The world’s second longest shoreline has numerous beaches that are as diverse as the rest of Norway. And if that’s not enough, you have free access to the many lakes covering around three percent of the mainland as well.
While some Norwegian beaches are well-known leisure spots where you’ll meet everyone from local families to foreign surfers, far more just happen to appear in front of you when you’re not even looking – like a paradise you stumble into and get the sense that only you have found.
Warmer temperatures open up for many water and beach activities. Managing the waves on a surfboard or stand-up paddleboard (SUP) is excellent exercise before a hearty picnic in the sand or on the sloping smooth rocks.
If you are planning a city break and would like to spend some time by the water, many urban areas have upgraded their beach facilities or created new ones to boost the quality of city life.
On the other hand, at a selection of northern beaches, you can expect to see lots of wildlife, and you might find yourself in the middle of a spontaneous and unexpected whale or sea eagle safari. With 239,057 islands along a shoreline that equals two and a half trips around the globe, relaxing Norwegian beaches will probably never stop to surprise you.
Compared to the sometimes overcrowded beaches in other countries, the Norwegian ones often have fewer people, clearer waters and not too busy surroundings, even in more urban areas like Oslo, Bergen, and Trondheim.
A day by the sea can be easily combined with other rewarding things to do, like hiking, biking, fishing, and skiing. Yes, you read that right – in Fjord Norway, you can ski down a snowclad mountaintop and go for a swim in the fjord on the same day.
The first Norwegian beach to be certified by the strict eco-label Blue Flag was Bystranden in the city of Kristiansand. In 2019, Norway has as many as 16 Blue Flag beaches, and many more are working to get the certification.
The Blue Flag certification demands excellent water quality, a clean beach area, safety measures and lifeguards, access for the physically disabled, clean-up and recycling management, clean toilets and restroom facilities, and drinking water supplies.
Several national campaigns, official and unofficial, have helped create a collective consciousness around clearing beaches and the sea of unwanted rubbish.
There is no need to wait until you’re here to find out where you’d like to swim.
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