OUR HIKING ADVENTURE IN NORWAY (anno 2015)

 Infected with hiking virus….that’s what happenned to us when we visited Norway. We have never thought that we would be addicted to this outdoor activity. In our 2-month Norway camper adventure, Hans and I have done 20 remarkable and memorable hikes. Yes, 20! Ranging from easy to moderate to difficult ones, which lasted from 1.5 hours to 8.5 hours long.

 To give you an overview of the hikes that we’ve done, I have made a summary of them, beginning from what we considered the best hike, down to our least favourite.

 1. HIKE TO MT. GODOYA, ALESUND

This hike is our number one. Reasons: the route was really spectacular, with majestic views of the ocean, the mountains, the fjords, the lake and the city of Alesund! Add to this, the special rock formations we saw while hiking along the coast. And once on top of the mountain, at Storehornet which is 497 meters high, we had a majestic view of Alesund, and in not less than 5 minutes, the viewwas gone, replaced by nothing but thick fog, an occurrence that made the hike extra memorable. We did the hike for less than 9 hours; we were tired but proud! This is a hike that we would gladly do once more.

 2.  SCENIC VIGLESDALEN HIKE IN NES, HJEMELLAND

The hike to Viglesdalen took us almost 8 hours, caused mainly by too many stops we made along the way; stops which we did to admire the amazing views and to take lots of pictures. Unlike the most hikes which we had to climb so high, this one demanded no steep climb, nor slippery paths. Only the first half kilometre called for a short steep walk, but for the rest of the hike, we were constantly rewarded with scenic varied views of towering mountainsides, two equally impressive waterfalls, fast-flowing waters from the rivers, lakes, small waterfalls from distance, old historic stone bridge, witnessing helikoter flights around the valley, and if those were not enough, at the end, we were rewarded with the picturesque view of the Viglesdalen itself….a picture perfect valley..so serene that it looks like a painting.

 3.  GAUSTATOPPEN HIKE IN RJUKAN

Our first-ever hike in Norway, which we did a day after arriving in the country. We were pleasantly surprised with thick snow in the mountains. Our campsite was wonderful, situated at 1100 meters above sea level with the views of the lakes which were still half-covered with snow and the mountains that the whole picture looked ike it was a living painting. The hike to Gaustatoppen was difficult, imagining walking in the snow for more than 5 hours, arriving at the top with an altitude of 1883 meters, and enduring the cold temperature all the time. But in the end, it was all worth it, as once on top, we were rewarded with a magnificent view of 1/6 of Norway. It was a clear day and we had a very spectacular views of the lakes, mountains and rivers. Wundershone! I have never seen such beauty before!

 4.  THE BESSEGGEN HIKE IN JOTUNHEIMEN NATIONAL PARK

This hike was our final hike during this year’s Norway adventure. The Besseggen hike is one of the most popular hikes in the country, and the highlight was the view of the two lakes : Gjende and Bessvatnet lakes with their contrasting colors of the water, green and blue! And our last hike was made more special because we had  rare chance to have a close encounter with the reindeers in their natural environment…up in the mountains at 1743 meters high!

5.  THE PREIKESTOLEN IN LYSEFJORD

Located 604 m over the Lysefjord, the Preikestolen or Pulpit Rock is one of the most famous natural attractions in Norway. The mountain plateau at the top which measures about 25 x 25 m was most likely formed by successive periods of frost 10,000 years ago. The hike to Preikestolen is 8-km back and forth, with a well-prepared track to the top of the mountain plateau, which is doable in 4 hours. Parking is possible at the Preikestolen parking for 100 NOK per day (no overnight).

 6.  DALEN AND THE RUI SISTERS IN DALEN

The Rui farmstead lies on the steep slopes of the mountain above Dalen, where the Rui sisters Ingerine and Gurine have lived all their lives until they died at age 90s. They never married, left the village only once when they visited the king of Norway, tended the farm, kept livestock and raised vegetables  themselves using old fashioned agrarian tools. There is a short story about the family found on the old cottage in the mountains. The Rui farmstead is a 1-km steep hike and offers a spectacular view of the Dalen village and Telemark canal.

 7.  THE HUSEDALEN WATERFALLS HIKE IN KINSARVIK

The Huse valley leads from Kinsarvik and up to Handangervida National Park. The valley offers 4 magnificent waterfalls : Tveitafossen at 200 m high, Nyastolsfossen at 400 m high, Nykkesoyfossen at 600 m high and Sotefossen at 900 m high. All the four waterfalls could be reached within 3 hours of walking. Hiking map could be bought for 5 NOK at the Tourist info office. (but even without the map, this hike is easy to follow.

8.THE KILSTI-BLAHORNET HIKE IN EIDSDAL

From the parking area, there are a couple of hikes possible to be followed. We did a combination of 3 hikes : Kilsti farm to Velpesdalsetra to Blahornet. It tool us at least 8 hours to complete the hike, experiencing wind and rain along the way. It offers spectacular views of Nordalsfjord and towns of Stranda, Valldal and Eidsdal. Blahornet is 741 meters high. (Though it was not the highest point during our hike..it was between Kilstisetra en Vespesdalsetra).

 9.  HIKE TO HEIAHORN IN JORPELAND

Heiahorn is the highest peak in the area of Jorpeland, with 774 meters high above sea level. We received no additional relevant information about it, only where we start the hike and that it would take us 4 hours to take the 7 km- round trip hike. Because we did not have any additional map with us (only the picture we took from the scouting ground), we were lost and took us at least 8 hours to complete the hike. Parking is about 6 kms from the center by Liarvatnet lake. Tip: make a picture of the big map found at the scouting grounds.

 10.  SKAGEFLA ROYAL FARM HIKE IN GEIRANGER

This hike was recommended to us by a Danish hiker we’ve spoken in Kilsti. So we decided to do this as well. It was listed at the brochure from Geirangerfjord. The hike should begin at Homlong which is about 2 kms away from the town center, or at a boat drop off in Skagehola. The most convenient was to take the fjord sight seeing boat and ask to be dropped off in Skagehola, hike up to the farm and return to the village via Homlong. The ferry costs 204 NOK pp, or boat taxi, 150 NOK pp. Most people had an alternative of just starting at Homlong and hike up to the farm, and then back. The farm of Skagefla was made famous because the king and queen of Norway celebrated their silver wedding anniversary here with some of other European royalties back in 1993.  The place has also been awarded the World Heritage status.

 11.  HIKE TO HELLANDSNUTTEN IN SAND

Hellandsnuten is the highest peak in the area of Sand, and perhaps the best viewpoint of Suldal, with a height of 722 meters above sea level. From the top one can see the four fjords : the Sandsfjorden, Hylsfjorden, Saudafjorden and Vindafjorden. The hike is approximately 9.4 km in length which is to be done in approximately 4 hours. We received this hiking trip from the tourist office when we asked for one.

12.  GLOPPEFOSS WATERFALL HIKE IN VALLE

The Gloppefoss, with its 3oo meters high, is one of the highest waterfall in the valley of Setasdal. 9 km away from the center of Valle. The hike is about 2-3 hours covering  about 6 km. .  The starting point is at a parking area at Rv 9. The hike is an experience in itself as one has to cross the river three times before finally reaching the falls. It is a bit exciting when it has just rained and water streams faster as usual in the river.

 13.  VORINGSFOSSEN HIKE IN EIDSFJORD

Voringsfossen waterfalls is one of the best known waterfalls in Norway, The waters from the Bjoreio river plunge 182 m from the Hardangervida plateau into the Mabodalen valley which forms the waterfalls. The name vorings means the respected one. There is a small parking along the way, 15 kms from Eidsfjord, just right after the Mabodaltunnel. From here, it takes 90 minutes to complete the hike, walking thru rocky path.

14.  STORSETERFOSSENWATERFALLS HIKE IN GEIRANGER

This waterfalls is found in Geiranger, about 1 hour-hike beginning from Vesteras farm. There is a well-prepared stonepathway going to the falls. What makes this extra special is the fact that one can walk behind this 30-meter high waterfalls without getting wet, as there is a footpath with guardrail that leads to the falls.

15.  BRIKSDAL GLACIER HIKE IN OLDEN

Briksdal glacier lies on the north side of Jostedalsbreen, in Briksdalen which is located at the end of of the Oldedalen valley. It has said to be rapidly decreased in mass and size since 1800 up to present. Briksdal glacier is easily accessible by foot or by trolley car. From the parking, it is just a small 45 minute hike up to the glacier. The hike led us to wonderful sights around the area, such as views of towering mountains with waterfalls, rapidly flowing river, the mighty Kleivafossen which brings down 10,000 liters water per second, potholes, traces of small ice age in the area, and also some bits of informations about the glacier.

16.   VESTERAS/LOESTA HIKE IN GEIRANGER

This a combi-hike which takes at least 3 hours retour. Starting point is at Vesteras farm or restaurant. From there there is a 30 minute hike to Vesterasfjellet where one has wonderful view of Geiranger village and fjord. After retracing steps up to Y-crossing, the path continues to Loesta, for about a little more than an hour. There, the view of the Geiranger village and fjord is more stunning.

 17.  ROMSDALSTRAPPE HIKE IN ANDALSNES

Romsdalstrappe is a high viewing platform which hangs at 537 meters high with a wonderful view of Andalsnes town, the river , mountain and fjord. We did this hike with aim to go as high to Nesaksla which is 715 meters high. But because of foggy condition, we stopped upon arriving at this viewing platform. On the way, at 93 meters, there is also a nice viewing point at Nebba.

 18.  LANGFOSS WATERFALLS HIKE IN AKRAFJORD

Langfoss Waterfall is located in Akrafjorden Fjord and was selected by CNN in 2011 as one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the world. It has a height of 612 meters and its waters fall harshly down to the fjord, under the bridge in E134. The hike begins at the kiosk, where one has to walk in the underground tunnel to go to the other side of the road. It is normally 2 hours hike. At 300 meters high, there is a viewpoint, which give one a closer experience of the waterfalls.

 19.  VALDEROYA CULTURE TRAIL IN GISKE ISLANDS

Valderoyfjellet, the Mountain of Valderoy is approximately two hours walk from the parking over the mountain and back to the car. Its highest peak is at Signalen, which is 232 meters high. At the beginning of the trail was a kind of mailbox with information leaflets over the hike and Valderoy cultural trail. One highlight of the hike is the Skjonghellaren, a very gigantic cave. At Signalen, one has a wonderful view of the surrounding islands and the Giske bridge.

 20.  MT. FLOYEN HIKE IN BERGEN

Bergen has seven mountain tops and two of the most famous are Ulrikken and Floyen, which are both accessible thru furnicular and a cable cars. The furnicular ride up to Floyen mountain costs 85 NOK retour, and takes about 7 minutes. Considering that the mountain is not that high : 320 meter high, (we have hiked to higher mountains before), we decided to hike up to it, starting from the lower station of the Floibanen Furnicular, thus saving us 20 euros this day. The hike took us 1 hour, following concrete road and a bit of gravel road.

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