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Helgelandskysten.
Photo: Terje Rakke/Nordic life - Visitnorway.com
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If you enjoy peace, tranquillity and the feeling of exclusivity while on holiday, you might find your new favourite destination among the ones on this list.

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Published: 12 July 2017

Last week, travel director Bente Holm posed a question on Facebook: What is the most underrated destination in Norway, which we have yet to fully discover, but which is well worth a visit? And why?

Recommendations streamed into the comments field. Among them were unique natural phenomena and vast wilderness areas. A place for those of you who like to fish at a quiet lake as well as travellers feeling adventurous or seeking that historical sparkle.

Here are some of the gems, and there will be more to come during the summer.

Northern Norway

Vesterålen was recommended numerous times using words such as “varied, untouched and beautiful”. The area encompasses hundreds of small and large islands and there are many white, sandy beaches, jagged coastal mountains, and not least whales. Vesterålen is situated just north of the Arctic Circle, and those recommending it feel that it’s time for this archipelago to shine on a par with its big brother to the south, Lofoten.

Vesterålen
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Copy of Vesterålen.
Photo: Marten Bril - www.visitvesteralen.com

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Copy of Vesterålen.
Photo: Marten Bril - www.visitvesteralen.com

Varangerhalvøya Peninsula, Norway’s largest peninsula is a “place without equal”. In fact, it is apparently totally unknown to most Norwegians. The Varangerhalvøya peninsula is the closest you come to Arctic landscape without leaving mainland Norway. It is home to truly unique plant and animal life, in addition to its rich Sami cultural heritage.

Trøndelag

The Kystriksveien Coastal Route starts in Trøndelag County and leads you northward through magnificent coastal landscapes. Driving or biking along its 650 kilometres, you get to explore the Namdal Coast and Helgeland Coast before eventually arriving in Bodø in the north. This tip came from a woman who pointed out that this route offers a splendid mix of beautiful coastal landscapes, activities, islands, and vibrant small communities.

Helgelandskysten
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Helgelandskysten.
Photo: Terje Rakke/Nordic life - Visitnorway.com

Credits
Helgelandskysten.
Photo: Terje Rakke/Nordic life - Visitnorway.com

Røros is another place worth visiting, with its old wooden houses, mountains and plateaus along with a wide assortment of local foods. “The compact, old community that is clinging to the wide-open plateau. A fascinating history and living cultural monuments everywhere,” writes the commenter. In 1644 the first copper ore was discovered in the area, and the mining town of Røros was established soon thereafter. It was to become one of Norway’s most important resources. Today, it has been inscribed on the UNESCO list of World Heritage sites, and is also certified as a Sustainable Travel Destination by Innovation Norway.

Røros
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Røros.
Photo: CH - Visitnorway.com

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Røros.
Photo: CH - Visitnorway.com

Fjord Norway

Eidfjord in Hardanger has much to see and do, according to the woman who recommended the place. It is the site of Europe’s largest mountain plateau, Hardangervidda, and the impressive Vøringsfossen waterfall which cascades down from the plateau toward the Måbødalen Valley below. Visitors will also find Kjeåsen and the Hardangervidda Nature Centre. You can go kayaking, biking, hike on a glacier and dine at many nice places to eat along the highway.

Vøringsfossen
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Vøringsfossen.
Photo: Sverre Hjørnevik / www.fjordnorway.com

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Vøringsfossen.
Photo: Sverre Hjørnevik / www.fjordnorway.com

Halsnøy Monastery in Kvinnherad municipality was also recommended. The island is the site of the ruins of an Augustinian monastery built around the year 1300, and offers a very special experience according to the woman who recommended it. It is beautifully situated amid fjords and mountains with nice walking trails as well as a small café and art exhibit.

Eastern Norway

Femundsmarka National Park offers visitors vast untouched wilderness areas and is not as crowded as other hiking areas. Its many rivers and lakes are ideal for fishing and canoeing, which are quite popular there.

Femundsmarka
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Femundsmarka.
Photo: Thomas Rasmus Skaug / Visitnorway.com

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Femundsmarka.
Photo: Thomas Rasmus Skaug / Visitnorway.com

Helvete Nature Park has some fantastic potholes, according to the man who recommended this particular area. A number of them are over 50 metres deep and 20 metres wide, which means they are Northern Europe’s largest. If you want to study them up close, you can even walk down into them. The “hollows” were formed toward the end of the last Ice Age, 10,000 years ago, when water and rocks from the melting ice rotated against the mountain.

Hadeland was mentioned by several people. Fertile, sloping landscapes with quaint small roads and experiences,” writes one of them. Hadeland Folk Museum and the medieval churches and pilgrimage route are highlights. There are also bathing beaches and places to hire canoes and paddle for days. Another commenter is more specific, and believes that Granavolden is a gem because of the Søsterkirkene (i.e. Sisters Churches), Glasslåven Arts Centre, St. Petri Church and the Granavolden Guest Inn.

Southern Norway

Lista was also recommended several times. It is sometimes called Norway’s version of Denmark’s “Skagen” (i.e. The Scaw) not least because of the terrain and special lighting conditions. The beaches are long and chalky white, and several of the cultural heritage monuments have an American history. You can enjoy nice views of the peninsula and ocean if you walk up the 134 steps to the top of the lighthouse. Conditions at Lista are ideal for surfing, windsurfing and kite surfing.

Lista
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Lista.
Photo: Tina Bringslimark

Credits
Lista.
Photo: Tina Bringslimark
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