10 Cool Places in Norway to Take Photos in Each Season

Norway’s Most Instagrammable Places

    Norway is a fantastic place for those with a love of landscape photography. At any time of the year, you’ll find a huge choice of great photo opportunities, particularly along the famous coastal fjords. The countryside changes a lot through the year, from the lush greens of summer to the reds and oranges of autumn and the pristine white of winter.

    The season and the weather play an important role in deciding which parts of the country you could and should photograph, as some areas become inaccessible in winter while others are at their best. For this reason, we’ve made a list of the best places to take great photos in each season in Norway, featuring some of the country’s most Instagrammable spots. Don’t forget to tag us in your post!

    1

    Ålesund

    Best season for photos: Spring

    The coastal town of Ålesund was all but destroyed by a fire in 1904, but a colourful, Art Nouveau paradise rose from the ashes. The rapid regrowth means that the town is now spread across 7 islands, but the old central hub is still the most picturesque. You can get some excellent photos of the brightly coloured façades reflecting in the waters of the harbour at street level, but the best view is from the Byrampen Viewpoint, further to the east. Climbing the 418 steps is very unpleasant in winter, so come in spring for great weather, lovely views and ice-free steps.

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    2

    Seven Sisters Waterfalls

    Best season for photos: Spring

    About 65 km south-east of Ålesund, 7 separate streams come together to drop 250 metres into the Geiranger fjord. The effect is mesmerising, making this one of the most popular fjords among visitors to Norway. You can take the Geiranger Fjordservice ferry (among other services available from the town of Geiranger) on a 1.5-hour round trip to get a great view from the bottom of the falls. It’s best to visit in spring, as the melting snow makes more water to fall.

    There’s another, less impressive waterfall directly opposite the sisters, on the other wall of the fjord. It’s known as “The Suitor”. The stories around the names vary. Are the sisters each trying to catch the eye of the suitor, or did he ask all of them to marry him, only to be turned down?

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    3

    Trolltunga

    Best season for photos: Summer

    The ‘troll’s tongue’ has rapidly become a hugely popular spot, attracting over 80,000 people during the 4 months that it’s accessible each year. That number is especially impressive when you realise that it’s a challenging 27-km round-trip hike from Skjeggedal to this striking cliff edge. It is definitely worth the effort for the view across Ringedalsvatnet lake. Being so popular, it’s best to come at the start or end of the season – around mid-June or mid-September. If you don’t want to have to queue up for your ‘staring into the wilderness’ selfie, consider camping out by the tongue overnight.

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    4

    Kjeragbolten

    Best season for photos: Summer

    The 5-cubic-metre Kjeragbolten is a hugely popular spot for hikers because it’s suspended 984 metres above the ground, wedged in a mountain crevasse. While the view of the Lyse fjord is a little restrictive, the shot of you standing, jumping, dancing, proposing or even base-jumping from the top of the boulder is iconic and extremely popular (as in, ‘expect to wait for anywhere up to an hour for your turn’ kind of popular). It’s a 10 km hike to get there, along a clearly marked but challenging trail that starts next to a restaurant on the road to Lysebotn. Set off early if you don’t want to queue too long and look out for other viewpoints in the area which, while less popular, are arguably more striking.

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    5

    Innerdalen

    Best season for photos: Autumn

    While the delightful Innerdal valley near Sunndalsøra fully earns its bold nickname at almost any time of the year, it’s at its best in autumn, when the trees explode with vibrant colours. The picturesque valley among the Trollheimen mountains was Norway’s first nature reserve, so you won’t find many buildings there. The few mountain cabins there (some of which you can stay in) have the traditional turf roof, making them especially beautiful as the weather turns cold and the colours ease from green to orange to brown. There are other charming rural valleys around Norway, but none with the Innerdalstårnet – the so-called “Matterhorn of Norway” – adding an extra bit of grandness to your photos.

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    photo by color line (CC BY 2.0) modified

    6

    Trollstigen

    Best season for photos: Autumn

    The “troll’s ladder” is as fun to drive up as it is to photograph. It has 11 hairpin bends, which wind about 850 metres up the steep side of the Trollveggen valley. Completed in 1936, about 2,500 vehicles now drive the Trollstigen each day between spring and autumn. There are some really impressive pedestrian routes and viewpoints around the road, giving you fantastic photo options. Perhaps the most impressive is to shoot around dusk, using a long exposure so that the lights of the cars leave abstract trails up the valley wall.

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    7

    Tromsø

    Best season for photos: Winter

    Known as “The Gateway to the Arctic”, Tromsø is the largest city in Northern Norway and has the kind of cosmopolitan atmosphere you really don’t expect to find north of the Arctic Circle. In summer, it’s a beautiful and lively city, but we recommend visiting in winter. Tromsø offers the highest probability of seeing the northern lights, even over the brightly lit city. If you take a dogsled or snowmobile into the surrounding countryside, the chances are even higher. Winter also gives you the chance to see orcas and humpback whales during the day, and don’t forget to check out the striking Arctic Cathedral.

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    8

    SnowHotel Kirkenes

    Best season for photos: Winter

    The tiny town of Kirkenes is way up in the north of Norway, close to the Russian border, and is one of the more remote and isolated parts of the country. A further 8 km from town, you’ll find the SnowHotel – a hotel, as the name suggests, entirely carved from snow and ice. It opens each winter with a small number of luxurious (if chilly) rooms, then melts away to nothing each spring. If you’re fortunate enough to be able to bag a room, you definitely need to get a selfie while you’re drinking at the ice bar, where even the glasses are made from frozen water. The surrounding countryside is nothing short of a winter wonderland and can be explored on a snowmobile or dogsled.

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    photo by Paul Horsefield (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    9

    Fjords

    Best season for photos: Any

    Norway is probably more famous for its amazing fjords than anything else. The deep glacial waterways which divide the western coastline into thousands of tiny islands are breathtaking at any time of year. Summer offers verdant greenery, winter shows snowbound ruggedness and spring and autumn are ablaze with colour. Nærøyfjord, which ends at Gudvangen, is among the most beautiful, and is sometimes called “Norway in a Nutshell”. However, there are simply too many stunning spots to list. A good way to see as many fjords as possible is to take the Hurtigruten ferry service along its entire coastal route, from Bergen to Kirkenes.

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    photo by Richard Mortel (CC BY 2.0) modified

    10

    Lofoten Islands

    Best season for photos: Any

    The rugged and remote Lofoten archipelago offers something for photographers at any time of the year. It’s popular in spring for its good weather, pristine beaches and red-painted cabins. In summer, you get the unearthly glow of the midnight sun. In autumn, the countryside is as colourful as the cabins. Then winter tops it all with the northern lights, Lofoten being one of the best places to see the atmospheric light show. Top spots to add to your photo tour itinerary include Hamnøy Island, Lofoten Waterfall, Skagsanden Beach, Reine, Værøy Island and many others.

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    Ben Reeves | Compulsive Traveller

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