Pack your camera, some warm clothes, and plenty of Norwegian coffee, as we give you the lowdown on exactly where to get those pictures you’ll cherish for a lifetime.
One of the world’s most photogenic countries, Norway doesn’t need theme parks or vast shopping malls to pull in the crowds. The mountains, fjords and natural light have been attracting travellers for centuries. These days Norway is a hot destination for photographers, with both professionals and keen Instagrammers filling up social media with #breathtaking #photos #from #norway. Here’s our guide to the 10 best locations:
The 11 hairpin bends of the Trollstigen mountain pass is one of Norway’s most popular road trips, thanks in part to its proximity to the Geirangerfjord, the Atlantic Road, Ålesund and other top sights. There are so many places to get a great photo, but the best is the very last platform along the purpose-built trail behind the modern visitor centre.
The near-vertical granite mountains of Lofoten provide a stunning backdrop to almost every spot on this Arctic archipelago. For the most famous shot head to Reine at the western end of the E10 road that snakes through the islands. This shot is taken from a lay-by along the entrance road to the village (pictured), while even more impressive views are just a short hike away.
These specks of rock seem to float in the ocean and are home to a thriving community and several art galleries. For the best view of Henningsvær village, take the 2 hour hike to this point at the top of Festvågtind, the mountain that towers over the islands. It’s not as steep as it looks!
There are few better views of a Norwegian fjord than the one from the top of Preikestolen, known as Pulpit Rock in English. The clifftop is accessible via a five-mile roundtrip hike and is a popular day trip from Stavanger. The walk is fairly easy (for Norway) although some of the steeper parts can be slippy if there has been recent rain. Come before it cracks!
Bergen from above
While most of the photo opportunities on this list are fairly remote, Bergen’s Fløibanen funicular railway is at the very heart of Norway’s second biggest city. The short journey brings you up to Mount Fløyen, from where you can enjoy the view of Bergen or explore the forests on miles of hiking trails. The most popular hike takes walkers over the mountain ridge to Mount Ulriken, where a cable car returns you to the city.
Sold as the Geiranger Skywalk by the enterprising local tourist office, the Dalsnibba viewpoint is a dizzying 1,500 metres above sea level, providing an outstanding view down to the Geirangerfjord. As long as there are no clouds, of course! Despite being less than an hour’s drive from the fjord, snow is a common sight up at Dalsnibba, even at the height of summer. For more about Dalsnibba and other viewpoints around Geiranger, check out our Geirangerfjord Travel Guide.
The Northern Lights
The entire northern part of Norway is your playground on a hunt for nature’s wonder, the aurora borealis. The best place to be changes with the weather. You’ll need clear skies and as little light pollution as possible, so head inland from the cloudy coast to increase your chances. It’s difficult to capture the lights properly without professional equipment (and a tripod is essential) but if you know your way around a camera, this can be a trip of a lifetime.
Staring out across the open ocean from a clifftop in remote northern Norway may not sound like your idea of fun, but that doesn’t stop thousands of people from doing just that every day during the summer. The North Cape, or Nordkapp in Norwegian, is a common cruise ship attraction and an end point for a road trip. The iconic globe artwork is a popular spot for selfies.
The Kjerag Boulder, Lysefjord
This glacial deposit is wedged into a mountain crevasse and while not as unstable as it looks, there is a drop of almost 1km directly below. The hike there involves three steep climbs and is not for the inexperienced. For the photo opportunity, you may be waiting a while in high season as many people make this trip as part of a wider tour of the Lysefjord.
I’m not sure what the most famous photo opportunity is in Norway, but Trolltunga is in with a good shout. The rock formation that literally means the Troll’s Tongue in Norwegian can only be reached by hiking through the stunning mountains between the Folgefonna glacier and Hardangervidda National Park. This demanding all-day hike is not for the inexperienced, but the reward is outstanding.