After falling in love with Stockholm and its family-friendly attitude last summer, I’ve been longing to explore other Scandi countries, in particularly Norway. There’s something about the Land of the Winter Sun that has me longing to go. It could be tales of Vikings and their ships, or the legends of giants and dragons, or the cinematic landscape of forests, mountains and fjords. Mostly, however, I want to visit because I know my kids will love it. And why wouldn’t they? This is a place where trolls roam the countryside after all.
There are so many things to see and do in Norway but, taking into account the age of my children (9-, 7-, and 2-years-old) there are certain activities that are just going to have to wait (hiking to Trolltunga, “Troll Tongue” for example). The following four family adventures in Norway are a little more toddler-friendly and are at the top of my Norwegian wish list.
Walk with Trolls
Mount Floyen is one of the seven mountains that surround the city of Bergen, affectionately known as the “Gateway to the Fjords”. Home to a number of family-friendly hikes, I most want to visit Mount Floyen because of the Troll Forest. This gentle, downhill stroll (you reach the start of the trail by taking the Floibanen funicular to the top) is perfect for kids of all ages – you can even bring a pushchair! Hidden along the forest path and around clearings in the wood are hand-carved troll sculptures that are sure to delight kids. Mythical creatures aside, this sounds like a truly magical walk where waterfalls fall down hidden coves and where moss-covered trees making the ideal outdoor climbing ground.
Meet the King of the Forest
Norway’s magical landscape doesn’t just hide elves and goblins, it’s also home to some wonderful wildlife. My kids are animal-mad so meeting some of the local residents would be top of their list. In Setesdal, in Southern Norway, you’ll find Elgtun, a nature reserve home to a small herd of elk. A number of these are tame (including Olga and Orvar) and visitors to the park can accompany them or even feed them. In nearby Bykle, night safaris are held to see the King of the Forest in his natural habitat.
Walk the High Wires
Located just outside Evje in Southern Norway is Klatreskogen a high wire adventure hidden within an ancient forest. This adventure park has two high wire courses; Discovery Park for children aged 4-years-old and above and Grand Park, for big kids, adults and daredevils. The Grand Park holds 35 different activities including four zip wires, the longest of which is 180m long and whizzes across the bay. Discovery Park is a miniature version with 18 different activities and two zip lines.
Visit the Vikings
We couldn’t plan a trip to Norway without a visit to the Vikings and the Lofotr Viking Museum in Borg seems like just the place to do it. This “living museum” boasts the remains of the largest Viking Age longhouse ever found. To give visitors a taste of what it would have once been like, a replica of the house has been built nearby. Visitors can take part in a Viking feast, row a Viking ship, shoot a bow and arrow or try your hand at some axe throwing. Every August, Borg hosts a five-day Viking festival when more than 100 Vikings gather for shows, games, competitions, concerts and more.
For more family travel inspiration, take a look at these Norway blogs.
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All photos are courtesy of Pixabay.com