Trek to the troll's tongue
- Season June–September
- Difficulty Difficult
- Distance 22 kilometers
- Elevation 1,100 meters
- Duration 10–12 hours
Trolltunga (Troll’s Tongue) is one of the most spectacular cliffs in Norway. Formed about 10,000 years ago by glacier erosion and balancing 700 metres above lake Ringedalsvatnet, Trolltunga has become a must-see for many visitors to Norway. It's not just the view that's the highlight though, with a long and rewarding hike up and down.
Unlike some of Norway's other scenic viewpoints, this one isn't sitting on the side of a road. The hike to Trolltunga is tough. The trip to the top and back takes a whole day and is over 20 km long. You'll need an early start and the first couple of kilometres involve a steep climb. But with some preparation and planning you'll soon be enjoying that breathtaking view with a big sense of accomplishment.
Odda and Tyssedal serve as convenient bases for a Trolltunga adventure. Both towns are easily accessible by public transport or car from Oslo (6-7 hours) and Bergen (3 hours). A shuttle connects the towns with the beginning of the trail, located in Skjeggedal. In the summer months you can easily add in a trip to Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock), with a direct bus connection. Odda offers the best selection of accommodation.
It's important to remember that the weather in the mountains is highly changeable and varied. You might start the hike with grey clouds and have warm sunshine at the top. Or you could begin in 25°C weather and find freezing temperatures and fog at the top. If the conditions are really bad you won't be able to do the hike at all, as it's simply too dangerous. Ask for the latest info at your accommodation and check the weather forecast before you head out.
Outside of the summer season, it is only possible to visit Trolltunga with a guide. Trolltunga Active offers guided tours.
Oslo to Odda & Tyssedal
The quickest route from Oslo to Odda is a 5.5 hour journey south of Hardangervidda. Alternatively, the slightly longer 6 hour route over Hardangervidda has stunning scenery and snow on the ground through summer. If you're doing a round-trip, a loop taking in both routes is a good option.
Bergen to Odda & Tyssedal
The quickest route from Bergen to Odda takes three hours and includes a half-hour ferry ride across Hardangerfjord.
Odda & Tyssedal to Skjeggedal
If you're driving from Odda, take Highway 13 for 6 kilometres to Tyssedal. After driving through the tunnel into Tyssedal, turn off the highway and follow the signs around 7 kilometres to Skjeggedal. Follow the signs for parking (300 NOK for 12 hours, 600 NOK for 24 hours).
When travelling long distance in Norway, it's always best to book online and in advance for the best prices. Look for student discounts if you are eligible.
Oslo to Odda
7 hours, students from 360 NOK, adults from 477 NOK
The easiest option is to take bus NW180 to Seljestad and connect with bus 930 to Odda. There are three departures daily (one on Saturdays). Book the entire journey (Oslo to Odda) on nor-way.no.
Bergen to Odda
3 hours, students 237 NOK, adults 286 NOK
Bus 930 departs Bergen for Odda three times daily (once on Saturdays). See the timetable on skyss.no (Norwegian).
Preikestolen to Odda & Tyssedal
7 hours, 695 NOK
If you're also planning to visit Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock) on the same trip, Tide runs daily buses in July and August from the Preikestolen parking lot to Odda and Tyssedal. The bus leaves at 14:45 and arrives at 19:20 (Odda) or 19:30 (Tyssedal). Going the other way, the bus leaves Tyssedal at 7:30am and Odda at 7:50am, arriving at the Preikestolen parking lot at 12:10. Book on tide.no.
Travelling between Odda, Tyssedal & Skjeggedal
30 minutes, 150 NOK
The Trolltunga shuttle is a private bus service run by the local taxi company during the summer season, driving from Odda to Skjeggedal via Tyssedal. There are morning departures from the Odda bus station at 6:30 and 7:35, arriving in Skjeggedal at 7:00 and 8:05. Return buses depart Skjeggedal at 17:30, 18:30 and 19:30. The service costs 150 NOK from Odda and 100 NOK from Tyssedal. Tickets for the return journey cost 50 NOK less. You can pay with card or cash. Read more and book online with Odda Taxi.
Public bus 995 connects Odda and Tyssedal everyday except Sundays. See the timetable on skyss.no (Norwegian).
To get to the trailhead in Skjeggedal, you'll need to drive or take a shuttle from your accommodation in Odda or Tyssedal. The beginning of the trail is clearly signposted from the parking lot. You'll also see the remnants of the Mågelibanan furnicular, which was closed down in 2010.
Start as early in the day as you can, ideally by around 8am. This gives you plenty of time to enjoy the trail and the view. The route can be wet, marshy, and slippery. Take your time and try not to rush. Depending on the conditions and your fitness, it will take around 6 hours to reach Trolltunga from the trailhead. This includes some time for snack and selfie breaks. If the weather is nice you'll want about an hour at the top to soak up the views and prepare for the hike back down.
The entire track is well-marked by signs and rock piles. It begins with a difficult 1 kilometre hike up stone steps as you climb around 450 metres above the trailhead. In some places you'll need to use installed ropes to lift yourself up over rocks. There are occasional clearings where you can take a quick break and turn back to admire the Vetla lake below. After this first climb, the path will flatten a little as you pass through a valley. Depending on the time of the year it can be quite marshy here, so watch your footing.
You'll then face another climb with the trail heading east through a valley. These first four kilometres are the toughest of the entire hike with a total ascent of almost 800m, but then the trail becomes less intense. Take a break, fill your water bottle, and enjoy the lake views before continuing the hike.
As you walk further, you'll come across traces of construction and cross the dry river leading to the 300 metre twin-waterfall called Tyssestrengene. It's worth a quick detour for a careful look at the lake below.
Eventually you'll come past Tyssehylen lake and shortly after lies the reason for all this hard work – Trolltunga. Relax and take in the beautiful view you've worked so hard for. You'll likely be amongst a group of fellow hikers at the top and you'll need to be patient while you wait for your chance to walk out onto the cliff, 700 metres over the lake. Take loads of photos and stay safe.
Make sure you refuel for the hike back down. Allow at least 4 hours walking back along the same trail.
As for any hike in Norway, it's really important to be prepared for changing weather. Refer to our list of what to take on a day hike, and be sure to have:
- Waterproof hiking shoes or boots - running shoes are not enough and your feet will get wet
- Refillable water bottle, filled and ready to go
- Comfortable hiking backpack
- Lunch and snacks for energy (nuts and chocolate bars are great)
- Layers of clothes, including a waterproof jacket, so you can add and remove items as you need
- Extra top and pair of socks for once you reach the top
- Basic first-aid kit
- Sun protection
- Camera or phone to take all those stunning #trolltunga snaps
- Water is available from streams along the trail
- Food should be purchased in Odda or Tyssedal and carried with you
- Toilets are in the parking lot at the trailhead
- Camping is allowed along the trail
- Mobile phone coverage is unreliable with an occasional signal through the Telenor network
Where to Stay
There are various accommodation options available in both Odda and Tyssedal. If you're planning on camping, it is possible to camp for free along the trail and at the top. Be aware though, that even in summer, overnight temperatures can be near freezing.
100 – 650 NOK/person
Odda camping offers a variety of accommodation options in different price classes. You can camp for just 200 NOK (two people) and even rent a tent if you need to. Small rooms with shared kitchen and bathroom are available from 590 NOK/night. There are also fully self-contained cabins from 1,290 NOK/night. There is free Wi-Fi and the shuttle service to and from Trolltunga stops at the campground. For more price information and booking see oddacamping.no.
From 390 NOK/person
Trolltunga hotel offers four-bed mixed dormitories as well as standard hotel rooms for one to three people. All rooms include linen and towels. There is free Wi-Fi in the lobby but there are no kitchen facilities. Breakfast is an additional 100 NOK. The shuttle service to and from Trolltunga stops at the hotel. Explore the options at trolltungahotel.no.
Find more options in Odda at booking.com.
From 400 NOK/person
There are Airbnbs available in both Odda and Tyssedal. Due to the limited number of listings in the area, it's a good idea to book well in advance.