Mt Ulriken to Floyen – A rewarding hike above Bergen, Norway
If you enjoy hiking, great views and small lakes and you find yourself in Bergen, climb to Mont Ulriken for a walk you will remember.
The best point of this hike is to see Bergen and the fjords surrounding the city from the top. Mount Ulriken is what I would call a middle range Mountain as it is only 643m high above sea level. The trail requires good shoes as you won't find a proper earth path but slippery and uneven rocks.
If you are a good walker do the Vidden Trail from Ulriken to Floyen. Don’t forget to take a hiking map with you as the path isn’t really well marked at the tourist office before you head out to Ulriken. (its an understatement, I got lost a few times). The walk is 18km long (or 11 miles) and should take you between 4 and 6 hours depending on your pace. Take plenty food and water with you as there is nowhere to stop before Floyen.
Personally I took the Ulriken express double-decker bus from Bergen city centre and the Ulriken cable car to reach the top of the mountain but you could probably take the local bus to reach Ulrike. I probably started the hike too late in the day. I reached the top of Ulriken at 3.30pm so if I had to do it again I would leave earlier around 10.30am. Thankfully I did the hike in July when the days are really long (otherwise I would have ended the walk in the dark.)
The walk starts with a very long stretch on a very rocky mountains plateau, very interesting to see how ice must have shaped this mountains millions of years ago. Every 200m you will see a little stone stack to mark the path on the rocks. There are a few difficult bits on the hike, the path goes down a very steep drop that you basically have to climb using your hands but the views make it all worth the effort: The landscapes are just sumptuous. For a few kilometres the path overlooks a lake surrounded by spruce trees and small huts on the side, the sheep for only company.
I couldn’t have asked for better weather conditions that day. It was a glorious day, 28C and the sunshine made the water glitter in the sun. It was magical, a bit fairy tale-like if you ask me.
After the walk down comes the hike up to Floyen. The path is much wider than before and if you are hiking with friends you will enjoy this stretch where you will be able to walk side by side with your friends. I was thrilled to see the muddy path turn into a small gravel lane with a few people on it! I hadn’t seen any hikers in a while when I finally got to the top and I felt very reassured to see that I was now much closer to civilisation again.
The way down to Floyen Panorama, there is a proper road going through a small pine tree forest. I was thrilled to reach the terrace, sit down, rest my weary legs and enjoy the view. I stayed for half an hour before taking the path back to the city centre. I was exhausted by then but I really enjoyed walking in the windy cobbled stones streets and admiring the mall houses sitting on the hill side all the way down to the market square. Before heading back to my hotel for a well deserve shower.
All in all, I absolutely loved walking this trail and I recommend it to all the hikers out there!