The magical Norwegian mountains

The literal highpoint of the Bergen Line railway also makes an ideal starting point for reaching the nearest Norway comes to a fairytale princess known around the world. Not to mention having a ‘black belt’ in true national romanticism.

In the midst of the Hardangervidda mountain plateau, windswept and glistening in the sun, is Finse. Some call it the place where east and west meet. Others are more interested in its fantastic location, midway between Hallingskarvet and Hardangervidda National Parks.

It’s not a place you come to for warmth and sunshine, although the summer months do usually offer more warmth than the yearly average temperature of -2 degrees.  And with the Hardangerjøkulen glacier and the mighty and majestic Hallingskravet mountain range close by, you’ll experience shivers of a more metaphorical kind anyway.

Finse is the southernmost place in Europe with an arctic climate. Fridtjof Nansen, Roald Amundsen and Sir Ernest Shackleton (Scott’s rival) all used Finse as a base for climatic tests and acclimatisation ahead of their expeditions.

The landscape and the weather create the perfect framework for unique winter experiences. And you can still enjoy glacier tours in the summer, exploring the blue ice forming a side arm to the Hardangerjøkulen glacier. The main activity, however, is cycling on Rallarvegen, the Bergen Line construction road. 

One of Norway’s most popular cycle routes, Rallarvegen ends in Flåm, which, together with the Nærøyfjord, was the inspiration for the magical fairytale kingdom of Arendelle in Disney’s ‘Frozen’. 

The reality, of course, is even more magical.