During our Norway trip we really wanted to see a glacier. The Buarbreen Hikeand our change of plans for the Trolltunga glacier came in handy. Since we wanted to do the Trolltunga on our Norway round trip in one day instead of two, we had one day left. So we checked Tripadvisor to see what other activities were available near Odda. And who would have thought it, on place #1 was the Buarbreen Glacier, which was also only about 15 min away from our campsite (Odda Camping*). So we zipped up our tent, got in the car and headed to the Buarbreen Glacier.
We are Sabrina and Andreas, two adventurous travelers who never miss an opportunity to discover the world. Whether by plane to distant countries or with our campervan Bruno, we just love to travel. We hope to give you helpful tips for your next trip on our blog.
Sabrina & Andreas Globetrotters, Travelers, Adventurers
Accommodation Tip in Odda
We recommend you spend 1-2 nights in Odda, depending on what you want to do there. In Odda you have two options. On the one hand you can stay at the campground, on the other hand in a hotel. We have selected the two best options for you.
Camping in Odda
We spent the night in Odda at the local campground (Trolltunga Camping*), which is also not far from the city center. The place is usually very crowded by numerous Trolltunga tourists, but is therefore
very picturesque directly on the lake Sandvinvatnet. But you should be here early to get a free place. We were able to get one of the last tent sites with lake view. The campground also rents cabins and small rooms.
Comfortable apartments for relaxation
If you want to relax after the strenuous hikes we can recommend you The Blue House*. The apartments are located in a 100 year old and elaborately restored house. Here you come in and just feel at home. The small apartments are equipped with everything you need, so you can take care of yourself there.
Journey to the Buarbreen Hike
The start of the hike to the Buarbreen glacier is only a few kilometers from Odda. We drove from our campsite along a road winding up the mountain. There are numerous no stopping signs all along the route.
This seemed strange to us, but when we arrived at the end of the road, we knew why: The hike starts – how could it be otherwise – at a paid parking lot (150 NOK approx. 15 €). Shortly after opening the barrier with our credit card, we parked the car and set off on the approximately two-hour hike up to the Buarbreen Glacier. The hike leads on winding paths always along the rushing river high up the mountain.
The Buarbreen Hike
From the parking lot, the Buarbreen hike initially follows the river through Buardalen with views of the glacier in the distance. While the visible part of the Buarbreen glacier already looks imposing from a distance, this is only a very small part of Folgefonna behind it. With an extent of about 214 km², Folgefonna is the third largest glacier in all of Norway.
The rather leisurely start of the Buarbreen hike does not give you any idea of the adventure that awaits you on the way to Buarbreen glacier. Quite a few places along the trail were so steep that there were several ropes attached to which you had to pull yourself up.
This made the hike a great pleasure. If you looked around, you could look down into the valley all the time and when I thought about the fact that somewhere over there on the other side the Trolltunga was waiting for us, I could hardly wait for the hike the next day.
The path itself was nevertheless easy to climb and due to the river, which meanwhile rushed past us more and more violently, we had a pleasant background noise in our ears. You can see the tip of the Buarbreen glacier all the time during the hike. We were happy to see our first glacier in Norway from close range soon. You get pretty close to the glacier, but of course not so close that you can touch it, as at the Svartisen glacier.
Once at the top, the full beauty of this place revealed itself. The bluish shimmering glacier tongue and right next to it a rushing Fossen (waterfall) made this hike a very special experience.
The wind whistled around your ears and you could almost feel the cold of the nearby glacier on your skin. I would have loved to sit up there for a few more hours and enjoy the view, but we still had about 2 hours of descent ahead of us. Shortly before the parking lot, you pass a huge farmhouse (the residents probably also run the parking lot). When passing this splendor hut I had to think, who lives in such a dream area, which probably needs no vacation.
Facts About the Hike
- Length: 5 ,6 km (there and back)
- Circular route: No
- Duration: 3-4 hours (round trip)
- Difficulty: medium
- Season: May – September
Since we arrived at the top in the late afternoon, the sun was shining towards us all the time and soon disappeared behind the glacier massif. Unfortunately not good conditions for taking pictures.
Therefore my tip: If you can arrange it, then come in the morning. Then you have the sun in your back and the glacier shines in a much better light!
More info about our Norway itinerary
If you want to know more about our Norway road trip, please have a look at the following travel report: