Besseggen is Norway’s most popular mountain hike with over 30,000 visitors completing the hike every year. Many hikers choose to take the boat from Gjendesheim to Memurubu, and then do the return trip on foot. The hike normally takes 5 to 7 hours. Due to the high traffic over Besseggen, the Norwegian Trekking Association (DNT) is working on pitching the trail with stones. It is therefore best if you only walk along the trail itself, and not beside it. This will prevent unnecessary erosion in the vegetation and nearby terrain. This hike’s total distance is 17 km. Fun fact: The record for Memurubu-Gjendesheim is 1 hour and 14 minutes, and was set by Reidar Andersen back in the 1960s when the Besseggen Run was held.
Go to www.besseggen.net for more information and places to stay
2. The Midnight Sun
The Midnight Sun is a natural phenomenon in which the sun is above the horizon at midnight. The sun shines all night, and all day long. At Nordkapp (North Cape) the sun stays shining in the sky for over 1,800 hours without setting. For some, it can make it harder to fall asleep at night, but for the people living in northern Norway, more light is very much needed after a long and dark winter. A magical sight, the Midnight Sun can be said to be our summer equivalent to the Northern Lights. And for this too, you have to move upwards in our country to experience it. The further north you go, the longer you can see the Midnight Sun. It is visible at the Arctic Circle from June 12 until July 1. This period extends as one travels further north.
3. Bergen Railway
It is considered among the world’s most beautiful train rides, and even if it starts and ends by the sea, it is also among Europe’s highest. Bergen Railway offers a spectacular journey past towns and farmlands, over high mountains and along fjords, between Norway’s two largest cities. When NRK television sent “Bergensbanen minute by minute” in connection with the 100th anniversary last year, it was a great success and even released on DVD. The construction of the railway cost blood, toil and tears. With its 182 tunnels – the longest is Finse Tunnel (over a mile) – and with over a kilometer height difference this was top of the line engineering that still impresses. Flåmsbana is also worh considering. The two-mile long detour from Bergensbanen annually delights around ½ million passengers from all over the world, and with this trip you get to experience some of the best views in Norway.
Go to www.nsb.no to buy train tickets.
4. Rallarvegen (The Navvies Road)
The Flåmsbana could be an excellent opportunity to bring your bike, and embark on one of Norway’s most popular bike rides; Rallarvegen. This trail was originally used for work, during the building of Bergensbanen (opened 1909). A highlight of your journey might be Myrdalsberget, where the road snakes its way down 21 hairline turns. Once you’ve traversed this part of the road, the next highlight is the roaring Kårdalsfosssen waterfall and the Rallarrosa Stølsysteri, where goat cheese is still locally produced. The trip can be done in one day or several days, depending on your choice of route. The season starts in mid-July and ends by the end of September. Bikes can be rented at Haugastøl and Finse. Photos: Innovation Norway
Read more at www.cyclingnorway.no
5. Excellent Diving Opportunities
Diving in Norway can offer thrilling experiences. There are plenty of different good spots to dive, so this activity can be combined with the rest of your trip to Norway, depending on where you want to go.
For the adventurous: Saltstraumen, located right outside Bodø in Northern Norway is the world’s strongest maelstrom. Every six hours, 400 million cubic meters of water rush through the 150-meter wide and 3-kilometer long sound connecting the Saltenfjord and the Skjerstadfjord. The nutrition rich water feeds a uniquely rich fauna and marine life. Anyone in a boat must be careful because Saltstraumen can be dangerous, with underwater currents even when the surface is calm. There are diving spots here for all levels, but for the best dives you need some experience.
For a more tranquil setting: Travel to Southern Norway (Sørlandet). Go wreck-diving among sunken ships from World War II, the most famous being the freighter MV Seattle that lies just outside the town of Kristiansand. The coastline of Southern Norway has a lively marine life. This area is also idyllic, known for its bright weather, and the locals are famous for being friendly and relaxed.