Not just a wintry haven for wildlife spotting or a fantastic destination for winter pursuits, Norway has so much to offer visitors all year round.
Below are some of the best reasons to put this country in the top spot of your travel bucket list:
The wonder of the Northern Lights
Spotting the spectacular display of the Aurora Borealis is best during the winter in Norway. During this time, the nights are longer and the further north you head, the clearer a view you’ll be rewarded with. Thanks to its dry weather, sparse clouds and proximity to the Arctic Circle, Tromso is often considered the best place in Norway to see the lights. A trip here is a must if you can fit it into your schedule.
Fjords and their watery glory
Preserved from glacier-scoured landscapes and now stunning, awe inspiring-natural attractions, Western Norway’s fjords can be enjoyed by anyone wishing to go kayaking. Driving around them offers some of the best opportunities to explore a quintessential Norwegian landscape.
Fauna unique to Norway
This Scandinavian haven is home to many Arctic animals, such as reindeer, wolverines, elk and lemmings. If you head north, you might even spot a bear, wolf or lynx. With marine and freshwater fish also in abundance, Norwegian salmon fishing attracts enthusiasts from all over the world. There are many game birds in the dense forests and valleys, along with a huge variety of coastal birds on the islands surrounding Norway.
Incredible wildlife is also in abundance north of the Norwegian mainland on the Svalbard Archipelago. Guided tours are highly recommended – you might even see a polar bear!
If whale watching is on your agenda, be sure to check the best spots for seeing them and try to visit from November through the end of January.
You can also see the famed giant king crabs being pulled up from deep beneath the ice on a King Crab Safari. Their prime season is in line with the coldest, iciest months.
Skiing is possible at any time of the year in Norway. You can even get a tan while gliding down the slopes of any number of ski centers, such as Stryn, which is just a 6-hour drive from Bergen.
Norway in the winter
Every season has its delights and advantages, but nothing quite beats winter in Norway. With so many outdoor activities to keep you warm, such as skiing, wildlife spotting, glacier tours and browsing the many Christmas Markets, you can be busy while indulging in the magically white landscapes.
Hike and see the real Norway
With fantastic laws regarding the right to access and camp in all areas of the country, hiking is a wonderful way to explore everything that wild Norway has to offer. For the more adventurous visitor, there’s the hike to the peak of Galdhøpiggen, the highest mountain in Norway. For something a little more sedate, you can opt to trek through the Rondane National Park, where you might spot wild reindeer.
Grab your camera
Whether you’re a serious photographer with all the latest equipment, a social media influencer, or just someone who clicks casually for fun, Norway has so many stunning vistas and spectacles. You’ll definitely need to take your camera with you wherever you go.
Polar days and polar nights
With most of Norway above the Arctic Circle, summertime sees eternal sunshine. During a phenomenon called the ‘Midnight Sun’, the sun is above the horizon for 24 hours a day. Lasting the longest in Norway, the best place for watching this spectacle is the North Cape on the northern coast of Magerøya Island. Did you know that there is also the opposite phenomenon referred to as the ‘Polar Night’? During the winter months, there is no sun at all!
Sea food, eat food!
Fish is the star of the culinary show in Norway and local chefs make sure that the country remains one of the best for tasting high-quality, expertly cooked fish specialties.
Norway’s coastline and coastal towns
Norway has coastal towns in abundance and many of them are worthy of a visit, if not a longer stay. With simple architecture, fishing is the primary industry for residents of Norway’s many coastal towns, and culinary staples include dried and salted cod. The breathtaking views of Alesund and its array of hiking opportunities make it a great place to visit, along with Henningsvær and its brightly colored houses standing in a row along the water’s edge.
Unique, wooden churches
While big churches in Europe tend to be constructed from stone, you can find intricately designed wooden churches throughout Norway. Known as Stave churches, they represent the country’s long culture and history of woodworking. The biggest one was built in the 13th century and is called Heddal Stave Church. It is located in Notodden municipality.
A new wave of architectural landmarks is being created in Oslo’s harbourside. Along with its many great art galleries and museums, it’s a delightful city to visit. Easy to walk around on foot, you can stroll around the city at your leisure, stopping whenever you want for a snack, to gaze at the wonderful works of art, to pop into a museum or even to unwind in a floating sauna.
Take a summer road trip
Offering spectacular rewards, a winter road trip across Norway is out of this world. While it can be challenging if you’re not confident driving in winter conditions, a slow, steady and safe approach can help you take in the many sights of this magical country that are only accessible with a car. If this all sounds a bit hair-raising, why not try a summer road trip instead?
Don’t worry, be happy!
The World Happiness Report scores Norway highly, year after year. Denmark, Iceland and Switzerland are hot on its heels. With its high GDP per capita, long life expectancy and a strong social support network for the less fortunate, it’s easy to see why. In Norway, even those employed in the lowest-paying jobs receive more money than most people who do highly paid jobs elsewhere in the world.
Only a trip to Norway will satisfy the yearning for exploring this amazing country that you’ve surely now developed. Why not turn your newfound dreams into reality and start planning your Norwegian trip today? If you decide you want to visit Norway in the winter and marvel at the many snowy delights the country has to offer, you’ll have the chance to take part in winter sports such as skiing or snowshoeing. Or if you prefer a summer holiday that will enable you to explore the country without being wrapped from head to toe in winter clothing, the summer offers endless outdoor activities!
Whenever you want to visit, be prepared to be astounded and for Norway to become your new favorite destination!