It’s a land of wild mountains, deep fjords and island archipelagos that harbour hundreds of adventures. Here’s just a few ideas to help you start planning that Norwegian trip of a lifetime
1. Sea kayaking
Kayaking to Refsvika’s sea caves, Lofoten|Tomasz Furmanek/Visitnorway.com
With 25,148 km of rugged coastline, it’s no surprise that sea kayakers the world over are drawn to Norway’s enticing shores. The fjords are a big attraction, offering day after day of adventure on their shimmering water, while the Lofoten Islands offers up hidden inlets, stunning white beaches and sweeping rock faces that can only be explored by water.
Norway: A secret surf paradise|Alex Conu/Visitnorway.com
It might not have the reputation of Biarritz or Oahu, but the Gulf stream keeps Norway’s waters warm enough for year-round surfing, with powerful winds and long fetches creating great conditions. Jæren’s beaches offer up the best conditions, with both beginner-friendly and expert offerings.
3. Wild camping
Wild camping is allowed on unfenced land|CH/visitnorway.com
The Scandinavian concept of Allemannsrett (the every man’s right) means that wild camping on uncultivated land is allowed throughout Norway, as long as you follow a few basic ground rules (keep 150m away from inhabited houses, ask permission if staying for more than two nights and don’t light fires near forested areas). So find a good spot and pitch up!
4. Mountain Biking
Mountain Biking in Lofoten |ManfredStromberg.com – visitnorway.com
Norway’s freedom to roam rules mean that there’s almost endless options of challenging and tantalising mountain biking to be found. The singletrack course at Arendal and the dense forests of Nordmarka, just 20 minutes from Oslo, are both mountain bike meccas, or head up to Lofoten for magazine-worthy views with every twist of the trail.
Besseggen Ridge is one of Norway’s most popular hikes|John Fiddler/Visitnorway.com
Hiking Norway’s trails gives you plenty of time to soak in the many, many stunning views, with everything from Fjordside hikes, ridgeline scrambles and forest paths on offer. Besseggen Ridge, in Jotunheimen National Park, is one of the most popular, offering far-reaching views across Lake Gjende.
6. Road cycling
Road cycling above Geirangerfjord | Mattias Fredriksson/visitnorway.com
Challenging hill climbs,bracing descents and out of this world views await cyclists heading to Norway. Stalheimsklava is a must try. It’s one of Northern Europe’s steepest roads; 1.5 km of rough tarmac, hairpin bends and 20% gradients. Best get training now…
Where the cliffs meet the sea |Asgeir Helgestad/Artic Light AS/visitnorway.com
Choose between classic alpine climbs, seaside rockfaces and frozen waterfalls. Romsdalen is the most famous spot; home to Trollveggen (the Troll Way), Europe’s tallest vertial cliff face at 1000m, as well as numerous other options. Lofoten, with its steep, waterside mountain faces should also make you itinerary.
Telemark skiing in Spanstinden, Troms |Fredrik Schenholm/Visitnorway.com
Downhill, cross-country, telemark, touring… take your pick! With glaciers and an exceptional snow record skiing is possible almost all year round. For backcountry skiers, touring Norway’s fjords is a bucket-list must-try, with boats accessing untracked powder fields and distant mountains.
9. Fishing and foraging
Fishing in Kattfjorden| Yngve Ask – Visitnorway.com
Allemannsrett, Norway’s Freedom to Roam rule, means that foraging wild berries and mushrooms is allowed throughout the country (just remember to be considerate). The fishing of salmon, sea trout and sea char from the sea is also allowed without a licence, so long as its for your own consumption.