Trolltunga – both the most thrilling and captivating sightseeing in Norway

Photo: © Lukasz Janyst - Fotolia.com

Contents:

  1. What is Trolltunga
  2. Useful information for travellers
  3. How to reach Trolltunga
  4. Hike to Trolltunga
  5. Where to stay
  6. Trolltunga Neighborhood

Amazing Norway Nature gave travelers a great opportunity to not only see the most unusual scenes in the world but also try the courage feeling adrenaline buzz. To do this, tourists go to the rock Trolltunga or, as it is popularly called, The Troll’s Tongue.

What is Trolltunga

The Troll’s Tongue is the rock of the mountain Skjeggedal that was once broken off, but due to a lack of large weight did not fall and hung at a height of 800 meters above the lake Ringedalsvannet attracting thrill-seekers who want to take a rare shot.

Its beautiful name – The Troll’s Tongue – Trolltunga received for a good reason. First, if you look closely at the brow, you will see that it fantastically looks like the tongue of the very creatures from Norway legends. The second version is more romantic and meets the traditions of the Norwegians, in which trolls culture occupies an important place. According to legend, in ancient times trolls inhabited this area and one of which knew that every troll failed to hide from the sun will turn to stone. But he was very curious and reckless, so one day waiting for the sunrise he was able to see the first ray and even showed his tongue as if to say that nothing awful had happened. But when the sun touched the troll he froze that way with his tongue hanging out.

Trolltunga's photo by Alexey Ponomarenko

The way to Trolltunga is not easy (as trolls could not live in easily accessible places), and not many travelers decide to conquer it, but those who dare to overcome 12 kilometers, most of which you have to go uphill, will be rewarded with an awesome experience and fantastic scenery.

Useful information for travellers

Hike to Trolltunga requires good physical fitness and can take the whole day, up to 8-10 hours, depending on your ability. 

Easy part of trip:

Path to Trolltunga (light version). Photo: Alexey Ponomarenko

Path to Trolltunga in bad weather:

Therefore, you should carefully prepare to the trip, assess the risks and do not overrate your strength. A few useful tips will help you to avoid unpleasant surprises:

  1. The best time to conquer The Troll’s Tongue is when there is no snow, since mid-June by the end of August. If you do not mind climbing the snow, you can go to Trolltunga earlier: in late May – early June. Some travelers make an attempt to climb The Tongue in early May, but the mountains at this time are completely unpredictable: the snow level is high, and you never know if there is a stone or cleft under the snow. In addition, remember that with a warm weather in the valley (to + 20 degrees) in the mountains at this time there may be just 10 above zero or even less. This implies the second tip.
  2. Dress properly: shoes for hiking (if you go when there is snow winter boots are required), comfortable, wind-and waterproof clothes. Until the end of June, there is a lot of melting water and streams so that it can take an hour to find a convenient crossing. An extra pair of warm socks and a raincoat will be very useful at this period. Be sure to dress so that, if necessary, you can easily remove or put on your clothes.
  3. Bring water, hot drinks, sandwiches and other light food (dried fruit, nuts). Closer to The Tongue there will be streams of spring water that you can drink. But before a heavy and long ascent awaits you: water is required. Do not forget about the first aid kit, matches, knife, rope, and flashlight – all attributes of an extreme traveler.

Small lodge for travelers on the top. Photo: Alexey Ponomarenko

Trekking is always attended by risks: when you hike to Trolltunga accidents can happen so many travelers are anxious about their safety. In case of unforeseen accidents (sudden weather deterioration, for example) after the first big climb there is a tourist lodge on the mountain, for which the Norwegian Tourist Organization is responsible. Reinaskorsbu sign leads to the lodge. It is geared for 6 people: there is a gas stove, rocket stove, firewood, and food supply for a week, dishes, 6 beds and a few mattresses that can be spread out on the floor, blankets and pillows. In addition, there is a lot of information how you can pay for everything, however, only Norwegian. In addition, there is a rescue helicopter flying over the mountain.

Still, before going to the mountains you should find out the weather forecast and set off for a hike at dawn in order not to go back in the dusk or dark.

How to reach Trolltunga

Having prepared for the mount, chosen a good, clear day you can set off for a trip. The Troll’s Tongue (coordinates 60.131844°, 6.759424°) is located 10 km from the town of Odda. You can reach it only on foot: previously a funicular has lifted tourists to the first point, but in 2010, it was forbidden to use it for tourism purposes. But first things first.

How to get to the starting point

The main landmark is a small Norwegian town of Odda located in the county of Hordaland. The nearest big city is Bergen, 2-3 hours away by car (it takes about 6 hours to hit there from Oslo, from Stavanger – 3.5 out of Kristiansund – 6). From Odda you need to go towards Tyssedal, situated on the shore of Serfjord between two tunnels. The starting point to Trolltunga is the settlement of Skjeggedal, which is easy to find: after entering Tyssedal turn toward the service station where from the serpentine starts which is so narrow that there is no place for two cars (and one of them has to move off the back giving the way to the oncoming traffic), and move up to the hydro power station – this is the gate to The Troll’s Tongue. Here you will find parking lots, both free and paid (100 NOK – for a day stay, 200 – at night). You can park on any of them.

However, not every traveler can boast of having an own car or the driver’s license or can take a car for rent. In this case you can reach Trolltunga other ways:

  • Hitchhiking is a cheap and fun, but not always a safe way, so do not travel alone.
  • You can use the bus service and to get from Oslo to Bergen, Tyssedal or Odda.Travel time along the route Oslo-Odda is almost 7.5 hours, the cost of a single ticket – 610 NOK.
  • From Bergen to Rosendal there is a ferry with bus connection in Odda. Travel time is about three hours.
  • You can go by train from Oslo to Bergen (about 7 hours on the road, at least 499 NOK), and then go by bus to Odda.
  • You can go by plane to Bergen, and from Bergen choose a convenient transportation. Every day there are nearly 20 flight from Oslo to Bergen (by three airlines), the cost of a single ticket varies from 700 to 2000 NOK (depending on flight times, number of stops and the airline company).

From Odda to Skjeggedal through Tyssedal there is a bus going three times a day;you have to pay for one way ticket 80 NOK. It takes just half an hour. After you get into Skjeggedal, you will have the most interesting part of the journey.

Hike to Trolltunga

How to get there is an interesting question for everyone. You can start hiking an amazing Norway miracle two ways: upstairs going along the funicular rail (which, as mentioned above, does not carry tourists for several years) or on the trail. Thought it is forbidden to use the stairs, many tourists pretend they do not understand the sign and choose climbing stairs making stops along the way to take a beautiful shot.

If you choose to climb the path then be prepared for that in the beginning it is abrupt and very steep going through the forest, and the first kilometer will be the most difficult. But if you successfully overcome it then you will conquer the rest of the way, as well. At the highest point, the cable car line runs almost near the path, and there you can see rare Norway houses scattered on the mountain plateau – the funicular works for their residents.

At this stage there is less vegetation along the trail and the terrain becomes rockier, wind blows stronger, so if the weather is not fine you may need warm clothing. After the plateau begins another ascent, during which you will find a lot of streams and can fill in your bottles with water. After the descent you will see the very touristic lodge what means you go the right direction.

After one more ascent a magnificent view of The Troll’s Tongue will open to you, and it seems quite close, but to get to it you have to pass another two ridges over: there is no direct way – you there is a cliff and a fjord lake. Another ascent and you will pass the dam holding the water of the fjord, and quite unexpectedly, after 4-5 hours of travel, you will come to the main destination – Trolltunga.

Now you can take several breathtaking shots on The Tongue, going down the by specially iron brackets driven into it. The view from Trolltunga is unforgettable: a few hundred meters of emptiness with stunning views of the fjord and surrounding mountains.

The way back is both easier and harder: it is easier because you already imagine what awaits you on the way; and harder due to fatigue – 12 kilometers one way is not little at all. But it is certainly worth it!

Where to stay

In these towns, you can stay for a night on the way back or before hiking to Trolltunga in order to start your journey in convenient time.

In Odda and Bergen you can stay at one of the hotels or campsites: the choice depends on your preference for comfort and solvency. Campsites in Norway are quite comfortable: you can stay in a cabin or take place for a tent and your car. In the first case, the prices vary from 400 to 800 NOK per cabin for 4 people, in the second case – 100-200 NOK. Shower costs about 10 NOK (for 5-10 minutes), in some campsites free hotplate are provided. Internet access is often available. To increase your chances of a successful overnight camping it is better to come until 8 pm as the reception is open until this time, and you have a chance to catch the free space for a tent.

Hotels in Odda and Tyssedal are quite modest with a minimum set of convenience, but enough for an overnight stay. Rooms can be both with shared bathroom on the floor, for two rooms, or with its own shower room. Prices range from 70 to 150 Euros for a double room. According to the reviews, the conditions in the camps are often no worse than those in hotels and sometimes even better especially given the lower prices at the campsites.

Hike to The Troll’s Tongue will cause delight and surprise, make you admire breathtaking views, test your strength, and just give you unforgettable emotions.

Trolltunga Neighborhood

Trolltunga is not the only interesting place in this region of Norway, although the most impressive.

What to see

On the way to The Troll’s Tongue travelers can see other attractions, as well.

1. Bergen

No matter how you get to Skjeggedal you will likely go through Bergen – a city with a rich history, traditions and lots of cultural attractions. Stay here at least for a day and walk around the streets, the smallest of which (only 99 cm wide) is located near the famous fish market.

The most famous attraction is the open-air museum Bryggen, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the best known medieval settlement in Norway. These are 61 old colored wooden huts, some of which has been preserved from 1701.

From Bergen, you can go on a boat ride in a fine weather and see the whales. Six km from the city there is the 12th century wooden church, two city halls in Bergen itself, one of which was built in the mid 16th century, and the oldest building, St. Mary's Church, built in 1180. You can also go to the mountains by funicular and enjoy the splendid views of Bergen.

2. Odda

From Bergen you will move to Odda and find that, in this small town, there are interesting things as well, and the main landmark is the Waterfall Lotefossen that you meet on the way to Tyssedal right beside the road. The waterfall is 165 meters high where from the water breaks down in two powerful almost parallel shoots. The flow of water is so strong that, over the bridge, which goes above the water, there is always water mist.

3. Hardangerfjord

If you come to Trolltunga then are in Hardangerfjord and you should use this opportunity to see all wonders of that region:

  • The most famous Norwegian waterfall – the Waterfall Veringfossen, which is located at an altitude of 182 meters.
  • The third largest glacier on mainland Norway – the Glacier Folgefonna, covering an area of 203 km2.
  • The Waterfall Steyndalsfossen, which is not very big, but it is worth visiting thanks the possibility of walking between the water and the rock from which it breaks down.
  • The park in children's leisure Mikkelparken Kinsarvik where you will find plenty of entertainments for your children. By the way, hiking to The Troll’s Tongue you can often see children from 10 years who as adults overcome this ascent.

Norway is perfect for both active and cultural leisure time. Do not miss an opportunity to see interesting attractions.