The most frequently asked question on my Norway trip was: "What do you do here?" I gathered that question was about the extreme temperatures and just how do Norwegians entertain themselves during long, gloomy winters.
The answer? They go outside. When in Norway, do as the Norwegians do. Hiking, fishing, camping, skiing, and BASE-jumping are popular here. Outdoor life is alive and well in Norway.
Norway’s steep mountains have fantastic views, which make them popular with hikers. Pulpit Rock, which is close to Stavanger by Lysefjord in Ryfylket, is a popular hike that’s less than four miles and takes about four hours. Another popular and more challenging hike is at Trolltunga Rock (Troll’s Tongue), which starts in Skjeggedal. It takes about 12 hours to cover the roughly 7.5-mile trail.
It’s no surprise that fishing is popular in this water-ringed country. Saltwater and freshwater fishing are equally popular. Mackerel, cod, and trout are some of the favored catches.
Pictured: Captain Johannes fishing during a previous Norwegian Fjords voyage.
There are about 800 campsites in Norway. You can either pitch a tent or hook up a trailer. Norwegians consider camping as an opportunity to commune with nature and escape from the pressures of the modern world.
In Norway, skiing is as much about the sport as it is the traditions surrounding it, such as what snacks to pack on a cross-country jaunt. Mountain skiing is popular, too. Some glacier-based ski resorts are open during summer.
This is the most extreme sport of them all. It is parachuting or wingsuit flying from a mountaintop, cliff’s edge, or fixed structure (like a radio tower). BASE stands for Building, Antenna, Span, and Earth. They refer to the categories from which participants can jump. Kjerag Mountain in Lysefjorden is a popular site. The jump height is 3,228 feet at its highest. The World BASE Race is held at Innfjorden every summer. The jump height is listed as unknown!
Here are the top five highest mountain peaks in Norway. Check them out for some hiking, fishing, camping, skiing, or BASE-jumping.
- Galdhøpiggen at 8,100 feet
- Glittertind at 8,087 feet
- Store Skagastølstinden at 7,890 feet
- Store Styggedalstinden at 7,831 feet
- Skarstind at 7,798 feet
In addition to the outdoor activities listed above, there is the Tromsø International Film Festival, which is scheduled for Jan. 16-17, 2017. You’d think with Tromsø being located 217 miles north of the Arctic Circle, the festival would be about being inside to stay warm. Some films, however, are shown al fresco under the dark polar sky. The festival started in 1991 and continues to grow in popularity. During summer, Tromsø hosts the Mountain Challenge, which features four different mountain races (as in “up the mountain”) over one weekend.
Whether you are in Norway or not, I hope this article inspires you to explore your own adventure. Which sport would you like to tackle first?