Norwegian nature is an exciting playground, whether you want to go canoeing, glacier hiking, mountain biking, surfing, or discovering wildlife. Here are ten of our favourite family-friendly summer activities.
Spending time in nature is fun and healthy, but sometimes kids need a little convincing.
Norway is a natural playground and a world-class destination for families with kids. Whether you're looking for bonding activities or want to get your adrenaline pumping, we've got you covered!
1. Glacier hiking
Norway is home to some mesmerising glaciers, especially in Fjord Norway and Northern Norway. Many of the guided tours on offer are suitable for families and children from about 7 or 8 years old. Make a lasting memory among the powerful, majestic blue ice!
Or put your skis on – in the middle of summer! The snow never melts on the highest mountains and glaciers in Norway. One of the most popular places for summer skiing is FONNA ski resort, located on the Folgefonna glacier in the heart of beautiful Hardanger.
2. Mountain biking
Go on a mountain biking holiday in Norway and let the kids experience the tremendous sense of freedom and adrenaline you get from racing down mountain trails! Most of the bike parks have options for beginners and children as well as for experienced thrill seekers, so the whole family can join in.
3. Horseback riding
Saddle up and experience Norway’s natural beauty on horseback. Numerous operators throughout the country offer everything from short trips to guided tours that last several days. If you go to Northern Norway you can even ride under the northern lights or the midnight sun. Imagine that! In Fjord Norway, you can experience the unique Norwegian horse breed, the beautiful Fjord Horse.
4. Dog sledding on wheels
No snow? No problem! Huskies in Norway love running in the summer too and can give you a ride on wheels. This is a really fun activity for the whole family, and a great way to experience nature. Hold on tight!
5. Wildlife safaris
You don’t have to travel to Africa to see wild animals. Experience Arctic wildlife at its best on a whale safari in Vesterålen in Northern Norway, where the majestic sperm whale can be spotted all year round. On the Norwegian mainland, you can join a guided safari and get close to animals like moose, musk oxen, puffins, eagles, and more.
Please keep in mind that these are wild animals. Leave them alone and keep your distance or back away, slowly and calmly. Don’t frighten or don’t approach the wildlife, as some animals might chase you if they feel threatened.
6. Kayaking and canoeing
Whether you’re gliding in a canoe or kayak on our fantastic fjords or a quiet lake, or among small islands in an archipelago, taking to the water gets you up close to nature and will definitely make for a memorable family adventure.
You can rent canoes and kayaks all over the country, and there are numerous courses and guided tours available for families.
7. Climbing parks and via ferratas
Norway is home to many outdoor and indoor climbing parks and via ferratas with routes and challenges for everyone. Some take you over glittering fjords and up dramatic mountains, while others offer beautiful city views. Enjoy spectacular surroundings as you balance over the longest via ferrata bridge in Europe, at Via Ferrata Loen in Nordfjord. Or do you dare to attempt the "Ragnarok Extreme", one of the toughest routes in Norway?
Age limits vary for via ferratas and range from 10-12 for the easiest route to 14-15 for the most challenging ones.
8. Pothole exploration
During the Ice Age, smooth potholes of all sizes were created in solid rock through a natural process. Some are filled with water, and are big enough that you can swim in them, while some form a natural water slide!
From Lofoten in the north to Rogaland in the southwest, you can enjoy excellent conditions for surfing and water kiting in Norway – all year round. Two of the most famous spots are the Jæren beaches in Rogaland and the Lofoten islands for cold-water surfing. Have you never surfed before? You can get excellent beginner tips from local experts. And remember to always wear a wetsuit – you're in Norway, after all!
10. Fun on the river
Norway is blessed with some of the world’s best rivers for rafting – full of rapids, twists and turns! You can also bring your extended family and go rafting in calmer waters. The most famous rafting destination in the country is Sjoa in Gudbrandsdalen in Eastern Norway, which also offers family rafting. Enjoying a canyoning trip is also highly recommended.
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