The 30 best places to visit in Norway

 

On the E3 Highway, between the capital, Oslo, and the city of Trondheim is the Stor-Elgen, a huge Elk statue made of mirrored steel to reflect the beautiful natural surroundings. The largest Elk statue in the world, it stands 10 metres (33 ft) tall, making it 30 centimetres taller than the previous record holder, Canada's Mac The Moose.

30. Stor-Elgen

 

Created in 1983 just south of the city of Stavanger is the commemorative monument of Sverd I Fjell, meaning, Swords In Rock. The monument depicts three 10 metre (33 ft) high bronze swords appearing to stick in the Earth, commemorating the battle of Hafrsfjord that took place in 872 AD when all of Norway was gathered under one crown. Because the swords are stuck in solid rock never to be moved, the monument is also said to represent peace.

29. Sverd I Fjell

 

On the western coast, north from Bergen is the seaport town of Ålesund, a pretty little fishing town surrounded by islands and inlets, noted for its high concentration of Art Nouveau architecture. Visitors can take the 418 steps up Aksla Hill to the Aksla Viewpoint where they will be greeted with a fantastic panoramic view of the archipelago and the town centre.

28. Aksla Utsiktspunkt

 

Inland from the seaport town of Ålesund is one of the best man made viewing platforms in Norway, the Rampestreken, pushing out over the fjords from a mammoth 580 metres (1,902 ft) above sea level. A moderate hike from the town of Åndalsnes will get visitors up to the narrow overhanging walkway for an incredible view of the surrounding fjord landscape. The trail can be continued to the top of Mount Nasaksla for another unhindered panoramic view from an even higher 715 metres (2,345 ft) above sea level.

27. Rampestreken

 

Just north of Flåm, off the winding mountain road of Bjørgavegen is the 30 metre (98 ft) long platform known as Stegastein Viewpoint. From the walkway visitors get a wonderful view of Aurlandsvangen and the Aurlandsfjord from 650 metres (2,132 ft) above sea level. Its proximity to the tourist village of Flåm does create a constant flow of tourist buses and tourists, making it unlikely that you'll have it to yourself.

26. Stegastein

 

In the far north west of the country, primarily located on the small island of Tromsøya is the city of Tromsø, the largest urban area in Northern Norway, and the third largest in the world north of the Arctic Circle. Surrounded by islands of steep mountains, the city centre contains the highest number of old wooden houses in Norway, the oldest dating from as far back as 1789. The most notable landmark in the city is undoubtedly the Arctic Cathedral, built in 1965, its unusual shape makes for a striking piece of architecture.

25. Tromsø

 

Built at the beginning of the 13th century to the south west of the capital, Oslo, is the Heddal Stave Church, the largest and one of the oldest stave churches in the country. Restored poorly in the mid 19th century, it was once again restored in the mid 20th century. Having stood for over 800 years, this beautiful piece of architectural history is the most famous church of its kind in Norway, and a Norwegian Cultural Heritage Site.

Click here for the Must See Staves Churches In Norway...

24. Heddal Stavkyrkje

 

Around halfway up Norway's western coast on the island of Alsten are seven distinct mountain peaks known as the Seven Sisters. All peaks can be climbed using marked paths, and anyone who climbs any of the peaks can contact the local tourist association who will issue a certificate of your achievement. Each offers incredible views over the landscape, with the tallest peak being Botnkrona, standing at 1,072 metres (3,517 ft) above sea level.

23. De Syv Søstre

 

At the junction where the southern wider part of Norway meets the narrower section, located on the southern shore of the Trondheim Fjord is the city of Trondheim, the third largest city in the country after Bergen and Oslo. Founded at the end of the 10th century as a trading post, it became the countries capital during the Viking Age. With a beautiful historic old town, notable landmarks include the Gamle Bybro, the old town bridge, built after the great fire of 1681 it crosses the river between the old colourful storehouses, built on stilts along the river bank. Another landmark is the enormous medieval Nidaros Cathedral, built in 1070 AD it is seen as the most important Gothic monument in Norway. This magnificent church is today the northernmost medieval cathedral in the world, and the second largest cathedral in Scandinavia.

22. Trondheim

 

In the extreme north east of the country on the Varanger Peninsual is the 1,804 square kilometre (696 square mile) Varangerhalvøya National Park, the most northerly national park of mainland Europe. The vast landscape is made up of rocky shallow hills and large bodies of water, with the area retaining a complete Alpine ecosystem.

21. Varangerhalvøya Nasjonalpark

 

South west of Trondheim, running a very short 8.3 kilometres (5.2 miles) along Norway's western coast is the famous Atlantic Ocean Road, regarded by many to be one of Europe's must drive roads. Connecting several small islands using viaducts, causeways and bridges, the most famous of these bridges is undoubtedly the Storseisundet. Opened in 1989 it connects the Romsdal peninsula to the island of Averoya. When driving towards it, the roads unusual bend creates the illusion that it isn't connected at the other end, earning it the nickname, 'The Road To Nowhere'.

Pictured is the iconic Storseisundet Bridge. Click here to see where it came on the list of Must See Bridges In Europe...

20. Atlanterhavsveien

 

Officially opened in 1984, leading from the village of Lysebotn at the eastern end of the Lysefjord to Sirdal is a 29 kilometre (18 mile) long piece of tarmac known as the FV500, more commonly known as Lysevegen. The road climbs 950 metres (3,116 ft) above sea level through the high mountains, with 27 hairpin bends it is one of the most famous hair-pinned roads in the world.

19. Lysevegen

 

In the southern centre of the country is the beautiful village of Flam, surrounded by waterfalls, narrow valleys and steep mountains it is located right in the middle of an incredible landscape. Visitors flock here to take a ride on the famous Flam railway, often cited as one of the best train journeys on the planet. The village is also only a short distance from the Nærøyfjord, the narrowest fjord in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

18. Flåm

 

South west of Trondheim, covering an area of around 73 square kilometres (28 square miles) is the Innerdalen Valley, Norway's first ever nature reserve. Encompassing an area of the Trollheimen Mountains, the reserves most famous landmark is the Innerdalstårnet, sometimes known as  Dalatårnet, standing 1,452 metres (4,764 ft) above sea level its characteristic pyramidal shape has earned it the nickname, the Matterhorn Of Norway, after the famous Swiss Mountain.

17. Innerdalstårnet

 

Beginning on the western coast just north of Bergen and cutting inland some 205 kilometres (127 miles) is the enormous Sognefjord, nicknamed The King Of Fjords, it is the largest and deepest in Norway, and the second largest in the world. Branching from this enormous fjord is the 18 kilometre (11 mile) long Nærøyfjord, noted for its unspoiled nature and dramatic scenery it has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

16. Nærøyfjord

 

Opened in 1936, leading from Geiranger to the bottom of the Romsdal Valley is the Norwegian County Road 63, better known as the Trollstigen, meaning Trolls Path. The mountain pass has an elevation of 850 metres (2,790 ft) above sea level, offering visitors breathtaking views, steep mountain slopes and through eleven narrow and sharp hairpin bends. At around 700 metres (2,300 ft) above sea level there is a plateau with many viewing platforms that look out across the valley. Up here is the Stigfossen, a waterfall with a 320 metre (1,050 ft) drop down the mountain.

15. Trollstigen

 

In the south east of the country, at the head of Oslofjord close to the border with Sweden is the largest and most populated city in Norway, the capital city, Oslo. One of the most expensive cities in the world to live in, and therefore visit, the city is renowned for its green spaces, waterfronts, cafes and modern architecture popping up among the old buildings.

With so much on offer, click here for the Must See Places In Oslo...

14. Oslo

 

Within the famous Geirangerfjord, around 6.5 kilometres (4 miles) west of Geiranger is the Seven Sisters Waterfall, consisting of seven separate streams falling down the cliff face, the tallest has a free fall of 250 metres (820 ft). Set within amazing surroundings, the Seven Sisters are part of the Geirangerfjord UNESCO World Heritage Site.

13. De Syv Søstrene

On the extreme northern coast, atop a 307 metre (1,007 ft) cliff is an area known as Nordkapp, meaning North Cape, commonly referred to as the northernmost point of mainland Europe. Though it isn't the most northerly point on mainland Europe due to it being on an island, its clifftop viewing area along with its large Globe Monument make it a great location to watch the midnight sun in summer and the northern lights in winter. The true northernmost point of the European mainland is Cape Nordkinn on the Nordkinn Peninsula to the east of Nordkapp.

12. Nordkapp

 

Running along the border with northern Sweden, connected to Sweden's Padjelanta National Park at one of the countries narrowest points is the 171 square kilometre (66 square mile) Rago National Park. Being in an area where four national parks connect, it is part of the largest area of protected land in Europe. The landscape is one of mountains, lakes, waterfalls, glaciers and large pine forests, with the highlight of the park being the Litlverivassforsen, a 250 metre (820 ft) high falls, draining a large lake ringed by beautiful mountains. Easily accessible from the trail head, even the laziest of hikers can witness this beautiful sight.

Pictured is the Litlverivassforsen.

11. Rago Nasjonalpark

 

At the southern end of the island of Værøy, itself set at the southern end of the Lofoten Archipelago is the abandoned village of Mostad, deserted when the last residents left in the early 1950's. With no roads leading to the area, the remnants of the village lie in a remote wild and beautiful landscape of steep cliffs, blue waters and amazing views.

10. Mostad

 

Within the Sunnmøre region of Møre og Romsdal, the northernmost part of western Norway lies the village of Geiranger, located at the end of the 15 kilometre (9.3 mile) long Geirangerfjord. The area is home to some of the most spectacular scenery in Norway, making it one of the countries most visited destinations, with many citing the region as one of the best travel destinations in all of Europe. Along with Nærøyfjord, the Geirangerfjord has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Pictured is the view from Flydalsjuvet.

9. Geirangerfjord

 

On the island of Moskenesøya in the Lofoten Archipelago is the fishing village of Reine, often voted the most beautiful village in Norway. Surrounded by steep craggy mountains, the picturesque terrain has become a favourite destination among tourists, due in part to the village often appearing on the front pages of travel magazines and website covers. The most iconic shot is taken from the mountain Reinebringen, an easy 1 kilometre trek from the village, though due to large numbers making the journey the trail has become broken and worn, prone to rock falls and landslides. Another trek of note is know as the Helvetestinden, a moderately difficult 4 kilometre (2.5 mile) hike that gets visitors to the top of the Veiestinden, offering great views throughout and an equally great view from the summit.

8. Reine

 

In the north east of the country, just south of Tromso is a shard of sheer rock known as Segla, rising 640 metres (2,100 ft) above sea level it makes for an incredible sight in truly beautiful surroundings. To get to it visitors are required to hike a very strenuous, very steep 5 kilometre (3.1 mile) trail through a wonderful landscape of mountains and fjords.

7. Segla

 

To the east of city of Bergen, north of Hardangervidda National Park is the Vøringsfossen, a ridiculously picturesque waterfall crashing into a great cracked valley landscape. The hike to the falls takes around 1 to 1.5 hours from the trail head, and should only be attempted between May and October. Despite the short trek time the route is regarded to be challenging. 

6. Vøringsfossen

 

North east of Bergen​, south of Geirangerfjord is the 1,310 square kilometre (510 square mile) Jostedalsbreen National Park, named after the largest glacier in mainland Europe. Encompassing an area of high mountains, lakes and icy valleys, glaciers cover around 800 square kilometres (310 square miles), accounting for over half the national park.

Pictured is the Briksdalsbreen, the most visited, well known and easily accessible arm of the Jostedalsbreen Glacier.

5. Jostedalsbreen Nasjonalpark

 

East of the city of Stavanger, west along the Lysefjord from the Kjeragbolten is one of the countries most popular and famous treks, the Preikestolen, meaning Preachers Rock, sometimes called Pulpit Rock. The steep cliff juts out like a single block, rising 604 metres (1,982 ft) above the Lysefjord. From April through to September is the best time to hike the 3.8 kilometre (2.4 mile) trail, though its relatively short distance and easy route makes it one of the busiest hikes in the country. Even with the crowds, the amazing view of one of Norway's most iconic landmarks makes it an absolute must.

Click here for my Preikestolen Hike...

4. Preikestolen

 

In the southern centre of the country, north west of the capital, Oslo, is the 1,151 square kilometre (444 square mile) Jotunheim National Park, its name literally meaning, Home Of The Giants. Recognised as one of Norway's premier hiking locations, the protected area holds more than 250 peaks above 1,900 metres (6,000 ft) including the two highest mountains in Northern Europe. The most popular hike in the park is the Beseggen Trail, a challenging 22.9 kilometre (14.2 mile) trek expected to take around 6-8 hours, leading visitors around the Beseggen Ridge. The view over the alpine lakes of Gjende and Bessvatnet is an amazing sight, with Gjende lying almost 400 metres (13,12 ft) lower it is distinctly emerald compared to Bessvatnets's deep blue appearance.

Pictured from the Beseggen Ridge.

3. Jotunheim Nasjonalpark

 

East of the city of Stavanger, on Kjerag Mountain wedged into a crevice 984 metres (3,228 ft) above the Lysefjord below is the Kjeragbolten, probably the most famous boulder in the world. Because of the relative ease of the trek, and with no climbing required to get onto the boulder, it has become one of the most popular hikes and tourist attractions in Norway, meaning that sometimes the queue for a photo opportunity can be an hour long.

Click here for my Kjeragbolten Hike...

2. Kjeragbolten

 

In Odda Municipality, east of Bergen next to Hardangervidda National Park is one of Norway's most popular treks, leading to one of the countries most iconic landmarks, the Trolltunga, meaning Trolls Tongue. Visitors who wish to set their eyes on this slither of rock jutting out around 700 metres (2,300 ft) above the Ringedalsvatnet Lake below will need to undertake a challenging 30 kilometre (18.6 mile) hike into the Norwegian wilderness. Far more difficult than the Kjeragbolten and Preikestolen, it requires an 8 to 12 hour walk that should only be undertaken from June to September.

Click here for my Trolltunga Hike...

1. Trolltunga

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