Once in a while, don’t we all need to get away to breathe fresh air, count the stars and stuff ourselves with grilled marshmallows. Time to get the camping gear out.
Today, camping attracts travellers from all walks of life, even if everyone has a different idea of the perfect escape. Some see it as an opportunity to switch off completely and find a quiet spot in nature. For others the most important thing is to enjoy quality time with family and friends. It can be a fun way to keep accommodation costs to a minimum or a reason to splash out on the latest glamping experience.
In Norway, there are around 800 campsites to choose from. Most sites can offer both a pitch for your tent or caravan and cabins of varying standard, so you can choose freely according to your wishes and budget.
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Escape the crowds and stay on a campsite next to a fjord, by the sea or in the forest
If you’re heading to the fjords, camping often gives you the ideal starting point for excursions. You can wake up next to the Geirangerfjord, or choose a campsite within easy reach of the fjords and glaciers by the Sognefjord.
Further up north on the west coast, there are sheltered bays with white sandy beaches and turquoise water, surrounded by craggy mountain peaks and ... hang on a minute, in Norway? Yes, really! Check out the camping possibilities in the Lofoten Islands, for example – you might be surprised.
In the eastern parts of the country, you have vast forest and mountain areas that work a treat for campers who are interested in hiking, fishing and cycling.
For total freedom, nothing beats camping in the wild.
If you are brave enough to face the wilderness, you could get away with free accommodation in what is often described as the most expensive country in the world. Wilderness camping is allowed in Norway as long as you follow the simple rules set out in the right of access (”allemannsretten” in Norwegian).
The mountains of Jotunheimen and the Lofoten Islands are two popular areas for the most adventurous campers. For a less remote option, you can pitch your tent on Langøyene island in the Oslofjord.
If the prospect of being left to your own devices sounds a bit too daunting, an alternative is to stay at a wilderness camp.
Perhaps you are tempted by a holiday in the wild, but just not prepared to do without modern conveniences. Then "glamping", glamorous or luxury camping, might be just the ticket.
For a camping experience with hotel standard self-catering facilities, and if you are prepared to pay for it accordingly, look for five star campsite cabins. In some places you can expect your own flat screen TV, DVD player, sofa, kitchen and a private bathroom. Other places focus on architecture and design that blend in with the surrounding nature.
City camping is a great option if you are travelling on a budget and prefer to spend your money on shopping, sightseeing or a festival. It is not hard to find a good quality campsite within a few kilometres of the city centres.
Many campsites have small cabins that can be booked in advance. Standards vary from small and simple to larger, well-equipped ones with a common room, separate bedrooms, kitchen, shower and toilet.
Bedding is usually available for a small fee, and you can either clean up before you leave or pay an extra fee to have the staff do it. The more expensive cabins often have Norwegian style bathrooms, bedrooms, living rooms and well-equipped kitchens.
Price per cabin per day starts at NOK 250.
* The cabin consists of one room and necessary furnishings.
** In addition to the above: Electricity (lighting, heating, refrigerator, hot plate, etc.). The cabin may have several rooms.
*** In addition to the above: Water supply close to the cabin. Separate bedroom. Indoor tap water can replace separate bedroom.
**** In addition to the above: Hot and cold water, WC/shower. Cutlery/utensils, etc. One living room and minimum one bedroom.
***** In addition to the above: Hotel standard with self catering facilities. Hiring cabins is becoming increasingly popular, so we advise you to book as early as possible.
There are different kinds of hotels and camp sites throughout the country. Staying at a fishermen's cabin is an experience out of the ordinary.
Staying in a cosy cottage is many Norwegians' preferred choice of holiday accommodation.
Stay at a medieval farm in the Gudbrandsdalen Valley or bring your children to a farm with animals in southern Norway.
Accommodation that is an experience in itself. Let Marianne guide you to her favourites among Norway’s more quirky hotel alternatives.