What to do in Norway? 11 activity ideas
Are you looking for nature, open spaces, unusual encounters and breathtaking landscapes? Then, without a doubt, Norway should be next on your holiday destination list. From the capital, Oslo, to the North Cape, what are the must-see spots and must-do activities while in Norway? As a country so respectful of the natural environment, it is not surprising that the majority of activities are nature-based. Whether you choose to go in winter or in summer, Norway has so much to offer that it would take several trips to discover everything.
As a flagship activity, the fjords are a must. The numerous national parks make it possible to cross beautiful preserved spaces and to experience wonderful encounters. Observing animals in their natural habitat will delight young and old. The great north is the ideal playground for hunting down the northern lights and discovering wild landscapes where nature reigns supreme. Norway is an ideal destination to shake off the cobwebs and make unforgettable memories.
Take a memorable cruise aboard the Hurtigruten Coastal Express
A cruise aboard the Hurtigruten Coastal Express promises to be an original and memorable experience. From Bergen, in the south-west, to Kirkenes in the far north, you will witness landscapes you could never have imagined. Coastal fjords, fishing villages, vast wilderness, you’ll sail beyond the Arctic Circle to reach isolated and untouched lands.
Take part in winter activities from the very first snowfalls
From early autumn to early spring, Norway is covered in a beautiful layer of snow. When getting out of their cars, Norwegians don their skis to move around and indulge in the joys of winter. Do as they do, try a whole range of activities such as snowmobiling, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing... It’s also a great opportunity to get off-the-beaten track on a sled-pulling expedition with huskies.
SportJotunheimen National Park
Explore the beauty of the huge national parks
The conservation of nature, its fauna and flora, is a major priority for Norway. It has 46 national parks spread throughout the territory, both in the mountains and by the sea. Depending on what you’re looking for, you can hike, ski, kayak ... All these activities allow you to discover a rich but fragile natural environment where animals and rare plants have found an environment conducive to their preservation. The Jotunheimen is probably the most beautiful with its 65 glaciers and snow-capped peaks.
SportTrekking on Segla Mountain
Nature is inescapable in Norway. Wherever you go, there is always a hiking trail to explore the area. Whether in the middle of the forest, mountains, fjords or even near towns and villages, make sure you take a walk and discover the surprising array of nature on offer, sometimes unusual but always exhilarating.
CultureMeet the Sami people
Meet the Sami people, the last indigenous people
For more than 4,000 years, the Sami people have populated the lands in the far north of Scandinavia. Most of the population lives in Norway (with smaller concentrations in Sweden, Finland and Russia). This indigenous population, mainly coastal fishermen and reindeer breeders, live in perfect harmony with nature and the rhythm of the sun. Far from the temptations of urban life, Samis have preserved their traditions and culture. A meeting with this humble and respectful people guarantees to be a moving experience.
CultureBorgund Stave Church
Admire the wooden stave churches, a marvel of Norwegian architecture
While the Middle Ages was known as the era of the cathedral, in the northern countries they built wooden stave churches with elegantly carved walls featuring animal designs. Norway had more than 1,000 stavkirke, but today only 28 remain. Discover the architectural soul of Norway by visiting the wooden churches of Urnes, the oldest, Borgund, the most well-preserved, or Heddal, the largest.
Come face to face with giant waterfalls
With its rugged mountains and abundance of water, Norway is teeming with waterfalls. In the Geirangerfjord, they even have their own story. And when the snow melts in the spring, they become even more spectacular and leave visitors awe-inspired. Among the most famous are the Langfossen, the Tvindefossen and the Vettisfossen (275 m high).
AdventureJostedal Galcier (Jostedalsbreen)
Marvel at the Norwegian glaciers
Just like fjords, glaciers are a wonder of nature. Imposing in size and a bewitching bluish colour, they certainly won’t leave you cold. Norway is full of glaciers, so you really are spoilt for choice. Don’t miss the Jostedalsbreen, the largest in continental Europe. Smaller, but just as beautiful, the Briksdalsbreen, Kjenndal, Nigardsbreen, Boyabreen and Bodalsbreen glaciers are located in the centre of the country. And if you’re tempted by adventure, go on a guided expedition; it promises to be an incredible and unforgettable experience.
AdventureReindeers near Tromso
See wildlife in its natural environment
Exceptional nature and exceptional wildlife go hand in hand. Norway is a paradise for animal lovers. It’s not surprising to see reindeer, moose or arctic foxes while driving along. Norway is also the land of whales and sea eagles. From October to March, humpback whales, sperm whales, fin whales and also dolphins and killer whales are found off the Lofoten and Vesteralen islands. Another awe-inspiring encounter can be experienced with the polar bears in Svalbard. Norway also has many bird species that will delight birdwatchers.
Hunt down the Aurora Borealis in the far North
What could be more magical than looking to the sky and suddenly seeing magical green lights taking over, to only disappear a few minutes later. Aurora borealis (the northern lights) mainly occur in the northern regions of the country. Come and see this unique phenomenon from September to March over the Arctic Circle and the Svalbard archipelago.
AdventureKayaking in the fjords
Navigate the fjords
As probably the most important symbol of Norway, the fjords are the country’s major attraction. There are more than a thousand throughout the country. Kayak is an ideal way to get a closer look. Otherwise, take a mini-cruise and listen to the stories and legends behind these giant water and rock formations. Among them, the majestic Geirangerfjord, the Naeroyfjord (both UNESCO World Heritage sites) or the Sognefjord with its emerald blue waters.