Famed for its glaciers, fjords and one of the world’s longest coastlines, Norway is awash with bodies of water. Around six percent of Norway is made up of lakes and rivers, with 15 basin districts in the country. What’s more, 15% of Norway’s drinking water derives from these sources.
In terms of finding vast stretches of flowing water, all of this would imply that there’s tough competition for the list of Norway’s longest rivers. However, while it’s a land of water, there do not appear to be a plethora of extremely long rivers in Norway. Indeed its longest river seems to be twice the length of any other in the country. Does that mean no list at all? Nor-way. Read on as we explore the longest Norwegian rivers, starting with the very biggest of them all.
Glomma: The Biggest River in Norway
Length: 386 miles
The Glomma is the longest and largest river in Norway. From its source at Lake Aursund in Trøndelag, it travels approximately 386 miles – almost the length of eastern Norway – to reach its mouth at Fredrikstad in Oslofjord. Its journey takes in some of the country’s most rugged natural environments, including the forests at Sarpsborg. Indeed the river has long been used to float logs from the various mills established in the area. With a catchment of around 16,236 square miles, it drains around 13 percent of Norway.
The Glomma is an important part of Norwegian culture and history. It has been used for centuries as a source of drinking water, for transportation, and for hydroelectric power. The river is also home to a wide variety of plant and animal life, making it a popular destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.
Length: 160 miles
Numedalslagen is one of Norway’s longest rivers, stretching for over 160 miles in the southeast of the country. It has its origins around Hardangervidda National Park, and flows through several municipalities including Nore og Uvdal, Rollag and Lardal before emptying into Larviksfjorden in the municipality of Larvik.
Numedalslagen serves a variety of functions. It’s an important source of hydroelectric power and is a popular destination for fishing, canoeing, and other outdoor activities. It is particularly noted for its salmon and trout fishing.
Length: 127 miles
At around 127 miles in length, the river Gudbrandsdalslågen is amongst the longest rivers in Norway, stretching from its source at Lake Lesjaskogsvatnet to its mouth in Norway’s biggest lake, Mjøsa. It is known for being a breeding ground for Hunder trout.
Norway’s longest rivers are slightly overshadowed by its famous fjords. These long, narrow bodies of water may resemble rivers, but they are geologically different, having been created by glaciers. The longest of Norway’s fjords, sometimes called the king of fjords, is Sognefjorden, at 127 miles long. This is followed by the Hardangerfjord, at 111 miles long.
The Longest Norwegian Rivers
As we’ve seen, the Glomma is Norway’s longest river, and more than twice the length of any other in the country. Nevertheless, one thing that Norway doesn’t lack is bodies of water.