Hiking trip on Svartisen glacier in Northern Norway

Hiking trip on Svartisen glacier in Northern Norway

Activity Snapshot

  • Sensation Level: Adventurous
  • Spoken languages: English, Norwegian
  • Fitness level: Sporty
  • Minimum age: minimum 12 y/o
  • Duration: full day
  • Cancellation policy: 
    moderate 1) Cancellation 10 days or more prior to the agreed activity starting date
    → You are automatically refunded for the full activity price

    2) Cancellation between 4 and 10 days prior to the agreed activity starting date
    → You are entitled to a 50% refund

    3) 4 days or later, prior to the agreed activity starting date, is considered last-minute cancellations
    → No refund will be made
  • Meeting point:
    Holandsvika Pier by the Coastal Highway Fv17, 8178 Halsa, Norway

Activity description

Explore the frontier that connects Northern Norway to the Arctic Circle on this glacier hiking excursion in Svartisen.

The second largest glacier formation in Norway, Svartisen is an unpredictable beast that has caught many of the mountaineers off guard. Discover the placid white surface of its exterior and peer into deep crevasses to see hues of blue unlike any before. Try your luck at ice climbing - and even bring back hand-picked ice cubes for the late night cocktails!

Svartisen glacier is the second largest in Norway covering 375 km2 and is the largest ice-covered area of northern Norway. To reach Svartisen, a rental car is recommended as over-land transport is limited. Buses run from central Bodo and a shuttle ferry connects the area to Holandsvika - whilst this trip can be completed in a day, overnight accommodation in Svartisen offers the best all-round experience. Svartisen is at the latitude of the Arctic Circle. The West Svartisen ice cap has an area of about 220 km2, whilst the East Svartisen ice cap covers about 147 km2. The two ice caps of Svartisen, which are separated by a deep valley, Vesterdalen-Glomdalen, supply sixty outlet glaciers. Svartisen is located 160 km south of Bodø along the Coastal Highway, FV 17. If you start from Bodø please allow 3 h driving.

A full day glacier hiking excursion in Svartisen, this guided expedition is perfect for adventures who can't settle for just looking at the glacier, but feel compelled to touch it and walk on it as well. Suitable for total beginners and children as young as 10 years old, crampons and an ice ax enable you to experience the magical world of the glacial ice of Svartisen. Meeting your guide at the pier in Holandsvika, get an activity briefing and gear check before you start with a short bicycle ride approx. 3 km along a flat gravel road. Then 1.5 km steady, well-graded uphill walking for 1 h to reach the glacier. The route follows paths, some parts in a bit rugged terrain and slabs with no trails for which you will be lead using a guide rope around blue holes and crevasses. Later as the incline increases, try your hand at ice climbing on the 4.5 km circuit. All you need to join this tour is a sense of adventure, some suggested personal clothing, light hiking boots, and snacks. The expert guides will provide all your gear to safely explore the glacier of Svartisen. 

This trip is graded as Moderate – intermediate grading. The degree of difficulty and the precise route is carefully chosen to fulfill the desires and physique of the group itself.
Total length: 4.5 km each way to reach the glacier (3 km bicycling, 1.5 km hiking). Not to forget the distance from Bodø, 160 km.
Elevation: the starting point is 2 metres above sea level. The maximum elevation on the glacier will be no more than 4 – 500m a.s.l.

Activity requirements

Moderate fitness and agility are required. Children should be accompanied by an adult.

Special terms

Activity subject to weather restrictions

Please note: This tour operates with a four-person minimum

  • Glacier guide
  • Specialized glacier gear: helmet, harness, ice axe and crampons
  • Transport
Do not forget to bring
  • Hiking boots
  • 3 – 4 layers of warm upper body clothing, gloves, a warm cap.
  • Sunglasses and sun protection
  • Day pack
  • Water & snacks
  • GoPro/Camera
Meeting point
Holandsvika Pier by the Coastal Highway Fv17, 8178 Halsa, Norway Get directions


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