Briksdal Glacier, Norway

A trip to Briskdal Glacier from the cruise port of Olden in Norway requires a very scenic 25km or so 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 whilst here.

Shore excursion to Briksdal Glacier

If you’re arriving on a cruise ship your first option is to consider booking a shore excursion to Briksdal glacier with your cruise line. 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
  • They normally 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 advice for those who require it before booking

 

Olden Adventure Briksdal Glacier Shuttle Bus

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Shuttle bus from Olden to Briksdal Glacier

If you’d rather do it yourself the nearby Olden Adventure office sells return tickets on their shuttle bus whilst the cruise ship is in port. Costing around £40 ($55) at the time of the original publish date, it’s one of the cheapest ways to get to Briksdal glacier with an allocated time of two and a half hours.
2022 update: The shuttle bus service from Olden to Briksdal departs from the service station a short walk away – simply exit the cruise ship dock, turn right and walk along the path to the service station. 

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

Sightseeing tour bus

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, prices 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, café 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.

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.

Further readingThe Viking Valley and Tvinde Waterfall excursion from Flam

River walk in Jostedalsbreen National Park
The walking route to Briksdal along the river

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

 

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.

Further reading: What’s a cruise to the Norwegian Fjords like from Southampton?

Briksdal Glacier and river
Spectacular views in Jostedalsbreen National Park

4 Comments

  1. It was mentioned Olden shuttle bus will wait for 2 hrs before departing. I am not sure given some info that one needs 45 to 60 mins to trek up and down the glacier will be sufficient, what happens if we took longer than 2hrs to reach the shuttle bus for whatever reason?

    • Hi, I’d check with your driver before setting off as I’m not sure if you can pick up a later shuttle than the one you’re allocated. The first time I visited I didn’t have enough time to visit the lake as I was unaware how long it would take so I was able to pace myself better the second time around. The troll cars get you there/back quicker of course, but either way I still had a fantastic time as the whole route is very scenic.

  2. Is it possible to get a taxi from Olden to the glacier? If so roughly how much would it cost?

    • Hi Bella, I haven’t explored taxi options but going off the cost of the coach shuttle service I imagine it would be quite a bit more on top. If that’s feasible it may be worth looking at the excursions offered by your cruise ship as they may be able to offer a more personal experience for yourself/party.

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