Trekking Tour on Hardangervidda in Norway
After two years of holiday in Norway, where we only did day hikes, we managed to do a four-days trekking tour on Hardangervidda this year.
Arriving in Kristiansand
We arrived in Kristiansand by ferry from Hirtshals on Tuesday morning. This was our third trip to Norway, therefore, we knew the tour from Kristiansand to the north quite well and we were looking forward to having lunch in Tip Top Burgers in Evje. After lunch and a few hours of driving we arrived at our first camping site in Røldal. We hadn’t booked upfront and unfortunately all cabins were occupied already, so this became the first night in our new small 2-person tent.
The first days in Lofthus
On the next day, we continued our tour to Odda, where we had lunch in the Smeltehuset. After another few hours of driving, we finally arrived at Kinsarvik Camping. We wanted to stay there for a couple of days before the trekking tour. All cabins were already occupied but we were lucky because we found a wonderful apartment in Lofthus very close to the fjord, where we could stay until Sunday. Since we did not have time to practise before, we decided to use these days for some day hikes, for example to mount Oksen.
Trekking tour on Hardangervidda
Our plan for this year was to do a trekking tour on Hardangervidda. We knew this area a little bit from the hiking tours we did in the last two years. We were curious if we could manage to survive 😉 up there just using tent and backpacks. Our tour started at Kinsarvik Camping on Sunday morning with a very demanding day hike to Stavali cottage at about 1000 meters altitude. Going by the map this tour should have taken about 7 hours but actually we needed about 10 hours. The trail was partially very steep and because of the rain during the last days very muddy. We were extremely exhausted when we finally arrived at the cottage. We were invited for a wonderful trout dinner.
On the second day, we started early and went south-west to Lake Kinsevatnet. During this day we had some rain for one or two hours. Whereas we met many people on the first day, we only met four on the second day. And it became even better on the third day. After about eight hours of hiking we put up our tent quite close to the lake.
On the third day we made only a short trip north-west to lake Kjølevotni and enjoyed the view of the lake and the Folgefonna glacier. This path was not the official one but a small sheep trail only marked by stone towers. From time to time we were losing sight of the stone towers and had to find our way back by smartphone and GPS. However, this path was much shorter than the one to Lofthus and then north to Kinsarvik. During the day we had some amazing views over Hardangervidda, where we for example saw the famous mount Hårteigen. The last day (Wednesday) was again very demanding. We had to go down to Kinsarvik on an almost unused sheep trail. In particular the last part on the road from Heng to Kinsarvik is not easy to walk when you are already tired.
The last days in Kristiansand
We spent the last two days again in Kristiansand, which is a wonderful small town with lots of nice shops, restaurants, a beautiful harbour, and an amazing small art museum. We had a fantastic days and at the end we made a quick visit at the University of Agder, which has a campus in Kristiansand.