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Wonders of Norway

Borgund stave church, Norway
Borgund stave church / orse, / CC BY-SA 2.0

WorldBlue  Highlights

The most interesting wonders of Norway are the beautiful fiords with extremely tall waterfalls and cliffs as well as the unique medieval architecture.

Norwegian overseas territories and dependencies

Norwegian Antarctic Territory includes not only Bouvet Island but also Queen Maud Land and Peter I Island, both reviewed as a part of Antarctica.

Map with the described wonders

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WorldViolet Top 25 wonders of Norway

Geological wonders

Hessdalen lights


In the valley of Hessdalen frequently are seen unexplained light phenomena. More than 20 years long scientific research on this phenomenon has not provided a convincing explanation of this phenomenon.

Hessdalen lights in February 2015. Two moving lights are seen - one in the sky (this is not Moon) and one over the forest.
Hessdalen lights in February 2015. Two moving lights are seen – one in the sky (this is not Moon) and one over the forest. / Jesper Brodersen, screen capture from Youtube video.


Unusual formation – a tongue of rock hanging some 350 m above the ground with Skjeggedal in the background.



Impressive cliff rising 604 m above Lysefjorden. The top of the cliff contains a flat surface, adding an unusual accent to the beautiful scenery.

Preikestolen - 604 m tall cliff, Norway
Preikestolen – 604 m tall cliff / Wikimedia Commons, user Ritchyblack, 2007. CC BY-SA 3.0

Sogn og Fjordane

One of the most dramatic and impressive fjords in Norway, an arm of Sognefjord. 18 km long, very narrow (at places only 250 m), with up to 1400 m tall cliffs.



Enormous cliff monolith – a mountain with a well-visible hole through it. This natural tunnel is 160 m long, 35 m wide, and 20 m tall.

Torghatten - a mountain with a hole through it, Norway
Torghatten – a mountain with a hole through it / Wikimedia Commons, Werner Hölzl, 2007. CC BY-SA 3.0


Unusual formation – 2.4 km long, 100 – 240 m deep canyon formed by a stream that formed when a large proglacial lake ruptured.


Møre og Romsdal

657 – 705 m tall falls with two large drops, the highest is 358 m tall.


Sogn og Fjordane

Powerful falls with 275 m tall single drop.


Sogn og Fjordane

One of the most impressive falls in Norway, 225 m tall. A tradition of the dance of huldra – a seductive forest creature – is performed by students of ballet school there on a regular basis.

Kjosfossen in Norway
Kjosfossen in Norway / stigmj, Wikimedia Commons, CC-BY-SA-3.0


Sound with the most powerful tidal currents in the world, where 400 million m³ of water are forced through 150 m wide strait every six hours, speed of water reaches 40 km/h. In the process are formed up to 5 m deep funnels of whirlpools.

Whirlpools in Saltstraumen
Whirlpools in Saltstraumen./ Robert Anders, Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Møre og Romsdal

860 m tall waterfall with multiple drops. The highest drop is 420 m tall.



10 km long and 300 – 420 m deep canyon, the largest in Northern Europe. River Altaelva flows through it.

Biological wonders

Værøy bird cliffs


On the high cliff facing the ocean, there are nesting numerous birds, including puffins.

Architecture wonders

Borgund stave church

Sogn og Fjordane

The best preserved Norse stave church, built in between 1180 – 1250 AD, contains runic inscriptions. Representative of the unique Norse wooden architecture that unites Viking, Celtic, and Roman elements.

Borgund stave church, Norway
Borgund stave church / Svein Harkestad, / CC BY-SA 3.0
Nidaros Cathedral


Outstanding monument of Romanic and Gothic architecture, built in 1070 – 1300. An important medieval center of pilgrimage in Northern Europe. Especially impressive is the Gothic West Front, constructed in 1248 – 1328 and after the fire rebuilt again, last time in 1901 – 1983.

Nidaros Cathdral (Norway), west facade
Nidaros Cathdral, west facade / Wikimedia Commons, Erik A. Drabløs. CC BY-SA 3.0
Hopperstad stave church

Sogn og Fjordane

One of the oldest and best-preserved stave churches with beautiful ornamentation. Could be built in 1130 and it still is located in its original location.

Heddal stave church


The largest stave church in Norway, constructed in the early 13th century.

Vigeland Sculpture Park


Impressive park with 212 sculptures created by Gustav Vigeland in 1924 – 1943. Includes the famous Monolitten – a 14.12 m tall sculpture formed of 121 human figures rising towards the sky.



This copper mining town gradually developed since the 17th century. The town contains some 2000 authentic wooden buildings.

Bryggen and Old Bergen


The old wharf of Bergen – Bryggen – consists of a unique ensemble of wooden buildings (some 62 structures), always renovated following old patterns and methods since the 14th – 16th century. The beautiful old city of Bergen has several parts, developed since the 12th century.

Kaupanger stave church

Sogn og Fjordane

Large church with 22 staves, built sometime around 1150 and in continuous use since then.

Urnes Stave Church

Sogn og Fjordane

This stave church was built around 1130, still in its original location and possibly the oldest of its kind. Contains beautiful, unique woodcarvings.

Nore stave church


This church was built after 1167 AD and has a unique planning for its time, adorned with paintings.

Lom stave church


Beautiful stave church with the original dragon head on the crest. Built at the end of the 12th century, relocated in medieval times.


Møre og Romsdal

The town is located in a beautiful setting – on islands, surrounded by the sea and mountains. The town burned down entirely in 1904 and was rebuilt entirely in Jugendstil. Now it together with the surrounding landscape forms a highly unusual and magnificent cityscape.

WorldYellow Recommended books

The Making of a Land – The Geology of Norway

‘The Making of a Land – Geology of Norway’ takes the reader on a journey in geological time, from primordial times to the present day. A fantastic journey from the summits of Norway’s spectacular rugged and weather-beaten mountains to the riches concealed in the sedimentary rocks on the continental shelf. This book displays the treasures of Norwegian geology for everyone to see.

DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Norway

Explore Norway region by region, from the enchanting Northern Lights and beautiful fjords to the vibrant Oslo nightlife. Experience the culture, history, wildlife, and architecture of Norway with walks and hikes through dramatic landscapes and scenic routes, and guidance on Norwegian cuisine. Whether you are whale watching, exploring museums, or hiking across spectacular mountains, this in-depth guidebook provides all the insider tips you need.

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