Date of visit: mid September 2015
Post written by Laura
The Trolltunga (Trolls Tongue) is a spectacular Norwegian cliff and so named as it looks like a huge stone giant’s tongue sticking out of the rock! The epic trek to the Trolltunga is tough but you are rewarded with stunning scenery along the way.
Due to snow and harsh winter conditions, it is usually only possible to trek to the Trolltunga between mid June and mid September. We visited in mid September which was just about the last weekend of the season. We were fortunate to have good weather for most of the weekend and wonderful clear views of the dramatic scenery.
The Trolltunga round-trip trek takes most people about 8-10 hours so can be done in a day. Sometimes people take a tent and do a longer circular hike over a couple of days.
Making it happen…
Together with a group of friends we booked return Ryanair flights from London Stansted to Haugshund, Norway. Arriving in Haugshund early on a Friday morning we collected our pre-booked rental cars from the airport and, following Google Maps took the scenic drive to our cabins in a small village called Roeldal.
After an early start on day 2 we left the cabins while still dark and drove for an hour towards the Trolltunga car park. This is located 17 km from the city of Odda. To reach the trail we had to turn eastward in a place called Tyssedalen away from the fjord towards Hardangervidda then a further 7 km to Skjeggedal and the car park.
We began our hike at just after 6 am, still in the dark. The 22 km round trip begins with an exhaustingly steep 1 km uphill climb where the sky was turning lighter by the time we reached the top of this first stage! The route was signposted with a marker at each 1 km point meaning a map isn’t necessary. This is a busy route where you can also just follow the line of people in front of you so you won’t get lost.
Once you’ve cleared the first steep uphill kilometer we found the rocky terrain flattened to a more gentle slope before we came to further steep inclines and declines further along the route.
We made our way along the well trodden but well maintained track and over the occasional patch of snow which had laid there throughout the summer.
After a final push across glacial potholes we finally arrived at the Trolltunga at around 11:00. You don’t catch any glimpses of the Trolltunga until you get there. The first sight is amazing particularly when you look down at the 700 meter drop beneath you.
There are queues where people take turns to pose on the Trolls Tongue and it took about 30 minutes for us to wait. We were pleased we had began our trek at 6 am as the crowds increased as we were leaving.
We stayed for an hour or so and ate lunch in front of this magnificent view before our return journey. As we retraced our steps back the same way towards the car there was quite a few younger and fitter people overtaking us some of whom were even running down.
The return journey took slightly less time but was still difficult and by the time we reached the car our legs (well, certainly mine) had turned to jelly! This is not a trek to be taken lightly and still remains just about the most difficult trek I’ve done.
You must take food, plenty of water and wear good hiking boots. During rainy weather the hike can be quite muddy too. It is best to wear layers as the trek can be cold even when the weather is sunny.
Having not quite had enough of the strenuous 22 km Trolltunga hike the following day we did another hike this time on flatter terrain around a lake.
Including return flights, accommodation, car hire, airport car parking, fuel, food, drinks, and meals out the total price per person was £227.
This kind of trip is easy to fit into a long weekend and with low cost flights and two log cabins shared between 9 of us, it made for a cheap adventure and a truly memorable experience with a great group of friends.