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Historical hikes

Exploring traditional roads and trails


Vindhellavegen .
Photo: Christine Baglo / Visit Norway
Vindhellavegen .
Photo: Christine Baglo / Visit Norway

Walk in royal footsteps on Vindhellavegen.

This road is a part of Kongevegen, or the King's Road, that passes through Filefjell, a mountain range that connects Eastern and Fjord Norway ...

Vindhellavegen .
Photo: Christine Baglo / Visit Norway
Vindhellavegen .
Photo: Christine Baglo / Visit Norway

... or follow in the footsteps of the Norwegian saboteurs that participated in the heavy water operation in Rjukan during the Second World War.

The Saboteur's Trail .
Photo: VisitRjukan AS
The Saboteur's Trail .
Photo: VisitRjukan AS

Join a guide who can tell you the dramatic story about one of the world's most important saboteur operations.

Or learn more at the Norwegian Industrial Workers Museum at Vemork.

Vemork in Rjukan .
Photo: VisitRjukan / Nancy Bundt
Vemork in Rjukan .
Photo: VisitRjukan / Nancy Bundt

Norway is full of old roads that all have their own story to tell.

On Rallarveien, also called The Navvy Road, in Narvik, you can walk along the old construction roads that were used to build Ofotbanen railway line in the 1800s.

Ofotbanen .
Photo: Jernbaneverket / Roar G. Nillson
Ofotbanen .
Photo: Jernbaneverket / Roar G. Nillson

And between Oslo and Trondheim you can follow in the footsteps of the pilgrims along Gudbrandsleden, which was the main path to Nidaros in Trondheim during the Middle Ages.

Spend the night at traditional farms along the way.

The medieval pilgrim farm Budsjord .
Photo: pilegrimsleden.no
The medieval pilgrim farm Budsjord .
Photo: pilegrimsleden.no

Scroll down to read more about these and other historical hikes you can do with your family, friends – or on your own.

Østmarka forest in Oslo .
Photo: Marius Dalseg Sætre / DNT
Østmarka forest in Oslo .
Photo: Marius Dalseg Sætre / DNT

1. The saboteur's trail in Rjukan

One of the more well-known paths from the Second World War is the Saboteur's trail in Rjukan. Walk in the footsteps of the Norwegian war heroes, and the brave saboteurs, that crossed Hardangervidda to bomb the heavy water plant at Vemork. You will find information boards along the path, but with a guide you will hear the full dramatic story through the eight kilometers long road. The guide can also show you the house where they probably slept before the attack.

When in Rjukan, you should take the gondola lift Krossobanen to Hardangervidda. Here, you can hike and bike or try out the climbing park. Or, you can hike Gaustatoppen.

Season: All year

2. Rallarveien, the Navvy Road, in Narvik

Rallarveien is a cultural and a historical road in Narvik, that stretches all the way from the mountain and down to the fjord, through pristine nature. This was the most important construction road when building the Ofoten railway.

Take the train from Narvik to Katterat, or to Bjørnfjell station, and hike the navvy road to Rombaksbotn, a valley by the fjord. In the summer, you can book a RIB to Narvik from here.

The hike can also be done through "Hiking across Norway" with a guide. Here, you will start with a 42 kilometers long train ride to the national border, before hiking 15 kilometers back to Rombaksbotn, where you will be transported back to Narvik by boat and bus. This is a nice roundtrip that takes about 7.5 hours.

There is also a festival in Rombaksbotn every summer during the Svarta Bjørn march.

Season: All year as long as the weather is OK

3. Pilgrimages

Hiking along the old pilgrimages in Europe is becoming increasingly popular these days. There are old pilgrim roads all over Norway, and the nine most popular ones are the Pilgrimages on the Saint Olav's Ways, that leads to Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim. These roads are 3000 kilometers in total, but most people choose to just hike parts of one route.

Gudbrandsleden between Oslo and Trondheim is the longest and most popular pilgrimage that we have. The 643 kilometers long route used to be the main path to the Nidaros Cathedral in the Middle Ages, so when walking here, you will walk in some of the oldest footsteps in the country. Along the road you will experience beautiful nature and a variation of cultural landscapes. You can also stay the night at cozy pilgrimage farms. Many choose to just hike parts of the road, and most people start in the Lillehammer region.

Season: June 1 - September 1 (depending on the weather)


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Mountain safety tips

Every year, Norwegian volunteer rescue crews go into the mountains to retrieve travelers who have lost their way, are tired or injured, or have encountered problems after dark. These travelers are often dressed in everyday clothes and lack suitable equipment.

Do this:
Research the length, duration, and recommended physical conditioning for the hike you want to do.

Check the weather conditions and always listen to local mountain residents.

Buy or rent the right equipment for your trip.

Always bring enough food, drinks, and an extra change of clothes in your backpack.

Check out the possibility of joining a guided tour

Avoid this:
Do not wear jeans, trainers, or other everyday clothing.

Do not start your trip too late in the day, as you might risk having to hike in the dark.

Never start your mountain hike without being in good enough physical shape.

Do not depend on a map on your mobile device, as there is not always coverage in the mountains.

Don’t leave anything, including trash, behind.

Be prepared and pack your backpack like a pro with our hiking tips.

Guided hiking trips

Whether you decide on a challenging or a small-scale hike, you can always make it easier and let experts guide you.
Up and down the country, experienced guides with local knowledge are ready to make your adventure safe and enjoyable.

4. The King's Road over Filefjell

Hike the road that connects the east and the west. You may not be the first to cross Filefjell, but you will walk on the first road where one could travel from Eastern Norway to Fjord Norway by horse and carriage. The 100 kilometer long path has been maintained through 200 years, and the King's Road is among the finest examples of cultural road heritage in Europe.

The King's Road over Filefjell starts in the small villages of Valdres, passes Filefjell, and ends in the dramatic landscapes in Sognefjord. Here, you will end up at the winding road of Vindhellavegen, right next to the Borgund Stave Church.

The hike takes 3-6 days and is about 110 kilometers long.

Season: May 1 - October 15

5. Skageflå in Geiranger

Skageflå is a vacated fjord farm located 250 metres above the Geirangerfjord. The steep path takes about 45 minutes, and some parts of it may be a bit challenging, but once you have made your way up to the farm and see the stunning view, it will be worth it. If you want to see more, you can hike all the way to Homlong. The whole trip takes roughly five hours.

Combine the trip to Geiranger with an adventure. Get on a boat to see the waterfalls and the fjord, or try out activities such as paddling, climbing or farm visits. And did you know that Geiranger is actually labelled a sustainable destination?

Season: Summer

6. Stølsruta in Valdres

When hiking along Stølsruta in Valdres, you will experience a rich, varied and old cultural landscape. The road passes through small farms, mountains and woods. Along the way you will be able to stay the night in cozy mountain cabins. The hike is a total of 67 kilometers and it takes about five days to complete. The route starts in Tisleidalen and ends in Vang.

The route passes through an area full of traces of people and history, stretching back many centuries. This is a well-preserved area in Valdres where animals and humans thrive. Some of the small farms serve the Norwegian brown cheese and delicious farmer's cuisine.

Season: June-September

7. The Tømmerrenna timber slide in Vennesla

Tømmerrenna timber slide Vennesla is actually a slide that was used for timber transportation on the river Otra. On this hike, you will find yourself surrounded by beautiful nature on all sides. On the way, you will also have to cross suspension bridges and navigate through tunnels. A fun trip for the whole family that takes about five hours.

And when in Vennesla, you should also visit the amazing Vennesla library and culture hall, which has gotten a lot of attention both nationally and internationally.

Season: All year if the weather is OK

8. The child wanderer path in Southern Norway

The child wanderer path in Southern Norway is a 136 kilometers long path that tells a story about poverty and hunger. A child emigration happened in the 1800s, when many families had to send their oldest children to the larger farms to work. The reason for the increasing poverty was presumably due to the population growth, and that fact that the farms became smaller, which resulted in fewer jobs.

The path starts in Kvinesdal and ends by Landvik in Grimstad, Southern Norway. You should estimate about seven days to complete the route, which is a route of medium difficulty. You can also choose to hike parts of it.

Season: Spring

9. The Queen's Route in Vesterålen

By the ocean's edge in the Vesterålen islands, between the fishing villages Stø and Nyksund, you will find the Queen's Route. The old road was used by the midwife on her way to women giving birth in Nyksund. It got its name after the Norwegian Queen Sonja hiked it in 1994. It became one of her favorite hikes.

The hike can be completed in two ways. You can follow a five kilometer long hike along the coast, or you can try out a more challenging route in the mountain. If you choose to do both, the route will be a total of 15 kilometers and take 5-6 hours.

In Stø, you can join a whale and seal safari, while Nyksund is an exciting fishing village with several galleries, activities and nice restaurants.

Season: June - September

Other historical hikes

In 2015, the Directorate for Cultural Heritage and the Norwegian Trekking Association teamed up under the name Historiske vandreruter, meaning Historical hikes, to increase the knowledge about the Norwegian old roads. Here, they have chosen exciting cultural and historical routes across the country. What they all have in common is a living cultural heritage and beautiful nature, which makes it more fun to hike along them. Read more about them underneath.

Go on a historical hike

9 historical hikes
In the fair, wild nature, the navvy road winds down from the mountains to the fjord. In the deserted valley you can walk in a beautiful scenery, while… Read more
Rallarveien "The Navvy Road"
The Pilgrims' Way from Oslo to Nidaros is 640 km long. The pilgrimage goes through built-up areas, stunning cultural landscape, narrow valleys,… Read more
Saint Olav Ways to Trondheim - Seven route suggestions
Experience the most famous parts of the Kingsroad across Filefjell in three days! Stay in small wooden houses at Lærdalsøyri in the evening and walk… Read more
Kingsroad highlights (Vindhella/Galdane)
Combine a sightseeing trip on the water with a hike to Skageflå, the best-known of the fjord farms along the Geirangerfjord. Read more
Hiking Tour Fjord Farm Skageflå
The Saboteurs' trail is the world-famous route the Norwegian Resistance used during the Second World War. Read more
The Saboteur's trail
Hiking on old trails shaped by shepherds through idyllic mountain farming landscapes and over open mountain areas along the Historical Hiking… Read more
Stølsruta - Historical hiking route
An authentic and historic timber slide in Vennesla, Southern Norway. Read more
Tømmerrenna timber slide in Vennesla
The trail starts in Årlia, Kvinesdal. It extends eastward across the valleys through Snartemo in Hægebostad, Konsmo in Audnedal, Laudal in Marnardal,… Read more
The Child Wanderer path in Southern Norway
Hikes in Northern Norway
In the Narvik region you can go hiking in a landscape filled with contrasts and take nature walks in areas of Cultural Heritage. Read more
The boundary park in Tysfjord
Discover our Viking heritage, ruins of World War II, flora and fauna. Read more
Heritage trail at Trondenes
The old lighthouse path winds down the mountainside. Read more
Walking at Sørøya - Tarhalsen
Hikes in Trøndelag
Join us as we retrace the pilgrim's journey from Munkeby Monastery to Stiklestad. Discover the fascinating history about Saint Olav and the Munkeby… Read more
Pilgrimage - from Munkeby to Stiklestad
Great interest in pilgrimage. Historically, the pilgrim was a person who embarked on a journey of spiritual content or toward a sacred goal. Many had… Read more
Coastal Pilgrim tour Egersund - Trondheim
Try out the new hiking trail that runs through Vestfold. It is part of the national pilgrim route and has been named Tunsbergleden. Here you can walk… Read more
The Pilgrim Paths in Vestfold
Hikes in Western Norway
Living history! Perched out on a rocky knoll overlooking Oppstrynsvatnet (Oppstryn Lake) lies the abandoned farm called Segestad. Read more
In the winter of 1942-1943 the Germans started building on the road from Ervik to Hovden, but it was not until 1944 that they started to use the area… Read more
Hovden on Stad | War memorial
You drive from Hellesylt towards Stranda, passing through the first tunnel, and find a well marked packhorse road on the left-hand side of… Read more
Ljøbrekka - The mail route
Combine a sightseeing trip on the water with a hike to Skageflå, the best-known of the fjord farms along the Geirangerfjord. Read more
Hiking Tour Fjord Farm Skageflå
The well-known and historic Aurlandsdalen Valley, was once one of the main routes between the eastern and western parts of Norway. Read more
The old road through Viglesdalen in Hjelmeland municipality in Ryfylke gives you a great hike in beautiful nature combined with a unique cultural… Read more
Historic walking route through Viglesdalen in Ryfylke
A new use for an old route Kongevegen over Filefjell - The King’s Road across Filefjell - is a collaborative project involving the public and… Read more
The King's Road Over Filefjell
Hikes in Eastern Norway
Jotunheimstien – Hadeland, Vestre Toten, and Gjøvik About Jotunheimstien Jotunheimstien stretches from Oslo city centre, through Marka,… Read more
Jotunheimen path through Hadeland, Vestre Toten and Gjøvik
The home front cabin in Totenåsen The home front cabin was built in Skreia in the autumn of 1944 by the Norwegian resistance. It enjoys a lofty… Read more
Hjemmefronthytta på Totenåsen
Vassfarstien, Ringerike Vassfaret is a valley of legends and shimmering lakes. Its cultural landscape is packed with exciting destinations seasoned… Read more
Vassfaret, Ringerike
The Pilgrims' Way through Gudbrandsdalen offers a varied cultural landscape rich in adventures and history. With Lillehammer as starting point, the… Read more
St. Olav Ways | The Pilgrim Path through Lillehammer and Gudbrandsdalen
Hikes in Southern Norway
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… Read more
Fånefjell - return trip 3,5 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
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
You traverse a magnificent mountain terrain at an elevation of 1000 to 1200 m.a.s.l. To get the full benefit from such a trip - where you may explore… Read more
Cultural relics in the mountains - 3 to 4 days hike
Urheia is an recreational area and cultural trail close to Risør city centre. Read more
Urheia cultural trail in Risør
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