Norwegians are known for loving outdoor sports all year round, in the summer as well as the winter. When cruising Norway a few years ago during the sunny season, I loved hiking and checking out the fishing scene. Scandinavians don’t let their famous cold dark winters interfere with popular outside activities and fun. Think ice skating, skiing, sledding, dogsledding, and lots more. Like base-jumping. I admire that. Enjoying nature is so important for recharging our spirit and keeping mental health in check.
Full disclosure: I’m in love with Norway and the outdoors, so we’re a match made in heaven. There are many reasons to visit Norway, and you can read them right here. Bet you fall in love, too. For now, let’s check out the following sports.
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Climb Every Mountain
Norway’s mountains offer beautiful hiking trails and views. Nothing quite like seeing a fjord from way up high. I have added “hiking Pulpit Rock” to my bucket list for my return trip. Located in the city of Strand in Rogaland county, Pulpit Rock (Preikestolen or Prekestolen in Norwegian) is a hair under 1,982 feet above the Lysefjord. Measuring 82 x 82 feet, the top of Pulpit Rock is what we would call a mesa in the U.S. It’s easy to see why this hike is one of Norway’s most popular. Plan on spending at least 5 hours to hike round trip and for some exploring time. Another well-worn and more challenging hike is at Trolltunga Rock (Troll’s Tongue), which starts in Skjeggedal. It takes about 12 hours to cover the roughly 7.5-mile trail. I added that hike to my bucket list, too.
Schuss, schuss, SKI!
Cross country skiing may be Norway’s most popular outdoor sport. Not only is it recreation, but it also serves as transportation. Of course, mountain skiing is widely enjoyed. There are skiing resorts open during summer for mountain skiing.
Base-Jumping brings extreme sports to a whole new level. Basically, it’s wingsuit flying or parachuting from a fixed spot, a radio tower, for example, or the edge of a cliff. “Base” is actually an acronym standing for Building, Antenna, Span, and Earth, which represent the four categories of jumping-off points. Norway’s topography, such as fjords and cliffs, offers the ultimate base-jumping starting points.
Norway hosts the World BASE Race each summer at Innfjorden. Kjerag Mountain in Lysefjorden is well-known for base-jumping, and the jump height is 3,228 feet. The jump-height of Innfjorden isn’t known!
Here are the heights and names of Norway’s top five mountaintops. Check them out — if you dare! Measurements are in feet.
8,100 — Galdhøpiggen
8,087 — Glittertind
7,890 — Skagastølstinden
7,831 — Styggedalstinden
7,798 — Skarstind
Fishing for Fun and Food
The frigid waters surrounding Norway are perfect for fishing. The typical catch o’the day includes cod, trout, and mackerel. Both freshwater and saltwater fishing bring in big catches. Being on the open seas seems a bit adventurous, maybe I’ll stick to a riverboat.
Pitch that Tent
Not surprising for a land of nature lovers that Norway has a large number of campsites. 800 of them. The campsites allow for the modern option of hitching a trailer to electricity or the traditional pitching a tent. Camping provides an escape from the hustle and bustle of modern life.
Whether you are in Norway or not, I hope this article inspires you to explore your adventurous side. Which sport would you like to tackle first? Do you think you’ll try base-jumping? (Not I!)
Now more than ever, being in the great outdoors is essential to our well-being — physical, mental, and spiritual. Even pictures can help. Check out these beauties of my Norwegian cruise.
Let me know how you are doing. Stay safe. See you soon.