Berry Picking in the Norwegian Forests

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Wild berries in Norway

The supermarket is just one option for getting berries in Norway.

Summer is sadly approaching its end, but of course I still have my fingers crossed for a heatwave in September. The days are undeniably getting shorter and the crowds are flocking back to the city once again.

As I am discovering, every season in Norway has its charm and this in-between summer and autumn period is not lacking either, for there is wonderment to be found.

In people’s gardens, in the woods and fields around me – there is what I can only describe as a berry explosion!

Everywhere I look berries are sprouting from trees and bushes and even cracks in the pavement. All shades of red, purple and black are comandeering the green foilage and weighing the boughs of brambles, bushes and trees with loveliness.

A photo of Norwegian wild berries

This explosion is music to my berry loving ears. I have a myriad of joyous moments that flicker through my mind when I think of berries. I remember strawberry picking with my family in England as a child – with red stained faces and hands.

We ended up eating more than we took away with us, as you do! I remember spotting blackberry brambles when playing at the cricket pitch in Hinckley and stopping to have a quick handful of berries in between our running around.

Also how could I forget those hours in school spent analysing Blackberry-Picking by Seamus Heaney. We revelled in the imagery and emotion of the poetry and missed the taste of those berries that were thousands of miles away from the heat of Cyprus.

Read more: Norwegian cloudberries

Now I find myself in the heartland of berries. Berry heaven! Who doesn't love a good berry, and even more so when you come upon them in the wild.

A few weeks ago on an afternoon stroll we came across a cluster of raspberry brambles. Tiny wild and sweet raspberries in abundance, so we spent the better part of an hour picking away and left with almost a kilo, if not more. Pure joy!

Not much fruit grows naturally in Norway becuase of the long winters, but berries, however, thrive. Blåbær or in English bilberries (i.e. arctic blueberries – like blueberries but smaller) are padding out the forest trails as we speak.

My neighbour’s garden is full of raspberries and just a few sprigs have migrated to our side of the fence with enough berries for my porridge… thank you neighbour! The teeny tiny wild strawberries markajordbær are scrumptious too.


Better than a normal strawberry in my opinion, and a personal favourite. I have not spotted any blackberries yet but I am keeping my eyes peeled.

And these are just the berries I know and can identify. There are of course more: cranberries, redcurrants, blackcurrants, morello cherries to name a few are springing up all throughout August and September.

I am honing my berry skills at the moment – learning to spot the treasure from afar, attempting to identify my own secret spot, I am even debating buying my very own bærplukker (berry picker) – then there is no stopping me! I see a future of pancakes and jams and smoothies galore.

So my advice to all you berry lovers out there is get out for a walk, look high and low and head out armed with tubs and pots for that bounty!

Photo credits: regan76 & Eleni Simeou

About Eleni Simeou

Eleni Simeou moved to Norway from London in 2014. She has worked in non-profit organisations for most of her career and is now breaking in to Norwegian work life. She is British by birth, Cypriot by culture, has lived in the USA and is now giving Scandinavia a try. She has something to say about most topics but loves a bit of global affairs, outdoorsy living (running plus), yoga and a bit of music and the arts thrown in for good measure.

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7 thoughts on “Berry Picking in the Norwegian Forests”

  1. its such a lovely country as my dad is norwegian and from narvik,and myself british i had such a wonderful time when out and about i saw an abundance of fruit in a lot of areas a few years ago,i can only imagine what an abundance there is now
    hoe you enjoy the freeness of fruit…knowing you can get it for free……….

  2. If the is a place in Europe with amazing abundance of fruits all year long is Greece. I have lived in Scandinavia before many years and my only lack was on fruits. Here in Greece you can find in oranges , apples, avocado , blackberries, figs , grapes, gooshberries , cherries, srawberrytree, bananas, apricots, two kinds of treeberries , clementines, passionfruit, peaches and a numerous others than i don’t know the English name , and all of them sweeter than sugar something than it doesn’t happen for the berries of Norway that are very sour. Here in Greece a stroll nearby your house is enough to fill your belly with figs and grapes this month of August and later in September the whole neighborhood is full of sweet pomegranates , many times i dont even eat lunch but only wild or semi wild fruits, not to mention the amazing vegetables you can grow by your own all the year …….

    • Please why are you talking so negative about berries in Norway?
      Not the problem of the norwegian nature that you have the tase of a dead horse!

      Strawberries, raspberries for example are not sour. But it seems that you think they are sour.
      And yes there are sour berries too in Norway, but that is better then ONLY sweet berries!
      A lot of people like sour berries.

  3. I’m excited to visit Oslo in August and would love to pick my own berries! Do you know any farms that allow visitors to pick their own fruit? 🙂

    • Hi Natalie – the amazing thing with Oslo is that you just need to go for a walk in the forest to pick berries. These are wild berries that grow all around. In august you will be too late for raspberries and wild strawberries but walk around the trails at Sognsvann or Holmenkollen (both of these areas are stops on the metro) and you will come across wild blueberries around that time of year. Bring good walking shoes and a bucket!


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