By Isabella Lambkin
If you’re looking to go on an idyllic escape that looks like it’s been taken straight from a postcard, Norway is the destination for you. With striking sceneries at every corner and abundant patches of nature everywhere, your eyes will never run out of views to absorb. For the full Nordic experience, ditch the fancy hotel and opt to go camping instead. Don’t worry if you’re not too acquainted with Mother Nature because there’s a campsite for every type of traveller. Read on to discover the best campsites in Norway.
With a total of 48 campsites, it may be difficult to choose where to kick back and set up base. Moreover, like the rest of Scandinavia, everyone in Norway has a “right to roam” — which means that you’re free to access certain public or privately owned lands, lakes, and rivers for recreation purposes. This applies to open country or uncultivated land, which includes most shores, bogs, forests, and mountains. But of course, campers have the responsibility to clean up after themselves and respecting their surroundings. This has made the task of determining the best campsites in Norway a bit challenging.
That said, here are some recommended locations where you can enjoy the most spectacular landscapes Norway has to offer.
For an intimate getaway
Campsites can sometimes become overcrowded with tourists, especially when camping season rolls in. But Solvang Camping is a peaceful, small site where it’s really just you and nature. It’s far off from the main street, so there is little to no road noise or clamour from nearby towns. The site, which overlooks the tidal marshes of the Altafjord, welcomes travellers with its rich population of flora and fauna. It also has a great variety of birdlife.
For a historical trip
Vikings are often portrayed to be ferocious warriors who thrived in the mountains and sea. But beyond the typical wild pillager schtick, the real Vikings were actually quite adept at agriculture, trade, community building, and camping. Hardangertun, for example, was once an important Viking settlement. Situated along the banks of the Hardangerfjord, it is surrounded by unparalleled natural beauty — from cascading waterfalls to luxuriant trees. This is something far from what media often portrayers Vikings to be. In its namesake TV series, for example, the Vikings’ costumes were more similar to characters from a Lord of the Rings novel than they were to the Norse seafarers’. The same goes for their perpetually grisly looks in TV and film — Vikings were actually known to give great importance to personal hygiene — but nevertheless help people become acquainted with Vikings. Meanwhile, the Viking-inspired titles on Slingo Slots, like Spell of Odin and Vikings Go Wild, help highlight the culture of this medieval clan. The imagery and mechanics in these games provide exciting new ways for casual fans and enthusiasts alike to learn about Vikings and the Nordic people in general. You can take your interests up a notch by staying a few nights in Hardangertun, which is sure to make you feel like a 21st century Norse, minus the fur caps and woolly leg warmers. That is unless it gets very cold, and you need them to keep you warm at night.
Resting on a forest of pine, the Ulvaskog trail is another secret getaway that offers a front-row seat to the Norwegian wilderness. If you’re interested in immersing yourself in a little bit of history, travel writer Anthony Ham shares that Ulvaskog was where the Norwegian resistance once shielded themselves from Nazi occupiers during World War II. But don’t let that frighten you — what’s left is a tranquil site along sheltered lakes that’s perfect for travellers craving for solitude away from the bustling city life.
For an adrenaline rush
No list for the Best Campsites in Norway would be complete without Lofoten.
The Lofoten Islands is best experienced in the wild. Though there are abundant patches of wildland available, it might be hard to secure an area that is flat and dry enough to hold your tent. Therefore, it is recommended to stay along the northern coast which has much more grassier turf. Moreover, there’s plenty of driftwood to last you, literally forever. This site may not be for novice campers, but if you’re up for the challenge, the view at sunset is more than worth it.
Located inside the Jotunheimen National Park is the Besseggen ridge hike, one of the most popular sites in Norway — and for good reason. The trail is alongside the majestic lake Gjende with the glaciated mountain peaks as its backdrop. An estimated 30,000 people make the trek every year, so plan ahead if you don’t want to pitch your tent next to anyone.
For a beachside getaway
This Oslofjord island houses one of the most beautiful beaches in Oslo. No need to worry about deep waters as the water here is generally shallow. With three beach volleyball courts, an expansive field, wide camping areas, and hiking trails, there are various activities to do on and off the beach. Lateral Ride explains that it is basically two islands with a piece of land that separates them. However, campers are only allowed on the Northern side.
Want to try catching your own dinner? With three nearby rivers — Ognaelva, Hå River, and Fuglestad River — Brusand is an ideal place for deep sea or freshwater fishing. There are other nature activities available, such as hiking or bird watching at the conservation area close by.
So there you have the Best Campsites in Norway. You really have to come and experience this wonderful country.