Norway National Parks


About Norway National Parks National Parks

Norway’s national parks offer a captivating tapestry of natural beauty, spanning from dramatic fjords to rugged mountain peaks and expansive Arctic tundra. With 47 national parks spread across the country, Norway’s protected areas showcase its diverse landscapes and rich biodiversity.

From the iconic Jotunheimen National Park, home to Norway’s highest mountains and glaciers, to the enchanting Lofoten Islands National Park, renowned for its stunning coastal scenery and vibrant fishing villages, each national park presents unique opportunities for outdoor adventure and exploration. Norway’s national parks are not only havens for wildlife, including Arctic foxes, reindeer, and sea eagles, but also serve as centers for environmental education, scientific research, and sustainable tourism.

Visitors to Norway’s national parks can enjoy a range of activities, including hiking, wildlife watching, fishing, and kayaking, while immersing themselves in the country’s breathtaking natural landscapes and cultural heritage.

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Norway National Parks's National Parks

Dovrefjell-Sunndalsfjella National Park

Dovrefjell Sunndalsfjella

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Jotunheimen National Park mountain

Jotunheimen National Park

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Rondane National Park

Ronda National Park

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1. How many national parks are there in Norway?

Norway is home to 47 national parks, each offering a unique and captivating array of natural landscapes and biodiversity. These protected areas span the length and breadth of the country, from the southern coastal regions to the remote Arctic territories in the north.

Norway’s national parks encompass diverse ecosystems, including fjords, mountains, forests, tundra, and coastal areas, providing habitats for a wide variety of plant and animal species. These parks serve as vital sanctuaries for wildlife, including reindeer, Arctic foxes, seabirds, and marine mammals.

Norway’s national parks also play a crucial role in preserving the country’s cultural heritage, with ancient settlements, historic trails, and traditional Sami reindeer herding grounds found within their boundaries.

These protected areas offer opportunities for outdoor recreation, including hiking, skiing, kayaking, and wildlife watching, while promoting conservation and sustainable tourism practices.

2. What is the largest national park in Norway?

The largest national park in Norway is Sør-Spitsbergen National Park (Sør-Spitsbergen nasjonalpark), located on the island of Spitsbergen in the Svalbard archipelago. Covering an expansive area of approximately 13,286 square kilometers (about 5,134 square miles), Sør-Spitsbergen National Park encompasses a significant portion of the southern region of Spitsbergen.

This remote and rugged wilderness is characterized by dramatic fjords, glaciers, mountains, and Arctic tundra, offering stunning vistas and a unique polar environment. Sør-Spitsbergen National Park is renowned for its pristine natural landscapes and rich biodiversity, including polar bears, Arctic foxes, reindeer, and a variety of seabirds and marine mammals.

As Norway’s largest national park, Sør-Spitsbergen is not only a vital sanctuary for Arctic wildlife but also a significant area for scientific research and environmental conservation in the high Arctic region.

3. What is the smallest national park in Norway?

The smallest national park in Norway is Øvre Pasvik National Park (Øvre Pasvik nasjonalpark), located in the southeastern part of the country, near the border with Russia and Finland. Covering an area of approximately 119 square kilometers (about 46 square miles), Øvre Pasvik National Park is relatively small compared to other national parks in Norway.

Despite its size, the park is significant for its unique boreal forest ecosystems, pristine wilderness, and cultural heritage. Øvre Pasvik National Park is known for its old-growth forests, extensive wetlands, and diverse wildlife, including brown bears, wolves, lynx, and a variety of bird species. The park also contains traces of Sami cultural heritage, with evidence of ancient settlements and traditional land use practices.

As Norway’s smallest national park, Øvre Pasvik provides opportunities for nature-based recreation, hiking, birdwatching, and wilderness experiences in a remote and tranquil setting.

4. What was the first national park in Norway?

The first national park established in Norway was Setesdal Vesthei Ryfylkeheiane National Park (Setesdal Vesthei Ryfylkeheiane nasjonalpark). It was designated as a national park on December 15, 2006. This park is located in the counties of Agder and Rogaland, in southern Norway.

It covers an area of approximately 1,310 square kilometers (about 505 square miles) and encompasses vast expanses of mountainous terrain, including plateaus, valleys, lakes, and rivers. Setesdal Vesthei Ryfylkeheiane National Park is known for its wild and rugged landscapes, as well as its rich biodiversity, including populations of reindeer, wolverines, golden eagles, and other species adapted to the alpine environment.

The establishment of this national park was a significant step in Norway’s conservation efforts, aimed at preserving the country’s natural heritage and promoting sustainable land management practices.