26 April 2017

Adventures in Norway | Hiking To Trolltunga

Last week I shared with you a post on Bergen, a beautiful city in Norway that is surrounded by 7 mountains. Our trip to Norway late last year was a trip to celebrate my boyfriend's birthday. It was not going to be an easy trip by a long shot. This was going to be an adventure-filled weekend that included hiking to Trolltunga in Norway's Hordaland region. The previous year we had spent his birthday hiking in Snowdonia so I was determined to top the next one. I researched and toiled over how I was going to plan this trip as a surprise. In fact, he only knew we were going to be heading to Norway and hiking to Trolltunga about 2 weeks before our trip. What he also didn't know that I had Trolltunga on my bucket list for a while now, as he is into the outdoors as well it was a win-win.

We didn't really need to buy much equipment for this trip as we have done similar trips before. The only difficulty was finding out how we were going to get to Trolltunga having arrived in Norway Via Bergen. I had down tonnes of research and decided car rental gave us the freedom to move as and when we wanted. I have had quite a few road trips around the world now that I am starting to prefer this mode of transportation when I travel. For more on road trips, you can check out posts on Namibia, Zambia, Spain, Wales, Iceland and many parts of England via the destinations page.

We rented a car in Bergen and drove out to Odda, which is about 3 hours away by road and ferry rides across Norwegian fjords. Passing beautiful waterfalls, lakes and mountain vistas. Norway is truly beautiful! I had heard so much about how expensive it is but actually, didn't seem any different from London. It wasn't any more expensive than London in my opinion.

Our hike to Trolltunga was done in two parts. When we arrived in Odda we booked a camping spot in advance at a campsite in Odda and then set off to drive to Skjeggedal the following day, where the hike to Trolltunga starts. There are two car parks there. One right at the start of the trail and the other about a mile or two down the winding roads. We parked in the first car park as the spaces on the top car park had run out. We left the car there overnight and got the bus to the top car park where the 11km Trolltunga hiking trail begins. From here it is an arduous and steep 1km up the trail before the trail began to stabilise. It was as challenging as I had imagined and then some! As we chose to do the hike in 2 parts we hiked about 4.5km before deciding to stop and pitch our tent. I should also state that we started our hike around 4pm. By the time we stopped to pitch a tent on the trail to Trolltunga, it was about 7.30pm. On the way up a lot of people who were hiking for the day were now heading back down. The trail up was muddy as the heavy rain days before made some parts almost unpassable. This is one of the reasons why you have to be well equipped when hiking such a trail. I did see people in trainers and flip flops at some point. They were slipping and sliding all over the place risking injury. Going down was almost as challenging as the hike up. People on the trail are friendly and cheer you own as you walk the trail. As hard as the hike was the views more than made up for it. We didn't have a guide or anything. The trail is easily marked. I was actually worried about this before we hiked but there were plenty of people on the trail and signage was clearly visible.

We camped overnight and then in the morning started our hike to complete the trail. The rest of the tail wasn't so bad. It was a gradual inclue in most places. The first 1km is as bad as most people have said in posts I read. They used to have a funicular for this part but that was shut down a long time ago. They still have the tracks which people used to walk on but for safety reasons that is now sealed off and the first few steps removed to deter people from using it. You will pass beautiful lakes and will be above clouds in some spots. You will have nothing but beautiful mountains to look at. Social media will be far from your media. It is such a good feeling to be outdoors and be surrounded with such beauty. Truly breathtaking!

 With each signpost marker with a 'T' you would get a sense of relief that you were walking in the right direction. With each marker sign showing how many KM you had down, you had a little mental countdown to how many more KM you still had to do. It took a couple of hours to get get to the summit. It was such a relief to be able to get to the end after all the walking we did. The crowds gathered around the edge of the cliffs. Some brought out their drones, there were a whole lot of selfies being taken. I then spotted the queue to walk on Trolltunga. You have to climb down a few metal bars. The queue was about 30 minutes long to get to the front. After all that walking I was not going to leave without getting to sit on the edge of Trolltunga or the tongue as its sometimes referred to. 

The Trolltunga hike is challenging but all so exhilarating, so I thought I would split the post on Trolltunga into a couple of posts where I share tips and answer some of the questions I had when I was researching. I will be sharing another post this weekend with tips and a guild to hiking to Trolltunga. I will also be answering questions that you might have if you are thinking of hiking to Trolltunga. Until then I hope you enjoy the views below.

Where to stay before or after hiking to Trolltunga

As I mentioned above that we stayed at a campsite before we set off for our hike. If you want to stay at a hotel, guest house or rent an apartment you need to do that well in advance as there aren't a lot of places nearby. When we tried to book, a lot of places had already sold out that were nearby. Also bear in mind that there only about 5 places within 10mins of the starting point. The list hotels and guesthouse can be found here. Book early! Otherwise, your second option would be camping in Odda.

For more information on what to expect on the hike before, during and after and help with planning on what to pack I answer a lot of questions on a guide to hiking Trolltung. As always you are more than welcome to email me or leave your questions in the comments below.

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  1. These photos are making me swoon, Bianca! One of my favorite trips to date was Geirangerfjorden, and now I'm thinking we need to add Trolltunga to our next European trip.

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