What can you visit in central Norway ?

Less visited than the fjord region or the Lofotens, central Norway is full of fabulous places for lovers of the great outdoors ! In this article, I give you my recommendations to help you organise your stay. It will be updated as I travel.

Rondane National Park​

Rondane nasjonalpark

It is Norway's oldest national park, created in 1962 to protect one of the areas of the park that presented a major ecological risk. It covers an area of 963 km² and many of its peaks exceed 2,000 metres in altitude, including Rondslottet, the highest point at 2,178 metres. It is close to the town of Otta, in central Norway.​

It's also the ideal playground for landscape photography (although the whole of Norway is), and the Rondane national park is particularly well-suited to this practice, as the landscapes are presented to us as veritable tableaux. The best time to go, in my opinion, is autumn (although it starts earlier than in France !), because the colours are incredible and the first snow adds a magnificent magical touch!​

Dovrefjell-Sunndalsfjella National Park​

Dovrefjell-Sunndalsfjella nasjonalpark

This park is not so young, since it was created in 2002 and covers an area of 1,830 km². It is renowned for being the coldest place in Norway, as its proximity to Sweden gives it a continental climate. It is also the best place to observe and photograph Muskoxen : but be careful ! Although this cousin of the sheep, which looks like a buffalo, doesn't seem very shy, it's still a wild animal and you mustn't get too close ! They have a nasty temper and don't hesitate to charge. They can weigh up to 300 kg and can run up to 60 km. So think before you tempt the devil... But there are other species living in the park, such as the Moose, the Reindeer and a whole host of birds.​

This park, not far from Rondane, offers incredible views of the tundra and taiga.... a real favourite despite the harsh climate, perfectly suited to the survival of musk oxen. These prehistoric relics are having a hard time coping with the consequences of climate change because they can't stand the heat (>10°C / 50°F), and with their thick wool (which is the warmest in the animal kingdom), they are highly susceptible to disease.​

Viewpoint Snøhetta


Viewpoint Snøhetta is a pavilion of the Norwegian Wild Reindeer Centre, established in 2011. It is located in the village of Hjerkinn in the Dovrefjell mountain range, which separates southern and northern Norway. At an altitude of 1,200 metres, access to the pavilion requires a short walk of 1.5 km. It was commissioned by the Norwegian Wild Reindeer Foundation as a stopover on their educational tours.

This building is open to visitors free of charge. You can warm up by the wood-burning stove inside and enjoy a magnificent view of the Snøhetta from the bay window. From time to time, the Norwegian Wild Reindeer Foundation organises educational workshops on the history of the reindeer in Norway. However, Viewpoint Snøhetta is closed in winter and during the wild reindeer migration. Find out more beforehand on their website : https://villrein.no/besokssenter/

Fokstumyra Nature Reserve​

Fokstumyra naturreservat

The Fokstumyra nature reserve, located in the municipality of Dovre, north-east of Dombås, is classified as a Ramsar site, which means that it is recognised as a "wetland of international importance" due to its crucial role in the migration and nesting of wetland birds. Mainly marshland, the reserve lies between 940 and 960 metres above sea level, just below the tree line. Originally covering 7.5 km², its surface area was extended to 18.2 km² in 2002.

This ornithological reserve is perfect for birdwatching, but also for strolling around the beautiful countryside. If you're lucky, you may come across a few moose feeding on the vegetation in the marsh. Be careful, however, not to disturb the local wildlife, especially during the nesting season, as this is a sensitive time for birds.​

Forollhogna National Park​

Forollhogna nasjonalpark

Created in 2001, shortly before Dovrefjell, Forollhogna Park is renowned for its extensive plant biodiversity. It is also an important range for wild reindeer. As many domestic reindeer are kept in semi-liberty in Norway, there are very few places where you can observe true wild reindeer. To tell them apart, domestic reindeer are slightly smaller and have an ear tag. These are sensitive wild animals, so be careful not to do anything foolish.​

The particularity of wild reindeer is that they move almost continuously and systematically into the wind. They live in herds, some of which are gigantic. As well as the wild reindeer, this national park is full of incredible tundra !​

Innerdalen Nature Reserve​

Innerdalen landskapsvernområde

This valley is considered to be Norway's most beautiful mountain valley, and that's an understatement! This 73km² reserve, managed by the Norwegian Directorate for Nature Management, became the country's very first nature reserve in 1967. The scenery is breathtaking !​

You get there by taking a short walk along a road closed to traffic. When you arrive at the lake, you're in for a real treat. It's simply FANTASTIC. I can't put it any better than that : you absolutely have to see it in person to understand just how peaceful and magical this place is, and above all to realise just how beautiful it is. It may look magnificent in photographs, but it's nothing like what you can see with your own eyes.​

Tingvoll Fjord​


This fjord is located 70 km from Oppdal in the municipality of Sunndalsøra. Right in the middle of this fjord is a small island that can be reached at low tide via a man-made earth mound. It's called Flåøya Island, and it's the best place to enjoy the view over the fjord, as you can see all the mountains !​

Take the opportunity to visit the fishermen's huts at Sunndalsøra, which are small, colourful wooden shacks lined up in a row. Take a stroll around the island of Flåøya and enjoy its micro-climate and incredible biodiversity ! There are many plant and fungal species to be observed. For the fjord, check the tide times : it's always more beautiful at high tide.​

What can you visit in central Norway ?
Capra Pyrenaica 4 January 2024
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