For the last two years, we were trying to work as much as we could and save every penny for our dream trip along the Panamerican highway. We started our trip in January 2020, and we had been on the road for a little over 2 months when we got stuck in Ushuaia due to the travel restrictions connected with the outbreak of coronavirus. We had to quit living in a van and rent an apartment instead while waiting for news when (if) we will able to continue our trip.
I won’t lie; we are sad, frustrated and even a little homesick. That is why we started to look at the selection of our best photos of Norway, remembering all the good moments we had there exploring Norway´s spectacular nature.
We want to share these pictures with you and take you on a virtual journey from the fjords to the mountain tops. Perhaps it will inspire you to plan a trip to Norway when we all are allowed to travel again.
We are not the world’s best photographers and videographers, but it’s hard to take a bad picture in Norway. Hope you will like it!
STETIND: THE NATIONAL MOUNTAIN OF NORWAY
We took this picture during our summer road trip in Northern Norway back in 2017. We wanted to climb the national mountain of Norway – Stetind. This picture is taken shortly after midnight about 100 meters below the top. There is something magical about the midnight sun!
This is the top of Stetind. Up until this point, you can hike without using any ropes. The route further is an easy climb, but there is one technical part known as the “the ten-finger hold traverse” that Radka did not want to do, so we did not climb to the top.
SVOLVÆRGEITA: THE ICONIC JUMP
Another picture of our climbing adventures. This iconic rock known as Svolværgeita (The goat) towers over the town Svolvær in Lofoten archipelago. If you are adventurous you can jump in between the goat’s horns, over a 1.5-meter gap.
TRONDHEIM: THE THIRD BIGGEST CITY IN NORWAY
We were living in Trondheim for more than 8 years and towards the end, we could not wait to move out and start exploring some other parts of Norway. But truth to be told, Trondheim is a beautiful city and we will miss it. The colorful wooden houses at Bakklandet mirroring in the river are very photogenic. If you are there join a kayak tour and enjoy the view of them from the river!
It does not happen very often that you would be able to watch the northern lights in Trondheim. I was dreaming about the picture of aurora borealis dancing above the Nidarosdomen cathedral the whole time I lived in Trondheim. And in the end, I got it!
In the winter, Trondheim does not experience polar nights because it is situated under the polar circle. We have only about 5 hours of daylight in December. But that does not mean that the nights are always dark, long and depressing.
SEAKAYAKING IN NORWAY
Radka is an avid sea-kayaker. So far, we do not have our own kayaks, but we grab every opportunity to try them. This picture is taken on an island Smøla, north of Kristiansund. It is not a very touristy place, but the island is known for its beautiful scenery and Norway´s densest population of white-tailed eagles. It also is home to the largest wind farm in the country.
DOVREFJELL NATIONAL PARK
I am almost ashamed to admit that I had never liked Dovrefjell. It is one of the closest national parks to Trondheim, but it was always “too flat” for me.
One autumn day we were coming back from a road trip through western Norway. The light was beautiful, therefore Ivar decided to fly the drone. It was amazing to see all the colors and structures from above. That day I fell in love with this area.
And you know what? It is not flat at all, you just need to go further away from the road. If you have a chance hike to the top of Snøhetta – one of the easiest 2000 m tall mountains you can climb in Norway!
Tverfjellhytta is better known as Snøhetta viewpoint, after the name of the architectonic studio that designed it. Or perhaps the mountain that it is overlooking. The building has a boxed-steel construction with a huge glass wall facing the Snøhetta mountain. If you are lucky, you might spot some musk ox from there!
TOUR DE DOVRE
Norway has many amazing opportunities for bicycle trips. This photo is taken during the Tour de Dovre trip, that we did on Radka´s 30 birthday. It is a 130 km long loop in between Dovrefjell and Rondane national parks.
The bicycle path in between Dombås and Hjerkinn was finished quite recently so it is not a very popular trip, yet. The best stretch is Grimsdalen valley, that many consider the most beautiful valley in Norway.
RONDANE NATIONAL PARK
Rondane national park is the oldest national park in Norway. It is also the very first place that I visited on my first trip to Norway. Believe it or not, this picture is 11 years old. I took in in 2009 during a hike to Storronden, the second highest peak in Rondane (2,138 m).
RAUMABANEN: THE MOST SCENIC RAILWAY IN NORWAY
Have you ever heard of Raumabanen? It is a 115 km long stretch of railway in between the towns Åndalsnes and Dombås. Along the way, it passes one of the most spectacular sceneries Norway has to offer. You should put that one on your bucket list!
Ivar´s family has a cabin in the Raumadalen valley and we love to travel there. Frankly, we would not mind moving to Åndalsnes, which is often nicknamed the mountaineering capital of Norway.
TROLLVEGGEN: THE HIGHEST VERTICAL WALL IN EUROPE
This is the famous Troll Wall seen from the bottom. You have to have a wide lens to fit the 1,100 m tall rock face into your picture. The Troll Wall is the longest vertical mountain wall in Europe.
Carl Boenish, the founder of base jumping, set the world’s record for the highest base jump in 1984 there. Sadly, he died just a day after jumping from a nearby spot. Since 1986 base jumping from Troll Wall has been illegal.
THE TROLL ROAD
Trollstigen (“The Trolls Road”) is one of Norway’s Tourist icons. This spectacular road that was opened in 1936 twists from the sea level through eleven hairpin bends up to 850 meters above sea level.
Trollstigen is one of many Norwegian roads that are closed during the winter period, usually from October to mid-May.
TSUNAMI IN TAFJORD
Did you know that several Norwegian fjords and lakes were hit by tsunamis? In 1934, approximately three million cubic meters of rock fell off a mountain above Tafjord, which is an inner branch of the Storfjord. The following tsunami reached a height of 62 meters near the landslide and about 16 meters at the end of the fjord, where it hit the village Tafjord. Forty people died that night.
FREE CAMPING IN NORWAY
We are big lovers of wild camping. There is something magical about watching the sunset or sunrise from your tent while you are surrounded by mountains and the only thing you can hear is the sound of nearby spring and bird chirping sounds.
Allemannsretten (meaning “everyman’s right”) is a unique law that allows everyone to roam free on uncultivated land in Norway. That means that you can pitch your tent almost anywhere if you follow some simple rules.
VISITING NORWAY IN FALL
The weeks from the beginning of June to the end of August 2018 were the warmest ever recorded in the south of Norway. Consequently, it was also one of the driest summers ever. The drought destroyed the crops in much of southern Norway, and the water reservoirs emptied. Wild berries have dried up before they even ripened enough for picking, the leaves turned brown and dry and made mid-August look like autumn.
Many people ask us what is the best time to visit Norway. It is hard to answer that question. Norway is wonderful at any time of the year. But my favorite season is autumn.
In autumn, you can still go hiking in the mountains and witness how the landscape turns yellow, orange and red. At the same time, if you get lucky, you already have a chance to spot the northern lights dancing in the sky.
I grew up in the Czech Republic, where mushrooms picking is a favorite outdoor activity in the autumn. Coming to Norway in autumn is like entering a mushroom picking paradise! There are more than 1,000 different species of mushrooms in Norway. Be careful though, about 15 of them can be deadly. Only eat mushrooms you are 100% sure of!
Because of the harsh climate in Norway, there is not much fruit that would grow there. But it is a paradise for berries! You can pick blueberries, wild strawberries, lingonberries, raspberries, and cloudberries, yummy!
SPECTACULAR SURROUNDINGS OF THE GEIRANGERFJORD
I bet that you have heard about the Geirangerfjord. It is said that it is the most beautiful fjord in Norway. I have to admit that I do not like the crowds in Geiranger village, but the mountains surrounding the fjord are spectacular!
If you see Skageflå farm for the first time, be it on the images on the internet or from the cruise ship in the fjord, you can´t stop scratching your head about how the hell did the people get there or how did they manage to build the houses there in the first case.
The farm is situated on 250 meters (820 ft) tall cliff above the beautiful Geirangerfjord, which is surrounded by steep mountains rising in rugged strata straight out of the water. The drop off the top of the cliff is so precarious that the farmers had to tie up their children when they were outside playing to stop them from falling off the edge.
One of the most common mistakes people make when they plan their dream holidays to Norway is not accounting for winter closures of some mountain roads. These two pictures show how some of the mountain roads look at the end of May.
Lovatnet is a beautiful turquoise blue lake fed by glacial runoff. It is also a place with a sad and dark history.
In 1905 and 1936 two landslides fell to the lake from the mountain above. The following tsunamis swept away villages on the shores of Lovatnet, killing 64 and 71 people respectively, and resulting in the depopulation of the area.
I have taken this picture of Briksdalsbreen glacier in 2009. Back then I was young and dumb and I did exactly what I am now trying to discourage other people from. I went right under the glacier front. Many other people at the same spot also ignored the warning signs so I felt false safety in numbers.
I suppose you can guess what happened next? There was a loud noise and several pieces of ice in the size of a fridge started to rush down the glacier tongue. Luckily no one got hurt and it taught me a valuable lesson. Always listen to the warning signs!
Check some up to date pictures of Briksdalsbreen on the internet. It is crazy to see how much it retreated in just 10 years!
Kleivafossen is not the biggest nor the longest waterfall in Norway, but it is one of the most frequently visited ones. You see, when you want to hike to Briksdalsbreen glacier you have to cross a bridge right under Kleivafossen.
Jostedalsbreen is the largest glacier in continental Europe. The glacier ice covers a total area of about 500 km2 and has some 30 named arms into the adjacent valleys. One of the best accessible ones is Bøyabreen that you can see from the main road in Fjærland.
Good morning from Stegastein viewpoint! This 30-meter long and 4-meter wide view platform overlooks the beautiful Aurlandfjorden. Not so far from Stegastein is the trailhead to Mt. Presten. If you are up for some moderate hike, you should give it a try. The views are worth it!
Bondhusvatnet is a beautiful lake that you should put on your bucket list. It is just 20 minutes drive from Odda so it makes a perfect rest day walk before or after the hike to Trolltunga!
I hope you will excuse the quality of this picture I took almost 11 years ago. I just had to put it to the selection because I think it is one of the best photos of Norway I have ever taken. Don’t you love the mist above the glacier lake and the reflection in the half-sunken boat?
In Norway, there are many spectacular natural attractions that you can watch from the road. Like the Låtefossen waterfall close to Odda. This picture was taken in autumn, so the waterfall was quite dry. If you want to witness the power of Norwegian waterfalls you should visit in spring when the snow is melting!
Preikestolen is the most popular tourist attraction in Norway. It attracts hundreds, even thousands of people every day during the summer season. I went there one beautiful autumn day with my 69 years old father. I am really glad that he made it to the top without any problems. As a reward, he had Preikestolen all for himself for some time to enjoy the stunning view over Lysefjorden.