Visit the Realm of the Mountain Kingdom
There are few places on Earth that can bring you closer to eternity than the Norwegian mountains. The mountains are as varied as the people of this country, with different personalities and moods. Norwegians go to the mountains to find themselves – ask them and they will tell – the mountains are their meditation.
In the dead of the winter cold night, it is as if there is more light than dark in the sky – and you can literally see your shadow from starlight. Where do we begin our exploration? Let us begin in the farthest north and move southwards for just a taste of the Norwegian mountains.
High in the north of Norway lies Finnmarksvidda, home of the indigenous Sami people on one of the country’s largest mountain plateaus. For those who love the great outdoors, this is for you, with hiking in the warmer months and cross-country skiing and other winter sports during the colder months. The towns of Alta, Kautokeino, Karasjok and Lakselv will welcome you to a place as old as time itself.
The Lyngen Alps (Lyngenalpene)
To the south of Finnmarksvidda lie these alpine mountains waiting for experienced climbers and daring skiers, with peaks and cliffs dropping 1,000 meters directly into the fjord. With a backdrop of glaciers, raging rivers, crystal blue lakes and deep dark gorges, you will never get closer to nature than you will in the Lyngen Alps. Lying to the east of Tromsø, these mountains are accessible for the daring and brave of heart.
The Sunnmør Alps (Sunnmørsalpene)
With the town of Ålesund just to the west, these mountains are reminiscent of the Swiss Alps, with jagged mountain peaks from here to the horizon, the range ending abruptly at the fjord – where the drop off is often as much as 2 kilometers straight down to the blue fjord waters of the mid Norwegian coast. The Alps are excellent for off-piste skiing – but offer gentler slopes for those who like hiking, horseback riding, and in the wintertime – cross country skiing of course.
The Dovre Mountains (Dovrefjell)
These mountains are positioned at the Great Divide between the southern and central regions of Norway – a location that lends to rapidly changing weather and conditions. It is an often harsh environment, but one that has excellent hiking and cycling possibilities during the warmer months, and naturally, cross-country skiing during the unstable winters. Prepare well. There are often long distances between non-staffed cabins – and even many areas without cabins or trails at all. It is a true communion with nature.
Rondane is the oldest national park in the country – not as wild as Dovrefjell or Jotunheimen, but still offering the high mountain peaks of over 2,000 meters and at the same time friendly and accessible hiking and cycling paths throughout the park. A park of true natural quality, here you will get the best of both worlds, a possibility to be challenged to the utmost –or the opportunity to take nice friendly exploration of the moors in the park.
The name Jotunheimen literally means “Land of the Giants”, and it with good reason. It is here that you will find the highest concentration of mountains over 2,000 meters than anywhere in Northern Europe. In Norway – the Realm of the Mountain Kingdom – the 29 highest mountains are found here in Jotunheimen.
The highest mountain in the country, Galdhøpiggen, is located here and thousands make the climb each year to get a taste of this region of waterfalls, rivers, lakes, glaciers and lush valleys. Hiking is popular here – accessible for anyone from the beginning level to the expert level, with other activities including rafting, spelunking, and horseback riding.
Here you will find glaciers and high plateau lakes and rivers, herds of reindeer, hiking and biking, high mountains and deep valleys, and the luxury of nature undisturbed by time or man. This vast high mountain plateau is one of the largest on the European continent, and here you can walk in the footsteps of the legendary explorers Roald Amundsen (first to the South Pole) and Fridjof Nansen (within reach of the North Pole a decade before Robert Peary succeeded), who used the Hardangervidda as a training area before embarking on their epic – and ultimately successful – expeditions in the beginning of the last century.
Visit the Realm of the Mountain Kingdom – this year!