by Catherine Kelly
The way you travel affects what you see and the scenery of Norway is one not to be missed by poor transportation choices. Whether you choose to cruise by the magnificent fjords, journey through wild scenery on the Flåm Railway or take advantage of Norway’s extensive hiking infrastructure, get set to be wowed.
Type of travel: Rail
Norway has an extensive rail system that stretches over 3,000 kilometres, with 775 tunnels and more than 3,000 bridges. The scenery is simply spectacular, offering views of mountains, lakes and fjords. The Bergensbanen, Flåm, Dovre and Rauma Railways are some of the most well-known for their stunning vistas.
The Flåm Railway, named as “the world’s best train ride” in 2014 by Lonely Planet Traveller is an hour train ride that takes you from the mountain station at Myrdal, down to Flåm station nestled in the innermost corner of the Aurlandfjord. Along the 20 km train ride you’ll see some magnificent scenery including deep ravines, waterfalls, snow-capped mountains and mountain farms. The ride is one of the world’s steepest on normal gauge and you’ll pass through twisting tunnels that exemplify Norway’s skilful engineering history. At the foot of the mountains you can enjoy the natural beauty of the Flåm Valley and admire the majestic Aurlandfjord, a branch of the Sognefjord.
Type of travel: Cruising
Norway has the world’s second longest coastline, stretching more than 100,000 kilometres when its 1,190 fjords are taken in to account. This makes cruising an obvious, and relaxing, way to take in the stunning landscape. You can visit modern cities, fjord villages and even cruise as far as the North Cape. A fjord cruise offers a breathtaking close up of nature’s power and is one of the best ways to reach some otherwise isolated locations.
The impressive Geraingerfjord and the Næroyfjord, both listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites, have been rated by the National Geographic Society as the world’s number one natural heritage site. The Næroyfjord is the narrower branch of the Sognefjord, one of the world’s longest and deepest fjords.
Type of travel: Hiking
Blessed with an impressive number of outstanding natural wonders including fjords, mountains, waterfalls and forests, hiking through Norway is one way you are sure to absorb all of this country’s wonder.
When hiking in Norway you can enjoy the Nordic concept of allemansrätten, the right of access. This ancient tradition, now law, allows the general public the right to spend time in the countryside provided respect is shown for the environment, other users and for any farmers or landowners. You are allowed to forage for mushrooms and berries and some wildflowers with few restrictions. Many hiking trails start within walking distance of the towns so it is possible to do short hikes if you are participating in a larger tour.
The best times to hike are from June to October but it is possible to walk year round along the coast.