How to Hike Levada das 25 Fontes


The Levada das 25 Fontes Hike located in Madeira, Portugal is one of the most popular hikes on the island and for good reason.  With two impressive waterfalls to see along the way and sweeping rainforest views throughout, the 25 Fontes hike in Madeira, Portugal is not one to miss. Here is our guide on how to hike the 25 Fontes hike in Madeira, Portugal.  

Levadas are aqueducts that help with water flow throughout the island. There are many levada hikes throughout the island.  See our Top 3 Levada Hikes on Madeira, How to Hike Levada das 25 Fontes and How to Hike Levada do Caldeirão Verde guides for more information on other stunning levada hikes in Madeira. Also, see our Top Things to do Madeira guide for more on our Madeira trip.

FYI: We took this trip and hike when our daughter was 18 months old.  For more information on exploring with a baby, please see our Top 10 Baby Travel Tips, How to Hike with a Baby, 5 Top Baby & Toddler Flying Tips and Flying with a Baby posts. 

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. That means that, at no cost to you, we may get a small commission if you purchase through these links. This helps us keep providing travel resources for you!


How long is the 25 Fontes hike? How much elevation gain? 

Per our iWatch tracking, the 25 Fontes Levada Hike is 6.5 Miles with about 1,000 feet of elevation gain and is an out & back hike.  These stats include hiking to both the 25 Fontes Waterfall and Risco waterfall. This also includes hiking to the trailhead from the parking lot.  Note, the logistics of this hike on All Trails are not completely accurate, particularly elevation statistics which are dramatically higher than the actual elevation gain. 


How long does it take to hike the 25 Fontes hike?

The Levada das 25 Fontes hike took us 3 hours and 15 minutes to hike. This included hiking to the 25 Fontes Waterfall & Risco Waterfall.  This also was with 35+ lbs on one of our backs with baby and gear. Based on most reviews, this hike takes most people about 4 hours.  We hiked this trail on a rainy day but did not find it to be slippery or to need to hike slower because of the trail being wet. 


Can you take a shuttle to shorten the Levada das 25 Fontes hike?

You can take a shuttle from the parking lot to the start of the trailhead for the 25 Fontes hike and this will cut off about 0.8 miles (1.6 miles roundtrip) and about 500 feet of elevation.  This shuttle costs 5 Euros.  However, you can walk the path in less time than the shuttle goes back and forth most times as the schedule is inconsistent and variable.  Due to the shuttle being inconsistent and unreliable, we opted to walk to the trailhead from the parking lot and that was included in our hike statistics above.  We ended up hiking to/from the parking lot faster than the shuttle went back and forth to the trailhead. 


Is hiking the extra 1600m to the Risco waterfall worth it?  

Yes, hiking to the Risco waterfall on the 25 Fontes hike is completely worth it.  The hike to this bonus waterfall is a completely flat walk and the Risco waterfall is truly stunning, arguably more impressive than the 25 Fontes Waterfall as it is much bigger.  We both agree this short and flat detour to see this bonus waterfall is completely worth it! 

25 Fontes Hike

What are the logistics of the hike?

The 25 Fontes Levada waterfall hike starts from the parking lot.  For the first 0.8 miles, you are on a paved road and descending to the trailhead.  Once you reach the trailhead, you hike on a well maintained rocky trail.  You descend further into the valley intermittently from here on several staircases.  The elevation changes on this hike once you are off the paved trail do not feel overwhelming.  You will hike along the levada on a narrow trail. On the trail, you will get sweeping views of the rainforest along the way as well as many forested views along the levada. 

We hiked on a day that was not busy. However, with the narrow nature of the path, it can be hard (and frustrating) at times to pass people going the same way or the opposite way. In many narrow sections on busy days, you will have to wait for others to pass before proceeding on the trail.

You gain almost all your elevation on this hike on the way back to the trailhead and parking lot on this hike so be sure to save some energy.  


Where is the Levada das 25 Fontes hike located? 

This hike is located in Rabacal in the middle, west part of the island.  


What waterfalls do you see on this hike?

On the 25 Fontes Levada hike, you see several gorgeous waterfalls. The stunning 25 Fontes waterfall is the highlight of this hike.  However, you can also see the very impressive Risco waterfall for only an 800 meter detour.


Is the 25 Fontes hike busy? 

Yes, the 25 Fontes waterfall hike is very busy as it is one of the most popular hikes on the island.  Try to get to this hike early or go on a more overcast day.  We hiked on a on/off rainy day with overcast skies and saw few other people and only several groups.


Do you need rain gear on the hike?  

25 Fontes Hike

Yes, we would suggest great rain gear on this hike. It tends to be more rainy on this part of the island and the weather in the rainforest is not always predictable.  Here is the rain gear we use and love.  And Baby G looks pretty cute in her Baby Rain Suit.

Gear we recommend to have to explore: 


We hope this guide helps you plan how to hike the 25 Fontes hike.  Anything you’d add to our guide? We’d love to hear your feedback and questions.  Please leave us a comment!

Did you find this post helpful? If so, please share it with a friend, like our Always Have a Trip Planned Facebook Page, follow our Always Have A Trip Planned Instagram and subscribe to our emails below.

And remember, Always Have A Trip Planned!

Top Things to do Madeira


Madeira AKA the “Hawaii of Europe” is a volcanic island off the coast of Morocco (but technically part of Portugal).  Madeira is an island paradise with lush rainforests, regular sunshine and stunning beaches.  The main differences between Madeira and Hawaii is that Madeira is much less well-known and consequently less expensive than Hawaii, truly making it a hidden gem.  Madeira also is not as consistently warm during the winter months and gets a bit cooler at night than Hawaii.  However, given its picturesque landscape and generally comfortable weather, Madeira is a great year round destination.  Here is our guide on the top things to do on Madeira.  

FYI: We visited Madeira in February for a week and found it to be a great winter getaway from the dreary and cold US midwest.  The temperature was mainly in the upper 60s/low 70s (Fahrenheit), and it was sunny all but one day when we had intermittent rain/clouds. On the rainy/cloudy day, it was in the upper 50s (Fahrenheit).  We stayed on the southern side of the island in Arco da Calheta where it is consistently warmer year round than the northern side of the island. 

We took this trip when our daughter was 18 months old.  For more information on traveling and exploring with a baby, please see our Top 10 Baby Travel Tips, How to Hike with a Baby, 5 Top Baby & Toddler Flying Tips and Flying with a Baby posts. 

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. That means that, at no cost to you, we may get a small commission if you purchase through these links. This helps us keep providing travel resources for you!   


Top Things to do Madeira: Hike 25 Fontes Levada Waterfall Hike

The 25 Fontes Levada Hike is one of the most popular levada hikes on Madeira and for good reason.  With two impressive waterfalls to see along the way and sweeping rainforest views throughout, the 25 Fontes hike is not one to miss while visiting Madeira. The 25 Fontes and Risco waterfalls you see on this hike are truly astounding.  

The 25 Fontes Levada Hike is 6.5 miles round trip with about 1,000 feet of elevation gain and is an out & back hike.  This hike is located near Rabacal (in the middle west part of the island).  For more information on this hike, please see our guide on How to Hike Levada das 25 Fontes on Madeira. 

Cost: Free


Top Things to do Madeira: Hike Levada do Caldeirão Verde

The next thing we recommend is another stunning Levada hike.  The Levada do Caldeirão Verde hike is one of the most magical and picturesque levada hikes on Madeira.  From sweeping mountainous rainforest views, to hiking through narrow caves to stunning waterfalls, this hike does not disappoint.  This hike was recommended to us by several as the ‘best hike on Madeira’ and we would agree. This overall flat hike is not overly strenuous or technical and with astounding views.  The Levada do Caldeirão Verde hike in Madeira is a must do hike while on the island. 

The Levada do Caldeirão Verde is an out & back hike that is 8.5 miles round-trip and is essentially flat the entire journey.  This hike is located near Santana (in the North Middle part of the island),  For more information on this hike, please see our guide on How to Hike Levada do Caldeirão Verde on Madeira.

Cost: Less than 5 Euro to Park


Top Things to do Madeira: Hike Ponta de Sao Lourenco Trail

Next thing we recommend doing on Madeira is hiking the Ponta de Sao Lourenco Tail.  The Ponta de Sao Lourenco hike takes you along the colorful and rugged easternmost tip of the island that extends into the ocean that is often referred to as “The Dragon’s Tail” of the island.  The scenery is more barren here with interesting rock and cliff formations.  It is unlike anything else you will see on the island.  Definitely be sure to do this hike while visiting Madeira.  

Ponta de Sao Lourenco Trail Logistics

The hike is 4.6 Miles round-trip with 1,351 feet of elevation gain and is out & back.  If you do not want to hike the whole trail there are some very pretty views of this rugged coastline about 0.5 miles into the hike.  This hike has a lot of up & down but only felt a bit strenuous on the last climb to the summit that is quite steep.  Otherwise, the hike goes by quickly as scenery changes often enough, and you have plenty to look at along the way.  

Note, do not expect to have this hike to yourself.  Although not the easiest hike on the island, it is relatively short and very unique so a lot of people hike at least part of it.  Ideally, arrive early to avoid issues parking and as many people as possible.  We had no trouble parking at the trailhead around 10am but when we finished the hike at 12:30 PM, cars were double parked and parked very far down the road with many circling waiting for a spot to park. It was bananas! 

No Shade

Also, note that this hike is completely out in the open meaning that there is zero shade on this trail.  Ideally, hike at sunrise to avoid the sun and heat.  However, this was unrealistic with our baby so we hiked it on a mainly overcast day to avoid the sun and heat. You do get an ocean breeze periodically during the hike.

Cost: Free


Top Things to do Madeira: Visit Camara de Lobos Fishing Village

This small fishing village is very picturesque. It is not surprising that Winston Churchill loved to come and find inspiration here. In Camara de Lobos, you can walk around the waterfront and city center, admiring the architecture and charming little town.  We highly recommend not eating on the waterfront though as you will get better food, prices and service a bit further away from the hustle and bustle.  We ate at Vila da Carne Carne Restaurante (a couple streets off the main waterfront) and had the best Espetada we have tasted.  Here, you can dine on a beautiful outdoor patio that overlooks the picture-perfect waterfront.  

Note that this is a great spot to stop for lunch or dinner after going to Cabo Giro (next to do).  However, do not expect to have this village to yourself.  This is the only spot (other than Cabo Girao) that had a lot of tourists during our time on Madeira. However, it’s popular for good reason due to its undeniable charm and we still think it is worth a visit.  Visit here early in the morning if you want to avoid a lot of other people.

Cost: Free


Top Things to do Madeira: Stop at the Highest Sea Cliff in Europe at Cabo Girao

Our next thing to do on Madeira is to stop at the highest sea Cliff in Europe at Cabo Girao. Here, a glass floor separates you and an almost 2000 foot (greater than 500 meter) drop into the ocean.  It is very neat to stand on this viewing platform and look down.  Our daughter loved that she could see the ocean and cliff from so high up.  Plan to spend 15 minutes here (unless it is a particularly busy time when you may have to wait longer to get on the platform).  

Cost: Free


Top Things to do Madeira: Drive under Waterfall at Cascata dos Anjos

The next thing to do on Madeira is a quick stop but a fun one! Cascata dos Anjos means Angels Waterfall and this waterfall pours over your car on the road.  The road is not well maintained or trafficked but rather easy to access near Ponta del Sol. Our daughter thought it was quite funny to drive under this waterfall so we did it several times.  It’s like a free car wash.  You also can walk under this waterfall but beware you will get completely soaked. 

Cost: Free


Top Things to do Madeira: Hike Levada do Moinho to Levada do Nova 

The Levada do Moinho to Levada do Nova hike is a peaceful loop trail along two different levadas that leads you to two different waterfalls.  One of the waterfalls you can even walk behind!  Although not a very popular hike, it was one of our favorite hikes on Madeira.  Beyond the waterfalls you see on this hike, the valley mountain views here are incredible. The Levada do Moinho to Levada do Nova hike is a hidden gem on Madeira. 

The Levada do Moinho to Levada do Nova is a 5.6 miles round trip hike with just under 500 feet of elevation gain and is a loop trail.  This hike is located near Ponta del Sol (middle south part of the island).  For more information on the hike, please see our guide on How to Hike Levada do Moinho on Madeira.

Cost: Free


Top Things to do Madeira: See Traditional Santana Houses

Early inhabitants of the island built these houses and the largest collection of them is in Santana.   These houses are charming and fun to walk through.  There are little shops in each house here where you can buy traditional sweets, drinks, clothing, flowers and other souvenirs.  We liked sampling different traditional cookies at the house with different sweets. Sam tried a traditional passionfruit poncha here too that was delicious though very potent. There is also a small local farmer’s market across the street. 

Tip: If stopping for lunch or dinner around here, do not eat right by the houses.  Drive 5 minutes either way for less tourists as well as better food and service. We ate at Santana in Nature about 5 minutes away near the Miradouro do Cortado viewpoint and had a nice relaxing meal that felt very local (staff did not speak English). 

Cost: Free


Top Things to do Madeira: Stop at the iconic Madeira panorama spot of Miradouro do Cortado 

After visiting stopping at the Santana houses, stop at the iconic Madeira panorama spot of Miradouro do Cortado.  This viewpoint is one of the best spots to see water and mountains (and sometimes purple flowers).   It is near the Santana Houses and definitely worth a stop if you are in the area. 

Tip: Miradouro means scenic viewpoint in Portuguese.  Anytime you see a sign indicating Miradouro, feel free to follow it to a viewpoint.  However, there are truly an endless number of these on Madeira and you will get just as scenic views hiking and driving throughout the island.  We would not advise stopping at every one of these because you could spend your entire trip just doing that.  

Cost: Free


Top Things to do Madeira: Monte Palace Botanical Gardens in Funchal 

Our final Madeira recommendation is to visit the Monte Palace Botanical Gardens.  We did not spend any time in the bustling Funchal (main city on Madeira where the airport is located) other than to visit the stunning Monte Palace Botanical Gardens.  These gardens are rated as one of the most beautiful botanical gardens in the world with a huge variety of pretty flora.  Due to the location of Madeira, plants from all over the world have been brought here.  These gardens are 5 acres and the paths here make for some leisurely strolling.  Our daughter really enjoyed walking around the gardens here and seeing all the different pretty flowers.

Cost: 5 Euros/Person.  The entrance fee was waived for us when we arrived 1.5 hours prior to closing but this was plenty of time to explore.  If interested, there is a cable car you can take into the stunning valley/mountainside here that is an additional cost.


Top Things to do Madeira: Other Things To Do

Although we did not have time for the below activities, here are some other things to do in Madeira if you have more time.  

  • Sunrise or Sunset at Pico de Arieiro (High mountainous viewpoint, 60 second walk from the parking lot, may be more windy and cold atop mountain, plan to go at sunset instead of sunrise to avoid potential total fog and be able to scope out the NetMadeira webcam) 
  • Miradouro de Véu da Noiva (Viewpoint, waterfall that leads straight into the ocean, short walk from parking lot to viewpoint, cannot access waterfall due to landslide)
  • Sexial Black Sand Beach (Black sand beach near Miradouro de Véu da Noiva, best to visit in summer months as it is located on theon colder north side of island)  
  • Walk to the waterfall at Garganta Funda Viewpoint (Viewpoint of tallest waterfall in Madeira at 459 feet (140 meters), 5 minute walk to see, better to see in winter because more flow, located very far on the west side of the island and may be a long drive to access due to lots of windy roads winding) 
  • Hike to the island’s highest point at Pico Ruivo (Highest point on Madeira at 1,862 meters above sea level, Achada do Teixeira trail is 3.4 miles round-trip with 1,571 feet elevation gain and an out & back trail to reach it, often snow cover during winter months and may not have panoramic sweeping views with cloud cover) 
  • Hike Verada de Balcoes (0.6 miles flat trail, mountains covered in thick forest and can see to the ocean on a clear day, the roads to this hike closed during our visit) 

General Madeira Tips

Must try Food/Drinks on Madeira

Food/drinks to be sure to eat/drink while on Madeira include: 

  • Bolo do Caco: Garlic bread that is served or offered as an appetizer at almost every restaurant in Madeira, we ordered this at most meals to eat before our main meal. 
  • Espatadas: Beef Skewers served on a spit that hangs over your table. We had the best Espatadas at Vila da Carne Restaurante in Câmara de Lobos. 
  • Poncha: A traditional, very sweet alcoholic drink that typically served in a small glass and made from sugar cane. It’s delicious but very potent.  It tastes like rum and orange juice mixed together. 

Have Quality Rain Gear

It only rained one day during our visit. However, Madeira is a tropical island and it rains frequently. Even if it was not raining on many of our hikes, we needed rain gear to stay dry when we had to hike through different areas with large water runoff.  We highly recommend having good rain gear for your visit to Madeira.  Here is the gear we use, love and recommend. 

Narrow and Winding Roads

The roads in Madeira are narrow and winding almost everywhere on the island. Be mindful of this fact and be very careful driving.  Local drivers often take these narrow roads very quickly but be more cautious than them. Many parts of the roads become one lane due to cars parking directly on the road (legally) due to limited space for parking. The freeway also has very short entrance ramps and you often have to wait to get on the expressway (we have never seen this anywhere else in the world).  We highly recommend renting a compact car as there really is not room for bigger cars on most roads and this will make parking easier for you too. 

For some prone to motion sickness, including Natalie and Baby G, these roads were a bit nauseating at times. See our How to Prevent Motion Sickness While Traveling and Flying for some tips on dealing with this motion sickness. 

Where to Stay on Madeira

We recommend staying near the Ponta del Sol/ or the Calheta area or the Santana area.  Both are located near many of the activities we recommend.  However, both of these areas are on opposite sides of the island.  We opted to stay on the southern side of the island as the weather is warmer and more stable year round.  Arco da Calheta is where we stayed for the week and we found the location to be very nice/central.


We hope this guide helps you plan things to do on Madeira.  Anything you’d add to our guide? We’d love to hear your feedback and questions.  Please leave us a comment!

Did you find this post helpful? If so, please share it with a friend, like our Always Have a Trip Planned Facebook Page, follow our Always Have A Trip Planned Instagram and subscribe to our emails below.

And remember, Always Have A Trip Planned!

Top 3 Levada Hikes on Madeira


There are many different levada hikes on the island of Madeira. Levadas are aqueducts that aid with water flow throughout the island and trails run adjacent to many of them.  The paths next to these levadas offer some of the most scenic hikes with lush flora on the islands given the ample water supply the levadas provide.  These levada hikes also often lead to some of the stunning waterfalls and magnificent flourishing mountain valley views.  With there being so many of these hikes on the island, we did our research to find the best ones to hike while on Madeira. We had limited time on the island rather than weeks to hike them all.  Here is our guide on what we consider the top 3 levada hikes on Madeira that you should be sure to hike during your visit.  


#1 Top Levada Hike: Levada do Caldeirão Verde

The Levada do Caldeirão Verde hike is one of the most magical and picturesque levada hikes on Madeira.  From sweeping mountainous rainforest views, to hiking through narrow caves to stunning waterfalls, this hike does not disappoint.  This hike was recommended to us by several as the ‘best hike on Madeira’ and we would agree. This overall flat hike is not overly strenuous or technical and with astounding views.  The Levada do Caldeirão Verde hike in Madeira is a must-do hike while on the island. If you are only going to do one levada hike on Madeira, do this one. 

The Levada do Caldeirão Verde is an out & back hike that is 8.5 miles round-trip and is essentially flat the entire journey.  This hike is located near Santana (in the North Middle part of the island),  For more information on this hike, please see our guide on How to Hike Levada do Caldeirão Verde on Madeira.


#2 Top Levada Hike: 25 Fontes Waterfall Hike

The 25 Fontes Levada Hike is one of the most popular levada hikes on Madeira and for good reason.  With two impressive waterfalls to see along the way and sweeping rainforest views throughout, the 25 Fontes hike is not one to miss while visiting Madeira. The 25 Fontes waterfall and Risco waterfall you see on this hike are truly astounding.  

The 25 Fontes Levada Hike is 6.5 miles round trip with about 1,000 feet of elevation gain and is an out & back hike.  This hike is located near Rabacal (in the middle west part of the island).  For more information on this hike, please see our guide on How to Hike Levada das 25 Fontes on Madeira. 


Looking for some further guidance on preparing for these hikes? See this Ultimate Hiking Checklist article.


#3 Top Levada Hike: Levada do Moinho to Levada do Nova 

The Levada do Moinho to Levada do Nova hike is a peaceful loop trail along two different levadas that leads you to two different waterfalls.  One of the waterfalls you can even walk behind!  Although not a very popular hike, it was one of our favorite hikes on Madeira.  Beyond the waterfalls you see on this hike, the valley mountain views here are incredible. The Levada do Moinho to Levada do Nova hike is a hidden gem on Madeira. 

The Levada do Moinho to Levada do Nova is a 5.6 miles round trip hike with just under 500 feet of elevation gain and is a loop trail.  This hike is located near Ponta del Sol (middle south part of the island).  For more information on the hike, please see our guide on How to Hike Levada do Moinho on Madeira.


General Levada Hike Tip: Hike with Rain Gear

It only rained one day during our visit. However, Madeira is a tropical island and it rains frequently. Even if it was not raining on many of our hikes, we needed rain gear to stay dry when we had to go hike through different areas due to water run off.  We highly recommend having good rain gear for your visit to Madeira, particularly hiking most levadas. Here is the gear we use, love and recommend. 


We hope this guide helps you plan what levada hikes you want to do while visiting Madeira.  Anything you’d add to our guide? We’d love to hear your feedback and questions.  Please leave us a comment! For more information on our Madeira trip see our Top Things to do Madeira post.

Did you find this post helpful? If so, please share it with a friend, like our Always Have a Trip Planned Facebook Page, follow our Always Have A Trip Planned Instagram and subscribe to our emails below.

And remember, Always Have A Trip Planned!

How to Hike Levada do Moinho to Levada do Nova


The Levada do Moinho to Levada do Nova hike is a peaceful loop trail along two different levadas that leads you to two different waterfalls.  One of those waterfalls you can even walk behind!  Although not a very popular hike, it was one of our favorite hikes in Madeira.  Besides the waterfalls you see, the valley mountain views are incredible. The Levada do Moinho to Levada do Nova hike is not one to miss while visiting Madeira. Here is our guide on how to hike Levada do Moinho to Levada do Nova in Madeira.

Levadas are aqueducts that help with water flow throughout the island. There are many levada hikes throughout Madeira.  See our Top 3 Levada Hikes on Madeira, How to Hike Levada das 25 Fontes and How to Hike Levada do Caldeirão Verde guides for more information on other stunning levada hikes on Madeira. For more information on our Madeira trip see our Top Things to do Madeira post.

We took this trip and hike when our daughter was 18 months old. For more information on exploring with a baby, please see our Top 10 Baby Travel Tips, How to Hike with a Baby, 5 Top Baby & Toddler Flying Tips and Flying with a Baby posts. 

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. That means that, at no cost to you, we may get a small commission if you purchase through these links. This helps us keep providing travel resources for you!


What are the stats of the Levada do Moinho to Levada do Nova hike? 

The Levada do Moinho to Levada do Nova is a 5.6 miles round trip hike with just under 500 feet of elevation gain and is a loop trail.  


How would you rate the difficulty of the Levada do Moinho to Levada do Nova hike? 

The trail is rather easy with only one spot when hiking between the levadas where you have to hike up about 300 feet of elevation (several flights of stairs) at one time.  The trail is a well maintained concrete path along the levadas.


Is the Levada do Moinho to Levada do Nova hike doable for someone afraid of heights? 

If you are afraid of heights, the Levada do Moinho to Levada do Nova trail may not be for you. Unlike the other levada hikes we did in Madeira, there are significant areas of the path with large drop offs that do not have fencing along them.  However, we never once felt unsafe on the path as it was plenty wide and stable.


How do I find the Levada do Moinho to Levada do Nova hike? 

To start the Levada do Moinho to Levada do Nova Hike, park outside of Igreja da Lombada da Ponta do Sol. The easiest way to locate this trailhead is to locate this church using Google maps.  The Levada do Moinho to Levada do Nova trail then begins behind the church after walking down an alleyway. There is an orange/brown sign clearly pointing to the Levada do Moinho.  This directs you to a small alley behind the church that quickly leads to the Levada do Moinho to Levada do Nova trail.


Is the trail a loop? Do you hike on two levadas on the Levada do Moinho to Levada do Nova hike? 

This trail is a loop, created by combining the trail along the Levada do Moinho and Levada do Nova.  Levada do Moinho is older and located below the newer and higher Levada do Nova. These two levadas parallel one another at different heights.  


How do you get between Levada do Moinho and Levada do Nova? 

The way we hiked the trail, we first hiked on Levada do Moinho and then climbed up a staircase mid hike to join the Levada do Nova trail. 

When you first see this staircase at about 2.5ish miles into the hike, continue on about 300 meters down a small staircase and across the river to see another waterfall in the gorge for very little extra effort.  During the rainy season (when we were visiting), the river may flow more swiftly. However, we were able to cross the river rather easily and safely, though our feet did get wet.  Just be careful of your footing!  The gorge waterfall is pretty yet not the highlight of this hike, more just an added bonus waterfall!  At the waterfall in the gorge, there are some nice picnic areas, and this is the best spot to take a break for lunch or a snack along this hike. 

After seeing the waterfall in the gorge, head back to the staircase and take the steps up to Levada do Nova to make your way to the waterfall you can walk behind.  When you reach the top of the stairs turn RIGHT.  A local we met on the trail helped us navigate this path and we are glad we had his assistance because there was no clear signage . You can also head up the staircase right away instead of heading into the gorge. However, it will make your hike only minimally shorter and you will see one less waterfall.  

Note, early on the Levada do Moinho trail, there is another small staircase that is spray painted saying it leads to Levada do Novo but do not go up that either, it won’t lead you to the right spot. 


What are the Levada do Moinho to Levada do Nova hike logistics? 

Vast Open Mountain Views to Start

On the first few miles of the hike, you hike along the cliff-edge.  You have stunning valley mountain views in front of you and sweeping valley views to the ocean behind you.  The drop-offs here are steep but we never felt the trail was unsafe or too narrow even when hand railings were not present. 

Walk-Behind Waterfall

Once you take the stairs from the Levada do Moinho trail to the Levada do Novo trail, you are very close to the main attraction of the trail, the waterfall you can walk behind.  Remember, turn RIGHT once you reach the top of the stairs. You turn the corner on this trail and suddenly BAM there is the waterfall you can walk behind.  It is very pretty sight with lots of greenery in the rainy season. The waterfall cascades over the trail that has been carved into the cliff side.  You will only get slightly wet walking under it (none of us wore raincoats so pretty minimal).

Dry Tunnel

After the waterfall, you head into a short 0.1 mile dark dry tunnel.  Unlike the tunnels on the Levada do Caldeirão Verde hike, this one was completely dry and not as low meaning you do not need to duck as much.  Like the Levada do Caldeirao hike, we do recommend using headlamps here.  

Open Mountainous Views Again

After hiking through the tunnel, you parallel your path you took the way in, only higher up now.  You again get sweeping views over the mountainous valley to the ocean in front of you and the vast mountainous green valley views behind you. Again, be mindful during this part of the hike as more sections of this levada do not have railing in comparison to the Levada do Moinhos below.

The Levada do Novo trail then ends about a half mile up from the church so you have to walk down the road back to the church to complete this loop hike.  It was fun to look at all the different houses up close along this road and made for an easy downhill end to our hike. 


Where is the Levada do Moinho to Levada do Nova hike located? 

The Levada do Moinho to Levada do Nova Hike is located in the middle southern part of the island near Ponta del Sol (less than 20 minutes from where we were staying in Arco da Calheta).  


Do you need rain gear on the Levada do Moinho to Levada do Nova hike?  

No, unless it is raining, you do not need rain gear for the Levada do Moinho to Levada do Nova hike. The cave is dry on the trail and there are no spots on the trail where you have to go directly under water run-off. 


Is the Levada do Moinho to Levada do Nova Hike busy? 

In comparison to the other levada hikes we did, this one was the least busy.  We saw approximately 10 other people on the trail, all very well spaced out.  It felt like we had this hike to ourselves at times, especially on the Levada do Moinho. 


We hope this guide helps you plan how to hike Levada do Moinho to Levada do Nova.  Anything you’d add to our guide? We’d love to hear your feedback and questions.  Please leave us a comment!

Did you find this post helpful? If so, please share it with a friend, like our Always Have a Trip Planned Facebook Page, follow our Always Have A Trip Planned Instagram and subscribe to our emails below.

And remember, Always Have A Trip Planned!

How to Hike Levada do Caldeirão Verde


The Levada do Caldeirão Verde hike in Madeira, Portugal is one of the most magical and picturesque levada hikes on the island.  From sweeping mountainous rainforest views, to hiking through narrow tunnels to stunning waterfalls, this hike offers constant views and action.  This hike was recommended to us by several as the ‘best hike on Madeira’ and we would agree. This overall flat hike is not overly strenuous or technical, providing astounding views with less effort.  The Levada do Caldeirão Verde hike in Madeira is a must do hike while on the island. Here is our guide on how to hike Levada do Caldeirão Verde in Madeira.

Levadas are aqueducts that help with water flow throughout the island. There are many levada hikes throughout the island.  See our Top 3 Levada Hikes on Madeira, How to Hike Levada das 25 Fontes and How to Hike Levada do Moinho guides for more information on other stunning levada hikes in Madeira. Also see our Top Things to do Madeira guide for more Madeira tips.

We took this trip and hike when our daughter was 18 months old. For more information on exploring with a baby, please see our Top 10 Baby Travel Tips, How to Hike with a Baby, 5 Top Baby & Toddler Flying Tips and Flying with a Baby posts. 

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. That means that, at no cost to you, we may get a small commission if you purchase through these links. This helps us keep providing travel resources for you!


How long is the Levada do Caldeirão Verde hike? How much elevation do you gain on the hike? 

Per our iWatch tracking, the Levada do Caldeirão Verde Hike is 8.5 miles round-trip and essentially flat the entire journey.  It is an out & back hike.  Note that the elevation of this hike is insanely inaccurate on All Trails (this seems to be a theme for levada hikes in Madeira as the elevation was also very off on the 25 Fontes Hike). 

There is an option to hike about 2 miles further round trip to the Inferno but we did not hike further onto this spot and this add-on is not factored into our hike logistics. 


How long does it take to hike the Levada do Caldeirão Verde hike?

The Levada do Caldeirão Verde hike took us 4 hours and 30 minutes to complete.  This was with one of us carrying 35+ pounds on our back the entire time (Baby G plus gear).  This hike takes most people about 5 or 6 hours to complete.  


What makes the Levada do Caldeirão Verde hike unique?

To reach the Levada do Caldeirão Verde, you must hike through 4 narrow, variable length tunnels. All of these tunnels are a bit different in length and height. To safely pass through them, you need a headlamp and to be able to duck down adequately (lowest passage estimated around 4 feet high).  

Tunnel Specifics

The first and last tunnel are rather short and tall whereas the other two are longer and more low, meaning you will need to duck down significantly and must have a source of light.  Being very mindful, we were able to avoid hitting ours or the baby’s head while navigating these with the baby on Sam’s back.  Natalie always walked behind Sam to make sure his and baby’s heads were both safe.  

These tunnels were also rather wet on the ground and dripping from above.  Be sure to have waterproof rain gear including solid hiking boots. 

As mentioned above, these caves are VERY wet and dripping so be sure to be wearing rain gear when you pass through them too. Beyond the tunnels being wet, at several spots along the levada, you have to pass under large areas of water runoff.  Here, if not wearing rain gear, you will get completely soaked.  We are so glad we had our baby’s rain suit and our rain gear with us.  Rain gear we recommend to have to explore: 

We saw some people complete this hike in tennis shoes and their feet must have been completely soaked by the end.  We highly advise against that. 

Other Unique Qualities

What also makes the Levada do Caldeirão Verde hike unique is the waterfall located within a rock clearing at the end of the hike that looks like a cauldron (first picture on post).   Caldeirão Verde translates to ‘Green Cauldron’ and this name is very fitting. 


Is the Levada do Caldeirão Verde Hike safe and/or scary? 

There are some large drop offs next to the levada trail at times but every section of this trail was very well-maintained with railings next to all these drop-offs.  We never felt unsafe hiking along the levadas here.  Even when passing other hikers (on the sometimes very narrow levada trail), you can lean into/over the levada without ever needing to lean out over the railing. 


What are the logistics of the Levada do Caldeirão Verde Hike?

The Levada do Caldeirão Verde hike starts off through the forest and you wind through the rainforest along the levada.  At times you are hiking along a narrow levada path next to steep drop offs (with a railing) and at other times you are hiking on a rather wide path.  The steep drop offs give you some sweeping mountainous rainforest views and the wider parts of the trail you will see variable ferns, flowers and flora.  As mentioned before, you will hike through 4 different tunnels that are variably narrow/low but all very wet.  Be sure to have headlamps for this and to be mindful of your head (and any children you are carrying).  This hike leads you to the Caldeirão Verde or the ‘Green Cauldron’ which is a waterfall flowing into a large cauldron like rock clearing.  This hike is essentially flat and not overly strenuous or technical.


Where is the Levada do Caldeirão Verde located? 

The Levada do Caldeirão Verde hike is located near Santana in the North, Middle of the island.   After this hike, you may consider visiting the traditional Santana houses of Madeira. 


Is the Levada do Caldeirão Verde hike busy? 

The Levada do Caldeirão Verde hike is well-trafficked but neither of us felt it was busy per se.  We certainly saw other people so do not expect to have it to yourself. However, we were always able to have our own space hiking and passed less than 20 people on the trail total.  We were visiting during low season though so this trail would likely be busier during high season.  


Do you need rain gear on the Levada do Caldeirão Verde Hike?  

Yes, we would suggest great rain gear on this hike even if it is not raining.  Not only are the tunnels you will pass through wet and dripping but also at several spots along the levada, you have to pass under large areas of water runoff.  Here, if not wearing a raincoat, you will get completely soaked (especially if it has rained recently and there is more runoff similar to the day we hiked).  We are so glad we had our baby’s rain suit and our rain gear with us. 

Here is the rain gear we use and love: 


We hope this guide helps you plan how to hike Levada do Caldeirão Verde.  Anything you’d add to our guide? We’d love to hear your feedback and questions.  Please leave us a comment!

Did you find this post helpful? If so, please share it with a friend, like our Always Have a Trip Planned Facebook Page, follow our Always Have A Trip Planned Instagram and subscribe to our emails below.

And remember, Always Have A Trip Planned!

Top Things to do in Porto, Portugal


Porto, Portugal is the second largest city in Portugal located along the scenic Douro River.  Porto is known for its charming narrow cobblestone streets lined with colorful houses, shops, cafes and restaurants.  It’s also known for its production of port wine in the nearby Douro River Valley.  There are so many things to do in Porto. From a hopping food scene, to different walking tours, to baking classes, you will have plenty of potential things to do in Porto.  We recommend spending 3+ days here depending on how much exploring you want to do.  Here is our guide on things to do in Porto, Portugal.  

Things to do in Porto

We took this trip when our daughter was 18 months old.  For more information on traveling and exploring with a baby, please see our Top 10 Baby Travel Tips, How to Hike with a Baby, 5 Top Baby & Toddler Flying Tips and Flying with a Baby posts. 

FYI This post is written based on a trip taken mid-February. The high was in the mid 60s (Fahrenheit).

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. That means that, at no cost to you, we may get a small commission if you purchase through these links. This helps us keep providing travel resources for you!


Top Things to do in Porto: Free Walking Tour of Porto

Looking to get a lay of the land in Porto? Then, do this Best of Porto Free Walking Tour when you first arrive! We are so glad we took this tour just after arriving as it helped give us a great overview of the city and orient us for the rest of our stay.  We covered a lot of ground on this tour, seeing most of the highlights of the city, and got to see some hidden gems along the way too.  

Our guide, Luis, was fantastic. He’s a great story teller about the history, culture and architecture of Porto.  He gave us many local tips and insights on the tour too.  Further, at the end of the tour, he gave us a list of restaurant and activity recommendations that were very helpful.  Most of the restaurants we loved in Porto were on this list.  We cannot recommend this tour enough, and it is a must do while in Porto! 


Top Things to do in Porto: Walk across the bridge from Porto to Gaia over the Douro River

Things to do in Porto

Gaia is the hub of the port wine industry located not far from Porto just across the Douro River.  This walk across the bridge will take you less than 10 minutes (if you are staying close to the city center) and you’ll be glad you took the walk to venture across the river.  Gaia is less busy than Porto yet from here you can get the best views of the very picturesque Porto (see picture above).  Also, you can try port wine from several port wine cellars and get some amazing seafood or Portuguese food here for a better price than in Porto.

To get to Gaia by foot, you have two options.  You can walk over the upper bridge (which also has a metro train track) or cross on the lower pedestrian only bridge.  The upper bridge has stunning views looking back on Porto, but it is a climb to get to it. The lower bridge has less stunning views during the walk but once you cross the lower bridge the waterfront views of Porto from Gaia are equally stunning.  We reached Gaia both ways at different times and would recommend doing the same.  We crossed the upper bridge on our free walking tour and came back the next evening to walk the pedestrian lower bridge to visit the Mercado Beira-Rio Market in the heart of Gaia (see below for more on this market in Gaia).


Top Things to do in Porto: Harry Potter Walking Tour

Did you know J.K Rowling lived in Porto while writing the early Harry Potter books? And that her time here greatly inspired the entire Harry Potter series?  This Harry Potter Tour is great for anyone who loves Harry Potter, especially those who want to learn more about how the Harry Potter series was essentially conceptualized in Porto and how much the city’s architecture and culture played into inspiring many aspects of the series.  

Things to do in Porto

On this tour, your guide will show you all the ins/outs of how Porto inspired the Harry Potter series.  Our guide, Vini, on this tour was wonderful. He was so personable and really catered the experience to us, including our 18 month old daughter. Vini is a Harry Potter series expert and so knowledgeable about all things inspired by Porto in the Harry Potter series.  He also showed us sides of the city we had not seen on our other walking tour which gave us an even better grasp of the city as whole.  Additionally, at the end of our tour, he gave us a list of restaurant, dessert and activity recommendations in Porto.  We found our favorite gelato spot through his recommendation and if you have read more of our guides, you know we are suckers for a great dessert find! 

Further, we took this tour on Valentine’s day and as part of the Valentines special, we created Amortentias (love potions) for each other with simple yet intentionally chosen ingredients we brought with us.  It was a very sweet, fun and different way to celebrate Valentine’s day.  


Top Things to do in Porto: Walk the Charming Streets & Take in the Art

Simply take some time to get lost walking around the charming cobblestone streets lined with pretty shops, cafes/restaurants and residences. We loved the just looking around at the pretty architecture everywhere. Be sure to stop at São Bento Train Station at some point during your visit (will see on free walking tour recommended above) to see some pretty azulejo tiles inside.

Things to do in Porto

Things to do in Porto: Eat at some of the many Delicious Restaurants and Cafes

Eat Dinner at Torreao

Seriously though, dine at Torreao. This was the most delicious food we ate while in Porto and our mouths water just thinking of our meals weeks later.  We tried the stuffed dory fish and the puff pastry salmon.  Both were out of this world!  We also ordered a vegetarian curry to split with our daughter (cost the same as a kids menu item) and that was very tasty as well.  Torreao has a rooftop patio that overlooks the city and Douro river with some amazing views.  The night we ate here it was a bit chilly and the patio was not open but the wait staff took us up there to see the views from the patio after our meal and we were wowed. 

As an added bonus, Torreao is part of a social economy project that aims to dignify and socially reintegrate people who are homeless or at serious risk of social exclusion. Through helping these individuals obtain higher levels of academic qualification (all are enrolled in a rigorous training program in hospitality/catering), they empower these individuals with increased personal, social and professional skills that are indispensable for sustained professional reintegration. 

Dine at Casa Virtude

Casa Virtude serves delicious Portuguese food and has a pretty interior as well as a kind waitstaff.  We ate some delicious seafood here (had octopus and seafood risotto), and it was all very good.  

Eat dinner at Mercado Beira-Rio in Gaia 

Located in the heart of the historical center of Vila Nova de Gaia, the Mercado Beira-Rio is a great place for locals and tourists alike to get a great meal from 10+ different restaurant stands within the market.  We love markets like this because everyone can get what they want and you can try a little something from several stands in the market.  We had some really good freshly cooked shrimp here, tried Francesinha (cheese/sauce covered meat sandwich served with fries to dip in the cheese/sauce) here and got several delicious tapas as well.

This spot reminded us of the Time’s Out Market we loved in Lisbon.  See our Visiting Lisbon, Portugal on a Budget guide for all the details on visiting this spot and exploring Portugal’s largest city of Lisbon. 

Another bonus, this market is also open during ‘off’ hours so we were able to eat here around 6pm for dinner whereas most restaurants do not reopen (after closing after lunchtime) until 7pm.  Our daughter tended to want to eat before the local time of 7pm so this was a great option for us with her.  Let’s be honest, we wanted to eat dinner before 7pm too.  

Eat Gelato at Gelateria Sincelo 

We love gelato and this was the best we found in Porto (thanks to our tour guide Vini for recommending we go here).  Their homemade gelato is delicious and the funky dining areas inside add to the experience. 

Eat Gelato and Pastries at Cremosi 

Located in the heart of the city center, Cremosi serves tasty gelato and a wide variety of homemade Portuguese pastries.  Natalie loved the gelato here so much we came back twice.  Sam tried several different cheesecakes and unsurprisingly, he was not disappointed with any of his choices.  Baby G approved of all dessert choices we made here too.


Top Things to do in Porto: Pastel De Nata Baking Class

Pastel de Nata is a traditional Portuguese puff pastry filled with custard. You can find these pastries being sold in nearly every cafe and bakery in Porto, many spots only selling and specializing in this pastry.  We fell in love with these delicious pastries in Lisbon, Portugal in 2019. When we found out we could take a Pastel de Nata Class on how to make them in Porto, we were so excited. 

During this class, you will learn how to make traditional Portuguese Pastel de Nata from scratch.  Then, the best part, you get to taste the Pastel de Nata you made.  We have eaten a lot of Pastel de Nata during our numerous trips to Portugal and this Pastel de Nata we made was truly the best Pastel de Nata we have ever tasted.  You really cannot beat the taste of fresh out of the oven Pastel de Nata.  After learning how to make Pastel de Nata (more complex to make than we imagined), we are so excited to try to make Pastel de Nata for our family and friends at home now.  

Things to do in Porto

The host of this class, Joana, has lived in the Porto area her whole life and is a real expert on the culture, especially when it comes to cooking.  She learned to bake Pastel de Nata from her grandmothers and you learn her grandmother’s traditional recipe during this class.  Trust us, take this class (or one if her other cooking classes) while in Porto and you will not be disappointed.

Note that you cannot walk to these classes as Joana now lives outside the city and hosts classes there. However, it is only a short 15 minute 10 Euro Uber ride to her place. 


Things to do in Porto: Explore Jardins do Palácio de Cristal

Jardins do Palácio de Cristal is a very cool garden and park overlooking the Douro river and city.  We visited here near sunset time and saw some really pretty views overlooking the river/city.  There is a fun children’s playground (slide, swingset, teeter totter, playset, etc) that our daughter really enjoyed too.   There are chickens, ducks and peacocks roaming the grounds adding to the nature ambience.   Our daughter loved identifying and chasing all these birds!  This park would be a great place to take a morning run or do a HITT workout as there are many paths and even some workout equipment located in the gardens. 

Things to do in Porto

Things to do Porto: Eat Pastel de Nata at Every Opportunity

As mentioned above, this classic Portuguese pastry is sold nearly everywhere in Porto (and across Portugal for that matter).  Be sure to try as many as you can/want.  For the best ones, we’d recommend buying them at shops that specialize in them and only sell Pastel de Nata as they have likely perfected their recipe.  You won’t see these sold so readily anywhere else in the world so take advantage.  


Things to do in Porto: Other Ideas

Some other thing we did not do while in Porto but did research doing and you may want to consider include:


Things to do in Porto: Stay near the Douro River

We stayed in this Airbnb right off the Douro River in a slightly more residential area of Porto but less than a 10 minute walk from the hub of the city center.  Porto has many steep inclines as you walk from the river into the city and many winding streets as well.  Staying along the river made it very easy for us to navigate the city and orient ourselves at all times.  When in doubt, we would just walk back down to the Douro river (located at the bottom of all the hills) and be able to get back to our place easily.  Also, we were able to walk everywhere we wanted to explore in Porto very reasonably and were not far from a local market where we got groceries for our stay.  Our host was super nice and accommodating too. 

Things to do in Porto

We hope this guide helps you plan your trip and things to do in Porto, Portugal.  Anything you’d add to our guide? We’d love to hear your feedback and questions.  Please leave us a comment! Did you find this post helpful? If so, please share it with a friend, like our Always Have a Trip Planned Facebook Page, follow our Always Have A Trip Planned Instagram and subscribe to our emails below.

How to Hike Galten (Mini Trolltunga)


Galten, aka mini Trolltunga, is a unique rock that juts out of the mountainside over Dalsfjord and is covered in greenery.  This picturesque spot is still relatively unknown.  When we hiked it, we truly had the trail to ourselves and the hike was nothing short of spectacular.  We highly recommend getting off the beaten path, stopping in Folkestad and hiking Galten when you are in Norway.  Here is our guide on how to hike Galten in Norway.   

Galten Hike

FYI: This post is written based on a hike taken in early September.  See our 2 Week Norway Road Trip guide for all the details on this trip. We took this trip with our 12 month old daughter.  For all our baby travels tips and tricks see our Top 10 Baby Travel Tips, 5 Top Baby & Toddler Flying Tips and our How to Hike with a Baby post. 

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. That means that, at no cost to you, we may get a small commission if you purchase through these links. This helps us keep providing travel resources for you!


How long is the Galten (Mini Trolltunga) Hike?  How much elevation gain is on the Galten Hike? 

Galten hike is an out & back hike that is 2.6 miles (4.2 km) with 1535 feet (471 meters) of elevation gain.  If you start prior to the toll road, as we recommend to save a little cash, that adds on about 0.5 miles and 100 feet of elevation gain. 


How do I hike to Galten?  What are the Galten (Mini Trolltunga) Hike Logistics? 

This hike first takes you through a pine forest before taking you above the treeline for about a mile until you reach Galten itself.  On your way to Galten, you’ll get views of both stunning Voldsfjord and Dalsfjord.  Once out of the pine forest, these views on this hike are truly postcard worthy.  And with it being a relatively short hike, we’d say it’s a great bang for buck hike.   

Galten Hike

Once you get to the Summit, there is a book contained in a waterproof container where you can sign saying you were there.  From there, you have to walk/climb down to Galten.  It is a bit of a scramble but Natalie was able to do it easily and without issue with our 12 month old on her back.  We had fun sitting as a family out at this spot.  


How long does the Galten (Mini Trolltunga) Hike take?

This hike will take about 3 hours to hike.   We hiked Galpen in about 3 hours including stopping at the summit for about 45 minutes.  


How much does it cost to park at Galten (Mini Trolltunga)? 

If you use the toll road, it costs 50 NOK (5 US dollars).  However, you can park before the toll road and forgo this charge easily and only add on less than 0.5 miles of hiking.  Here are the coordinates to Galten start and see the picture here. 

Galten Hike Parking

Is the Galten (Mini Trolltunga) hike busy?

No! We only saw two other people while hiking this trail.  One of the people was a local who hikes this trail several times a month to enjoy the tranquil environment this hike offers. The hike was so peaceful and felt untouched. It really seemed like we had the trail to ourselves.  It was one of our favorite hikes in Norway because of this.  This less popular spot is worth the trek to enjoy the stunning views alone.


Can you hike Galten (Mini Trolltunga) with kids? 

Yes!  We hiked this trail with our 12-month-old daughter in the backpack carrier.  This trail is not technically challenging so as long as you are in decent shape, you should be able to complete it baby wearing.  Most kids over 7, and younger depending on experience, should be able to complete this trail as well.   You may not want your child to go out onto the Galten rock at these younger ages though.  We felt comfortable holding our daughter on the rock but did not let her walk out on to it. 

Galten hike with kids

When to hike Galten (Mini Trolltunga)?  

Ideally, hike it June 1st-September 30th.  Outside of that window, it is more likely the road leading to the Galten trailhead will be covered in snow and the trail will be covered in snow as well.


How do you access the Galten (Mini Trolltunga) trailhead? 

You can either access it by driving on the toll road or hiking from parking just prior to the toll road.  Here are the coordinates to Galten start.  


Where to stay when hiking Galten (Mini Trolltunga)?  

We LOVED the Airbnb we stayed at in Folkestad.  We were actually able to walk to the Galten trailhead from here.  The views from this place were spectacular and the space was comfortable.  We really enjoyed talking with our host here who was very helpful suggesting many things to explore in the area.  We traveled all over Norway and this was our favorite Airbnb and town.  Stay here! 

Hiking Galten was one of the highlights of our 2 Week Norway Road Trip.   It was so peaceful, serene and scenic.  See our 2 Week Norway Road Trip guide for all the details on planning an epic fjord road trip of your own.  


We hope this guide helps you plan your hike at Galten.  Anything you’d add to our guide? We’d love to hear your feedback and questions.  Please leave us a comment!

Did you find this post helpful? If so, please share it with a friend, like our Always Have a Trip Planned Facebook Page, follow our Always Have A Trip Planned Instagram and subscribe to our emails below.

And remember, Always Have A Trip Planned!

2 Week Norway Road Trip


Norway is the perfect combination of stunning scenery, cute family farms and historic picturesque towns. It seemed that everywhere we looked there were stunning mountain and lake views, making it the perfect place to take a road trip.  We spent 2 weeks in Norway on a road trip from Oslo traveling through the fjords and the Southern half of the country. We are excited to share our itinerary with you!  On it, you’ll see plenty of stunning fjord scenery, complete some of the most iconic hikes in Norway and visit some of the most picturesque cities Norway has to offer.  Want to start planning your own Norway road trip?  Here is our 2 week Norway Road Trip itinerary.  

2 Week Norway Road Trip

FYI: This post is written based on a trip in late August/early September.  We took this trip with our 12-month-old daughter.  For all our baby travels tips and tricks see our Top 10 Baby Travel Tips, 5 Top Baby & Toddler Flying Tips and our How to Hike with a Baby post. 

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. That means that, at no cost to you, we may get a small commission if you purchase through these links. This helps us keep providing travel resources for you!


Start/End Road Trip in Oslo

Start/end your 2 Week Norway Road Trip in Oslo.  This road trip could also be modified to start in Stavanger and end in Alesund or Bergen.  However, that will likely come at a much steeper cost (due to one way rental car fees and more expensive flights in/out of these cities) and realistically may not save you all that much time when you factor in the time of added layovers.


2 Week Norway Road Trip Overview: 

  • Day 1: Travel Day to Oslo
  • Day 2: Arrive in Oslo, Drive South Coast
  • Day 3: Drive to & Explore Stavanger 
  • Day 4: Hike Pulpit Rock
  • Day 5: Hike Kjeragbolten
  • Day 6: Hike Bonhasvant 
  • Day 7: Hike Trolltunga
  • Day 8: Drive to & Explore Bergen
  • Day 9: Take the Flam Railway, Drive to Folkestad 
  • Day 10: Hike Galten in Folkestad 
  • Day 11: Explore Runde, Visit Loen Lake
  • Day 12: Geirangerfjord
  • Day 13: Drive Back to Oslo 
  • Day 14: Travel Day Home    

Day 1 Norway 2 Week Road Trip: Travel Day to Oslo

We started our trip in Chicago and took an overnight flight, with a layover in Stockholm, en route to Oslo.  If flight schedules allow, stay in Oslo the first day and rest up before starting your 2 week Norway road trip.  With having an overnight flight, we were a tad exhausted and quite jet lagged by the time we got to Oslo. 


Day 2: Arrive in Oslo, Drive South Coast, Stay in Kristiansand

Arrive as early in the day as possible in Oslo.  We had a flight delay and arrived around 12:30 PM.  Ideally, we would have arrived earlier to get more of a jump start on the day and to have more time to explore the South coast.  However, if flight schedules do not allow for that (as they did not during our trip), you’ll still be able to explore a decent amount of the south coast this day.  

Pick up your rental car and start heading south. Looking to save on a rental car?  See our How to Save on a Rental Car post for our rental car tips! We got a rental car for only $220 for our 2 week road trip (and that included insurance).  

Important Note about Ferries and Tunnels

Note that on this road trip, due to all the different fjords and mountainous terrain in Norway, you will take many ferries and tunnels.  We found this to be super cool and unique!  However, be aware that most of these ferries and tunnels cost a toll.  Our rental car had a pass on it that simply charged these tolls to the rental car company and then we paid the rental car company at the end of our trip once all these tolls were processed.  There is no option to even pay cash at the toll so you must have one of these passes.  For our two week road trip, we spent about $180 on tolls. Given what a great deal we got on our rental car, we did not find this cost to be too steep.  

Drive South Coast

Southern Norway is a popular vacation destination for Norway natives but most foreigners often bypass it. Don’t be one of them! The drive from the Oslo Airport to Kristiansand takes about 4-5 hours (depending on traffic). To break up the drive, stop at some of the picturesque towns along the way. Below are some of our favorites! 

Risor, Norway

Risor is one of the best preserved wooden towns in Europe.  This town is not only very cute but also very small so you don’t need too much time to explore it.  We simply liked walking through the white wooden buildings in the town center and along the harborfront.  Everywhere you look in Risor looks like a postcard. 

Arendal, Norway

Another charming and picturesque waterfront town on the Southern Coast of Norway is Arendal.  In Arendal’s Old Town, bright flowers are popping out of window boxes along the wooden houses.  Arendal is bigger than Risor so there are more restaurant and store options here too. 

Explore and Stay in Kristiansand 

Kristainsand is the biggest city in the Southern part of Norway. The city is laid out in a grid pattern, making the old town easy to explore.  In the northern corner, Posebyen, is the largest collection of low, connected wooden houses.  These wooden houses felt quintessentially Norway to us.  We also walked around the waterfront and harbor outside of the city center.  Here, we explored the Christiansholm Festning, a circular fortress that is more decorative than defensive.  We also explored the main town square.  By simply walking around the city center of this city, you’ll get a good taste of it. 

We stayed overnight about 15 minutes outside of the city center at this Kristiansand Airbnb.  With having a rental car, we were able to get a better deal driving a little ways outside of the city.  After a long day of travel, we were very grateful to have a spacious Airbnb like this one. 

Day 2 Norway 2 Week Road Trip Map


Day 3 Norway 2 Week Road Trip: Drive to, Explore & Stay in Stavanger

Drive to Stavanger

This drive will take you about 3 hours and 30 minutes.  On this drive, you have the option to stop at the southern coastal town of MandalMandal is the southernmost town in Norway with wooden houses similar to the ones seen in the other Southern cities we mention above. 

Explore Stavanger Old Town

Stavanger Old Town is composed of 173 quaint wooden buildings, making it Europe’s largest wooden-house settlement still in existence.  All of these wooden buildings were built in the 1700-1800s.  The cobblestone streets of Stavanger Old Town certainly make it charming too.  We simply liked walking around the waterfront and through the neighborhoods with the wooden houses.  There also is a street in the city center that is lined with delicious authentic ethnic restaurants. We enjoyed some really good Indian food here at Nora’s Kitchen.  We chatted with a couple that drove all the way from Odda (3+ hours) to eat here so we are not the only ones who thought it was good.  The butter paneer was our favorite dish. 

Stay in Stavanger Overnight  

Many people use Stavanger as a homebase to explore Lysefjord, particularly to hike Pulpit Rock (Preikestolen) and Kjeragbolten on this fjord.  You also can take a boat from Stavanger to explore Lysefjord from below.  We recommend not spending more than one day/night in Stavanger in order to cut down on some drive time when hiking and traveling to both Pulpit Rock and Kjeragbolten.  There are many cute cottages to stay at in between both along the way.  

We stayed at this Airbnb in Stavanger for the night.  From this Airbnb, we were able to walk into the city center on a paved path through some charming residential neighborhoods. Being able to access the city center so easily and through these local neighborhoods, we got a real taste of local life during our visit.  Rest up tonight before completing your first iconic hike tomorrow. 

Day 3 Norway 2 Week Road Trip Map


Day 4: Hike Pulpit Rock (Preikestolen), Drive Towards Kjeragbolten 

Hike Pulpit Rock

Today, hike to the iconic Pulpit RockPulpit Rock, also called Preikestolen, is an impressive rock that towers 2000 feet (600 meters) above Lysefjord.  This larger-than-life rock was featured in the movie Mission Impossible – Rogue Nation in 2016.   Hike through a beautiful forest and along the fjord before reaching Pulpit Rock itself.  This trail is one of the most hiked trails in Norway given its proximity to Stavanger and relatively short length (4.6 miles round trip, 1150 feet of elevation gain, out & back). See our How to Hike Pulpit Rock guide for all the details.  

Tip: Try to get an early (or late afternoon) start for this hike to avoid the crowds at Pulpit Rock

If you have to eliminate one of the hikes on this itinerary due to time or other constraints, this would be the first one we would cut.  The views on this hike were great but the crowds were not. In comparison to the other trails we hiked on this trip, the crowds were a bit extreme at Pulpit Rock

Stay between Pulpit Rock and Kjeragbolten

We highly recommend staying at Fidjeland Hytteutleige between Stavanger and the Kjeragbolten Trailhead.  These cute cabins are located less than an hour from the Kjeragbolten trailhead and the location allows you to get a jumpstart on your hike tomorrow. They are conveniently located right off the main road yet in a peaceful, tucked away farm setting.  This was the perfect cozy cabin for the three of us.  There also was a fun swing in the backyard our daughter enjoyed. 

Day 4 Norway 2 Week Road Trip Map


Day 5 Norway 2 Week Road Trip: Hike Kjeragbolten, Drive to Odda

Hike Kjeragbolten

This morning, drive about an hour to the Kjeragbolten trailhead.  Kjeragbolten is one of the most scenic and exhilarating hikes you will ever complete.  The views and challenge (using chains) to reach the summit, combined with stepping out onto the terrifying yet thrilling Kjerag rock (boulder in between two large rocks with an over 2400 foot drop into the fjord) makes it a hike you will never forget.  The adrenaline rush from it is truly invigorating.  The hike is 7.5 miles (12 km) with 1870 feet (570 m) of elevation gain and is an out & back hike.  See our guide on How to Hike Kjeragbolten for all the details on this hike.  

Drive towards Odda

After you finish hiking Kjerabolten, head towards Odda, the closest town to the very iconic Trolltunga hike.  Stay in/near Odda for the next 3 nights. 

We stayed at this Airbnb in Lofthus, about 30 minutes outside of Odda, and found it to be the perfect homebase for the next three days.  Staying outside of Odda, compared to in town where accommodation prices are absurdly inflated, allowed us to get more bang for our buck with our stay.  This Airbnb is located on an operational farm and located just off the waterfront of the Fjord.  When we booked this Airbnb, we had no idea that the below pictures would be our view from the dock/windows.  What a lovely unexpected surprise! Our host here was so kind too.  She even gave us the most delicious plums we have ever tasted that were fresh from the farm.

Day 5 Norway 2 Week Road Trip Map


Day 6 Norway 2 Week Road Trip: Hike Bondhusvatnet

Hike Bondhusvatnet

This hike is a must-do near Odda.  It is had the best effort to nature enjoyment ratio we completed in Norway.  This 2.9 mile (4.6 km) out and back hike with 603 feet (180 meters) of elevation gain offers stunning lake, mountain and forest views.  When you arrive at the lake, there are several picnic areas where you can relax and take in the views.  FYI, it costs 100 NOK to park here.  

Fun fact: this hiking trail originally served to transport ice from Bondhusvatnet glacier down to the fjord in the 1800s 

Prepare for Trolltunga Hike

After completing this short yet stunning hike, take the rest of the day to prepare for your longest trek on this itinerary to the iconic Trolltunga tomorrow.  If you need groceries, get them in Odda before heading back to your accommodations for the night.  There are several large grocery stores in Odda and none in Lofthus.  

Day 6 Norway 2 Week Road Trip Map


Day 7 Norway 2 Week Road Trip: Hike Trolltunga

Hike Trolltunga

Today, get an early start to drive to the trailhead of the iconic Trolltunga hike. This was about a 50 minute drive from our Airbnb in Lofthus.  Hiking Trolltunga was truly a dream come true.  When we saw a picture of the summit of this hike many years ago, we knew we had to hike it.  

Trolltunga is one of the most challenging yet memorable hikes you will ever complete. It is, at minimum, 12.4 miles round trip with 2600 feet of elevation gain (length determined where you park and start).  The summit of this hike, Trolltunga rock (a rock that juts out from a mountain over stunning Lake Ringedalsvatnet named “the troll’s tongue”) makes it unlike any other hike we have ever done before.   Stepping out onto the Trolltunga rock with our daughter is something we will never forget.  For all the details on this hike Trolltunga see our How to Hike Trolltunga guide. 

Looking for great hiking boots?  Here are links to the ones we’ve used for 8+ years and highly recommend: Men’s Keen Waterproof Hiking Boots & Women’s Keen Waterproof Hiking Boots

Day 7 Norway 2 Week Road Trip Map


Day 8: Drive to Bergen, Steinsdalfossen & Tvindefossen, Stay in Voss

Steinsdalsfossen Waterfall 

Today on your 2 week Norway Road Trip, leave your lovely Lofthus accommodations and drive from the Odda area to Bergen (just under a 3 hour drive).  On the way, stop at Steinsdalsfossen, a waterfall visible from the road that is along the route to Bergen.  Although visible from the road, be sure to get out and explore this waterfall since you can walk behind it.   It was fun to walk behind this waterfall where our daughter loved seeing the water cascading above us, and it was a nice, quick way to break up the drive a bit.  There is a restroom and gift shop/small restaurant here as well. 

You will pass some other waterfalls along your drive to Bergen.  Feel free to stop at those and stretch out your legs too.  Although less popular, we found some of these roadside waterfalls to be even prettier than Steinsdasfossen, maybe because we were usually the only ones at them.  

Explore Bergen

Bergen is the second largest city in Norway after Oslo.  It is a coastal town that used to be a German settlement and it rains almost 300 days per year here.  We were lucky enough to visit on a very clear and sunny day with no rain. The cobblestone streets and 14th century wooden buildings along the harbor make Bergen a picturesque and charming city, so much so that it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

The list of things to do in Bergen is endless. For a more comprehensive list of places to visit, please see our friend Christine’s Blog Post The Best 8 Things to Do in Bergen.  We choose to explore the waterfront, the fish market and take the Funicular to Mount Floyen.  

Bergen Fish Market 

The Bergen Fish Market along the waterfront has many different restaurants and stands, all with the freshest seafood.  We love seafood and unsurprisingly, loved exploring and eating here.  The chef at the restaurant we ate at gave our daughter a giant cleaned clam shell, and she really had fun playing with it.  We tried whale for the first time too which Sam equated to tasting like a fusion of beef steak and white fish.

Floibanen (Mount Floyen Funicular) 

For the best views over Bergen, take an 8 minute funicular ride up the hillside of Mt. Floyen. The funicular takes you up 1050 feet (320 m) above sea level and departs every 30 minutes. Once up here, you can walk around, eat at one of the restaurants or play at one of the playgrounds. We had so much fun playing at the playground here with our daughter. One of the parks had a giant zipline swing that we each had a lot of fun riding on (without a baby of course).  We felt like little kids again.  The cafe located just after you get off the funicular has really good soft serve ice cream too.  We are huge suckers for ice cream and this soft serve did not disappoint. 

There are also plenty of hiking trails up on Mt. Floyen and you can choose your own path on these trails.   With all the other spectacular hiking we did not feel the need to hike here much.  However, if we were spending more time in Bergen, Mount Floyen would be a great escape from the city.  Our friends over at Love Hard, Travel Often put it perfectly when they said Mount Floyen is a ‘Nature Lovers Disneyland’.  You really could spend days up here. If you are looking for an added workout, you can hike up from the bottom instead of taking the funicular as well.

Tvindefossen

After spending the afternoon in Bergen, drive towards Voss and stop at the Tvidefossen waterfall along the way.  Tvidefossen is a 499 feet (152m) high waterfall that cascades over a receding cliff.  It is a roadside attraction meaning you just drive up to it and no hiking is involved. 

Fun Fact: In the 1990s, Tvindesfossen got the reputation for rejuvenation and people from all over the world would come to fill containers with its water.

Stay overnight in Voss

Tonight, stay in Voss.  It is about a 1.5 hour drive to Voss from Bergen, and this will set you up well for the next day.  This is the Airbnb we stayed at in Voss.  We liked the location and being able to relax at the nice accommodations here after a long day of traveling and exploring.  

Day 8 Norway 2 Week Road Trip Map


Day 9 Norway 2 Week Road Trip: Flam Railway, Drive to Folkestad 

Wake up today and start to drive towards Flam.  On the way, consider stopping at Stalheim Hotel for views of Naeroydalen valley from the rear patio. You can walk straight through the lobby to access the outside.  Order a drink from the restaurant here and soak in the views.  We stopped in the early morning and really think it is only worth a stop if you are here in the afternoon when the valley will be lit up.  Otherwise, we found the views to be very similar to other ones throughout our road trip.  

Another stop you can make is at the Njardarheimer Viking Village in Gudvangen. Over the summer, this community actually lives as vikings did 1,000 years ago and are not costume performers. It costs about $20 per person to enter. 

Flamsbana Railway

Drive about 45 minutes from Voss to Flam to ride on the famous Flamsbana Railway.   This train ride takes you 20 km from Flam to/from Mydral.  On this ride, you will travel through 20 tunnels and 2,850 feet of elevation.  The views are really spectacular, and this is a great way to see the countryside of Norway if you are not doing a road trip.  Many people who disembark from large cruise ships that port in Flam take this train ride. 

Tip: For the best views on the train, get there early and be ready to be one of the first to board the train.  Get a window seat on the right (when facing away from the train station) with a window that also opens.  This will allow you to take the best pictures and see the best views without a window obstructing your view.  We were a bit turned off to how getting on the train was a bit of a mad rush for the best seat though.  

Note: Heaps of Tourists Take Away from the Flamsbana Railway Experience

In sharp contrast to most everything else we did on this road trip through Norway, even more extreme than the Pulpit Rock hike, the Flamsbana Railway was an absurdly busy tourist attraction.  You board the train hundreds of yards from where large cruise ships port, leading to its popularity. Over 1 million people take this train each year so do not expect to have the train to yourself by many means. In fact, if you want to get a window seat on this train, you’ll need to arrive at least 30 minutes prior to departure and try to get on the train right away. 

That being said, we would do this train ride again but only for the sake of our daughter.  She loved this train ride and she was literally glued to the window watching the scenery the whole way.  With her being 12-months-old at the time, this was nothing short of adorable.  However, we felt we got just as good of views driving elsewhere throughout our 2 week Norway road trip and without the crowds.  We find crowds to be mentally exhausting and if you do as well, you may want to skip this one.  

If you are interested in taking this train ride, visit the Timetables and Ticket Reservations Flamsbana link here.  Be sure to purchase your tickets weeks in advance as, with how popular it is, many times fill up beforehand. There are activities, such as ziplining, at Mydral and you can ride a bicycle or hike down if you want to make a longer day out of it.

Drive to Folkestad

After riding the Flam train, start your drive (about 4.5 hours) to the quaint town of Folkestad.  

Laerdal Tunnel

On the way, you will drive through Laerdal tunnel, the world’s longest tunnel (15.2 miles). In fact, on this road trip you will pass through hundreds of tunnels but none nearly as long as Laerdal.

Bøyabreen Glacier

Be sure to stop at Bøyabreen Glacier on your way to Folkestad.  This Glacier is just off the main road.  Take a short walk down to Glacier and feel the coolness radiating from it.  Also, be sure to stop at the restaurant on-site that has arguably even better views of the glacier from inside.  We loved the panorama windows here that highlight the glacier.  

Folkestad Airbnb

Next stop is the off-the-beaten path town of Folkestad.  We loved our stay in the quaint town of Folkestad.  Folkestad is not a tourist town, and it truly is really only locally owned farms here.   Our Folkestad Airbnb, the guesthouse on a family owned farm, overlooked the Fjord was the perfect little cottage to spend the next two nights.  Our host here was so personable and had so many great local recommendations.  We felt like family staying here.  This Airbnb had everything we needed for a comfortable stay too.  Also, this Airbnb was a less than 10 minute walk from the trailhead of where you will hike tomorrow.  It was so nice to just be able to walk out the front door to get to the trailhead.  We truly loved this Airbnb.  


Day 10 Norway 2 Week Road Trip:  Hike Galten in Folkestad 

Galten Hike

The next morning walk or drive (less than 5 minutes) to the Galten trailhead.  Galten, AKA mini Trolltunga, is a unique rock covered in greenery that juts out of the mountainside over Dalsfjord. This picturesque spot is still relatively unknown.  When we hiked it, we truly had the trail to ourselves and the hike was nothing short of spectacular.  We highly recommend getting off the beaten path, stopping in Folkestad and hiking Galten when you are in Norway.  See our How to Hike Galten guide for all the details on this hike.

Tip: If you need groceries, be sure to check the Folkestad grocery store hours.  This is a tiny town with one grocery store with very limited hours.  


Day 11 Norway 2 Week Road Trip: Explore Runde, Visit Loen Lake

Explore the Island of Runde

The next morning, drive to RundeRunde is an island off the west coast of Norway with just over 100 residents.  It is famous for bird viewing on its dramatic seaside cliffs throughout the summer (June-early August).  Although we visited Runde outside of bird watching season, we found it to be very neat to see the cliffs even without the birds. The island itself is very quaint and peaceful.  Speaking with the locals added to Runde’s small town charm.   Hiking to/around the seaside cliffs was a highlight of our time in Norway.  See our Hiking in Runde Norway guide for all the details on hiking around this island. 

Tip: When driving to Runde, be sure to check the ferry schedule to Volda (you have to cross the Fjord on this ferry to drive to Runde).  We drove on a Saturday morning when the ferry only left every 40 minutes.  We arrived 1 minute after the ferry had departed and we had to wait 39 minutes until the next one came.  Had we known this beforehand, we likely would have relaxed at our Airbnb a bit longer or gotten going a little quicker in the morning.  Luckily, this was the only spot on our Norway roadtrip where we had to wait more than 20 minutes for the next ferry and our daughter enjoyed walking around the dock while we waited. 

Visit Lovatnet Lake

Next, drive from Runde through Loen and Lodalen Valley on your way to Geirangerfjord.  This area is so pretty and looks like a scenic painting everywhere you look.  Visit Lovatnet Lake in this valley.  This lake is different from most in Norway as it has a unique turquoise green/blue lake and was the prettiest lake we saw on our two week Norway road trip. 

At Lovatnet Lake, you can spend as little or as much time as you want.  You can rent paddle boards, go hiking (most trails not right on the lake) or eat at one of the restaurants along the lake.  At this lake, the highlight of our time here was seeing some cows grazing and drinking in the water.  Our 12-month-old daughter liked mooing at the cows, and it was so cute.  This was the first time she had said ‘moo’ and when we knew story time was finally paying off.  

Drive to Geirangerfjord 

After visiting Lovatnet Lake, make your way to Geirangerfjord for the night.  This town is nothing short of stunning.  Geirangerfjord is a UNESCO world Heritage site and is the inspiration for Arendelle in Frozen making it literally a town out of a fairytale.  Geiranger has less than 300 year-round residents and less than 20 kids go to the school here.  Once kids turn 16, they are sent to Alesund for schooling and live in an apartment on their own at this time.  

Fun Fact: This town will inevitably be destroyed by a Tsunami, but it is heavily monitored so that the town should have 72 hours to evacuate 

Stop at Viewpoints Driving into Geirangerfjord

On your way into Geirangerfjord, stop at as many viewpoints as you please.  There are many viewpoints along the road.  However, in our opinion, the BEST viewpoints of Geiranger and Geirangerfjord are from hiking.  We really only recommend stopping at the Flydalsjuvet viewpoint on your drive into town. However, stopping at more viewpoints along the road is a great option for people with limited mobility or who do not want to hike for their views.  Note, some of the viewpoints (such as Dalsnibba) cost money to access (Flydalsjuvet is free).   

Dalsnibba Viewpoint 

Look straight down over Geirangerfjord as this spot has the highest views of the valley and Geirangerfjord.  

Note: it costs approximately $27/car to visit this spot so it is only worth it to visit on a clear day and if you are planning to do any hiking in the area, you will likely get better views doing that. 

Flydalsjuvet Viewpoint

One of best-known photo ops in Norway with its dramatic mountain plateau view high above Geiranger town and Geirangerfjord.

Fun fact: If you have ever seen a classic picture of Norway, chances are, it was taken here.  It is one of the most photographed spots in Norway. 

Stay Overnight Geriangerfjord 

We stayed in a one bedroom cabin at Grande Hytteutleige og Camping.  From this cabin we had lovely views looking into Geirangerfjord.  Looking onto the fjord while enjoying your morning coffee/tea is not a bad way to live life.  The cabin had been recently updated and had everything we needed for a relaxing stay. This was also the most economical spot we found to stay at in Geirangerfjord.  We had to clean the cabin ourselves before we left but all the supplies were provided, and it did not take long.  We saved hundreds of dollars staying here rather than elsewhere as accommodations in Geirangerfjord were much more expensive than other towns in Norway.  

Day 11 Norway 2 Week Road Trip Driving Map


Day 12 Norway 2 Week Road Trip: Geirangerfjord 

After getting a good night’s rest and waking up overlooking Geirangerfjord, head out to explore Geiranger and Geirangerfjord for the day.  

Eagle Road Viewing Platform

In the morning, we drove up Eagle Road to a viewing platform with impressive views of Geiranger and Geirangerfjord.  This unique zig zag road was directly next to/above our accommodations, making it an easy morning outing.  Just after the platform, on the road, there was a small waterfall with a rainbow over it that our baby thought was magical.  Behind the platform, there is also a short hiking trail you can take to another small waterfall. 

Geirangerfjord Cruise and Hike 

With only being in Geirangerfjord one full day, we knew we needed to find the best ‘one & done’ hike in Geirangerfjord.  We are so happy we found out about cruising on Geirangerfjord to Skagehola and then hiking back to Geiranger from there. 

In the morning, take a cruise along Geirangerfjord where you will get cool views of Eagle Road, several waterfalls and the fjord itself from the boat.  The hike to Skagefla starts after you get dropped off at Skagehola (shore below Skagefla where the trail starts).  Then, you hike up to Skagefla and then return down the same way to be picked up by boat or hike back into town.  

Hike back to Geiranger

Most people hike up to Skagefla, have a picnic and then hike back down to get picked up by a later boat.  However, we highly recommend hiking back to Holmberg (and then on the road back to Geiranger) rather than just taking the boat the same way back.  Some of our favorite views were past the farm at the highest elevation of the hike over Geirangerfjord and on the way into Holmberg where you get amazing views over Geiranger. Also, there were so many fresh wild blueberries and raspberries to eat on the trail, making the hike a bit sweeter.   

The hike is in total about 5 miles with 1800 feet of elevation gain.  The cruise to Geirangerfjord can be booked here and costs 550 NOK/person.  See our Where to Hike in Geirangerfjord guide for more details on this hike. 


Day 13 Norway 2 Week Road Trip: Drive Back to Oslo

Drive Back to Oslo

Today, drive back to the Oslo Airport area.  It will take you about 5.25 hours on the fastest route.  Many people opt to take a bit longer, supposedly more scenic, route through Beitostolen that takes about 6.5 hours.  However, we felt there were plenty of other scenic viewpoints throughout the trip and we wanted to drive the shortest route.  Along the way on the route we took via Rv15 and E6, we saw some very pretty lakes.  We truly felt all the driving on this trip was gorgeous.  This night, we stayed at this Airbnb near the Oslo Airport.  This Airbnb was a great place to do some laundry, cook a meal and pack up before flying home early the next day.  

Day 13 Norway 2 Week Road Trip Map


Day 14 Norway 2 Week Road Trip: Fly Home from Oslo 

Return your rental car and fly home today.  We loved our Norway road trip and were blown away by this country’s beauty.


General Norway Tips

Foods to Try

  • Brown Cheese: a Norwegian culinary speciality made of whey, cream, goat & cow’s milk. In our opinion it tastes like a creamy caramel flavored cheese. 
  • Fish Soup
  • Fish Cakes

Not Bad Weather, Only Bad Clothes


We hope this guide helps you plan your 2 week road trip in Norway.  Anything you’d add to our guide? We’d love to hear your feedback and questions.  Please leave us a comment!

Did you find this post helpful? If so, please share it with a friend, like our Always Have a Trip Planned Facebook Page, follow our Always Have A Trip Planned Instagram and subscribe to our emails below.

And remember, Always Have A Trip Planned!

Where to Hike in Geirangerfjord?


Where to Hike in Geirangerfjord

Geiragngerfjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is said to be one of the most beautiful fjords in all of Norway.  This fjord is actually the inspiration for the beautiful Adendelle in Disney’s hit movie Frozen.  With Geirangerfjord being one of the most scenic fjords, we knew we wanted to go hiking here.  However, with only being in Geirangerfjord one full day, we knew we needed to find the best ‘one & done’ hike to do.  And we were so happy when we found the perfect, unique hike in Geirangerfjord from Skagehola to Geiranger.  Here is our guide on where to hike in Geirangerfjord. 

Where to Hike in Geirangerfjord

FYI: This post is written based on a hike taken in early September.  See our 2 Week Norway Road Trip guide for all the details on this trip. We took this trip with our 12 month old daughter.  For all our baby travels tips and tricks see our Top 10 Baby Travel Tips, 5 Top Baby & Toddler Flying Tips and our How to Hike with a Baby post. 

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. That means that, at no cost to you, we may get a small commission if you purchase through these links. This helps us keep providing travel resources for you!


Take a boat to Skagefla and then hike back to Gerianger

We highly, HIGHLY recommend taking a boat to the Skagefla drop off and then hiking back to Geiranger from there.  This unique hike affords stunning views of Geirangerfjord.   Map as below.

Book Geirangerfjord Cruise 

In order to do this one-way hike in Geirangerfjord, you first book a Cruise on Geirangerfjord to Skagfela (550 NOK).  Be sure to book this cruise in advance as it does have limited time spots, especially after September 1st.  You take this cruise down through the fjord, past several stunning waterfalls.  Once the boat turns around, you will get off the boat on the return route at the Skagehola stop (boat drop-off/pick-up below Skagefla farm).  

Where to Hike in Geirangerfjord: Skaagehola to Geiranger Hike Specifics 

We measured this one-way hike at just over 5 miles one-way with 1800 feet of elevation gain.  

Hike to Skagefla Farm

As mentioned above, the hike to Skagefla starts with a fjord cruise through Geirangerfjord to Skagehola (shore below Skagefla where the trail starts).  Here you get off the book and start the steep hike to Skagefla 

People had told us this hike was steep before we completed it but we truly did not appreciate how steep this hike was until we completed it.  In about 0.5 miles, you gain over 800 feet (250 meters) of elevation making it a stellar workout as well.  

Skagefla is one of ten old, abandoned mountain farms in Geirangerfjord.  This farm is 250 meters above the fjord and offers a fantastic view of several waterfalls in Geirangerfjord.  

Geirangerfjord Hike

The trail then continues onto the highest point of elevation at 1800 feet (550 meters). This is another steep, challenging climb to this spot. You will reach another abandoned farm before starting your descent toward Holmberg.  This highest point of elevation offers fantastic views back over Geirangerfjord.

The hike back to Holmberg is then a gradual descent.  Just before the final descent, you are afforded the most spectacular views over Geiranger (first picture in this post).  Once you arrive in Holmberg, you walk the main road back to Geiranger.  It is less than a mile back to Geiranger from this point. 

Bonus: On this hike, an unexpected, fun find was many fresh blueberries and raspberries along the path.  It was so neat to be able to eat these fresh on the trail.  Our daughter loved eating and trying these too! 

Note: Trail is slippery even without recent rain

Even without recent rain, due to how water drains into the fjord, the trail is likely to be slippery in spots due to wet/muddy terrain.  Especially on your descent into Holmberg.   Even though it had not rained in over two weeks when we visited, there were still some very slick spots on the trail.  Solid hiking shoes (and being on your A-game with careful steps) are a must for this trail.  

Where to hike Geriangerfjord

Looking for great hiking boots?  Here are links to the ones we’ve used for 8+ years and highly recommend: Men’s Keen Waterproof Hiking Boots & Women’s Keen Waterproof Hiking Boots

Where to Hike in Geirangerfjord: Can kids hike this trail?

Yes!  We hiked this trail with our 12-month-old daughter in the backpack carrier.  The ascent hike is very steep but the hike to Holmberg/Geiranger is more manageable. We felt comfortable with our daughter in the carrier. Beware that the trail skirts the edge of the fjord and is quite exposed at times.  This does pose a dangerous fall risk.  However, there are chains in these spots. If your child can handle the steep elevation and you can trust them to be aware of the exposed mountainside at different points, they should be able to complete this hike.  


Alternative Routes

Hike from Geiranger/Holmberg to Skagefla Out & Back

You could alternatively hike from Geiranger out & back.  This would make it a very long day/hike (10 miles round-trip).  We also consider the steep rocky trail that we ascended to the farm from Skagehola dangerously steep.  We would have not felt comfortable descending this trail back to the boat drop off/pick up with our baby on our backs. We find ascending up steep elevation to be more manageable than descending down steep elevation.  

However, this alternative is a budget option (for someone not baby-wearing) because you do not have to pay for the pricey cruise to Skagefla/Skaghola.  However, we thought the cost of the cruise was worth it allows you  to see the fjord from the water. 

Hike from Boat Drop-Off/Pick Up to Skagefla Out & Back

Another alternative to hiking the full path is that you can hike to Skagefla farm (from the boat drop off spot below it) and then hike back to the boat drop off/pick up (Skagehola) for a boat ride back to Geiranger.  Getting picked up at the boat drop off/pick is included in your cruise ticket cost.  This shortens the hike to about 1 mile round trip.  However, do not let that 1 mile stat fool you.  The hike to Skagefla is an exceedingly steep route with 820 feet (250 feet) of elevation gain and round-trip it will take you at least an hour to 1.5 hours to complete.  

We highly advise you against this option though as our favorite views on this hike were all past Skagefla farm/past the highest elevation.  Our favorite view over Geiranger was near the end of this hike near Holmberg (above). 

Note: If you do choose this option, make sure to check when the next boat will be coming to pick you up.  Boats, especially after Sept 1st, are very limited and the boats will not wait for you (as they do not know you are coming) if you are not there when they arrive.  Make sure you are back to Skagehola before the boat comes to get you. We witnessed one group of hikers narrowly miss the boat as the frantically moved on the trail to jump onboard

Fun Facts about Geirangerfjord: 

  • Inspiration for Arendelle in Frozen 
  • Population less than 300 year round residents
  • Less than 20 kids are enrolled in the school here.  Once kids turn 16, they are sent to Alesund (2 hours away) for school and live in an apartment on their own at this time 
  • The town inevitably is going to be destroyed by a Tsunami at some point but it is heavily monitored so that the residents should have 72 hours to evacuate 

Where to Stay in Geirangerfjord?

We stayed at Grande Hytteutleige og Camping in cabin option #3 while visiting Geiranger/Geirangerfjord.  These simple one bedroom cabins (with a lofted space and bunk beds) can sleep up to 5 and also have a full kitchen.  The real draw to this spot though is the back window/patio views over Geirangerfjord.  The views are truly stellar.  We would stay at this spot again without hesitation.  The staff working here were also very kind and accommodating to us.  There are other larger and smaller cabin options here as well to meet your group needs.  This accommodation was the perfect space for us to base ourselves for two-nights to hike in Geirangerfjord. 


Hiking from Skagefla to Geirnagerfjord was one of the highlights of our 2 Week Norway Road Trip   It was so peaceful, serene and scenic.  See our 2 Week Norway Road Trip Trip guide for all the details on planning an epic fjord road trip of your own.  

We hope this guide helps you plan where to hike in Geirangerfjord.  Anything you’d add to our guide? We’d love to hear your feedback and questions.  Please leave us a comment!

Did you find this post helpful? If so, please share it with a friend, like our Always Have a Trip Planned Facebook Page, follow our Always Have A Trip Planned Instagram and subscribe to our emails below.

And remember, Always Have A Trip Planned!

Hiking in Runde, Norway


Hiking in Runde Norway

Runde is an island off the west coast of Norway with just over 100 residents. It is famous for bird viewing on its dramatic seaside cliffs throughout the summer (June-early August).  Although we visited Runde outside of bird watching season, we found it to be very neat to see the cliffs even without the birds. The island itself is very quaint and cute with being so small. There was a small town charm to it when you talk to locals.   Hiking to/around the seaside cliffs was a highlight of our time in Norway.  Here is our guide on hiking in Runde, Norway.  

Hiking in Runde Norway

FYI: This post is written based on a hike taken in early September.  See our 2 Week Norway Road Trip guide for all the details on this trip. We took this trip with our 12 month old daughter.  For all our baby travels tips and tricks see our Top 10 Baby Travel Tips, 5 Top Baby & Toddler Flying Tips and our How to Hike with a Baby post. 

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. That means that, at no cost to you, we may get a small commission if you purchase through these links. This helps us keep providing travel resources for you!

Hiking in Runde Norway Map

Hike the seaside cliffs in Runde

Runde is a relatively small island.  The map above, in Norwegian (given to us by a local), shows the whole island and hiking trails are marked with dashed lines.  We recommend starting on the Goksoyr side, where you can access the trail from the road, and then making a loop around the cliffs in a clockwise fashion as highlighted on the map.  This hike is in total about 4 miles and just under 1000 feet of elevation gain.   You can add on some mileage and elevation by hiking down to the lighthouse as well.  However, the best cliff views are from the higher elevations of the hike on the east and west side of the island.  

Trailhead on Runde located between two houses 

To access the hike, park at the public lot right off the main road, just slightly south of the start of the trailhead. There were public toilets at the parking lot as well to access. From here, walk up the road to the trailhead where you will start your steep climb.  The trailhead can be a bit tricky to find, as it is located between two houses but if you are looking for it, you shouldn’t miss it.  

First part of the hike on Runde is the steepest

The first part of this hike, if you complete this hike in a counterclockwise fashion as we suggest, is the steepest.  Once you get to the highest point on the north tip of the island, your hike will be mostly downhill (unless you hike down to the lighthouse too, then you have to climb back up to the main trail).

Hike through farmland, then along cliffs 

You will first hike through some farmland, previously used for peat moss harvesting, before reaching the dramatic sea cliffs.  The best views of the cliffs, in our opinion, are on the east side of the trail heading up it to the west.  Here, you can see down to the lighthouse where the cliffs slowly taper off in height.  

Hiking in Runde Norway

We hiked all the way up to the highest point along the cliffs on the northside.  Stopping here is a nice spot to have a picnic and gaze off into the Atlantic ocean.  Then we started our descent down on the west side of the island where we did actually see many krykkjer birds nesting along the cliffs (despite being outside of bird viewing season).  However, we did not see any puffins. 

Tip: If you want the best chance to see nesting birds, especially Puffins, be sure to visit in June-early August.  

Beware though that with the bird viewing season comes crowds.  Although we did not see many birds on our hike, we also did not see many people.  We enjoyed a very peaceful hike, where we only encountered 6 other people the whole time, while visiting during the off-season.  

Downhill second half of the hike

From the highest point on this hike, you can cut back across the farmland to make the loop or you can hike down the west side of the island more.  Note though that once you start heading down the west side of the trail, after the crossover path to make the loop, the trail becomes more rocky with more scrambling.  Be careful!  We did not venture too far on this trail due to the more difficult terrain. Instead we headed back across the farmland on the main trail. 

Hiking in Runde Norway

As noted above, this hike is 4 miles in total.  We found the first climb to be of moderate difficulty but the second half of the hike was a downhill/flat breeze.   The first part of this hike is the steepest, if you complete cthis hike in a counterclockwise fashion.  Once you get to the highest point on the north tip of the island, your hike will be mostly downhill (unless you hike down to the lighthouse, then you have to climb back up) 

Where to stay when hiking in Runde?

We stayed about an hour away from Runde, in Folkestad. We LOVED this Folkestad Airbnb.  The views of the farm and fjord from this Airbnb truly are unmatched.  This cozy place was the perfect spot to take a day trip to Runde as well as hike Galten ***. 10 out of 10 recommend this spot and town.  

Where to stay near Runde

You may also consider staying on the small quaint island.  Our friend, who lives in Norway and has visited Runde, recommends staying at the Christianborg hotel (nice restaurant on site) or camping near the lighthouse (must hike to) if you are staying on the island. 

Tip: Check the ferry schedule from Folkestad to Volda to avoid wait time 

If you are staying in Folkestad, check the times of the ferry to Volda.  We took the ferry on a Saturday and it was only running every 40 minutes unlike on weekdays where it runs more frequently.  We arrived 1 minute after the ferry left so we had to wait 39 minutes for the next one…  Had we known the ferry schedule, we likely would have stayed at our Airbnb longer or gotten out the door faster.  Capitalizing on some down time, our daughter enjoyed walking around the dock here and we wouldn’t have gotten to do that had we not had to wait.


Hiking in Runde was one of the highlights of our 2 Week Norway Road Trip.   See this guide for all the details on planning an epic fjord road trip of your own.  

We hope this guide helps you plan your visit to Runde and hiking along the seaside cliffs.  Anything you’d add to our guide? We’d love to hear your feedback and questions.  Please leave us a comment!

Did you find this post helpful? If so, please share it with a friend, like our Always Have a Trip Planned Facebook Page, follow our Always Have A Trip Planned Instagram and subscribe to our emails below.

And remember, Always Have A Trip Planned!

error: Content is protected