List Headline Image
Updated by Lindsay Ellis on Aug 03, 2015
Headline for Top 5 short hikes in Bergen
 REPORT
5 items   1 followers   0 votes   41 views

Top 5 short hikes in Bergen

The city of Bergen on the west coast of Norway is famous for its scenic fjords and beautiful architecture. It is also surrounded by mountains known collectively as "byfjellene" or the city mountains. The city mountains offer some stunning views whilst still being really accessible. Hopefully this guide will give you an introduction to some of my favourite trails around the city.

1

5. Rundemanen (568m)

5. Rundemanen (568m)

Rundemanen is an excellent hiking destination as as its elevation and prominence provides panoramic views back towards the city and out into the fjords. The summit is accessible via several routes, the most common being from Fløyen or Sandviksfjellet. This variation means that this spot is a favourite with many locals. During the autumn and winter months Rundemanen also provides a great spot to see the Northern lights from (on the rare occasions this phenomenon is visible in southern Norway) given the limited light pollution. The hike up to the summit is a 3-4 hour return however this can be substantially reduced by taking the funicular "Fløibanen" to the top of Fløyen. It should also be noted that conditions on the mountain change quite fast and given the exposure, the track can be come slippery when wet. The area has also been know for the occasional rock slide so be sure to check the forecast before heading up.

2

4. Stoltzen (392m)

4. Stoltzen (392m)

Stoltzekleiven or "Stoltzen" for short is a route from Munkebotn towards the top of Sandviksfjellet. The route is a series of aprox. 900 stairs that snake up the steep face of the mountain. Stoltzen is a really popular destination for hikers and fitness junkies with the route being packed morning and afternoon all year round. The climb up is quite challenging with with almost 400m of elevation gain over the route which is 600m from start to the top as the crow flies. From the rocky escarpment at the top hikers are treated to a magnificent view as they catch the breath and the lactic acid drains from there legs. It should be noted that given the high traffic on the route and narrow stairs it is recommended that hikers do not return down the stairs, but instead use either the route back towards Fløyen or down the other side of Sandviksfjellet.

3

3. Ulriken (643m)

3. Ulriken (643m)

Ulriken is the highest of the city mountains and offers some of the best views of the Bergen city landscape. The hike to the top is varied and starts reasonably gentle with hikers enjoying views of big trees and lush undergrowth, before the hike takes on a distinctly rock and alpine feel. The most common route up, which starts from Montana takes about an hour and a half. Situated on the summit is a lookout and a restaurant/cafe more than happy to cater to hungry hikers. Ulriken is also serviced by the "Ulriksbanen" cable car which offers one way and return tickets, which is handy just in case you overdo it at the cafe and are not up for the hike down :P. Hikers should be aware of the potential for slippery and/or icy conditions from late autumn to early spring as the rocky trails can become difficult to scale. It should also be noted for mountain bike enthusiasts that there is track down the face of the mountain, with the cable car catering to cyclists looking for some help to the top of the mountain. The mountain bike track is however quite technical and certainly not for the fainthearted.

4

2. Bergen Vidden (655m)

2. Bergen Vidden (655m)

The Bergen Vidde is a high mountain plateau that connects Mount Ulriken and Mount Fløyen. The route is 14km and takes about 4 hours (assuming you take the Ulriksbane and Fløibanen up and down) so is by no means the shortest hike on the list. The route is pretty unique because it gives the hiker the feeling of being out in the wilderness while in reality only being a few short kilometers from a hot shower. During the winter Vidden is covered in snow and is a popular destination for cross country skiers looking to get there fix without journeying too far from the city. The track is well maintained and signed and is dotted with dozens of large cairns which are visible even after heavy snowfalls. The terrain is varied, but for the most part not too challenging apart from the steep descent between Tarlebøvatnet and Øvrejordalsvatnet. Finally The Vidde is grazing ground for flocks of local sheep so keep your eyes peeled for a sheep or two or the local species of birds that in habit the area.

5

1. Løvstakken (477m)

1. Løvstakken (477m)

Here we are at No.1! My favourite short hike in the Bergen area is Løvstakken. There are several reasons for this. The mountain is one of the most readily accessible of all of the City Mountains, being only 2km from Løvstakkveien, at the base of the mountain, to the top it is manageable for hikers of all experience both big and small. In addition there are plenty of picnic areas and clearings to stop for a snack along the way, all with there own unique view. The mountain is located south of the city center and is an excellent vantage point to see the city and the hustle and bustle of the city's port. It also provides, in my opinion the best view of Bergen Vidden and the Iconic Mount Ulriken. Finally given its position to the west of Ulriken and its prominence, hikers lucky enough to be on the summit at sunset enjoy an uninterrupted view as the sun disappears into the North Sea. The summit is rather exposed and can as a result can get a bit windy and cold so make sure you have packed something warm and wind resistant so you can chill in comfort while waiting for the sunset.

Hope you enjoyed the list and let me know if you have a favourite that didn't make the cut.