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Hiking in Setesdal
Hiking in Setesdal.
Photo: Anders Martinsen
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Short or long hiking trails in Setesdal

Throughout the valley there are excellent opportunities for walking and hiking. From Evje in the south to Hovden in the north, amazing viewpoints await you. In addition to the short round trips, there are several hiking routes connecting the various cabins of the Norwegian Trekking Association (DNT).

Family friendly hikes in a day

There is a specific hiking brochure describing the different hiking routes in Setesdal. Many of the routes are suitable for families, and under normal circumstances children aged five and upwards may take part. Some of them are steep and some quite long, but all of them are concidered day trips.
The brochure is available in the tourist information, accommodation providers and others.

Bykle / Hovden
Enjoy the crystal clear water and the sound of the roaring river. Read more
Børtemannsbekken - round trip 10 km
A taste of the high mountains - also accessible for children. With central Hovden as a starting point, the summit is reached within one hour. Read more
Hartevassnuten - round trip 4 or 7 km
From the top of Nos ( the ski-lift) , there are two routes. One path goes past "Støylsskardet" and crosses "Støylskardnuten". It reaches path nr.11 ,… Read more
Stølskardnuten - from the top of Nos
The 1919-metre Hovdenuten is one of the summits near Hovden. Enjoy magnificent views of Hovden and the surrounding mountains to the east and west. Read more
Hovdenuten - round trip 4 km
Søre Hartevassnuten      1155 m.a.s.l.          Along the lake Hartevatn… Read more
Søre Hartevassnuten - round trip 6 km
Hovdenuten - 1209 m.a.s.l The highest of the summits, marked from central Hovden. Follow the river Otra upstream on gravel road to the Hovden… Read more
Nos - return trip 4 km
Byklestigen is an old path up the hillside about 5 km south of the centre of Bykle. The path was first mentioned in sources from 1770, and until 1879,… Read more
Byklestigen - ancient path 2 km
Valle / Rysstad
Gloppefoss is one of the highest waterfalls in the Setesdal Valley, with a great flow of water through the whole summer season. Read more
Daytrip to Gloppefoss waterfall in Valle
Einang is a distinctive mountain peak in Valle. Read more
Einang - return trip 3,4 km
The hike over the Homfjellet mountain to the village Homme takes you through magnificent scenery with breathtaking views. Read more
Homfjellet - round trip 8,5 km
The new walking path "Neire Lauvås" (Lower Lauvås) is centrally located in Valle. It starts from the cattle grid above the… Read more
Neire Lauvåsen - round trip 2,3 km
A walking path with rich impressions of nature and culture Read more
Kvernhusvegen - round trip 4,2 km
Løefjell (934 m.a.s.l.) is one of four summits surrounding Brokke. It offers a spectacular view of Brokke and the landscape conservation area Setesdal… Read more
Løefjell - round trip 5 km
Uvedalsfjellet (795 m.a.s.l.) is one of four summits surrounding Brokke, offering spectacular views. The hike starts at Brokkestøylen, along… Read more
Uvedalsfjell - round trip 5-7 km
Vardefjellet (819 m.a.s.l.) is one of four summits surrounding Brokke, offering spectacular views. The hike starts at Brokkestøylen, along the… Read more
Vardefjell - round trip 5-7 km
Kvisletoppen (780 m.a.s.l.) is the top station of Brokke Alpinsenter, surrounded by a magnificent terrain ideal for summer and winter activities.… Read more
Kvisletoppen - round trip 5 km
Take a walk in Rysstad Turpark, nature park, just south of the centre of Rysstad. The park is signposted from Highway 9. From the car park, a path… Read more
The Rysstad nature park - return trip 4 km
With its polished surface, Mt. Nomelandsfjellet is a landmark in Valle and an attractive goal for climbers. The hiking trail starts on the western… Read more
Nomelandsfjellet return trip 12 km
Mt. Ljomsnuten, at 1,268 m, is the highest peak in the mountains east of Valle. Read more
Ljomsnuten 15 km return trip
Rygnestad/Flateland is one of 20 cultural landscapes in Norway appointed by the Norwegian Enviroment Directorate.  The buildings up hill is the… Read more
Rygnestad - round trip 2,5 km
Bygland
The first part of the trail follows an old timber track, which later gives way to a path. The area has a rich wildlife, and if you are lucky, you… Read more
Drøymarnuten - return trip 7 km
The walk starts on an old timber track on the north side of the mountain. On the way to the summit at 460 m.a.s.l. you walk partly on forest path,… Read more
Kvålsnapen - return trip 3 km
On the 8th of September 1941, four B17c bombers (Flying Fortress) took off from England on a raid against German ships in Oslo. One plane probably… Read more
Flyvraket - return trip 7 km
Fånefjell – Bygland Starting point is the southern entrance of the Fånefjell tunnel on highway 9. From the parking you may follow the old road… Read more
Fånefjell - return trip 3,5 km
The walk starts from the parking place at Årdal Church, next to highway 9. Follow the road to Landeskogen. Opened in 1916, this was originally a… Read more
Utsikten (the Viewpoint) Landeskogen - round trip 2 km
The hike to Årdalsknapen starts at Neset Camping, and the first section is rather steep. The path runs through wooded areas and up above… Read more
The Summit "Årdalsknapen" - return trip 8 km
Tjovhola (the thief’s cave) – Bygland, 385 m.a.s.l. The trail starts from highway 9; 500 metres south of Neset Camping. Adequate… Read more
Tjovhola (the thief’s cave) - return trip 1 km.
Turn off from highway 9 in the roundabout in Byglandsfjord and follow municipal road 305 across the bridge to Senum. At the next crossroads turn right… Read more
Horgeknipen - return trip 4 km
Evje / Hornnes
Himmelsyna is a familiar concept in this part of Norway. Excellent views from the summit in good weather. To the south you can see as far as the… Read more
Himmelsyna - return trip 11 km
The highest summit in the original municipality of Evje, recognizable by the white dome of the approach radar for Kjevik Airport, Kristiansand. The… Read more
Bertesknapen - return trip 7,4 km
The Nature Trail starts at Oddeskogen and passes through woods and fields to the Evje Mineral Trail (Evje Mineralsti). Along the trail there are… Read more
The Nature Trail Evje - round trip 4,8 km
Ørnefjell ("Eagle Mountain") is centrally located, with Oddeskogen as a starting point. The trail winds through forest and has some steep sections.… Read more
Ørnefjell - return trip - 3,5 km
The summit Fennefossfjellet is a well known, local landmark, easily visible from all directions with its tall radio/TV/cellphone tower. The trail… Read more
Fennefossfjellet - return trip -5,2 km
This trail starts at Lia school. Steep ascent to the mountain Fennefossfjellet. As the initial 1.1-km stretch has a height difference of approximately… Read more
Lia Skule - Fennefossfjellet - round trip 4,8 km
This is a year-round trail developed and maintained in collaboration between the sports club Otra IL, the municipality and the national defence. It… Read more
Evje lysløype - round trip 8,6 km
Masi is a viewpoint behind the Dåsnesmoen residential area in Hornnes. The trail follows a path through forest terrain. There are several open… Read more
Masi / Laugefjell - round trip 4 km
The trail runs through a traditional mining and mineral area, in forest terrain with magnificent views of Evje and the river Otra. Recommended… Read more
Mykleåsen - return trip 3,6 km
To begin with, the trail follows a tractor road and is fairly flat, before turning into a path with a gradual ascent to the top. Several good… Read more
Vorehei return trip 5 km
Abusdalsknuten is the tallest summit in the area between the main road RV 9 (Setesdalveien) and FV 42  (Tonstadveien) in the southwestern part of… Read more
Abusdalsknuten - return trip 7,6 km
Bispestolane (“The Bishop’s chairs”) are old stone chairs from the 17th century. According to history, this was a coaching station… Read more
Bispestolane - return trip 2,2 km
Allmannavegen (“The public road”) is an ancient historical road from Evje to Arendal. Starting at Odde-stemmen is continues in a… Read more
Almannavegen - return trip 6,4 km
Furustovhei is an area characterized by hills (hence the name “hei”) and forest west of Masi / Mt. Fennefossfjellet. Winding through the… Read more
Furustovhei - round trip 7 km
This undulating trail winds through the forest. As it has some steep sections, especially around the  Mt. Ørnefjell, walking poles may be… Read more
Dansarberga - round trip 6,5 km
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    Signpost to the hiking trails

    Signpost to the hiking trails.
    Photo: Anders Martinsen

    Difficulty/classification

  • Green symbol: Beginners. No specific requirements. Mainly short walks with moderate ascent, but without any steep or difficult sections.
  • Blue symbol: Beginners. For people in average shape. Most of the ascents are moderate, but may include some steep sections.
  • Red symbol: For experienced hikers with good stamina. Several challenges that may include steep ascents and river/stream crossings.
  • Black symbol: For highly experienced mountain hikers with good stamina. Longer and more technically challenging hikes. Knowledge about map and compass required.
  • Blue markings on rocks

    Blue markings on rocks.
    Photo: Kirsten Leira

    Signposts and information

    At the start of each trail there is an information board. Along the way there are blue markings on rocks, trees etc. The DNT hiking routes, which leads you from one cabin to another, are marked with the red T.

    The tourist offices, accommodation providers and other tourist enterprises in Setesdal may help you with detailed maps and information about the various walks and hikes. It is also a huge advantage to bring a compass. If you plan to take longer hikes outside the marked trails, you need a larger map of the mountain areas.

    Summer in the mountains

    Summer in the mountains.
    Photo: Kirsten Leira

    Season for hiking in Setesdal

    In Evje and Bygland, the two southernmost communities in the valley, walking and hiking is possible from the melting of snow in April until the first snowfall in November/December. Further up in the valley the snow covers the ground until mid-May. During the melting period the rivers and streams run high – making crossing difficult in several places.

    For some of the hikes at higher elevations, such as Brokke and Hovden, we advise you to wait until early June. In the autumn the first mountain snow falls in mid-October. The hiking trails above 900 m.a.s.l. are therefore recommended during the period June–October.

    Red T for Norwegian Trekking Association

    Red T for Norwegian Trekking Association.
    Photo: Anders Martinsen

    How to spend a night in a DNT - cabin

    Most DNT cabins are self-service (with stocks of provisions) or no-service (no provisions stocked). Read about the guidelines for staying in the cabins.

    How to cook? How to pay? How to clean? You will find the answers at:
    DNT - Den Norske Turistforening = The Norwegian Trekking Association

    Safety in the mountains

    Return to hike another day

    Norway is an incredible place to explore, with untamed mythical landscapes, mountains, valleys, and fjords. Before you enter the outdoors, get familiar with the nine simple rules of the Norwegian mountain code to help you stay safe.

    1. Plan your trip and inform others about the route you have selected.
    2. Adapt the planned routes according to ability and conditions.
    3. Pay attention to the weather and the avalanche warnings.
    4. Be prepared for bad weather and frost, even on short trips.
    5. Bring the necessary equipment so you can help yourself and others.
    6. Choose safe routes. Recognize avalanche terrain and unsafe ice.
    7. Use a map and a compass. Always know where you are.
    8. Don’t be ashamed to turn around.
    9. Conserve your energy and seek shelter if necessary.

    Read the mountain code with supplementary comments.

    The right of access

    Guidelines to roaming where you want

    As long as you understand and follow a few basic rules and regulations, you are free to walk almost everywhere in the Norwegian countryside. Outdoor recreation is an important part of the national identity, and access to nature is considered a right established by law.

    The so called right of access (“allemannsretten”) is a traditional right from ancient times. Since 1957, it has been part of the Outdoor Recreation Act. It ensures that everybody can experience nature, even on larger privately owned areas.

    The main rules are easy: Be considerate and thoughtful. Make sure you pick up your rubbish and show respect for nature and people – in other words, leave the landscape as you would want to find it.

    The right to roam applies to open country, sometimes also known as “unfenced land”, which is land that is not cultivated. In Norway, the term covers most shores, bogs, forests and mountains. Small islands of uncultivated land within cultivated land are not regarded as open country.

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