Are you planning a trip to the Briksdalsbreen Glacier in Norway?
Here is a complete guide to everything you need to know about visiting Briksdalbreen, or Briksdal Glacier. We've included helpful information on the best time to visit, how to get to Briksdal, the Troll cars, and the Briksdal Glacier climb.
Don’t miss out on our top tips for visiting the Briksdal Glacier to make sure you make the most of your trip!
Whether you're looking for Olden shore excursions or an easy day walk, the Briksdalsbreen Glacier is for you!
Briksdalsbreen Glacier in Norway
The Briksdalbreen (Briksdal Glacier) is one of the many arms of Jostedalsbreen, the largest glacier in continental Europe.
Despite having around 50 glacier arms, Briksdalbreen is one of Norway’s most popular glaciers to visit since it’s the most accessible. Aside from that, the short hike up is surrounded by steep mountains, wild rivers, and roaring waterfalls.
Though you cannot walk on the glacier, the picturesque surroundings and beautiful nature reserve make Briksdalbreen one of the must-see places in Norway.
Best Time to Visit
Briksdalsbreen can be visited all year, however for the best weather, we recommend going between May and October. During the summer, we suggest arriving before 8:30am to avoid tourist buses from the Olden cruise port.
Getting to Briksdalsbreen
Briksdalsbreen is very accessible. Depending on where you are coming from, you have several transportation options to choose from. Here are the best ways to get to Briksdalsbreen glacier in Norway.
Taking a tour that includes transportation, entrance fees, and a tour guide is the most convenient way to visit Briksdal Glacier. It’s a 4-hour glacier excursion and is a great option if you’re coming from Olden or on a cruise as everything is taken care of for you.
Alternatively, you can take the shuttle bus from Olden port. The drive takes about 45 minutes one way and once you reach the starting point of the hike, you’ll have two hours of trek up to the lake to view the glacier’s arm. The shuttle will be waiting for you in the parking lot and will transport you back to the port.
There are two departures for the shuttle bus. One departs at 9:30am and returns at 1pm, while the other leaves at 11am and returns at 2:30pm.
Note that the shuttle only operates from April 1st to November 1st. You can reserve your seat in advance at Oldencruise.com.
There is a public glacier bus (115) that departs from Stryn to Briksdalbreen and stops at different villages along the way. It runs from May 15th to September 15th and departs at 9:45am from Stryn station.
Briksdalsbreen is easily accessible by car. You can park in two places: Melkevoll Bretun and the Briksdal tourist center. The Melkevoll Bretun is primarily used for camping, and the Briksdal tourist center is located next to the troll cars and marks the beginning of the national park.
We parked at the Briskdal tourist center, which is the closest to the start of the walking path. The parking costs around 7 USD per day and 14 USD if you wish to spend the night with your campervan.
Briksdal Glacier Troll Car
One popular way of visiting the Briksdalsbreen is by taking the Troll car available from May to October. The troll cars look like an open mini jeep that can seat up to 7 people.
Troll Car Ticket Price
The troll car costs about 25 USD for a return trip. It’s also possible to take the car on the way up for 14 USD and then hike down.
The round trip in a troll car takes around 1.5 hours and is a great option if you’re pressed on time or have a little bit of mobility issues. Note that you will still have to walk a few meters to get to the lake and see the glacier up close.
It is recommended to buy your tickets in advance, especially if you visit in May and October. Book your troll car here.
Briksdal Glacier Hike
The hike from the Briksdalen valley to the Briksdal Glacier is one of the most scenic hikes in Norway. Here's a breakdown of how difficult the hike is and what to expect.
The hike to see the Briksdal Glacier is relatively easy to moderate depending on your physical fitness. The 3km trail starts at the Briksdalsbre mountain lodge and will take you about 40 to 60 minutes each way. Overall the altitude gain is around 200 meters.
What to Expect
The trail at the beginning is wide and relatively flat, with small inclines. The trail follows a river that runs through the valley. Halfway through, you'll reach the Kleivafossen waterfall, one of the most photographed waterfalls in Norway.
There are two ways to go to the top from there. The first trail on your left is for hikers only. It's steep and can be tricky, especially in rainy conditions. So make sure you wear appropriate shoes and check the weather forecast.
The other is a paved route that crosses the bridge and leads to the opposite side of the waterfall.
Tip: Wear a waterproof jacket when crossing the bridge to avoid getting soaked by the strong waterfall sprays.
This path zigzags its way up the mountain and is less challenging. However, the troll cars also travel along the same route, so be mindful of the passing cars.
Once you reach the higher plateau, it’ll be the same level as the glacier, and there will be no more troll cars. You can hike up to the small glacial lake and enjoy a closer look of the Briksdal Glacier.
We visited Briksdalsbreen in the middle of July and had beautiful, dry weather conditions. After packing up our camp and eating breakfast we drove to Briksdal from our campsite and started hiking around 10:30am.
Despite the late start, it was surprisingly quiet for such a popular place. We were certainly not alone, but it wasn’t very busy or crowded. We were able to quickly park our car in the parking lot and encountered only a few other visitors on our walk to the glacier.
We spent roughly 3 hours in the national park. We suggest allowing at least an hour each way and an hour to enjoy the scenery to ensure you have enough time to fully experience Briksdal.
Where to Stay Near Briksdalbreen
Looking for places to stay near Briksdalsbreen? Here are some of the most highly rated accommodations you can stay at.
Tips for Visiting Briksdalbreen
- Visit before 8:30am to avoid the crowds coming from the cruise port.
- Bring plenty of water and snacks because you won't be passing any stores along the route.
- Don't forget to pack warm clothing and sturdy hiking shoes, as the weather can be unpredictable and the terrain can be challenging.
- Take your time to explore the surrounding hiking trails and viewpoints, as they offer breathtaking panoramas of the glacier and its surroundings.
- Camp near the glacier at Gryta Camping. Here, you can go kayaking at lake Oldevatnet with a view of the Glacier.
Is Briksdal Glacier worth visiting?
To answer the question of whether or not Briksdal Glacier is worth visiting, we absolutely recommend it.
Briksdalsbreen was, in fact, one of the highlights of our trip to Norway. So, if you have the opportunity, hike up to the glacier!
In our opinion, the nature surrounding the national park is more impressive than the glacier itself. Despite the receding arm, seeing the glacier is worth the walk up just to take in the breathtaking views of the national park.
And that’s the guide to visiting the Briksdalsbreen in Norway!
Start planning your trip today with our complete guide and be captivated by one of Norway's most extraordinary natural wonders.
Let us know if you have any questions in the comments below.
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