One of the greatest delights for the adventurous motohome tripper is finding untouched ground to pitch up on, to walk the paths less travelled and carve out one's own adventure. There is no such thing as truly unspoiled wilderness, camping in Norway however, does come pretty close. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly why we have this appeal, this need to settle on the unknown.
Perhaps it is due to how commercialised and over packed campsites have become, filled with screaming children or loud music. Of course there is plenty to love about fully kitted out large campsites, but for some of us they lack a certain wildness, and almost feel too tame for us to consider pitching up at one of them as being adventurous. Perhaps it is the beauty of the nature, undiluted by lights or tire tracks.
Perhaps it is the silence, something that we often forget exists in our day to day life. Wherever we are, we are constantly surrounded by the noise of the modern world. The sound of someone typing next to us at work, the sound of someone chewing gum on the bus, the sound of a tv blaring next door to our home. Wild camping provides the opportunity to escape all of these daily distractions, and allows you to get back in touch with nature, back in touch with yourself.
While wild camping is prohibited in many areas, including most of the U.K., there are certain areas in Europe that allow it. And if you want to immerse yourself in nature, why not do it in the most beautiful spots in Europe and make a proper trip out of it? This is why you should consider wild camping during your Norway road trip.
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Norway’s liberal public access and camping laws are some of the most liberal in the world, formalized in 1957 through the Outdoor Recreation Act. Thus, allowing Norway to have some of the best wild camping in Europe.
Here, we’ll suggest some of the best places in Norway for you to go wild camping, so what are you waiting for? Read further and then go pack your bags!
Keep in Mind
Wild camping is only permitted in the wilderness of Norway, and not in suburbs or close proximity to cities, so always plan your stops well, or if you find yourself at a struggle simply settle for a campsite. We recommend making the most of the beauty of Norway by engaging in some good old fashioned hikes! There are hundreds of different hiking routes in Norway, and they are usually marked clearly to establish their safety.
Remember to check the climate in advance, but generally Norway is very cold at night, not just in the mountains and even during summer. Ensure to have warm clothes and rain gear available at all times, even if it is sunny when setting out for a hike or trip. Always be prepared with a great motorhome packing list.
Rules for Wild Camping in Norway
The longstanding law of allemannsretten - the 'right to roam'- allows wild camping almost anywhere, for free! This allows you to enjoy affordable campervan hire and a budget friendly motorhome holiday, whilst also exploring Norway.
- There are no restrictions for camping next to fjords or lakes. So start your morning right with a swim!
- You can camp for up to two nights on any uncultivated land without requiring permission from a landowner.
- This right to roam applies to camping in open country, and not farmland or cultivated land (e.g. meadows, regenerating forests or young plantations). When in doubt, look elsewhere or ask!
- Avoid tourist spots and busy walking trails, don't cause inconveniences.
- Respect nature and wildlife, you're permitted to stay for free as long as you leave no litter or other trace of your stay.
- Your pitch should be 150m away from the nearest house, cabin or other occupied/used building. Avoid holiday homes!
- Foraging is also permitted by this law, but be careful.
- Fishing: permitted in the seas off Norway with a handheld tackle (no trawler!), as long as it is for your own consumption. But for freshwater fishing ou'll need to buy a permit locally.
- No open fires between the 15th of April and the 15th of September. This includes campfires and disposable barbecues, so avoid open fire cooking! Luckily you have plenty of freedom with cooking in a campervan.
The Lofoten Islands are also known as the Lofoten Wall, as they resemble vertical rows of granite appearing out of the Arctic Sea. They are considered to be on the shortlist for the best places to visit in Norway, and five of the seven islands can be reached by motorway, and two through ferry. We advise all going there to first stop in Henningsvær, a picturesque fishing village with some of the most well-preserved architecture of traditional Norwegian villages.
They further double as an adventure capital and home to the North Norwegian School of Mountaineering, a climbing institution, hostel and travelers bar. Go and try out their gorgeous climbs, or simply relax in one of the numerous quirky cafes and restaurants dotted around it. Then continue your journey to the Lofoten Islands and relish in exploring the beautiful views and vast nature.Many experienced travellers recommend Bodø for its’ incomparable hiking views.
Travel 10 kilometres north of Bodø and you’ll find the popular recreation area Geitvågen, which is inhabited predominantly by white-tailed eagles. But if they’re not your cup of tea, then try Sjunkhatten National Park, also a short drive away, or one of the 17 nature reserves! Whatever your fancy, you are sure to find it in this region.
At the top of most travellers bucket list is the chance to experience the northern lights. It is a difficult task, requiring you to brave the frigid climate of Northern Norway (essentially the arctic), but one certainly worth the time and effort. The best time for northern lights is actually quite a large portion of the year, from around October to March. Consider planning your wild camping trip to coincide with this unbelievable natural phenomena. But then, remember that the weather conditions at this time will be harsh and unforgiving, so always plan and make sure your motorhome is up to the challenge!
Wild Camping Spots in Norway
Here are some of the top wild camping places in Norway:
- Snik Rasteplass - located alongside Route 460, between Kristiansand and Stavanger, along the Snikfjord.
- Søvik og Gamlem - north of Alesund, with plenty of forest spots to enjoy the shade and tranquility.
- Dyranut Turisthytta Småbåtlag - quite the mouthful! Located at Hardangervidda, a great area for winter camping in a motorhome.
- Fitjar Havn - located in Fitjar between Stavanger and Bergen.
Looking for some more Northern Norway Inspiration? Look no further than this great blog on free camping in Norway.
Escape the confines of the city or regulated campsites, and make your next trip one to Norway! Delve into the beauties that Norway has to offer, and immerse yourself in this rich and vibrant culture. Wild camping in Norway will truly be the trip of a lifetime, and one to tick off on the ever growing bucket list!
We have plenty of motorhomes for hire in Europe, particularly exciting would be starting by motorhome hire in the Netherlands, and driving up through Denmark (as many keen tourers do). Alternatively you can take a motorhome abroad, to bring all the comforts from home!