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Norwegian glacier kayaking & hiking

A fjord-side drive from Marifjora village to Styggevatnet lake and then kayaking to Austdalsbreen glacier.
Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 40.1 miles
Duration: Full day
Family Friendly

Overview :  Somehow, nothing says Norway quite like kayaking through icebergs to a glacier. Throw in some fjords and mountains and you are living ... more »

Tips:  Don't try walking on the glacier if you are not with a tour or experienced at doing this. You need special equipment to do this safely... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Torvis Hotell, Marifjora

There are lots of accommodation options along the road on this trail, but this hotel in the small village of Marifjora is among the best options if you are staying for a few days and not solely focused on the glaciers.

Its position on a quiet section of the Lustrafjorden makes it a good base for taking in some fjord activities such as sightseeing... More

2. Road to Styggevatnet lake

From Marifjora, this is a pleasant 45-minute drive that you would probably be regarded as fantastic scenery in most places around the world - Norway just raises the standard on such things.

The road starts along the banks of the Lustrafjorden before climbing through mountain farming villages. It's a pretty trip if you can divert your focus from... More

3. Jostedalsbreen National Park visitors centre

Jostedalsbreen, at a massive 487 square kilometres (188 square miles), is the largest glacier in Europe. This trail's final destination, Austdalsbreen, is one of Jostedalsbreen's many glacial arms.

The visitors centre combines a museum, information centre, cafe and shop for hiking supplies. If you don't fancy the paddling in the last part of this... More

4. Kayak launch point

The road concludes with a steep, barren rocky climb (for the car) to the top of a man-made dam wall. Don't despair - it's an easy walk & carry from the car park to the natural glacial lake on the other side, and the views get more interesting the further you go.

It's a gentle slope down to the best site for launching canoes and kayaks. From... More

5. Styggevatnet lake

At 1200m, you are kayaking in the mountain tops on this lake. Its high altitude means that it's usually around mid-July before the lake has thawed enough for the paddle.

At any time of the year, you will encounter icebergs. These make for a stunning trip but local guides always advise leaving about 50m between your craft and the icy floaters to... More

6. Austdalsbreen glacier

Dubbed by Victorian mountaineers as providing "the finest ice scenery in Europe", Austdalsbreen has a heady reputation to live up to - and it delivers.

The drama builds as you approach by kayak, gently floating by the iceberg debris remaining from the huge slabs of blue glacial ice 'calving' into the lake regularly throughout summer. It's like... More