Brufjellhålene Hike – Spectacular Brufjell Potholes, Flekkefjord, Norway

Brufjellhålene is one of the popular places to visit in Southern Norway. Brufjellhålene hike is well worth doing but it can be difficult or hard if you don’t check the details beforehand. In this post, you have all the information you need to know for hiking to famous Brufjell Hulene caves and potholes in Flekkefjord, Southern Norway.

Brufjellhålene (also called Brufjell Hulene) cover photo

Of hundreds of places that I visited during my almost five years in Norway, and countless Norway hikes I have done, there was one still left on my list. I haven’t managed to do it due to the bad weather, the distance from Oslo, or other hiking or via Ferrata plans. Finally, last weekend, I managed to finally visit the spectacular Brufjellhålene (also called Brufjell Hulene). And it was a little bit different than what I expected. Read on to find out how to plan your Brufjellhålene hike.

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Brufjellhålene (Brufjell Hulene) seen from inside

What is Brufjellhålene (Brufjell Hulene) – The potholes at the Brufjell caves

Brufjellhålene (also called Brufjell Hulene) is a set of horizontal potholes created during the Ice Age, around 20 000 years ago when the sea level was higher than now. The sea level was rising fast when the ice melted during the end of the last Ice Age and stayed high constantly for a long time. The weight of the ice forced the land to sink, and after the ice melted, the land started to slowly rise again. The rough seas were crashing against the cliffs and due to the erosion, they carved the set of Brufjell caves, called Brufjellhålene, in the rocks. The potholes are located 20 meters above the current sea level, and some of them are so big that people can go inside.

Brufjell Hulene potholes are located in southern Norway, in the small Åna-Sira town, outside Flekkefjord. It’s a part of the Magma Geopark area in Norway (the same where Trollpikken formation is located in). The caves are a popular hike in Norway.  

The earthquakes were common in the Roligheten area in the past, and you can see the evidence of that nowadays. Some geological units in the Siraåna valley near Lundevatnet have been displaced around 500 meters to the east because of a geological fault.

Brufjellhålene (Brufjell Hulene) potholes and caves seen from outside
Brufjellhålene (Brufjell Hulene) potholes and caves seen from outside
View from Brufjellhålene (Brufjell Hulene) caves
Can you see a heart?
Brufjellhålene hike steep route
Brufjellhålene hike down (Brufjell Hulene)
A classic photo of Brufjellhålene
A classic photo of Brufjellhålene

Read more: Hike to Trollpikken – Strangely Shaped Rock Formation


Brufjellhålene hike

To get to the Brufjellhålene, you need to hike. The Brufjellhålene hike leads through Brufjell summit and then down to the caves located by the sea. The last part of the hike is classified as black (the hardest type of trail marking in Norway) and very steep. It involves climbing and metal steps like via Ferrata. It is NOT an easy hike. Not suitable for dogs or very small children (but I’ve seen older children doing great on the trail).

The Brufjell Hulene hike starts by climbing to the highest point of Brufjell with 184 meters and panoramic views out to sea and land. On the way to the top, you can stop by beautiful Sandviga beach. From the top of Brufjell, the trail goes down lower and lower, finally reaching a smooth natural rocky platform about 10 meters above sea level. This platform and a series of caves have been worn out of the solid rock by the sea.

Total distance: 5,5km

Total time: 3-5 hours

Highest point: Brufjell 184m

Elevation difference: 578 m (you go up the mountain, and then down to the caves, then back up from the caves and down from the mountain again).

Path: Marked path

Difficulty: See the section below

Season: Summer

Starting point: The hike starts from Åna-Sira town

Endpoint: The same as a start point

View from Brufjell
View from Brufjell
Steep part of Brufjellhålene hike
The steep part of the Brufjellhålene hike

Brufjellhålene hike difficulty

The Brufjellhålene hike is marked as at first moderately challenging, and then transitioning to hard. The red and blue trails that go up to Brufjell are fine. However, the last part of the hike, the one that leads down to Brufjellhålene potholes is marked as black and very challenging.

Before you enter the climb down, you can see a signpost that you need to proceed only at your own risk. The hike is very steep and involves climbing elements, together with Via Ferrata elements (climbing with the use of metal steps and bolts mounted into the rock). Some parts are almost vertical. There is also a water stream gushing down the rocks, which doesn’t help.

I’ve done several via Ferrata routes in Norway before, and when I needed to go down on my own, at one point I didn’t feel very confident. Usually climbing down is much more difficult than climbing up (the way back was quite easy for me). And I did find it challenging to climb down.

Luckily, when I stood alone halfway down thinking about what to do, I met some people who gave me more confidence into going further. I tend to not take risky paths in the mountains when I’m hiking solo, but with more people around, it felt safer. On the way back, I ended up alone again, as I stayed in the cave a bit longer. However, it was easier for me than climbing down, so I made it back up safe and sound. In general, I recommend attempting this part of the hike with some company, not solo.  


Read more: Trolltunga Via Ferrata – Adventurous Trip To The Famous Rock in Norway


Steep section of hike to Brufjellhålene
Steep section of hike to Brufjellhålene
Metal steps on the Brufjell Hulene hike
Metal steps on the Brufjell Hulene hike
Brufjell Hulene hike route
Brufjell Hulene hike route
Brufjell Hulene caves from the outside
Brufjell Hulene caves from the outside

Brufjellhålene hike – the weather

Due to the difficulty of the last part of the trail, it’s important to only do this hike in good weather. Never attempt this in bad weather conditions or in wet or slippery rock. You can check the weather forecast on Yr.no.

Brufjellhålene – The hiking trails

There are two main trails that lead to the top of Brufjell mountain and then to the beginning of the descent to Brufjellhålene. There is a blue trail, classified as an easier one. And a red one, which is a bit more challenging. The descent to the caves is marked as a black trail and signposted to be taken only at your own risk.

I decided to take a blue trail from the start of the route towards Sandvika beach, and then up to Brufjell. From there, for a short time, I joined the red trail and then the black one down to the caves. On the way down, I chose the blue trail again and then the red one to go back to the starting point.

The terrain varied between rocky and (very) muddy trails, either through the forest or in an open area.

Brufjell summit
Brufjell summit
Brufjellhalene information board
Trail markings on Brufjellhålene hike
Trail markings on Brufjellhålene hike
Forest path on Brufjellhålene hike
Forest path on Brufjellhålene hike

Sandvika beach

I recommend taking a small detour to see the Sandvika beach and maybe take a quick swim after the hike. The water is clear, and there are white stones making the beach look like a little tropical paradise. It reminded me of some beautiful beaches from Nordland in Lofoten and Helgeland.

Sandvika beach on Brufjellhålene hike trail
Sandvika beach on Brufjellhålene hike trail

The trail markings on the Brufjellhålene hike

The marking of the trails in the Brufjellhålene hike is mixed. Sometimes you get blue poles on a red trail, sometimes red dots on a blue trail, and so on. Sometimes, there are no markings at all and you need to figure your way.

On the junction points, there were usually small maps showing your current location and the trails, which was good. However, in between the junction points, the marking was sometimes missing. On the way back I even ended up in the area that was closed (but the closing sign was only on the other side, so on my exit side…), due to rockfall. There were no signs of the rockfall from the part where I joined the trail.

I always recommend using the ut.no app or maps.me apps to make sure you are on the correct trail.

Top of Brufjell
Top of Brufjell
A closed trail on the Brufjellhålene hike

QUICK PLANNING TIPS FOR TRAVEL AND CAMPING IN NORWAY


Brufjellhålene in winter

The potholes are closed in winter. Any use of trails at that time is entirely at your own risk.

Brufjell Hulene Practical Information

How to get to Brufjellhålene

To get to Brufjellhålene, you need to drive on road 44 (the North Sea road) to Åna-Sira. On the road, after one of the bends, you can notice a big sign for Brufjell hostel and parking, as well as a sign to Roligheten. Take that turn, and drive on the small road until you reach a relatively big car park with signs to Brufjellhålene.

Start of the hike to Sandvika beach and Brufjellhålene
Start of the hike to Sandvika beach and Brufjellhålene

Parking at Brufjellhålene

There is no parking in the village. All around the village, there are signs that parking is prohibited. However, there is one big parking lot area, just before you enter the town build-up area, where you can leave your car and then walk through the village to the beginning of the trail for around 1-2 km. There is a simple toilet (no running water) in the car park.

The car park can get quite busy on the weekends and in the high season, so it’s good to either arrive very early or a bit later in the afternoon (when most people already leave). Just make sure you time your hike well, so you return before darkness. This is usually the best advice to avoid crowds on popular Norwegian hikes, such as the Kjerag hike.

Brufjellhålene information board
Brufjellhålene information board

Where to stay near Brufjellhålene hike

There are a few options for hotels near the Brufjellhålene hike. I stayed in one of them in the nearby village with a stunning sunset view from the balcony.

View from hotel near Brufjell Hulene
View from my hotel near Brufjell Hulene

What to take with you for the Brufjellhålene hike

Some items that it’s worth taking with you for the hike are:

  • Via Ferrata equipment (Via Ferrata lanyard, climbing harness, and helmet (if you have it) – initially, I was going to take mine with me, but then I forgot. In retrospect, I think I would feel better if I had it with me (or at least a helmet). However, it might have also been hard to clip in and out with a lot of people waiting to come to both ways, so it’s something to consider.
  • climbing gloves – can be helpful for holding onto the metal steps and the wire.
  • sturdy shoes
  • comfortable stretchy trousers
  • suncream – I always take this suncream as it has great protection, good skincare, and is perfect for kids and adults on the face and body.
  • enough food and water
  • Sunglasses 
  • small and light backpack
Me in Brufjellhålene
Me in Brufjellhålene


Read more about Norway:

Tips on how to travel Norway on a budget

Kjerag hike without the crowds – Kjeragbolten

Best Norwegian gifts and souvenirs to bring back from your trip

Trolltunga via ferrata

Best via Ferrata routes in Norway and other adventurous activities


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Brufjellhålene hike, how to get to the famous Brufjell Hulene caves in Norway. #norway

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