Norway is a nation full of pristine scenery, with an area of 320,000 square kilometers and a population of just over 5 million. This Scandinavian country has many natural jewels, from the fjords on the west coast to the captivating islands full of wildlife. But there are also some seductive cities with colored wooden buildings, a long history, and modern museums.
While Norway has thousands of beautiful sites, we have chosen 10 of the country’s absolute must-sees.
It’s an unbelievable view to look at on the west edge of the National Park of Hardangervidda – or the language of Trolls (seen above). A rocky outcrop of a mountain shaped like an immense tongue is this natural viewing platform. Trolltunga is located 1180 m above sea level and the scenic Ringedalsvatnet lake and the mountain peaks around you are amazingly situated.
2. Lofoten Islands
There is no question that the Lofoten Islands are some of the most photographed places in this north European region. If you are there, the picture fan cannot be blamed: quaint fishing villages, pointy, snow-covered peaks, and abundance of birds turned the Lofoten Islands into one of Norway’s leading outdoor destinations, from a sleeper archipelago. The Trollfjord with the spectacular lake and high peaks, along with the picturesque Kvalvika Beach, has a number of breathtaking natural features in this group of islands.
Preikestolen is one of the most prominent landmarks in Norway. Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock). The Pulpit Rock is a natural panoramic platform over a deep fjord, close to the Trolltunga. You see Lysefjorden 604 meters below from the top of the Preikestolen. The surface of the flat rock is about 25 to 25 meters, allowing you the freedom to walk around and to get unique insights into your images. Walking to the scenic place takes a couple of hours and takes a fair fitness from the car park in the Preikestolen Mountain Lodge. The town of Stavanger on the Southwest coast of the country is a short drive from Preikestolen.
It lies between Bergen and Trondheim, in Alesund a port city on the North Sea coast. The medieval beauty of this city is missing, places like Bergen. The explanation is that the town was largely devastated by a fire in 1904. This resulted in a typical charming 1900’s and 1910’s style of architecture that gives Alesund his unique character. To learn more about the resurrection of Alesund from the flames, go to the Jugendstilsenteret art nouveau center, right in the heart of the city.
5. Jotunheimen National Park
It is 1150 square kilometers long and home to the highest peaks in Norway and it’s Jotunheimen National Park or the ‘Stay to the Giants.’ It has 250 mountains, bike paths, hiking trails, and wonderful ski areas throughout the winter. Jotunheimen’s is a playground for outdoor travelers. One of the best places to tie your walking shoes is Besseggen mountain ridge, as this zone offers guests a 360-degree view over the alpine lakes and snow-capped peaks. When you are riding a mountain bike, the 250-kilometer-long Mjølkevegen route provides a path through Jotunheimen National Park’s enchanting landscapes.
The beauty of Bergen, the second-largest city in Norway, located on the west coast. As Bergen is historically a trading community, it is advisable to start your trip in the Bryggen quarter, where the glorious past of Bergen is reminded of colorful wooden merchants’ houses. But there are more gems downtown Bergen, including the fascinating Bergenhus Festning and the spectacular St Mary’s Church.
The efficient Geirangerfjord is a UNESCO World Heritage site and probably the country’s most visited fjord. Snow-capped mountains are found on all sides and thundering waterfalls in this long stretched sea-arm. The most humorous way to explore this gem is by kayaking, which allows you to enter sunny sights, such as the waterfalls of the Seven Sisters and the Bridal Veil Falls. The perspective of Ørnesvingen should be stopped when you drive by car through this spectacular area. The Geirangerfjord coils around the beautiful western Norwegian mountains like a horseshoe.
Stetind is the national mountain of Norway since 2002 and its extremely steep, almost entirely vertical sloping slopes define it. Stetind is 1392 meters high above sea level and its shape really distinguishes the mountains in their surroundings. Tackling the summit of Stetind is nearly a holy grail when you’re in the alpine range. Prepare for a difficult ascent, complete with unforgettable views over the fjords and endless mountainous areas like the spicy peaks of the neighboring Lofoten Islands. The Stetind views from road number 827 are more than pleasing to explore.
The capital and largest city of the Scandinavian nation is Oslo, with nearly 700,000 inhabitants. The large collection of historic buildings, important museums, and parks of Oslo are a source of joy for culture enthusiasts. The capital is the Akershus fortress, a fortified fortress from the late thirteenth century that you can visit on your own or on a guided tour. The Oslo Cathedral and Royal Palace, where the King and Queen live, are other architectural highlights.
10. Runde Island
Runde Island is the last trip for birdwatchers and nature lovers with more than 500,000 birds that come to the island during the nesting season. A small island in the west, just 80 kilometers from the Alesund area, but urban life seems to be far away. The 6.2 square kilometer island has awe-inspiring cliffs, which provide the ideal nursery for waterbirds. The most common fowl is the Atlantic puffin, a bird that is so cute that it is worth visiting Runde Island. The puffin season lasts from April to August, and just before sunset is the best time to see them on earth.