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Besseggen in Jotunheimen – one of Norway’s most popular hiking areas. Photo: Shutterstock
Besseggen in Jotunheimen – one of Norway’s most popular hiking areas. Photo: Shutterstock

Top 5 hikes in Norway

“Going for a hike” is a well-known expression in Norway. It’s also the best way to experience some of the country’s most beautiful places.

Besseggen

Besseggen in Jotunheimen is one of Norway’s most popular hiking areas. There are over 400km of hiking trails here, several high mountains and 40 lodges you can stay at. The summit of Besseggen is at a height of 1,743m and can be reached from two directions. Many people start the day by taking the boat from Gjendesheim to Memurubu and then walking back, a hike of between five and seven hours. The trail passes Gjende Lake and Bessvatnet Lake, one emerald green and the other dark blue.
Gjendesheim and Memurubu both have lovely mountain lodges where you can spend the night.

Degree of difficulty: Moderate

besseggen.net

Loen

The Loen Skylift opens on 20 May and is a spectacular new cable car from the inner part of the Nordfjord to the 1,011m-high Hoven mountain. Up at the top you’ll find unbeatable views, a range of hiking trails and a restaurant with panoramic views. If you want to make it to the summit under your own steam, there’s a Via Ferrata, which is a climbing trail with fixings and wires embedded in the mountain. The trail includes the Gjølmunnebrua suspension bridge at a height of 750m and views across the Jostedalsbreen National Park.

A good place to stay nearby is the Hotel Alexandra, a family-run hotel that has been welcoming guests since 1884.

Degree of difficulty: Advanced

loenskylift.no

Galdhøpiggen

At 2,469m, Galdhøpiggen in northern Jotunheimen is the highest mountain in Scandinavia and on a clear day you can see a quarter of Norway from the top. You can reach it from Spiterstulen or Juvasshytta, although the latter route crosses a glacier and you’ll need a guide and a rope. Guided tours run daily during the summer months from the Juvasshytta mountain lodge, which also offers accommodation and a restaurant. There are several different routes from Spiterstulen and even children can manage the easiest, although the most difficult requires climbing skills.

Degree of difficulty: From moderate to advanced

visitjotunheimen.no/aktivitetar/galdhopiggen/

Predikstolen – one of the world’s ten most spectacular viewpoints. Photo: Shutterstock

Preikestolen

Preikestolen is one of Norway’s biggest tourist attractions and according to Lonely Planet one of the world’s ten most spectacular viewpoints. The rock is shaped like a giant pulpit and offers an unrivaled view across Lysefjord.

The hiking trail from Preikestolen Fjellstue, at the foot of Preikestolen, up to the top of the 604m-high mountain plateau is challenging in parts and is a 4–5 hour round trip.

There are several other trails nearby, including a wooden staircase containing 4,444 steps that leads up to the top of Flørli, which is popular for its fantastic view of Preikestolen.

Degree of difficulty: Moderate

preikestolenfjellstue.no

Romsdalseggen

Romsdalen, near Molde, in the northern part of Fjord Norway, is one of Norway’s most beautiful and most accessible hiking areas. One of the most popular trails takes you to the Romsdalseggen ridge, a hike that can take away the breath of even the most experienced hiker. There are three different routes: an easy one, a moderately difficult one and a really tough one where you need a guide. They take between six and nine hours and provide fantastic views of Romsdalsfjord, as well as mountain peaks and waterfalls. Nearby Åndalsnes offers a range of accommodation options.

The best time to visit is between July and September.

Degree of difficulty: Advanced

romsdalseggen.no