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A woman standing in the sea on Herøy island with a view of The seven sisters mountain range on Helgelandskysten, Norway
Summer at Herøy in Helgeland.
Photo: Terje Rakke / Nordic life / Visitnorway.com
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Local people from all over Norway share their favourite travel tips.

Ask Norwegians where you should spend your holiday, and you will get extremely diverse answers. That’s what happened when Visit Norway asked locals all over the country to flag their personal travel tips.

Unknown parts of Northern Norway

The northernmost part of the country consists of highly varied destinations. Northern Norway can be revisited and rediscovered many times.

Steigen is often said to be “like Lofoten, but without all the tourists”. Located between Bodø and Narvik, Steigen has many islands and islets that make the area ideal for kayaking. Mountain peaks both under and above 1,000 metres tall are well suited for hiking and climbing. In recent years, both Manshausen and Naustholmen have been turned into adventure destinations by Norwegians who bought the islands.

On the northernmost part of the European mainland, you’ll find the Nordkyn peninsula. Wild nature, rare birdlife, and picturesque fishing villages are typical of Kjøllefjord, Mehamn, and Gamvik. The peninsula is well suited for hiking, skiing, and fishing in both salt and fresh water.

Midway between the far more visited destinations Lofoten and Tromsø lies Senja, Norway’s second largest island. The Norwegian Scenic Route Senja runs on the outermost part of the island where the village of Hamn is also recommended to visit.

The area of Vesterålen is situated just north of the Arctic Circle and is described as a varied, untouched and beautiful alternative to Lofoten. Vesterålen consists of hundreds of small and large islands with white, sandy beaches, jagged coastal mountains, and, of course, whales in the nearby sea.

The raw and wild ​Varangerhalvøya peninsula is Norway’s largest of its kind and the closest you will come to Arctic landscape without leaving mainland Norway. A rare plant and animal life adds to the area’s rich Sami cultural heritage.

Bergsbotn viewpoint in Senja
Bergsbotn viewpoint in Senja.
Photo: Werner Harstad / Statens vegvesen

Side roads in Trøndelag

The middle of Norway means historical heritage and culinary delights. Trøndelag is emerging as a must-see destination.

The island municipality Frøya on the Trøndelag coast has well over 5,000 islands of varying sizes, many of them equipped with traditional fishing villages.

The Norwegian Scenic Route Helgelandskysten between Trøndelag and Bodø, also called The Coastal Route, leads you through 650 kilometres of coastal landscapes. Both Namdal and Helgeland has many activities to offer, as well as vibrant small communities.

The compact, wooden town of Røros is clinging to a wide-open mountain plateau. Once a hub for copper mining, Røros is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is certified as a Sustainable Destination by Innovation Norway.

The hidden Fjord Norway

One of the world’s most popular destinations for nature lovers has a lot more to offer than you might know.

The West Cape is a viewpoint on Mount Kjerringa on the Stad peninsula. At an elevation of 496 metres above sea level, Mount Kjerringa is considered to be Norway’s westernmost mountain plateau. Try island hopping in Bremanger, hike up to Europe’s highest sea cliff Hornelen, surf the waves at Vetvika Bay, or explore the monastery on the island of Selje.

Lodalen valley in Stryn offers many cool activities. In five minutes, the Loen Skylift cable car takes you from the fjord to the peak of Mount Hoven. You can also climb a via ferrata to the top – or keep your feet firmly on the ground, in a swimming pool, or in a kayak down in the valley. Either way, there are plenty of ways to have fun in Loen.

The fjord town of Eidfjord in Hardanger is a good point of departure if you want to see the Hardangerfjord, the Hardangervidda mountain plateau, and the impressive Vøringsfossen waterfall. Visit the Hardangervidda Nature Centre, go kayaking, biking, or hiking on a glacier, and dine at some of the many nice eateries along the way.

Halsnøy monastery in Kvinnherad is the remains of an Augustinian monastery built around the year 1300. It is beautifully situated amid fjords and mountains with nice hiking trails, and has a small café and art exhibition.

The other Eastern Norway

The most populated part of Norway is still full of natural quietness. Eastern Norway manages to combine peace of mind with fun activities.

During winter, Hemsedal mountain village is a wildly popular ski destination, and the lesser promoted summer season has a great variety of organised activities as well as many possibilities of hiking on your own.

The Sølen mountain range in Hedmark has shallow waters along the shoreline, excellent conditions for paddling or hiking, an inland fishing village, and plenty of cultural heritage.

On Norway’s largest lake Mjøsa, you can take a trip with Skibladner, the world’s oldest paddle steamer still in timetabled service. The hospitality and culinary traditions of the large farms around the lake are amongst the area’s other treasures.

“An idyllic piece of the Drammensfjord” is one description of the small town of Holmsbu in Hurum. ​Holmsbu Art Gallery, located inside a forest, is one of several local galleries, cafés, and restaurants in the area.

The sloping landscapes of Hadeland offer the Hadeland folk museum, a pilgrimage route, and beaches with canoe hire. At Granavolden you can visit the sister churches Søsterkirkene, Glasslåven arts centre, and the Saint Petri church.

Femundsmarka national park is all about untouched wilderness with numerous rivers and lakes and is far lesser crowded than other hiking areas.

Helvete Nature Park is known to have Northern Europe’s largest potholes. Try walking into the “hollows” that were shaped towards the end of the last ice age some 10,000 years ago.

The light of Southern Norway

For those who love Norway, the southernmost part of the country is a fresh and exciting discovery, especially in summer.

The area of Lista at the southernmost tip of Norway has long, chalky white beaches, ideal for surfing, windsurfing and kite surfing. The area has several cultural monuments including the lighthouse of Lista, which was once the world’s largest of its kind.

Plan your route

The locals’ tips
In Nordkyn, the northernmost region on the European mainland, you can enjoy beautiful scenery, world class fishing, Arctic adventures and… Read more
Nordkyn
Go kayaking and hiking in the midnight sun, or skiing and dog sledding under the northern lights. Or simply kick back and enjoy some of the most… Read more
Senja and Central Troms
The archipelago of Vesterålen is a place characterized by contrasts, from white beaches and idyllic farmlands to craggy mountain peaks rising… Read more
Vesterålen
The Vega archipelago, situated off the Helgeland coast, is named one of the world’s top undiscovered island gems. You should also pay a visit to… Read more
Helgeland
The traditional town of Røros, which is known as one of Norway’s sustainable destinations, is a modern community in which people live and… Read more
Røros
In the small village of Hemsedal you are greeted by alpine mountain surroundings and some of Norway’s best skiing and fly-fishing. Read more
Hemsedal
Being on the list of nationally valuable cultural landscapes, Hadeland can offer some of Norway’s most visited museums and attractions, such as… Read more
Hadeland
Visit the Farsund and Lista region in Southern Norway and experience hiking, Lista lighthouse, American festival and other attractions. Read more
Farsund and Lista
At the coast of Trøndelag you will experience genuine coastal heritage, local food, and a wide range of activities at both sea and… Read more
Hitra, Frøya & Fosen
Mjøsa has rich fish stocks; there are 20 species in total. The most famous and most coveted by anglers is the large Mjøsa trout, which can grow as big… Read more
Mjøsa
Steigen
Steigen
Mjøsa has rich fish stocks; there are 20 species in total. The most famous and most coveted by anglers is the large Mjøsa trout, which can grow as big…
Steigen
Mjøsa has rich fish stocks; there are 20 species in total. The most famous and most coveted by anglers is the large Mjøsa trout, which can grow as big… Read more
Vestkapp
Mjøsa has rich fish stocks; there are 20 species in total. The most famous and most coveted by anglers is the large Mjøsa trout, which can grow as big… Read more
Loen
Mjøsa has rich fish stocks; there are 20 species in total. The most famous and most coveted by anglers is the large Mjøsa trout, which can grow as big… Read more
Eidfjord
Mjøsa has rich fish stocks; there are 20 species in total. The most famous and most coveted by anglers is the large Mjøsa trout, which can grow as big… Read more
Sølen
Varanger is about the long lines in the landscape as well as the long lines of history. Norwegian Scenic Route Varanger offers not only a physical… Read more
Varanger
Helvete Nature Park
Helvete Nature Park
Helvete Nature Park is an experience out of the ordinary! Exploring this area named Helvete (Hell) is one of Norway's most exciting wilderness…
Helvete Nature Park
Norwegian Scenic Routes
Varanger is about the long lines in the landscape as well as the long lines of history. Norwegian Scenic Route Varanger offers not only a physical… Read more
Varanger
The road out to Havøysund is fascinatingly varied and even though it is only a couple of hundred metres above sea level at the highest point, you get… Read more
Havøysund
The steep mountains plunging deep into the ocean are a breathtaking sight and the most prominent feature of this stretch. Read more
Senja
On the island of Andøya, you can wander along some of Norway’s most beautiful beaches and look out over the still waters of the ocean with the… Read more
Andøya
Regardless of the time of year, Lofoten provides a journey in breathtaking natural surroundings. Read more
Lofoten
The six ferry trips and the contrasts the Norwegian Scenic Route Helgelandskysten presents mean that you must set aside plenty of time for the drive. Read more
Helgelandskysten
Nothing is as mighty as the ocean – the most important transport route for centuries, a source of income and the starting point for innumerable… Read more
Atlanterhavsvegen
The drive along Trollstigen is undoubtedly more dramatic than most people are used to, but what is special about driving in Norway is that in fact,… Read more
Geiranger-Trollstigen
Sometimes it is the road itself that is the destination, and this is true of Norwegian Scenic Route Gamle Strynefjellsvegen. Read more
Gamle Strynefjellsvegen
Over 2,000 metre-high summits in a singular landscape decked in blinding white snow, the rays of the low-hanging sun reflecting on the glittering… Read more
Rondane
From the verdant meadows and the lush cultural landscape of Bøverdalen you can catch a glimpse of towering mountains in the far distance, as the road… Read more
Sognefjellet
Driving in the open sweep of the landscape can be compared with the feeling of flying. The road swoops and stretches out ahead in long sweeps of… Read more
Valdresflye
For most people, Gaularfjellet is a well-kept secret, but for all those who have discovered the road, it is quite special. Read more
Gaularfjellet
Most scenic routes are stunning no matter what direction you drive in but this particular stretch presents its most dramatic side if you start the… Read more
Aurlandsfjellet
It’s no secret that Hardanger is like a picture postcard and almost everywhere you look you will feast your eyes on thundering waterfalls or fruit… Read more
Hardanger
The fact that the road crosses the biggest high mountain plateau in Northern Europe tells you something about what lies in wait, but not everything. Read more
Hardangervidda
The drive along the Norwegian Scenic Route Ryfylke is a trip full of contrasts. Here you will encounter high barren mountains, lush hillsides, sheer… Read more
Ryfylke
To some extent Norwegian Scenic Route Jæren differs from many of the others – it’s quite simply a regular all-purpose road. Read more
Jæren
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