Nigardsbreen Glacier in Jostedal is one of the easiest accessible glaciers in the fjords area in Western Norway. A short boat trip and a short hike, and you stand by the foot of the glacier.
We joined a Short Blue Ice Hike on the glacier, and had a great experience in wild and beautiful surroundings. See the pictures and video further down in the article.
Read also: The Lustrafjord
Read also: Hiking to Mt. Molden in Luster
Read also: Kayaking the Lustrafjord to Urnes Stave Church
Read also: Kayaking the Lustrafjord and part of the Sognefjord
Glacier Hikes on Nigardsbreen
NOTE : The Blue Ice Family Glacier Hike is cancelled this season (2019) due to difficult ice conditions at the Nigardsbreen Glacier. The other glacier-hikes are open for booking, as normal.
The hikes on Nigardsbreen can be done in small or large groups. All hikes on the glacier are guided by experienced guides, and all necessary equipment are provided. Some of the hikes you can choose between are Blue Ice Family Hike, Short or Long Blue Ice Hike and Special Blue Ice Hike. You can also choose the KIDS SPECIAL which is a more challenging hike, for sporty and adventurous kids.
Age limit on Glacier Hikes on the Nigardsbreen Glacier is minimum 8 years old. It is recommended to book Glacier Hikes in advance at Jostedal Breførarlag. At Breheimsenteret Glacier Center in Jostedal, more information are provided about the activities, the glacier and the surrounding area.
Glacier Bus from Sogndal
About Nigardsbreen Glacier
The Nigardsbreen Glacier is a glacier arm of the Jostedalsbreen Glacier, the larges ice-cap in continental Europe. The Glacier is situated by Lake Nigardsbrevatnet at Gjerde, a side valley to the Jostedal Valley. Between year 1700 and 1750, the Nigardsbreen Glacier expanded more than four kilometres.
During the last years, from around 1930, the glacier has been retracting. Between the Glacier Center and Lake Nigardsbrevatnet you can see several morains from the retreat of the glacier. The road to the Glacier Lake goes through many of the moraines, so you are able to see some cross sections of the moraines from the road.
Warning – Glaciers are Dangerous
The last years there have been some fatal accidents by the foot of the glacier. A glacier is like a river in “slow motion”, glaciers are always moving. This causes the gacier to calv now and then, and sometimes the Glacial River will accumulate under the glacier and come out as a “tsunami”. Due to the danger, the glacier is barriered off in a good distance from the tongue of the glacier. Crossing the barriers is at great risk, so NEVER CROSS THE BARRIERS! See video below…
While you are in the Luster area in Sogn
I can highly recommend you to visit Luster and the Lustrafjord area. This is one of the most beautiful spots in Norway, where the fjord meets the top of Norway with it´s numerous mountains and glaciers. These are some of the adventures you can experience in Luster:
A one hour hike to Svarthiller or 2 hours hike to Mt. Molden (1118 masl) in Luster gives you a tremendous view towards the Lustrafjord and the surrounding mountains. Start at the parking place by the road between Hafslo and Mollandsmarki in Luster (500 masl). The path is marked.
In 1999, I was kayaking the Lustrafjord for the first time. In June 2019, twenty years later, I did it again. It almost went wrong, but I was lucky and “Saved by the Bell”. The Lustrafjord and the Luster area is one of the most beautiful spots in Norway, where the fjord meets the top of Norway with it´s numerous mountains and glaciers.
Solvorn and Urnes
Solvorn nearby is a beautiful village down by the Lustrafjord. Here you have the oldest historical hotel in Norway, the beautiful Walaker Hotel. At Solvorn you can take the small ferry across the Lustrafjord to Urnes and visit Urnes Stave Church and the Feigumfossen Waterfall.
The UNESCO Protected Urnes Stave Church
At Urnes, you will find the UNESCO-protected Urnes Stave Church, the oldest of a total of 28 remaining Stave Churches in Norway. The church was built around year 1130. A nice way to explore Urnes Stave Church and the beautiful surroundings is to cross the Lustrafjord by ferry from Lustrabaatane to Urnes. At Solvorn you can also rent bikes. From the ferry quay at Urnes there is only a short distance uphill to the Stave Church. During summer you can join a guided “tour” outside and inside the church.
If you want to go kayaking on the Lustrafjord, you can drive to Marifjøra, where you can rent kayaks and equipment from FjordSeal. Guiding and introductory lessons are also available. Read about My kayak adventure on the Lustrafjord.
Motor Boat on a Glacier Lake
You can also drive to the end of the Jostedalen Valley to Lake Styggevatnet, a “semi-artificial” dam, from where you have a view to the edge of the glacier calving into the lake. From here you have an easy hike to the glacier. If you are close to the glacier, pay attention to the danger that the glacier can be calving into the lake; this can cause big waves and it can be dangerous to stay close to the shoreline. Always use guide on these kind of trips, Ice Troll arrange guided Motor Boat Tours at Lake Styggevatnet.
Veitastrond and the Austerdalsbreen Glacier
From Hafslo in Luster you can drive to Veitastrond. From there, drive the private toll-road to Tungestølen (4-5 kilometre), from where you have a nice and easy 2 hour walk to the Austerdalsbreen Glacier. There you can see 3 different glaciers (Loke, Odin and Tor) falling down from the plateau glacierJostedalsbreen, together creating the beautiful glacier down in the valley named Austerdalen. The glacier has only minor crevasses, and if it’s not covered with snow, it should be fairly safe to walk on it. You should always use rope and guide. Use the guide service from Jostedalen Glacier Guiding, order in advance.
This is a short and easy hike with a great view, 120 metres above Skjolden and the Lustrafjord. You can hike along the road from Skjolden Hotel (1 hour hike – 3.2 kilometer) or drive up to the start of the trail and hike from there (15 minutes hike – 320 meter). From Sengjaberget you have great view towards Eidsvatnet and Eidselva River, Skjolden, the Lustrafjord and Mt. Molden in the horizon.
Skjolden and the Sognefjellet National Tourist Route
From Gaupne, you can also drive through Luster to Skjolden and Fortun.
Stay at Skjolden Hotel, a beautiful hotel with local food down by innermost part of the Lustrafjord. You can hike into the Mørkrisdalen Valley from Skjolden and the Fortunsdalen Valley from Fortun. The Fortunsdalen Valley is more spectacular the deeper into the valley you drive, but drive carefully. At the end of the road lies Nørstedalsseter Mountain Lodge, a good starting point for mountaineering.
From Skjolden, you can drive in the direction of Sognefjellet Mountain Road (National Tourist Route) and Lom. The first stop is Turtagrø Hotel, a new and modern mountain hotel, where you can get information and guiding to the Hurrungane Mountains, one of Norway´s wildest mountain areas. Turtagrø can offer guided hikes and climbing on mountains with views over most of the Jotunheimen National Park.
A little further and you have the Sognefjellshytta Mountain Lodge on the top of Sognefjellet. It has fantastic views and is cheap to stay overnight. Guided walks across Fannaraak Glacier to Fannaraaken (2068 metres above sea level) can be done from here. Just a few kilometres from Sognefjellshytta you arrive at Krossbu Mountain Lodge. Guiding across Smørstabbreen Glacier can be done from here.
Pictures from Luster in Sogn
LUSTRAFJORD – Useful Links
Tourist Information about Luster and the Lustrafjord: Sognefjord.com
Skjolden – Where fjord meets the mountains: Skjolden.com
The UNESCO Protected Urnes Stave Church
Ferry across the Lustrafjord: Lustrabaatane
Glacier Guiding on Nigardsbreen Glacier: Jostedalen Breførarlag
Breheimsenteret Glacier Center in Jostedal: Breheimsenteret
Mountain Hotel in the Hurrungane Mountains: Turtagrø Hotel
Sognefjellet National Tourist Route: Norwegian Scenic Routes
Guided Kayak Trip on the Lustrafjord: Fjordseal at Marifjøra
Hvitserk Expeditions: Guided kayak-adventure on the Lustrafjord
Guided Motor Boat Tours at Lake Styggevatnet: Ice Troll
Accommodation in Luster
Hotel at Skjolden: Skjolden Hotel
Guesthouse in Luster: Nes Gard
Norway`s oldest hotel: Walaker Hotel at Solvorn
Bed & Breakfast at Solvorn: Eplet Hostel & Juice Factory
Hotel at Marifjøra: Tørvis Hotel
Fjord Cabins in Luster: Luster Fjordhytter
Exclusive stay at Hafslo: BesteBakken
Fjord Tours: Norway in a Nutshell
Fjord Tours: Plan and book fjord travel, accommodation and activities
Go Fjords: Big and Small Fjord Experiences
Fjord Pass: Great Discounts on Activities and Attractions in the Fjords
Visit Norway: Official page for Norway
Fjord Norway: Official page for Fjord Norway