After doing the Kjerag and Preikestolen hikes, I finally headed to Odda to do my most difficult physical challenge so far: the Trolltunga hike.

Trolltunga hike
Detail of “Troll’s tongue” (Trolltunga)

Trolltunga Hike

The bus from Odda to Trolltunga (Skjeggedal) takes around 20min. The final stop is front of parking lot with a waterfall in one side, and a lake surrounded by mountains on the other side. There are also restrooms, and a store close by. I thought that there would be many people doing Trolltunga hike, but surprisingly there was not. In front of me were two couples from Asia who were on the bus, and another couple also from Asia with a nine years old daughter was just starting the hike to Trolltunga.

 

I started the first kilometer so keen that I left them behind easily. But it was so muddy and steep that it became more difficult. I didn’t know where to place my feet because everywhere was slippery. In some parts I could see the steps, others just footprints of other hikers. Even the rope, which was there to help people to climb the hill, was full of mud. I took deep breaths and thought: OMG, if the first kilometer is like this I do not even want to think about how the others are. I saw the Asian father slip and fall and I stepped both of my feet in the mud. I met a German couple, and the guy told me that the first kilometer was the hardest one, and in fact it was.

Trolltunga hike

It took me 40min to hike the first kilometer, and using my math skills I figured out that it would take me 400min (more than 6h) to do 10 more kilometers. It was my original intention to do Trolltunga hike in around 4h. No way! The second kilometer however got better; it was not that muddy and steep anymore and the view was so beautiful that I wanted to walk backwards just to appreciate it.

Trolltunga hike

Trolltunga rock is 1250m above sea level, and the more I climbed the more I hit areas covered with snow. I crossed so many snowy areas that it felt as if I were walking on a glacier. I learned two facts on this hike: in some parts I saw a small blue lagoon which is typical of glaciers, and in others I could see a pink spot, which I learned is caused by the Sahara desert’s dust and is very common in the European Alps.

Besides the ice, snow and mud, I passed by many waterfalls and stream water. I thought it was quite interesting to walk on a very thick block of ice with water running underneath it. When I got closer to the summit I could see the fjord better. The landscape is sensational and it’s impossible not to stop to take pictures. Some of the most spectacular scenic cliffs of Norway are here!

Every time I passed a kilometer sign I got more excited and I began counting down: only 5 km left, now only 4Km… I was so intent on the summit that I even missed the 9km sign and I was so surprised to see that I had only one kilometer left. I joked with another hiker that I would do the final kilometer running. To my surprise, he said, “let’s go” and we did just that. We ran like a crazy! It felt so euphoric, oh my God!!! We ran on the ice, climbed rocks got lost and finally we realized we were facing the summit: Trolltunga rock (Troll’s tongue). I was speechless! Being on top of Trolltunga is something hard to put down in words. All the effort, 11 Km in 4:20, was completely worth it. (Yes, I was even close to my original four-hour estimate). Trolltunga is something beyond magical and breathtaking. It is a place that is hard to believe exists.

Trolltunga hike

The best picture location was walking out on a rocky ledge (Troll’s tongue). I had to wait while other hikers had their turn inching their way out onto the ledge. The 30min was endless. I was so cold… but the view was so rewarding. All the mountains covered with snow, the deep blue lake, looked like something beyond this planet. It was scary to watch the other hikers go to the edge to take picture. However when it was my turn, all fear left me. After some photos it was time to have lunch and rest for the trip back. I was still shivering though…

Trolltunga hike

I walked a little more to contemplate the fjord from other perspectives and then I started going back. I did not mind the 11 Km walk. Quite the opposite, it was a chance to admire the stunning landscapes one more time. What extraordinary vistas there are in Norway!

It took me 3:10 on the way back, which was quite impressive for me. The first kilometer now was the final, and it was still the worst one. While I walked down the mountain I contemplated that exquisite landscape for the last time, and I wished I could stay longer and explore more of that area… but I left the following day…

* Find out more about another beautiful country with stunning sceneries and great hikes: Things to do in Interlaken, Switzerland.

∗ This article is part of 3 Best Hikes in Norway in 3 days

Watch video: Trolltunga hike.

Visiting Trolltunga

  • Where is Trolltunga located?

Trolltunga is located east of the Skjeggedal area, about 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) east of the village of Tyssedal and the Sørfjorden (check map here).

  • How to get to Trolltunga?

∗ By bus: there is a minibus departing from Odda to Trolltunga (Skjeggedal), which is the start point Trolltunga hike.
There are daily departures by bus/maxi taxi between Juny 1st and September 15th.
2018 Price: NOK 250 (round trip)

From Odda Bus station
Monday to Friday (the trip takes approx. 35-40 minutes):
From Odda:         07:35am  09:10am   10:25am   11:20am

Saturday and Sunday (the trip takes approx. 35-40 minutes):
From Odda:         07:35am  09:15am   10:15am   11:15am

From Skjeggedal
Monday to Friday:
From Skjeggedal: 16:10  18:00   19:10   20:10
Arrival Odda:        16:50  18:45   19:55   20:35

Saturday and Sunday:
From Skjeggedal: 16:10  18:00   19:10   20:10
Arrival Odda:        16:40  18:30   19:40   20:35

If you are in Kinsarvik/Lofthus you can go by public bus service to and from Odda.
Itinerary for line 991 (Geilo – Odda).

∗ By taxi: you can contact Odda taxi on tel. +47 53 64 14 44 or post@oddataxi.no.

∗ By car: drive to Tyssedal (6 km from Odda) on route 13. Follow signs to Skjeggedal and Trolltunga. After about 7 km you reach the parking place in Skjeggedal. Parking in Skjeggedal (200 NOK/day) or Tyssedal (100/day) (2016). The parking fee is used to finance public facilities in the area.

∗ From Oslo to Trolltunga, you have to stop in Odda first you’re using the public transportation
Alt. 1: Train Oslo-Voss www.nsb.no . Bus route 990 Voss-Odda www.skyss.no (no booking, cash only).
Alt. 2: Coach service “Haukeli ekspressen” Oslo-Odda www.nor-way.no (Book online).

* Travel from Stavanger and Preikestolen (this was what I did).
Coach service “The Trolltunga-Preikestolen express” (during high season) Stavanger-Preikestolen-Røldal-Odda-Tyssedal-Lofthus-Kinsarvik. www.tidereiser.com  (Book online).

You can book your flights to Olso or Stavanger with Skyscanner or Momondo, which are the websites that I use and trust.

  • Best time to hike Trolltunga?

The recommended season to hiking Trolltunga is from June 15th to September 15th.

If you aren’t going during the summer, pay attention to these dates:
16 September-28 October recommended with guide.
29 October-16 February NOT recommended, highly dangerous.
17 February-14 June  recommended with guide (snowshoes).

  • Where did I stay?

I stayed at Odda Camping and if you’re looking for accommodation my recommendations are:
* Budget: Trolltunga Studios, and Trolltunga Guesthouse.
* Great Value for Money: Trolltunga Hotel and Hardanger Hotel.
* Luxury: Tyssedal Hotel.

  • Travel costs?

∗ Bus from Stavanger (Preikestolen) to Odda: 655 NOK (US$ 77).
∗ Two nights in a triple bedroom at Odda Camping: 1610 NOK (US$190 – with all the amenities included – towel, linen…)
∗ Bus from Odda to Skjeggedal: 250 NOK (US$ 30).

Additional Information to Do the Trolltunga Hike

∗ All the hikes in Norway are at your own risk.
∗ Use appropriate clothes for hiking (layers, light jackets and boots).
∗ Bring food, water, maps, and a first aid kit.
∗There is no cellphone coverage in certain areas
∗ Norwegian Airline and Sas operate flights from Oslo to Stavanger.
Tide Reiser bus company.
∗ More information regard accommodation, transportation and the hikes can be found at www.visitnorway.com

10 Comments

  1. What an inspiring post. You described your trek beautifully and the photos are magnificent. I like that you gave the details so that a person could actually go and do it. Nice job. Enjoyed reading it.

  2. That looks like a beautiful hike- worth the exercise! 😉

  3. Betsy Wuebker | PassingThru

    Ahhh, an iconic scene on the bucket list of many. The first kilometer would have totally done me in, I’m afraid. I know the photos make it seem precarious, but is standing on the Troll’s Tongue as frightening as it looks?

    • To be honest, I was more scared watching people walking in but on my turn I was completely fearless. Unfortunately a lady from Australia fell down and died last summer 🙁

  4. It’s actually called Trolltunga? LOL that’s awesome. I like how the northern European countries are so literal with how they name places (like Iceland). And I can see why this is the number one hike in Norway – just so much EPICness.

  5. This is one of my favorite places in the world! The view is out of the world. Awesome tips 🙂

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