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Glaciers

With power to shape the earth
You may climb them, hike them, marvel at them – even ski on them in the middle of the summer. But you can't fail to feel the massive, untamable power inherent in the glaciers.
People on a guided hike on the Folgefonna glacier
Folgefonna glacier.
Photo: Reisemål Hardanger Fjord / Désiré Weststrate
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Sometimes you need a reminder of the vast forces of nature – that there are some things, even in our modern society, that cannot be tamed. Glacier hiking makes for one of those moments.

Mighty mother nature

Glaciers like the mighty Jostedalsbreen make you feel small in the landscape and can be as unforgiving as they are magnificent. Always be careful when experiencing a glacier or one of its branches up close.

Due to deep crevasses, avalanches, and the constant and unpredictable movement of the ice blocks, you should never go out on a glacier on your own. With professional guides and equipment to ensure your safety, though, hiking a glacier in Norway is an unforgettable experience – a true adventure.

Even when hundreds of meters deep, the ice is always on the move and is strong enough to literally shape the Earth. It was the Ice Age glaciers that carved out Norway’s characteristic fjords, valleys, and steep mountainsides. Remnants of those prehistoric glaciers remain.

At the Glacial Museum in Fjærland, you can explore them all. An eye-catching building designed by Sverre Fehn, the most prominent Norwegian architect of the postwar era, hosts the interactive museum which gives you knowledge about glaciers and climate in new and innovative ways.

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Receding glaciers

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Norway’s largest glaciers

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Folgefonna

Home to the Fonna Glacier Ski Resort and part of the Folgefonna national park, Folgefonna is a collective term for three glaciers – Nordre Folgefonna, Midtre Folgefonna, and Søndre Folgefonna, all in the Hardanger region of Hordaland county.

Svartisen

In reality, Svartisen in Northern Norway consists of two glaciers – Vestre Svartisen and Østre Svartisen. The glacier is part of Saltfjellet-Svartisen national park in Nordland county.

10 largest glaciers in Norway
Austfonna
Austfonna is an ice cap located on Nordaustlandet in the Svalbard archipelago. It is the largest ice cap by area and the second largest by volume in…
Austfonna
Olav V Land
Olav V Land is a peninsula in eastern Spitsbergen Island in Svalbard. The only larger ice cap in the Svalbard Archipelago is Austfonna in…
Olav V Land
Vestfonna
Vestfonna is an ice cap located on the western part Nordaustlandet in the Svalbard archipelago in Norway. The glacier covers an area of about 2,500…
Vestfonna
Jostedalsbreen, Sogn og Fjordane
Jostedalsbreen
This is the largest glacier on mainland Europe, covering an area of 487 square kilometres. The glacier is a part of the Jostedalsbreen National Park…
Jostedalsbreen
Norway’s second largest glacier, Svartisen, stretches over 370 square kilometres and has a full 60 glacier arms. One of the most famous glacial arms… Read more
Svartisen
Norway's third largest glacier. In 2005 Folgefonna National Park was opened, Folgefonna is known for its dramatic and beautiful scenery. Here you will… Read more
Folgefonna
Blåmannsisen
Blåmannsisen is the fifth-largest glacier in mainland Norway. It is located on the border of the municipalities of Fauske and Sørfold in Nordland…
Blåmannsisen
The Hardangerjøkulen glacier is the sixth largest glacier in mainland Norway. It is located in the municipalities of Eidfjord and Ulvik in Hordaland… Read more
Hardangerjøkulen
Myklebustbreen
Myklebustbreen, also called Snønipbreen, is the seventh largest glacier in mainland Norway. It is located in the municipalities of Jølster, Gloppen,…
Myklebustbreen
Okstindbreen is the eighth largest glacier in mainland Norway. The 46 square-kilometre glacier lies in the Okstindan mountain range in the… Read more
Okstindbreen
GLACIER SUMMER SKIING
Cross Country ski center in Sognafjell, along road 55 between Lom and Luster.Sognefjellet Sommarskisenter AS is organizing cross country ski training… Read more
Sognefjellet Summer Ski Centre
Fonna is a summer ski centre on the glacier Folgefonna. Alpine skiing for the whole family, freestyle park, cross country tracks and snow shoe hikes… Read more
FONNA Glacier Ski Resort, summer ski
National parks with glaciers
The national park offer wild nature, varied landscapes and the second largest glacier on mainland Norway. The national park has an extensive network… Read more
Saltfjellet-Svartisen national park
Almost half of the Jostedalsbreen National Park is covered by the Jostedalsbreen glacier, which is the largest glacier in mainland Europe. The… Read more
Jostedalsbreen National Park
The nature in Breheimen National Park is very versitile. It ranges from green valleys and naked mountain tops to streaming rivers and glaciers. The… Read more
Breheimen National Park
Jotunheimen National Park is characterized by high mountains, glaciers and deep lakes. There are more than 200 mountain peaks rising above 2000 m… Read more
Jotunheimen National Park
Hallingskarvet is a very distinctive landscape element, with lots of nice paths and trails and versatile hiking, summer and winter. The terrain is… Read more
Hallingskarvet National Park
Hardangervidda is Norway's largest national park. Read more
Hardangervidda National Park
Norway's third largest glacier. In 2005 Folgefonna National Park was opened, which at the time was Norway's twenty fifth national park. Folgefonna is… Read more
Folgefonna National Park
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    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.

    Glacier tours and activities

    There is no need to wait until you’re here to find out what you’d like to do. Glaciers in Norway are a true adventure. Filter your search and check out the offers below.

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