Norway’s Most Popular Tourist Attraction

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More than 100,000 visitors are expected to visit Troll’s Tongue in Hordaland this year – in spite the fact that it was considered a place for the few.

But when the newspaper photographer Roar Christiansen in Bergen posted a photo in social media in 2011n and a story was published in National Geographic, millions of travelers have read about the mountain formation.

Hiking to Trolltunga
Hiking to Trolltunga

Trolltunga is one of the most spectacular scenic cliffs in Norway. Trolltunga is situated about 1100 meters above sea level, hovering 700 meters above lake Ringedalsvatnet, providing a breathtaking backdrop, ideal for photographs.

Photo: Visit Norway
Photo: Visit Norway

However, there are several things to take into consideration when deciding to hike Norway’s Trolltunga. Can you walk up a flight of stairs without breathing hard? Do you mind stepping in mud puddles as large as Rhode Island, and can you handle extreme beauty without sobbing?
The hike starts in Skjeggedal and goes through the high mountains, takes 10-12 hours (23 km in total to Trolltunga and return) and the ascent is about 900 meters. It is a long and hard hike. All nature based activities are at your own risk, and you will need sturdy hiking boots, bring extra clothing and be prepared for bad weather.

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A Norwegian tour guide says he had been expecting tragedy to strike at the tourist hot spot, and actually on a September Saturday last year a Melbourne student, Kristi Kafcaloudis, 24, fell to her death. She lost her balance as she tried to walk off the rock ledge and join her two friends.

Thomas Ruud, the owner of Trolltunga Adventures, which specializes in guided treks around the area, said it would be impossible to install fences, because the whole valley is a 700-meter drop.

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I talked to two tourists from Portugal, who told me there was no question that this was one of the most physically demanding adventures they’d ever been on in their lives. They was participating a 22 kilometers (~13.6 miles) round trip, which took a total of 11 hours (6 hours up, 1 hour at Trolltunga, and 4 hours back down).

Trolltunga adventures
Trolltunga adventures

The hike is usually possible to do from mid-June, depending on when the snow melts in the mountains , until mid-September.

Bring map and compass, plenty to eat and drink, a torch and a simple first aid kit. Weather in the high mountains can change quickly – check the latest weather forecast before going to Trolltunga. Do not hike to Trolltunga in strong wind, heavy rain or in foggy weather. It is always colder in the mountains than down by the fjord. Respect the nature.

Photo: Hotel Ullensvang
Photo: Hotel Ullensvang

Mr Ruud says that this pretty `new’ attraction has become a huge favorite for travelers around the world and there are a lot of inexperienced people doing the trek – both in physical form and some clothing/shoes you wouldn’t believe.’  Every year there are search and rescue operations for hikers in serious trouble.

There is no mobile phone coverage along the route. Warning – do not hike to Trolltunga in wintertime, except from mid-March when you can join guided snowshoe hikes with Trolltunga Active.

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Trolltunga was formed about 10,000 years ago from glacier erosion. In fact you can still see glaciers on the mountaintops and take guided tours to them. Along the way, you’ll find gorgeous blue lakes, towering fjords and impressive scenery that no picture can accurately describe.

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How To Get There
Odda is the main town and point of reference you want to reach. It is located at the southern tip of the Sørfjorden, and you can get there from Bergen or Oslo by bus or train. Once you reach Odda, you’ll take a bus through Tyssedal and then up to the mountain settlement of Skjeggedal. This bus is only 48 NOK and is probably the best and easiest way to get there without a car. The trailhead for Trolltunga begins in Skjeggedal.

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Feel free to contact the Odda Tourist Office for more detailed information about the hike,

For other popular hikes, have a look at
Norwegian Views

Norway’s Most Popular Tourist Attraction, written by Tor Kjolberg

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