MOUNTAINS OF NORWAY
Imagine how it feels to conquer ...
Norwegians love hiking.
But the mountains are also a place to reflect and meditate.
They're a place where everyone says 'hi' to each other.
And hey, if you're single, you might just meet your soulmate on a mountain hike!
Norway's mountains soar majestically above deep, shimmering fjords.
Steep cliffs plunge into the sea in breathtaking landscapes.
Explore wide, open mountain plateaus at high altitudes.
Norway is home to more than 300 mountain peaks over 2,000 metres tall.
Galdhøpiggen is Norway's highest mountain at 2,469 metres (an important figure that every Norwegian knows).
Ain't no mountain high enough
Norway mainly consists of mountains and wilderness. Craggy summits and rounded rock formations are an important part of the national identity. Norwegians have long used the mountains for leisure. All over the country, people flock to the mountains during weekends and holidays to breathe in the crisp and clean mountain air.
Almost half the population has access to a private cabin, called hytta in Norwegian. There are also thousands of staffed mountain lodges, called Fjellstuer, self-service cabins, and basic cabins. Many cabins are run by the Norwegian Trekking Association (DNT). Some newer cabins and lodges even feature amazing, cutting-edge architecture by prominent architects. Many lodges and cabins serve locally sourced meals featuring ingredients like moose, deer, trout, or reindeer.
Hiking is the favourite outdoor activity of many Norwegians. You can choose from thousands of kilometres of marked trails at all difficulty levels. Although the right to roam ensures that everyone has free access to the countryside, remember to stay on the trail to minimise your footprint, and to respect people's privacy.
If you want to combine an urban vacation with mountain hiking, many Norwegian cities offer both. Bergen, Ålesund, Bodø and Tromsø are among the many towns and cities that have easy access to mountains.
During winter, Norway offers alpine skiing facilities for all skill levels. In the south of Norway you will find most of the top ski resorts in Norway, easily accessible and often close to airports, ports and train stations. If you're an adrenaline junkie, the mountains in Fjord Norway and Northern Norway are the perfect place to go ski touring.
Weather permitting, you can often also find a cross‐country skiing trail nearby, both close to the cities and in the countryside.
It's important to remain on marked trails. The Norwegian Trekking Association (DNT) has marked the safest trails on most mountain hikes with this easy to recognise red 'T' symbol. Remember to look for it when you're hiking.
The right to roam
The Norwegian right to roam means that everyone is free to access nature, even on privately owned property.
The main rules are simple: be considerate and thoughtful, don't leave any rubbish behind, and show consideration for nature and people.
Mountain safety rules
Whether you’re in the forests or the mountains, always obey these mountain safety rules:
1. Plan your trip and inform others about the route you have selected.
2. Adapt the planned routes according to your ability and the prevailing conditions.
3. Pay attention to the weather forecast and avalanche warnings.
4. Be prepared for bad weather and frost, even on short trips.
5. Bring the necessary equipment to assist yourself and others.
6. Choose safe routes. Avoid avalanche terrain and unsafe ice.
7. Use a map and a compass. Always know where you are.
8. Don’t be ashamed to turn around and go back.
9. Conserve your energy and seek shelter if necessary.
Your experience of the Norwegian mountains will differ dramatically depending on what time of the year you are visiting.
Summer is the best time for hiking across expansive plains and up dramatic peaks. The most popular trails can sometimes be a bit crowded during the peak summer season.
In autumn, nature is busy preparing for winter and the landscape presents an incredible array of red and yellow colours. The fresh air and bright colours are stunning. Autumn is the season for cloudberries and blueberries, and for hunting grouse and reindeer. You can still hike, but do be prepared for sudden snowfall.
In winter, much of Norway is transformed into a snow‐clad paradise. Be aware that winters can be both dark and cold in places.
Winter is the longest of the mountain seasons. Once spring arrives, nature comes back to life, once again enticing visitors to explore the mountains and valleys on foot or in the saddle and fish in countless mountain lakes.
Five facts about Norwegian mountains
- Norway’s tallest mountain is Galdhøpiggen in Jotunheimen National Park, towering 2,469 metres above sea level. Its summit was first reached in 1850 by a group of three men from nearby Lom: a teacher, a church musician, and a farmer.
- The second highest peak is Glittertind, also in Jotunheimen National Park, at 2,464 metres above sea level (including its snowcap).
- In Norway, anything above the tree line is considered mountainous landscape. This can vary from sea‐level in the far north of Norway to around 1,200 metres above sea level in Southern Norway.
- Norway has about 230 to 300 mountain peaks above 2,000 metres, depending on which definition you use.
- There are 1,000 mountain peaks in Norway that exceed 1,650 metres in height, given a topographic prominence of 50 metres or more.
Popular mountain excursions
The most popular mountain excursions according to the Norwegian Trekking Association (DNT).
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