Norway's extraordinary combination of majestic scenery and challenging terrain makes it perfect for hiking. From its picturesque southern fjords to the remote landscapes of the north, this selection of hikes is by no means exhaustive, but will hopefully give you a better idea of some the country’s best routes. The distance and difficulty of these trails vary, whilst some take you a little off-piste for a more genuine taste of Norway’s wilderness. Here are a few to consider...
Reinebringen, Lofoten Islands
At 448 meters high, Reinebringen is modest by Norwegian standards, but what it lacks in stature is more than made up for in the incredible views of the Lofoten Wall you get from the summit; a remarkable collection of sheer, stone contortions emerging from the blue waters of the Arctic. The hike isn't too time consuming and should only take around three hours for both the climb and descent. Spectacular views, along with how easily it can be reached from the quaint fishing village of Reine, make Reinebringen the most sought after hike in Lofoten.
Bessegen Ridge, Jotunheimen National Park
Bessegen is Norway’s most popular 1 day hike, with over 30,000 people completing it each year. The trail is characterised by the stunning alpine lakes it intersects, along with the jagged, snow topped vistas that surround the route. The lakes of Gjende and Bessvatnet are your only true point of reference, aside from the daunting expanse of Norway’s highest mountains on all sides. Generally the hike takes between five and seven hours, with some fairly steep sections near the beginning.
The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Geirangerfjord offers wonderful views from whichever track you wish to take around it, but by far the most spectacular, as well as the most challenging, is the hike up to the summit of Keipane. Really only for those ambitious souls who want to view a breathtaking panorama over the fjord, Keipane takes around five hours each way from Homlong. The views all along the trail are magnificent, so there’s no shame in walking until you feel like you've seen enough!
Leaning impossibly over the crystal blue waters of the Lysefjord, Pulpit Rock is one of the world’s most famous viewing points, and without doubt Norway’s most popular natural perspective. At over 600 meters high, the 25m2 platform offers staggering, unforgettable views of one of Norway’s most picturesque fjords, and at only one to two hours hike each way, is well worth the clamber up for from the car park at Preikestolhytta.
The beaches of Horseid and Bunes, Lofoten Islands
Situated on the northern coast of Moskenes, the stunning beaches of Horseid and Bunes are both within a day’s journey from Reine. A hike along both is highly recommended, guiding you through some of the most unique terrain on the planet, especially considering that the white, sandy beaches and cerulean blue waters are over 100 kilometres north of the Article Circle. Both beaches are flanked by the astounding, granite peaks of the Lofoten Islands and the area is a perfect location for those wishing to experience the famous Midnight Sun. All in all, it’s best to visit between the end of May and the middle of July, when you can witness the area’s incredible natural beauty alongside the magical spectacle of Norway’s sun that doesn’t set.
Galdhøpiggen, Jotunheimen National Park
At just under 2,500 meters tall, Galdhøpiggen is the highest peak in Northern Europe, dominating Norway’s Jotunheimen National Park and offering fantastic views of the surrounding mountains. The summit is easily accessible for any experienced hiker, and you can set off from one of two mountain lodges, Spiterstulen and Juvasshytta, which both have road connections. Starting from Juvasshytta is perhaps a little simpler, and certainly a shorter route to the summit. However you choose to arrive there, rest assured knowing that an incredibly located lodge awaits you at the summit!