My name is Eskil Digernes, I grew up in Bergen, Norway. When I was eighteen I moved to Øvre Årdal, a remote village four hours east of Bergen.
The raw unspoiled beauty of the nature surrounding Øvre Årdal gave me the inspiration to pursue outdoor adventures in Norway, i.e hiking, camping and climbing. After a while I got the idea of opening an Instagram account to share the beauty that surrounded me. The rest is history.
My favourite place in Norway must be “Bladet” in Hjørundsfjorden. Bladet means “the-razor” in Norwegian. Standing on this knife-edge gives you the feeling you could end your life at any moment. It’s on the edge where you feel most alive.
I also have a weak spot for Vettisfossen, a waterfall in Utladalen which is located right by Øvre Årdal. It’s special to me because it was this waterfall that made me fall in love with the outdoors.
Top 3 Places in Norway for Outdoor Adventures
My top 3 places in Norway that you must visit are Sunnmørsalpene, Lyngsalpene and Finnmarksvidda. Sunnmørsalpene is home to the most rugged peaks in all of west Norway, rising over 1500m out of the sea!
Among the mountains there are gorgeous villages which adds to the quintessential Norwegian feeling. Being there gives you the feeling of being in a fairy tale.
Lastly, Finnmarksvidda; a plateau in our northernmost province, the sheer vastness of the place boggles the mind. Finnmarksvidda is bigger than Switzerland! In addition, Finnmarksvidda is home of the intriguing reindeer herding people called Sami, their language is more related to Mongolian than Norwegian.
The number one memory I have of my travels in Norway must be cycling across the endless Finnmarksvidda. The fact that you can cycle for 200km with only pure wilderness, in the most densely populated continent on earth, is what astonished me the most.
The Best Hikes and Camping Spots in Norway
Picking my favourite hikes and camping spots in Norway is a hard question to answer. I instantly reminisce of the 3400km bicycle-tour I undertook in the summer of 2017.
A tour of the entire coast of Norway, from the southern tip to the Russian border, it was incredible! Out of the 99-days, I only spent 3 nights in an actual bed. The rest was wild camping.
Another camping memory I have is of a group I took to Kjeragbolten in Lysefjorden. It’s a boulder lodged 1000m above the sea below. During this camp we had a spectacular sunset where the 715m tall Kjeragfossen was in full flow. A night for the books for sure!
Outdoor Adventures to Suit Every Season
Seasons are a huge part of Norwegian life. In the north you have the midnight sun in summer and northern lights in the winter. To see the sun bounce on the horizon is one of the most magnificent sights I’ve ever seen!
These endless bright summer nights confuse the internal clocks of the northerners. They do unusual tasks like cutting their lawns at 2:00am. But when winter comes it’s all eternal darkness. Luckily you have the incredible northern lights dancing above you.
Occasionally the lights become so strong that the lights reflect on lakes and turns the snow green, a sight to behold! In the southern parts we have similar night/day relationship, but not to this extreme.
Personally, my favourite season is autumn. There is something refreshing breathing the crisp autumn air and witnessing the birch trees turn golden as the snow starts to fall on the peaks.
Experience the Heart of Norwegian Culture
If you want to experience Norwegian culture you should try skiing in the homeland of the ski. The word “ski” is an old Norse word for “split piece of wood”.
It’s not uncommon to get your first pair of skis the moment you can walk. I got my first pair at the age of two years. Like our proverb states: “født med ski på beina”, meaning “born with skis on your feet”. There are many summer ski resorts in the country for example at Folgefonna and Sognefjellet.
Norway is also the home of the Vikings. To get a taste of this spirit, I highly recommend renting a wooden rowboat in one of the fjords.
Lastly, what is a country without its cuisine? Our traditional food admittedly is an acquired taste. Nevertheless, I recommend trying brunost, pinnekjøtt, lutefisk and if you really feel adventures smalahove.
Tips for the Best Outdoor Adventures in Norway
Tips for people traveling to Norway is rent a car and invest in good camping gear. The weather is infamously terrible, expect a lot of rain and high winds. Even our national anthem has the passage “rugged and weather beaten”.
Some houses along the coast and in the mountains have their roofs attached to the ground with steel cables. I think this says enough.
Norway is going to be expensive no matter what you do. Luckily you can save a lot of money by wild camping. You can camp anywhere, even on private property! So long as you keep a distance of 150m from an inhabited cabin or house and leave within 48-hours. Read more about the camping equipment you will need in Norway with the team at OverlandSite.
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy the incredible outdoor adventures that are unique to my country: Norway!