- Nature Reserve / Wildlife Observation / Safari
- Hiking / Trekking
- Sustainable Tourism
- Off the beaten track
Hardangervidda is one of the biggest natural mountain plateaus in Europe and is partly protected as a national park. The good news is that you can camp almost anywhere there as long as you're not to close to private property (which is not what you want to be in a place like that anyway).
I was lucky to have a friend with me who had often been to the area with his family when he was younger and knew exactly where to pitch the tents in the middle of the natural environment.
We took the train from Oslo to Bø, in the Telemark region, and then, after a short bus trip, we got off at Rauland from where we started our trip. My friend knew the best places to fish...but we'd forgotten to bring the bait. We had brought our packed lunch for the adventure, but it's a shame that we weren't able feast on fresh fish as planned. The most memorable bit of this part of my stay in Norway, on top of the relaxing peacefulness of nature, was when a herd of perhaps a hundred reindeer passed by not far from us.
I crossed the Hardangervidda by car on the national tourist road. Even in July, there was still some snow around from the previous winter. It was chilly but we were alone, as if we were at the end of the world.
The plateau is full of lakes, rivers and streams. Nature in its purest state. The Hårteigen summit, which rises to a height of 1,690 metres, is a famous local landmark and is easily recognized by its characteristic rounded shape. Lovers of trekking, cycling and cross-country skiing will be well-served, because the Hardangervidda has many marked trails. A few kilometres to the north of the plateau the Vøringsfossen Falls are something you should include in your tour of Norway.
The flora and also the fauna is very rich: reindeer, foxes and birds all live on the Hardangervidda Plateau. You don't have to follow any particular tactics if you want to see the reindeer, just trust to luck!