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Next Vacation Destination: Trolltunga in Norway


Trolls do not just exist in fantasy stories, lurking under bridges in their dark and murky habitats, waiting for passersby to scare and taunt with a riddle. Sometimes trolls live off the side of magnificent mountains, where they can stick their tongues out to the world.

Trolltunga, also known as Troll’s Tongue, is a wonderful piece of Norway’s landscape as a rock formation that overlooks a brilliant blue body of water. According to Atlas Obscura, “The fittingly named “Troll’s Tongue” sticks out of a vertical mountain side above a 700 meter (about 2,300 feet) drop. The scenic cliff offers a magnificent view of Lake Ringedalsvatnet in Skjeggedal.”

The cliff that mimics the appearance of a Troll’s Tongue was formed thousands of years ago as a glacier that froze that part of the rock and preserved it. Travelers are welcome to stand on the tip of the Troll’s Tongue, at their own risk.

According to Visit Norway, “Trolltunga is one of the most spectacular scenic cliffs in Norway. Trolltunga is situated about 1100 meters above sea level, hovering 700 metres above lake Ringedalsvatnet. The view is breathtaking.” Although it can be risky to walk right up to the tip of the cliff, many travelers who have attempted this risk have been able to capture remarkable pictures of themselves relaxing at the edge as they take in a truly incredible view.

Trolltunga is not just a cliff that offers scenic views, however. It is also one of Norway’s most impressive hiking trails. According to Visit Norway, the round trip hike to the Troll’s Tongue usually takes about 10 to 12 hours, and the climb is almost 3,000 feet high. People are typically warned for the dangers of such a hike and are advised to wear appropriate clothing, pack proper equipment, and prepare for any changes in the weather.

Though the hike can be dangerous, especially considering there is no safety rail for the journey up the mountain, many people are still attracted to Trolltunga if only to witness the mere beauty of the cliff. Atlas Obscura describes the hike “through mountains and waterfalls to this ledge at the end of the world” as “spectacular.”

According to Norwegian mythology, many trolls exist around the area of Trolltunga. Trolls are big fans of rocks and prefer to hide beneath them to protect themselves from the sunlight. Because of all the rock formations, trolls are especially attracted to the Hardangerfjord, where Trolltunga is located.

Because the trolls typically hide away from people, they are especially recluse near Trolltunga, where tourists stroll freely quite often. Luckily, the trolls are free to roam about from October to May, when tourist hikes up to the Troll’s Tongue are not advised.  

According to Norwegian ABC, if anyone does plan to visit Trolltunga during the offseason, they should be especially prepared for the thieving mountain trolls. These trolls are said to rob anyone who crosses their path. Still, a chance to peak over a glorious cliff to view the brilliant landscape below may be worth the encounter with a few trolls. 

Featured Image by alexanderTIEDEMANN on Flickr

Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-ND 2.0)

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