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Norway is one of the most beautiful and magical countries on the planet. With stirring landscapes and an active lifestyle scene, it really is an outdoor enthusiast's dream destination. Exploring Norway by paddle board is one of the ultimate ways to discover this country and we are going to tell you why.
Fjords cut deep gashes into a jagged and rocky coastline. Glaciers snake through the land and mystical forests. Getting out on these Scandanavian waters is a must for any daring soul!
Adventure tourism is extremely popular in Norway and across Europe. The endless summers and soul-stirring winters fuel adrenaline. Discovering this exhilarating gateway to nature through paddling adventures has to be one of the most unique ways to get close to this outstanding beauty.
So what are you waiting for? Add these 24 most dreamy places to your bucket list and start dreaming of a SUP Norway trip!
Table of Contents
Before we dive into the best places to SUP in Norway, we are going to answer a question that you have probably already been thinking about.
Fjords. What are they?
“A fjord is a long, deep, narrow body of water that reaches far inland” – National Geographic, Resource Library.
Fjords were created by glaciers carving through the landscape in the Ice Age. They are often set in a valley with steep rock walls on either side. They are typically found in Norway, Canada, Greenland, and New Zealand. Each region offers unique features to its fjords, like deep coral reefs and glacial islands across Norway.
Here are some of the best places to paddle board in Norway. Which will you be adding to your SUP dream list?
The Lofoten Archipelago is a SUP haven and the gateway to the Arctic. Perfect turquoise waters surround a chain of islands that are connected by fly-over bridges and breathtaking views. Paddle boarding is the best way to see this part of Norway.
You will not know which direction to look while paddling in the tranquil waters. The fishing villages on the shores are timeless, offering a glimpse of the Viking heritage that runs deep through Norway. Why not make the most of the fishing community and cast a line from your SUP? Paddle board fishing is a great way to connect with nature, and there is no better place to do so that the Lofoten Islands.
Also known as the King of the Fjords, Sognefjord is the largest and deepest fjord in Norway. It stretches 205 km inland from the ocean and carves through Western Norway.
There are several towns situated along the edge of this epic fjord where you can launch a SUP from. To get the most out of your time here, we do recommend joining a local tour guide for a multi-day SUP expedition. This way you will get shown the secret gems of Sognefjord and have an experience of a lifetime.
Nærøyfjord is a branch of the great Sognefjord and is one of the most spectacular places to paddle board in Norway. Paddling down this narrow gorge in the landscape is an immersive experience. The high cliffs and staggering waterfalls are simply breathtaking.
Due to the narrowness of Nærøyfjord, the waters are almost always calm and sheltered. It is a UNESCO-protected site of outstanding beauty. Keep your eyes peeled for dolphins gliding alongside your SUP and eagles soaring overhead.
Home of the famous Seven Sisters waterfall, Geirangerfjord is a must-visit destination whether you are on a SUP or not! However, from a SUP you get the best view of this spectacular waterfall cascading directly into the fjord.
The deep blue waters are surrounded by snow-capped mountains and edged by lush vegetation. Farmhouses balance perfectly on the cliff edge. Everything about Geirangerfjord is mesmerizing and magical.
Hardangerfjord is the second largest fjord in Norway and is popular for cruises and fish farming. This fjord is over 100 miles long, so as you can imagine, countless truly stunning adventures await keen paddle boarders!
Exploring this fjord by SUP is such a wonderful experience. You will have epic views of snowy mountains that you can also hike for an ultimate outdoor trip. May and June are good months to visit Hardangerfjord as all the fruit trees will be blossoming.
Head to Loen in the center of Norway to embark on stunning adventures on Lovetnet Lake. This is a dramatic location that offers amazing scenery and the potential for an incredible trip with a stand-up paddleboard. There are lakeside campgrounds, picnic areas, and rental outfitters nearby.
Lovatnet is a lake, not a fjord. This means it is not as vast or deep as other places we have mentioned. That does not mean it is any less magnificent to paddle board! In fact, it is a great place for beginner paddle boarders to have a go at the sport and find their balance without getting overwhelmed.
Plan your SUP trip in Aurlandsfjord to tie in a stop in Undredal. This tiny village is famous for tasty goat cheese and local meats served in sensational fjord-side restaurants. Tucking into freshly made pizzas after a paddle boarding session really is a must-do in our opinion!
If you have not got your own SUP equipment then head over to Flåm at the southern end of Aurlandsfjord. Here you can find good quality stand-up paddle boards for rent so you can explore at your own pace.
Frafjord is great for those that want a taste of the raw Norway wilderness without being too remote. The town is about a 1-hour drive from Stavanger in Rogaland and offers superb conditions for beginners to try stand-up paddle boarding.
The village on the shore of this fjord branch is quiet and tranquil. A SUP adventure here is about more than just the peaceful water, but also discovering rural Norway.
Skjolden is one of many branches off Sognefjord and is a great low-key place to head out on a SUP. If you do choose to paddle board here, be sure to grab a photo at the official “end of Sognefjord” photo point on the shoreline of town.
The water is surrounded by lofty mountains and greenery in every direction. It is typically well-sheltered from high winds and weather conditions. This makes it a good place for beginners to rent a board and get out on the water by themselves for the first time.
Troms is a northern region in Norway situated on the coast. The two main cities are Tromsø and Karlsøy, both of which are popular for visitors to experience this part of Norway.
Anywhere you choose to paddle in this region is simply breathtaking. The landscapes are majestic in every direction with vast waters stretching beyond island chains. As you paddle out on these waters, you will feel adventurous as you get deeper into the northern wilderness. There are SUP rental outlets near the main areas of Tromsø if you have not got your own paddle boarding equipment with you.
Southern Norway has a number of amazing places to visit and explore by SUP. This region is often considered easier to travel to due to its accessibility to Oslo.
While you are not in the remote wilderness of the north, these destinations are still utterly magical and are definitely worth a trip. To mention a few:
Fjords are great, but maybe you are after something different to try on your SUP trip to Norway. If that is the case, check out the Telemark Canal in the south. This is a popular trip for cruise liners, but there is nothing stopping you from dipping your paddle in the same waters. Beautiful landscapes, wild animals, and stunning locks all make this a unique route to take.
The canal offers a range of options when it comes to paddling:
Norway’s cities also offer beautiful paddle-boarding opportunities. Sure, the Norwegian fjords are remote and offer such an epic experience, but that does not mean stand-up paddling under cityscapes is any less of an adventure.
Check out these cities for an amazing experience paddle boarding in Norway:
If you plan on undertaking a trip into the Norwegian wilderness, you need to make sure you have the best equipment possible. These trips will not just be an afternoon paddle but they will be expeditions with potential wild camping thrown in as well.
Make sure you are clued up on what stand-up paddle boarding gear you need for an ultimate expedition into the wild.
If you have not got access to your own SUP, there are plenty of rental outlets across Norway that provide good equipment for hire. These outlets often also provide SUP lessons, guided tours, and epic group experiences. Here are a few recommendations to kickstart your vacation planning:
Norway has inspired generations of travelers with its mystical landscapes and legendary folklore. The myths are part of the foundation of the country, even in today’s society.
When visiting Norway, it is impossible to ignore the landscape’s myths and legends. So, while on a SUP trip in Norway, what fables are you likely to encounter?
Want a successful paddle-boarding trip in Norway? Here are some top tips for anyone heading into the wild spaces of this beautiful Scandinavian country.
“Allemannsretten” is an important part of Norwegian culture and heritage. The freedom to roam has been in place since ancient times. It is the general public's right to access certain public or privately owned land, lakes, and rivers for recreation and exercise.
This right to roam opens up many opportunities for stand-up paddle boarding and hiking, making Norway an outdoor lover’s dream destination.
Norway offers some fantastic places for beginner paddle boarders to practice their skills and learn the basics. Lovatnet Lake is one of the most stand-out locations for newbies on a SUP. As a lake, it is less daunting and offers sheltered waters. Paddle boarding around city areas, like Oslo, can also be great for beginners to have a taste of the sport.
While winter months offer a snow-globe effect on the landscape, it is not for the average paddle boarder. The best time to paddle in Norway is between May and October. Waters in the fjords will be cold year-round, however, with a warmer air temperature, it will still be a pleasant experience. Depending on what kind of paddler you are, you may be able to ditch the wetsuit on warmer days!
Solo paddle boarding in Norway is a true escape from the world. However, the remote wilderness and raw landscapes can be hazardous if not treated properly.
If you are a competent paddle boarder and have planned your expedition thoroughly, then you will be good to enjoy a solo paddle boarding trip in Norway. If you are a beginner, we urge you to join a group or at least have a buddy out on the water with you.
Norway has a ‘Freedom to Roam’ law that allows access across the land and water. This opens up opportunities for paddle boarding across the whole of Norway. Unless specifically stated on private property, you can paddle board anywhere in Norway.
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