A majestic and visually stunning land of blissful coastal fjords, colourful villages, glaciers and awesome mountains, Norway is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream. Typically associated with winter sports, Norway has a justified reputation as a top location for skiers, but it offers just as much in summer when it becomes an adventurer’s paradise.
Hike to Preikestolen (the Pulpit Rock)
Pulpit Rock is one of the most famous locations in Norway, regarded by many as the world’s most breathtaking viewing platform. The huge mountain plateau towers 604 meters above the Lysefjord and offers stunning views of the Ryfylke region.
Hiking to the rock from nearby Stavanger is an experience in itself, the 3.8km trail takes you through ridges and brilliant mountain landscapes, and you’ll find opportunities to swim and picnic areas along the trail.
There’s plenty of wildlife to spy on the way and a detour to the Mountain Lodge for a few refreshments and a bite to eat is recommended.
Pulpit Rock is accessible from April-October depending on weather conditions and reliable public transport, including ferries and buses, will help you to plan your journey well in advance.
Kayak the Naeroyfjord
Nærøyfjord, which gets its name from the Norse god ‘Njord’ – the god of the seafarer and the sea, is a spectacular fjordarm that forms part of the 204 km Sognefjord, the ‘King of the Fjords’.
Added to UNESCO´s World Heritage List in 2005, the 17 km stretch is surrounded by towering peaks up to 1,700 metres high.
Combined with a bit of hiking and camping, guided kayak tours through the Nærøyfjord are one of the best ways to experience this natural masterpiece. You can drink glacial water straight from one of many waterfalls and rivers that run into the fjord, take a dip or just sit and enjoy the silence. The surrounding mountainsides are littered with traditional farms and if you time it right, goats can be seen grazing right beside the fjord while seals bask on shallow rocks.
The kayaking season in Norway starts in May and ends in mid-September and guided tours are available throughout these months, however booking early is recommended.
Go sea fishing in Sørøya
Located just off the coast of Norway’s mainland, the waters around the island of Sørøya offer some of the best sea fishing in Europe.
The season starts in early March when the Skrei cod from the Barents Sea migrate towards the north Norwegian coast in order to reproduce. Skrei fishing in Sørøya, which is widely regarded as highly sustainable, during March and April is fabulous with fish weighing in at over the 30kg hooked fairly often, however the seas can be rough.
May, June and July offers friendlier fishing weather with long, bright days and seemingly endless time for fishing. As well as chasing the cod, summer offers big coalfish, catfish and enigmatic large halibut in August and September – 100 kilo halibut are landed yearly on Sørøya. But plan well in advance as Sørøya is a world-renowned fisherman’s paradise.
Camp in the Lofoten islands
Lofoten is an archipelago made up of 10 beautiful islands lying just off the coast of northwest Norway’s mainland. Its main islands Austvågøy, Vestvågøy, Flakstadøy and Moskenesøy, are all connected by a series of road bridges and tunnels allowing easy access to serene sheltered bays, exceptional vistas and picturesque villages.
Arguably the best and most accessible climb on Lofoten is the Hermannsdalstinden Mountain on Moskenesøya. At 1,029 meters, it is the highest peak in the area and offers some of the most breathtaking views of the islands.
After a short ferry trip, or if you’re feeling fit a medium-distance walk, getting to the peak is part hike, part scramble with a bit of simple climbing. Camping on the mountain or staying in the charming Munkebu hut is often recommended, allowing you more time to take in some of the world’s most striking views.
Getting to the summit normally takes up to five hours and setting off early in the morning will ensure you get the calmest weather.
Dive underwater farms
Lake Lygnstøylsvatnet, located in the Nordangsdalen Valley in the west of Norway, is a truly unique diving experience.
The site is a result of a 1908 landslide which closed off the river Lygna, causing the water to rise above the ten farmhouses and surrounding forest. The lake is now home a startlingly beautiful underwater landscape where you can float between alpine huts and swim under a stone bridge or follow an old valley road along the lake bottom.
The pristine mountain lake is an outstanding place to try out your underwater photography skills with the best visibility on offer in April and May or as soon as the winding access road opens after winter. Visibility drops off in late summer and fall when the bottom is covered with a lush blanket of green algae, however this creates an equally spectacular dive experience.