Get the latest travel information
close
Dynamic Variation:
Offers
x

There was not an exact match for the language you toggled to. You have been redirected to the nearest matching page within this section.

Choose Language
Toggling to another language will take you to the matching page or nearest matching page within that selection.
Search & Book Sponsored Links
Search
or search all of Norway
Olafr Reydarsson, the chieftain of the Gudvangen Viking town of Njardarheimr
A modern Norwegian viking.
Photo: Kyrre Lien

The modern vikings

muteplay/pauseplay/pause

There is much more to the legacy of Norsemen than conquest and pillage. Meet two present-day Vikings who aren’t just fascinated by the Viking culture – they're even living it.

Written by Mikael Lunde

Dynamic Variation:

But there is a lot more to the Viking culture than plunder and violence. In the old Viking country on the west coast of Norway, there are people today who live by their forebears’ values, albeit the more positive ones.

Modern Viking king

Thousands of Norwegians are now working to rediscover valuable, forgotten parts of their Viking heritage. Hundreds gather at Viking markets in Gudvangen and Avaldsnes – the historic home of famed King Harald Fairhair – to re-enact Viking life and learn Viking Age crafts and trades. At Gudvangen, the Vikings have an undisputed king: Georg Olafr Reydarson Hansen. For almost 20 years, he worked to establish the permanent Viking village Njardarheimr, which finally opened in 2017.

Dynamic Variation:

We have 400 Vikings in Gudvangen. At the market, we have kids learning traditional crafts and trades. A 15-year-old boy is becoming a blacksmith and a 15-year-old girl is learning textiles. When the older generation sees this, they think it’s great, and they join in,” explains Hansen, combing his beard with an authentic Viking comb that he carried around at the hip.

In addition to the comb, the cape, and the clothes, he shows us an authentic sword. “It’s made from thousands of pieces of steel, folded over and over again until becoming extremely strong and sharp,” he says. Of the 3,500 Viking swords that have been found in Norway thus far, only about 50 are single-edged like his. For him, none of these Viking things are a gimmick. Far from it.

“When I put on Viking clothes, I’m not trying to be someone I’m not, but rather to emphasise who I already am,” he says. And it is not as if they reject the modern world. “We watch movies and TV, and heavy metal is the music of modern Vikings. The old and the new must go together,” says Hansen, adding: “We are people of a new age looking to the values of an older one.”

“When I put on Viking clothes, I’m not trying to be someone I’m not, but rather emphasise who I already am.”

Dynamic Variation:

Viking metal

Since childhood, the members of Norwegian “Viking metal” band Enslaved have been fascinated by Old Norse culture and mythology. In the early 90s, the band decided to merge Viking heritage with black metal. Delving into the material, guitarist Ivar Peersen encountered unexpected depths.

“A lot of people approach Viking culture through its militaristic aspects or violent drawings and Snorre’s kings’ sagas,” says guitarist Ivar Peersen.

“At some point, you realize that there’s a lot more to the mythology and history. It’s about philosophy as much as anything else,” he continues. “You start discovering the nuances and appreciating the things that are more … subtle. The beautiful things.”

It is a philosophy expressed through coastlines, forests and trees – glimpses of beauty are revealed, above all, in the Vikings’ relationship with nature. “If you want to explore the Viking identity, there are two places to do it: Iceland, and the Norwegian west coast. Here you’ll experience nature and see the symbolism which is the entire foundation of their culture,” says Peersen.

“At some point you realize that there’s a lot more to the mythology and history. It’s about a philosophy as much as anything else.”

Ivar Peersen, Enslaved.
Photo: Kyrre Lien

True Values

So what values are they talking about? Peersen has an unlikely example – Ragnarok, the mythological “end of the Gods”, and the end of the world. “It has a lot to tell us about the experience of being human and about having to let some things go: to see them fade and die and then grow again, as the foundation of something entirely new.” That is how the Vikings saw both their own existence and life itself.

“In modern society, there’s a finality to all things. You start something, you stay the course, and when it comes to an end it is seen as a failure. Whilst in the Old Norse, the downfall and Ragnarok holds a completely different place. It is not final,” says Peersen. He is not seeking to teach reincarnation, but simply to explain a mindset. “It’s about how you approach certain things, like death. Focus too much on it, and you waste an incredible amount of life. With such a mindset, your focus will shift towards the present moment.”

Exciting Viking experiences

Read more

Go on a Viking tour

Visit historical sites, take a sea voyage in a Viking ship, or go all the way and be a Viking for a day.

See all Viking attractions
Midgard vikingsenter is situated near the Borre burial mounds, which form one of Norway's most important cultural heritage sites. This historical… Read more
Midgard vikingsenter
Experience the Oseberg ship The world's most important discovery from the Viking era was made just outside Tønsberg in 1904; The discovery… Read more
The Viking Ship Saga Oseberg
Viking House is a groundbreaking concept. For the first time, we get a Virtual Reality based world-class visitor centre to tell the Viking history of… Read more
Viking House
Approxomately 20 minutes walk from Nordvegen history centre, through beautiful cultural landscapes, on a small forested island, you will find the… Read more
The Viking Settlement at Avaldsnes
Hostel with modern rooms and apartments by the Vikingskipet arena Read more
Hamar Vandrerhjem Vikingskipet
Play like the vikings! Experiences for the whole family. At the medieval farm Stiklastadir, the children can join the play battle, you can shoot with… Read more
"Stiklestad Summer"
At Avaldsnes, you can be "Viking for a day". Dress up like a Viking and experience what life was like in the Viking age. What did Vikings eat, and how… Read more
Viking for a day at Avaldsnes
Hamar Hostel offers conference facilities for both small and large groups. Our meeting facilities include rooms which seats 28 and 30 persons… Read more
Hamar Hostel Vikingskipet
Vikingegarden Maurenga is situated approx. 2 km west of Gardermoen. The building, interior and food, etc., are all based on the Viking theme. Read more
Vikingegarden Maurenga
Explore the Viking Age with all senses at Norway's first digital Viking museum Read more
The Viking Planet
A guided tour through Aalesund with a historical review of the time when Chieftain Rollo, son of the local Earl Ragnvald, lived at Sunnmøre.… Read more
Rollo's Footsteps - the ultimate Viking tour
The Vikingship Gaia, a replica of the Gokstad ship, was built in Sunnmøre in 1990. The ship is 23.55 metres long and 5.25 metres wide with a height of… Read more
The Vikingship Gaia
Travel back to the age of the Vikings and discover what life was really like back in the day. Catch a glimpse inside the Viking kingdom and experience… Read more
In the Homeland of the Vikings with GuideCompaniet
Reconstructed settlement from the Viking Bronze Age. Fertility labyrinth, archery and story-telling. Read more
Bronseplassen Viking experiences
Janheim is a  local centre focusing on the cultural landscape and history of Jøa. The viking long house Janheim is a 26 meter long… Read more
Janheim - viking /iron age longhouse on Jøa
With fantastic views of water, waterfalls, mountains, fjord, and glaciers, you will find Vikinghaug Apartments in Odda. The guests live in large,… Read more
Vikinghaug Apartments
The world's most important find from the Viking Age was made just outside Tønsberg in 1904, the famous Oseberg ship. On a voluntary basis,… Read more
Vikingodden
Viking Valley, Gudvangen - in the heart of the unique UNESCO listed Norwegian fjord landscape - is the setting for the town of Njardarheimr. Read more
Viking Village Njardarheimr
Kaupang Viking town is open during the summer season. Learn about the history of the Vikings' life in Kaupang town. Read more
Kaupang Viking Town
Why not take the next company gathering at Stavanger's pride location? Viking Conference Centre has suitable venues for meetings, conferences and… Read more
Viking Conference Centre
Let the family enjoy an activity together in Nordfjordeid’s unique Viking-Warrior climbing gym at Hamna Activity Centre. Hamna Activity center have… Read more
Viking Warrior | Activity center
The Irish Viking is pub located in Haugesund city centre next to well-known statue "the fishermens". Read more
The Irish Viking
Feel the magic and the thrill of the ceremony of sacrifice to the Gods to avoid Ragnarok – the Last Days! Will Volva the Prophetess make signs… Read more
Viking feast & Northern light
"Gildehallen" - The Viking Hall, is a reconstruction of one of the Viking Age's large halls. It is newly found imprint of such halls in Borre, and it… Read more
Gildehallen - The Viking Hall
Winter FjordSafari | Snowshoe hike & Ægir Viking Dinner Combine a Winter Fjordsafari or a Snowshoe hike with a dinner at Ægir Brewpub. Dinner includes… Read more
Winter Fjordsafari & Ægir Viking Taste
Historic day trip for groups Join us on an exciting journey and discover the secrets of Nidarosdomen combined with "etargilde" in the long house… Read more
"Olav - Viking and Saintly King"
The Saga Siglar Hall - Documentation Centre The remains of the shipwrecked Saga Siglar and Oseberg ships are displayed in the Saga Siglar Hall. Films… Read more
Saga Siglar Hallen - Viking documentation Centre
The trip begins by minibus along the Aurlandfjord and up to the spectacular viewpoint Stegastein, 650 meters above main sea level. Read more
Snowshoe hike & Ægir Viking dinner
In the center of Tromsø you will find the Enter Viking Hotel. Read more
Enter Tromsø Viking Hotel
A RIB takes you on a trip to Harstads archipelago to see the empire of famous Viking Chieftain, Tore Hund. Read more
Viking Chieftain Tore Hunds Empire
An experience of the Viking Age for the whole family! Read more
Sagastad Viking Center
At Avaldsnes, you can be "Viking for a day". Dress up like a Viking and experience what life was like in the Viking age. What did Vikings eat, and how… Read more
Viking for a day at Avaldsnes
Select
    Show Details
    Statens Kartverk, Geovekst og kommuner - Geodata AS

    Find Viking experiences

    Visit historical sites, take a sea voyage in a Viking ship, or go all the way and be a Viking for a day.

    ×
    • Filters
      Filter Your Search
      TripAdvisor Symbol
      • Show More
      • No available filters
      • Show More
      • No available filters
      Clear Filters
    • View
    • Sort By
    Filter Your Search
    TripAdvisor Symbol
    • Show More
    • No available filters
    • Show More
    • No available filters
    Clear Filters
    Back To Top

    Take advantage of top offers

    See our selection of companies that work hard to make you happy all through your trip.

    Your Recently Viewed Pages

    Back to top