23 Epic Adventures in Norway to Get Your Heart Racing!

Norway is an incredible destination for anyone looking for a true adventure, with exciting and breathtaking adventures all over the place. The incredible fjords, mountains and remote wilderness makes Norway a truly epic place to visit if you’re after an outdoor adventure, and there’s something for everyone here!

We’re going to be looking closer at 23 different epic adventures in Norway in this article, giving you plenty of options for exciting things to try when you’re visiting Norway.

So get ready to get your heart racing, and hopefully find some inspiration for your next Norway adventure!

Trollveggen (Troll's Wall) is one of the mountain in the Troll Peaks region in Romsdalen. Photo by Simo Räsänen / CC BY-SA 3.0.
Photo by Simo Räsänen / CC BY-SA 3.0.

1) Rock climbing

Norway is filled to the brim with amazing mountains covering most of the country. No matter where you are in Norway, there are mountains nearby, and with mountains comes the possibility for some epic adventures.

The first adventure on the list is rock climbing. We’re not just talking about hiking, but real rock climbing with climbing gear. There’s few things as amazing as reaching the top of a mountain when rock climbing, and most people who are somewhat fit can try.

Most regions in Norway have places where you can go on guided rock climbing expeditions, but the most popular rock climbing mountain is Norway’s national mountain Stetinden. It’s only reachable by climbing, and the view from the top is absolutely breathtaking!

Stetinden. Photo by Simo Räsänen / CC BY-SA 3.0.

If you’re not familiar with rock climbing, consider doing a Via Ferrata. These are almost just like regular rock climbs, but safety railings make the whole experience that much safer. You will always be connected to a safety point, so it’s virtually risk-free, giving you the feeling of rock climbing without you needing the experience to safely do so.

The great thing about Via Ferrata is that anyone can do it, and there are beginner route’s that someone with zero rock climbing experience can do with a guide.

2) Multi-day hikes in remote wilderness

One of Norway’s most well-known pros is the vast wilderness and the freedom to roam principle that allows you to freely use the nature, no matter who owns it.

This allows for hikers and adventurers to go on long multi-day hikes where you can put up your tent anywhere! Feel free to follow one of many multi-day hiking trails, or just get off the path and follow your desire.

There are many different areas in Norway that allows for uninterrupted multi-day hikes, and some of the most popular destinations for this kind of hiking are:

Tenting in Jotunheimen
Tenting in Jotunheimen. Photo published with permission.

I suggest reading up on Norway’s wild camping laws and regulations. It’s not all that much to take into consideration, and the main mantra is to stay 150 meters away from buildings, only stay at a single location 2 nights in a row, and don’t leave any waste in nature when you leave.

Adhere to these rules and be nice to other hikers you might meet, and you’re going to have a great time on your hiking adventure on Norway’s wilderness!

3) Snow mobile adventures

There are few things as thrilling as going on a snow mobile adventure in the Norwegian wilderness in the middle of winter, driving at high speed in the snow.

Snow mobile adventures are best done either on Svalbard or in northern Norway. Tromsø and Alta are popular snowmobile destinations.

There are actually pretty strict regulations that govern where you can and cannot drive a snowmobile, so many municipalities (and even entire regions) do not offer this type of adventure at all.

Snowmobiles. Photo published with permission.

That said, there are many areas you can go on a snowmobile trip, and I recommend doing it with a guided group or a private tour guide to make sure you don’t do it outside of the legal areas.

4) Whitewater rafting

If you really want to get your heart racing, then whitewater rafting might just be what you need. You will find many different rapids in Norway that are suited for whitewater rafting, and it’s quite the thrilling experience.

Whitewater rafting is such a thrilling experience for both couples, families and group of friends, and Norway’s many different rivers allow you to tailor the experience to a level you are comfortable with.

A few hours in a river on a whitewater raft is sure to get your heart racing, and it’s a pretty good workout as well. Navigating the rapids is not as easy as it looks, and it’s absolutely going to push your limits and give you that adrenaline boost.

Whitewater rafting in a river close to Voss
Whitewater rafting in a river close to Voss.

5) Running a marathon

If you’re a runner, then Norway has several special marathons that will take your breath away. Some of these marathons are considered among the most difficult in the world due to Norway’s terrain, so don’t aim to get a personal best, but rather join for the unique experience.

Some of Norway’s amazing marathons include The Midnight Sun Marathon, a marathon in the middle of the night in Tromsø where runners will see the sun despite it being 2AM. This marathon attractions thousands of runners from all corners of the world, and the entire city is awake to cheer on the runners in the middle of the night!

Or how about Fjellmaraton, a mountain marathon in Valdres where you are running up and down steep hills for most of the 42K? This is going to push the limits of most runners, even those who are comfortable with a regular marathon.

If you just want to push yourself to try a regular marathon when visiting Norway, Oslo Maraton is Norway’s biggest and oldest marathon. This run takes you around some of the best places in Oslo, and it’s quite a scenic marathon. It takes place in late September each year.

Midnight sun at Hovden beach in Lofoten
Midnight sun at Hovden beach in Lofoten. Photo published with permission.

6) Dog sledding

Dog sledding is an incredible adventure when done in the middle of winter. The rush of the air flowing trough your hair as the dogs run at high speed over the snow is truly something special, and the remote wilderness they can bring you into makes for the most incredible photos.

There are many places where you can go dog sledding in Norway, and places like Tromsø offers dog sledding right outside of the main city center.

One of the incredible things about dog sledding is just how fast the dogs are running. Trust me, it’s going to be much faster than you expect!

And why not combine dog sledding with a hunt for the northern lights? Imagine seeing the amazing aurora borealis from the sled in the middle of nowhere!

Dog sledding
Dog sledding is a popular winter sport in Norway. Photo published with permission.

7) Musk oxen safari

The Dovre mountain range is known for its herd of musk oxen that includes roughly 250 animals. These large herbivores tend to stay fairly close to the main hiking trail in the area, and a guided musk oxen safari comes with a guarantee to see the animals.

Even though these huge animals feed on leafs and grass, they can be very aggressive towards humans who get too close, so it’s best to bring a binocular to view them from at least 200 meters away. There are a few cases of tourists who have gotten attacked, but it’s very rare if you do take precautions.

Going on an adventure to see the wild musk oxen in Dovre is definitely worthwhile, and will showcase some amazing Norwegian nature at the same time. You will need to be able to go hiking for multiple hours to be guaranteed to see them, but it’s absolutely worth the time and money it takes to get there.

Learn more about musk oxen safari in Dovre here.

A musk ox in Dovre
A musk ox in Dovre. Photo published with permission.

8) Downhill skiing

Norway’s mountains are perfect for downhill skiing, and this is one of the most popular winter activities for Norwegians. There are ski resorts all over the country, even in the far south of Norway, so you can go downhill skiing no matter where you are, as long as you arrive in the winter.

There are slopes for all ages and experience levels, from complete beginners to experienced ski goers.

Some of the most popular downhill ski destinations are places like:

  • The Lyngen Alps.
  • Trysil.
  • Geilo.
  • Valdres.
  • Hemsedal.
  • Hafjell.
  • Kvitfjell.
Skiing at Høgevarde in Flå in Hallingdal.
Skiing at Høgevarde in Flå in Hallingdal. Photo by Nicklas Iversen / The Norway Guide.

Most people opt for downhill skiing at ski resorts like on the photo above, but there are also plenty of places to go on off-piste downhill ski in Norway. This obviously requires a lot of skiing experience, but Norway’s a paradise for such adventures if you’re after that!

Norwegians love skiing! Here from Senja close to Tromsø. Photo published with permission.

9) BASE jumping

Norway has multiple incredible BASE jumping locations, and many people consider Norway to be a true BASE jumper’s paradise. A BASE Jump is almost like a skydive, but you jump off the end of cliffs and other structures instead of jumping from an airplane.

BASE jumping is much more dangerous, but also much more thrilling than regular skydives, and it’s really something for those who seek to push their limit.

BASE jumping at Kjerag mountains. Photo by Xof711 / CC BY-SA 3.0.
BASE jumping at Kjerag mountains. Photo by Xof711 / CC BY-SA 3.0.

The Kjerag mountains just outside of Lysebotn are the most popular places to go for BASE jumpers, and the main jump there offers 12 seconds of free falling before the jumpers need to deploy their parachute.

BASE jumping requires you to be very knowledgeable with skydiving before you can even do a BASE jump with a guide, and all Norwegian BASE jump instructors require you to have at least 250 skydives before you can even join a beginner’s course.

Kjerag is popular among hikers, as well as people base jumping.
Kjerag is popular among hikers, as well as people base jumping.

10) Seeing a wild polar bear

Polar bears are among one of rather few animals that will actively hunt humans for food if they are presented with the opportunity, and seeing a wild polar bear with your own eyes is certainly an epic Norwegian adventure!

We do not have polar bears on mainland Norway, but there is a population of polar bears living on the Norwegian island called Svalbard.

This means that you’ve got to catch a plane to Svalbard’s airport Longyear to even be able to find a polar bear in the first place. Svalbard is an incredible island with lots of adventure opportunities, so it might be worth checking out for the adventurous of you.

It’s not all that rare to see wild polar bears on Svalbard, and you will often see them in your binoculars if you go on a boat trip along the coast or other excursions like that. It’s not legal to go on a polar bear safari in itself, so you need to be a bit lucky to be able to see one.

Polar bear
A polar bear. Photo published with permission.

The fact that there’s wild polar bears on Svalbard even makes it illegal to travel outside of the main city Longyearbyen without being armed with polar bear protection. This usually means that you will need to bring a guide that is armed with a rifle along on your travels outside the city!

Polar bear sign on Svalbard.
Polar bear sign under the aurora borealis (northern lights) on Svalbard.

11) Ocean or fjord kayaking

The breathtaking Norwegian fjords are best experienced from the water itself, either by ship or a smaller vessel such as a kayak. There’s something really special about being on a kayak in one of the fjords, and you really get the feel for how steep and high the mountains on each side really are!

The great thing about Norway is that there are great opportunities to rent kayaks pretty much anywhere, since most cities are located either close to the ocean or near a fjord. So there’s no stopping you from experiencing Norway’s ocean the best way possible.

Kayaking in Nærøyfjord close to Gudvangen.
Kayaking in Nærøyfjord close to Gudvangen.

12) Bungee jumping

A bungee jump is sure to get your heart racing like there’s no tomorrow, and there are several incredible bungee jumps in Norway.

The most famous bungee jump in Norway is at Rjukan where you can bungee jump down from the bridge leading up to the famous Vemork industrial site. This was a very important part of the Norwegian Resistance during World War II, so you’re bungee jumping in truly historic settings.

Other bungee jump locations include the incredible Lyngenfjorden Bungee Jump, where you jump down into a ravine with a spectacular waterfall just ahead of you. Just take a look at the video below to see what it’s like to jump in Lyngenfjorden.

No matter which locations you choose, a bungee jump is a guaranteed way to fill up your adrenaline!

13) Glacial hikes

There are lots of glaciers in Norway, and these permanently frozen structures are among Norway’s most popualar tourist attractions. Most people opt to hike up to a glacier to get a photo of it and enjoy the view, but it’s also possible to go on a guided glacial hike in Norway!

A glacial hike allows you to actually walk on the glacier itself. It’s not as easy as it sounds, and you should absolutely book a guide that will provide you with the necessary equipment. Without the proper safety equipment, glacial hikes are downright dangerous.

There are many different glaciers in Norway, and most of them offer guided glacier hikes, so you can usually find one somewhere close to where you are visiting.

Nigardsbreen glacier.
Nigardsbreen glacier.

If you really want a unique adventure, consider going on a hike up to Galdhøpiggen, Norway’s highest mountain top. The hike itself is truly amazing, but you also have to do a short glacier hike to get to the top (unless you want to hike all the way around it).

This is truly an epic Norway adventure, giving you the best hiking experienced combined with a glacial hike at the same time. To make matters even better, Galdhøpiggen is located in the beautiful Jotunheimen National Park that looks like it’s ripped right out of Instagram’s travel feed!

Styggebreen glacier with Galdhøpiggen in the back
Styggebreen glacier with Galdhøpiggen in the back. Photo published with permission.

14) Ride a bike all the way up Trollstigen

Trollstigen is one of Norway’s most famous car roads, consisting of hairpin bends up the mountainside. It’s a very cool sight in itself, and most people choose to experience it from car. However, it’s possible to rent a bike, and it’s definitely an interesting challenge to cycle up the entire road.

Riding a bike up Trollstigen is getting increasingly popular, and I believe it to be one of the best ways to actually experience this unique attraction. It’s surely an incredible Norway adventure to bike up the steep mountainside in one of Norway’s most beautiful places.

Trollstigen. Photo published with permission.

15) Go surfing at Jæren

You might not be thinking of surfing as a typical Norwegian activity, but Norway does actually have a few amazing surfing spots. The best of them all are the beaches on Jæren, found on the west coast of Norway, not too far away from Stavanger.

Jæren is known for having incredible waves and plenty of different beaches where surfers can tackle the waves of the ocean. There are places to rent surfing boards as well as instructors, so you should definitely considering surfing at Jæren (or at other places) if you’re looking for a Norway adventure.

Hellestøstranden beach at Jæren.
Hellestøstranden beach at Jæren.

16) Go on a whale safari

There are lots of whales off the Norwegian coast, and it’s truly a unique Norway adventure to go on a whale safari in a RIB or small boat. There’s few things as majestic as seeing the incredible whales with your own eyes right in front of you!

Most whale safaris take place close to Tromsø, Lofoten and the surrounding areas, which is where you find the most dense whale population in all of Norway.

A humpback whale in Norway
A humpback whale in Norway. Photo published with permission.

17) Sleep in an ice hotel

There are multiple different ice hotels in Norway where the entire hotel room is made out of ice. This is obviously a unique experience like nothing else, and it’s just something magical about sleeping in a room made completely out of ice!

Most ice hotels are only open during the winter (seeing as they will all melt away in the spring), so they’re made from scratch each winter.

It’s definitely a unique experience to spend the night at an ice hotel in Norway, so consider doing that if you’re after a special type of hotel room for your stay in Norway.

18) Salmon fishing

Norway is home to some of the world’s best salmon rivers, and anglers from all over the world visit Norway to experience the incredible salmon rivers!

The main fishing season is in the autumn, and you have the chance to catch some incredibly large salmon at this time period.

If you’re into fishing, then you should definitely consider going salmon fishing in Norway. It’s a great experience where you get to experience the best of Norway’s nature while also doing what you love.

Salmon fishing in Reisaelva
Salmon fishing in Reisaelva. Photo published with permission.

Just don’t forget to buy a fishing permit and pay the national fishing fee before you start fishing, or else you’re going to get into a big argument with the owner of the river.

19) Go cave exploring

There are many different cave systems in Norway under the huge mountains, and you can definitely have a great cave exploring adventure in Norway if you’re up for the challenge. The different caves are spread all over Norway, and it’s probably a cave near where you will be staying.

Some cave systems are long and complex and requires a guide, while others are fairly short and safe to explore on your own. No matter which one you go for, bring a headlamp and enjoy the experience.

Mikael's cave
Mikael’s cave just outside of Skien. Photo by Trulsh / CC BY-SA 3.0.

20) Try one of Norway’s many zip lines

Zip lines are a sure way to get your heart racing, and the tall Norwegian mountains and steep mountainsides make for some ideal places to set up zip lines. You will find plenty of zip lines along valley, down from mountains and even over fjords and rivers here in Norway!

One of the most famous zip lines in Norway is the Flåm zip line, which is Scandinavia’s long zip line with it’s 1.3 kilometer of lines. You reach a speed of over 100 kmph during the ride, so it’s absolutely thrilling!

21) Hike to get your photo taken at Trolltunga

Trolltunga is one of Norway’s most famous hikes, but it’s not for the unfit! To get your photo taken at the tip of the Troll’s Tongue, be prepared to spend at least 10 hours in total on the hike (both ways).

It’s a challenging hike, but you are rewarded with a truly spectacular view, as well as the opportunity to get your photo taken alone on the tip like seen below.

A man at Trolltunga. Photo published with permission.

Many tourists are unprepared for the long hike when attempting to reach Trolltunga, so please plan ahead and make sure you are comfortable with a long and somewhat challenging hike. There’s no place to buy snacks or drinks along the trail, so pack everything you need for the trip before you leave.

22) Go on a road trip

The best parts of Norway tend to be far away from where most people are, so the best way to experience Norway is by driving a car to get to all these remote places. There’s nothing like the freedom to drive around and explore Norway at your own leisure!

Driving on Arnøya
Driving on Arnøya. Photo published with permission.

A road trip open up many opportunities to explore places most tourist aren’t able to get to, and let you pull over to the side of the road to get on hiking trails whenever you see something interesting.

Rental cars are generally pretty pricey in Norway, but I think they’re well worth the cost.

23) Jump onto Kjeragbolten

Kjeragbolten is a boulder wedged between two rock formations, and it makes for a truly spectacular sight! Make sure to bring a friend along for the hike so that you can take turns jumping out on the boulder while the other person immortalizes the moment by taking a photo of it.

Kjeragbolten 1
Kjeragbolten. Photo published with permission.

It might not look safe at Kjeragbolten seeing as there are no safety bars (and a deadly drop below), but no one has actually died at Kjeragbolten thus far.

But even so, I’m sure your adrenaline is going to be filling up as you’re making the jump down to the boulder with the fjord

You will find Kjeragbolten in the incredible Kjerag mountains, which is a hiker’s paradise in itself. You can get to Kjeragbolten alone by hiking, or with a guide:

Kjeragbolten 2
Kjeragbolten. Photo published with permission.

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