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Discussion in 'Geographic Location' started by Early Riser, Feb 12, 2006.
Can anyone give me some advice on good areas and the best time of year to shoot in Norway? Thanks.
Whenever Ole's home!!!!
Sorry, couldn't resist. But, I'm interested in this as well; someday....
The west coast. All the way from Haugesund to Hammerfest.
Any time from April to October.
What do you want to shoot?
The north and south coasts aren't too shabby either.
Then there's Jotunheimen. And Telemark.
Ole's right: what do you want to photograph? Pretty scenics? Urban decay? Immigrant communities? Vast crowds of lunatics in national dress waving flags, playing fiddles, dancing, drinking and singing songs?
Ole and Struan thanks for the replies. I tend to shoot landscape and seascape, mostly minimal but dramatic scenery.
Then Norway is the right place: One of mine
I refer the honorable gentleman to the answer I gave earlier....
The whole of Norway's coastline is fantastic from a seascape perspective. Truly. Even the bit between Trondheim and Mo i Rana that all the guidebooks ignore.
That said, I would head for North Norway around Easter time. I went there to climb in late March and early April a few years ago and it was a stunning aesthetic experience. Very oddly-shaped mountains, fantastic light, and plenty of snow and ice about to add highlights and contrast to what in summer can be rather monotonous rock.
My jaw dropped when I opened your photo link...my next impulse was to want to get on a plane for Norway.
Don't let too many people see photos like that, you'll be overrun in no time!
Nice photo Ole. The kind of place I'm looking for.
I have a few more questions.
If I go the month of June, will I be able to find accommodations in the small towns as I travel, or is the tourist season already going strong and many motels/hotels are booked already? Is it too buggy, mosquitos and midges in June. They can really make life miserable. I know in other cold climates like Alaska, June is just awful with bugs.
I might try to go as early as april, are the roads clear and the motels open? Also If I plan to travel north and west does it make sense to fly into Oslo?
I figure on spending 4 weeks there is that enough time to really explore the coast? I'm thinking of Lofoten, is that place really special. Also any large predators to be aware of?
I know it's a bunch of questions and i appreciate the help. Thanks
Finding accomodation is usually not a big problem.
Roads can be expected to be open in April, although there's always a danger of a surprise blizzard. Or heatwave...
Mosquitos and midges can be bothersome in the inland, and particularly in Finnmark (northernmost). Rarely a problem in the coast.
My recommendation would be to fly in to Bergen, and take the (daily) boat north to Lofoten. That boat trip is an experience in itself! Lofoten really is special. VERY special.
No predators to fear either - the most dangerous land animals we have are moose and cattle!
The Norwegian coastline is pretty long so you will have to choose a spot.
If you're going here for the nature, stay away from the Oslo-area. Also, even though, it is called the oslo-fjord, it is not the same type of scenery as the fjords on the west coast.
Here are some images (image search on google)
North of Norway:
Telemark, http://www.stolaf.edu/depts/norwegian/11203f/Telemark 025.jpg
Lindesnes light house. http://www.mandal-naturvernforbund.com/images/Lindesnes, des.2001.jpg
Verdens ende ("the end of the world"), http://www.oslofjordens.friluftsrad.no/Foto X Verdens Ende.jpg
http://www.visitnorway.com (tourist information)
The south coast is only interesting in the summer time (imho).
I`ll second Lofoten, really spectacular there.
A couple of snaps from Lofoten:
Admittedly I am one of those people who likes to photograph an area I know well, but I would spend the whole time in Lofoten without hesitation. Well, perhaps with a side-trip to see Stetind and Piggtind.
The attached files might give some indication of why.
Having read this thread, I am off to Norge in the summer.
I'll chime in for the west coast as well. After traveling through most of North America's most scenic gems, I have found that none compare to the unspoiled beauty of the Norwegian coastline. Fly to Bergen and head north or south. As others have mentioned, Lofoten is something special. And this goes without saying, the people are equally beautiful and accomodating.
Well you've convinced me as well! We've been wondering where to go on holiday this summer and Norway has won! So, it looks like the ferry over from Newcastle to Bergen and two weeks somewhere amongst the fjords. But, I won't hijack Early Riser's thread and ask for recommendations on where to go and stay, I'll open a new one soon.
I am planning to be in Norway through most of June and into July. About 33-34 days in all. This is what I have figured regarding an itinerary and I would appreciate your comments and advice. There are also 2 extra nights available which I figured I'd use to stay in a place that seemed really promising. Any places where you'd stay longer, or not at all?
Henningsvaer / lofoten
I know that in some places I am only staying 2 nights, this is partly because I wanted to break up the driving, but also wanted to explore as wide an area as possible. The 2 "Extra nights" are flexible and I can use to add to any good spot.
I also have a few questions.
Is there a camera store in Oslo or Bergen where I can purchase type 55 polaroid?
Do cell phones work all over Norway, in the northern Fijords for example, or do I need to bring a satellite phone?
Are the roads good, can i expect to drive 80 kph on the roads between towns, or are the roads so winding that they are slow?
In other words can I drive 500-600 K a day without problems?
Do I need a 4wd vehicle?
Will there still be snow on the northern mountains?
Any other bits of advice that you may have would be very welcome. I appreciate your help.
This sounds like an awful lot of driving too me. If I were you, I would select either the west coast or the northern parts of Norway, and perhaps narrow it down even futher. You can drive 500-600 kilometers a day, but you won't have time for much photography. The road standard is usually quite good, but the roads don't follow straight lines, and you have to take into account such things as ferrys.
You don't need a 4wd car. There might be some snow in some places, but you can expect roads to be clear of snow. Cell phones generally work most places.
I personally think that you have planned to cover too much. What you have planned is possible, but I would have limited myself to a certain region.
Trond, thanks for replying.
I usually drive 10,000 miles (16,000k) an about that period of time. Part of what I am doing is scouting as much of the west coast as possible. If some places I pass through seem to have less potential I'll either pass them completely or just stay a night.
Do you think that in June I'll need to book all my accommodations in advance or can I just get motels or hotels as I travel?
Well, you will probably be OK ;-), and you can always improvise when you are underway.
No, I don't think you'll need to book any accomodation, but don't take my word for it. You can always use a tent. You can set it up anywhere (apart from near houses, and on fields).
Looking to go to lofoten myself later this year. been wanting to go there after a wonderful trip to the faero islands a few years ago. Hope to see the Norweigian blue parrot
The Norweigian Blue Parrot, the one that sleeps with it's feet nailed to the perch. A rare breed indeed.
That is a lot of driving, but perfectly doable. You won't average 80 km/hr on many of the north Norway roads, even in summer, but all your places to stay are on the main trunk roads to moving between bases will be fast enough.
In general, July is high season for tourism, so if you want to stay somewhere specific you should probably book, especially if you want a hotel room with en suite bath. On the other hand, if you are flexible and happy to rough it in a hostel or tent you should always be able to find somewhere at short notice. There is a lot of bunkhouse type accomodation which always seems able to fit in one more person, although securing your gear against the (very low) chance of theft might be harder there.
The local offices of the tourist board have always, always, been fantastically helpful in all the parts of Norway I have stayed, so I would recommend contacting them when you want to move on.
The route from Trondheim up to Bødø is a long and dull day's drive, and on roads where the driver cannot just relax and engage cruise control. Consider dumping your hire car, flying north, picking up a new car there. You will be fresher for your first day in the North.
Cell phones seem to work everywhere, if you have a Europe-compatible model. Reception can be a bit spotty, but even in the moutains you can usually get a signal without having to walk too far. Norway regards the mobile phone network as a part of the rescue and emergency services, and climbers are recommended to have a standard phone in preference to radios or other wilderness comms.
The area I know best of those that you are visiting is Lofoten, so here are some specifics for there.
There are actually two Rambergs on Lofoten, one on Moskenesøya and one on the north coast of Vesttvågøya. The 'outside' of the islands has a wealth of skerries and sea cliffs that would suit your sorts of landscape, but I wouldn't use the Ramberg on Vestvågøya as a base for day trips. The 'best' mountains on Lofoten are at the western and eastern end of the main large islands, so if it's mountain peaks you want the one on Moskenesøya would be better. The second of my attached photos above was taken near there.
Vaerøy is a day trip by ferry from Sørvågen and well worth a look. A very odd mix of flat farmland ringed by peaks. You can hire a bike if you want to get around fast, but it is perfectly possible to walk up the road to the radar station and back without any great effort.
The wildest part of Lofoten is the eastern part of Austvågøya, where there are no roads. If you are a competent hiker the terrain is not too bad, but you need to know where to go because it is easy to get lost, or to find that your easy gentle slope is a vast slippery granite apron with a cold bath waiting at the bottom. If you want a local guide there is a climbing school in Henningsvær run by Thorbjörn Enevold (www.nordnorskklatreskole.no) who can either guide you himself, or can perhaps suggest others. It's a cosy place to stay too.
PS. If you like to use topographic maps to plan your trips, there is a whole-norway atlas online here:
It goes to 1:5000 scale if you really want to get close, but there is no way to get more than a postcard-sized view.
Faster, and better integrated with a gazetteer is the oneline yellow pages/websearch at eniro:
Norwegian maps are works of art, but don't cover a very large area and always have the corners on interesting places so you have to buy four sheets. Many communes have published their own maps using the same data which radically reduces the number of maps you need to buy (Lofoten is three instead of ten or eleven), but they are usually only available to buy once you are on the ground.
Struan thanks for taking the time to write such a thorough advisory, I appreciate it.