Norway is Europe's ultimate destination when it comes to outdoor adventures, thanks to wilderness, mountains, and a fjord-indented coastline, plus the friluftsliv culture—the belief that returning to nature is returning home. Here are your options.
Cruising the Fjords
Oslo's indented fjord coastline is a mecca for boat trips, from two-hour chugs around Oslofjord to mini-cruises around the city’s architecturally impressive waterfront. Cruise ships meander up the country’s western flank and offer an abundance of life-affirming shore-excursion options, including day-long hikes up Westeras from Geiranger Fjord and Mt Huaren above Nordfjord. Those interested in fishing can head out from Bergen to try sea fishing for mackerel and giant cod around its sheltered skerry archipelago while enjoying the magical fjord scenery.
Shaped over centuries by ice and water, Norway's extraordinary fjord-and-mountain landscape is best discovered on foot. Travelers who embark on hiking adventures in the mountains around Stavanger can reward themselves with beer-tasting sessions and overnight stays in wilderness lodges, while bush-craft courses lead into the coniferous forests around Trondheim. Ambitious visitors can take off on a six-hour roundtrip adventure from Bergen up Mts Ulriken and Floyen, covering wild terrain and witnessing panoramic views of the town and fjord below. And for the super-fit, a full day's scramble up Jostedalsglacier requires climbing gear.
Not up to yomping up mountains? There are plenty of leisurely walking tours available in Norway's cities. The Art Nouveau architecture of Alesund on the west coast and the charming wooden wharves and houses of Bergen's UNESCO-listed Bryggen are all easily explored on foot. Even Oslo is compact, with a crop of themed walking tours through its streets that include spooky ghost hunts, gourmet tastings and the chance to follow in the footsteps of Harry Hole, the unconventional Oslo-based detective created by best-selling author Jo Nesbo.
Tromso is largely a winter destination, but the summer months bring the unforgettable chance to walk adorable Alaskan husky puppies and watch them being trained in the doggy art of sled racing.