Step it up! Man-made mountain stairways make it both easier and safer to reach the top – although many are demanding enough and will give you a good workout at the same time. Check out some of Norway’s most spectacular hiking steps.
Ready to work those legs? Try one of the beautiful wood or stone steps that are continuously being built in the mountains all around the country. At the top of them all, you will be rewarded with breathtaking views – although you will probably lose your breath a few times on the way up, too.
The steps make it easier and safer to walk, and maybe most importantly – they protect the vulnerable nature. So stick to the stairs and don’t drift off to the side even if your legs hurt. And please stop when you want to enjoy the view or take pictures, as you really don’t want to stumble.
Geirr Vetti is the managing director of Stibyggjaren, a trail-builder company that hires Sherpas from Nepal for the construction of mountain steps and is behind more than 300 projects in Norway in recent years. Here he recommends some of the longest and most spectacular steps the country has to offer.
The Flørli stairs above the Lysefjord is one of the longest wooden stairways in the world. The 4,444 steps take you from Flørli and all the way up to Lake Ternevatnet at 740 metres. If you want a round trip, you can follow the 100-year-old navvies’ path back down. The tour is demanding, so be sure to prepare accordingly.
More to see and do: The ferry stops at the tiny village of Flørli, which offers accommodation and dining. The area also has a myriad of other hiking trails, and the classic Pulpit Rock and Kjerag hikes are both nearby. Close to the city Stavanger.
The 2,200 steps of the stone stairway on the Otrøya island in the Northwest take you up to Rørsethornet, 659 metres above sea level. The climb has a panoramic view of the sea and the archipelago all the way. Beware that some sections are pretty steep.
If you want a slightly easier hike, you can walk up the neighbouring mountain Digergubben (527 metres above sea level), where you “only” have to climb 1,400 steps to reach the summit.
More to see and do: Visit Molde, known as the town of roses, and the art nouveau city of Ålesund. Close by you’ll also find The Atlantic Road, which is often referred to as the world’s most beautiful drive.
Helgelandstrappa in Mosjøen will be Norway’s longest stone staircase when it is finished in the autumn of 2019. Its 2,500 steps take you up the 818-metre-high Øyfjellet mountain in Helgeland. If you don’t feel like walking back down, why not fly with Nordland’s longest zip line across the salmon river Vefsna? Make a perfect landing in the garden of Fru Haugan, the oldest hotel in Northern Norway.
More to see and do: Mosjøen’s old wooden houses are well worth a visit. You can also climb the Mosjøen via ferrata, or try your hand at salmon fishing or rafting in Vefsna. In the immediate vicinity, you can explore the 500-metre-long cave Øyfjellgrotta with a guide.
The Hallingskarvet mountains near Geilo rise like a giant petrified wave on the enormous Hardangervidda, which is one of Norway’s largest mountain plateaus. From the idyllic Prestholtsetra mountain farm, you have to climb around 2,500 stone steps in one sweaty kilometre to enjoy the scenic view from the top. Follow the same trail back down, or continue on the 6.5 kilometres long Prestholtet hike.
In Eggedal, less than two hours away, you can climb the stairs along the beautiful Madonnastien trail, which has been named Norway’s most popular hiking route.
More to see and do: Geilo has great hiking and biking terrain and offers many fun activities, for example downhill biking in the ski slopes at Geilo Summer Park. Finish off your stay with a tour of the cheese factory and shop in Hol.
If you take the stairs instead of the gondola to the top of the city mountain Ulriken in Bergen, you’ll climb 290 metres in 1,300 steps. The consolation is that you can take the gondola – or a zipline – back down.
The stone path up Stoltzekleiven to Mount Sandviksfjellet is a slightly easier alternative, with only 800 steps.
More to see and do: Bergen is an exciting city with many attractions, such as the Hanseatic wharf Bryggen. It is also called a gateway to the fjords because of its close proximity to both the Sognefjord and the Hardangerfjord.
The locals at Vega have built a beautiful wooden staircase on the UNESCO island Vega. After almost 2,000 steps and an elevation of 450 metres, you can catch your breath at the top of Mount Ravnfloget, which has panoramic views of the sea and the islands on the Helgeland coast.
More to see and do: At the Vega islands, the old tradition of harvesting eiderdown from abandoned eider nests is still maintained, and you can visit the houses built for them to nest. Other summer activities are kayaking, cycling, and climbing the via ferrata (also to Ravnfloget).
In Tromsø, 1,300 stone steps connect Fløyvegen, 85 metres above sea level, with the Fjellheisen Cable Car’s upper station at 421 metres – so you can go up, or down, or both up and down.
More to see and do: Tromsø has many exciting museums and a lively cultural life. It is also close to beautiful recreational areas such as Lyngen, Sommarøy, Kvaløya and Senja, where you can take part in an abundance of activities.
This demanding trip up to the true gem of Reine, located at the southern end of Lofoten, is not for those who suffer from a fear of heights. After climbing hundreds of steep steps between wild mountain peaks, the view of the Vestfjord and the tiny fishing villages of Reine and Hamnøy are sure to make your heart beat faster. Only make the trip in good weather, and make sure that you stay safe at all times.
More to see and do: Explore Lofoten’s quaint fishing villages and art galleries or enjoy the surrounding white beaches and spectacular mountains. Go fishing and learn to climb, dive, kayak, or surf.
From Dalen in Telemark you can climb a steep stone staircase of 810 steps up to the old cotter’s farm Rui. This is a route with historical roots, and along the way, you can learn more about the two unusual sisters who lived here their whole life. Only once did they leave Telemark – to visit the King in Oslo!
More to see and do: After your trip, you can relax in the unique panoramic sauna Soria Moria on Lake Bandak or stay at the historic Dalen Hotel. The Telemark Canal ends here, so the optimal way to get here is on a boat trip through the locks.
The hike up the majestic Mount Rødøyløva at Rødøy is one of the most beautiful trips along the Norwegian Scenic Route Helgelandskysten. More than 1,000 steps are ready to help you get to the top, where you can enjoy scenic views of thousands of small islands, reefs, and white sandy beaches. Unforgettable in the midnight sun!
More to see and do: Rødøy is a kayaking paradise, and the Svartisen glacier is just a short drive away.
Climb Norway’s oldest stone stairs! These 616 steps in Hardanger were created by English Cistercian monks at the beginning of the 13th century, in order to improve the road between the fjord and the Hardangervidda mountain plateau. They also laid the foundations for the fruit production that characterises the idyllic village of Lofthus to this day. The stairs form part of HM Queen Sonja’s panoramic hiking trail between Kinsarvik and Lofthus.
In the Hardangerfjord region, you can also embark on the more than 2,000 Sherpa steps along the Buførevegen, a historic pilgrimage route between Reisæter and Lake Botsvatn.
More to see and do: Hardanger offers many exciting activities and beautiful hikes, including the iconic trek to Trolltunga. There are also plenty of interesting museums and picturesque fruit villages in the area, which is famous for its fruit blossoming and cider production.
Norway is a country of outstanding natural beauty, with dramatic waterfalls, crystal clear fjords, majestic mountains, and spectacular glaciers. Preserving this landscape, its communities, and the way of life is essential for locals and visitors alike.
Make as small a footprint as possible. Leave it as you would like to find it is the mantra – take only pictures, keep only memories.
A selection of even more hikes where you can take the stairs on parts of or the whole trip.
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