Trail Running on the King’s Road (Norway) - 7 Days

Guided runs through some of Norway’s most beautiful landscapes with comfortable accommodation and a sea kayaking day on Sognefjord.

Trip Facts

  • Guided or Self-guided: Guided.
  • Price: From £1,247 or €1,387/person.
  • Dates: 21-27 Jun 2020, 23-30 Aug 2020 and on request Jun-Sep for groups 6-10 persons.
  • Running ability required: Up to 15 km/day in varied terrain inc. steep hills, and avg. height gain 250m/day at min. average speed of 6 mins/km.
  • Terrain/distance: Mountain trails. Height gain up to 550m, daily distances 10-20km.
  • Location: Mountains of central Norway.
  • Travel to: Tvinkrysset (4.5 hours by bus from Oslo, bus from Bergen also possible).
  • Accommodation: Comfortable modern cabin.
  • Group size: 6-10 persons.

See below for details.

Why choose this tour for a trail running holiday in Norway?

  • Run to mountain lakes and waterfalls and across a mountain pass on the historic King’s Road.
  • A day of sea kayaking in the spectacular Sognefjord to break up your running week.
  • Easily accessible by direct bus from Oslo or Bergen.
  • Option to vary level of challenge by combining half-day guided running itineraries with a choice of self-guided runs and walks from the lodge.

The scenery in the area of Filefell is spectacular and varied, and the week’s itinerary is designed to show you some of the best of it.

From your base at a comfortable cabin, four days of guided runs will take you to the mountain lake of Otrøvatnet, Norway’s highest protected waterfall at Vettisfossen, across a mountain pass as you run from Kyrkjestølen to Maristuenand and along one of the most famous sections of the historical King’s Road between Borgund and Seltun.

The Vettisfossen Waterfall. Photo: MON.
Vettisfossen, Norway’s highest protected waterfall. Photo: MON.

As a contrast to the runs, the week also includes a day’s sea kayaking on the beautiful Sognefjord. Kayaking is really the best way to experience the fjords and gives you a chance to use some different muscles!

The week’s trail-running itinerary is designed to accommodate of varying ability, with guided activities taking between 2-4 hours each day.

Relaxing by a natural pool. Photo: MON.
Relaxing by a natural pool. Photo: MON.

Guided runs take place on 4 of the 5 days of the itinerary, for which transfers between the lodge and the day’s start and end points are included.

For those with extra energy, you will be provided with a map and suggestions for a variety of self-guided runs, such as a run to the peak at Skørsnøse, allowing you to take part of each day at your own pace.

Is it for me?

  • Fixed date tours are suitable for solo travellers or guests travelling with one or more companions. Prices are based on 2 persons sharing. Please see under “Prices” for details of single supplement if solo traveller or requiring single occupancy.
  • For fixed date tours, you should at minimum be able to run up to 15km/day in mixed terrain including gravel roads, mountain tracks and some steep hills. Average height gain 250m/day. You should be able to run at a minimum average pace of 6 mins per km (speed will be slower on some technical sections).
  • For private tours, a greater degree of flexibility to vary level of challenge is possible.

Day 1
Day 1: Arrival

Summary: Arrival and check-in, self-guided runs/walks optional.

Arrival and check-in to your accommodation. This experience is served by regular bus departure from Oslo Central bus station:

– Dep. 10.25 arr. 15.02

– Dep. 13.05 arr. 17.38

– Dep. 17.05 arr. 21.52 (we recommend arriving earlier if possible)

If time allows, there are self-guided runs or walks available from the lodge.

At 19.00, you will meet for dinner and introduction to the tour ahead.

For all days, transfer between your lodge accommodation and the start/end points of the day’s run is included.

Day 2
Day 2: Running on the King's Road around Lake Otrøvatnet

Summary: Distance: 10km; Height gain: 150m; Time: 2 hours.

Breakfast 08.00-10.00. As for all days, make a packed lunch from the breakfast buffet to have with you during the day.

Meet at 10.00 for a guided 10km run around Lake Otrøvatnet.

This section is a wonderful introduction to the area and a good warm-up for the days ahead.

Back at the lodge, you have afternoon to choose a selection of self-guided walks or runs from the lodge.

At 18.00, meet for dinner and a lecture from your guide on the cultural, historical and natural heritage of the King’s Road. The evening ends around 21.00.

Day 3
Day 3: Running on the King's Road from Borgund to Seltun

Summary: Distance: 10-20km; Height gain: 250-550m; Time: 2-4 hours.

Breakfast 08.00-10.00.

Today’s run takes you along the most well-known part of the King’s Road, with the option to cover one or both of the following sections (it is possible to combine both into one loop) with total distance 10 or 20km:

– From Borgund to Seltun

– From Galdane – Seltunåsen

Back at the lodge, dinner is served 18.00-20.00.

Day 4
Day 4: Sea Kayaking Day on Sognefjord

Summary: A guided sea kayak tour, no experience required.

Breakfast 08.00-10.00.

Today you take a break from running to experience the beautiful Norwegian landscape from another perspective, this time from the water.

Departing at 10.00, a scenic drive brings you to Sognefjord, where you are issued with kayak equipment for a guided paddle tour on the fjord. No previous kayak experience is required.

You will be back at the lodge around 16.00, where dinner is served 18.00-20.00.

Day 5
Day 5: Running on the King's Road from Kyrkjestølen to Maristuen

Summary: Distance: 11km; Height gain: 370m; Time: 2 hours.

Breakfast 08.00-10.00.

Today you return to the King’s Road, but with rather different scenery, as you take the beautiful mountain pass from Kyrkjestølen to Maristuen.

You will be back at the lodge around 13.00, where you can choose to relax or take additional self-guided hikes/runs in the area.

Tonight it’s time to party – from 18.00-21.00, you’ll have a Barbecue by the lake, regaled with local stories and mountain anecdotes from your guide.

Day 6
Day 6: Running from Utladalen to the Vettisfossen Waterfall

Summary: Distance: 12km; Height gain: 470m; Time: 2-3 hours.

Breakfast 08.00-10.00.

Your final day of running takes you on a 12km adventure into Utladen, one of Norway’s wildest valleys.

Utladaen is a green and narrow valley linking the country’s deepest fjord and highest peak. and tallest peaks.

Starting on a gravel road, the landscape soon gives way to challenging terrain, with boulders and roots ready to trip you!

At the end of the trail you reach the waterfall of Vettisfossen, Europe’s largest protected waterfall at 276m.

Returning towards the end point, you can stop for a rest at Vetti Gard, renowned for its waffles!

Back at the lodge, a farewell dinner is served 18.00-20.00 and a chance to reflect on the week’s adventures.

NB: You should exercise great caution when running today to avoid accident and injury, as the terrain is treacherous. It is essential that you take the run at your own level/speed and give priority to negotiating the terrain safely and within your limits, even if this requires walking. Speak to your guide to ensure that you are comfortable with the plan and pace for the day. The emphasis of the week is on enjoyment – there’s no need to aim for any speed records today!

Day 7
Day 7: Departure

Summary: Check-out and departure.

Breakfast 08.00-10.00.

Regular buses depart Tvinkrysset for Oslo bus terminal as follows:

– Dep. 09:57 arr. 14:52

– Dep. 13:55 arr. 18:52

– Dep. 17:38 arr. 22:09

Regular buses depart Tvinkrysset for Bergen bus terminal as follows:

– Dep. 14.05 arr. 18.10 (Mon-Sat)

– Dep. 18.10-22.10 (Sun) 13:55 arr. 18:52

a. 14:05–18:10 (Mon–Sat)

b. 18:10–22:10 (Sun)

Dates 2020:

Fixed dates: 21st-27th June 2020; 23rd-29th August 2020.

These tour dates are open to anyone fulfilling the running ability requirements (min. age 16). Total minimum 6 persons required for tours to be guaranteed to run.

Custom dates for groups: Private tours for groups are possible on dates by arrangement between June and September, offered at standard prices based on min. group size 6 persons. Please contact us to discuss your requirements.

Prices 2020:

Group size 6-10 persons: GBP 1,247 or EUR 1,387/person

Single supplement (for solo travellers requiring single occupancy): GBP 114 or EUR 127/person

What's included:

  • 6 nights' accommodation in rooms in comfortable, modern cabins incl. half-board (breakfast and dinner) + self-made packed lunches. Each room in the cabins has en-suite WC/shower. The cabins and also the main lodge building, where meals are served, have spacious communal areas.
  • Guided runs as per itinerary including transfers between the lodge and the start/end points of each run.
  • Guided kayak tour including all equipment and local transfers as per itinerary.
  • Map and information with suggestions for self-guided runs and walks during free time.

Not included:

  • Travel to/from Tvinskrysset.
  • Drinks (available to purchase locally).
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Frequently Asked Questions:

What training should I do to prepare for the tour?

We recommend doing at least one long (>2 hours) run at a slow pace each week in the lead-up to your tour, combined with shorter runs and interval training.

It is important to practise running using the pack you are planning to use and carrying what you would be intending take with you on the tour days (water, lunch, spare clothing, etc).

What kind of running shoes do I need?

Trail running shoes with good tread and traction are required. Terrain may be slippery with stones and roots.

What will I need to carry with me during the runs?

You will need a running backpack with space for windproof jacket/layer, packed lunch and water bottle.

How can I refill drinking water during the runs?

The water in the area is very clean and you will refill drinking water from natural sources (streams) during the route. The water is clean enough to be drunk untreated. However, this is of course a personal choice and if you wish you are welcome to bring a portable water filter.

Do I need to bring hiking poles?

You will probably not wish to use poles during the runs, but hiking poles are recommended to bring with you on the trip for use during optional hikes.

Where will we stay?

The cabins at Filefellstuene provide a comfortable base to return to, with delicious meals focusing on local produce served in the restaurant – and a licensed bar should you feel justified in treating yourself after the day’s exertions!

What is the King's Road?

The King’s Road is steeped in history, and was once the main route linking Norway from east to west.

Named after King Sverre of Norway (1184-1202), it was Norway’s first postal route in 1647. Today, following an extensive restoration project, the route is a wonderful trail for hiking and running.