Sunset & Sunrise Trolltunga

Imagine experience sunset and sunrise up in the mountains of Trolltunga. Almost alone, enjoy time around the campfire with at traditional norwegian meal, get all the time you want at the Troll's tounge (Trolltunga) without any queues. That's why more on more hikers choose our overnight hike option to experience Trolltunga.

If you join our Trolltunga Classic Trek we'll also take you to the original Preikestolen to get the best view of the Lake Ringedalsvatnet & the valley. We call this spot our sunset rock. Many of our guest find this scenic view just as spectacular as the Trolltunga Cliff. Read more about the trek in section "Our treks" in the menu.

This stone is located 1200 metres above the sea level. It’s name is Preikestolen (Pulpit rock). A lot smaller than the more famous Pulpit Rock in Lysefjorden.

This stone is located 1200 metres above the sea level. It’s name is Preikestolen (Pulpit rock). A lot smaller than the more famous Pulpit Rock in Lysefjorden.

Skjeggedal, the gate to Trolltunga

The story about how it all started

The British gentlemen who “discovered” the stunning scenery of Tyssedal and Odda in the 1820s were the first of a large number of tourists to visit this beautiful area. The main attractions for the tourists were the waterfalls and the glacier. Foreigners were more than willing to take on a demanding all-day-journey just to be able to admire the impressive Tyssestrengene and Ringedal falls.

Ringedalsfossen (also known as Skjeggedalsfossen). Photo:NVIM

Ringedalsfossen (also known as Skjeggedalsfossen). Photo:NVIM


Tyssestrengene falls has a sheer drop of more than 300 metres, the highest in Norway. Ringedal falls is actually higher and larger, but has a sheer drop of “only” 160 metres. The Norwegian Mountain Touring Association (DNT) made an early effort to preserve these waterfalls, and they obtained an easement on the nearby farms for this purpose. In 1920, under intense pressure from industrial developers, the organization abandoned its principles and sold the rights to Tyssefaldene falls for 250 000 crowns. DNT did, however, take the initiative to preserve Vettisfossen, a magnificent waterfall in Sogn og Fjordane county.

Today, the waters of Tyssestrengene and Ringedal falls are diverted for power production, but the waterfalls flow once again whenever there is an overabundance of water in the water basins in the mountains above.

Property speculators and engineers also discovered these waterfalls. In the course of a few years, starting in 1906, Tyssedal developed from a valley with just a few farms to an industrial community.

Tyssestrengene with Trolltunga (up right) hanging over the lake . Photo: Kraftmuseet archives

Tyssestrengene with Trolltunga (up right) hanging over the lake. Photo: Kraftmuseet archives

The valley of Skjeggedal

It lies 460 metres above the pioneer hydropower station Tysso I, which is majestically situated on the shore of the fjord. It was here that the industrial adventure really began. The farmstead here is ancient and dates back to at least the Middle Ages. Like many other farms, it was vacated after the Plague. The owners died or moved to more fertile land elsewhere. Documents from 1616 describe the farm as “abandoned”. Later in the 17th century, however, people resettled the farmstead.

Bears were once a major nuisance for the farmers in the valley, killing many sheep. The farmers used spring-guns to try to rid themselves of the bears; the last one was killed in 1876. There is a place by the lake still called Sjølskott – “Spring-gun”.

Even pack horses couldn’t traverse the first trail to Skjeggedal, so until 1898, the farmers who lived there had to carry everything on their own backs. Their loads were rarely lighter than 50 kilos.

After 1850 there was a growing stream of tourists to Skjeggedal. In 1898 the Norwegian Mountain Touring Association, DNT, began to build a new trail, in order to make the valley more accessible, for pack animals as well as people travelling on foot. By the time the Old Tourist Trail was completed in 1904, total costs had reached 12 000 crowns – an astronomical figure at that time.

The valley of Skjeggedal. Photo: Knud Knudsen Kraftmuseet archives

The valley of Skjeggedal. Photo: Knud Knudsen Kraftmuseet archives

According to an old legend, Skjeggedal valley is named after an outlaw from the Telemark tracts that lie to the southeast. Skjegge (meaning beard), settled here, in the most remote area he could find, while he let his hair and beard grow, making him unrecognisable. If so, it must have been long ago; in Hardanger, the name Skjegge can be traced back to 1293.

There is also another possible explanation. On Iceland, Skjeggjadal, means a valley where a bearded troll lives behind the waterfalls.

Changes

At the dawn of the industrial development, 21 people lived in Skjeggedal. Today parts of the valley are under water. An average annual precipitation rate of 1178 mm certainly contributes to the local hydropower production.

Skjeggedal before the expansion.  Photo: Kraftmuseet archives

Skjeggedal before the expansion. Photo: Kraftmuseet archives

Lake Ringedal is 8 kilometres long. It is used a s forebay by the power company. The first Ringedal dam, started in 1909, was 280 metres long and 16 metres high. After an additional stage was completed in 1918, the dam was 529 metres long and 33 metres high. The thickness of the dam varies from 4 metres at the top to 21.5 metres at its foot.

The workers

Migrant workers, or rallar, came from all over Norway, and even Sweden, to work on the many projects in Tyssedal. Old railroad workers, who had built the Bergen line across the mountains, met the sons of farmers and youngsters who had never before been away from their village. A lot of work had to be done quickly and many strong hands were needed. During construction, 300 migrant workers were active in Skjeggedal and another 200 in Tyssedal. As a result, change came rapidly to the narrow and once sleepy valley.

Navvies in Skjeggedal at the beginning of 20th century.  Photo: Kraftmuseet archives

Navvies in Skjeggedal at the beginning of 20th century. Photo: Kraftmuseet archives

Experienced Swedes became the very symbol of the rallar and had the highest status. In everyone’s imagination he wore a felt hat, white shirt and vest, and had a pinch of snuff under his lip. Many Norwegians, too, imitated this image. One boy from Hardanger even earned the nickname “The Little Swede”, while other youngsters happily paid the real rallar good money for lessons on how to curse in Swedish!

The migrant workers worked hard and long days for little money, and they had few days off. The work in the steep terrain of Tyssedal and Skjeggedal was very risky as well. Some of the work had to be done while they hung suspended from ropes. Yet in a year and a half, 500 rallar built a 3 kilometre long tunnel from Skjeggedal to Lilletopp lake, they erected a power station and pipestock, built a wharf and constructed a cable car, raised an office building, homes for the engineers, barracks for the workers, and hung a power line all the way from Tyssedal to Odda. Impressive by any standard!

For more stories about this area, visit Kraftmuseet

Combine geology with our Wilderness Experience

QUARTZ AND ANATASE

Hardangervidda plateau is known to have unusually many and rich occurrences of quartz. Another metal-coloured mineral has grown on some of these quartz crystals, known as anatas (titanium dioxide). This rare combination is sought after by mineral collectors from around the world. The biggest occurrences are found at Matskorhæ. This locality has long been protected. Fine specimens are exhibited both at the Norwegian Hydro-power and Industrial Town Museum In Tyssedal, the Natural History Collections in Bergen (photo) and the Geological Museum in Oslo.

The route on our Wilderness Experience goes right through this rare location.

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Overnight hike to Trolltunga

Trolltunga Adventures is the first company that started with overnight treks to Trolltunga (Translated: Troll's Tounge). We have been doing so since 2013. Why should you try the overnight camping experience with us? The are many reasons to join us, but here are three highlights of why you should choose to hike with us:

  1. You'll reach Trolltunga when most hikers have returned to civilization and you will have all the time you want to get the perfect photo. On sunny days there might be up to 2 hours in queue just to get out on the tounge.

  2. You will experience Trolltunga two times, in the afternoon and the next morning. Trolltunga i located 1100 metres above sea level and the weather may change fast. Sometimes is just the best weather all day, other days you'll hardly see Trolltunga and the scenic background. To double you chances to experience it as you imagined, do a overnight hike with us.

  3. Hike like norwegians. This is the perfect way to get a glimpse of the norwegian culture. We focus on giving you an authentic hike, like norwegians have done for centuries. We serve you traditional mountain food. If you read our reviews on TripAdvisor, you'll notice many mention our famous Reindeer Stew which we'll serve for dinner around the campfire at our Trolltunga Wilderness Camp with beautiful view of the lake an valley.

campfire trolltunga adventures camp

Hot coffee or tea from the campfire?

Trolltunga Adventures Wilderness Camp

How do I get to Trolltunga?

Odda is the main town and point of reference you want to reach. It is located at the southern tip of the fjord named Sørfjorden, and you can get there from Bergen or Oslo by bus boat and train. If taking public transport, it can be a tricky place to get to so be aware that you may be taking several modes of transportation. From Odda to the starting point of Trolltunga, you need to take a bus towards Tyssedal and up to the trailhead called Skjeggedal. 

Use this convenient travel planner to figure out bus times and routes for the local buses, boats and trams. Also feel free to contact the Odda Tourist Office for more detailed information about the hike, accommodation and maps.

AIRPORTS

Bergens Airport (Flesland), is 3 hours drive from Odda. You can either travel by bus, og by boat to Rosendal, where there is corresponding bus to Odda.

Haugesund Airport (Helganes) is 2.5 hours from Odda. You can travel by bus to Odda

Stavanger Airport (Sola), is 4 hours drive from Odda. This is the closest airport to Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock), if you’re also planning to hike this.

By Car

Drive to Odda and follow the road marked RV 13 to Tyssedal and then follow the signs towards Skjeggedal. The parking lot is approximately 7 km from there. A new road has just opened that continues 4 km further above Skjeggedal, however the capacity is limited so get there early! Click here to see a YouTube video of the new road.

 

Bus to Odda 

 

Combination package:  Two hiking trips in one journey

The Trolltunga - Preikestolen express bus ensures you arrive at Preikestolen and further on to Trolltunga – or the other way round.

 

Taxi/Shuttle bus Odda - Trolltunga

Odda Taxi