TRAVEL GUIDE: HIKING IN NORWAY
Summer hikes in Norway have catapulted to the top of many intrepid traveler’s bucket lists. Hot-off Insta-tastic posts depicting breathtaking hikes and vistas, and amusingly, following the success of cartoon animation Frozen, of which the colorfully charismatic town of Bergen, the gateway to many fjord adventures, was reportedly the inspiration, Norway has reported a surge in summer-time visitors, hungry to explore her pristine Mountains and wild-outdoor adventure.
With a wild-camping law, “The Right To Roam” stipulating that one can pitch a tent at any countryside, forest or mountain (as long as it is 150 metres away from the nearest inhabited house or cabin, all rubbish is taken and respect for the environment abided by), Norway is a fantastic destination for adventure hungry explorers. With more renowned spots reporting over-crowding, even queues at famed locations, my partner and I set off in search of a more remote wilderness…
Flying North to Trondheim, our first stop Trollheimen quickly piqued our interest through it’s fame as the “Land of the Trolls”, and more importantly, apparently boasting some of the most ruggedly stunning hikes in Norway.
The mountains of Trollheimen offer awe-inspiring panoramas across it’s protected landscape. A multitude of varying hikes, outdoor climbing, bike trails, dramatic waterfalls, fishing options and more mean Trollheimen is a veritable Valhalla for adventures junkies looking to avoid the crowds and experience Norway in its most authentic natural splendour.
With the mountains of Trollheimen utilised by humans since the stoneage, the staggering landscape of Trollheimen boasts a unique wild magic, with its soaring eagles overhead and captivating peaceful stillness.
“The mountains of Trollheimen offer awe-inspiring panoramas across it’s protected landscape. “
Whether you’re keen to hike some of Norway’s challenging mountains with unparalleled views and absorb its truly eye-opening pristine flora and wild fauna including reindeer (we spotted a wild albino reindeer), have a rough plan but be prepared to adapt as once you get to the locations, you might find a few surprises along the way.
Our biggest hike definitely was challenging, so bare in mind if a Norwegian guide describes it as challenging, it will be. Be prepared with enough food and water purification tablets, plus adaptability to changeable weather variables (easy pack-down layers/waterproofs). With two big hikes under our belt, we were told that Trollheimen was home to some of the most incredible waterfalls in the country, and we headed to Åmotan to see it for ourselves. It’s roaring song heard from some miles away, the waterfalls of Åmotan gorge are jaw-dropping in their might. Åmotan’s numerous mountains houses an intricate river system home to 5 waterways. which collide together down to Åmotan, creating a unique and breathtaking wonder. WIth a variety of different hikes around the gorge you can cherry pick according to how hard you want your hike to be and how much time you want to spend trekking.
“Åmotan’s numerous mountains houses an intricate river system home to 5 waterways. which collide together down to Åmotan, creating a unique and breathtaking wonder. “
Home to the Norwegian Mountaineering Centre with its rich history charting from the first ascent of Romsdalshorn in 1828 to the current day, Norway’s highest climbing wall, and of course, some of the most incredible hikes and climbs you’re likely to experience, Åndalsnes is a perfect base for adventure junkies.
Found in the Romsdalen valley between fjords and mountains, it’s imposing mountains, crystal clear green rivers, breathtaking waterfalls and diverse array of activities . From its challenging Via Ferrata hikes, outdoor climbing routes, kayaking options and famous Romsdalseggen spine hike (one of Norway’s most beautiful, and challenging hikes), Åndalsnes has quite rightly earned it’s stripes as an incredible destination for outdoor enthusiasts. The iconic Trollveggan Wall (1800 metres), an imposing, near vertical mountain wall (the highest in Europe) is frequently considered a mountaineer’s great challenge.
Looking for a bonafide Norwegian experience, Airbnb stepped in to save the day when the weather forecast wasn’t quite on our side for camping. Honing in on a cabin in close proximity to some of the mountains we wanted to explore, we literally hit gold with Eirin’s authentic Norwegian cabin.
Dating back over 100 years, farmer Eirin was a veritable treasure trove of advice and brilliant tips. A farmer with the literal pulsing heart of Norway’s land coursing through her, we loved talking to Eirin and picking up a true local’s savvy insider knowledge. This to me is what Airbnb is really all about. This property had no warm running water or electricity, but stoking the fire every day, lighting candles, the sound of eagles outside, warming our own sauna, made for an incredible experience.
Our next Airbnb close to Åndalsnes was again a pinch-me-is-this-real accommodation. Met by owners Adrian and family, the stunning cabin’s re-vamped interiors with cosy fireplace, rugs, well-fetch water and mind-blowing view across the rivers and mountains captivated us immediately. These properties really paid such a huge part in our experience, and we loved spending time with the hosts and learning more about the Norwegian mountain way of life through them.
WHAT TO PACK (NOT CAMPING)
My Choice: Garmin Dakota 20
Waterproof layer: Jacket and pants.
My Choice: The North Face Kazoo (up to -9)
My Choice: Stance
Waterproof Hiking Boots
Waterproof Camera suitable for varying activities
My Choice: GoPro Hero 7
Water Purification Drops
Beanie, baseball cap
Norway is renowned for its high price points when it comes to food, drink and accommodation. We only had one sting in the tail when ordering a local cinnamon crème crepe delicacy, which came to £20 (funnily, it was so delicious it was nearly worth it!). Whether you’re camping or staying in cabins, packing some of your favorite foods will save you Krones in the long run. I recommend:
-Favorite energy/snack bars
-A bag of oats to make porridge
-Alcohol: Pick up alcohol at duty free
-We made daily sandwiches which kept costs down, flasks of coffee and tea
Having a plan in terms of hike route, checking distance, timings and weather will definitely help.
We flew into Trondheim, hired a car and headed to our first accomodation where we planned our first 2 day hikes in Trollheimen.
All images shot on Google Pixel & GoPro
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