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Norway in Focus: Get Over Your Fear of Heights

Norway is an incredibly gorgeous country. Are we sounding like a broken record? Well, we can't help it. the country is beautiful, the scenery is breathtaking, the cities and towns are charming, even the people are ridiculously good looking!

But there's a catch...

Those incredible vistas oft used to depict the stunning majesty of Norway's famed fjords are taken from great heights. What does one dreaming of Norway do when saddled with a touch of acrophobia?

In June 2015, Swiss adventurers (or crazy people, depending on your feeling about heights) set up a slack line at the famed Pulpit Rock and spent a day traversing it... 600 meters above the fjord below!

Norway's Aftonbladet newspaper was on site to snap some vertigo-inducing images of slacklining at Pulpit Rock. (source)
Norway's Aftonbladet newspaper was on site to snap some vertigo-inducing images of slack lining at Pulpit Rock. (source)

 

While we're not encouraging anybody to go to such lengths as Mathias Bleisch and Reto Rabensteiner to appreciate Norway's famous fjords, we highly suggest visits to some of the country's loftier destinations.

You just might be too distracted by the views to think about your fear of heights...

Pulpit Rock

Tourists enjoy the views from the famed Pulpit Rock (iStock)
Tourists enjoy the views from the famed Pulpit Rock (iStock)

 

Since it's already been mentioned, let's start with the incredible Pulpit Rock. Formed some 10,000 years ago when a shifting glacier carved angular 604 meter cliffs alongside Lysefjord, Pulpit Rock is a 25 meter by 25 meter plateau accessible by a 3.8 km hike from the trail head an hour outside of Stavanger. Roughly 200,000 visitors make the trip every year to take in the magnificent views, some even dangle their legs over the side while enjoying a snack.

Fløyen

If you've pumped yourself up for a stunning view, but can do without the 2+ hour hike, then Fløyen may be more your speed. This peak overlooking the town of Bergen is accessible by an 8-minute ride on the funicular that departs not far from Bryggen, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Funicular to Fløyen runs into the evening, so you can catch sunsets like this one.
The Funicular to Fløyen runs into the evening, so you can catch sunsets like this one.

 

Once at the top you can take in the views over the city and fjord, enjoy the marked walking paths or grab a bite in the mountaintop restaurant. Nothing to be afraid of here!

Bakkanosi

Naeroyfjord from high up on Bakkanosi.
Naeroyfjord from high up on Bakkanosi.

 

Swinging back to the other end of the activity spectrum is the trek to Bakkanosi that will reward you with sweeping views over Nærøyfjord (another UNESCO site!) and Sognefjord from a perch 1300 meters above sea level. Deep breaths. The hike will be long, at roughly 8 hours, but the terrain isn't particularly punishing from the starting point at Jordalen. This path isn't marked, though, so only experienced hikers are advised to attempt the journey.

Flydalsjuvet

For photo ops of yet another of Norway's UNESCO World Heritage sites, head on over to Flydalsjuvet overlooking the incredible Geirangerfjord. This is another accessible one, as the viewpoint is right off of route 63, a 4-hour drive outside of central Geiranger. The viewing area is also one of the more built-up of scenic points in Norway, with safety rails to keep sightseers in their place.

Geiranger village viewed from the Flydalsjuvet is not too shabby.
Geiranger village viewed from the Flydalsjuvet is not too shabby. Can you spot the person standing on a cliff?

 

Trolltunga

Who knew perching on a troll's tongue could be so rewarding? Some of the most breathtaking views you'll see in Norway are visible from Trolltunga (Troll's Tongue), accessible by a challenging 8-hour roundtrip hike from Skjeggedal. Once on the tongue you'll be 700 meters above Skjeggedal's lake Ringedalsvatne.

Trolltunga juts out over Lake Ringedalsvatnet.
Trolltunga juts out over Lake Ringedalsvatnet.

Are you brave enough to stand atop one of these incredible vantage points? If not, there are always cruise travel packages in Norway's pristine fjords for those more comfortable at sea level... and that's alright, too. Luckily, Norway is stunning from all elevations.

Check out some of the perches mentioned with one of these packages, or work with us to build your dream trip to Norway or one of our other Nordic destinations.
 

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Post by: Catharine

Catharine Fulton is a journalist and travel writer. Though born and raised in Canada, she found herself stuck in the Nordic region since moving to Finland in 2007 to pursue her MA and then migrating to Reykjavík, Iceland in 2009, where she lives with her Icelandic husband and tries (albeit unsuccessfully) to master the Icelandic language.

More posts by Catharine

Getting there

We'd love to give you the same amazing travel experiences as you read about in our blog! To visit the destinations and attractions mentioned in this post - and to discover a few new highlights along the way, check out these recommended Nordic Visitor tours.

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