Norway is a world-class hiking destination, attracting both professional and leisure walkers from all over the world.
From multi-day mountain hikes to gentle waterside walks, Norway offers it all when it comes to a walking holiday. Marked trails crisscross the countryside and cabins are available for shelter and overnight stays thanks to the work (much of it done by volunteers) of DNT, the Norwegian Trekking Association.
How DNT works
Those wishing to join DNT pay an annual fee (in 2017 this was set at NOK 660) and receive the following benefits:
- Discounted rates at more than 550 DNT cabins
- Borrow a key to the self-service cabins and no-service cabins
- Discounts at some private cabins and lodges
- Discounts on outdoor gear at selected stores in Norway
- …and a whole lot more
The majority of their cabins are not staffed and therefore you must borrow a key to gain access. You can pick up and return cabin keys by leaving a deposit of 100kr at staffed lodges and DNT offices, which are located in most big towns and cities, or partner offices such as the tourist information centres in many rural areas. You may keep the key as long as you remain a member.
Top hiking destinations
Norway has established 33 national parks on the mainland and seven on Svalbard in order to protect the country’s outstanding natural environment. Eight of the National Parks are located in the fjord region. Some of the biggest and best include:
Jostedalsbreen National Park. Known primarily for the Jostedalsbreen glacier, the largest in mainland Europe. The glacier covers 487 square km of the total 1,310 square km of the park.
Hardangervidda National Park. The largest National Park in Norway, Hardangervidda is a vast wilderness packed with hiking opportunities for experts and the curious. Northern Europe’s largest mountain plateau has a wide network of trails for summer hikes and winter skiing, and is close to the Hardangerfjord.
Folgefonna National Park. The Folgefonna glacier is Norway’s third largest glacier and take centre stage in this National Park known for its outstanding beauty and scenic landscapes. Beyond the glacier, you’ll find fjords, mountains, rivers and lakes.
Lofoten. Northern Norway at its most dramatic, the Lofoten archipelago tops the bucket list for many travellers, and with good reason. Dramatic scenery, stunning secluded beaches, and some of the country’s most challenging hikes combine to offer the perfect outdoors vacation.
Easy access to countryside
But you don’t need to head to remote mountains to enjoy a healthy walk. Most Norwegian cities are within easy reach of forests and lakes. Oslo has Nordmarka, Trondheim has Bymarka, and Bergen is surrounded by seven mountains. Wherever you visit in Norway, there will be walking opportunities close by.
Before you embark on a hiking trip to Norway, here’s a quick checklist of important things to consider:
- Guidebook: The Moon Norway guidebook is the most up-to-date on the market
- Accommodation: Book your hotel in advance and save money
- Travel Insurance: Don’t run the risk of travelling to Norway without adequate cover
- VPN: Secure your laptop and smartphone’s internet connection while you travel
- Tours & activities: Save money by pre-booking tours & activities