Famed for its diverse landscapes and natural beauty, Norway is widely renowned as a major European hiking destination. From towering mountain staircases and untouched forests to inland valleys, coastal plains and glaciers, Norway is home to a range of hike-friendly terrains that boast stunning views to boot – it’s no surprise that walking is a cherished pastime in the country.
Home to an impressive hiking infrastructure including mapped networks and over 500 affordable hiking cabins, Norway is an ideal destination for a hiking trip that’s easily accessible from the UK – you can even take a cruise from Southampton and soak up the scenery by boat.
Before you put on your walking boots, check out this essential hiker’s guide to ‘The Land of the Midnight Sun’:
Norway is known for its beautiful fjords, including those listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites. Famous fjords like Geirangerfjord and Naeroyfjord sit deep in old Viking territory and are the perfect backdrop for picturesque hiking routes, having inspired the magical scenery in the Disney hit Frozen. If you’re looking for picture-postcard views that typify Norwegian tranquillity, the fjords could be a great place to start your hiking adventure.
Edge of the World
If you’ve got a head for heights and you want to experience Norway’s famed mountain staircases for yourself, consider visiting well-known mountainous hiking destinations such as Pulpit Rock (a tall, flat-topped cliff), Måtind (the highest coastal point in Norway), and Trolltunga (the iconic rock formation that sits 1,100 metres above sea level). Make sure that you take the proper safety precautions when hiking on mountainous routes, especially when undertaking steep climbs. Whilst these routes are home to some world-famous views, it might be better to start with smaller hikes if you feel faint-hearted when dealing with extreme heights.
Home to the fearsome giants (or ‘jötunns’) of Ancient Norse mythology, you’re more likely to encounter wild reindeer and stretching woodland in Norway’s national parks these days. The country is home to 47 national parks and over 3000 protected areas, many of which are ripe for hiking and brimming with well-established trails. If you’re struggling to find a starting point, consider soaking up the wildlife at Rondane or getting away from it all in Femundsmarka National Park.
If you feel like incorporating some extra adventure into your hiking excursion, check out the Lofoten Islands, where you can enjoy a 2-hour hike to the beach in Ryten, a spot of rock-climbing in Svolvær or an intensive 5-hour adventure hike in Munken, 769 metres above sea level. Home to some of the most popular tourist attractions in Norway (including the best views of the Northern Lights), the Lofoten Islands should be on the to-do list of any hiker visiting this beautiful country.