Norway is a country with a passionate national tradition of mountain hiking. This means that accommodations have been made for people to traverse large swaths of mountain terrain on foot. Hikers can walk from cabin to cabin, where they will find international crowds to regale them with stories by the fire. Thanks to the DNT, the Norwegian Trekking Association, Norway offers a network of 20,000 kilometers of marked hiking trails, one of the largest in all of Europe. Some of these routes have been developed from local footpaths and older thoroughfares. Others have been developed to meet trekkers' needs. Either way, these trails serve to guide hikers while protecting animal and plant life by limiting the path of human traffic through Norway's incredible outdoor scenery.
Even in fog and rain, you will be able to see the next waymark on your path, a "T" written in red paint on rock walls and cairns. If you'd rather journey through the Norwegian natural wonders with more of a plan set out, the DNT and Norske Bygdeopplevelser, an event supplier, both organize great rambling tours.
The Adventure Road on the eastern side of the country is the trail you'll want to explore to experience the best of Norway's unique landscape. The Adventure Road offers over one hundred well-marked trails, showcasing the beauty of the fjords and the majesty of the mountains. The proper time to hike this trail is between May and October. The high season is in July and August. During this time, the mountains abound with cloudberries and blueberries, and the fjords grow rich with juicy plums, cherries, and apples. The late season is when you'll find a dramatic explosion of color. Green becomes orange and red, and an incredible hiking experience is made even more so.
The Adventure Road offers a variety of attractions along its trail. For instance, you'll certainly want to stop at the largest national park in Norway, Hardangervidda National Park, home to the largest mountain plateau in Northern Europe. With many well-marked trails, this is a great place to explore alone or with a guide. Enjoy bathing or fishing in the rivers and lakes of the area, enjoy the many summits, like Hårteigen, Hardangerjøkulen, and Gaustatoppen, or watch a flock of several thousand wild reindeer run by you. For Fjords, you'll want to visit Nærøyfjord, voted the world's best preserved tourist destination by National Geographic magazine and granted a place on UNESCO's World Heritage List. Only 250 meters wide at its narrowest, Nærøyfjord is an immensely beautiful fjord that branches off Sognefjord. Between Flåm, Gudvangen, and Aurland, passenger boats run throughout the entire year. Another choice is to take your a kayak or inflatable speedboat through the waters of Nærøyfjord. If possible, try to plan your trip for May to enjoy the countless white and pink flowers that bloom during that time of year. If you're tired of hiking, consider experiencing the Flåmsbana or Flåm Railway, a fun train ride from deep in Aurlandsfjord to Myrdal, high in the mountains. Running throughout the year, one of the stops is the Kjosfossen waterfall, a place where you can hear Huldra's singing in the summer. Be sure to take a guide to hike around the stunning blue ice of glaciers like Hardangerjøkulen and Folgefonna. These areas offer challenging hikes that provide breathtaking and eye-opening images of natural spectacle. To see bears, roe deer, and elk, walk the trail through Vassfaret Park.
Whether you want to see serene fjords, astonishing mountain views, magical waterfalls, inspiring wild animals, lush plant life, or mind-blowing glaciers, Norway has it all!
Scott Amundson consistently writes compelling articles for popular blog THE ULTIMATE HIKING GUIDE, found at http://www.ultimatehikingguide.blogspot.com.
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