In the United Nation’s 2013 World Happiness Report, Norway claimed the second place spot, making it one of the happiest places on Earth. A world-class and unspoilt adventure travel destination, Norway offers a truly outdoor adventure playground for any adventurer or extreme sports lover. Find out some of the reasons to visit Norway in 2018.
Photo of the Troll’s Tongue (Trolltunga), a cliff jutting horizontally out into free air about 700 meters above the north side of the lake Ringedalsvatnet by: kallerna
Trollstigen Mountain Road
Photo by: Andrew Cawa
One of Norway’s most dramatic and popular attractions for motoring adventures, it doesn’t get much more epic than the serpentine Trollstigen Mountain Road. Also known as the ‘troll ladder’, gargantuan cliff faces, deep fjords and cascading waterfalls make it one of the most breathtaking drives in the world. Meanwhile, eleven hairpin bends, narrow driving space and poor traction from rain and fog combine to make it one of the most dangerous roads in the world, especially in icy conditions.
For those who want a real challenge, you can also ascend and descend the road by bike, which increasing numbers of visitors are doing. This is no easy feat with grueling 10 percent inclines. In fact, it’s of the longest, hardest and highest bike climbs in the world. The way down, however, promises a truly adrenaline-pumping experience with unbelievably stunning views to drink in along the way.
For viewing, there is the Trollstigen platform and two other viewpoints designed by Reiuf Ramstad Architects, whose structures are designed in such a way that they blend in with the incredible surroundings, some parts carved into the rock and others built on stone walls.
The Atlantic Ocean Road
Photo by: Cucombre Libre
The Atlantic Ocean Road or the Atlantic Road (Norwegian: Atlanterhavsveien) is one of the world’s most dangerous roads, considering the sometimes violent storms that can occur here, sending seawater sweeping onto the passing vehicles. It is also one of the most spectacular drives on the planet and is definitely one of the must-do motoring adventures in Norway. The 8.3 kilometer section of Country Road 64 runs through an archipelago and passes by Hustadvika, a 19 km long coastline in the French Municipality that is considered one of the most dangerous parts of the coast of Norway. Numerous ships have been wreck along the shallow area containing many small islands and reefs.
Photo by: Svein-Magne Tunli
Covering an expanse of over 30 km, Nigardsbreen is an arm of the largest glacier in mainland Europe.
This is one of those rare places where you have the chance to hike on the blue, hard ice of a glacier. To get to the glacier, you will need to take a small boat to a forest and then it’s a 30-minute hike to the base. The hike itself requires you to be kitted out with crampons but is not too strenuous.
Sadly, due to increasing global temperatures, the glacier is melting and it’s estimated it won’t be around for much longer – 20 years in fact. So don’t wait too long to experience it.
White Water Rafting Adventures
Photo by: toddwmac
Norway offers excellent opportunities for white water rafting adventures and it is on many rafters’ bucket lists. Each year, kayakers from all over make the pilgrimage to the pristine white waters of Norway. Across the country, there are many locations offering rafting for all ability levels. One of the best places for white water rafting adventures is Voss. This is a small but vibrant town situated between the scenic fjords of Hardangerfjorden and Sognefjorden.
The apt slogan of their rafting center is “we guarantee to wet your pants!”. Voss also offers a range of other extreme sports and activities, such as mountain biking, tandem paragliding, tandem skydiving, and a wind tunnel.
Photo by: stevenm-s
You may be surprised to learn that Norway is partly located above the Arctic Circle. This means that in the northernmost regions of the country, visitors can experience the phenomenon of the midnight sun in the summer months. That means 12 more hours in the day for exploration and adventures!
Photo by: Guiseppe Milo
No list of adventures in Norway would be complete without a mention of the many fjords which it is famous for. Geirgangford, part of the immense Fjord Norway Network is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and for good reason. The deep blue fjord is surrounded by magical wild waterfalls, majestic mountains and verdant greenery where kayaking the crystal waters or hiking offer an other-worldly experience.
Alesund in the north offers icy scenery, hiking and skiing, while the Sunnylvsfjorden offers some of the prettiest countryside panoramics. A booked tour of the fjords is a great way to make sure you see all the best spots in your chosen destination. For exploring Norway, it’s worth investing in a drone to really see the country, as the photos you can take form the sky are really incredible.