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7 Best Glaciers in Norway You Must Absolutely See and Hike

Norway is a country that is famed for its stunning nature, massive mountain ranges, and beautiful fjords. But this Scandinavian land is also a perfect destination for hiking and walking on glaciers. In this article, we will explore the best glaciers in Norway you should absolutely see!

The ideal time to visit glaciers in Norway is from June to September. During other months, many – if not all – glaciers may be off-limits to visitors. And that’s not to say that hiking glaciers during the off-season is simply dangerous.

Each glacier listed in this article contains additional information, such as the nearest town, how to reach that glacier, and what other popular attractions are nearby. On top of that, we also point out whether you can hike on that glacier’s ice (on a guided tour).



Glacier Hiking in Norway: Nigardsbreen

If you are seeking to try walking on glaciers in Norway, Nigardsbreen may well be the right choice! Part of the huge Jostedalsbreen, the largest glacier in continental Europe with around 50 glacier arms, it is one of the most accessible glaciers in the country. Here, anyone above the age of five can join a guided glacier walking tour, which you can order at Breheimsenteret, a local visitor center.

From that visitor center, it takes just a short drive to reach the start of the hiking trail. Overall, the hike is relatively easy: the round distance is just 5 km, and most hikers complete it within 2 hours. The hike starts with a walk near Nigardsbrevatnet Lake, but you can cut the distance in half by hopping on a boat. Optional shuttle boats operate on demand throughout the day, and the roundtrip fee is 75 NOK per adult and 50 NOK per child.

Overall, this is one of the best places to see and hike glaciers in Norway since there are multiple glacier arms of Jostedalsbreen in the vicinity that you may visit as well! And the beauty of the Jostedal Valley is simply indescribable – you must witness it with your own eyes.

By the way, you can learn about this Jostedalsbreen National Park, as well as a few others mentioned below (such as Folgefonna and Jotunteheimen) in our article about the best national parks in Norway.

Nearest town: Gaupne.

How to get there: the best way to reach Nigardsbreen is to drive to the parking lot near the start of the trail.

Guided glacier hiking tours: available.

Nearby attractions:

  • Jostedalen. The picturesque green valley with many farms that have remained in operation for centuries.
  • Breheimsenteret. This is a museum and one of the three visitor centers in Jostedalsbreen National Park. Generally, it is open from 1 May until 1 October every year.
  • Jostedal Church. A charming white church in the middle of nowhere.



Glacier Walking in Norway: Bøyabreen

Bøyabreen, another impressive arm of Jostedalsbreen, is also an easily accessible glacier. As soon as you reach the scenic village of Fjærland, you can observe the glacier at a relatively close range from the village road. Alternatively, you can get an even better view from the local Brevasshytta restaurant.

When visiting this picturesque place, don’t hesitate to drop in Fjærland’s Norsk Bremuseum, or the Norwegian Glacier Museum. Unfortunately, there are no glacier hiking tours to Bøyabreen. So, if you are in search of glaciers to walk on, the Bøya glacier is not for you. However, Fjærland is a charming place that is perfect for relaxation and recreation, located far from civilization and featuring fabulous nature.

Besides, you can learn more about the picturesque village of Fjærland and the best things to do there in our latest article on the most picturesque small towns in Norway.

Nearest town: Fjærland.

How to get there: The easiest way is to drive to Fjærland or Bøyabreen. You can also take a bus no. 130, 830, or VY170, all of which stop at Bøyabreen Kryss – from there, you need just to walk 10 minutes to the beginning of the hiking trail.

Guided glacier hiking tours: not available.

Nearby attractions:

  • Norsk Bremuseum. Learn more about the country’s glaciers in a local museum.
  • The scenic village of Fjærland. Stay some time in an idyllic settlement with fabulous nature.
  • Astruptunet. Make a 2-hour hike to the museum of a renowned Norwegian artist famous for picturing landscapes.



Best Glaciers to See in Norway: Briksdalsbreen

Briksdalsbreen is another popular arm of Jostedalsbreen, attracting tens of thousands of visitors annually. This arm drops from a height of 1,200 meters into one of the country’s most scenic valleys. So, even though there are “troll cars” that can take you straight to the glacier in the summer, many adventurers prefer to hike in the valley and enjoy its fabulous nature.

Unfortunately, there is a risk that this glacier may disappear soon, and a significant portion of tourists consider it “less interesting” because of its diminishing size. Because the glacier is receding, tourist companies have suspended glacier hiking tours in this area.

Nearest town: Stryn.

How to get there: There are several bus routes to Stryn from major Norwegian cities: Trondheim, Bergen, and Ålesund. For the fastest trip, drive from Ålesund to Stryn.

Guided glacier hiking tours: not available.

Nearby attractions:

  • The picturesque village of Olden. It is another small yet charming Norwegian village with few things happening around it and countless recreation opportunities.
  • Oldevatnet Lake. Take a kayak or a boat tour across this charming lake.
  • Loen Skylift. Take a scenic aerial tramway from Stryn that will bring you up Mount Hoven.



norway glaciers: Kjenndalsbreen

Located not far from Briksdalsbreen, this arm of Jostedalsbreen is located closer Loen, a charming town that attracts thousands and thousands of adventurers every year. Make a short drive to Kjenndalsbreen and experience the stunning nature of the Kjenndalen Valley along the way. Unfortunately, no companies currently offer glacier hiking tours on Kjenndalsbreen.

Nearest town: Loen.

How to get there: There are buses running to Loen from Oslo, Bergen, Trondheim, and Ålesund.

Guided glacier hiking tours: not available.

Nearby attractions:

  • The charming town of Loen. Visit a beautiful mountain village perfect for outdoor adventures.
  • Lovatnet Lake. Take a kayak or a boat tour across one of Norway’s most beautiful lakes.
  • Loen Skylift. Take a scenic aerial tramway from Stryn that will bring you up Mount Hoven.
  • Via Ferrata. Try an exciting via ferrata route that starts in Loen.



glaciers in norway near bergen: Folgefonna

Folgefonna has been attracting visitors for over 200 years and appears to be one of the country’s largest glaciers that has three arms: Nordre Folgefonna, Midtre Folgefonna, and Søndre Folgefonna. It is also a national park with several entry points: Odda, Rosendal, and Jondal.

The easiest (and most popular) route runs from Odda, from where you can easily hike to Buerbreen. You can either make a simple hike to the glacier (which includes using attached ropes and crossing shaky wooden bridges) or set your feet on the actual ice of this glacier. There are several companies that offer guided glacier hiking tours, and you can find their offices straight in Odda.

Nearest town: Odda.

How to get there: Read more on how to get to each entry point in Folgefonna in this article.

Guided glacier hiking tours: available.

Nearby attractions:

  • The small, picturesque town of Odda. Enjoy your stay in the town that has been featured in “Ragnarok,” a popular TV series from Netflix.
  • Trolltunga. Reach one of the most popular and memorable hiking spots in the country.
  • Melderskin Mount. You can get a stunning view of the entire national park from the “Queen of the Mountains,” as this mount is known.
  • Juklavatnet Lake. You may attempt hiking to a hardly-accessibly picturesque mountain lake.



accessible glaciers in norway: Svartisen

Svartisen, the second-largest glacier on Norway’s mainland, features over 60 tongues that stretch into beautiful green valleys. Located within the Arctic Circle, it is a perfect destination for hiking in pristine wilderness. Besides, the sun doesn’t set here during the summer at all!

Austerdalsisen is one of the most visited glaciers of Svartisen, which you can reach by taking a 20-boat ride across the lake of Svartisvatnet. What makes it so fun to hike is the fact that the glacier is located at just 20 meters above sea level, making it the lowest glacier in mainland Europe.

On top of that, Svartisen is popular among those adventurers seeking to hike on the glacier ice, and there are multiple local companies in Bodø that offer guided glacier hiking hours. Furthermore, this national park attracts many visitors who are keen to try ice climbing.

Nearest town: Bodø.

How to get there: To reach Bodø, you can take a plane from Oslo or Trondheim. In order to reach the glacier, you need to drive from Bodø to Holandsvika, take a boat (which runs regularly), and then drive further either to Brestua restaurant or the glacier itself.

Guided glacier hiking tours: available.

Nearby attractions:

  • Saltfjellet-Svartisen National Park. There are dozens of well-trotted trails, fancied by hikers for the park’s contrasting landscapes, changing weather, and long distances.
  • The midnight sun experience. Norway’s north is a perfect destination for catching the midnight sun during the summer season!


Glaciers in Jotunheimen

best glaciers to see in norway: Jotunheimen National Park

This national park is an ideal destination for glacier hiking and walking in Norway! So, it shouldn’t be surprising that Jotunheimen is the most popular and busiest national park in the country, featuring spectacular nature, startling wildlife, and hundreds of picturesque hiking trails.

The park is home to Scandinavia’s highest mountain range, where you can climb Galdhøpiggen, the tallest mountain of northern Europe. On top of that, there are multiple stunning glaciers that you can hike and walk on. Bøverbreen, located in this national park, is the country’s most popular glacier for hiking. Or you can order a guided glacier hiking tour to Svellnosbreen, which is slightly less popular but no less astonishing.

Nearest town: Lom.

How to get there: Jotunheimen National Park is located midway between Oslo, Bergen, and Trondheim. There are bus routes that run from these cities to the national park during the summer season. For more details, check this information.

Guided glacier hiking tours: available.

Nearby attractions:

  • Galdhøpiggen. Get to the top of Scandinavia’s highest mountain, which is 2,469 meters above sea level.
  • Bessegen ridge. Set out on one of the most scenic hikes you can experience in Norway.
  • Sognefjellet viewpoint. As you drive to Jotunheimen, don’t miss your chance to stop at this viewpoint and enjoy fantastic views of Scandinavia’s highest mountain range.
  • Scenic routes: Sognefjellsvegen and Valdresflye. There are 17 Norwegian scenic routes, two of which lie on the way to Jotunheimen National Park. Plan your journey with this information in mind!

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