Lonely Planet Writer

After hiking around Norway for a year, 'the Explorer' picks the best places for the country's nature

While it’s certainly no easy task, 25-year-old Andreas Orset has spent the last year in a job most people only dream about. Hired as “the Explorer”, Andreas has been hiking around the country for an entire year, testing out hiking boots for the Norwegian company Alfa.

As he hits the year mark in his adventures, he has named what he believes are the most beautiful hiking destinations in the country with the hope of inspiring others to get out into Norwegian nature.

Andrea Orset sits on top of a hike peak on the island of Senja.
The island of Senja is Andreas Orset’s favourite place in Norway. Image by Ola Roaldkvam

Senja

Norway’s second largest island is located in the north of the country off the coast of Troms and takes the top spot as Andreas’ favourite place. It earned the honour with its beaches, birch forests and spectacular mountains.

The scenery of Lofoten.
The scenery of Lofoten. Image by Andreas Orset

Lofoten

Lofoten is potentially the best-known archipelago in Norway and is a popular destination for its incredible scenery. But Andreas says it didn’t make the top of his list only for the amount of rubbish left behind by tourists at some of the most popular spots. He recommends visiting the area off-peak to avoid crowds, and of course, everyone is encouraged to keep the natural environment free from waste.

Stryn

The village of Stryn is set in a beautiful scene of fjords, glaciers and meadows and only has about 2500 inhabitants. But from there you can ski to “Skålatårnet”, an old tuberculosis clinic on top of a mountain, or kayak on the lake Lovatnet.

Andreas walks along a rocky path in the Geirangerfjord.
Andreas walks in the Geirangerfjord. Image by Andreas Orset

Geiranger

This small historic village of Geiranger is located at the innermost point of the Geirangerfjord, a Unesco-listed site that is one of the most popular spots in the country. Andreas says that it can be crowded, but if you hike up one of the nearby peaks – like Geitfonnegga – you are rewarded with solitude and incredible views.

Andreas Orset hikes across a snowy scene in Nærøyfjord.
Nærøyfjord is a 17-kilometre-long fjord. Image by Oystein Ormåsen

Nærøyfjord

On the other hand, the gorgeous Unesco-listed Nærøyfjord is incredibly beautiful, but Andreas says it actually attracts fewer visitors.

Vesterålen

Vesterålen is located north of Lofoten and is similar in its incredible beauty. The nearby mountains of Møysalen are stunning, and Andreas says it’s also a great place to go fishing.

Skiing through the Alps of Lyngen.
Skiing through the Alps of Lyngen. Image by Andreas Orset

Lyngen Alps

The Lyngen Alps are a mountain range close to the coast, which Andreas says offers some of the best off-piste skiing in the country, but he notes that there is avalanche activity, so many areas should be entered with guides or only by the experienced.

Andreas Orset sits in front of a festival scene in the Norwegian countryside.
Jotunheimen is a popular destination for music festivals. Image by Andreas Orset

Jotunheimen

Jotunheimen, which means “home of the giants”, is a national park that covers a huge area where visitors can find solitude in nature, or head to music festivals like Vinjerock.

Andrea goes for a swim in the Alps of Sunnmøre in Norway .
Andrea goes for a swim in the Alps of Sunnmøre in Norway. Image by Matias Myklebust

Sunnmøre Alps

The Sunnmøre Alps are another great location for anyone who wants to go off-piste skiing in the winter, and also offers great hiking in warmer weather.

Andreas Orset for Saltfjellet.
Andreas Orset for Saltfjellet. Image by Andreas Orset

Saltfjell

Saltfjell is one of the largest mountain ranges in Norway. As it is located so far north, it is largely covered by the glacier Svartisen. Andreas says it’s a great place to truly get into nature, and despite the relatively few visitors, there is a good network of tourist cabins.