Most of Northern Norway consists of unspoiled nature. Here, you can usually go where you want, if you show respect and consideration. Here, we have drawn up a quick overview, which of course must be used with common sense.
Ten of the most important right to roam rules of thumb
These are of course a gross simplification of an extensive legal field. We have written a comprehensive article , and Marianne Reusch, Norway’s leading expert on the right to roam, goes into even more detail on her website.
- You are free to travel across open land, which basically means the shoreline, forests and mountains, including private land.
- You cannot walk freely across fields and meadows, in private gardens and industrial areas; in other words, everything that is not nature.
- Do not damage fences or leave gates open because of the resultant danger to grazing animals.
- You can only cycle on trails, not on open land.
- You cannot light fires between 15 April and 15 September, except when it obviously does not constitute a fire hazard.
- You are not permitted to use motorised vehicles such as snow scooters or four-wheel drive vehicles on open land.
- You can pick berries and mushrooms provided it does not damage the natural environment or the berry/mushroom population. Cloudberries are reserved for the landowner in some areas.
- You can camp in the same place for up to two nights as long as you are far enough away from other dwellings not to disturb them; an absolute minimum is 150 metres.
- You can fish for free in the sea, but you must have a fishing licence to fish in fresh water.
- Local regulations, e.g. as indicated on signs, and Norwegian law take precedence over the right to roam.