About Western Norway
Vestlandet (Western Norway) is a region located along the Atlantic Coast. It includes areas such as: Rogaland – with main city Stavanger; Hordaland – with Bergen as its capital; Sogn Og Fjordane – with main city Maloy; and finally More Og Romsdal with main city Alesund.
The abundance of glaciers, fjords and mountains make Vestlandet a hiker’s dreamland. There are hiking trails to suit every kind of walker; from high rock cliff faces for adrenaline-seekers, long multi-day hiking trails for seasoned hikers, easy or hard day routes. One thing for sure: while hiking in Vestlandet, the views will take your breath away, the hikes will be amazing and you’ll be planning to return to explore more!
Spectacular fjords and mountains
Located along the most spectacular part of Norway’s Atlantic coast, Vestlandet is home to the longest, deepest and most beautiful fjords. The ones we loved the most were Hardangerfjorden, Hjorundfjorden, Sognefjorden, Romsdalsfjorden and the world famous Geirangerfjorden included on Unesco World Heritage List.
But Vestlandet is not only about these wild, turquoise or sapphire watered fjords. It is also home to some of the highest mountains of Scandinavian Peninsula and can easily be named a Hiker’s Paradise. We recommend visiting Sunnmore Alps (Sunnmorsalpane), Lysefjorden area, Romsdalen and Trollveggen/Trollstigen for unforgettable hiking adventures.
Hikes of Vestlandet will undoubtedly satisfy the most adrenaline-seeking, demanding and keen walkers. If you think you’ve seen it all already, think twice!
It doesn’t come to anyone’s surprise that Norway is Europe’s number 1 destination for glacier hikes and exploration, as there is abundance of glaciers in the region. Not only that – glaciers located in Vestlandet are some of the easiest accessible! Especially Jostedalbreen National Park is worth a mention – the glacier (Jostedalbreen and its tongue Nigardsbreen) is only a short walk away; there are easy hiking paths taking visitors to the very ice edge (near Gjerde village) where we could almost touch the mighty glacier itself! It was an incredible experience.
Exploring other glaciers in Vestlandet often requires a bit more effort and a longer walk. Let’s take Folgefonna, for instance. It takes about 3-4 hours to hike high enough to see the glacier closer, but the advantage of such hike an unforgettable experience where a person actually has space and silence to contemplate and connect to nature undisturbed.
WHERE TO HIKE IN WESTERN NORWAY
We spent over a month exploring the wilderness of Western Norway and are keen to share some of the best locations with you. We hiked/visited all the below ourselves and loved them, therefore all the information given is first-hand and based on our own experience.
Preikestolen is one of the most iconic hiking destinations in Vestlandet. The Pupit Rock is a stunning viewpoint over Lysefjorden, but reaching it requires a bit of effort. Being very well known and located close to Stavanger, it’s also incredibly busy, especially in summer. However, with a bit of forward planning we managed to enjoy the hike in relatively peaceful atmosphere. In our article we share how to be smart about visiting Preikestolen! (total time 4-5 hours; total distance 7 km; level of difficulty: demanding)
With its reputation of being one of the finest ridge walks in Norway, Romsdalseggen does not disappoint! This straight forward hike is plentiful in stunning views to Troll Wall, as well as other alpine peaks. Easily accessible by public transport, it’s a popular day-hike destination from Andalsnes (total time 6-8 hours; total distance 10.5 km; level of difficulty: demanding)
Hike to Troll Wall, or Trollveggen is demanding, but well worth the effort! Beginning at the viewpoint to hairpins of Trollstigen road, the hike will take you thru moon-like landscape of grey rock and blue lakes. You will be rewarded with view to the highest vertical rock face in Europe. Will you dare to look down?
We explain all Troll Wall hiking routes. (total time 6 hours; total distance 6 km; level of difficulty: demanding)
Slogen is the king of Sunnmore Alps, near Alesund. All three hiking routes to its summit are just as demanding and provide a hard day out experience. Prepare for lots of sweat and thigh burn, challenge yourself to the highest peak of Sunnmorsalpane!
If climbing Slogen proved to be too much of a challenge, nearby mount Saksa may be just perfect. Hiking trail to Saksa is much easier than Slogen, however provides just as many unforgettable moments and the panoramic summit views are second to none! We felt that Saksa, located just over village Oye and Hjorundfjorden, is one of the best hiking experiences in Sunnmore Alps (total time 5 hours; total distance 6 km; level of difficulty: demanding)
We thoroughly enjoyed a short hike to Nidardsbreen glacier. Easily completed within couple of hours, the walk to Nigardsbreen allowed us stand eye to eye with the glacier (total time 1.5 hours; total distance 3 km; level of difficulty: easy)
You may also find useful…
Western Norway is hikers’ paradise in any season, however walking in wintry conditions requires some preparation, training and expertise. Read our article Winter Hiking Tips to find out what to expect on your wintry hiking adventure and how to prepare for it.
If you’re visiting Western Norway in autumn, winter or early spring, you’re probably well aware that the chances of seeing the northern lights are great! Would you like to capture Aurora Borealis but are unsure how? Don’t worry, we’ve got it covered! Read our ultimate photo guide How To Photograph Northern Lights and learn about the techniques, camera settings as well as essential information about the phenomenon (in plain English!) to increase your chances of spectacular polar lights photographs!