Norway is one of the most beautiful countries in the world famed for its incredibly steep-sided fjords, mountainous terrain, grand glaciers and rugged wilderness, not to mention the Arctic.
Such landforms provide a backdrop for some of Europe’s most charismatic wildlife as well as activities such as fishing, cruising and skiing. Norway has it all, including cosmopolitan cities and the spectacular Northern Lights.
The scenery in Norway is among the most breathtaking in the world, with wild terrain that can be experienced within a whopping 44 national parks.
- The Northern Lights are at their most frequent in late autumn and winter, into early spring and can be seen from many places in Norway.
- Norway is well known for its fjords – deep inlets of the sea between high cliffs – with Sognefjord the absolute highlight, as the largest in Norway and one of the longest in the world.
- The country is also a great alternative ski destination to somewhere like the Alps, thanks to its less crowded slopes – three of the main centres for downhill skiing are Voss, Lillehammer and Geilo.
When to visit
Summer (June-August) brings incredibly long days – the time of the “midnight sun” – with September generally also a pleasant time to go. In the north, the cold bites from late September until May, but while there may be freezing temperatures and reduced daylight, travelling at this time of year brings a higher chance of seeing the northern lights (aurora borealis) and the chance to ski. Spring in the fjords is the perfect time to visit.
Areas of Norway
Hunters and fishermen settled in Norway around 10,000 years ago, and by 800AD, the Vikings had built iron weapons and fast ocean-going ships, which they used to plunder foreign lands. The Norwegian Empire was decimated by the Black Death in 1350, and allegiances with other Scandinavian countries were forged and broken over the next 500 years. Norway discovered oil and gas in the 1960s, generating billions for the local economy, and today the country is consistently voted among the best places in the world to live.