Skydiving – 15 Best National Parks in Norway

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Norway, a country known for its stunning natural beauty, is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. From the Arctic Circle in the north to the southern coastline, Norway’s national parks offer a breathtaking array of landscapes, providing a deep connection with nature and a glimpse into the country’s rich cultural and historical heritage.

In this article, we’ll embark on a virtual journey through Norway’s most captivating national parks. Whether you’re an avid hiker, a wildlife enthusiast, or simply someone seeking serenity in the great outdoors, you’ll find something to stir your soul in these exceptional natural havens. Join me as we explore the best national parks that Norway has to offer.

Panorama of Gjende Lake in Jotunheimen mountains, Norway
© Swen Stroop |

Jotunheimen National Park

Jotunheimen National Park, known as the “Home of the Giants,” is the crown jewel of the Norwegian mountain wilderness. Located in the heart of the country, Jotunheimen boasts an otherworldly landscape of towering peaks, rugged glaciers, pristine lakes, and lush valleys. The park is a haven for hikers, mountaineers, and outdoor adventurers seeking a taste of the Nordic wilderness.

As you venture into Jotunheimen, be prepared to witness some of the most iconic summits in Norway, including Galdhøpiggen, the country’s highest peak. The trails here offer a diverse range of hiking experiences, from easy walks along tranquil lakeshores to challenging ascents of snow-clad summits. Along the way, you’ll be treated to vistas that are second to none, with snow-capped giants reflecting in crystal-clear alpine lakes.

One of the park’s hidden treasures is the Besseggen Ridge, a challenging but incredibly rewarding hike. This iconic trail offers jaw-dropping views as you traverse a narrow ridge between two azure lakes, Gjende and Bessvatnet. The sense of accomplishment when you reach the summit is unparalleled.

Jotunheimen is not just about mountains; it’s also a hub for wildlife enthusiasts. Keep your eyes peeled for reindeer, musk oxen, and the elusive Arctic fox. It’s a haven for birdwatchers too, with ptarmigans, golden eagles, and owls soaring through the crisp mountain air.

Stabbursdalen National Park

Traveling north to the Arctic reaches of Norway, we arrive at Stabbursdalen National Park. This park is a pristine, Arctic wilderness, and it’s an absolute must-visit for those who want to experience the raw, unspoiled beauty of Norway’s northernmost regions.

Stabbursdalen is a land of contrasts, featuring lush valleys, rugged mountains, and the winding Stabburselva River, which winds its way through the park, making it an ideal destination for fishing and kayaking. The park’s tundra ecosystem is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna, including the rare Svalbard reindeer, Arctic foxes, and numerous bird species. In winter, the park transforms into a magical snowscape, offering excellent opportunities for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

For a truly unique experience, stay in the park’s wilderness cabins and feel like a true Arctic explorer. The crisp air, the soft glow of the Northern Lights, and the stillness of the wilderness will transport you to a different world.

Stabbursdalen’s Visitor Center is the perfect starting point for your adventure, providing valuable information about the park’s flora and fauna, as well as cultural history. You can also learn about the indigenous Sámi people who have inhabited this region for centuries, and how their traditional way of life is intertwined with the park’s natural beauty.

Reflection of Rondslottet mountain in a small lake. Rondane National park, Norway
© Kedardome |

Rondane National Park

Nestled in the heart of Eastern Norway, Rondane National Park is Norway’s oldest national park and is known for its distinctive, rounded mountain peaks, vast plateaus, and dramatic alpine terrain. It’s a haven for hikers, backpackers, and nature lovers seeking a genuine Scandinavian wilderness experience.

As you venture into Rondane, you’ll discover a myriad of well-marked hiking trails that cater to all levels of hikers. Whether you’re an avid trekker or prefer a leisurely stroll, there’s a path that suits your pace. The park’s extensive network of trails takes you through lush valleys, across babbling brooks, and past stunning alpine lakes. Along the way, keep an eye out for reindeer, which are a common sight in this region.

One of the highlights of Rondane National Park is the chance to tackle some of Norway’s highest peaks, including Rondslottet and Storronden. Scaling these giants provides not only stunning panoramic views but also a profound sense of accomplishment.

For those seeking a more immersive experience, consider spending a night in one of the park’s cozy cabins, such as Bjørnhollia or Dørålseter. These rustic huts offer shelter and a warm, welcoming atmosphere, making your adventure all the more memorable.

Lake Svartisvatnet in Helgeland; Nordland; Norway, with Svartisen glacier in the background
© lehic |

Saltfjellet-Svartisen National Park

Now, let’s journey north to Saltfjellet-Svartisen National Park, where the Arctic wilderness beckons with its awe-inspiring landscapes and unique blend of glaciers, high plateaus, and coastal wonders.

A key highlight of this park is the Svartisen Glacier, Norway’s second-largest glacier. The sight of the glacial tongues creeping down from the high mountains into the valleys is a sight to behold. You can explore the edges of the glacier on foot, but be sure to take a guided tour if you want to venture onto the ice itself – it’s an unforgettable experience.

Saltfjellet-Svartisen National Park also boasts some remarkable wildlife, including reindeer, moose, and arctic foxes. Birdwatchers will be delighted by the park’s avian residents, such as the golden eagle and the gyrfalcon.

For those who want to learn more about the unique Arctic flora and fauna, as well as the Sami culture that thrives in this remote region, stop by the Arctic Circle Centre.

The muskox (Ovibos moschatus), or musk ox/musk-ox, is an Arctic hoofed mammal of the family Bovidae. Plateau/mountain natural environment. Dovrefjell–Sunndalsfjella National Park, Norway.
© Marek Rybar |

Dovrefjell-Sunndalsfjella National Park

Moving westward to central Norway, we find the rugged and remote Dovrefjell-Sunndalsfjella National Park. This park is a wilderness paradise with dramatic landscapes and unique wildlife encounters.

One of the park’s most extraordinary inhabitants is the mighty musk ox. These prehistoric-looking creatures can be spotted on the park’s rolling plateaus and tundra. With their massive, curved horns and thick fur, they’re a true testament to the park’s wild and untamed nature.

Dovrefjell-Sunndalsfjella is known for its stark, open terrain, with vast plateaus and high mountain peaks that stretch to the horizon. Hiking in this park is like hiking through an otherworldly, lunar landscape. The Snøhetta peak, which stands as the highest point in Dovrefjell, offers a challenging yet rewarding ascent with breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding wilderness.

For those seeking a less strenuous adventure, the park has a network of well-maintained trails that cater to various levels of fitness and interest. Along the way, you can encounter a diverse range of flora and fauna, including arctic foxes, golden eagles, and the elusive lemming.

The park is also home to a rich cultural history, with ancient stone cairns and traces of the Sami people who have lived in harmony with the land for centuries.

A beautiful lake landscape in Femundsmarka National Park in Norway.
© Romija |

Femundsmarka National Park

​​Located in the heart of Norway, Femundsmarka National Park is a hidden paradise for nature lovers. Here, you’ll find a mosaic of pristine forests, crystal-clear lakes, and meandering rivers. The park is named after Lake Femunden, Norway’s third-largest lake, which is surrounded by a patchwork of islands and islets.

One of the best ways to experience Femundsmarka is by hiking the extensive network of trails that crisscross the park. The paths lead you through diverse landscapes, from lush forests to open plateaus. Along the way, you might encounter wildlife like reindeer, elk, beavers, and even the elusive lynx. Fishing enthusiasts can cast a line into the clear waters of the lake and rivers, hoping to catch native trout and arctic char.

For a unique experience, consider exploring the park by canoe or kayak. The interconnected waterways make for a memorable adventure, allowing you to camp on secluded shores and listen to the sounds of the wilderness as you drift off to sleep. And, of course, don’t forget to pack your camera – the sunsets over Lake Femunden are nothing short of breathtaking.

Woman looking at stunning summer landscape and view towards Kvalvika Beach in Lofoten, Norway
© evenfh |

Lofotodden National Park

Lofotodden National Park, located on the stunning Lofoten Islands, is easily one of the most beautiful national parks in Norway. This is a place of dramatic beauty, where rugged mountains, deep fjords, and charming fishing villages come together to create a picture-perfect Arctic landscape. As you explore Lofotodden, you’ll be surrounded by a sense of tranquility and wonder.

The park’s unique geography offers a plethora of outdoor activities for nature enthusiasts. Hiking is a must here, with trails that lead you through breathtaking scenery. Be sure to check out the iconic Reinebringen hike for a panoramic view of the fishing village of Reine and its surrounding fjords. The midnight sun in summer and the Northern Lights in winter make Lofotodden a year-round wonderland.

One of the highlights of Lofotodden National Park is its rich wildlife. Birdwatchers will be in heaven, as you can spot seabirds like puffins and eagles along the coast. Marine life is abundant as well, and if you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of whales or seals.

For those interested in photography, Lofotodden is a dream come true. The changing weather and light conditions make for some of the most dramatic and photogenic landscapes you’ll ever encounter. Whether you’re capturing the midnight sun reflecting off the water or the vibrant autumn colors, you’ll leave with memories to cherish.

Kinsarvik, Hordaland, Norway. Waterfall Nykkjesoyfossen In Hardangervidda Mountain Plateau
© Grisha Bruev |

Hardangervidda National Park

Hardangervidda National Park is the largest national park in Norway and a true highland wilderness. Stretching across a vast plateau, this park is a haven for those who appreciate the wild and untamed beauty of the Norwegian landscape.

Hardangervidda is a land of contrasts, boasting dramatic canyons, thundering waterfalls, tranquil lakes, and rugged mountains. This unique geological tapestry, shaped by the forces of ice and water, creates a surreal, otherworldly atmosphere that captivates all who visit.

As you venture into the heart of Hardangervidda, you’ll find an extensive network of hiking trails that cater to hikers of all levels. One such gem is the famed Husedalen with its four stunning waterfalls: Tveitafossen, Nykkjesøyfossen, Nyastølfossen, and Søtefossen. This hike is one of the most beautiful  in this region of Norway and should not be missed.

Briksdal glacier in Norway well known arm of the large Jostedalsbreen glacier in Oldedalen valley in Norway, Scandinavia.
© INTREEGUE Photography |

Jostedalsbreen National Park

Nestled in the heart of western Norway, Jostedalsbreen National Park is a true gem, showcasing the grandeur of Norway’s glaciers and mountainous terrain. This park is named after the mighty Jostedalsbreen Glacier, which is the largest glacier in mainland Europe, covering an impressive 487 square kilometers (188 square miles). The sheer scale of this icy giant will leave you in awe.

As you wander through the park’s pristine landscapes, you’ll find yourself surrounded by soaring peaks, pristine glacial rivers, and vibrant flora. Hiking trails abound, offering both beginners and seasoned trekkers opportunities to explore this pristine wilderness. One of the most popular trails leads to the Briksdalsbreen Glacier, a breathtaking ice mass that spills down into a pristine lake, surrounded by lush greenery. The contrast of the ice against the vivid landscape is nothing short of enchanting.

But it’s not all about the glaciers; Jostedalsbreen National Park is also home to a wide variety of wildlife, from reindeer to golden eagles. The landscapes are a haven for nature photographers, with each turn in the trail offering a new and captivating vista.

For those interested in history and culture, the park is also dotted with quaint villages and historic farmsteads that offer a glimpse into traditional Norwegian life. Don’t miss the opportunity to savor local delicacies and chat with friendly locals who call this majestic region home.

Polar bear at Sør-Spitsbergen National Park
© Incredible Arctic |

Sør-Spitsbergen National Park

Now, let’s set our sights north to Sør-Spitsbergen National Park, a remote and wild expanse on the island of Spitsbergen, part of the Svalbard archipelago. This is a place where nature truly reigns supreme, and human presence is scarce, making it a true expedition into the Arctic wilderness.

Sør-Spitsbergen is a land of ice and snow, where polar bears, Arctic foxes, and walruses roam freely, and the Arctic Ocean stretches out as far as the eye can see. The rugged mountain ranges and immense glaciers create a landscape that feels both ancient and surreal.

Exploring Sør-Spitsbergen is an adventure for those who seek the raw and untamed beauty of the Arctic. Hiking and skiing are popular activities, but a guided boat tour along the coast will provide some of the best opportunities to witness the park’s marine life, including seals, whales, and countless seabirds.

It’s essential to be prepared for the challenging climate of Svalbard, with its harsh Arctic conditions and extreme temperatures. But the reward is experiencing the awe-inspiring landscapes and the rare, untouched nature of this remote national park in Norway.

View of mountains and lakes in Folgefonna National Park near Rosendal village, Norway
© Marisa Estivill |

Folgefonna National Park

Folgefonna National Park is a real treat for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike. One of its crown jewels is the mighty Folgefonna Glacier, the third-largest glacier in mainland Norway. This massive ice sheet is a sight to behold, with its shimmering blue crevasses and sculpted ice formations.

Hiking through Folgefonna National Park offers a unique experience, allowing you to explore a landscape shaped by ice and water. As you venture along well-maintained trails, you’ll encounter vibrant wildflowers, crystal-clear lakes, and towering peaks. Don’t forget to bring your camera because the views are simply breathtaking. If you’re up for a challenge, you can attempt to conquer some of the park’s impressive summits, such as Holmaskjera and Lysingsnuten, for panoramic vistas of the glacier and the surrounding fjords.

For the more adventurous souls, guided glacier hikes are available. Trained guides will take you safely onto the ice, allowing you to marvel at the glacier’s intricacies and learn about its formation, all while ensuring your safety. Remember to bundle up, even in summer, as the glacier can be quite chilly.

Blåfjella Skjækerfjella national park in Norway
© Tine Larsen tinelarsen77 |

Blåfjella-Skjækerfjella National Park

On the other side of the country, in the northern region of Nordland, lies Blåfjella-Skjækerfjella National Park, a pristine wilderness filled with serene forests, sparkling lakes, and rugged mountains. This park is a true hidden gem, less crowded than many of Norway’s other national parks, making it a perfect escape for those seeking solitude and tranquility.

Blåfjella-Skjækerfjella is a hiker’s paradise, with well-maintained trails that wind through deep spruce and pine forests. The park is also home to a rich diversity of wildlife, including reindeer, lynx, and a variety of bird species. It’s also a prime location for birdwatchers, as the park is known for its nesting golden eagles and willow ptarmigans.

One of the most captivating features of this park is its collection of crystal-clear, mirror-like lakes that reflect the surrounding mountain scenery. This creates picture-perfect moments for those who enjoy photography. While the park is accessible year-round, the summer months provide the best conditions for hiking and camping. In the winter, the landscape transforms into a snow-covered wonderland, perfect for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

Pebble shore at Hove, Tromoy in Arendal, Norway. Raet National Park.
© Lillian Tveit |

Raet National Park

Nestled along the picturesque coastline of Southern Norway, Raet National Park beckons travelers with its enchanting blend of natural beauty and historical significance. Established in 2016, this marine wonderland spans from the Valøyene islands off Grimstad to charming Lyngør in Tvedestrand, covering a vast 607 square kilometers, with 90% of its allure hidden beneath the sea’s surface.

For nature enthusiasts, Raet National Park is a playground of possibilities. Whether you yearn for the serenity of a seaside campsite, the thrill of kayaking through coastal waters, or the simple joy of a beach day, Raet has it all.

What truly sets Raet apart is its geological tale. Traces of the ice age, dating back 12,000 years, adorn the landscape – a testament to the colossal glacier that once dominated the region. As you wander through the park, you’ll encounter remnants of this icy giant, from colossal stones to sandy shores, each telling a story etched in time.

Djupvatnet a lake in Breheimen National Park, Norway
© Fabian Knoblauch |

Breheimen National Park

Nestled in the heart of southern Norway, Breheimen National Park spans an impressive 1,671 square kilometers and beckons adventurers from far and wide.

Translated as “the home of the glaciers,” Breheimen lives up to its name with a landscape that dances between lush valleys adorned with transhumance dairy farms and dramatic barren mountains topped with glaciers. The park’s diverse terrain, spanning from almost sea level to well over 2000 meters, is a testament to nature’s artistic prowess.

For hikers, Breheimen is a paradise boasting close to 300 kilometers of marked paths. Whether you’re a seasoned trekker or just starting your hiking journey, the park offers trails that cater to every skill level. Among the loftiest peaks are the Hestbrepiggane, with Nordre Hestbrepiggen reaching an impressive 2172 meters above sea level. Tverrådalskyrkja, perhaps the best-known peak, stands tall at 2088 meters and overlooks over one of the paths from Sota to Nørdstedalseter.

What makes Breheimen truly unique is its title as one of the most varied national parks in Norway. Over hundreds of thousands of years, glaciers, avalanches, and geological processes have sculpted the landscape, leaving behind a masterpiece of nature’s handiwork. This is a place where you can witness the forces that shaped the earth, a living museum of geological wonders.

Group of walruses on Prins Karls Forland, Svalbard
© Lillian Tveit |

Forlandet National Park

Welcome to Forlandet National Park, an Arctic wonder nestled in the pristine Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard. Spanning across the entire island of Prins Karls Forland and the surrounding seas, this national park offers a captivating blend of expansive landscapes and remarkable wildlife encounters.

As you embark on your journey through this Arctic haven, prepare to be mesmerized by some of the world’s most extraordinary creatures. Stoic stone seals gracefully bask on icy shores, while common guillemots nest in the northernmost reaches of their range. Forlandet has rightfully earned the prestigious designation of an Important Bird Area (IBA) by BirdLife International, recognizing its role as a crucial breeding ground for barnacle geese, common eiders, and black guillemots.

But Forlandet is more than a haven for diverse fauna; it’s a tapestry woven with the rich history of Norwegian and Russian hunters and whalers. As you explore, you’ll uncover archaeological remnants of their presence, a tangible link to the human connection with this Arctic wilderness.

The landscape itself is a spectacle – from towering mountains and small glaciers to a rugged coastline where the inquisitive gaze of walruses can be met along the water’s edge. Forlandet National Park is an Arctic jewel, offering intrepid travelers a front-row seat to the wonders of the far north in all its untamed glory.

As our journey through the best national parks in Norway comes to a close, I hope you’ve been inspired to add these remarkable natural treasures to your travel wish list. From the dramatic landscapes of Jotunheimen to the serene beauty of Femundsmarka, Norway’s national parks offer a true escape from the hustle and bustle of modern life and remind us of the importance of preserving our planet’s most precious ecosystems.

So, the next time you plan a visit to Norway, make sure to carve out some time to explore these national parks. Embrace the tranquility of the wild, breathe in the fresh, crisp air, and immerse yourself in the breathtaking landscapes that have captivated adventurers for generations. Norway’s national parks are a testament to the country’s commitment to conservation and a gift to all who seek to connect with the natural world. Until next time, happy travels and remember to leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but pictures, and keep the wilderness wild.

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