Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Briksdal Glacier Excursion From Olden, Norway

A complete guide to Briksdal Glacier from Olden in Norway

An excursion to Briskdal Glacier from the cruise port of Olden in Norway requires a very scenic 25km drive south around the Oldevatnet lake. In this guide you'll find a few options to make this journey and preview some of the breathtaking sights you'll discover along the way.

P&O cruise ship Britannia docked in Olden on a Norwegian Fjords cruise

Firstly if you're arriving on a cruise your ship will likely do a shore excursion to Briksdal glacier. It's possibly more expensive than the alternatives, but here’s why it could prove worthwhile for you:
  • A guide enhancing your experience with their local knowledge
  • A guarantee to get you back to the ship in time for departure
  • Little extras like tea, coffee and snacks
  • May be able to provide special assistance or options for those who require it
If you’d rather do it yourself the nearby Olden Adventure office sells return tickets on their hourly shuttle bus whilst the ship is in port. Costing around £40 ($55), it’s one of the cheapest ways to get to Briksdal glacier with an allocated time of two and a half hours.

Spectacular waterfall in Jostedalsbreen National Park near Briksdal
Oldevatnet lake with a view of Briksdal Glacier

You can also take Olden's sightseeing tour bus where you stop at the lake with a distant view of the glacier for around £25 ($35). As impressive as it is, be aware any inclement weather could effect your view. The timings and regularity of these alternative options may also vary depending on the season.

Transport and walking option at the Briksdal Glacier
Troll-car to Briksdal Glacier

When you arrive in the car park there’s a gift shop, cafĂ© and desk where you can purchase tickets (around £22 or $29) for a roundtrip on the troll-cars that shuttle you to and from the glacier. They depart and return to the car park every 45 minutes.

Walking route to Briksdal Glacier along the rocky river
Waterfall bridge in Briksdal
Waterfall with a view of Briksdal Glacier

If you’ve time I’d highly recommend walking the 3km, the incline is a steady 200m that levels off as you near the glacier and it takes roughly 45 minutes each way.

River walk in Jostedalsbreen National Park
The walking route to Briksdal along the river
Giant pothole at Briksdal Glacier

Following the racing aqua coloured river you’ll cross numerous bridges, rest inside a giant pothole and feel the spray of the thundering waterfalls just metres away from the path.

Rocky passage near Briksdal Glacier
The Jurassic landscape of Jostedalsbreen National Park near Briksdal Glacier

You really do feel so enveloped in nature as the snow capped mountains close in around you. The views from every angle are staggering, the photos hardly do it justice (though I've tried my best) and we were very lucky to enjoy calm and clear conditions to see the spectacular blue ice up close.

The troll-car stop near Briksdal Glacier

It’s worth mentioning that there are toilet facilities in the gift shop and near the glacier (at the troll-cars stop) and plenty of signage in English and Norwegian that share interesting facts about the Briksdal glacier and Jostedalsbreen National Park.

View towards Briksdal Glacier
A closeup view of Briksdal Glacier in 2018

If you’re visiting Olden on a Norwegian Fjords cruise, Briksdal Glacier is a brilliant shore excursion that I can see both young and old getting a lot of enjoyment out of. It’s probably one of my favourites trips to date on a cruise.

Briksdal Glacier and river
Spectacular views in Jostedalsbreen National Park

Coming up I’ll be sharing my shore excursion to an authentic Viking village from the port of Flam.
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