Tucked away between fjords, villages and towns, you will find some of the most beautiful and breathtaking rock formations in Norway. They have been here for thousands of years, shaped and battered by the Ice Ages and the elements.
Walking in the mountains gives you a feeling of freedom, a feeling of overcoming and conquering. Each mountain and each summit has its own personality, charm and identity. Trolltunga rock in Norway has all this in abundance; there is no other rock formation quite like Trolltunga, it is without equal.
For each step you take, it is as if you are getting closer and closer to a kingdom of the trolls, carved in stone and ready to welcome you. Mythical, majestic and with a magical atmosphere – far up in the mountains.
You do not need to travel for days to enter Western Norway's mountain country. If you are looking for bigger challenges than you will find in the mountains around Bergen, we recommend a trip to the Hardanger region, and more specifically to the Skjeggedal valley, not far from the industrial town of Odda.
It is here that you start the hike up to Trolltunga rock, one of the most spectacular rock formations in Norway. It is situated at 1,100 metres above sea level and around 700 metres above Ringedalsvannet lake in Skjeggedal.
People come here from all over the world to go on the impressive walk to Trolltunga, a walk that has become world famous in recent years as a result of international media coverage. Roughly 40,000 people a year choose to hike up Trolltunga during the short summer season.
Distance: 10 hours total:
You need to be in good shape to do the walk up to Trolltunga. You have to allow plenty of time, because it is a long and demanding walk that will take you between eight and ten hours there and back.
The walk is 11 km each way, and the altitude difference is more than 900 metres. But it really is worth it. Far up in the mountains, a unique experience awaits you – fantastic views of the dramatic and untouched nature of Western Norway.
The walk starts with a steep 450-metre climb from Skjeggedal to Mågelitoppen. From there, you follow the path along Mågelibanen, an old abandoned double track funicular.
Once up, the walk continues eastwards in relatively flat terrain, but with some uphill stretches, for about four hours, before you finally arrive at Trolltunga, one of the most spectacular rock formations in the whole of Fjord Norway.
Photo: Scott Sporleder / Matador Network / www.fjordnorway.com
The route is waymarked with red Ts and it is signposted where there are forks in the path. You will also pass signs telling how far you have come and how far you have left.
On parts of the route, you walk in high mountain terrain containing clear traces of industrial history. You will see the ruins of an old stable that was used in connection with construction work up in the mountains in the early 20th century, dried out river beds and waterfalls, and dammed lakes, all of which are reminders of the industrialisation that laid the foundations for modern life in the town down beside the fjord.
Then, after a long and magnificent walk lasting 4-5 hours, you have finally arrived at your destination. And what a sight it is. There it stands, a magical rock outcrop, protruding into thin air, ready to show you a view of Norwegian nature the likes of which you have never seen before.
Trolltunga juts out at right angles to the mountainside, like a huge troll's tongue carved in stone. It has been there for thousands of years, just waiting for you to make your way to its edge, to admire the view, breath out and congratulate yourself for having climbed onto one of the most famous and unique mountain plateaus in Norway.
If you lift your gaze towards Folgefonna, one of the biggest glaciers in Norway, and if you dare to peek over the edge, you will see 700 metres straight down to Ringedalsvannet lake and the Skjeggedal valley.
If you suffer from a fear of heights, then you will probably find it more than enough just to take a few steps onto the rock and take a selfie, just to prove to your friends and acquaintances that you have been there. They are guaranteed to be impressed. Whatever you do, you have to be careful, because here it is the forces of nature that are in command.
Season only from mid June - mid September:
It is possible to do the walk to Trolltunga from mid-June until mid-September. You need to plan well before starting, and remember to take good mountain clothing, sturdy footwear, sticking plaster, food, drink and a map and compass with you. Start the walk early in the day and check the weather forecast beforehand.
There is no mobile phone coverage on the route, and if you are planning to stay overnight, then bringing your own tent is the only option. You can do the walk on your own, but if you prefer, you can also register for one of the guided walks that run during July and August.
Startpoint: 3 hours drive from Bergen:
Starting from Bergen, you can either head for Odda or Tyssedal the day before and stay overnight, or you can start from Bergen early in the morning and drive to Skjeggedal. (Parking NOK 120 per day).
The trip is roughly 150 km and takes around three hours. The journey is an experience in itself. It takes you through Hardanger, Norway's orchard, and alongside the beautiful Hardangerfjord and into the Sørfjord. There you will find mountains that plunge straight down into the fjord – waiting for you and ready to be conquered.
Plan ahead - book accommodation:
To get best possible trip, plan ahead! Book your accommodation in Bergen before you arrive and be ready to explore the beautiful fjords.
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/