10 lesser-known Instagram-worthy spots

Let professional hiker Andreas Orset introduce you to some of Norway's most photogenic spots.

Andreas Orset

Facts about use of drones

Illustration of drone use in Norway

1. The drone should always be kept within your sight and operated in a mindful and considerate manner. Never fly near accident sites.

2. Never fly closer than 5 kilometres from airports unless you have explicit clearance to do so.

3. Never fly higher than 120 metres off the ground.

4. Never fly over festivals, military facilities or sporting events. Keep a distance of 150 metres.

5. Be considerate of others privacy. Take note of the rules concerning photos and films of other people.

6. As a general rule, use of drones is prohibited in national parks and nature conservation areas. Check the specific rules for the area you are traveling to.

Read more about use of drones on Civil Aviation Authority Norway’s website.

A few years back, then 24-year-old Andreas Orset outmanoeuvred more than 1,000 other applicants to land a somewhat unique job. The job description was to hike through Norway for at least a full year – while blogging about it, and sharing the experience on Facebook and Instagram.

For 12 months, Orset crisscrossed the country. He visited both well-known and less famous parts of Norway, including mountain peaks in the north, national parks in the east and scenic fjordscapes in the west.

Read on to find Orset’s top 10 recommendations for lesser-known Instagram-friendly spots in Norway!

Hornelen sea cliff

The Fjord Coast, Fjord Norway
Access: full-day hike
Effort level: demanding

Mount Hornelen is Europe’s highest sea cliff, rising 800 metres above the fjord. The hike up is quite demanding, but when you make it to the top, you are rewarded with incredible views of the fjord and the surrounding mountains.

Since you’re already here: The Fjord Coast lies just north of Bergen, as far west as you can get in Norway. Take your bike island hopping on low traffic roads, and combine cycling with cultural experiences such as the Millstone park in Hyllestad and the poet Jacob Sande’s house in Dale. If you’re visiting in July, you can join Scandinavia’s largest festival for traditional and world music in the village Førde.

Innerdalen valley

Northwest, Fjord Norway
Access: 8-kilometre round trip on gravel road
Effort level: easy

Perhaps Norway’s most beautiful valley is Innerdalen. Photogenic settlements are situated like beads on a string at the foot of the spectacular Innerdalstårnet mountain. Well worth a visit, both in summer and winter.

Since you’re already here: At Tingvoll, you can buy the world’s best cheese Kraftkar. If you want to keep hiking – or skiing – both the popular trail to Mount Skåla and the beautiful Trollheimen mountains are nearby. Besides, Northwest offers both the legendary Atlantic Road and Trollstigen (both Norwegian Scenic Routes), as well as the cities Kristiansund, Molde, and Åndalsnes.

Lovatnet lake

Loen in Nordfjord, Fjord Norway
Access: travel to the lake by car
Effort level: easy

The green-coloured Lovatnet lies idyllically between steep mountains, waterfalls, and glaciers. The picture-perfect landscape of Nordfjord is Norwegian nature at its best. Rent a kayak or rowboat, and some fishing equipment, or just jump aboard MS Kjenndal.

Since you’re already here: Lovatnet lies close to Loen, where you can go on all kinds of cool nature adventures. The Loen Skylift will take you from the fjord to the top of Mount Hoven in just five minutes. Go for a hike, or just enjoy the view from the restaurant at the top. If you want a more strenuous route up the mountain, you can climb the via ferrata that starts just behind fancy hotel Alexandra (afterwards, you can relax in their spa and outdoor pool). And don’t miss a guided glacier hike at Jostedalsbreen!

Kirkeporten rock formation

Nordkapp in Finnmark, Northern Norway
Access: short hike from Skarsvåg
Effort level: easy

With a view of the North Cape plateau, Kirkeporten has an ideal location in the rough coastal environment found in the northernmost areas of Norway. The rock formation resembles a large gate, hence the name “the church gate”. Here, you can either take a picture through the gate or stand on the roof and be photographed in front of the mighty sea.

Since you’re already here: You’ll obviously want to visit the actual North Cape plateau as well. Or maybe embark on the quite long hike to cape Knivskjellodden, the actual northernmost point on Magerøya? Bird lovers will appreciate Gjesværstappan, home to hundreds of thousands of puffins, gannets, and cormorants. In winter, you can go skiing, ice fishing, and snowshoeing – and if you’re lucky, you’ll get to see the northern lights!

Halddetoppen viewpoint

Alta in Finnmark, Northern Norway
Access: full-day hike
Effort level: demanding

Who wouldn’t like to capture an image of the northern lights? Mount Halddetoppen is undoubtedly one of the best places in Norway to observe this natural phenomenon. At the top, you’ll find the Northern Light Observatory, which was established by Kristian Birkeland in the early 1900s. The old observatory is transformed into a no-service DNT cabin, where you can spend the night.

Since you’re already here: In Alta, you can experience the Sami culture up close and stay in one of Norway’s cool ice hotels. A visit to the Northern Lights Cathedral is a must, and you should also check out the UNESCO listed rock carvings in Hjemmeluft. And just so you know: Alta is often surprisingly hot, sunny and dry in the summertime!

Mount Segla

Senja in Troms, Northern Norway
Access: half-day hike
Effort level: medium demanding

Segla’s fascinating mountain formation is a delight to the eyes. If you want to see the mountain from its most spectacular angle, climb the neighbouring Mount Hesten.

Since you’re already here: Norway’s second-largest island Senja lies close to Lofoten and Vesterålen, but you’ll meet way fewer people here. This fairy tale island is a paradise for mountain hiking and cycling but is also a place to relax and admire the midnight sun – or the aurora borealis if you visit in winter.

Djevelporten boulder

Svolvær in Lofoten, Northern Norway
Access: half-day hike
Effort level: medium demanding

The Kjeragbolten in Ryfylke is probably one of Norway’s most photographed nature attractions. What many people don’t know, is that Djevelporten in Svolvær is just as beautiful – and a far less dangerous photo location.

Since you’re already here: Svolvær is perfectly placed if you want to explore the Lofoten Islands. Go hiking, cycling or kayaking, catch the fish of your life, and look for the sea eagles that soar the sky. The trip to villages off the beaten track, like Henningsvær, Nusfjord, and Sund, is short. And you should definitely jump on the ferry to the charming island Skrova!

Lake Blåisvatnet

The Lyngenfjord region in Troms, Northern Norway
Access: half-day trip
Effort level: easy

Perhaps Norway’s most picturesque lake. The bright blue colour is a wonderful sight, both in reality and on Instagram. Do you dare to jump into the ice-cold water?

Since you’re already here: The Lyngenfjord region with the Lyngsalpene mountain range and the islands around Skjervøy is known for sustainable outdoor activities based on pure fun. Go mountain biking, hiking, skiing or bungee jumping, or join a riverboat tour into the Reisa national park. Once a year, you can experience the unique Sami music and cultural festival Riddu Riđđu, and Lyngen also sports the world’s northernmost whisky distillery!

Rabothytta cabin

Helgeland, Northern Norway
Access: 5-kilometre hike one way
Effort level: medium demanding

The stylish design of the Rabothytta cabin in the Okstindan mountain range blends in with the surroundings. With large glass windows and unusual angles, Rabothytta is very Instagram-friendly. In addition, the cabin is an ideal spot for either a lunch or a layover. And why not join a guided hike and go on a glacier tour on Okstindbreen?

Since you’re already here: On Helgeland in the southernmost part of Northern Norway, great experiences await on four, two or no wheels. Travel along beautiful Kystriksveien, try island hopping on the Helgeland coast or go kayaking between the beautiful islands.

The hole through Torghatten

Brønnøy in Helgeland, Northern Norway
Access: short hike
Effort level: easy

Just outside of the city Brønnøysund you can witness a natural phenomenon that has attracted geologists from all over the world for centuries. The hole straight through the mountain Torghatten is not just a geological gem, it is also a beautiful photo motive that performs well on Instagram. And if you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of the sun through the hole.

Since you’re already here: Torghatten is located in the scenic coastal landscape of Trollfjell Geopark. It is also close to the city Brønnøysund, a great starting point for trips to the UNESCO World Heritage Site Vega. And don’t miss the great food, good company, and beautiful herb gardens at Hildurs Urterarium!

Explore places with fewer people all over the country, get the pulse going on your own with our 10 tips for adrenaline seekers, or book a tailored journey with Up Norway!

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