Monday, September 26, 2011
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The Fjordruta is a great multi-day hike in the west of Norway. It has a little bit of everything: fjords, forests, mountains. The whole trail can take about two weeks but you can do as little as a couple of days.

The best time is summer. I did 3 days in late September: the conditions weren’t perfect but not too bad either. I had two overcast days with some rain and one sunny day. The ground is very wet so waterproof hiking boots will really be worthwhile.

The trail is well marked and there are unmanned, fully stocked cabins along the way. What the cabins have: food, gas, cooking gear, fireplace, beds with pillows and blankets, shower, toilet, water. This means that you don’t need to carry anything with you.

You need a special key to open the cabins. You can buy this key from the Norwegian Trekking Association (DNT) and from some tourist information offices. I don’t know how much it costs because I got mine from a friend. The price of the key is just a deposit so you can return it and get your money back.

You pay for the stay in the cabin and for the food you consumed by filling out a form and leaving it in a box in the cabin. They charge your credit card. A night costs 290NOK for non-members of DNT and 190NOK for members. It may be worthwhile signing up for DNT if you plan on spending more than a few nights, I didn’t check.

Getting there

From Oslo, you need to get to Kristiansund. You can either take a bus via Molde or a flight to Molde, then a bus to Kristiansund. Norwegian has some cheap flights and often a morning flight to Molde will be cheaper than the bus. The bus costs 690NOK from Oslo to Molde and when I went there I found a morning flight for 500NOK from Oslo to Molde. The flight is about 40 minutes, the bus is about 8 hours. The Oslo-Molde bus goes twice a day, in the morning and in the evening.

The bus from Molde to Kristiansund costs 140NOK and takes about an hour and a half. It also stops at the Molde airport and leaves every hour. After getting to Kristiansund you need to get to Tommervag to start the trail. You do this by taking a bus from the Kristiansund bus station (Traffikterminal) to Tommervag. This bus uses a fairy to get to Tommerweg and also leaves about once an hour. It takes about 1 hour to get to Tommervag.

The trail

I used a trail map for the Fjordruta that you can get at the DNT offices. It’s from 2004 and it doesn’t have some newly built cabins which I will describe here. The whole trail is pretty strenuous in my view so take this into consideration.

The first cabin is Trollstua. It takes about 2 hours to reach from Tommervag. I didn’t stay there and continued directly to the next cabin, Gullsteinvollen. This took about 5 hours of very fast and hard hiking from Trollstua, so take this into consideration. Both Trollstua and Gullsteinvolen were built in 2006 and do not appear on the 2004 map.

On the second day I continued from Gullsteinvolen to Imarbu. This also took about 5 hours of fast and strenuous walking. Imarbu is right on the fjord and it’s really pretty. This was my favorite cabin.

On the third way I hiked from Imarbu to Nersetra. This also took about 5 hours. Nersetra is not as nice but it has hot water for shower because it’s next to some administrative building of the KNT (Kristiansund trekking association) that has electricity.

From Nersetra you can hike to Aure in about 2 hours and then take the bus back to Kristiansund. I didn’t do this because I was lucky to get a ride from Nersetra back to Kristiansund with a KNT employee that happened to also spend the night at Nersetra.

Don’t worry about getting back at any point between Tommervag and Aure because there are bus stops in many places where the hiking trail crosses a road. I don’t know about the rest of the trail, from Aure and on, but I assume it’s similar.

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