Young man admiring the view down into the Romsdalen valley while hiking along Romsdalseggen Ridge in Norway.

Hiking in Norway

Photo: Shutterstock / everst

Hiking is simply one of the best ways to experience Norway’s spectacular landscape. From the mountains to the fjords, and the inland forests to the jagged coastline, there is a trail for everyone.

Since hiking in Norway is practically a national pastime, the infrastructure is excellent. An extensive network of marked trails, good public transport connections, and ample accommodation options ensures there are plenty of choices from short day-hikes to longer multi-day routes.

Browse all hiking trails in Norway

In recent years more and more travelers have come to Norway to explore the nature. Instagram is filled with shots from hikes like Trolltunga, Preikestolen, Besseggen Ridge, Romsdalseggen Ridge, and Segla. While those hikes are probably amongst the most popular they are just are small sample of what’s available. There are plenty of equally spectacular hikes without the crowds.

Map

For offline access to our hiking guides, trail descriptions, and topographic maps, download the Outtt app.

Where to go hiking in Norway

Deciding where to go hiking in Norway depends largely on what kind of landscapes you would like to see.

For the classic Norwegian fjord experience, head to “Fjord Norway” in the west. The islands and coastline of Northern Norway offer up powerful nature in a dramatic setting. There are mountains all around the country, but the tallest and most concentrated peaks are in Jotunheimen National Park.

Even a city break in Norway is a good opportunity to go for a hike. Do as the locals do and take one of the easily accessible trails around Oslo, Bergen, Ålesund, and Tromsø which lead quickly above the city for panoramic views.

Multi-day treks can be stitched together in many places, but the most common routes are in the national parks, like Jotunheimen and Rondane.

Fjord Norway

Western Norway (known locally as Vestlandet) is home to the country’s most famous fjords. “Fjord Norway” is a clever marketing term, but also an apt one, as the fjords are the number one attraction in these parts. The Sognefjord is Norway’s longest and deepest. One of its arms, Nærøyfjord near Flåm, is World Heritage-listed, as is the Geirangerfjord.

Fjord Norway stretches from Stavanger, up past Bergen and just beyond Ålesund. Two of Norway’s most popular hikes, Trolltunga and Preikestolen are here. Throughout the region, trails lead up mountains and high above the fjords, through lush valleys, and past giant waterfalls.

Throughout the summer the fertile fields grow delicious berries and apples that you can buy right at the farm gate (remember to have some cash on hand). With windy roads and ferries over the fjords, travel can be slow, but why go fast when the nature is this pretty?

Destinations in Fjord Norway

View of a cable car and the city of Bergen, Norway from Ulriken mountain

Bergen

Norway’s second-largest city is surrounded by mountains with some of the most visited viewpoints in the country.

Wide angle view of a bend in the Geirangerfjord in Norway with Geiranger village located at the end

Geirangerfjord

Waterfalls, mountain farms, and easily accessible viewpoints add to the draw of this world-famous fjord.

View of people standing on Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock) above the Lysfjord near Stavanger, Norway

Stavanger

A popular base for visiting the Lysefjord and two of its natural highlights, Preikestolen and Kjerag.

Trolltunga rock formation in Norway stretching into the sky with Ringedalsvatnet Lake in the background

Hardangerfjord

Stretching all the way to the edge of the Hardangervidda Plateau, this area is home to Trolltunga and bountiful apple orchards.

View down into the Nærøydalen Valley in Norway from Stalheimskleiva

Voss

The extreme-sports capital, Voss has plenty for those who like to keep both feet firmly planted on the ground.

Train running through the Flåmsdalen Valley in Norway

Flåm

A paradise for those seeking adventure amongst the fjords, nestled in a branch of the deep and majestic Sognefjord.

View down the Romsdalen Valley, Norway, from the hiking trail along Romsdalseggen Ridge

Romsdalen

The vibrant Rauma River runs down this picturesque valley, under the shadows of Romsdalseggen Ridge and Trollveggen.

View of Vindhellavegen, a stretch of the Kongevegen trail in Norway, in fall

Filefjell Kongevegen

One of the most historic hiking routes in Norway, “The King’s Road” was awarded an EU prize for Cultural Heritage in 2017.

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Northern Norway

The land of the midnight sun, Northern Norway combines endless summer days with powerful nature and dramatic scenery. Traveling along the exposed coastline is an adventure in itself. Narrow roads and ferries connect islands and communities. Mountains leap from the cold ocean while the crystal clear water laps at white sandy beaches.

Northern Norway encompasses Helgeland to the south, the Lofoten and Vesterålen archipelagos, Senja, Tromsø, and the North Cape. The likes of Reinebringen and Segla attract the most attention amongst hikers but the secret is to look for the local favorites, trails with much less traffic and views that are often even more spectacular.

At times remote and sparse, and with communities still overcoming the challenges of increased tourism, traveling in Northern Norway requires a good dose of respect and appreciation. With sufficient preparation and a common sense attitude, a journey through the raw landscape and small villages is surely one of the ultimate road trips.

Destinations in Northern Norway

View of Reine village in Lofoten, Norway from across the water with tall mountains in the background

Lofoten Islands

A stunning island chain known for its towering mountains, white beaches, and crystal clear waters.

View of the Okshornan mountain range on Senja Island, Norway, during a fiery red sunset

Senja Island

Just as spectacular as the more famous Lofoten Islands, but far less traveled, and full of untouched nature.

Night-time view of the city of Tromsø, Norway from Fløya mountain

Tromsø

Northern Norway’s adventure hub, high above the Arctic Circle. Most of the best hiking trails are on the neighboring Kvaløya Island.

Woman hiking with a small brown dog on the trail to The Blue Lake in the Lyngen Alps, Norway

Lyngen Alps

Most famous for fantastic spring skiing, this mountain range close to Tromsø offers hiking and activities without the crowds.

Kayaks on the beach on Tonna Island in Helgeland, Norway

Helgeland

The “skinny” part of Norway has a long stretch of accessible coastline packed with islands and mountains.

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Eastern Norway

With a vibrant capital surrounded by easily accessible nature and featuring direct access to several famous national parks, Eastern Norway is a natural hiking destination. The extensive public transport network helps make Eastern Norway one of the easiest places to discover Norwegian nature.

Two of the most popular hiking destinations are the Jotunheimen and Rondane national parks. Jotunheimen is home to the highest peaks in Norway as well as the incredibly popular Besseggen Ridge. Rondane was Norway’s first national park and features a multi-day loop with tourist cabin accommodation. Elsewhere, thick green forests with quiet lakes provide a calmer and slower experience.

Whether it’s a short hike from the end of an Oslo metro line or a four-day trek through Jotunheimen, the network of marked trails and selection of tourist cabins is arguably the best in the country.

Destinations in Eastern Norway

Woman looking towards the cityscape in summertime from Ekebergparken in Oslo, Norway

Oslo

Norway’s relaxed capital, surrounded by forest and the fjord, has peaceful nature just a stone’s throw away.

Female hiker sitting and admiring the Gjende Lake while hiking Besseggen Ridge in Norway

Jotunheimen National Park

Home to Norway’s tallest peaks, including Northern Europe’s highest mountain, Galdhøpiggen, and the famous Besseggen Ridge.

Bridge leading over a small river in a valley in Rondane National Park, Norway, with mountains in the background

Rondane National Park

Norway’s first national park, Rondane features barren high-alpine peaks and gentle slopes with cozy mountain farms.

Three people hiking through mountain terrain in Valdres, Norway

Valdres

A welcoming region in the heart of Norway with a long tradition of adventure and hospitality.

Woman admiring the view while hiking the Prestholtrunden Loop trail near Geilo, Norway

Geilo

One of Norway’s most famous mountain resorts, centrally located along the railway between Oslo and Bergen.

Man sleeping on a rock above the Finnskogen forest

Finnskogleden

A 214 kilometer hiking trail in 13 stages through the forest along the border of Norway and Sweden.

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When to go

The best time to go hiking in Norway is from July through September. In July and August, the days are long and the weather is warm, making it the most popular time to hike. In September, pretty autumn colours and quieter trails make up for the cooler weather.

In low-lying areas by the coast, the hiking season is a bit longer, beginning as early as May and lasting into October. Check individual destinations and trails to identify the best time of year to go.

The true beginning and end of the seasons varies depending on snowfalls and general weather conditions. The Norwegian national weather service provides detailed weather reports and forecasts in English.

How to prepare

A bit of planning goes a long way if you’re considering hiking in Norway. It’s a good idea to choose a trail based on your abilities and equipment–great views don’t always require a tough hike. Weather and trail conditions are always a big factor and if you’re travelling outside the high season (July and August) accommodation options might be limited.

Choosing a trail

When choosing a trail it’s a good idea to read up so that you have a good understanding of the terrain and difficulty. For example many people don’t realise that Trolltunga and Besseggen Ridge are both quite demanding full-day hikes that require some preparation and hiking gear for a safe and comfortable experience. Trails in Norway are classified with a color according to their difficulty.

  • Green trails are easy walks on fairly even terrain. They are suitable for most people, but not always accessible to people with mobility constraints.
  • Blue trails are medium difficulty and require average fitness. They are usually less than 10 kilometers long and may have some short steep sections.
  • Red trails are demanding hikes. They are typically longer day hikes, but can also be short and steep. It’s best to have some hiking experience. The terrain can be challenging with possibly some scrambling. Hiking boots/shoes are recommended. Some parts might be exposed with steep cliffs.
  • Black trails are expert level and require mountain hiking experience. A typical black trail is a steep and exposed hike to a summit. If you have a fear of heights it’s best to avoid black trails.

Regardless of the trail you choose, keep track of how you feel, your supplies, and the weather. The Norwegian Mountain Code is a list of principles to keep in mind and remember that there is no shame in turning around.

Planning ahead

If you’re a hardcore planner, try to build in some flexibility to your itinerary, especially if you’re super excited about a specific hike. It may be that you need to wait for some bad weather to pass until you get a nice day. Hiking on a crappy day is rarely worth it, especially if you want views as the visibility can be pretty bad. That said, the weather can change fast so a cloudy morning can turn into a sunny afternoon.

Hiking in Norway can take you off the beaten track and to some pretty isolated places. It’s important to pack for changing weather and any unforeseen circumstances. You can easily begin a day hike in 20 degree sun and end up on top of a cold windy mountain. Dress in layers (pack what you don’t need in the beginning) and take more food and water than you think you need.

If the worst happens and you hurt yourself, you may need to stay in the same spot for several hours or move quite slowly. In times like that you don’t want to get cold and hungry. Alternatively you might meet someone else in need and you’ll be prepared to help them.

Cabins and camping

If you want to stay at the tourist cabins around the country, it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with the system in advance. The cabins are run by the Norwegian Trekking Association (known as DNT in Norwegian). There are three types of cabins, ranging from very basic accommodation to full-service lodges. Depending on how many nights you plan to stay in the cabins it might be worth becoming a member.

The right to roam is a well-known concept in Scandinavia and wild camping is a popular way to travel while keeping costs down. There are some basic rules to follow, but mainly it’s important to show consideration for nature and the local residents. If you like some basic comforts, campgrounds are generally of a high standard and not terribly expensive (around 200 NOK/night for two people and a tent).