From day one of our Ultimate Norwegian Fjords Adventure the views were spectacular, giving us a little teaser of what the next seven days had in store, and Norway certainly didn't disappoint. My husband and I were a little apprehensive booking a group trip for the first time, but immediately we felt relaxed when we realised that we were adventuring with 13 other like-minded people.
Our first hike took us up to the Hardangervidda Plateau. The weather promised sunshine and showers, so with our bags packed full of essentials (and our trusty Norwegian KitKat bars, the perfect snack – which even had the countryside code rules printed inside the packet), we began.
As we walked through the mainly forested terrain, we were blessed with numerous viewing points of the Sotesfossen waterfall – and ample photo opportunities. Following the rainfall before our trip, the falls were an impressive, thunderous roar of cascading water.
Our guides, Callum and Tachelle, were amazing and brought fun and local knowledge in abundance. Our day ended back at our hotel with a full briefing of the next few days to come: we were hitting the water to kayak to our next destination, camping in the great expanse of the Norwegian Fjords, with hopes of seeing a little bit of the wildlife along the way.
After fully kitting up and managing to fit our food and essentials for the next three days into our kayaks, we hit the icy-cold water. The tranquil waters and the views from the kayak were out of this world, and the banter between our group mates had begun as we teased each other and wondered who would be the first to capsize or be capsized! Thankfully, we all stayed dry and managed to find the perfect spot on the shore for our picnic lunch, sharing the spot with no-one but the local sheep.
Our camping ground, which was only accessible by kayak, was unexpectedly perfect. We pitched our tents close to the water for an amazing, uninterrupted morning view of the fjords. After donning our swimming gear, we finally found out just how cold the pristine water was! It was a much-needed ice bath to relax our weary limbs after a day's kayaking.
The food throughout the trip was fantastic, and Callum and Tachelle introduced us to our first taste of Norwegian brown cheese. It certainly wasn't to everyone's taste, but the moose stew went down a treat.
The highlight of the trip – and an absolute treat, following a couple of nights in a tent – was Stigen Farm. Again, only accessible by boat, we had a comical struggle chasing stubborn goats from the jetty so we could store our kayaks overnight, without them eating everything possible.
We pitched our tents close to the water for an amazing, uninterrupted morning view of the fjords.
After a thrilling 45-minute, vertical, quite scary hike up the side of the mountain, we arrived at the farm – a magical little piece of heaven. Run by Dee and his family, we were spoiled with hot tubs boasting views over the valley and a feast fit for kings and queens, with food either grown or hunted by Dee himself. The farm-to-table experience took on a whole new level of meaning here.
After saying goodbye to the water (where we'd been lucky enough to spot porpoises, seals and a sea eagle), we were back in our walking boots to hike the highest mountain in Scandinavia, Galdhøpiggen. Tachelle was adamant about our early departure time, and we appreciated her knowledge and experience as we felt like we were the only group on the mountain. Looking back three-quarters of the way up, we saw the flood of guided tours just beginning their ascent.
Kitted up with crampons and ropes, we plodded up the snow-covered slopes. The clear day promised views from the top, and boy, they didn't disappoint!
For our final adventure, we were treated to a hike on the Nigardsbreen Glacier, the widest glacier in Europe. Attaching our crampons and with ice picks in hand, we followed our local guide up the glacier, stepping over 200-foot-deep crevices.
We stopped for lunch with a view down through the valley where the glacier once lay before descending back to our now homely (and a little bit smelly) bus.
We met one last time that evening for dinner, drinks, and jovial conversations with the group we now considered our friends. Norway is undeniably enchanting, and this adventure felt like a curated exploration of the country's absolute best. From kayaking in serene waters to hiking to hidden farm havens and luxuriating in a hot tub with panoramic views, every moment was filled with awe and wonder.
Inspired? Grab yourself a spot on our Ultimate Norwegian Fjords Adventure.