Trolltunga is one of Norway’s most popular hikes and with good reason! On this spectacular hiking trail you’ll walk above the Hardangerfjord and your end destination is the world famous troll’s tongue, otherwise known as Trolltunga.
And yes this is one of the most trafficked hiking trails in entire Norway but even so you should definitely add it to your bucket list!
In this guide I’ll tell you everything you need to know about hiking to Trolltunga and how you can actually shave off 8km from the total original hiking distance!
- 🗺 How to reach the Trolltunga Hiking Trail
- 🏨 Where to stay when hiking the Trolltunga Trail
- 🏕 Is camping allowed on Trolltunga
- 🗓 When to hike the Trolltunga Hiking Trail
- 🥾 Trolltunga Hike Details
- 📸 Taking photos on Trolltunga Rock
- 🙋🏼♀️My Personal Experience on the Trolltunga Hiking Trail
- 💡 Tips for having the best experience on Trolltunga
- 🧳 Norway Hiking Packing List
Trolltunga Hike – Everything You Need To Know About Hiking Norway’s Most Famous Trail
The Hardangerfjord is often considered one of the most beautiful places in Norway. With a length of over 170km it’s also one of the longest fjords in the entire world.
When I first started looking into hiking to Trolltunga I immediately understood that the logistics would be a little complicated, especially since we were driving with a big camper van.
But not to worry, within this article you’ll find all of the information that you’ll need so you can plan the perfect day hike to Trolltunga.
🗺 How to reach the Trolltunga Hiking Trail
We did our road trip through Norway with a camper van and I would do so again in a heartbeat. We chose a camper van from WeCamp and absolutely loved it! It was very spacious and comfortable and it truly felt like our home away from home during these 2 weeks. Not to forget, I had some of my best nights’ sleep on that bed!
Now, the logistics for hiking Trolltunga aren’t the easiest, especially with a camper van so below I will make a clear distinction for if you’re driving a regular car or if you’re driving a camper van.
🚘 Where to park your car when hiking Trolltunga
There are 3 parking lots where you can leave your car:
- P1 – Tyssedal: This is the biggest parking lot out of all 3 and you pay your parking fee at the parking machine and display your ticket at the front of your windshield. This is also the only parking lot where you can park your camper or RV. The road form P1 to P2 is a small and winding road up the mountain and not suitable for driving a camper.
If your camper/RV is longer than 5.2m you won’t be able to make the turns and you could get stuck on the mountain road.
It’s also important to know that there is no overnight sleeping or camping allowed on P1. You can however leave your car or camper here for up to 3 days if you decide to camp on top of the mountain.
Parking Fee: Same day (until midnight) – NOK 300
Two days (until midnight) – NOK 500
Three days (until midnight) – NOK 700
Now to drive up from P1 to P2 with a regular car you’ll have to pay for the toll road leading up to P2. The price for the toll road is included in the parking fee at P2 which I will list for you below.
- P2 – Skjeggedal: This is the second largest parking lot and like I said before, only regular cars are allowed to park here.
Parking Fee: Same day (until midnight) – NOK 500
Two days (until midnight) – NOK 700
Three days (until midnight) – NOK 900
So as I said before, the prices mentioned above include the fee for the toll road from P1 until P2
For the longest time the parking lot at Skjeggedal used to be the start of the hiking trail to Trolltunga. From here the total hiking distance out & back is 28km.
- P3 – Mågelitopp: This is the most recent addition but be aware, it’s a very small parking lot with only 30 spaces for regular cars. So if you want to have a parking spot here you need to book it in advance. If you’re hiking Trolltunga in high season this means that you’ll have to do this a couple of months in advance.
Parking fee: NOK 600 per day
On P3 the parking fee doesn’t include the Skjeggedal toll road which is an additional 200 NOK
From the Mågelitopp parking lot the total hiking distance to Trolltunga and back is 20km. This means that if you start hiking from here you can simply shave off 8km from the total hike.
If P3 is already fully booked you can also reach it by use of a shuttle bus or a regular taxi.
For a regular taxi you can choose to book it at any time of the day, as long as there is no snow on top of Mågelitopp. During the peak summer season (15 June – 31 September), taxis can drive up to P3 Mågelitopp before 06:00, between 11:30 and 14:00, and after 19:00. Odda Taxi will provide this service and starting all the way from Odda the price is NOK 1000. But when we were there we were able to take an Odda taxi from P2 and it costed us NOK 200.
There’s also the option of taking a shuttle bus up to P3. Shuttle buses between P2 Skjeggedal and P3 Mågelitopp are operated by the company Trolltunga-Road Bus.
🚌 How to reach the Trolltunga Hiking trail if you’re traveling with a camper/RV
So, like I said before, if you’re driving with a camper or an RV you can only park at P1 Tyssedal.
Now your next steps will depend on wether you want to start your hike at either P2 or P3.
From P2Skjeggedal the total hiking distance is 28km and from P3Mågelitopp the the total hiking distance is 20km. Starting your hike from P3 Mågelitopp will save you 1–1.5 hours one way.
- Trolltunga Shuttle buses between P1 Tyssedal and P2 Skjeggedal
P1 Tyssedal–P2 Skjeggedal (return ticket): NOK 150–200
P1 Tyssedal–P2 Skjeggedal (one way): NOK 100 (estimated price)
P2 Skjeggedal–P1 Tyssedal (one way): NOK 100 (estimated price)
You can book your ticket for the Odda Bus here
- Shuttle bus between P2 Skjeggedal and P3 Mågelitopp
Shuttle buses run regularly between P2 Skjeggedal and P3 Mågelitopp, as long as the road is free of snow, usually from 15 June to 19 September.
Shuttle buses between P2 Skjeggedal and P3 Mågelitopp are operated by the company Trolltunga-Road Bus.
To avoid waiting in queue, buy your shuttle bus tickets online. (Half the tickets are made available online.) You can also purchase bus tickets at the ticket office at P2 Skjeggedal.
🥾 What if I want to hike from P1?
Of course this is also an option! But do know that you’ll be walking a long, loooong way. From P1 in Tyssedal the total hiking distance is 38km!
So if this is your plan I would definitely bring a tent and camping gear with you so you don’t have to do it one single day.
🙋🏼♀️ How did we do it?
We parked our camper at P1in Tyssedal and took the earliest shuttle bus up to P2 Skjeggedal. We bought the ticket in advance but not the one for going up to P3 since you can pay it on the bus itself.
When we got out of the bus at P2 there was a guy offering rides up to P3 for eager hikers and I immediately said yes. We paid around 200NOK to go up to P3 and were pretty much the first ones up there.
When we arrived back to P3 after completing our hike it was still a very long wait until the first shuttle bus would go back down. We started hiking down but honestly, my feet were so sore, also from all of the days of hiking before and while we were walking down a car was driving down from P3.
I figured I’ld try my luck and asked them if we could catch a ride down to P1 with them.
And that’s how 25 minutes later we were already back at our camper van!
🏨 Where to stay when hiking the Trolltunga Trail
If you’re traveling with a camper or an RV there’s a beautiful campsite 45 minutes driving from P1 in Tyssedal. It’s called Ringøy Gard Camping and you’ll park right next to the water of the Hardangerfjord.
This is the ideal camping spot especially after coming back from your hike. There are pick nick tables right by the waterfront where you can enjoy a well deserved beer and cook some food.
Of course 45 minutes of driving can be pretty far away if you’re starting your hike in the early morning! The Trolltunga Camping is only 10 minutes driving from P1 Tyssedal and the most logical place to stay before starting your hike to Trolltunga.
🏕 Is camping allowed on Trolltunga
Yes it is! You can make the long hike to Trolltunga a little less heavy by spending the night on top of the mountain.
There are designated camping spots where you can put up your tent and spend the night.
Along the way to the Trolltunga rock you’ll also bump into two shelter huts. It’s forbidden to camp here and they may only be used in case of need of a shelter not for overnight staying.
If you don’t want to carry your own camping gear you can also book a guided tour where you’ll sleep in a dome overlooking the Hardangerfjord.
🗓 When to hike the Trolltunga Hiking Trail
Between June 1 and September 30 you do not need a guide to do this hike. There will be plenty of other people on the hiking trails and all of the shuttle busses are also operating.
The only thing you need to keep in mind is that Winter can come early in Norway. yes, it can already start snowing in Norway in September! As soon as there’s snow on P3, the local taxi’s won’t drive up there anymore.
In my opinion the best time to hike to Trulltonga is the first two weeks from September. There will be a lot less people in the trail compared to the super busy Summer months.
If you want to hike to Trolltunga outside of these months you’ll have to do so with a guided tour. The trail might be covered by snow and conditions would be more dangerous than during the Summer months.
🥾 Trolltunga Hike Details
Distance – 20.2km (12.5 miles) if you start from P3. Otherwise the total hiking distance is 28km.
Elevation – 400m
Route Type – Out & back
Duration – 8 to 11 hours (depending on where you start the hike).
Level – Moderate to hard, depending on where you start the hike.
Parking lot – P3 Mågelitopp
When to go – The earlier you start this hike the better!
Season – June 1 to September 30 (without a guide). At all other times of the year you must hike with a guide. Every year a ton of rescue missions get send out because people go hiking to Trolltunga out of season and they get either stuck or lost. Don’t be one of those people :p.
📸 Taking photos on Trolltunga Rock
The Trolltunga rock is one of the most photographed places in the world. But of course that popularity also comes at a price. Usually you’ll find a line of people here all waiting to take their shot. I have even heard horror stories of people waiting in line for over 2 hours!
How to take photos on Trolltunga Rock if you’re hiking alone
As someone who goes on a solo trip every now and then I wanted to give you all of the tips you need for taking an awesome photo on Trolltunga rock! You’ll probably won’t be the only one there so if you just want to snap a photo with your phone you can simply ask the person behind you in line.
If you want to take a photo with your camera I always prefer using my tripod. The distance from where you need to take your photo to where you will be standing is pretty big so it might be best to still ask someone to push the button a couple of times for you.
Is it dangerous to take a photo on Trolltunga Rock?
No it’s not! Trolltunga rock actually tilts back a little and is a lot wider than it looks on the photos. I’m not saying you need to do a cartwheel on top of it or act carelessly but it’s perfectly safe to stand or sit on the edge.
To get to the pinnacle you’ll have to climb down a small rock wall but there’s also a couple of metal bars to help you do so. This part of the rock can be slippery though so watch your steps.
Change your perspective!
Of course we all want that one epic photo but there are also a ton of other beautiful viewpoints to take photographs! So don’t just hike back after taking the Instagram shot! You should at least wander around for a while and take in all of the views!
Get there on time
If you want to avoid the big crowds make sure to start hiking before sunrise! Another option is to go with a guided tour which will allow you to witness Trolltunga during both sunrise and sunset.
🙋🏼♀️My Personal Experience on the Trolltunga Hiking Trail
The Trolltunga hike was one of my favorite hiking trails in Norway! We started our adventure on an early morning in September and parked our camper at P1in Tyssedal. I had booked our spot on the shuttle bus a couple of days from before and went for the earliest pick-up time at 6am.
A short drive of around 30 minutes later we arrived at P2 inSkjeggedal. As soon as we got off the bus a local asked us if we wanted to drive up with him to immediately go to P3. The first shuttle bus would only leave at 7am so this meant we would arrive 30 minutes before all the other hikers. I jumped at the opportunity and for 200 NOK we reached the start of the hiking trail at P3 only 10 minutes later.
The best part? By doing so we skipped the toughest part of elevation. And since that part simply goes over this gravel road we didn’t miss any part of the beautiful hiking trail.
From there the adventure could begin! The first part of the hiking trail is very even terrain and will lead you across a couple of bridges.
After the first 1.5km you’ll have to tackle the biggest incline. You’ll be climbing over boulders all the way up. But once you’ve reached the top here the hardest climb of the hike is already behind you. Look for the red T marks to follow the trail.
The entire hike is well marked and I absolutely loved the little signposts which show the distance you have left to conquer. I was always super happy every time I saw one cause that meant 1 kilometer less of hiking!
I hiked as fast as my short legs could carry me to be one of the first ones to reach the Trolltunga Rock!
The trail from here on out is relatively flat with a couple of small ascends and descends and after 3,5 hours we reached the famous Trolltunga viewpoint!
As you can see we weren’t the only ones there but luckily it didn’t take us much longer than 10 minutes waiting to snap a couple of photos!
After taking about a hundred photos in the area we sat down for lunch and made our way back.
Clouds were rolling in and covering the view at times. If this is the case during your visit don’t despair. Just have some patience and it will most likely clear up again!
The way back to the parking lot goes along the same trail and when we reached P3 again we got super lucky and a lovely couple gave us a ride back to P1. Otherwise we would have had to wait another 2 hours for the first shuttle bus to go back to P2 and then back to P1.
💡 Tips for having the best experience on Trolltunga
- Start early! This will be. along day of hiking and you don’t want to feel rushed or hike back in the dark. I would say to start hiking at 8am the latest.
- Use the bathroom in the car park – There are no toilets along the hiking trail so your last chance to go to the toilet is when you start your hike.
- Carry toilet paper and a plastic bag with you – I get it! If you have to go, you have to go! Find a spot far enough from the hiking trail and put the used toilet paper in the plastic bag and put it in your backpack.
- Bring enough snacks and water – You’ll be hiking nearly half a marathon today with a lot of elevation gain. It’s important to not underestimate this hike!
🧳 Norway Hiking Packing List
Hiking shoes – You will definitely need a pair of these. Even that some attractions are located right next to a parking lot you’ll pretty much always have to hike over a rocky terrain. I love my Meindl Mountain Trail Boots for longer hikes and my Danner Mountain Light Boots for daily wear and shorter distances.
Trekking poles – These will especially come in handy cause a lot of the hikes in these guide can be rather strenuous on the joints. I used the Leki Adventure Light trekking poles for all of my hikes in Norway!
Back Pack – You’ll want to bring a back pack with you to carry your camera, some snacks and your refillable water bottle. I love the Kanken No. 2 back pack from Fjallraven and pretty much take it with me everywhere I go.
Refillable Water Bottle – The water in Norway is some of the freshet in the entire world so there’s no need at all to buy plastic bottles. Simply find the nearest stream to fill up your bottle and you’re good to go.
Another option is to use a back pack which has a water reservoir built inside of it. For instance this 3L Hydration Bladder is leak proof and can be stored inside a back pack.
Trail Leggings – I love hiking in leggings and have lately been loving the Abisko Trail Tights from Fjallraven.
Fast Drying Shirt – When hiking you tend to sweat, especially when climbing a mountain. One of the best things to wear is a shirt that quickly dreis so you don’t get cold high up the mountain.
Insulating Jacket – Depending on the temperature you’ll either want a thicker or lighter jacket. If it’s pretty cold outside I always go for my Fjallraven Vidda Jacket. Otherwise I go for their High Coast Light Jacket which is super light weight.
Woolen cap – The perfect accessory to protect your ears from the cold and to cover your hair after a few days without a shower.
Protein Bars – Make sure you have a couple of these stowed a way in your back pack to boost up your energy level during the hike.
Sunscreen – Make sure to re apply to your face regularly cause pretty much all of the hikes that we did in Norway were exposed most of the time. I love this one by Neutrogena which feels like a face mist but also provides SPF 50 protection!
Merino Wool Socks – My go to brand has always been Falke and I love how fast they drive after a long day of hiking. Plus since they’re made of merino wool they don’t smell and can be worn for a couple of days.
Charlotte Lint is the founder of Charlies Wanderings.
Charlotte has traveled all over the world and is based in Belgium where she also owns her very own dental practice.
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