Norway is one of the most extraordinary, mysterious, and downright magical places to visit in the world. The land of the midnight sun, home to Vikings and trolls, sagas and skalds, Norway simmers with adventure, history, and the most magnificent natural beauty to be found anywhere in Europe.
The country’s astonishing natural wonders, friendly and welcoming inhabitants, and vibrant cities make it a brilliant choice for an active, adventurous holiday. Below are just a few of the extraordinary experiences that await travellers and tourists in this wonderful country.
The Northern Lights
The Northern Lights are probably the main reason why tourists come to Norway, and up there with some of the most remarkable experiences on earth. The vast open skies, with little in the way of light pollution, offer a wonderful opportunity to see this mind-blowing natural light show.
Arctic Norway, Finnmark county, and even a city like Tromsø are all great locations to catch a glimpse of the dancing aurora against the amazing backdrop of Norway’s natural beauty.
Finding the Fjords
Visiting Norway without seeing the fjords would be unthinkable, and really almost impossible! Almost everywhere you turn in this wonderful country you’ll encounter fjords—deep ravines cut into the coastline and through tall mountains formed by ice during the last Ice Age.
Outdoor activities such as kayaking, hiking and cycling abound, but undoubtedly the way to get the most out of this breathtaking landscape is to take a cruise through the great Norwegian fjords. Nothing beats drifting luxuriously up through a UNESCO protected environment, with some of the best views in the world rolling past your window.
The Lyngen Alps
Norway is one of the few places in the world where you can ski all year round, even during the height of summer. The Lyngen mountain range is a truly epic location for powder fans, and a heaven for all sorts of winter activities including glacier hiking and husky sledding.
A skiing trip in June even allows the possibility of skiing at 2am, due to the magic of the midnight sun. Surreal, surprising and spellbinding in equal measure.
Bergen at Night
Bergen ranks high on many Norwegian itineraries, and even during the day it is a lovely sight. Rows and rows of picturesque wooden houses, nestled between the cold beauty of the North Sea and the magnificence of the Fløyen mountain, make for a wonderful day of sightseeing.
But it’s really at night when the sky darkens and the lights come on that the magic happens. The view from the top of the Fløibanen funicular railway as the evening draws in and the harbor begins to sparkle is truly breathtaking. The viewpoint is only a short walk from the city center, if the train ride isn’t your thing.
Whales and Wolves
Norway’s clear, cold seas and deep, dark forests are sanctuaries for wildlife, making it a natural choice for animal lovers. If you are up to the trip—temperatures reach a peak of just 42°F in the summer—Svalbard Island is home to polar bears, while moose, musk oxen, bears and wolves can be seen throughout the north of the country.
Whales are regular visitors to Norway’s shores, with sperm whales, pilot whales, minke whales and humpbacks all regularly seen on tours from Vesterålen, Tromsø and Narvik. Eagles, seals and reindeer are all also regular sights for the avid nature-watcher.
Art, Culture, and a Foodie’s Paradise
Norway isn’t just about nature and outdoor adventures. Its cities are full of life, culture, and sophistication, and well worth exploring. Edvard Munch and The Scream are probably Norway’s best known contribution to the art world, and the National Gallery and Munch Museum in Oslo are a must for art lovers. Trondheim, Tromso and Stavanger all boast amazing museums, and Ålesund in the north is one of the best preserved examples of Jugendstil architecture, Norway’s answer to the art nouveau movement.
Nordic cuisine has also had a renaissance in recent years, and Oslo’s restaurant scene is interesting, varied and experimental. Traditional Norwegian food like salted fish and reindeer, heavily influenced by the harsh environment, comes alive with modern, creative interpretations, and New Nordic continues to be one of the most exciting food trends around.
Almost everyone who travels to Norway falls in love with its breathtaking landscapes and its wild, mysterious and magical atmosphere. It is an absolute must for the bucket list of any traveller.