This time last year, we were exploring the spectacular wonders of beautiful Norway (thanks for the reminder, Facebook!). From raging waterfalls to breathtaking glaciers, every day was a new discovery that fascinated us and amazed all our senses. It was a trip we won’t soon forget. We already can’t wait to return and catch all the sights we missed on the first time around, and with these photos, you’ll be anxious to check it out as well!
#1: Stellar views right from the road
In Norway, you don’t even have to leave the road to find amazing views. In fact, we found it remarkably difficult to keep driving through areas such as these; we just wanted to keep stopping every few minutes! There’s seldom a bad view in this Scandinavian country, so you can hardly go wrong with any direction you drive.
Norway is known for its fjords. In fact, it’s because of these fjords that the length of the coastline is so difficult to measure. Without fjords, Norway boasts a 2650 km coastline. Adding in the fjords, and depending on how one measures, this number increases dramatically to over 25,000 km, and as much as 83,281 km! Needless to say, it’s quite easy to find a shoreline.
#3: Glaciers – Kjenndalen
And these fjords are created by countless glaciers. We hiked to a couple, and we espied many more. This one – Kjenndalen – was absolutely incredible. The wind was vicious, which only added to the experience; nature showed her true power. You can read the full story here.
#4: More glaciers – Nigardsbreen
But it was the Nigardsbreen glacier that really amazed us. With this one, we were able to really get up close to the remarkably blue ice. We later learned that glacier tours are an option here, which allow visitors to actually hike on the ice and visit caves within the glacier. We’d love to do this on our next visit!
Of course, all this ice slowly melts into the landscape in the form of massive waterfalls. This waterfall – Stigfossen – serves as a backdrop to the famous windy (“wine-dy,” not “win-dy”) road of Norway at the renowned Trollstigen lookout point. After marveling at the vista, we were quickly distracted by the trails that branched off from the main trail. So many adventures to be had!
#6: Lots of “wine-dy” roads!
Viewpoints abound in this hilly country – like this one, Gaularfjellet. And often, you’ll be looking back or looking forward on a road zig-zagging up the steep hillside from or to the next fjord.
#7: Inviting trails
At many of these viewpoints, clear trails branch away into the distance, inviting visitors to explore the vast landscapes more intimately. I’ll admit, we were very tempted on a number of occasions, and I even ventured off a few times despite my best efforts. However, we were with others and had to keep moving. We would love to return, take it a bit slower, and really see the countryside by foot.
#8: Unexpected adventures
Speaking of getting whisked away, we set out to find a local glacier near Krossbu. We decided to wait on lunch until we got back (big mistake), as it was supposed to be a quick half hour out and back. 3.5 hours later, we finally returned, starved, parched, and tired, though we could proudly declare we had located the elusive glacier! You can read that full story here.
#9: Quaint valleys
Photos like these make me want to move to Norway and settle down in a cute little cottage. This was the view from Brekkefossen, a beautiful waterfall to which we hiked. Sure, the waterfall was wonderful to see, but this view in the opposite direction was magnificent.
#10: Roadside surprises
We didn’t expect to see this image on our way to Nigardsbreen. This lake, Eidsvatnet, served as a perfect mirror to both the distant waterfall and the upcoming town of Skjolden. It was yet another wonderful surprise that pulled us off the road for photos.
#11: Norwegian sunsets
Speaking of being drawn off the road, we had a few instances where we needed to stop somewhere for a meal (we brought most of our food with us). What better place than here?? We perfectly timed it (unintentionally) with sunset, something we actually didn’t see too frequently at such a high latitude. The view was superb; we couldn’t have asked for a better backdrop to our meal.
#12 & #13: Mountain passes
Driving throughout Norway, we passed many fjords, took many ferries, and we climbed steep elevations to traverse mountain passes. It was here that we saw some of the most spectacular views. We didn’t see much snow at lower elevations, and the white stuff just makes everything prettier.
#14: Ice tunnels
Speaking of cold white stuff, the glacial melt didn’t stop with the higher elevations. Instead, it was accompanied by intricate ice tunnels, drilled through by the running water.
More prevalent in cities, but also noticeable in the countryside, was the remarkable Norwegian architecture. We came across unique platforms at the various viewpoints, explored the sloped roof of the opera house in Oslo, and photographed stave churches such as this one in Lom. Check out these other cool architectural finds here!
Campsites in Norway are surprisingly luxurious – with grassy lawns for your tent, showers, full communal kitchens, and even wifi! We stayed at a different one each night we were there, and we certainly had our favorites. Who wouldn’t want to wake up to this outside their tent door?
#17 & #18: Goats!
We didn’t realize we love goats so much before we visited Norway. These funny little guys are everywhere, and those little fuzzy faces are so adorable.. especially when they pose like this for the camera! We were delighted every time we came across another herd – during a hike, along the roadside, at our campsite! They just make us smile.
Are you as anxious now to go to Norway as we are?
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