Want to experience all of Norway´s natural beauty and vivid history while avoiding hoards of tourists clamoring for the perfect fjord picture to instagram? Then skip the West Coast and head on over to the Norwegian East Coast instead.
This underrated section of the country is full of spectacular things to see and do. The following are only 5 of the many reasons you should be considering Eastern Norway for your next trip:
1) To Climb Gaustatoppen
Gaustatoppen is the Telemark district´s tallest peak and an experience that should be illegal to miss, should you be in the East. On a clear day you can see one sixth of Norway from the top. Not only that but the mountain sits next to a beautiful velvety lake reflecting colours beyond the imagination.
This hike is a meer two hours to the top and well worth the effort. However, be warned as boulder-covered paths and slippery snow may make for treacherous climbing conditions for the less experienced hiker.
2) Heddal Stave Church
When heading towards Gaustatoppen from the east, it is impossible to miss the Heddal Stave Church. Being Norway´s largest stave church, Heddal is sure to impress, regardless of religious belief or lack there of.
Built in the 13th century, this church stands tall in the Heddal valley. This view is as peaceful as it is intriguing. Make sure to take a closer look to see the perplexing thick black lacquering covering Heddal Stave Church´s wooden panels.
Fredrikstad´s Old Town is the epitome of a quintessential European fairytale village. A walk through the small cobble-stoned streets will take you back to early Nordic life. On a sunny day this city glistens with antique lustre, housing many boutique stores and some of the most magical cafés you could dream of.
4) See Munch´s House in Åsgårdstrand
You´ve heard of the painting The Scream, but did you know the artist who painted this masterpiece, Edvard Munch, was Norwegian?
In the beautiful little white-washed town of Åsgårdstrand you can visit the famous Munch house in all it´s orangey glory.
Here you can also stop into the Munch Cafe for a bite to eat. Don´t forget to order on one of the famous ´krabbelurers´ if you´re a fan of doughnuty-goodness (who isn´t?)
5) Visit Ancient Viking Burial Grounds
Take a trip to the Vestfold district and you will discover the Borre Mounds. This impressive landmark is host to one of the largest viking burial grounds in all of Scandinavia. Not only are the mounds beautiful to look at, but you can actually climb on top of them. Because who doesn´t want to stand on top of viking souls?
So why not skip the tourist traps this summer and check out Norway´s Eastern treasures?