Expectation vs Reality: Hiking Trolltunga in Norway

Trolltunga. The Troll’s Tongue. It’s a place you see on Social Media so much, that it somehow had to make our To Do List for Norway. And I am definitely not disappointed that we went. But there are a few things you need to know before going.

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Let’s start with the way there: The streets to Trolltunga are very narrow and windy and sometimes only have one lane for both way traffic. So definitely drive carefully if you have your own car, because the Norwegians don’t really.

We tried to go as early as possible but when we got there around 7:30am, we were clearly not the first ones. There are two parking areas, one at the very bottom for 300NOK for a day (there are multiple-days-tickets as well in case you want to camp around the area for a night or more) and then there’s another one that’s around 4km up, which is 600NOK. The higher one opens at 6am and when we got there at 7:30 it was full already. We didn’t really care, because we wanted to hike as much as possible anyways, but in case you are not that keen on it, this might be a good option.

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Recommendations say that you need all equipment possible – hiking sticks, a head lamp, all the typical hiking stuff. But to be honest, we didn’t have any of that and we managed alright. We didn’t even have hiking boots which was a bit annoying though. So make sure you bring those, it’s just less slippery and better in case you go on a day like we did and there’s mud and puddles around.

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In general, after the first 4 kms up (they go up an asphalted street) the hike’s not crazy steep anymore. There are a few rougher parts, but it’s definitely manageable. With all the mud it was a bit harder, because it got slippery and you sometimes had to walk around and over sticks and stones to avoid it, but still. One important thing to know is, that there might be some parts that still have snow that you have to cross, which can be even more slippery. Try to avoid the edges, since they can break in easily – I fell into a little hole with my leg because of that. Oops.

As you can see from the images, the weather wasn’t too great when we did the hike, it was even raining a few times throughout the day. But somehow I wouldn’t want it any other way – the landscape was so mystical due to the fog, you somehow wouldn’t have been surprised if a troll actually jumped out of a hole all of a sudden.

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We got the top after 3 hours and 37 minutes (very precise, I know) and we were welcomed by around 20 people that were standing on the cliff taking pictures and around 15 people standing in line to get on the Trolltunga rock and get their picture taken. It was very weird to go through a hike like that and then run into a crowd of people. I mean, not that we were all alone along the hike but it’s still a peaceful walk. After a bit of thinking we decided that we still need a picture on the rock, just as a proof, so we asked a girl in line behind us to take it for us. After the typical shot, we then climbed down to another “tongue” that was a bit lower than the actual rock formation and took a few more “single shots” for us.

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I guess with a hike as famous as that one, you can’t really expect anything else, but it took away a little bit of the magic to stand in line just to get a shot on there. And also to have around 30-40 people watch you pose on that rock – I was too uncomfortable to do anything special and just took the one shot with my friend. But it was worth the experience and the memory.

So all in total, it took us around 7 hours and 45 minutes to go up and down (the waiting time up there not included). So definitely pack water, snacks and lunch for your hike, there’s nothing to fill up water bottles or get snacks on the way (obviously, but just to mention it).

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My conclusion to this trip: So worth it! The landscape was just breathtaking, the hike was challenging enough but not too hard for a once-in-a-while-hiker like me and the reward up there was pretty cool as well. So put it on your bucket list and go for it!

Read my whole Norway guide here.

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