Svartisen – Day Trip Glacier Hiking in Northern Norway
Want to join us for a tour to Svartisen glacier in Northern Norway? An adventure for you who want to get close to the glacier, touch it and walk on it as well. You do need previous hiking experience and a sense of adventure to join the glacier hike to the Svartisen glacier.
Guided glacier hiking on Svartisen is the adventure of choice if you won`t settle for just looking at the glacier, but feel compelled to touch it and walk on it as well.
Crampons and an ice axe enable you to experience the magical world of the glacial ice of Svartisen. We provide expert guides and all your gear to safely explore the glacier of Svartisen.
Blue ice – peer into deep crevasses, see hues of blue unlike any before. Try your luck at ice climbing. You can 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.
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.
Engenbreen is one magnificent glacier arm of Svartisen ending about 200 metres above sea level. The Engenbreen glacier lies a leisurely 3 hour ride from Bodø.
We joined Ivar on an amazing day trip from Bodø to Svartisen glacier for a day. He was an amazing guide with years of experience. We felt very safe with him. We explored the glacier and learned very interesting facts. What an experience for South Africans! We highly recommend using Ivar. He offers great value for money and it’s very easy to book and pay online.
Shuttle boat not included in price.
Bike (or van) for the 3 km gravel road incl.
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Hard / strenuous. Please see details below.
8 h from meeting point (ice time: around 3 - 4 h.).
Group size & Capacity
Min. 4 people required to run the trip. Please see details below.
Season & Availability
May - September. In winter season the glacier is totally covered with snow.
Meeting pointClick for larger map
Check Availability & Book
Checklist - Glacier Adventure Svartisen in Northern Norway
Do I need any outdoor experience?
Is this trip for me? Good fitness and agility is required. You need to be in good shape to join this trip.
Grading: This trip is graded as Challenging – Red grading.
The approach to reach the glacier includes partly steep climbing on stone steps, gravel trails and slabs and should be considered rather strenuous. The degree of difficulty and the precise route on the ice is carefully chosen to fulfill the desires and physique of the group itself.
More about the grading system in Norway.
Minimum age: reccomended minimum age is 12 years.
Terrain, distance and elevation
Terrain: After leaving the shuttle boat, there is a bicycle ride approx. 3 km along a flat gravel road. Then 2.5 km steady, steep uphill walking for about 2 h to reach the glacier. The route follows paths, some parts in rugged terrain and steep slabs with no trails.
Total length: 4.5 km each way to reach the glacier (3 km bicycling, 2.5 km hiking). Not to forget the distance from Bodø, 160 km.
Elevation: starting point is 2 metres above sea level. Maximum elevation on the glacier will be no more than 500 m a.s.l.
What do I need to bring?
You should bring
- Bring your own hiking boots. You do need boots with good traction, that provides ankle support, water proof and well broken in to prevent blisters.
- 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 30 – 40 liters of space that allows you to carry some of the glacier gear (harness, ropes etc).
- Drink and snacks for a full day.
- Be sure to bring your camera!
We will provide
- Specialized glacier gear: helmet, harness, ice axe and crampons for superior glacier grip.
- A knowledgeable, English-speaking guide with a sense of humour and passion for this area.
Where and when do we meet?
- The 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 come from the south).
- Meeting time: We operate this tour at fixed times. Please see start times in the booking calendar.
- Where is Svartisen located? Svartisen is located 160 km south of Bodø along the Coastal Highway, FV 17 . If you start from Bodø we recommend to estimate 3 h driving. Then you will have some margin and time for a few stops on your way.
How to get to Svartisen glacier?
- Transport is not included in the price. Feel free to ask if you need help to figure out how to get to Svartisen. You might join us if the guide anyway starts from Bodø. That we will know a few days ahead the trip. Rental car is recommended.
- Public transport for a day trip might be a bit tricky. Getting to the glacier by bus from Bodø to Holand might be an option. Bus is a good option if you stay one or more nights by the glacier. Check timetable for bus Bodø – Halsa and make sure to leave bus at Holandsvika.
- Shuttle boat from Holandsvika (our meeting point) is not included in our price. Check timetable and info for shuttle boat Holandsvika to Engen.
Group size - We prefer small groups
- Typical group size for our trips range from 2 to 10 (15). We prefer to keep the group size as small as possible for these trips, which improves the experience for the participants and guide alike.
- What is the minimum number of participants? To run this tour, a minimum of 4 people must book. If this minimum is not met, we reserve the right to cancel the tour. You will then have the option of being rebooked on an alternative date or receiving a full refund.
- Larger groups can easily join this trip, then we will we divide the group into smaller groups of 6, each of which trip are accompanied by their own guide. Please note: we will never mix a private group trip with lone travellers.
Can I book if I’m on my own?
- Yes, you can! The groups on several of our trips are made up of solo travellers. You are welcome to come on your own and make new friends.
- Private tour as solo traveller? If you are the only one to book but you wish to go ahead with the tour on your original date, another option is to book a private tour. In this case, you will need to pay for the minimum number of participants required.
Weather cancellation policy
Normally no need to cancel due to weather. The only exception is extremely strong wind and/or heavy rain. A guided glacier hike at Svartisen could be done even in rainy weather if you are well dressed.
A little known fact is that the rich blue hues in the glaciers are more vibrant to the eye on an overcast day.
If weather turns bad we will consider choosing alternative experiences.
Where to stay near Svartisen?
You can do the trip to Svartisen as a day-trip from Bodø. Staying at least one night near the glacier is recommended. Simply because of its very nice surroundings.
Highly recommended. Charming old farm.
Huts near Svartisen
Cozy huts with shower, toilet and electricity.
Want to know more about Svartisen glacier?
If you want to know more about Svartisen glacier, please check out these:
- Read more about Svartisen glacier and glaciers in Norway (NVE – The Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate)
- Facts about Svartisen glacier (Wikipedia).