Guided hike to the Viking trail Sverrestigen - Wild Voss
During the late fall of 1177, Sverre Sigurdsson and his army of Birkebeiner rebels were fleeing eastwards from Voss. They had been forced to retreat by an army of angry farmers. Outnumbered and hard pressed, Sverre and his men had to escape into Raundalen by climbing a steep hillside. With a guide from Wild Voss at your side, you get to reenact this dramatic event.
Sverrestigen trip details:
- Estimated total distance: 9 km.
- Estimated hiking duration: 4-5 hours, including breaks.
- Total ascent: 600 meters.
- Trip grading: Moderate to difficult, depending on route variation.
- Family friendly: Yes, suitable for kids aged 9 and above.
Raundalen is a 25 kilometer long valley that stretches from the landmark of Rastalii, all the way to Upsete. Thanks to its wild nature and fascinating history, Raundalen is the perfect valley for hiking. A rare gem, just a few minutes out of Voss!
Sverrestigen is one of the most remarkable trails in Raundalen. The trail starts close to Rastalii, the deep gorge that shapes an impressive entrance gate to the valley. Our hike starts right here, in this wild and impressive location. From here we follow in the footsteps of the Viking king named Sverre Sigurdsson!
Some 840 years ago, in late October 1177, Sverre Sigurdsson approached Voss from the east. He was the leader of the Birkebeiner-rebels based in eastern Norway. Supported by an army of seasoned fighters, Sverre was on his way to Bjørgvin (Bergen). He was campaigning for the throne, and had many enemies. Unexpectedly, Sverre and his men were stopped near Voss by an army of farmers assembled from the nearby villages. King Sverre, outnumbered, was engaged in battle and forced to escape back the way he came. The farmers had blocked the normal passage east. Instead, Sverre and his army were forced to climb past a steep and exposed cliff section near the mouth of the valley called Raundalen. This route still holds the name «Sverre’s path» (Sverrestigen).
We make it to the starting point of our hike by catching the train to Klyve, just a couple of stops out of Voss. From Klyve we quickly reach the start of Sverrestigen. The trail is steep and exposed, and can be impressive (we can choose another trail in case the conditions become too difficult). The trails leads us to Klyvsnolten (730 m), at the top of Rastalii.
Before we continue on the ridge, we stop for a lunch break and enjoy the unique panorama of all the mountains of Voss. The next stage brings us to Fjossstølen, a typical mountain-farm area. There we meet the old Raundal trail, and follow it down through the forest to Klyve. The local farmers had blocked this very trail back in 1177. We can thus enjoy both perspectives of this episode of the Norwegian History.
After a nice walk downhill, we land on the modern Raundal road, and take the train back to Voss.
Reasons to go:
This trip combines spectacular nature with an exciting history, allowing for an authentic experience through the wild nature of Raundalen. If conditions don't allow for an ascent of the steep Sverrestigen route, we still get to enjoy a lovely hike through lush forests away from the crowds.
We have guides speaking English, French, German, Spanish and Italian. Please let us know if you have language preferences, and we’ll try to accommodate you.
Season and availability:
Daily departures from Mai 10 to October 20.
During the busiest weeks of summer, we might not have available guides every day. Please don’t hesitate to send us an email if it looks like the trip is unavailable online. We’ll try to find a solution for you.
Sverrestigen is a steep and exposed route with few in-place safety installations. Our guide brings all the necessary safety equipment, such as a rope. Participants should not have a fear of heights, and should have some hiking experience from rugged terrain. In wet or slippery conditions, we will follow a less exposed rote to the top.
Easier variations are possible, and will be less demanding.
On this hike you will need the following equipment:
- Sturdy hiking shoes or hiking boots.
- Waterproof clothing (shell layer).
- Small rucksack (20 litres).
- An extra t-shirt and an extra sweater.
- Beanie or a cap.
- Sunglasses and sun lotion
- Some snacks or packed lunch and a water bottle.
- Trekking poles are recommended.
Meeting point and practical details:
This trip is easy to combine with a stay in Bergen. If you arrive Voss by the train departing Bergen 8.39 on the day of departure, we’ll meet at Voss station at 9.55 a.m. We get back on the same train, which will then take us to our starting point. Travel time by train from Voss to our starting point at Kløve is approximately 10 minutes.
If you’re already stationed in Voss, we’ll meet outside our office at Tre Brør Café near the town square at 9.30 a.m.
We’ll be back in Voss around 3.30 p.m. The hike takes around 4-5 hours, depending on route variation.
Prices and terms:
The price for adults is NOK 1150 per person. The price for children aged 9-14 is NOK 650 per person. Minimum age is 9 years old.
1-10 participants. Groups of more than five earn a 20% group discount.
Included in the price:
- An experienced, multilingual guide during your trip.
- A light meal of locally crafted food, including hot drinks – prepared on a stove.
- All necessary safety equipment.
- Access to extra clothing and trekking poles free of charge.
- Transportation from Voss to the starting point and back to Voss.
Not included in the price:
- Transportation into and out of Voss.
A note on responsible travel and sustainability:
- Wild Voss make a continuous effort in reducing the ecological impact of our trips and activities. We aim to follow the latest GSTC criteria for sustainable travel. As a participant on one of our trips, you should know the following:
- We follow the Leave No Trace principles.
- We make use of zero-emission infrastructure whenever possible.
- Our trips are on foot, skis or snowshoes, causing no emissions and limiting the impact on nature and eco systems.
- Our guide will share knowledge about local culture, sites we visit and local customs.
- We support responsible local businesses.
- Your guide will advocate low-impact travel and raise the participants’ awareness of local wildlife.
- We abide by laws and regulations concerning travel in free nature and cultural landscape.
- We seek to minimize waste, and choose products and packaging with long life spans.