Julie Norway 133 Comments

Trolltunga is one of Norway’s most popular hikes for good reason. It is an incredibly scenic hike, ending at the Troll’s tongue, a thin sliver of rock perfect for creative photographs. This is definitely a hike to add to your bucket list.

For us, the hike to Trolltunga was our third of four hikes in Norway. Kjeragbolten was our favorite, but this hike was not far behind. The scenery along the hike is phenomenal with views out over lakes and snow capped mountains, and posing on Trolltunga for photos is a blast.

 

How to Hike Trolltunga

Trolltunga Hiking Stats

  • Distance: 28 km (17.4 miles) out and back
  • Elevation Gain: 800 meters (2,625 feet)
  • Difficulty:Strenuous
  • Length of time:10 – 12 hours
  • When to go: June 1 to September 30 (without a guide). At all other times of the year you must hike with a guide. For more information, visit the Visit Norway website.

Important Update:  You have the option to park in a small parking lot that shaves off the first big climb of the hike. If you park here, the hike will be shorter with less elevation gain than what is listed above. From P3 Mågelitopp (the upper parking lot) the hiking distance is 20 km (12.4 miles) with 300 meters (1,000 feet) of elevation gain. From the car park, the round trip hike takes 7 to 10 hours. However, there are only 30 spots so you need to get here very early in the morning. Read more below.

What Makes Trolltunga Special?

Trolltunga is one of the most popular hikes in Norway. Posing for photos on Trolltunga (the Troll’s Tongue) is the main reason for doing this hike, but from start to finish it is a beautiful journey. For hiker’s, Trolltunga just may be the highlight on a visit to Norway. Many people who do this hike say that it is one of their favorite hiking experiences. Maybe you will too.

Trolltunga Trail Guide

The First Big Climb

The trailhead for Trolltunga is at the Skjeggedal carpark.

The first ascent of the hike is the most strenuous. It is 1 km of constant, steep climbing on stone steps and gravel trails before the terrain levels out.

There were once old funicular tracks here that you could climb instead of the rocky trail. This is what we did in 2013 (so we have photos of the funicular tracks but not the first part of the trail).

Note: If you park at P3 Mågelitopp, you can avoid this first big climb.

Trail to Trolltunga

Once you conquer the first 1 km climb, things get easier. The trail levels out, for just a little bit, and then you will have several smaller climbs. However, these are nothing like what you just did.

Trolltunga with Kids

Happy to be hiking

Just before the start of the another climb.

 

Trail Marker Trolltunga

Follow the red T’s to get to Trolltunga.

 

Nice View

Looking out over the valley and what we just hiked. If you look closely, you can see the faint line of the hiking trail.

 

Another Climb

One more climb. After this, the trail levels out for awhile.

 

Granite face climb of Trolltunga

Standing on the granite face of the trail.

 

Hiking to Trolltunga

This is the view from the top of that last climb.

One of the tricks to having a good experience is to take breaks along the way. From this altitude, you have amazing panoramic views of Norway. Sure, getting to Trolltunga is the goal but enjoy this whole journey…it’s awesome!

Tyler and Kara

We continued our trek, dodging mud puddles, climbing over boulders, and crossing numerous streams and creeks. Once you climb that granite face, the hike levels out, for the most part. There are several small climbs but nothing too difficult. Here are more photos of the trail until you get to Trolltunga.

On the Trolltunga Trail
Earth Trekkers

Trolltunga Cabin

Posing

View of the Lake

Hiking

Kara

Trail to Trolltunga

Stepping out onto Trolltunga

It took us three and a half hours to hike from the carpark to Trolltunga.

The views over Trolltunga and out over the lake were awesome. There were tons of people here, some waiting in line to step out onto the ledge and others were waiting to take their photos. Tyler and Kara were two of the three kids we saw during the entire hike. Go kiddos!

Trolltunga

 

Kara and I went first onto the tongue (after 45 minutes of waiting in line). After stepping out onto Kjeragbolten this did not seem scary at all. Kara and I did a few poses, then I took her back to sit on a rock and wait for me. I went back out to the tip of the tongue to sit with my feet hanging over the side.

Julie and Kara

Next it was Tim and Tyler’s turn. By now we were all getting quite cold. Temperatures were in the high 40’s (8 – 9°C) and it was early August.

Fortunately, the line was a little shorter for Tim and Tyler. Here they are, posing for the camera.

Tim and Tyler

Tim

It took an hour and a half for all of us to have our photos taken.  By now we were very chilly and already somewhat tired. All four of us were hoping the walk back to the car would be quicker than the walk out.

The Return Hike

The walk back was slightly faster. We did not need to stop for sunscreen, photos, or much food now. The signs counting down the kilometers kept us going, and we snacked on lots of cookies. It took us three hours to hike back to a car, shaving off about a half hour from the hike to get to Trolltunga.

About Our Experience

We did this hike in August 2013 when the funicular tracks were still open. At the time we did this hike, Tyler was 10 and Kara was 8 years old.

We are very fast hikers, even with kids. The four of us hiked to Trolltunga in 8 hours (3.5 hours to get to Trolltunga, 1.5 hours for photos, and 3 hours to hike back to the car) from the Skjeggedal car park. We were constantly overtaking other people and we had perfect weather conditions. If you take your time or encounter marshy, snowy terrain, this hike can take as long as 10 to 12 hours.

How Do You Get to Trolltunga?

Trolltunga is located in southern Norway near Hardangerfjord. Most people stay in Odda or Tyssedal to hike Trolltunga.

Distances to Trolltunga:

  • From Bergen: 3 hours
  • From Oslo: 5 to 6 hours
  • From Stavanger: 3.5 hours

Lately, we have been getting a lot of questions from people who want to day trip from Bergen, hike Trolltunga, and then drive back to Bergen the same day. That is possible to do, but it will be a very long, tiring day, and I don’t recommend it. The hike to Trolltunga can take 12 hours (although if you take the shuttle to and from the upper parking lot you can save about 3 hours). Add in 6 hours of driving for the day and that’s a very long day. Plus, you will have to drive all of the way back to Bergen after hiking 28 km. It will be a much more enjoyable (and safer) experience if you stay near Trolltunga, at least for one night.

The best way to get around this region of Norway is by car. Having a rental car gives you the freedom to take your time, stop and enjoy the views (this part of Norway is gorgeous!), and visit small towns and off-the-beaten-path destinations.

However, if you are relying on public transportation, you can get to Odda by bus and by train.

Getting to Odda By Bus

  • The Trolltunga-Preikestolen Express bus connects the Trolltunga hike with Pulpit Rock during the summer months.
  • From Stavanger, take the Nor-Way bus.
  • From Oslo, take the Haukliekspressen bus.
  • From Bergen, take bus 930.

Getting to Odda By Train

The Bergensbanen connects Bergen and Odda.

Where to Park at Trolltunga

Main Lot

From Tyssedal, drive 7 km on Skjeggedalsvegen to the car park at the start of the hike. This is where the trailhead is located.  There is a small parking lot here with toilets. Parking costs NOK 500 (180 spaces).

MAP

Map of the drive from Tyssedal to the parking lot in Skjeggedal.

 

Skjeggedal

The road from Tyssedal to the car park (looking back towards Tyssedal and Sorfjord).

Trolltunga Road Lot

There is a second, much smaller parking lot (called Mågelitopp or P3) that holds 30 cars (NOK 600). This road is very steep, you need to have good driving skills and be able to drive tight, hairpin turns. Driving to this parking lot eliminates the first climb and final descent of the hike, shaving off a whopping 3 hours of hiking time. The gates open at 6:30 am.

Purchase your ticket in advance for Magelitopp (P3). Click here to learn more and to make your reservation.

Sue, one of our awesome readers, wrote in with more information about the new car park. She states that the road is now paved and although it is steep, you no longer need a 4×4. You can read her full report in the comment section below. Thanks Sue! 🙂

You can park in Skjeggedal (the lower lot) and take a shuttle bus up to Mågelitopp, the upper lot. Taking the shuttle one way saves you roughly 1.5 hours of hiking time. Prices start at NOK 130. Click here to learn more.

For a map of the parking areas and a full list of prices for all of these parking options, visit the official website for Trolltunga.

Best Places to Stay Near Trolltunga

There are people who hike Trolltunga on a day trip from Bergen but we don’t recommend it. You are setting yourself up for a very long, exhausting day. For the best experience, plan on staying in one of the small towns near Trolltunga: Tyssedal, Odda, Kinsarvik, or Eidfjord. For more details on where to stay, including the best hotels in the area, read our detailed guide on the best places to stay near Trolltunga.

Helpful Tips for Trolltunga

Start early! This is a long day and you want to give yourself as much time as possible. Try to hit the trail no later than 8 am.

Don’t underestimate this hike. It’s a long, tiring hike. And yes, it really can take 12 hours. Over the course of the day, you will essentially be hiking a half marathon with lots of elevation gain. You wouldn’t just plan on rolling out of bed one day to go run a half marathon, right? 🙂 You need to be in good shape to do this.

There is no fee to hike Trolltunga. However, if you have a car, you will have to pay for parking.

Use the bathroom in the car park before starting the hike. This is your only chance to use a toilet until you get back to the parking lot.

Between June 1 and September 30 you do not need a guide to do this hike. There are enough people on the trail, and the trail is marked well enough, that you should have no issues finding your way to Trolltunga. Once you are at Trolltunga, you can have another hiker take your photograph (if you are hiking solo).

If you are hiking from October 1 to May 31, Visit Norway recommends hiring a guide. Every year there are numerous rescues for people who got in over their heads. Don’t be one of these statistics.

Please practice the seven principles of Leave No Trace: plan ahead, stay on the trail, pack out what you bring to the hiking trail, properly dispose of waste, leave areas as you found them, minimize campfire impacts, be considerate of other hikers, and do not approach or feed wildlife.

What to Bring on the Trolltunga Hike

  • Waterproof hiking shoes
  • Plenty of food and water
  • Sunscreen
  • First Aid Kit
  • Rain jacket and warm clothing (the weather can change rapidly!)
  • Camera

If you are new to hiking or are curious about what you should bring on a hike, check out our Hiking Gear Guide. Find out what we carry in our day packs and what we wear on the trails.

Can You Hike Trolltunga with Kids?

At the time we did this hike, Tyler was 10 and Kara was 8 years old. They both did awesome. They were happy and having a good time for almost the entire time (Kara struggled a little with the walk down the funicular line).

We only saw one other child (about 10 years old) on the trail. A very adventurous child, eight years or older with lots of long distance hiking experience, should be able to handle this hike.

Hiking Trolltunga with Kids

Alternative Route to Trolltunga

If you do not like the idea of the hike, there is a combination cycle trip and Via Ferrata climb to get you to Trolltunga. The Via Ferrata was not option when we did the hike so we do not have much information about it. For more information on the Via Ferrata click here.


Help Keep this Post Updated

Have you hiked Trolltunga? Is there something we missed? Let us know in the comments below so we can keep this post updated. Thanks!! And happy hiking. 🙂

Where Are You Going Next?

To help you plan your trip, here are more articles about Norway.

 

ADVENTURES IN NORWAY: Pulpit Rock and Kjeragbolten are two of the best hikes to do in Norway. For an even bigger adventure, climb Svolvaergeita in the Lofoten Islands. Traveling to Svalbard in the arctic circle is an adventure in itself, but you can also go glacier kayaking or hike to one of the tallest peaks on Spitsbergen.

HIKES IN NORWAY: For an overview for some of the best hikes in Norway, take a look at our Norway Hiking Guide. We also have detailed trail guides to Romdalseggen Ridge, Pulpit Rock, Reinebringen, and Segla.

NORWAY ITINERARY: On this 10 day itinerary through the fjord region, visit southern Norway: Bergen, Geirangerfjord, and Stavanger and hike Trolltunga, Pulpit Rock and Kjeragbolten.

PLACES TO GO IN NORWAY: For a list of top experiences in Norway, don’t miss our Norway Bucket List.

LOFOTEN ISLANDS: For an overview of the best things to do, read our Lofoten Islands Top Ten List. Get lots of travel planning advice in our Lofoten Islands Itinerary. For advice on where to stay, read our Lofoten Islands Hotel Guide.

MORE GREAT HIKES IN EUROPE: From thrilling trails in the Alps to easy walks along the coast, read our article 20 Best Hikes in Europe for some beautiful hiking trails to put on your travel wish list.

Are you planning a trip to the Norway? Read all of our articles about Norway in our Norway Travel Guide.

 

Trolltunga Hike Norway Travel Guide

 

Trolltunga Norway Hike
Trolltunga Guide for Hiking and Traveling with Kids

All rights reserved © Earth Trekkers. Republishing this article and/or any of its contents (text, photography, etc.), in whole or in part, is strictly prohibited.

Comments 133

  1. Avatar for Mike Kuhl
    Mike Kuhl

    I will be hiking to Trolltunga in mid-June (next month). I have a few questions. Will the trail be clear of snow by then? I have some microspikes, but won’t bring them unless I need to. Can any car drive to the upper parking lot? I am renting a Toyota Yaris to save on gas.
    Is there a preferred route to drive from Bergen to Tyssedal? One route is on Rv13 and the other is Fv49(includes ferry to Jondal).
    Thanks!

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
      Author
      Julie

      Yes, by mid-June the trail should be clear of snow (unless the area gets an unusually late snowfall so just monitor the weather before you go). From other people who have written in, it sounds like a standard car can drive to the upper lot. I recommend taking Rv13. On the drive you can visit Steinsdalsfossen, a pretty waterfall that is located right on Rv13. When we did this drive, we started on Rv13 but not too far past the waterfall, took Alvikvegen to a car ferry to Eidfjord (since we stayed in Eidfjord). But if we did it again, we’d drive Rv13 and stay in Tyssedal for the hike, since this town is much closer. We liked riding the car ferries since it is a very pretty way to cross the fjord. Cheers, Julie

      1. Avatar for Mike Kuhl
        Mike Kuhl

        Thanks Julie!
        I have already booked a room in Tyssedal for 2 nights. I will be doing the hike between the days. That way I can start early and then rest afterwards. After that I will heading to Kjeragbolten and then Pulpit Rock to do those hikes before heading back to Bergen. Any tips for the driving routes after I leave Tyssedal and head to Kjerag & Pulpit Rock(or back to Bergen after Pulpit Rock)?

        1. Avatar for Julie Post
          Author
          Julie

          We flew between Stavanger and Bergen, so we don’t have first hand knowledge of the driving routes between Tyssedal and Stavanger. While in Stavanger, we drove out and back to Kjeragbolten and used the ferry + public transportation to get to Pulpit Rock (since our visit, a tunnel has been added so you can now drive to Pulpit Rock without taking the car ferry). Looking at Google Maps, there are 2 ways to go and both have a car ferry. I’d probably take the faster route but I don’t know if it is more scenic than the other one. Cheers, Julie

  2. Avatar for Cydney Froelich
    Cydney Froelich

    Hello,

    This Blog has been incredible for information on the hike to Trolltunga. I have three quick questions.

    1. Do you need to have Hiking Boots over Shoes? As far as water levels etc.
    2. I’ve seen a couple comments on the drive from P2 to P3 being very tricky. I know it’s paved now and I’ve already got the ticket for P3, but I keep seeing comments about “Good” driving skills needed, etc. What does that exactly mean? We will have a rental car and I wouldn’t say I’m a bad driver but I live at sea level and don’t do a lot of steep mountain driving to improve my skills haha
    3. Would an iPhone take good enough pictures if I don’t have a professional camera?

    Thank you again for all of the great tips!

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
      Author
      Julie

      Hello Cydney. Hiking shoes are fine. We hiked this trail in hiking shoes and had no issues. Mainly, it’s personal preference for shoes vs. boots. Boots are better when it comes to ankle stability and keeping your feet dry, but we love hiking shoes over boots and almost exclusively use these (I bought a pair of hiking boots last year and don’t like the reduced range of motion…I feel like it makes it harder to hike). The road was added after our visit so I have not seen it. But people have written in and said that the drive is fine. So I think you should be OK. iPhones take great photos and the panoramic feature is awesome for the landscapes you will see. A professional camera will take better photos, but you have to pay for it and lug it along with you on the trail. It just depends if you want to spend the money and carry the extra weight for better photos. Cheers, Julie

  3. Avatar for Niko
  4. Avatar for Niko
    Niko

    Hi! Please advise, which road from Bergen to Trolltunga starting point is more beautiful in terms of sightseeings while driving? I’m planning to drive from Bergen by car and wondering if the quickest road is the best (through the Tysse and then by ferry from Tørvikbygd to Jondal), it takes 132km. Or the road which takes 191km and goes through the Vossevangen is more beautiful? Heard that it will be more expensive due to tolls.

    Thanks and regards,
    Niko

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
      Author
      Julie

      When we did this, we went through Tysse then Steinsto and along Hardangerfjord and to Granvin, since we spent the night in Eidfjord before hiking Trolltunga. We did not drive the southern route that you describe (Tysse to Jondal) so I don’t know what it is like. I have been through Vossevangen and it is pretty area, but I don’t think that it is worth an additional 60 km of driving and tolls. The ferry to Jondal will cross the Hardangerfjord, which is beautiful. And honestly, everywhere we drove in that part of Norway was amazing, so you can’t go wrong either way. But if it were me, I’d choose the southern route, particularly if you will be staying near Trolltunga. Cheers, Julie

  5. Avatar for Christopher
    Christopher

    Thank You for the prompt reply 🙂 I’ll try to get a spot in the upper parking lot!
    Hope yoúll have lots more fun adventures ahead of You! Kind regards, Chris

  6. Avatar for Christopher
    Christopher

    Hi! Love the pics and trips you have on your site! I’ve got a question regarding how strenuous this hike is. I just did the Kjerag hike this last weekend and I am planning to do Trolltunga in August. Are these two hikes somewhat comparable in regard to how strenuous they are? I am fully aware that Trolltunga is > 10 km longer, but taking into account that Kjerag has three climbs to accomplish before you get the ”plateau” part of the hike and I’ve heard that Trolltunga is more like one hard climb the first 1 km and then more of a long hike on ”level grounds”. How do these two campare? The reason I am asking is that I found the Kjerag hike to be quite strenuous and I’m second guessing my plan of doing a hike that’s twice the distance. Kind regards, Chris

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
      Author
      Julie

      The two things that make Trolltunga strenuous are the distance and the first big climb. Once past the first big climb, there are some small ups and downs but most of the climbing is done at that point. Then, it’s just the distance to contend with. You can make this hike a lot easier and faster by parking at the upper parking lot, which eliminates most of that first climb. And since that first climb is just a slog up a hill, I don’t think you miss out on anything by skipping it. I think that Trolltunga is more difficult than Kjeragbolten, but if you did Kjerag, you should also be able to do the full Trolltunga hike. It’s just a much longer day. Cheers, Julie

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