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A family of four hiking in Hallingskarvet, Geilo in Eastern Norway
Summer memories ☀️.
Photo: Pravda Agency: Trigger Oslo / Visit Norway

10 fun tips for family holidays in Norway

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From mountain biking and wild animals to water sports and heaps of fun in the countryside – Norway is like a massive natural amusement park. Check out these tips for a holiday that the whole family will enjoy.

  1. Please note that the selection of accommodation, dining, and activity options may be restricted due to the coronavirus situation. Before you leave, be sure to get the latest travel advice from the Norwegian authorities and destinations, and check the opening hours and rules of individual tour providers.

    1. Dream destinations for kids

    Let the children choose your holiday destination. If they have a say in where to go, they are much more likely to stay in a good mood. Norway abounds with fun attractions, zoos, amusement parks, outdoor museums and activity parks designed for families.

    Most attractions will be open this summer, but they may have slightly different opening hours or specific rules, and several places will only offer digital ticket sales. Make sure that you check the relevant websites before you head off.

  2. 2. Fun in the countryside

    Many Norwegian farms have opened their doors for farm visits and overnight stays. Browse the farm shops for top quality local products while the children play outdoors and pet the farm animals. The youngest may even get the chance to ride a real tractor. In short: A farm holiday will give both children and adults memories for life. There are also many beautiful mountain farms to visit in summer.

  3. 3. Family hiking

    The simple act of going for a walk together can be a magical experience. In Norway, there are great hiking destinations in every part of the country, but it is essential to choose a route that suits your fitness level as well as the weather conditions.

    Explore the mountains, a forest or trails near a city. For the youngest, even a short trip to a forest lake can be a big adventure – especially if you bring some chocolate fuel and a few toys. As the children get older, the goal is often the motivation in itself, in the form of a mountain top or a farm café with freshly made waffles or lefse (a kind of flatbread).

    Check out this article with ten smart hiking tips for everyone who plans to go hiking with children.

  4. 4. Go wild

    Kids love animals, and in Norway’s zoos, mountain farms and wildlife parks you can get close to bears, wolves, elks and much more. In the Namsskogan family park, you can even sleep safe and sound in the wolves’ lair. There are also several Elk Parks, where you may get close enough to pat the mighty king of the forest.

    If you want to observe animals in their natural habitat, you can join a guided wildlife safari and see moose, musk oxen, eagles, or beavers. In Vesterålen, you can go whale watching. Keep an eye open for the local celebrity whale called Glenn!

  5. 5. On two wheels

    Most children also have a thing for cycling, especially if you take them to one of Norway’s many mountain bike parks. Get the adrenaline going and hone your cycling skills while you’re there.

    Or perhaps a cycling holiday is what your need? Hop on your bikes and take in the scents and sounds of the landscape. Pedal along one of the national cycling routes, try the cycling trails in the mountains or venture out in one of Norway’s forests.

    It’s a good idea to allow time for breaks too, as you'll want to stop and admire the views from time to time. There are also plenty of attractions and activities along the way, which is great for avoiding too long and demanding stages – and to keep the motivation going.

  6. 6. Nature adventures

    Norway’s nature is not just beautiful. It also makes a fantastic playground with great experiences for everyone. Join a guided glacier trip and explore ice towers, ice tunnels and deep cracks. Feel butterflies in your stomach on a via ferrata hike or get close to nature on a dog sledding trip or by going horse riding.

  7. 7. Water sports

    You can have so much fun doing water sports! The world’s second-longest coastline, 239,057 islands, and several thousand lakes make Norway an Eldorado for paddling. Learn the fine art of kayaking or canoeing by joining a course or a guided paddle tour, or go exploring on your own.

    You can also challenge your balance on a SUP board or swim with fish on a snorkelling safari. If you want a bit more speed, you can go surfing. In many rivers, you will also find family-friendly rafting options. Get splashed, have a whale of a time and return home with lots to talk about.

  8. 8. Unique accommodations

    A family holiday is all about creating special moments. What could be better than waking up in one of Norway’s many treetop cabins, next to fluffy squirrels and cute birds? Or maybe you prefer the idea of being lulled to sleep by the sound of waves in a lighthouse? Or why not check out some of Norway’s glamping options: Book a night in a yurt, a glass iglo, a lavvo (a Sami tent), or a cocoon. Alternatively, the youngest can play all day long on a kid-friendly camp site.

  9. 9. Rail biking

    Abandoned railway lines definitely bring your imagination to life. Bring the whole family and pedal along on a draisine, available to rent in Valdres, Numedal, Namsos and Flekkefjord. These trips run along closed railway lines, so there is no need to worry about being surprised by a train. A safe bet for all ages.

  10. 10. Go for a dip

    No summer without swimming! Norway’s coastline is dotted with picturesque seaside resorts where you can jump in the sea or in a gorgeous lake. Enjoy a rocky lakeside, a trendy surfing beach, or long, shallow bathing spots that are ideal for the youngest in the family.

    Considering the current situation, you may want to look for a secluded bay or islet. Will you find your own private bathing place? With over 200,000 islands and countless bays, it’s easier than you may think.

    Sleep tight in a comfortable hotel, rent a cosy cottage or holiday house, or explore one of Norway's most child-friendly campsites. After a day of activities, you can tuck into a plate of delicious local food. To satisfy your adrenaline cravings, you can also check out these 10 experiences for adrenaline seekers.

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