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adventure & travel

Trekking in Norway

Outdoor adventures in southern / western Norway

by Johannes Wolf 09/12/2015
Ever since I visited Norway for the first time, this country has stayed with me. The sheer endless expanse and the feeling of freedom are the reason why I keep coming back. That's why I've been to Norway for the third time in two years - but the first time I visited Norway was in the summer ...

Four days trekking through the Hardangervidda was one of the things on our want-to-do list. At around 8,000 square kilometers, Hardangervidda is the largest plateau in Europe and also the largest national park in Norway. What makes it so special: Many arctic animals and plants feel at home in the area. The largest reindeer herd in Northern Europe lives here. The highest point in Hardangervidda is Hardangerjøkulen. It is the sixth largest glacier in Norway and covers an impressive 73 square kilometers. Hardangervidda is ideal for trekking beginners in particular. Its numerous small streams, rivers and lakes with plenty of drinking water mean that backpacks are not quite as heavy. In addition, the routes through the plateau mostly only lead over hills and small valleys.

We reached Hardangervidda from Geilo on the Norwegian Scenic Route in the direction of Eidfjord. Geilo, with a population of around 2500, is also the last major town with supply options.

Tourists can also travel to Hardangervidda by train via the town of Finse. At 1222 meters above sea level, Finse railroad station is the highest railroad station in Northern Europe. While people were sweating at 34 degrees in Germany, temperatures here were only around ten degrees during the day. The paths through the Hardangervidda are well marked, but not comparable to our hiking trails. We had to get creative to cross the numerous rivers. We mostly searched in vain for bridges. But that's what gives the region its charm. Those who prefer to avoid wild camping can usually reach huts in one-day stages. Despite these small traces of civilization, the plateau attracts visitors with its swamps, moorland plains and rivers. However, we looked in vain for large hiking groups and reindeer.
After four days in the Hardangervidda, we drove on via Eidfjord to Skjeggedal. From there we started our tour to the Trolltunga. Alongside Kjeragbolten, this rock formation is probably one of the most spectacular photo motifs in the region. The parking lot costs 120 Norwegian kroner for one day and 300 for 24 hours, making it a real Norwegian bargain. However, the horrendous parking fees have one advantage: if you pay more than 30 euros for a parking space in Skjeggedal, you'll never complain about German parking fees again. Alternatively, tourists can take the bus from Odda to Skjeggedal.

The hike to Trolltunga and back takes around eight to ten hours and stretches over eleven kilometers. In contrast to Preikestolen, which is visited by more than 200,000 people every year, fewer tourists hike to Trolltunga in ballerinas and parasols. If you still want to have Trolltunga to yourself, it's better to pack your tent in your backpack and set off in the early afternoon. On our ascent, we were met by large groups of hikers. We, on the other hand, only shared the spectacular view with four other tents.

Stavanger - an oil town as a surfer's paradise

After a great week, we drove towards Stavanger. The route via Hauggesund is highly recommended. Several waterfalls, including the 600-metre-high Langfoss waterfall, plunge into the depths right next to the road. CNN named the Langfoss waterfall one of the ten most beautiful waterfalls in the world. We reached Stavanger, the fourth largest city in Norway. Stavanger is considered the oil capital, as most of the oil rigs are in this area.

Many cruise ships also dock here. Tourists bustle around in front of old quay houses at the harbor or in the "Norsk Oljemuseum". The museum shows how crude oil is extracted and distributed. A few kilometers further on is the coast of Jæren. The beaches attract surfers. The main season is between February and November. We only found out where we would be surfing the next day the evening before - via Twitter. The owner of usually announces spontaneously when and where he rents out boards. He is on the road in a truck. We ended the last evening of our trip with sun and sand under our toes, which is atypical for Norway. With our heads full of ideas for future tours, we left with the feeling that we might be coming back soon. Norway 4.0 - coming soon.


Accommodation and prices:
A night in a tent on a campsite in Norway costs around ten to 15 euros per person. Electricity usually costs another five euros. A hot shower costs around one euro. Wild camping, on the other hand, is free.

You can find online maps for the whole of Norway here.
You can also buy maps for the Hardangervidda in Geilo.

The ferry from Hirtshals to Langesund and back, including two people and a car, costs around 100 euros. You can find more detailed information on the Fjordline website.


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This article has been automatically translated by DeepL with subsequent editing. If you notice any spelling or grammatical errors or if the translation has lost its meaning, please write an e-mail to the editors.

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