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10 of the most spectacular places to visit in Norway

With its mix of idyllic and awe-inspiring natural landscapes, from dramatic waterfalls and snow-powdered mountains to sparkling 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 are guaranteed to take your breath away.

1. Lofoten

Lofoten is a photographer’s dream.© Johny Georend / Unsplash

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. 

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. You can 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.

How to get there? Fly to Harstad or Bodø and drive for a few hours.

 

2. Røros

Røros is known for its sustainable tourism and its authentic courtyards. © Arvid Høidahl / Unsplash

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 take a trip through 300 years of mining history on a tour down Olav’s Mine.

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

Another reason to visit Røros is the food. Renowned for being one of Norway’s leading regions for locally-produced produce, a meal is a must. For top-quality nosh, head to Vertshuset Hotel, which specialises in local flavours. The reindeer steak is worth a visit alone. 

How to get there? Fly to Trondheim and drive for 2.5 hours

3. Geiranger

Valley with a fjord and small village, surrounded by tall green mountains
Geiranger is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage due to its extraordinary beauty. © Till Daling / Unsplash

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. You can 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.

How to get there? Fly to Ålesund and drive for 2 hours, or take a ferry cruise

4. Trollstigen

Extremely winding road in steep valley
Trollstigen is known for its winding roads with 11 hairpin bends and 10% gradient. © Ivars Utinans / Unsplash

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 800 metres to the top of Stigrøra mountain. 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 at 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.

How to get there? Fly to Molde and drive for 2.5 hours

5. Pulpit Rock

A person enjoying the sunrise on the flat and very tall pulpit rock.
Hiking up to Pulpit Rock is one of the most renowned activities in Norway. © Pierre Bouillot / Unsplash

Pulpit Rock, is 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.

How to get there? Fly to Stavanger and drive for 2 hours

6. Dovrefjell

A lonely musk oxen on a snow covered field
Musk oxen are some of the oldest mammals on the Earth, and you might be lucky enough to spot one in Dovre National Park. © Gligor Andrei Lazar / Unsplash

Dovrefjell is a mountainous area in central Norway that’s best known for its national park. Here you can get back to nature by losing 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’ve probably heard the song ‘In the Hall of the Mountain King’ by Edvard Grieg. The piece is 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 the troll king, Dovregubben.

How to get there? Fly to Trondheim or Molde, and drive for 3 hours

7. Trolltunga

Person in orange jacket standing with arms in the air overlooking a spectacular view.
The hike up to Trolltunga is demanding but the stunning views are guaranteed. © Benjamin Davies / Unsplash

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 railway, from high up in the mountains to the fjords below. It’s one of the most dramatic train journeys in the world. 

How to get there? Fly to Bergen and drive for 3.5 hours

8. Torghatten

Mountain with a round hole going through the middle of the mountain
Legend has it that the hole in the rock at Torghatten was made when a troll fired an arrow through it. © Arvid Høidahl / Unsplash

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 handiwork up close. You can even hike through the hole and decend on the other side. 

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

9. Heddal

Large wooden church with crosses on the roof
Legends and myths surround the story of who (or what) built Heddal stave church. © Marius Tandberg / Unsplash

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.

How to get there? Fly to Oslo and drive for 2 hours

10. Svalbard

Polarbear rolling around on the ground
Polar bears are the largest bear species on Earth and there are plenty in Svalbard. Svalbard is the only place in Norway where you can see polar bears. © Mathieu Ramus / Unsplash

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! 

How to get there? Fly to Longyearbyen-Svalbard

Ready to go?

Where’s your next Norwegian destination? Feeling the wanderlust? Norwegian flies to lots of destinations in Norway. If you’ve got the time, why not hire a car and combine these places into one epic Norwegian road trip?