It’s summertime in Norway right now, which means it’s also peak season for tourists. But, whenever someone asks me if it’s worthwhile to visit Norway during the high season, I always say, “Of course it is!”
Norway is a large nation, and just a handful of the most popular spots in Norway become overcrowded during the summer. The remainder of the land is as enchanted as ever.
So I thought I’d share some of my favourite spots to visit in Norway if you’re looking for something a little different than Pulpit Rock and Bergen.
I wouldn’t say all of these locations are completely hidden treasures – in fact, a couple are very popular – but they’re also not overhyped, and they’re a wonderful place to start if you’re unsure what to visit in Norway.
When I got down to create this list of Norway places to visit, I just thought of all of the locations in Norway that had filled my heart with such much love that it seemed like it might explode.
And if you’re searching for more ways to get off the beaten road in Norway, I’ve compiled a massive list of unique things to do in Norway, which I’m always updating to as local Norwegians share more Norway recommendations with me.
And if you want more in-depth Norway information, I’ve compiled all of my greatest suggestions for arranging an outstanding journey across both Southern and Northern Norway into two 95-page booklets that cover all you’ll need to know to organise an unforgettable Norway vacation. My Norway travel guides are available for purchase here.
Many of these locations need a vehicle rental, as excursions frequently do not travel there. I normally use Sixt since they are the cheapest and most dependable, but you can also compare prices at a variety of other firms here.
This was one of the spots that stood out the most to me during my recent two-week journey to Northern Norway.
The Lyngen Alps are breathtakingly gorgeous, and it was wonderfully calm and tranquil there – on my treks around Lyngen, I scarcely saw anybody else.
Lyngen is a wonderful place to start if you’re seeking for unusual spots to visit in Norway.
Furthermore, the Lyngen Alps are less than two hours from Troms, making them fairly accessible for such a distant location. More information on visiting Lyngen (and lodging in a glass igloo!) may be found here.
na-Sira is one of the most gorgeous spots I’ve been in Norway (if not the most beautiful), and it’s not well-known. At reality, the only reason I went was because my previous boss promised to let me stay in his summer cottage for a couple of nights.
And it quickly became one of my favourite spots in Norway. More about my stay in na-Sira can be found here, but just know that if you’re searching for a fantasy hamlet in Norway, this is it. Oh, and don’t forget to trek up Brufjell while you’re there!
While we got lucky with your stay, there are many of other interesting locations in and near na-Sira, such as the vstefjells farm.
A 27-kilometer road circle may not seem like much, but when I think of locations in Norway that have taken my breath away, Gamle Styrnefjellsvegen is towards the top of the list.
The views from here are breathtaking. And, because it’s a diversion off the main road, it’s very peaceful — at least, I didn’t see anybody else while I was there.
Dalen Gaard campground is a lovely site if you wish to stay longer.
More information regarding driving down Gamle Strynefjellsvegen may be found here.
If you want to see something truly unusual in Norway, go visit Marmorslottet, sometimes known as “the Marble Castle.” I’ve never seen anything like it!
It’s not far from Mo I Rana, which is on the railway route (and also right by the Arctic Circle, if you want to see the monument there).
More information about arranging a vacation to Marmorslottet may be found here.
I remember feeling a little unhappy when I first went to Norway and lived in Trondheim because I was in a nation with some of the most stunning beauty in the world, but I was stuck (lol “stuck”) in a city.
So, after a month of moaning, my friends drove me to their cabin in Folldal, stopping at Hjerkinn for the viewpoint at Snhetta, from where you can see the lovely surroundings of Dovrefjell–Sunndalsfjella National Park.
The view here is particularly distinctive, since it is one of the driest areas in Norway, and if you’re lucky, you could even see muskoxen!
I may be biassed because I live on the outskirts of Hardangervidda, but there is no better place in Norway to go on a multi-day hiking trip.
And I mean, if you ask me what to visit in Norway, my first response is, of course, the mountains!
Hardangervidda is Europe’s largest alpine plateau, home to one of the most populous herds of wild reindeer. The vistas are breathtaking, and the trekking isn’t too strenuous because it’s on a plateau.
You may either drive up Hardangervidda or take the ferry to Mogen and begin your walk there. You may learn more about the ferry entering Hardangervidda by clicking here.
The extreme north of Norway is spectacular, and actually seems like the edge of the earth – perhaps because it is literally at the top of Europe.
This summer, I made a one-week road journey up to the North Cape under the midnight sun, and it was one of my favourite road excursions in Norway.
It would be much more spectacular in the winter beneath the Northern Lights.
Alta is the most northern area I’ve been as an adult, and I had a great time there, especially because I got to play with husky pups!
You can do so many polar things up here, whether you come in the summer for the midnight sun and pups or in the winter for the Northern Lights and sleigh rides.
You can read about my June trip to Alta here.
One of my Norwegian friends once told me that the friendliest people in Norway live on the Helgeland shore (Helgelandskysten), and I believe she is correct!
However, you should not just visit for the pleasant inhabitants, but also for the breathtaking scenery.
It’s ideal for a summer road trip (particularly if you want to avoid the crowds! ), or you could even cycle down the route. More information on driving down the Helgeland coast may be found here.
But it’s also beautiful in the winter! My winter excursion to the Helgeland shore may be found here.
I’m still surprised I hadn’t heard more about Mosjen before going — it’s truly one of the most beautiful villages in Northern Norway.
If you’re planning a vacation along the Helgeland coast, make sure to take a detour interior to spend a night or two in Mosjen.
More information on Mosjen, including activities to do and places to stay, may be found here.
I debated include Grimstad since I’m not sure it appeals as much to foreign tourists as it does to Norwegians, but it’s one of my favourite locations in Norway, so I couldn’t leave it out.
Grimstad, in the deep south of Norway, is the ideal adorable summer coastal town, where you can purchase fresh shrimp and fish cakes and take boat excursions to the many little islands dotting the shore. Also, don’t miss out on the charming Cafe Ibsen in downtown.
Norwegians adore this location in the summer, but I think visitors may find it a little monotonous due to the lack of fjords and mountains. However, it is unquestionably an essential component of Norwegian summer culture!
The Ibsen Guesthouse looks genuinely lovely (I really want to stay here the next time I visit Grimstad), or if you’re on a tighter budget, the Holsthuset Losji would be ideal.
I often recommend Rjukan to those who are seeking for a day trip from Oslo or an interesting spot to stop on their journey from Oslo to Bergen.
It’s a UNESCO World Heritage site with a significant World War II history, and it’s also home to Gaustatoppen, one of Norway’s most beautiful mountains.
Rjukan is featured in one of my one-week Norway itineraries, and you can read my comprehensive Rjukan travel guide here.
Alternatively, simply go hiking in any of Norway’s national parks. But I selected Jotunheimen since it boasts Norway’s two highest peaks and approximately 250 mountains that reach almost 2000 metres in elevation.
Because most mountains in Norway aren’t so high, hiking in Jotunheimen is a truly unique experience in Norway.
If you’ve read any of my Norway pieces, you’ve probably guessed this one.
Lesund is one of my favourite places in Norway, and it’s the ideal starting point for exploring some of the country’s most beautiful scenery. Geirangerfjord and Trollstigen are both nearby, as are numerous wonderful hiking trails.
Furthermore, the city is one of the most attractive in Norway. My whole guide to visiting Lesund and the neighbouring locations can be found here.
Okay, Lofoten isn’t exactly off the beaten path in Norway. But I had to add it on my list since Lofoten is one of the places in Norway that has emotionally touched me the most!
Plus, if you take the time to investigate, I believe you will have a very unique experience here. You may also travel to Vesterlen to view some lesser-known islands!
Read my Lofoten road trip planning guide here, or my Lofoten day trip planning guide here, or my Lofoten winter trip planning guide here.
Vard is Norway’s oddest town, located at the highest top of the country.
Driving into Vard is always a surprise, since even after multiple visits, I never expect to see such a dynamic, bustling community in the far north of Norway.
More about Vard may be found in my Northern Norway itinerary.
Arctic Norway has some pleasantly tropical-looking beaches, and I believe the most gorgeous beaches of them are on Sommary, a short drive outside of Troms.
Even on a foggy day, the sea around Sommary has such a stunning blue hue that you may be tempted to swim! More information on Sommary may be found here.
On Sommary, I slept at the Sommary Arctic Hotel, which is also dog friendly (I brought Alfie!). We slept in one of the ordinary dog-friendly rooms, but the three-bedroom mansions directly on the river seem fantastic as well.
The hotel features a sauna with a boardwalk directly into the sea where you can take chilly dives, as well as a jacuzzi for hire. The restaurant is also great, with stunning views of the lake.