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Exploring the amazing Trolltunga


Are you looking for a jaw-dropping experience? A moment that will leave you wide-eyed and feeling like you’re on top of the world? Trolltunga is everything you’ve been searching for and more.

Where is Trolltunga?

Trolltunga, or ‘the troll’s tongue,’ is situated in the municipality of Odda in Hordaland county, Norway. The narrow cliff edge hovers over the crystal blue waters of lake Ringedalsvatnet. It is quite rightly a popular natural attraction in Norway.

What is Trolltunga?

So, apart from an overwhelmingly beautiful spot, what exactly is Trolltunga? Well, the troll’s tongue is a unique rock formation created over 10,000 years ago from glacier erosion. Set in high in the peaceful mountains, the famous cliff juts out horizontally, 700 metres above lake Ringedalsvatnet. Trolltunga, Norway, is a popular hiking route, with thousands of people admiring the amazing views from the top every year.

Sign showing the direction to Trolltunga
Follow the signpost - this way to Trolltunga!

Hiking to Trolltunga

The hike to the famous cliff will certainly get your heart beating. The Trolltunga hiking route is a very challenging climb, even for dedicated ramblers. It’s a fantastic adventure but it is physically demanding from start to finish. Ask yourself, are you in good physical condition? The hike is 27 km (17 miles) and can take up to 12 hours to complete. There’s no denying that it’s a long day. But if you’re physically able, don’t let that stop you!

The walking route begins in the small village of Skjeggedal and departs from the car park. If you’re expecting a gentle start to the hike, sorry but you’re in for a shock! The first km from Skjeggedal to Mågelitopp is extremely tough. Stone steps line the old funicular tracks for a majority of the route. In places, there is a fixed rope to help you pull yourself up. The good news is that with every step you take the views just get better and better.

Once you have tackled the first km the terrain does level out. For a little while at least! There are a series of short climbs along the way but nothing as extreme as the beginning of the Trolltunga hike. As you tackle the 1000 metre ascent, take a breather. After all, this is a hike with amazing views, so you must stop to admire the scenery. While getting to Trolltunga is the aim, spectacular sights will surround you throughout the hike. As you climb over boulders, creeks and streams, enjoy the panoramic scenes that Norway has to offer.

When you reach the top, you’ll be spellbound by beauty. Spread out before you is the icy blue waters of lake Ringedalsvatnet, cocooned by granite mountain ranges with snow-covered tops. You can spot the magnificent Folgefonna National Park far in the distance. Once the legendary troll’s tongue is in sight, you can breathe a sigh of relief. It’s time to rest those tired legs, eat food and drink lots of water. More importantly, it’s time to put your nerves to the test and venture out to the tip of Trolltunga!

Stepping out onto Trolltunga

Stepping out onto the famous rock formation is an Instagram-worthy moment. In fact, there are 105,066 Trolltunga hashtags to prove it! For most, it is the highlight of the trip. Adventurers have been known to bravely dangle their feet over the very edge of the cliff. While others will only dare to stand in close range! It doesn’t really matter how you explore Trolltunga. Either way, the photographs will be truly special.

What you need to take

So, it’s already been pointed out that Trolltunga is a challenging hiking route. In fact, it is recommended that only those with hiking experience should try it. If you do decide to make the once in a lifetime trip to the top, it is essential that you take the correct equipment.

  • Hiking boots. It is a steep and rocky climb and therefore essential that you be kind to your feet!
  • Water-resistant layers of clothing. Items such as waterproof trousers are advised, just in case weather conditions change. You don’t want to get caught in the rain
  • Waterproof jacket. This will offer protection against rain and/or windy conditions. Seriously, you’d be foolish not to take one!
  • Fleece or sweatshirt. Due to the altitude, it can get chilly even in the summer months. Don’t cut short your time at the top of Trolltunga because you’re too cold!
  • Hat and gloves. Take these with you in your backpack, you might be glad of them
  • Backpack. How else are you going to carry additional clothing and supplies?
  • Food and drink. This is a long and demanding trek. You must take a substantial amount of food and drinks with you. It is sensible to pack a bit extra in case the hike takes longer than expected
  • Mobile phone. There is no phone signal for a majority of the route but bringing a phone in a protective casing is still a sensible idea
  • Headlamp. In the event of the hike taking longer than expected, the last thing you want is to be walking in the dark
  • First-aid kit. Bring basic supplies with you. Think plasters in case your boots rub or antiseptic cream for cuts and grazes.
  • Walking poles. Some people find that walking poles help them to balance on challenging terrain
Person standing at Trolltunga overlooking the fjord and surrounding mountain landscape at sunset.
What a beautiful sunset!

Safety tips

Climbing any natural attraction comes with risks. However, there are things you can do to minimise the chance of things going wrong.

Only hike in the summer season

Trolltunga hiking season is from June to September. During the dry summer months, it is considered safe for visitors to make the journey without a guided tour by an expert. And during the winter months? Well, it’s pretty much impossible.

Never underestimate the weather

You should know that Trolltunga weather can rapidly change. It’s part of its charm! Check the weather forecast the day before your hike so that you know what to expect and prepare for all weather conditions.

Use proper hiking equipment

DON’T hike in jeans and trainers. Really, you’ll regret it! We’ve already covered a list of essential items that you should take- read it again. Ask yourself honestly if your hiking equipment is good enough. Are missing a couple of essentials? There are plenty of places where you can hire equipment in the area. After all, you’re in Norway. Hiking is what we do best!

Make sure you have enough time

The route can take up to 12 hours, including a few much-needed breaks. It a pretty long trek, so it’s recommended that you begin the Trolltunga hike between 8:00-10:00 am. Trolltunga is challenging at the best of times, so you definitely won’t want to be walking in the dark. Stick to daylight hours and give yourself enough time to complete it!

Where to stay for a Trolltunga hike

While Bergen and Stavanger are popular destinations to stay for most visitors, many people book an overnight stay elsewhere. If you’re planning to hike to Trolltunga, then you should consider staying in Odda or Tyssedal the night before. Trolltunga Hotel, Trolltunga Guest House or Hardanger Hotel are popular accommodation choices! By staying close by, you can begin your hike nice and early. That way, you’ll have plenty of time to complete it and a bit more beauty sleep!

It’s also worth noting that camping on the Trolltunga trail is permitted. Many visitors choose to spend the night spoilt by the beautiful surroundings. There are no restrictions as to where you can pitch your tent. Although, you’ll annoy people if you set up camp in the middle of the pathway. Find a secluded spot! If you choose to experience Norway’s natural environment, make sure you take the right camping equipment.

How to get to Trolltunga

There are plenty of ways to get to the beginning of the trail.

By Car

If you have your own vehicle take highway 13 from Odda to Tyssedal. There are signs on the way directing you to the village of Skjeggedal where the hike begins. It will cost 300 NOK to park your car for the day.

Public transport

There is a shuttle bus running between June 15th to September 15th, taking visitors from Odda to the starting point of the hike in Skjeggedal.

Stavanger to Trolltunga

With Go Fjords, you can easily combine a hike to Preikestolen with an adventure to Trolltunga. Buy a one-way ticket on the Trolltunga - Preikestolen express bus, which calls at Stavanger-Tau-Røldal-Odda-Tyssedal.

Bergen to Trolltunga

Bus route 930 operated by Skyss runs from Bergen to Odda. However, be mindful that travelling from Bergen and hiking Trolltunga is a very long day!

However you choose to experience the awe-inspiring Trolltunga, do not forget your camera! You are about to witness something superb. Capture those memories so that they last a lifetime.