From impressive waterfalls and stunning fjords to endless views and high mountain peaks, Norway has it all. The country not only has a lot to offer, but also has a gigantic surface area. So where should you start or which things should you visit? We've listed the most beautiful places and views from central Norway and the west fjords for you.
1. Stegastein viewpoint
Stegastein viewpoint is a viewing platform with panoramic view 650 metres above Aurlandsfjord. It is part of the National Tourist Road, from Aurland to Lærdal, also known as “The snow road”.
The wooden platform juts 30 meters from the mountainside and it is one of the most photographed viewpoints in the region. And we can easily see why. The panoramic view over the fjord and the surrounding mountains is just breathtaking.
You can reach the viewpoint by car. In summer you can drive to Stegastein from both Flåm and Aurland. During winter the road is closed just above Stegastein, so you can only drive up from Flåm.
Bondusvatnet glacier lake is one of the most popular hikes in the Hardanger region. The hike is short, not demanding and you can do it all year round. The colors of the lake, the unique landscape and the glacier in the background make Bondhusdalen one of the most beautiful valleys in Norway.
The hike is an out & back trail of in total 4,5km over a gravel road. It will take you about 45 minutes to reach the lake, so the total hike is around 1,5hrs. If you want to go all the way to the glacier, you’ll have to walk 30 minutes to reach the glacier.
Preikestolen or Pulpit rock is a cliff that rises 604 meters above the Lysefjord. It is one of the most iconic natural landmarks in Norway and is over 10.000 years old. Also the hike to this amazing scenery is breathtaking and will reward you with the most incredible views over the Lysefjord. The hike to Preikestolen is around 4km, so the total hike is 8km. You will have to ascend in total 500 meters to reach the top.
Find out more about the hike to Preikestolen in our blogpost Hike to Preikestolen – Everything you need to know.
Vøringsfossen is one of the highest waterfalls in Europe. It is 182 meters high in total, with a free fall of 145 meters. What makes this waterfall so beautiful is that it is located in a steep, fairytale-like gorge: the Måbødalen valley. It is located next to the famous Hardanger tourist road RV7 and there are multiple viewing options.
Find our more about Vøringsfossen and other beautiful waterfalls in our blogpost 6 Beautiful Waterfalls to visit in Norway.
5. Rampestreken (Romsdalseggen)
Rampestreken viewpoint provides a fantastic view over the valley of Andalsnes in Norway. You can either hike up to this viewpoint or you can make it yourself easier and the gondola.
You can take the Romsdalseggen hike in the direction of Andalsnes and pass by this viewpoint on your way down. Romsdalseggen is said to be the most beautiful walk in Norway.
The Geirangerfjord is the most famous and one of the most beautiful fjords in Norway. It is a 15 kilometer long arm of the Storfjord.
The fjord has several waterfalls and is one of Norway’s most visited tourist attractions. Since 2005 the fjord is listed as UNESCO World Heritage.
There is so much to see and to do in this region:
– Rib boat tours
– Different hiking trails
– Geiranger Sky walk
– Explore many waterfalls in the region, such as the Storsæter waterfall and the Seven Sister waterfall (More about these waterfalls in our blogpost 6 Beautiful Waterfalls to visit in Norway)
– … and so on.
On top of that Geiranger has the Sustainable Destination certificate, which means this destinations systematically try to counteract the negative impact of tourism.
7. Jotunheimen National Park
Jotunheimen National Park is a national park in Norway. It is also called the land of the giants as you will find over 250 mountains of almost 2000 meters high in this park. It is one of the most popular areas of the country for mountain climbing, hiking and other outdoor activities and it is known to have some of the best hikes in Norway.
The Besseggen hike is the most beautiful hike in Jotunheimen. It is also one the most famous hikes and mountain ridges in Norway. During the hike you get a spectacular view with Gjende and Bessvatnet separared with just this small ridge that you will walk on.
Unfortunately we weren’t able to go on this hike because we visited Norway off season, when the boat for this hike isn’t sailing yet. And there would have been too much snow to safely finish this hike. But we are sure this hike is worth it. Definitely after seeing the pictures of our friends @Soetcase.be
The Knutshøe is a mountain in Jotunheimen Park on the other side of the Gjende lake, where you find the Besseggen hike. It is a 1517 metre-high-peak from where you have marvelous views over the surrounding peaks and lakes. The Knutshøe is often referred to as the little brother of the Besseggen hike.
Find out more about the Knutshøe hike in our blogpost The Knutshøe Hike – Hiking in the Jotunheimen Park.
With a free fall of 275 meters Vettisfossen is Norway’s largest protected/unregulated waterfall and we have to admit that the waterfall is quit powerful. It is located in a protected area in Utladal, near Øvre Årda.
When hiking to the Vettisfossen waterfall, you will not only be rewarded with this powerful beauty, but you can also enjoy many other beautiful waterfalls along the way: Hjellefossen, Avdalsfossen and many other little waterfalls spread throughout the valley.
Read everything about the hike to Vettisfossen in our blogpost Hike to Vettisfossen – A Complete Guide.
Trolltunga (literally translated as troll tongue) is without a doubt one of the most scenic and most famous rock formations in Norway. It is a spectacular cliff hovering 700 meters above Ringedalsvatnet lake.
To reach this cliff you will have to take a long and demanding hike, but you will be rewarded with some breathtaking views.
Unfortunately we weren’t able to go on this hike and enjoy this magnificent view, because we visited Norway off season. There was still too much snow, so it was not safe to do the hike without a guide. But again, by the pictures of our friend @Soetcase, we are sure it is definitely worth it.
Jostedalsbreen is the largest glacier in mainland Europe. It covers almost half of the Jostedalsbreen National Park.
The Jostedalsbreen has several side arms, such as the Nigardsbreen and Tunsbergdalsbreen, the Briksdalsbreen, the Bøyabreen, the Kjenndalsbreen and Austerdalsbreen.
Boyabreen is the most easily accessible one. You will have a beautiful view on the glacial side arm from the parking lot.
Another easy accessible side arm is the Nigardsbreen and you can get closer to the glacier than at Boyabreen. The hike to Nigardsbreen is an out & back trail of in total around 4 km. After about one hour you will reach the glacier, so it’ll take you 2 hours to get back to the starting point. The walk has no steep ascents but the path is very uneven and slippery because there are big rocks you’ll have to cross. In the summer you can skip a part of the walk by taking a boat.