Norway is a Scandinavian country with immense beauty and style. It’s where adventure lovers feel at home and where nature lovers find peace. Its scenic beauty is unmatched. You will find snow-capped mountains, magical skies, misty waterfalls, and fantastic fjords within its boundaries. And what better way to connect with a country’s landscape than to visit a national park? Discover ten beautiful national parks in Norway and learn about their recreational opportunities, flora, and fauna.
Jotunheimen National Park
Are you looking for a renowned fishing and hiking spot in Norway? Well, look no further. Jutenheimen is a premier spot for all things outdoors. Jutenheimen is a mountainous area in Southern Norway, and the park covers most of the mountain range, including Northern Europe’s two highest peaks.
Known as “The home of the giants,” this national park features rugged peaks, vibrant lakes, rivers, waterfalls, and glaciers. The best way to experience the area is by hiking, biking, horseback riding, skiing, sledding, and camping. But keep a lookout for local wildlife, including moose, reindeer, wolverines, lynx, and Norwegian red deer.
Stabbursdalen National Park
Finmark County lies in Northern Norway, where the Stabbursdalen National Park contains the northernmost pine forest on earth. Along with stretches of pine forest and the Stabburselva River, you will find barren mountains, narrow ravines, glassy lakes, deep valleys, open plateaus, and scattered mountain birch.
Hiking and fishing are the most popular activities in the park. But standing on a grassy hillside overlooking valleys and rivers is also a great way to spend a Norwegian afternoon. The area is also an excellent spot for birdwatching. Look for black grouse, osprey, common merganser, and goldeneye.
Hardangervidda National Park
Hardangervidda is Norway’s largest national park, spanning east to west across the Hardanger mountain plateau. The park is a barren, treeless moorland with dispersed pools, rivers, streams, and lakes. Some of the most popular activities in the area include hiking, climbing, fishing, and skiing. Hardangervidda also has evidence of ancient history dating back to the nomadic Stone age. And if you’re looking to see wild reindeer herds, this national park contains the largest in the world. They migrate each year before winter to the more fertile grounds of the west side of the plateau.
Folgefonna National Park
The Folgefonna National Park is in Vestland County in Western Norway. Folgefonna is the third largest ice cap in the country and is a collective name for the three glaciers in the park. Along with glaciers, you will find ice falls, wild valleys, summer pastures, and rushing rivers of meltwater.
Ptarmigans are one of the only animals that live near the tops of the barren mountains, but once you near the wooded areas below, you will discover many more species, such as red deer, black grouse, and capercaillies. Most people visit this park for hiking, skiing, kayaking, and glacier walking.
Jostedalsbreen National Park
Located in Western Norway is Jostedalsbreen, the largest glacier in continental Europe. The glacier’s highest point is 6,621 feet above sea level, and the lowest point is 1,250 feet. While the glacier makes up about half of the national park, the rest is characterized by cascading waterfalls, rivers, and forested, narrow valleys. You can choose to walk along the ice or take a hike through mountain valleys. Whether you come for winter or summer recreation, you can enjoy first-class accommodation and delicious Norwegian cuisine.
Saltfjellet-Svartisen National Park
The Saltfjellet-Svartisen National Park is in Nordland County in Northern Norway. It is one of the largest parks in the country, sharing a border with a nature reserve in Sweden. Saltfjellet-Svartisen is exceptionally varied, with alpine mountains, glacier tongues, mountain plateaus, and forested valleys. The varied environment and calcareous soil allow abundant flora and fauna to flourish. Walk through valleys filled with unique flowers and plants, and look for wildlife, like Arctic foxes, reindeer, wolverines, and eagles. It is a legendary hiking area, but you can also camp, fish, and hunt.
Rondane National Park
Located in Innlandet County, Rondane National Park is the oldest national park in the country. Rondane is a high mountain park with large plateaus, with over ten peaks above 6,500 feet. It is one of the few places in Europe that has free-roaming wild reindeer, as opposed to domesticated breeds.
Other wildlife sightings include bears, wolves, deer, lynx, moose, and musk ox. With majestic mountains, stunning valleys, and misty waterfalls, Rondane is a place where fairy tales are born. You can spend the day hiking, camping, and wildlife viewing.
Femundsmarka National Park
Femundsmarka is a national park adjacent to Femunden, Norway’s largest natural lake in Innlandet and Trøndelag counties. Working with Sweden, Fermundsmarka is one of the largest continuous areas of wilderness in Southern Scandinavia. The landscape is varied, featuring tall mountains, marshes, lakes, and craggy forests of pine and birch. The site is popular for fishing, hiking, canoeing, and camping. The park features abundant wildlife, and you may spot reindeer, falcons, musk oxen, and many more, including those rare and vulnerable.
Hallingskarvet National Park
Hallingskarvet National Park is in Central Norway and includes the Hallingskarvet plateau, mountain areas, the Vargebreen glacier, and multiple valleys. The landscape was shaped by multiple ice ages, taking place over 1.5 billion years. Also, you might come across reindeer, Arctic foxes, golden eagles, and gyrfalcons. Additionally, different seasons provide an abundance of recreational activities. Some of the most popular include rafting, hiking, dog sledding, and camping. The park also features shopping, restaurants, and hotels.
Forlandet National Park
Lying on the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard is the Forlandet National Park. Because it covers the entire Prince Karls Forland Island and the surrounding sea, it’s an important park for preserving several wildlife species, including stone seals, common guillemots, barnacle geese, common eiders, and many more bird species. The area also contains history, such as archeological remains from Norwegian whalers.
The photo featured at the top of this post is © iStock.com/Travel Faery
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