Cooling off in the Heatwave: Top 5 activities in Norway
In a world where the weather is usually the best form of air conditioning, temperatures could almost rival saunas. Due to the heatwave, handheld fans have recently gone out of stock across stores in the Arctic. Locals, who wear up to five layers of clothing in winter, are clad in bikinis and headed to the beach. The image above is from a beautiful summer day on the remote island of Gåsvær in Tromsø, Arctic Norway. Endless light from the sun paired with the heat it brings has turned Arctic Norway into a tropical paradise (see Activity 5).
However, it is still possible to be active in Norway without overheating! Here are a few brilliant ways locals and tourists alike have been cooling off from the heatwave:
1. SUmmer ski Season
Stryn Summer Ski
Stryn Sommerski is the largest summer ski area in Northern Europe and has been featured in a few blogs. Because of winter snowfall in the area, ski slopes are not accessible in winter.
Located along the 100-year-old “Old Stryn Mountain Road”, this makes for a great detour if you’re doing a road trip along the coast of Norway. The ski centre is about 45km east of Stryn’s city centre.
How about skiing on a glacier? FONNA Glacier Ski Resort is placed perfectly on the Folgafonna glacier and has four beautiful pistes to choose from. There are also loads of other activities to choose from, such as glacier hiking and a cool-off swim in the fjords!
Located 19km east of Jondal, it is about a 2,5 hour drive from Voss or Bergen or 6,5 hour drive from Oslo.
A few regulars recently made a vlog on Folgefonna in summer.
Sognefjellet Ski Centre
The best option for cross country skiing, Sognefjellet Summer Ski Centre is a favourite among professionals. Tracks are situated along the top of the highest mountain pass in Northern Europe. They pass through Fanaråken Glacier and lake Prestesteinsvatne, about 1400 metres above sea level.
Located in the west part of the magnificent Jotunheimen, it is about a 2,5 hour drive from Flåm or 6 hour drive from Oslo.
Johannes Klæbo from Norway’s national ski team made a vlog about his time at Sognefjellet this summer!
2. Pulpit Rock & Paddle
Preikestolen (aka Pulpit Rock) has recently drawn attention internationally from its feature in the film Mission Impossible: Fallout. Hiking to this spot is the favourite activity in the area. To cool off, the hike’s starting point offers opportunities for stand-up paddling, kayaking and canoeing, as well as a 350 metre zipline! That should keep you cool.
Instead of hiking, Pulpit Rock can also be admired from a distance on one of Lysefjord’s magnificent sightseeing cruises.
This destination can easily be added to our Norway in a Nutshell® tour.
3. River Rafting
Whether it’s white water rafting, tubing, or body rafting, all are bound to be a spectacular thrill. Some of the best areas to do this include Gaupne, Valldal, and Voss. Other activities in these areas include rib boating in Gaupne, an activity park with ziplines in Valldal, and a high rope park in Voss.
You can do this on your own, with friends and family or in groups and courses! Areas have various challenge levels and opportunities for everyone. Each place has its own spectacular scenes and surrounding attractions.
4. Walks under Waterfalls
Brendan van Son’s vlog gives a great overview of the best waterfalls to visit in Norway.
Visit Norway recently featured Vøringsfossen as Norway’s most popular waterfall. It is located in the Hardangervidda mountain plateau, plunging down close to 200 metres into the valley below. The area has spectacular fjord and highland views, and it is now also more accessible after construction work on the roads and hotels nearby. Hiking to the waterfalls is possible from May to October, and takes around 1 hour from the starting point at Storegjel. The drive here is 2,5 hours from Bergen or 4 hours form Oslo.
5. Beach Breezes
For an easier summer, the most spectacular Norwegian beaches offer cool breezes and refreshing dips. Not only are they beautiful, but also some of the cleanest in the world! 17 of them have been awarded the Blue Flag certification, including Kristiansand Zoo this year.
Beautiful beaches can be found pretty much anywhere along the coast of Norway, whether it’s in the very south of Kritiansand, along your Norway in a Nutshell® tour in Bergen, or further north in Lofoten (as seen on our Instagram). The insanity of this year’s heatwave is in the fact that the northernmost beaches are just as hot as the southern ones.
Telegrafbukta Beach in Tromsø is known mostly as a great place to spot the Northern Lights in winter. Many have claimed to see Northern Lights up to 3/4 of the nights they were there!
However, few know just how beautiful it can be in summer. The midnight sun has been especially bright in the past weeks, and Telegrafbukta is a perfect viewpoint for it. The photo below was taken here a few days ago. The beach is an easy 30-minute walk from Tromsø’s town centre.
The islands surrounding Tromsø are equally astounding in summer. It’s hard to believe they’re snow-covered and frozen in winter when you’ve sun-bathed on sandy white beaches and kayaked in clear blue waters. Whilst advertising stereotypical Arctic winters, sometimes the magical transformation into a truly sunny summer is forgotten.
The image below was taken in Grindøya, a short kayak trip or boat ride from Tromsø (video of the area can be found on our Instagram page). You can also paddle to Kvaløya, or Whale Island. Few tourists know about this absolute beauty!
What more could you want in this heatwave? Forget work, time for an extended road trip along the Norwegian coast.