November 2009Best New Trips
Photo: Norway

Norway Adventure Guide

Norway's Next Level

Text by Steve Casimiro
Map by Haisam Hussein

A Fjord Norway hub, Molde is a five-minute town: Kayaking, hiking, mountain biking, and skiing are all five minutes away. The Rica Hotel is Molde’s most modern accommodation (doubles from $220; rica-hotels.com). DID Adventure, Didrick Ose’s company, guides custom trips that include biking, sea kayaking, climbing, and more (from $400 a day; didadventure.no).

Spread over seven islands, the town is a great launchpad for boat trips. Outfitter 62 Nord arranges coastal excursions in souped-up Zodiacs (two hours, $115) or helicopter tours (30 minutes, $590; 62.no). Ålesund is also at the heart of Norway’s freeride mountain bike scene, with trails beginning outside of town and spreading to the nearby Sunnmøre Alps. Shop Sykkel Spesialisten rents top-of-the-line mountain bikes and provides beta ($25 a day; sykkelspesialisten.com). Thon Hotel’s bright, comfortable rooms are a two-minute walk from the main ferry terminal, where most day trips begin and end (doubles from $230; thonhotels.com).

Arguably the most beautiful fjord in Norway (and the most popular with cruise ships), this area offers spectacular hiking and kayaking. For boat shuttles to the best hikes, and a guide if you like, check out Geiranger Fjordservice AS (prices vary by trip; geirangerfjord.no). Hotel Union is the primary game in town for lodging and food (doubles from $265; hotel-union.no).

The gateway to Norway’s Arctic, Tromsø is a must for those who crave wilderness, big walls, long hikes, and untracked ski descents. Rica Ishavshotel is within walking distance of several outfitters (doubles from $305; rica.no). Lyngsfjord Adventure, Roar Nyheim’s company, leads hikes, glacier walks, and more but specializes in Sami cultural trips (lyngsfjord.com). You won’t want to leave the kennels with the dogsled puppies, but Tromsø Villmarkssenter can guide technical climbing, sea kayaking, and glacier walks (villmarkssenter.no). Lyngen Lodge, at the foot of the Lyngen Alps, is a cushy base for trips farther north, or if the season’s right, Norway’s best backcountry skiing (doubles from $300; lyngenlodge.com).

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  • Ålesund and Molde is great starting points for some of the most magnificent sea and mountain activi…
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