Surløytenuten, Blefjell, Telemark
An easy, scenic hike that will take you through the kind of landscapes usually associated with much higher altitudes – without the effort required to reach them. The path goes through varied terrain, starting in a pine forest, crossing a couple of bogs but for the most part making its way through low-lying vegetation above the tree line. The 360° panoramic views from the top of Surløytenuten (1,096m above sea level) are stunning. Time your hike right and you might also be able to pick cloudberries – they are plentiful in August.
10km. Allow 3-4 hours. Map
Bjefell. Photo: Marie Peyre
Hemmelfjellet & Dambua, Rena, Hedmark
The hike to Hemmelfjellet (885m above sea level) near Rena, is one of the most popular in the area. Hemmelfjellet itself is a relatively short, one-hour hike from the parking lot, and a good choice in the autumn, as the colours then are great. Take in the view from the summit before continuing on to picturesque Dambua, with its old stone bridge and wooden cabin – it is a popular pit stop for cross-country skiers during the famous Birkebeiner Race, and for hikers the rest of the year. You will have to cross a few bogs on this hike, so wear waterproof boots.
14km (Start at Skramstadsætra). Allow 3-4 hours. Map
Hemmelfjellet & Dambua. Photo: Marie Peyre
Located some 9 kilometres west of Berlevåg in Varanger, Tanahorn affords fantastic views over the Barents Sea and the mouth of the Tanafjord. It's a gentle hike to the summit, which culminates at 270m above sea level, with the path going over barren grounds most of the way. We had to make our way through thick fog on the day we took the hike (although it was summer), which made for an eerie atmosphere – not entirely inappropriate as the mountain is believed to have been a former Sami sacrificial site. Thankfully the fog disappeared as we reached the top, revealing the breathtaking panorama we had been promised.
7km. Allow 2-3 hours. The tourist office in Berlevåg has maps.
Tanahorn. Photo: Marie Peyre
From Torsetlia Fjellstue along Fv40, there are several walks to choose from, all well marked. The hike to Syningan and Sigridfjell is a 17km loop in relatively gentle terrain, and a good option for a full day out on the 'vidda'. Starting in a birch forest, the path, which is well marked all the way, will soon lead you through very low lying vegetation and big open spaces dotted by small mountain lakes and bare rocky outcrops. A short portion of the hike follows a tractor road. If you are lucky you might spot some wild reindeer in the distance as you make your way south from Syningan – you might want to pack a pair of binoculars just in case.
17km. Allow 6-7 hours. Ask for a map at Torsetlia Fjellstue.
Dagalifjellet. Photo: Marie Peyre
Do you prefer a walk by the coast instead? Then head to the Hvaler Archipelago, a couple of hours south of Oslo. One of my favourite walks in the area is the one going from Guttormsvauen to Kuvauen on the island of Vesterøy. I’ve been there in all seasons, and I always find something of interest, whether it’s bog cotton dancing in the wind in spring, sailing boats on the shimmering fjord in summer, or a storm brewing on the horizon in winter. Stop for a barbecue on the beach, or find your own spot on the rocks for a picnic and/or a swim. From Kuvauen and its listed fishermen's sea huts you can continue onto Papperhavn and then retrace your steps, or come back along a small country road.
5-8km. Allow 2-3 hours. Map
Hvaler. Photo: Marie Peyre
For more information on hiking in Norway, visit DNT