The country´s expansive mountain ranges and high plains make ideal walking terrain. You could choose either to carry your own tent, stay in youth and family hostels, or ramble from cabin to cabin.
The most popular areas include the Jotunheim mountain range; the Rondane and Dovrefjell mountains; the Hardangervidda plateau, the Trollheimen district; and the eponymous plain Finnmarksvidda.
DNT, The Norwegian Mountain Touring Association, runs about 300 guided hiking tours of varying difficulty during the summer, including glacier walks and around 100 in the winter. Most cabins are open from end-June until mid-September, in addition to Easter. Some cabins are open all year round.
Parts of Jotunheimen National Park are in Vågå district, including Lake Gjende, which is an ice-green pearl almost a thousand metres above sea level. Along the banks of the Gjende there is a rich selection of wild flowers, including many typical lowland plants found here well over 1000 metres avove sea level.
Gjendineggen Ridge, which is today known as Besseggen, famous from Henrik Ibsen´s Peer Gynt, makes up part of the most-used footpath in the Norwegian Tourist Association´s network. Over 30,000 people walk the route between Gjendesheim and Memurubu during three months in the summer part of the year. The walk takes about six hours, with its highest point at 1,743 metres above sea level. Besseggen itself is a part of this walk. The sharp mountain ridge cuts its way west towards Bandet, a flat plateau between Gjende and Bessvatnet lake. You will go past the water´s edge at Bessvatnet lake, whilst Gjende, which is 984 metres above sea level, is 400 metres below on the opposite side!
Another phenomenon that we will draw your attention to here is that Bessvatnet lake is crystal clear and blue in colour whilst Gjende shines through with its characteristic emerald-green glacial colour. The reason for this is Memuru, the river which brings large quantities of earth, clay and stone from the glacier in to the lake.
This gorge, where the River Sjoa gushes round whirlpools and rapids, is well known in legend. The name "Ridderspranget" means "Rider´s Leap", and is derived from the story of the Valdres horseman Sigvat Kvie, who, after stealing a bride at Sandbu in Vågå, fled over this gorge with the beautiful maiden "Skårvangssola" in his arms. The Sandbu horseman Ivar Gjesling was close on their heels with his men.
To show what would happen to anyone who attempted to take him, Kvie pushed one of his own men down into the waterfall. According to the story, Sigvat Kvie subsequently had to pay compensation for the theft of the bride. Ridderspranget is easy to get to, with a driveable road which turns off road 51, 5 km south of Randsverk. From the car park it is only a short walk to the gorge. Please don´t try to jump across the gorge. It is highly dangerous!
THE LYSEFJORD MOUNTAINS
The famous, 40 km long Lysefjord, surrounded by impressive mountains carved out during the Ice Age is the dominant feature of Forsand. Ferries and sightseeing boats call on many of the exiting towns and villages along the fjord.
The Pulpit Rock
Preikestolen is no doubt the best known tourist attraction in the Ryfylke region and in Rogaland county. The characteristic mountain shelf 604 metres over Lysefjord has been visited by hundreds of thousands throughout the years. From the Preikestolhytta, a 7 km traiI climbs the rest of the 350 metres to the top. Good shoes and physical health are necessary for the 3 - 4 hour hike. In June - August there are daily buses from the ferry quay at Tau to the cabin. You can also enjoy the Pulpit Rock from the ferries and express boats on the fjord.
The Kjerag mountains rise majestically 1,000 metres above the innermost part of the Lysefjord, offering a stupendous view of Lysebotn and the fjord. One attraction is Kjeragbolten, a boulder wedged into a crack in the mountain. The trail from Øygardsstøl by Lysevegen road above Lysebotn is demanding. Allow 4 - 6 hours for the 10 km hike, which climbs 570 metres. Good shoes and physical health are advised. The truly adventurous climb up the precipitous rock faces or parachute from the top. Enjoy their stunts standing safely on the deck of a boat.
Situated between the Dovrefjell and Rondane National Parks, the Dovre area offers beautiful vistas and an invigorating climate good for body and soul. Although certain areas are quite rugged and rocky, Rondane is for the most part an easily accessible hiking area suitable for short and longer backpacking trips. Rondane also has a vulnerable population of wild reindeer which originates from the same stock as the population on the Dovrefjell.
Summers provide an excellent opportunity to experience Dovre´s many facets. With the broad range of activities available you are sure to find something that interests you. Offerings include musk-oxen safaris, moose safaris with or without canoe, rafting, mountain climbing, summit tours, canyoning, ornithological tours, etc. You will find a wide assortment of hiking trails and ancient pathways such as the old King´s Road and Pilgrim´s Route (the route followed by pilgrims to the Shrine of St. Olaf in Trondheim) on the Dovrefjell and in the Rondane Mountains, and close by the centre of Dombås.
This area contains the last virtually intact high mountain ecosystem in Europe, with a habitat that supports wild reindeer, wolverine, and arctic fox. Dovrefjell is known for its rich and diverse flora, with the Spring Pasque Rower (Pulsatilla vernalis) among the best known. A number of plant species are rare, and are only found in the Dovrefjell region.
The main landmark and highest peak in the national park is Snøhetta (2,286 metres), a popular destination for many hikers.
Fokstumyra nature reserve is a very special area, and is particularly important as a nesting ground for a large number of rare and more common bird species. At the last registered count, approximately 140 bird species were recorded, whereof approximately 60 were registered as nesting. One distinctive species is the Ruff (Philomachus pugnax). The designation of Fokstumyra as a nature reserve in 1923 was the first such act involving the protection of a large wilderness area in Norway. Hiking etc. in the nature reserve is subject to certain rules.
Many Oslo neighborhoods lie along the Oslofjord, which stretches more than 60 miles north from the Skagerrak to Oslo, and is filled with basins dotted with islands. (There are 40 islands in the immediate Oslo archipelago). Nearly all visitors want to see Holmenkollen, a wooded range of hills northwest of the city rising to about 1,740 feet. You can reach it in 35 minutes by electric train from the city center. Marka, Oslo´s forest, is a sprawling recreation area that offers hiking, bicycle riding, skiing, fishing, wild berry picking, jogging trails, and more. It contains 343 lakes, 310 miles of ski trails, 387 miles of trails and roads, 11 sports chalets, and 24 ski jumps and alpine slopes. The tracks are also used throughout the rest of the year: Bærumsmarka, Nordmarka and Østmarka are all places where many people meet every weekend.
Oslo is made for walking - in fact, you can walk from the Central Station all the way to the Royal Palace in a straight line. Except for excursions to the museum-loaded Bygdøy peninsula and the Holmenkollen Ski Jump, most attractions can be covered on foot. Oslo is not neatly divided into separate neighborhoods or districts. It consists mainly of central Oslo, with the Central Station to the east of the city center and the Royal Palace to the west. Karl Johans Gate, the principal street, connects these two points.
Oslo is also one of the most heavily forested cities, with fewer than half a million inhabitants. One final point: Oslovians love nature. They devote much time to pursuits in the forests and on the fjords. It takes only half an hour by tram to go from the Royal Palace to the 390-foot Tryvann Observation Tower, where you can enjoy a view over Oslo Marka, the giant forest.
The Krogskogen forest was the setting for many Norwegian folk tales about princesses, kings, penniless heroes, and the inevitable forest trolls. From this observation tower in the summer, you can look down on hundreds of sailboats, motorboats, and windsurfers among the numerous islands of the Oslo archipelago.
Along the Gaular watercourse you will see 29 larger waterfalls on the stretch from Gaularfjellt mountains and Haukedalen to Osen in Bygstad. There is no other place where you´ll find so many waterfalls in such a limited area, and so easily accessible. There are several, Huldefossen waterfall at Moskog and Laukelandsfossen waterfall in Dalsfjorden that are worth a visit.
We have an environment here that is flourishing with a wide diversity of outdoor and cultural activities. In the short space of an hour, you are able to experience the typical Western Norwegian landscape with fjords, mountains, waterfalls and glaciers.
The Waterfall Road
Fossevegen is the stretch from the Gaularfjellet mountains and the Rørvikfjellet mountains down towards Sande and Dalsfjorden. Here you drive right up to all of the largest falls, and a good deal of this magnificent awe-inspiring waterfall scenery is visible from your car. Four of the most splendid waterfalls are signposted as attractions. At Vallestadfossen waterfall, Eikjelandfossen waterfall and Osfossen waterfall there are parking areas. Huldefossen waterfall, at Mo Agriculture school a cultural walk.
The Waterfall Path
Fossestien is a marked and prepared path that winds from Gaularfjellet mountains to Viksdalen along Eldalsdalen, 23 km in length with a gradient of 500 ms. The path follows old trails that have been stamped by livestock and people. Along the way you will see 14 larger waterfalls and 7 lakes. Here you will really feel the presence of the river, the power of the cascading falls in a contrasting landscape. The paths are uneven, so you must use sturdy footwear.
Vøringfossen waterfall has a 182 meters (597 feet) free fall before continuing through the grand canyon Måbødalen. The river Bjoreia steeps down the 2-300 metres deep valley and Vøringfossen and Tyssvikjo falls into the deep. Many people think Tyssvikjo is Vøringfossen because they see it first. Its just a nice small waterfall compared to Vøringfossen.
Vøringfossen waterfall is situated about 280 km from Bergen and 300 km from Oslo. Among many Norwegian waterfalls the best known one is Vøringfossen. The most beautiful view you will have when sun and water are creating a rainbow into the valley.
MØRE & ROMSDAL
The Seven Sisters
Stetind, the national mountain of Norway, the gem among Norway´s mountains. Stetind shows a marked and sensational mountain formation, a monolith rising out of the fjord up to 1.392 meters above sea level.
For ages it has been a landmark which, well visible from far off, rises high above other nearby peaks. Stetind is well known among mountain climbers, and has been so for a long time.
The peak is a "world in itself", formed by screes and steep, smooth and slippery slopes of naked rock. The top of the peak looks as if it has been formed by four blows of an axe, three vertical and one crosswise.