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The Hjørundfjord in Fjord Norway, one of Norway’s top places with less people and more space
The Hjørundfjord in Fjord Norway, one of Norway’s top places with less people and more space
Hjørundfjorden in Fjord Norway.
Photo: Kyle Meyr
Hjørundfjorden in Fjord Norway.
Photo: Kyle Meyr

Top 11 places with fewer people, more space

Outdoor fitness trainer Lasse Tufte always seeks out areas of peace and quiet for lots of fresh air, fantastic views, rewarding activities – and fewer visitors. Get his hottest tips!

Trainer Lasse Tufte loves nature-based activities, but ideally without the hordes of visitors that tend to gather around the well-known tourist attractions. His thing is callisthenics, which is a kind of training without gear, where you use your own body weight as resistance.

He is also the founder of the training parks Tufteparkene – more than a hundred free outdoor training spots equipped with uncomplicated apparatuses. His four books (Calisthenics volume 1 and 2, and Tren sammen (Training together) volume 1 and 2) are national bestsellers.

Portrait of Lasse Tufte, Norway
Lasse Tufte.
Photo: Lasse Tufte

Lasse’s main focus on his many travels around Norway is to inspire people to spend more time in nature. Here, he shares his best tips for less crowded spots, where you’ll be practically undisturbed. Sometimes these suggestions are alternative paths just a few minutes off the beaten track, in places where you can collect experiences and take photos from a fresh perspective.

1. The small town Sæbø

Where: A quiet spot by the Hjørundfjord in Sunnmøre, with fewer tourist buses than in the rest of Fjord Norway.

Why: “For sure one of Norway’s most beautiful, but lesser-visited fjords, with alpine mountains and charming towns surrounding the fjord on all sides. All pictures taken here will look like a work of art, from any angle. The Hjørundfjord is also good for exploring different activities, like stand up paddle boarding.”

2. Urke village

Where: A beautiful small village by the Norangsfjord (a sidearm to the Hjørundfjord) in Sunnmøre, just across the fjord from Sæbø.

Why: “The many ferries that operate on the Norwegians fjords make it easy to travel between the small towns. Even if you miss the ferry and have to wait for the next one, you always have the spectacular view of the surrounding mountains and the possibility to go for a swim. Just jump off the port, as I do here! From Urke in Sunnmøre, it’s just a short boat trip to Trandal, where you’ll find the world’s most stunning swing.”

3. Mount Laushornet

Where: If you are in the Geirangerfjord area, go your own way.

Why: “The Geirangerfjord is probably the most famous fjord in Norway, visited by huge numbers of travellers every year. Yet few people know about the hiking possibilities there, which are more accessible than you may think. There are plenty of short trips available that suit most people. In a few hours, you can reach Mount Laushornet and be rewarded with a rare panoramic view of the Geirangerfjord.”

4. Mount Romsdalshorn

Where: The Trollveggen wall seen from the other side of the valley, for the best view.

Why: “When you drive into the Romsdalen valley towards Åndalsnes, your attention is drawn to two things: the impressive Trollveggen, a 1,000-metre high vertical mountain wall, and Mount Romsdalshorn, a peak known as the place for an outdoor climbing career – with the help of local climbing experts, of course. Whether you make it halfway or go all the way to the top, you will be rewarded with the best view you can get of Trollveggen. Not to mention the 360-degree view of Romsdalen.”

5. Rondane national park

Where: A national park easily accessible from Oslo.

Why: “A four and a half-hour drive from Oslo will take you to the Rondane mountains, where you have 2,000-metre mountain tops on all sides. The area is so huge that it feels like you have it all to yourself. Mostly consisting of piles of rocks, Rondane is easy to recognise.

You can obviously go for fantastic mountain hikes or do all kinds of other outdoor activities. But if you want an extra challenge, sign up for the Rondane 2k marathon and conquer 10 mountain tops over 2,000 metres in one go. Experienced long-distance runners finish the run in less than 24 hours, and fastest known time is less than 9 hours!”

6. The Oslomarka forest

Where: In the immediate outskirts of Oslo.

Why: “Even in the busy capital of Oslo, you have the luxury of exploring forests and numerous lakes just a short trip by public transport from the city centre. In the huge forests of Nordmarka and Østmarka there are a network of well-maintained paths where you can go biking, hiking, running, canoeing, and fishing. Or why not try stand up paddle boarding on one of the small lakes, with few or no other people in sight?”

7. Rimstigen viewpoint

Where: A hidden hike by Norway’s second most visited fjord, the Nærøyfjord.

Why: “With a spectacular view of the famous Nærøyfjord (a sidearm to the Sognefjord), and only a short drive from the equally recognised base-jumping site of Gudvangen in Aurland, Rimstigen is a lesser-known hiking opportunity. Ask the locals where to find this spot at the end of a small road. A steep and winding path takes you to the top of the mountain, where you will discover a beautiful, hidden valley.”

8. Gygrestolen mountain plateau

Where: An uncommonly rocky landscape in Telemark.

Why:Telemark has some striking rock formations associated with entertaining fairy tales of how they were created by trolls. Easily accessible, you can usually walk to Gygrestolen within a few hours, depending on your exact location in the region. This area is little known and rarely visited by others than the locals who will be happy to give advice, or even guide you. Some enthusiasts also go climbing on these formations.”

9. Kattanakken mountain

Where: A lesser-known path by the Briksdalsbreen glacier in Stryn.

Why: “Thousands of tourists visit the Briksdalsbreen glacier every year, but very few consider the hiking opportunities around Stryn. Halfway on the way to the glacier, you can choose to turn right into the woods and hike up to Kattanakken. This is a steep hike, but it is worth it all the way up to the top. Get a spectacular view of Norway’s largest glacier Jostedalsbreen, the Briksdalsbreen glacier and the surrounding mountains, with the added bonus of avoiding the crowds.”

10. Storsteinsfjell mountain

Where: The adventurous parts of Finnemarka in Buskerud, close the city of Drammen.

Why: “There is no need to travel far to be adventurous in Norway. You are always close to a forest and small peaks with nice views, for your eyes only. Climbing trees are not just for kids, it is fun for everyone. And if we stop doing it, we will slowly lose the ability. I encourage everybody to make use of the woods, lakes, and mountains in a playful, adventurous and sustainable way. Here, I am in Finnemarka near Drammen.”

11. Senja island

Where: Norway’s second-largest island, in Troms, Northern Norway.

Why: “Stroll along sandy beaches, go hiking in forests, visit fishing villages, and observe an unusual biological diversity both outdoors and at the restaurant table. On the huge island of Senja you will find nearly all the spice of life that Norway has to offer, just without the crowds that tend to stand in your way when you want to take that special photo.”

Lasse Tufte and friends hiking in Senja, Northern Norway
Hiking in Senja.
Photo: Håkon Jørgensen

Explore lesser-known Instagram-friendly spots all over the country, get the pulse going on your own with our 10 tips for adrenaline seekers, or book a guided or self-guided hiking holiday with Discover Norway!

Portrait of Lasse Tufte, Norway
Lasse Tufte.
Photo: Lasse Tufte
Lasse Tufte
Safety in the mountains

The mountain code

Norway is an incredible place to explore, with untamed mythical landscapes, mountains, valleys, and fjords. Here are nine simple rules to help you stay safe:

1. Plan your trip and inform others about the route you have selected.

2. Adapt the planned routes according to ability and 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, so you can help yourself and others.

6. Choose safe routes. Recognize avalanche terrain and unsafe ice.

7. Bring 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.

Read the mountain code with supplementary comments.

Sustainability in Norway

Take only pictures, keep only memories

Norway is a country of outstanding natural beauty. Preserving this landscape, and its communities, and way of life, is essential for all of us.

Norwegians strongly believe that conservation is everyone’s responsibility.

Please strive to leave as small a footprint as possible. "Leave it as you would like to find it" is the mantra, regardless of where you are.

Conservation is all about quality of life. Not only for today, but for future generations as well.

Travel better in Norway

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Lasse Tufte’s tips: fewer people, more space
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