Hardangervidda is the largest mountain plateau in Northern Europe, located at approximately 1100 meters.
In Norway, fixed multi-days hiking itineraries are rare: Rather the tradition is to look at a map and design your own route. However, as the marked trails through any of the National Parks are limited, people do tend to stick to the same routes.
Suggestions for long-distance hikes and commonly walked routes on Hardangervidda could be:
Long-distance (7+ days) hikes crossing the plateau direction West-East such as Kinsarvik-Rjukan (or reverse) or direction North-South such as Finse-Haukeliseter (or reverse).
Popular shorter hikes could be the four-day Kinsarvik-Husedalen-Stavali-Torehytten-Tyssevassbu-Trolltunga-Skjeggedal-Odda), the 3-4 day Hardangerjøkulen Circuit (Finse-Rembesdalseter-Kjeldebu-Finse) or several options around the Eastern Hardangervidda including Sandhaug.
10 important things to know about hiking on Hardangervidda:
- West Hardangevidda is very hilly. The well known endless flat plateau is located in the Eastern part around Sandhaug.
- Weather may change without warning at any time and snow is not uncommon, even in summer.Temperatures may alsow drop below zero without warning: Thus Hardangervidda is a destination where four-season camping equipment should be packed.
- Trolltunga is located at the edge of Hardangervidda.
- The snow seem to melt quite late, especially in the Western Part, where snow may lie until late July. Some years the snow never really melts.
- Hiking poles are highly recommended as they help crossing rivers (not all have bridges in place) and navigating snowfields.
- Pitching a tent is free and allowed anywhere, this is a cornerstone of Norwegian outdoor culture called “allemandsretten“.
- Huts vary between full-service (providing cooked meals, drinks etc) and self-service (providing food items and kitchen). At self-service huts a warden in high-season to ensure regulations are followed.
- Self-service huts all have food storages. If they are locked, a DNT key may be used.
- Most bridges are removed in September and re-installed in late-June.
- Access with public transport most easily to Finse (on the Oslo-Bergen railway), Haukeliseter (bus to both Bergen and Oslo) or Odda (bus/train from Bergen).