Trek to the troll’s tongue
- Destinasjon: Hardanger
- Sesong: juni-september
- Vanskelighetsgrad: Krevende
- Lengde: 21.4 kilometer (tur/retur)
- Stigning: 1,040 meter
- Varighet: 8-12 timer
Trolltunga (the 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 kilometers long. You’ll need an early start and the first couple of kilometers 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.
The starting point for hike is in Skjeggedal, 13 kilometers from Odda.
If you use the return shuttles from Odda/Tyssedal to Skjeggedal and Skjeggedal to Mågelitopp expect to pay about 450 NOK per person for transport. Note that if you’re relying on public transportation the shuttle buses only run for a few months each year, between June and September.
If you’re driving, expect to pay 500 NOK for parking for one day.
Shuttle from Skjeggedal to Mågelitopp
There is a shuttle bus from the parking lot in Skjeggedal which takes you up to Mågelitopp, avoiding the initial steep ascent. This will save you a 4.3 kilometer uphill hike and about 1.5 hours.
The cost is 130 NOK per person. Return tickets are available for 70 NOK (buy on the bus) if you show your original ticket, but you can also hike down the road if you still have energy left at the end of the day.
Check times and book tickets on trolltunganorway.com.
Shuttle from Odda/Tyssedal to Skjeggedal
Shuttles and taxi services run from Odda and Tyssedal to Skjeggedal. The shuttles leave early in the morning, picking up from popular accommodation options, and return in the early evening.
Return tickets cost 215-250 NOK. A taxi costs 600 NOK one-way.
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: 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). The journey takes around 7 hours and you can expect to pay around 550 NOK.
Book the entire journey (Oslo to Odda) on nor-way.no.
Bergen to Odda: Bus 930 departs Bergen for Odda three times daily (once on Saturdays). The journey takes 3 hours and costs 100 NOK.
See the timetable on skyss.no. Buy tickets from the ticket machines (3 zones) or in the Skyss Billett app.
Stavanger/Preikestolen to Odda: In July and August there is a bus between Stavanger and Odda. If you’re short on time it’s even possible to depart from Stavanger, hike Preikestolen, and travel to Odda in one day (Monday-Friday only). Tickets for the direct bus to Odda cost 750 NOK. Tickets with the stop at Preikestolen cost 950 NOK and you have just under 5 hours to complete the hike.
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: Driving from Odda, take Road 13 for 6 kilometers to Tyssedal. After driving through the tunnel into Tyssedal, turn off the highway and follow the signs around 7 kilometers to Skjeggedal.
Be prepared to pay a lot to park for the Trolltunga hike. The money is used by the local community to help provide infrastructure for the large amount of tourists visiting the area. If you have a campervan you should park in Tyssedal (P1) as the roads are narrow.
For the shortest hike, you can park at Mågelitopp (also known as P3). Note that there is only room for 30 cars and the private road to the parking lot is steep and narrow. If you’re not a super confident driver, or arrive a bit late, park in Skjeggedal (P2) and take the shuttle.
Parking at Mågelitopp costs 600 NOK per day. Tickets should be bought online in advance. The road opens at 6am. See the parking area in Google Maps.
Buy tickets on trolltunganorway.com.
Most people will park in Skjeggedal (P2). There are 180 parking spaces. You can start the hike from here or take the shuttle up to Mågelitopp.
Parking in Skjeggedal costs 500 NOK per day. See the parking lot in Google Maps.
The final parking option is in Tyssedal (P1). There are 220 parking spaces and this is the best option for campervans.
Parking in Tyssedal costs 300 NOK per day. See the parking lot in Google Maps. From there, take one of the shuttles coming from Odda up to Skjeggedal.
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 entire track is well-marked by signs and rock piles. 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 4 hours to reach Trolltunga from the Mågelitopp trailhead. This includes some time for snack and selfie breaks. If the weather is nice you’ll want at least an hour at the top to soak up the views and prepare for the hike back down.
The original trailhead for the hike is in Skjeggedal, with a steep ascent over roughly 4 kilometers up to Mågelitopp. These days, most people take the shuttle bus to Mågelitopp and hike from there, cutting some tough kilometers and a good chunk of time off the hike. If you want to hike from Skjeggedal though, the trail is well-marked. You can also hike up the private road that the shuttle takes.
The trail 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, you’ll reach Mågelitopp.
The path will be relatively flat 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 a climb with the trail heading east through a valley. These first few kilometres are the toughest of the entire hike with a total ascent of almost 800 meters, 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 itself. 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 3 hours walking back along the same trail to Mågelitopp.
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 of the stunning #trolltunga photos
- 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
There are accommodation options for different budgets available in both Odda and Tyssedal. Options include campgrounds with cabins, apartments, and hotels.
If you’re planning on wild camping, it is possible to camp along the trail and at the top. Be aware though, that even in summer, overnight temperatures can be near freezing.
Questions or comments? Let us know.
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