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Trail running and hiking Hjørundfjorden Trail running and hiking Hjørundfjorden
Trail running and hiking Hjørundfjorden.
Photo: Mattias Fredriksson/visitnorway.com
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Hiking is not just about fun and fabulous views, it is also great for burning calories. Here are four wonderful routes that will get your heart rate going.

If you want to get fit, plan a hiking holiday. On a hiking trip you work out for hours every day, often without even thinking about it. It boosts your general fitness and strengthens the large muscle groups in the thighs and buttocks. It’s also great for getting rid of those extra kilos. How many calories you burn depends on how fast you walk and how steep the route is. As a general guide, a woman of 65 kilos will burn around 400-450 calories per hour when going uphill.

Apart from giving you a good workout, hiking is also an activity that practically everyone can do. And best of all, hiking is a lot of fun and a great experience.

When it comes to stunning views in accessible terrain, Norway is hard to beat. You can find walking trails for every ability, even though some of the most famous viewpoints are fairly challenging and require a decent fitness level.

Get ready for hiking: Leg exercises and moderate cardio

A hike in the Norwegian mountains is not a walk in the park. Make sure that your body in general and your legs in particular are ready for this kind of slow-paced sightseeing.

  • If you feel out of shape, a training program of eight weeks should be enough to make sure you can enjoy those awesome views.
  • Focus on strengthening legs and buttocks with leg lifts, squats and lunges.
  • Train at an intensity level where you are able to keep a conversation while exercising – just remember to breathe too!
  • Long, brisk walks will also boost your endurance and prepare you for lots of cool hikes in Norway.

Four safe bets

Here are four fantastic destinations with trails for everyone in decent shape – beginners as well as more experienced hikers. All routes are colour coded, so it's easy to choose a suitable level - light, medium, challenging or expert.

1. Preikestolen (the Pulpit Rock)

With around 250,000 visitors every year, Preikestolen (the Pulpit Rock) is one of Norway's biggest tourist attractions. It's not hard to see why – this remarkable cliff is shaped like a giant pulpit that offers an astonishing view over the Lysefjord. There is a good hiking trail from Preikestolen Mountain Lodge to the top of the 604 meter high mountain plateau. Expect a total of four to five hours of hiking from the lodge to the top of Preikestolen and down again, and set aside at least an hour or two to spend on the plateau.

The hike to Preikestolen is not too demanding, but the view from the top – and watching people standing close to the edge – is bound to get your adrenaline flowing.

For an extra challenge in the same area, a visit to Flørli is recommended. The 4,444 wooden steps to the top of Flørli is one of the longest wooden stairs in the world. It is a steep climb that takes around one and a half hour.

2. Romsdalseggen

Romsdalseggen is located near Molde, in the northern part of Fjord Norway. The hiking trails take you across the mountains overlooking fjords, mountain peaks and waterfalls. You have three routes of varying difficulty to choose from, all of which start in Vengedalen.

Spend the day walking across the mountain ridge and the evening relaxing in front of the fireplace.

Hikes at Romsdalseggen take between six and nine hours, depending on the route you choose. You are rewarded by open views of the Romsdalsfjord, the sea and the mountain peaks Trollryggen and Romsdalshorn.

3. Gaustatoppen

On a clear day, you can see one sixth of Norway from the top of Gaustatoppen, an easily accessible mountain in Telemark in Southern Norway. From the parking at Stavro between Rjukan and Tuddal, it takes around three hours to reach the summit and two to go down again, so you need around five hours in total.

The height difference is 700 meters, and the hike is relatively easy. Close to the top, there is a mountain lodge where you can have a meal or spend the night – just remember to book in advance.

4. Dronningruta (The Queen's Route)

Northern Norway has numerous hiking possibilities in varied scenery, from lush hills and sandy beaches to jagged mountain peaks and wide open spaces. Thanks to the Gulf Stream, the climate is surprisingly mild. The temperature often climbs over 20° C in the summer, sometimes even 30°C.

Most destinations in Northern Norway have midnight sun in June and July. In the southern parts of Northern Norway, the sun may drop just below the horizon, but the nights are still remarkably light.

Try the iconic hiking trail Dronningruta, which is named after Norway's current Queen Sonja. She visited the Vesterålen Islands in 1994 and was captivated by the coastal landscapes with secluded beaches, charming villages and dramatic cliffs with panoramic views.

Top tips before venturing into the wild

Before you embark on a trekking adventure in the Norwegian wilderness, take a moment to ponder the practicalities. Be prepared, stay safe and pack your bag like a hiking pro.

Find your hike

There is no reason to wait until you are here to find out where you can hike.


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