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