Text: Frederik Amundsen
We are at the top of the Jostedalen Valley, in the Sognefjord area in Fjord Norway, ready to walk on the Nigardsbreen Glacier. This is just one of several arms of the Jostedalsbreen Glacier, which is the largest glacier on mainland Europe.
A five-minute boat ride takes us from the car into the foot of the glacier, where we put on the equipment.
Jos Henrichs (61) from Veldhoven, Holland is a big smile. He has travelled the Fjord Norway area for about a week.
- All the nature attractions are so available to us. We don’t need to do much to experience them, he says.
He and his wife have been to the Preikestolen Mountain in the Lysefjord, and travelled north to the Sognefjord area.
We hike uphill for about an hour before we reach the really beautiful part. The group counts a couple from Sidney, Australia, who travelled around the world to experience the Norwegian fjords and mountains.
Three younger Japanese women can’t stop laughing as we walk up the glacier, and a young Belgian father looks concentrated.
We are on a two-hour hike, just to experience what it is like and get the adrenalin pumping for a short time. There are several hikes and difficulty levels to choose from, ranging from very easy to advanced, some walks at the Nigardsbreen and more options at other arms of the Jostedalsbreen Glacier.
When river rafting down the Jostedalselva River the next day, we were to meet a group of travellers from Sweden, France and Lebanon, who went for a ten-hour walk on the glacier, not regretting a second of it.
When to travel
There are daily walks available at different parts of the Jostedalsbreen Glacier from May to October. The short walk at Nigardsbreen is available in July and August.
The price for this short walk is NOK 200, equivalent to approximately 25 Euros. The price varies according to the length and difficulty levels, reaching NOK 890 for a ten-hour hike on the Tunsdalsbreen Glacier, which equals approximately 110 Euros.
Who can join
Minimum age for the short walk is six years old, and you have to be 12 to join the most advanced hikes. You do not have to be an experienced hiker to try this. It is safe when going with a local guide.
Getting here and around
Travelling to the Sognefjord area by bus or car is a two to three-hour drive from Bergen, four to five hours from Oslo and five to six hours from Trondheim. There are several boats and ferries on the Sognefjord and there is an airport in Sogndal. Find detailed travel information.
Where to stay
There are camping possibilities at Jostedalen Camping and Lyngmo Gjestehus & Camping. Jostedalen Hotel is a good and affordable place to stay. The luxurious options are Walaker Hotel, or Tørvis Hotel, a half hour drive away.