One could argue that all of Norway is a gigantic National Park. This vast country sports 46 National Parks with diverse terrains — from glaciers and mountain peaks to valleys. Even if you don’t have time to visit them all, these seven National Parks should definitely be on your list.
Welcome to Norway’s largest National Park — and Europe’s largest mountain plateau. Hardangervidda spans three counties (Hordaland, Buskerud and Telemark) and eight municipalities, offering endless opportunities for hiking, skiing and fishing. It will take you a while to conquer its 3,422 square kilometres, but thankfully there are quite a few cabins within the park where you can spend the night.
Dovre-Sunndalsfjella National Park is an intact alpine ecosystem where you can observe protected species like the caribou (a type of reindeer) and the musk ox. Located in the mountainous areas of Dovre and Sunndalsfjella, the park also offers impressive vegetation, with some plant varieties going back to the Ice Age.
Located in Nord-Trøndelag, Blåfjella-Skjækerfjella National Park is one of the largest in the country. It is ideal for hiking, offering hiking trails that are suitable for families with children to demanding hikes like the Midtiklumpen mountain at 1,333 metres above sea level. The park is also known for its rich bird life — and if you are lucky you may also encounter reindeer, wolverines and lynxes.
Want to get a glance of how Ice Age must have looked like? Jostedalsbreen National Park is home to the largest glacier in all of mainland Europe. As a point of reference, if you were to melt the ice of the Jostedalsbreen glacier, Norway’s water needs would be covered for 100 years. Within the National Park you can also visit areas with rich vegetation, hike mountain tops and do kayaking.
Who said Norway’s National Parks can only be found in the north? Raet National Park may be a new addition (created in 2016), but it contains traces of the Ice Age. An enormous glacier melted in the area of Arendal, Grimstad and Tvedestrand in Southern Norway, revealing a unique coastal landscape dotted with islets and skerries. In this National Park you can enjoy swimming and boat trips, as well as bird watching.
Folgefonna is Norway’s third largest glacier. The surrounding area, beginning in the Hardangerfjord and spanning four municipalities, was established as a National Park in 2005 but has been attracting tourists since 1833. In the stunningly diverse environment of Folgefonna National Park, you can go glacier hiking, visit impressive waterfalls like the Furebergfossen and observe rare golden eagles and white-backed woodpeckers.
This park is one of the Sognefjord area’s crown jewels — along with the Jostedalsbreen National Park. Jotunheimen National Park also offers glaciers as well as more than 200 mountain peaks for your climbing and hiking needs. Store Skagastølstind peak is one of the most famous, rising at 2,405 meters above sea level.