Image credit: Nordland Adventures

Glacier hiking Svartisen

Want to join us for a tour to Svartisen glacier in Northern Norway? Bodø is your starting point for a day trip to Svartisen. An adventure for you who want to get close to the glacier, touch it and walk on it as well. No experience is necessary for a guided glacier trip to Svartisen.

All you need is a sense of adventure, some suggested personal clothing, light hiking boots and snacks. We provide expert guides and all your gear to safely explore the glacier of Svartisen.

svartisen glacier in northern norway
Svartisen glacier. Photo credit: Trym Ivar Bergsmo.

About the glacier of Svartisen

The Svartisen glacier is the second largest in Norway covering 375 km2 and is the largest ice-covered area of northern Norway. 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.

More than half of the glaciers end between 1000 metres and 700 metres above sea level, but most of the larger ones descend into the adjacent valleys and fjords.  The ice caps themselves, which form the accumulation zones of the glaciers, are around 1500 metres above sea level. One magnificent glacier arm of Svartisen, Engenbreen, ends about 200 metres above sea level. The Engenbreen glacier lies a leisurely 2 hour ride from Bodø.

Guided glacier hiking on Svartisen
Equipped with rope, ice pick and crampons, you can experience first-hand the magical world of the glacial ice of Svartisen. This is the adventure of choice if you won`t settle for just looking at Svartisen glacier, but feel compelled to touch it and walk on it as well.  A trip to Svartisen is an adventure well-suited for everyone, provided they are accompanied by one of our experienced guides. Peer into deep crevasses, see hues of blue unlike any before. Try your luck at ice climbing. We can even bring back ice for the late-night cocktails.



Minimum NOK 4000 for a trip.
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  • Grading

    Moderate fitness and agility is required. Involves some steady, well-graded uphill walking for 1 h to reach the glacier. The degree of difficulty and the precise route is carefully chosen to fulfill the desires and physique of the group itself. Reccomended minimum age for children is app. 10 years.

  • Group Size

    Maximum size of a group for a guided glacier trip to Svartisen is about 40. Large groups will be divided into smaller groups each with one guide. Most of our trips to the glacier are smaller groups, you will never experience Svartisen to be crowded with people.

  • Duration

    For a day-trip from Bodo to Svartisen and back to Bodo we will need about 12 hours. The tour on the ice lasts app. 3 – 5 hours.

  • Season

    May - Sept.

  • Weather Cancellation Policy

    This trip is not dependent on weather conditions. A guided glacier hike at Svartisen could be done even in rainy weather if you are well dressed.

What you need to know about a trip to Svartisen

Where is Svartisen located?

Svartisen is located 160 km south of Bodø. 2 – 3 h along the Coastal Highway, FV 17.

What do I need to bring?

Bring your own hiking boots and personal clothing; 3 – 4 layers of varm upper body clothing, gloves, a varm cap.  Raincoats may be suitable if rain. Jeans are not recommended on wet days as they become very cold and uncomfortable to wear.

Sunglasses and sun protection is important even if cloudy. A day pack is useful and a drink and snacks are nice to have. Be sure to bring your camera!

Guides and language?

We only use experienced guides for the glacier hiking at Svartisen. All our guides speaks quite good english.

How to get to Svartisen glacier?

Transportion is not included in the price, but we will be glad to help you with planning that. Rental car is reccomended.

You might join us if the guide starts from Bodø (that we will know a few days ahead the trip).

Getting to the glacier by bus from Bodø to Holand might be an option. Check timetable for bus Bodø – Halsa and make sure to leave bus at Holandsvika.

Any accomodation nearby Svartisen?

A trip to Svartisen could be done as a day-trip from Bodø, but we do reccomend you to stay one night near the glacier. We reccomend to stay in a cozy hut with shower, toilet and electricity.

Where and when do we meet?

Meeting point is the pier at Holandsvika (see map above) by the Coastal Highway, FV 17. Holandsvika is located 24 km south of Glomfjord (if you start in Bodø) and 11 km from Halsa (if you came from south).

Time for Meeting is 10.00 AM unless we have agreed about something else.

What makes this glacier so special for this kind of activity?

The easily accessible face is not abrupt, and the frontal ice formations have many safe routes through spectacular views of crevasses, caves and surface ponds.