With jagged peaks soaring steeply from the surf and fjords chiselled deep into the Earth’s crust, Norway’s topography is dramatically diverse, providing a spine-tingling backdrop for hikes, kayak rides and aurora hunting. Fishermen’s tales have shaped popular culture, and every island and islet has a story to tell.
Perfectly suited to the wild at heart, a fractured northern coastline demands exploration. Paddle between rocks smothered with seals or take boat trips to discover remote, weather-beaten islands where puffins choose to nest. In winter, orcas fish for herring outside Tromso, and year-round, resident sperm whales and humpbacks visit surrounding shores.
Since Viking times, the sea has been a focus: traditional rorbu cabins fringe coastal towns such as Bergen, cod is often found on menus, and stockfish dried on wooden A-frames (known as hjell) is a common sight.
In a country where nature belongs to no-one and people have a legal right to roam, boundaries are limitless. Famous peaks and plateaus have rightfully earned iconic status, and the mountain-hugging Flam Railway is regarded as one of the most scenic journeys in the world. But lesser known sights are equally alluring and new discoveries are itching to be made every day.
Trail running and hiking, Hjørundfjorden | Mattias Fredriksson | visitnorway.com
Digermulen, Lofoten Islands | Making View | visitnorway.com
Reindeers at the Finnmark mountain plateau | Terje Rakke | visitnorway.com