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Blog 10 of the most spectacular places to visit in Norway
Date: 27 February 2020

10 of the most spectacular places to visit in Norway

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With its mix of idyllic and awe-inspiring natural landscapes, from dramatic waterfalls and lush green meadows to snow-powdered mountains and peaceful fjords, Norway is a true bucket-list destination.

If you’re planning a Scandinavian getaway, you’re in for a treat. Here are 10 incredible places in Norway that’re guaranteed to take your breath away.

Reward tip: For some of the destinations that require driving time you might want to hire a car via Norwegian Reward. You’ll earn CashPoints making your next flight with Norwegian cheaper.

Note: Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, opening hours and availability of activities could be affected. Remember to check current travel restrictions before booking travel.

1. Lofoten Islands

A view from the top of the Lofoten archipielago illuminated by the sun
Get a true sense of the beautiful Norwegian nature visiting Lofoten

Top of our list of spectacular places in Norway is Lofoten. An archipelago in the northern part of the country, it’s renowned for its wild, untouched beauty. In fact, it’s one of the most truly breathtaking places in Europe.

The Lofoten Islands boast everything from white sand beaches and towering mountains to aquamarine fjords and colourful fishing villages, complete with red huts on stilts.

A photographer’s dream, the best way to navigate the islands is by boat. Explore the islands, and see the unique Lofoten wildlife, such as the white-tailed sea eagle on this Lofoten: Trollfjord & Wildlife Cruise.

For an extra special stay, book a night or two in a rorbu, a typical fisherman’s cabin built on poles over the fjord.

Tip: Fascinated by the Vikings? Check out the awesome Lofotr Viking Museum on the island of Vestvågøya. You can tuck into a hearty Viking feast and have a go at rowing a Viking ship, among other things! Find out more in our post on the top viking sites and ruins to visit around the world.

Fly to Harstad and drive for around 2 hours.

2. Svalbard

Two polar bears on the ice, one of them standing on its hind legs
Polar bears are the largest bear species on Earth and there are plenty in Svalbard

This remote archipelago between mainland Norway and the North Pole is an icy wonderland of frozen tundra and gleaming glaciers. It’s a unique place to visit as there are things you can do here you can’t do in many other places on Earth.

Want to see a polar bear in its natural habitat? Done. Want to zoom across the snowy landscape at 100 miles an hour on a snowmobile? Done. Want to have a pint in the northernmost brewery in the world? Raise a glass at Svalbard Bryggeri.

This is also prime Northern Lights territory. Head here during the polar night (November – January) for your best chance of a sighting!

Tip: Take a look at the best things to do in Svalbard on your trip.

Fly to Longyearbyen-Svalbard

3. Geiranger

A view of the green Geirangerfjord, blue sky with white clouds and the Geiranger village
Geiranger is listed as a UNESCO Wolrd Heritage due to its extraordinary beauty. Photo: Andrés Nieto Porras – Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Geiranger is a small village at the foot of the mighty Geirangerfjord. One of nature’s great masterpieces, the mountain peaks, lush green cliffs and majestic waterfalls paint a beautiful picture.

After an afternoon of hiking or biking, head to Westerås Gard, a farm-turned-hotel high up in the mountains overlooking the fjord. Enjoy some food or a few drinks al fresco, while taking in the awesome scenery. If you can’t get enough of the views, stay the night!

If you only have time to see one fjord in Norway, make it Geirangerfjord. It’s one of Norway’s most awe-inspiring places.

Fly to Ålesund and drive for around 2 hours, or take a ferry cruise

4. Røros

Røros town street with red, green and blue traditional Norwegian houses
Røros is known for its sustainable tourism and its authentic courtyards. Photo: Lars Geithe – Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0

Another must-visit destination in Norway is Røros: a historic copper mining town, made entirely of wooden buildings.

The UNESCO-listed town has retained much of its original character, so it feels like you’re exploring a living museum as you stroll through the narrow streets and pretty courtyards. You can learn all about the town’s fascinating history in the Smelthytta museum and even take a trip through 300 years of mining history on a tour down Olav’s Mine.

A bedroom with wooden panelling and two rocking chairs at Erzscheidergården
Timber walls and flooring plus antique and vintage furniture make the bedrooms at Erzscheidergården hotel extra special. Photo: © Erzscheidergården

If you’re looking to stay the night in Røros, book a room at Erzscheidergården, one of Norway’s most unique hotels, which dates all the way back to the 17th century.

Foodies listen up! Røros is renowned for being one of Norway’s leading regions for locally-produced food. For top quality nosh, head to Vertshuset Hotel, which specialises in local flavours. The reindeer steak is worth a visit alone.

Wondering what other culinary delights are waiting for you in Norway? Find out in our ‘10 weird Nordic foods you’ve probably never heard of’ post.

Fly to Trondheim and drive for around 2.5 hours

5. Trollstigen

Trollstigen, hairpin bends crossing the green mountain
Trollstigen is known for its winding roads with 11 hairpin bends and 10% gradient

Fancy an adrenaline-fuelled road trip in Norway? Fill the tank and get on Trollstigen (Troll’s Road). Part of County Road 63, this scenic route winds up Stigrøra mountain to over 800 metres.

There are 11 dizzying hairpin turns along the way, but the dramatic views of the mountains, valleys and waterfalls along the way are more than worth it.

Fun fact: Legend says trolls roam here each night. But as the sun rises, they turn into stone and their bodies form the rocky cliffs.

Tip: The road is closed in the winter months.

Fly to Molde and drive for around 2.5 hours

6. Kjeragbolten and Preikestolen

Woman standing on Kjeragbolten in Norway
Kjerag is the highest mountain in Lysefjord

Kjeragbolten is a giant boulder that’s wedged in a mountain crevasse on Kjerag Mountain, Lysefjord.

If you’re up for a challenge on your visit to Norway (and have a head for heights), hike up to it for some spectacular views.

It’s a tough climb – we’re talking 12 km on rough terrain. Allow six to eight hours (round-trip).

Pulpit Rock, a vertical cliff above the fjord, with tourists on the top.
Hiking up to Pulpit Rock is one of the most renowned activities in Norway

If you’re up for more hiking after Kjeragbolten, head to Preikestolen, about a two and a half-hour drive away.

Also known as Pulpit Rock, it’s a steep cliff which stands a hair-raising 604-metres above the gorgeous Lysefjorden. Hikers are lured to the summit with the promise of great views – and it doesn’t disappoint.

Sunrise is a magical time to visit and a guided tour is the safest way to do it. On this guided sunrise hike, you’ll make your way to Preikestolen during twilight hours and see the sun rising over Lysefjord before the crowds descend.

Most guided hikes can be taken as day tours from Stavanger. Find out more in our post on the best things to see and do in Stavanger.

Fun fact: If this amazing cliff face looks familiar, it’s because Pulpit Rock actually featured in Mission: Impossible – Fallout.

Fly to Stavanger and drive for around 2 hours

7. Dovrefjell

A musk ox in a field of colourful flowers
Musk oxen are some of the oldest mammals on the Earth, and you might be lucky enough to spot one in Dovre National Park. Photo: NTNU, Faculty of Natural Science – Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Dovrefjell is a mountainous area in central Norway, and best known for its national park.

Here you can truly get back to nature. Lose yourself among lush meadows, tranquil alpine forests, and breathtaking waterfalls.  

If you’re a wildlife enthusiast, you’re in for a treat, as Dovrefjell is home to wild reindeer and some of Europe’s only remaining musk oxen. But don’t get too close: These impressive animals can charge, and they’re surprisingly quick on their feet!

Tip: Take a scenic ride on the Dovre railway if you’ve got a couple of days to spare.

Fun fact: You have probably heard the song ‘In the Hall of the Mountain King’ by Edvard Grieg around Halloween time. The piece is actually called ‘I Dovregubbens hall’ in Norwegian, or ‘In the Dovre man’s hall’, and accompanies the story of Peer Gynt who runs away to the Dovre mountains and is captured by a troll king, Dovregubben.

Fly to either Trondheim or Molde, and drive for around 3 hours

8. Trolltunga

Family of 4 standing on Trolltunga cliff above the Lake Ringedalsvatnet with the mountain illuminated by the sun in teh background
The hike up to Trolltunga is demanding but the stunning views are guaranteed

Got a head for heights? Trolltunga (Troll’s Tongue) is a must on a visit to Norway.

One of the country’s most spectacular rock formations, it juts out 700 metres above Lake Ringedalsvatnet, offering unbeatable views over Western Norway.

Getting to the top is no walk in the park. Expect a 10-12-hour round trip, hiking through rugged mountain terrain.

Tip: While you’re in the area, be sure to check out Flåm. Take a ride on the world-famous Flåm railway, from high up in the mountains to the fjords below. It’s one of the most dramatic train journeys in the world.

Fly to Bergen and drive for around 3.5 hours

9. Torghatten

Torghatten granite mountain with a hole in the centre and the sea surrounding it
Legend has it that the hole in the rock at Torghatten was made when a troll fired an arrow through it. Photo: Gregor Klar – Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Torghatten is a granite mountain in Nordland county that’s famous for the distinctive hole that goes through it. According to legend, the hole, which is 160 metres long, 35 metres high, and 20 metres wide, was formed by a troll who pierced the mountain with an arrow.

A 30-minute walk along a marked path will enable you to see the troll’s handywork up close.

Fly to Trondheim and drive for around 6.5 hours. Why not break the trip up with a stop off at beautiful Saltfjellet–Svartisen National Park?

10. Heddal

Heddal stave church made of wood with 3 turrets on 3 levels
Legends and myths surround the story of who (or what) built Heddal stave church

Heddal is a small village in Notodden. It’s home to Heddal stave church – the largest of 28 remaining stave churches in Norway.  

Dating back to the middle ages, stave churches (made entirely of wood) were built by the Vikings to celebrate the birth of Christianity in Norway.

Legend has it that Heddal was constructed in three days by a mountain troll called Finn Fagerlokk.

While inside, keep an eye out for the intricate carvings that tell the Viking legend of Sigurd the Dragon-Slayer.

Fly to Oslo and drive for around 2 hours

Ready to go?

A Norwegian road going up and crossing a river bridge
Where’s your next Norwegian destination?

Feeling the wanderlust? Norwegian flies to many different destinations in Norway, and you can earn CashPoints on tickets to all of them. If you’ve got the time, why not hire a car and combine these places into one epic Norwegian road trip?

Don’t forget, Reward members earn CashPoints on flights, car rental and loads of other travel-related services. You can use them to save money on your future Norwegian flights. Sign up to Reward today and start collecting those points!

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