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Trolltunga: What you need to know about Norway’s iconic rock formation

Planning on tackling Trolltunga? Before you start packing your bags and mapping out your journey, there are a few things you'll need to know to help get you to the top of one of Norway's most famous hikes.  

Pictured is Trolltunga.
There are a few things you should know before taking on one of Norway's most famous hikes. Pictured is the world famous rock formation. Photo by Tuomas Härkönen on Unsplash

Trolltunga is one of Norway’s most beloved and picturesque rock formations. But, getting to the top is far easier said than done, as it’ll take between 8 to 12 hours to reach the summit. 

With such a long journey to the top, it’s more than worth taking the time to learn a few things that could make your journey that much easier, even if you’re relishing the challenge of a 28-kilometre round trip. 

For those who didn’t know already, Trolltunga is found in Ullensvang Municipality in Vestland county. The closest village to the site is Odda. 

When is it a good time to tackle Trolltunga? 

The hiking season for Trolltunga is from the beginning of June until the end of September. Throughout the rest of the year, only guided hikes are available. 

As the journey can stretch between 8 to 12 hours, depending on one’s fitness, pace, how often they stop, and experience they have, starting earlier is recommended. 

VisitNorway recommends that hikes in September start before 8am due to the shorter days. However, hikers can begin their trip in June and July after 8am. 

A bad time to attempt the trip is if strong winds, heavy rain or fog is forecasted. You can check the forecast for Trolltunga here

Proper equipment is important

The iconic cliff that makes Trolltunga so distinctive is 1,180 metres above sea level, and the journey has an ascent of 800 metres or so if you begin from the main trail top, P2. 

Given the lofty heights and ascent, it’s worth making sure you have plenty of layers, as it is likely much colder at the top than at the bottom. One big warm jacket won’t cut it as you’ll be too warm heading back down. 

Good shoes are also a prerequisite. While most of the journey takes place on a trail, you’ll want good ankle support in case you fall, and even in June, areas higher up can be covered with snow and ice. Furthermore, the route down is often more perilous than the hike on the way up, making grippy and stable shoes a must. 

As the weather can change quickly up in the mountains, a raincoat should also be among your equipment. 

Consider taking a shuttle bus as parking is limited and expensive

Parking can cost an absolute fortune at Trolltunga, and there are limited spaces. There are three places people can leave their vehicles: the Tyssedal, Skjeggedal and Mågelitopp parking lots. If you choose to opt for parking, your location could affect your journey’s difficulty.

Tyssedal or P1 has 220 spots. Parking there starts from 300 kroner for one day, with a journey time of 15 hours. The most popular starting point is the Skjeggedal, or P2, parking lot, which charges 500 kroner per day. This location has a journey time of 8-12 hours and 180 spaces. 

Then finally, Mågelitopp has to be pre-booked and costs 600 kroner per day. Although it only has 30 parking spaces. If you start from here, you can cut your journey by up to 3 hours. 

Shuttle busses between Odda, P1 Tyssedal and P2 Skjeggedal are run between May 13th and September 26th. 

Shuttle bus tickets will cost 300 kroner for a return, but it saves you the hassle of finding a space. This is also a more cost effective solution for solo travellers. 

Remember to pack enough food

Unlike many other hiking trails in Norway you won’t find any cafes and cabins on Trolltunga. This means you should bring enough food to keep your energy levels up on the 12 hour hike. The same applies to water too. 

You can camp on Trolltunga

If you don’t want to rush, and would rather spread your journey across two day it is possible to camp on Trolltunga. 

This is due to the Norwegian concept of allemannsrettenthe right to public access. This right is protected by the Outdoor Recreation Act (1957). 

Essentially this gives the public the right to travel or camp anywhere they like, regardless of who owns the land. 

However, there are still some ground rules, written and unwritten, you will need to be aware of. 

Tents should be pitched at one of the preferred sites to minimise the impact on the local environment. Additionally, you’ll need to be downhill from the trails and away from streams and lakes. There will be signs pointing out where camping is prohibited. People will need to pitch their tent on bare rock where possible too. 

No campfires are allowed between April 15th and September 15th. For more info on camping on Trolltunga specifically, click here

READ ALSO: Can I camp anywhere I want in Norway? 

Where to get the best picture

Let’s face it: If you go on a 12-hour hike to one of the most famous peaks in Norway, you’ll want to get a decent picture. 

If you are alone, there will typically always be a willing stranger prepared to take a few snaps of you, with you taking a few of them in return. 

To get a picture of yourself on the famous cliff with it protruding outwards onto the lake, you’ll need to have a second person with you. 

A cliff at the top of the hike gives a full view of the rock protruding outwards. This is also a decent spot to take one of you with the cliff in the background. 

You can see an example of how pictures from this angle look below. 

A hiker atop Trolltunga.

The Local Norway’s editor, Frazer Norwell, at the top of Trolltunga in 2018. To get pictures like this you’ll need to have someone snap a shot from a side-on angle on one on the surrounding cliffs. Photo: Frazer Norwell.
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A post shared by Trolltunga Active (@trolltungaactive)

Expect queues 

The popularity of Trolltunga has increased exponentially over the past ten years. The number of hikers who make the trip has shot up from a few thousand annually to 80,000 each year. 

This means you can expect plenty of hikers on your journey up, and typically there will be a small queue to step foot on the cliff face. For that reason, hikers are advised not to strike more than two poses on the cliff to keep the queue moving. 

If you want to take more pictures, you can always rejoin the queue to take more. 

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Where are Norway’s Michelin star restaurants?

Norway is home to four new Michelin-starred restaurants following the recent publication of the Nordic Countries Guide for 2022. These are all the Norwegian restaurants to receive a star in the Michelin Guide. 

Where are Norway’s Michelin star restaurants?

Four new Norwegian restaurants received Michelin stars when the Nordic Countries Guide for 2022 was published this week. 

Scandinavia’s cooking elite gathered in Stavanger on Monday to award this year’s stars and individual honours for chefs in the Nordics. 

Three of the new stars awarded were given to restaurants in Oslo, while the other star was given to an eatery in Bergen, taking the number of Michelin-starred restaurants in the city on Norway’s west coast to two. 

One of the newcomers, Hot Shop, named after the former sex shop the building used to house, is located on Københavngata street in east Oslo. The canteen-style bistro serves tasting menus based on seasonal, local ingredients, which the Michelin Guide describes as “elegant, vibrant and technically adept, with delicate touches and real depth of flavour”. 

Schlägergården in Lilleaker, on the eastern outskirts of Oslo, was also awarded its first star. However, it was the fourth time restaurant manager Bjørn Svensson had received a star for one of his restaurants. The restaurant is in a converted 18th-century farmhouse with a set menu consisting of local produce, some foraged, grown, or preserved by the eatery’s staff. 

Michelin describes the food there as “pure, expertly crafted dishes which have bold, emotive flavours”.

Located right on the border of Grünerløkka and St. Hanshaugen in central Oslo is Hyde, the third restaurant in the capital to receive its first Michelin star this year. The guide credits the service and “laid-back, lively atmosphere” as major pulls for the restaurants.

Over on Norway’s west coast, Lysverket in Bergen was awarded a Michelin star. The eatery serves up creative, modern takes on Norwegian dishes accompanied by craft cocktails. The restaurant is housed in an art museum with the menus showcasing “intelligently crafted, balanced dishes”. 

The other restaurant in Oslo, boasting a glowing review from the Michelin guide, was Maaemo, which retained its three Michelin star status. The new Nordic cuisine behemoth focused on organic and biodynamic produce is located in the heart of Oslo on Dronning Eufamas gate street.

A few other chefs and restaurants received accolades at this year’s presentation. Heidi Bjerkan took home two awards, the first for excellent service at her sustainable Michelin-starred restaurant Credo. One of her other restaurants, Jossa Mat og Drikke, won a green star, given to eatery’s that excel in sustainable operations. 

A Norwegian, Jimmy Øien, scooped the award for the best young chef. Øien is the chef at Rest located on Kirkegat in Central Oslo and holds a green star for sustainable practices. The menu heavily emphasises using imperfect produce, which other places may otherwise discard. 

Several restaurants also retained their status. Renaa, with its kitchen located in the heart of the restaurant, has two Michelin stars and is commended by the guide for the quality of its Norwegian seafood dishes and the bread it produces at a nearby bakery. 

The 2022 guide also includes Kontrast (Oslo), Statholdergaarden (Oslo) , Under (Lindesnes), the biggest underwater restaurant in the world, Sabi Omakase (Stavanger), Bare (Bergen), FAGN (Trondheim), Credo (Trondheim) and Speilsalen (Trondheim), which all have one Michelin star.