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Destination: a list of 19 beautiful villages in Norway you've never heard of (but should definitely visit)

Norway is an immense country with relatively few inhabitants. Consequently, the number of major cities is quite limited, and they are widely dispersed. However, nestled between these cities lie a plethora of picture-perfect and picturesque villages that seem almost too beautiful to be real.


An old Norwegian village on the coast

Moreover, for each village, I provide a fantastic accommodation option, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the beauty away from the beaten path. Unlike many other blogs, I have actually visited these places myself. So, some first-hand recommendations here.


Grimstad


Grimstad is a stunning small town on the southern coast of Norway. It was the longtime residence of the world-renowned playwright Henrik Ibsen, who worked there as a pharmacist for an extended period. Additionally, this town, with no more than 24,000 inhabitants, hosts a branch of the University of Agder and the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research. Opt for one of the most beautiful vacation homes you can find in the region for your stay.


Things to do in Grimstad:


Enjoy a drink at Apotekergården.

Indulge in delicious cinnamon buns at Hesnes Gartneri.

Explore the history at the Ibsen House.

Savor a fantastic dinner at Smag og behag.


Tvedestrand


A picturesque village where time seems to have stood still. Beautiful white houses and a small harbor where numerous pleasure yachts dock in the summer. The first time I visited here, I couldn't help but think of the Truman Show. Once you're here, you'll understand the reference. Stay at the Tvedestrand Fjord Hotel, located right by the water, which greatly enhances the perception of this beautiful village.


Things to do in Tvedestrand:


Take a boat to Furøya for a delightful lunch or dinner (summer only).

While not in Tvedestrand, the Trebåt festivalen taking place in August in Risør is nearby.


Nyksund


This village on the west coast was completely abandoned in the 1970s but has recently experienced a remarkable revival, becoming a creative hotspot. In the 1990s, a group of German students and artists moved here. For lunch, dinner, and accommodation, head to Nyksund Ekspedisjonen.


Mandal


Mandal may be a small dot on the map, but it boasts incredibly beautiful beaches where I've spent many summer days. The village itself is charming. Stay at Mandal Hotel, but be aware that it can get quite crowded during the peak season.


Things to do in Mandal:


Visit the beautiful beaches.

Indulge in treats from Edgar's Bakeri & Konditori, the best bakery in the area.

Explore the Vigeland house, where the legendary Norwegian artist brothers lived and worked.

Experience the Mandal Jazz Festival.


Bærums Verk


Former industrial heritage from the 16th and 17th centuries has been transformed into charming shops. If you're staying in Oslo, this is an excellent short day trip.


Things to do in Bærums Verk:


Enjoy lunch at Melboden, where you can sit in the sun on a picnic bench and enjoy delicious pizza and a cold beer.

Watch young artists showcase their skills at the glassblowing workshop (especially on Saturdays and Sundays).

Have dinner at Værtshuset. When the weather is nice, the garden is a picturesque setting for a meal and drinks.

If you're with children, the tiny steam train museum is worth a visit.


Visnes


Ice-blue glacier lakes and a beautiful meandering river characterize Visnes. This is one of those legendary Instagram locations where many influencers pose with their back-ends against a stunning backdrop. Stay at Visnes Hotel Stryn.


Things to do in Visnes:


Visit the Briksdal Glacier (Briksdalbreen).

Explore Raksætra.

Drive along Gamle Strynefjellsvegen.


Fjærland


A picturesque village on the fjord, Fjærland boasts an enormous amount of second-hand books, a beautiful hotel, and serves as a base for various outdoor adventures. Stay at the beautiful Fjordstove hotel.


Things to do in Fjærland:


Explore the numerous second-hand bookshops.

Relax in the floating sauna, 'Dampen.'

Join Fjærland Guiding for mountain excursions and kayak tours on the fjord.


Agatunet


A gem of medieval fjord culture, Agatunet consists of perfectly preserved medieval buildings, offering an excellent glimpse into the past. Located near Odda, why not stay in Woodnest?


Things to do in and around Agatunet:


Go on a cider tour, a specialty of Hardanger.

Hike to Trolltunga, the iconic rock formation even featured in an IKEA poster.

Explore the entire Hardanger area, it's gorgeous!


Lærdalsøyri


One of the most beautiful fjord villages, Lærdalsøyri is also home to the world's longest road tunnel. Moreover, it has become a destination for lovers of (vintage) sports cars, with several meetings taking place, especially during the summer. Stay at 29 | 2, one of Norway's most beautiful boutique hotels.


Things to do in and around Lærdal:


Drive along the Aurlandsfjellet Scenic Road.

Explore the Borgund stave church, one of the most beautiful and famous ones.


Vardø


Home to a world-famous monument, Vardø is worth visiting just to see it. The village itself feels like a frontier, incredibly remote, which makes it a unique destination in itself. Stay at Vardø Hotel.


Things to do in and around Vardø:


Explore Hamningsberg, a beautiful secluded fishing village at the end of the legendary Varanger road.

Explore Vardøhus Fortress.

Enjoy the view from Domen Viewpoint.


Uttakleiv


When you think of Norway, you might not immediately think of a surf culture. However, there are plenty of beautiful sandy beaches that become surf destinations in both summer and winter. Lofoten is dotted with accommodation options, so you'll find something suitable.


Husøy (Senja)


One of the more remarkable places to build a village, Husøy is a tiny island, fully exposed to the wind. It's difficult to imagine what it's like to live here year-round, especially during the months of darkness. While you don't necessarily have to stay here, I recommend booking a night at Tranøya for one of the most unique accommodations in and around Senja.


Things to do in and around Senja:


Explore Senja, one of Norway's most beautiful islands.

Drive along the National Tourist Route.

Visit Senja Coffee Roasters.

Explore Ånderdalen National Park.


Havøysund


A tiny fishing village at the end of the world, Havøysund boasts the oldest evidence of permanent settlement dating back to the Neolithic Age. Stay at the Arctic View Glamping & Restaurant and enjoy excellent seafood dishes during the summer.


Røst


One of the most remote islands in Norway, Røst offers breathtaking views in all directions. It's also home to a huge colony of puffins, making it a mecca for nature and bird lovers. If

you're tired of screen time, this is the place to be. Stay at Telegrafen or Bryggehotel.


Things to do in and around Røst:


Visit Skomværkroa for a refreshing drink.

Rent a stand-up paddleboard or join a fishing excursion.


Å


The name alone conjures up images of wonder. Å is also one of the most photographed places in Lofoten, and for good reason. It's almost mandatory to stay in one of the characteristic Rørbuer.


Things to do on Lofoten:


Explore Lofoten!


Brekkestø


One of the most beautiful and charming coastal villages on the southern coast of Norway. You'll hardly encounter any tourists here, just Norwegians enjoying their holidays, mooring their boats to enjoy an ice cream. If I were to build a house somewhere, it would be here. If you decide to stay, I recommend the Lillesand Hotel.


Things to do in Brekkestø:


Explore downtown Lillesand.


Røros


Røros is one of two towns in Norway designated as "mining towns" by the king, along with Kongsberg. The town has preserved its old wooden houses and cultural landscape, earning it a place on the UNESCO World Heritage List. With its unique and well-preserved wooden workers' houses, Røros has a distinct character, especially charming and romantic in winter. Stay at the Erzscheidergården hotel.


Things to do in Røros:


Visit Røros Church.

Explore Røros Museum.

Attend the winter fair.


Sogndalstrand


An adorable little coastal town hidden away in southwest Norway. This beautiful village has hardly been discovered by the masses, leaving it beautifully preserved. Although it looks quaint, life on the southwest coast of Norway was tough in the past. You don't see much of that now. If you're spending a night here, Sogndalstrand Kulturhotell is your best option.


Things to do in Sogndalstrand:


Explore Brufjellhålene.


Solvorn


One of the most picturesque fjord villages, Solvorn has a long history as a trade center, church site, and courthouse site. It's also the place where the ferry crosses to Ornes, home to the famous 12th-century Urnes Stave Church. Naturally, you'll stay at the oldest hotel in Norway, with a history dating back to 1650; the Walaker Hotel.


Things to do in Solvorn:


Explore Galleri Walaker.


This comprehensive guide should provide you with an excellent overview of some of the most enchanting places to visit in Norway, along with fantastic accommodation options and activities to enjoy during your stay. Enjoy your journey through the breathtaking landscapes and charming villages of this Scandinavian gem!

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