5 Reasons Why You Need To Explore Norway

Want to explore one of the happiest places on earth?

By: Alexandria Yepsen
November 27, 2015

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No, I’m not talking about Disney World, I am talking about one of the most idyllic countries on earth…Norway. There are many reasons why you should explore Norway, but I want to show you 5 reasons this country stole part of my heart and vowed to never give it back.

Explore the Lofoten Islands | Photo: Ben Ashmole

1. It Actually is One of the Happiest Places on Earth

In 2013, the United Nations released a report that surveyed over 150 countries and Norway took the 2nd place spot. The report factored in freedom, social, health, and life expectancy. Norway takes its visitors and shows each of them amazing hospitality. Whether you are walking down a busy street, or trekking on a remote path, you are going to see first hand why Norway is one of the happiest countries in the world.

2. Allemannsrett

Yes, a big word, but this gives you great freedom. Allemannsrett closely translates to “freedom to roam”. This Nordic law hands you the opportunity to see the country in an entirely new way. In Norway, you are legally allowed to pitch a tent wherever you may please. It could be near a stream with wild salmon, or on the top of a cliff. Either way, you are guaranteed to have the best wake up call Mother Nature can give you.

Hike and Climb Stetind | Photo: Anna Lovehed

Ski Across the Hardangerjokul Glacier | Photo: Lars Christian Larssen

3. An Adventurers Paradise

Trolltunga, Kjeragbolten, and the stunning fjords are just a few of the amazing adventures you can take in Norway. All of the hikes to these iconic locations are 110% worth it. Imagine yourself standing on an extended rock overlooking a picturesque landscape, or on a boulder wedged between two cliffs 1,000 feet above the ground. If hiking isn’t your thing, try a Salmon Safari. Equipped with an inflatable suit, you’ll find yourself floating down the river with salmon in their natural habitat, and when you glance up, sheer cliff walls and the greenery and blue skies will capture your senses in an entirely different way

4. Shred to Your Heart's Content

Having hosted a Winter Olympics and being the birthplace of many certain Olympic sports (ahem, Nordic Skiing), you know you’ll find some of the best mountains to ski and snowboard on in Norway. With over 200 Alpine ski resorts to choose from, you will find something for every level of skier in your family. If snowboarding is more your thing, then I recommend heading to Oslo. Only a half an hour away from the busy city center is Varingskollen and Oslo Winter Park. Here you can board in the same park that hosted the World Snowboarding Championships in 2012. Oslo Winter Park is equipped with 18 slopes and a vertical drop of 1250 feet, as well as two half-pipes of international standard. If you want to test your skills, then I highly recommend you put Norway on the top of your winter to-do list. If you want to simply use skis to get into the backcountry, there are plenty of options for cross-country skiing as well.

Explore the Lofoten Islands | Photo: Ben Ashmole

Hike and Climb Stetind | Photo: Anna Lovehed

5. A Photographers Dream

Norway will bless you with rich mountains, green landscapes, and blue water. All of which you will want to capture on camera, but personally, I think some of the best photo opportunities will happen at night. During the winter months, the sky will bless you with the intricate colors of the Northern Lights. When summer rolls around, stay out to experience the midnight sun. Only in a handful of places around the world will you be able to experience almost 24 hours of daylight. The rich tones the sun will give you the best memories and photographs of a lifetime.

Norway is a country with a rich history and a bright future. As you spend more time there, Norway will open up to you. It will share its unique wonders and deepest secrets with whomever will listen. You will hear the stories in the wind on a mountain top, and see its past etched in the river. I encourage you to take the risk, pack your bags, and get wonderfully lost in this country, because before you know it, this country will steal a piece of your heart too, and it will never give it back.

Ski Across the Hardangerjokul Glacier | Photo: Lars Christian Larssen

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph.