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A family resting in the Etnefjellene mountains in Norway
Hiking in the Etnefjellene mountains.
Photo: Arild Bjordal
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When winter finally releases its grip on the Norwegian mountains, outdoor enthusiasts can’t wait to put on their hiking boots and take off to discover the wild landscapes all over the country. If you don’t want to meet too many people along the way, the following five hikes are just for you.

    The beauty of famous trails and attractions like Besseggen, Preikestolen, or Trolltunga, lure many tourists into exploring Norway’s hiking trails. It can be crowded at the most popular sites during the high season, but there are alternatives if you’re looking for genuine experiences in areas where you will probably not meet another human soul.

    If you follow one of these five lesser-known hiking trails, you will most likely avoid the crowds.

  1. 1. The triangle in Valle and Bygland

    Duration: 3 days. Øyuvsbu–Gaukhei–Tjønndalen–Øyuvsbu
    Length: 50 kilometres
    Level: Medium, suitable for adults

    Valle and Bygland are both situated in the Aust-Agder county in Southern Norway. The area offers plenty of panoramic views to the many crystal-clear lakes and streams that are scattered around the beautiful undulating terrain of the Setesdal valley. You will also meet quite a few sheep along the way, grazing the terrain and preventing it from overgrowing.

    You’ll need three days on this classical hike between the cabins of Øyuvsbu, Tjønndalen and Gaukhei, which all offer plenty of space.

    If you want to use public transport, take the bus to Langeid in Bygland. From Langeid, it’s about a two-hour hike to the Tjønndalen cabin where you can start and end your trip. If you arrive by car, leave it on the parking lot on Suleskarvegen. From there you will walk to the Øyuvsbu cabin in about half an hour.

  2. 2. The taste of Sunndalsfjella

    Duration: 3 days. Aursjøhytta–Reinsvassbu–Raubergshytta–Aursjøhytta
    Length: 55 kilometres
    Level: Demanding, suitable for adults

    Whilst exploring the Sunndalsfjella area between Dovrefjell and Eikesdalen you can admire the magnificent views over high alpine peaks and lush valleys. The region features some of the most diverse mountain flora throughout Scandinavia, with plant species that normally only grow in Northern Norway or on Svalbard and Greenland. This area is also the habitat of Arctic foxes, reindeer and more than 160 bird species.

    The staffed lodge Aursjøhytta offers great service and a three-course dinner, whilst Reinsvassbu and Raubergshytta are self-service cabins equipped with all you need for cooking and sleeping, including affordable food.

    The hike starts at Lesjaskog, which you can easily reach by bus or by car from Åndalsnes or from Dombås, depending on which direction you come from.

  3. 3. No limits in Sylan

    Duration: 3 days. Nedalshytta–Sylarna Fjällstation–Storerikvollen–Nedalshytta
    Length: 60 kilometres
    Level: Medium, suitable from 12 years

    Three days of hiking near and across the Swedish border. This journey will bring you over the incredible Sylan mountain range and its highest point Storsylen. Enjoy the wide views and high peaks rising up from the barren and rocky plains. The terrain is easy to walk in.

    The Norwegian Trekking Association operates the cabins at the Norwegian side of the border, whilst the Swedish Trekking Association operates Sylarna Fjällstation in Sweden.

    The largest city in the area is Trondheim. From there you can catch a bus to Stugudal and then a taxi to the Nedalshytta cabin, the starting point for this hike.

  4. 4. The fertile Etnefjellene mountains

    Duration: 3 days. Rullestad–Simlebu–Sandvasshytta–Åkrafjorden
    Length: 25 kilometres
    Level: Medium, suitable for children from 12 years

    During this hike you will experience a varied landscape, going from bare mountains to beautiful forests and pristine lakes. The last stretch of the hike offers a magnificent view on the Åkrafjord and the Folgefonna glacier.

    You can spend the night at the comfortable self-service cabins Simlebu and Sandvasshytta.

    In both Rullestad and Markhus, where the hike starts and ends, there are bus connections with Haugesund and Oslo. Make sure to check the bus time table in advance.

  5. 5. Sulitjelma to Saltfjellet

    Duration: 3 or 4 days. Sulitjelma–Coarvihytta–Balvasshytta–Arggalajhytta–Trygvebu, Graddis
    Length: 50 kilometres
    Level: Medium, suitable for children from 12 years

    This hike is perfect for those who wish to see a lush area in Northern Norway and at the same time experience a part of the Grensesømmen trail. You’ll hike through the Junkerdalen national park where you’ll get great views of mountain peaks, lush forests, and beautiful lakes. This area is also known for its rare plant species that are usually only found further north or on other continents.

    You can take a bus from Bodø to Sulitjelma. To get back from Graddis Fjellstue (close to Trygvebu), take a bus or taxi to Storjord and from there a train or bus back to Bodø.

  6. Saltfjellet–Svartisen

    Saltfjellet–Svartisen.
    Photo: Magnus Beyer Brattli

Find your secret hike

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Valle and Bygland are both situated in the Aust-Agder county in Southern Norway. The area offers plenty of panoramic views to the many crystal-clear… Read more
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    Statens Kartverk, Geovekst og kommuner - Geodata AS

    Tips before venturing into the wild

    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.

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