Autumn is a season of wonders – both indoors and outdoors. The landscape turns red and yellow, and the forests abound with berries, mushrooms, and game. It's the perfect time to snuggle up under a warm blanket or face a true autumn storm. It's also when the northern lights and orcas begin to return.
1. Mountain hikes
One very popular autumn activity is to go for a hike in the mountains and marvel at the sight of the heather, which changes into a vivid red, yellow and orange. Public transport takes you to great destinations for both biking and hiking. In some places, you can even catch a ride with a gondola to the top. Here are some of our top hiking tips.
2. Storm watching
There is nothing like a true autumn storm. The forces of mother nature can be quite an experience to behold – if you make sure to dress accordingly. The stunning Dosabu cabin in Bremanger is specifically built for storm watching. Here, you have a panoramic view of the ocean while remaining dry and warm. A true stormy night is hard to forget, especially if you experience it in a lighthouse or a fisherman’s cabin right by the edge of the water in Northern Norway. Kråkenes Lighthouse is definitely recommended for this.
3. Time to relax
Nothing can compare to the joy of snuggling up under a warm blanket in a cosy cabin after going head-to-head against the autumn weather. As the evenings grow darker, autumn is the perfect time for candlelight and the relaxing sound of a crackling fireplace, perhaps while enjoying a good book or spending time with someone special.
5. Northern lights and whale safaris
Did you know that winter is not the only time of year you can see the northern lights? The intensity of this staggering natural light show is enough to leave anyone speechless. Up north, autumn is also ideal for whale spotting; species include humpback whales and orcas. If you are travelling with Hurtigruten, you get northern lights tours and whale safaris included. Vesterålen, Senja, Alta and Tromsø are all superb destinations in which to experience whales and northern lights.
4. Cultural autumn
Autumn is the perfect season for new arts and culture experiences. Make the most of it by visiting the best art museums and galleries in Norway. Head to the new MUNCH museum, or the National Gallery, the biggest art museum in the Nordic countries. There are also excellent museums for arts, history, and natural history in Bergen, Stavanger, Tromsø and many other places (not to mention film festivals and live music).
6. Sauna season
In Norway, it’s never too cold to go for a swim. Although, taking some time in one of the country’s hottest saunas first will probably help. Let the heat soak all the way into your very core, before diving into the refreshingly cold water outside. Even if there’s a light drizzle, you’re guaranteed to feel like a new and better version of yourself afterwards. A chic spa hotel is also a good option if you wish to indulge yourself.
7. Romance by the fjord
Breathe in. Breathe out. Feel the bustle of summer shift to the tranquillity of autumn. Want to stay at a magnificent, historical timber hotel? Getting a room is a lot easier as we drift into this time of year. Hike along the fjords and observe how the majestic landscape changes colour and pulse, while feeling the pull and push of the forces of nature. Inclement weather also has the power to bring people together to stay warm.
8. Big cities with small town charm
Even though Oslo is often listed among the top cities in the world to visit, there are several other smaller cities that are also worth your time. Despite their smaller size, cities such as Bergen and Ålesund are sure to provide you with grand – and unique – adventures.
9. Ride the rails to spectacular views
Lonely Planet is not alone in naming the Bergen Railway Line as one of the most beautiful train journeys in the world. However, Norway has several other breathtaking stretches to travel by train, such as the Rauma Line and the Nordland Line. As autumn marches on, you are bound to drift along past a wide variety of seasonal beauty.
10. Sample a delicious taste of autumn
Autumn is the season to eat lamb, in any shape or form. Moose and other wild beasts are perfect with lingonberries and cream sauce. New potatoes, sweet carrots, and crispy chanterelles are all on the autumn menu. Make the most of the extended evenings by enjoying a bottle or two of red wine in good company. Pick your own ingredients or have the best of Nordic cuisine served to you at one of Norway's Michelin-starred restaurants.
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