This is a guest post by my friend Timo from the German travel blog Bruder Leichtfuss.
Norway is the country which has to offer most wilderness in Europe – what makes it a perfect destination for hiking in the nature and the mountains. Thanks to glaciers, snow covered mountain tops and often incredible views over the fjords and the islands at the coastline, every hike becomes a unique adventure, which you can experience just in very few places of the world.
Hiking in Norway is a good choice especially considering the cost: It is one of the most expensive countries all around the world – but nature and wilderness are even here for free.
To make your adventure in Norway perfect, here are my eleven best tips for planning your hiking trip to Norway:
1. Time of travel
Best time of the year for hiking in Norway is May to September, as it is the warmest time and there is the least snow. If you are tough enough, you may also go hiking during winter in Norway. However you really should inform yourself if your hiking route is accessible in winter. If there is too much snow, you may wanna hike with snowshoes or go cross-country skiing.
2. Hiking routes
There are hundreds of different hiking routes in Norway. Usually they are market with a red “T” painted on a rock or a tree, or pyramids made out of stones and rocks at the hiking path. There are lots of hiking guides for Norway. You also may have a look in my blog, where you find lots of suggestions for routes und reports for hiking in Norway (German).
Planning a hike in Norway you absolutely should consider, that it might become quite cold at night not only in the mountains and even in summer. Therefore warm clothes and rain gear should be in your backpack – even if it is sunny when you start your hike. And do not forget: You are up to wilderness, there is a huge chance that you are hiking across a rocky underground and sometimes you have to cross stream courses. So you absolutely should wear proper hiking boots.
On your journey to Norway you can save a bunch of money: The Low-Cost-Airlines Norwegian and Ryanair take you to the north quite cheap, for example from London. For inland flights you should check the Norwegian flight company Widerøe – in many of the known search engines for flights it is not listed, but you might find cheap offers there.
5. Northern lights
Experience northern lights is on the bucket lists of many travellers, for reason. For many these are one of the main reasons to travel to Norway. If you plan to see this spectacle of the sky, you should travel in winter and choose a hiking route in the very north of the country. Best chances to see the polar lights are from November to February – most likely north of Bodø.
6. Hiking cabins
There are a lot of hiking cabins in Norway, which are located almost everywhere in the nature and the mountains and are opened for hikers. Here you can find a place to sleep against a little (norwegian circumstances) fee. In most of the cabins you will find a place to cook and a storage of gas or fire wood. Often it is better to book these cabins in advance. More information, prices and exact locations you find at the Hiking Club of Norway.
In Norway there is a public right of access to the nature. That means, contrary to most other countries, putting up your tent is allowed almost everywhere in Norway. That does not only help to save money, it also gives you the chance to enjoy the nature more intensively and gives you much more flexibility planning your hiking routes.
If you are looking for a place to crash in a city in Norway, you should consider Couchsurfing. Getting free accommodation is just a small part of it: Most Norwegians love the outdoors – so you might get helpful insider tips and maybe even a hiking company who knows the area very well.
9. Hiking map
You absolutely should have an analogue hiking map on paper on every hike in Norway. Huge parts of the country are not connected, so your cellphone will be out of connection often. In the wilderness you might have some trouble charging your phone or your GPS device: You can be hiking for days in Norway without even getting close to power outlets. Usually the hiking cabins neighter have electricity. Though most hiking paths are well marked, for safety reasons you always should have your own map with you.
Weather conditions in Norway can be really crazy. At the coastline the weather is mostly affected by the Northern Sea. From there even in Summer bad weather can reach the land very sudden. In the mountains in the inner land the weather can turn in seconds, too. So you should always get a weather forecast before you start your hike. When in doubt, better delay your hike to another day. When you already started your hike and you are not sure about the weather: It is not a problem to turn around!
Always bring a bit more food than you actually need for your hike: On a trip to the mountains you never can be sure, when exactly you will be back. Generally on hikes carbohydrats and sugar are important for supplying your body with fast energy. Maybe you wanna do it like a Norwegian and buy “Kvikklunsj” (pronounce: quick-lunch) in one of the local supermarkets. It is a bar made of crackers and chocolate tastes delicious and will do its job.
About the author:
Timo is living for the ultimate adventure and is a enthusiastic hiker, sailor and hichhiker. He is experiencing crazy adventures round the world: In example he hitchhiked across the Atlantic ocean and went for exciting hikes in the Amazon area in Southamerica, the jungle of Thailand and the mountains of Europe. At the moment Timo is living in Norway to discover the world of fjords and mountains. Have a look at his German Blog Bruder Leichtfuss or visit him on Facebook!