Trolltunga is a rock formation 1,100 metres above sea level in Odda, Norway. The famous troll tongue pops out about 700m above Lake Ringedalsvatnet and is an incredible hike (27km or 20km depending on if you cheat like we did!). It’s also thanks to social media that has seen this hike rise in popularity with less than 800 people visiting in 2010 and now attracts over 80,000 visitors each year. We struggled to find some helpful information when we planned this trip so hopefully this blog can help others!
We flew into Bergen from London Luton, hired a car and drove 140 km through windy fjords to our Airbnb at the base of the road to the hike. Don’t underestimate the fjords – it took us 3.5 hours to get there! Highly recommend having your own car as I think it would end up being quite expensive and time consuming relying on public transport. We also pre-cooked our dinners and froze them (win win – frozen food doesn’t count as a liquid so can come in hand luggage) and packed snacks from the UK as Norway is insanely expensive – a 2 hour cider tour was going to cost £75!!
The first 4 km are up a steep road so we skipped that and booked tickets on the Trolltunga Shuttle – recommend booking in advance and we were on the 7am. It cost to park at the 2 carparks (think it was £40 for the day and it helps maintain the track); alternatively, you could have caught a taxi, bus or walked from the bottom (an extra and unnecessary walk!). The Saturday was horrendous weather – severe winds and torrential rain and the warning was “don’t stand close to the edge!” so instead we went into Odda (about 4 shops in total), had a walk and then a very chilly dip in the glacial fjord.
Sunday weather was perfect – sunny with sporadic rain and not too windy. Monday they told people not to attempt the hike so definitely give yourself a couple of days just in case (keep an eye on this page). The hike is not difficult if you are reasonably fit and are prepared for the change in weather. Hiking boots, merino baselayers (Icebreaker get my vote), merino jumper, puffer, raincoat, warm socks, sunglasses, woolen hat, gloves and waterproof trousers made for a comfortable 8 hour return walk (with breaks) in early August. Some people were in shorts and chucks which was just stupid considering how quick mountain weather can change!
The first hour of the hike is pretty steep but not terrible. The next few hours are a nice gentle up and down with spectacular scenery. It was also very easy to come off the track or that may have been the in-depth conversations got us distracted! There’s ample fresh water you can drink from streams and it was so fresh and a delightful change from London water!
Once you get to the tongue, you join the line and wait for your turn to take the famous shot (45 minute wait but can take up to 2 hours). We all stayed in the middle of the rock but some people were jumping and others dangling their feet off the edge which freaked me out. It’s a long drop down! We walked back in time for a gin and bath and surprisingly not aching feet! One of the most beautiful hikes I’ve ever done and highly recommend!