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Discovering the Beauty of Norwegian Beaches

Discovering the Beauty of Norwegian Beaches

Norway boasts the second longest coastline in the world, so it’s no surprise that there are countless beautiful beaches to explore. Add to that the thousands of lakes, rivers, and islands, and you have even more sandy shores to enjoy.

You might be thinking that the Norwegian climate isn’t exactly beach-friendly, and you’re not completely wrong. I visited a beach in Southern Norway during Midsummer many years ago, and it was cold and windy. Even in the height of summer, water temperatures might only reach 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit, though they can occasionally climb into the mid-70s to mid-80s. So why go to the beach? And what do Norwegians do there?

If you remember the concept of friluftsliv, you know that Norwegians love being outdoors, so they find plenty to enjoy at the beach. Beaches aren’t just for sunbathing! During the many gorgeous, sunny days each year, Norwegians and tourists alike enjoy the pristine beaches in various ways.

Here are a few ideas for visiting Norwegian beaches if you don’t have a warm day for swimming:
- Pack up a picnic, get your family in the car, and enjoy your meal on the beach.
- Have you ever ridden horses along the shoreline? Give it a try.
- Rest, relax, meditate, and let the beach calm your mind.
- If you have a good eye, try taking some nature photos.
- Take a walk along the shore, alone or with someone you love.
- Explore secluded coves, unusual features, and native birds.
- Go kayaking or sailing. (You might want a guide if you’re unfamiliar with the area.)
- Catch some waves! There are some fabulous surfing beaches in Norway.
- Grab your friends, play some volleyball, and hit a fun beach bar.
- Try kitesurfing or stand-up paddleboarding if you’re on the adventurous side.

Remember the Midnight Sun during the summer—you can enjoy the beach long into the evening. Conversely, the beach is a great place to watch the Northern Lights dance in the sky during the winter months.

Now you know what to do, let’s find the best beaches in Norway. Here are ten to get you started (in no particular order):
- Mølen Beach – Larvik: A 2-hour drive from Oslo, a very unusual beach, a natural monument from the last Ice Age, 100+ types of rocks, 300+ varieties of bird species, Norway’s first UNESCO Geopark Area.
- Sola Beach (Solastranden) – near Stavanger: 2.5 km of sandy shore, perfect for families with many activities.
- Åkrasanden Beach – Karmøy: 15 minutes from Haugesund Airport, a beautiful beach with nearby Viking ruins.
- Hoddevik Beach – Stad: On the west coast of Nordfjord, known as a surfer’s paradise with a surfing school.
- Sommarøy beaches - Sommarøy Island: About one hour from Tromsø, several nice beaches with many activities.
- Mjelle Beach: About 30 minutes from Bodø, an Arctic beach with stunning red and white sand, known as a photographer’s (or Instagrammer’s) dream.
- Stokkøya Beach – Trondelag: This beach has a little bit of everything, and you can rent a cottage to stay long enough to enjoy it all.
- Kvalvika Beachm:  A 2-4 hour hike from Fredvang, a dramatic beach that can only be reached on foot.
- Orrestranden Beach: About a 40-minute drive from Stavanger, one of the longest beaches at 3 km, lots of amenities. This beach has “Blue Flag” status denoting top-quality water and facilities.
- Haukland Beach – Lofoten: Considered by many to be the most beautiful beach in Norway.

The list above barely scratches the surface of the wonderful beaches in Norway. As you can tell, there is something for everyone.

A few last words of advice — don’t forget a sweater or jacket in case the weather turns cool or windy; you might want a wetsuit if you plan to go in the water; and always remember the sunscreen. Now, go out and discover your favorite Norwegian beach! Tell us about it in the comments.

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