Norway is a glorious country, famous for the fjords, insurmountable mountain ranges and adorable Nordic villages. Such phenomena like the Northern Lights and glaciers are part of the Norwegians life. We have picked ten places to go and explore, while in this country. Which one would you like to see the most?
1. Oslo The vibrant capital is considered to be one of the best cities to live in the world. Founded in the 11th century, Oslo has preserved its historic heritage, including Viking ships and historic buildings. Everything from the ancient artifacts to the art works can be explored in numerous museums. Meanwhile hip atmosphere invites to enjoy cafes, restaurants and night clubs.
Why to go there?: Oslo offers a nice blend of history and urban facilities. From historic heritage and the museums, dedicated to one of the most famous Norwegian artists Edward Munch among others, to the lively city life – the capital is a must see once in Norway.
2. LofotenWe find this to be one of the most beautiful archipelagos in the world! Although found in the Arctic Circle, the weather is surprisingly mild here. Lofoten features azure water, rich marine life and even the biggest deep water coral reef on the planet. In summer the area provides 24 hours of sunlight, allowing visitors to explore the region uninterruptedly.
What to do there?: Lofoten offers a wide range of activities. Visitors go climbing, hiking, cycling, surfing and mountaineering. Fishing and whale safaris are also among the most popular activities, while cycling allows to explore nature and authentic villages.
3. The Troll Wall, Romsdal The impressive wall is part of the mountain range of Trolltindene. The 1 100 m (3 600 ft) height wall is the tallest vertical rock in Europe. Therefore it is a desirable challenge for the climbers and base jumpers. There are ten routes established by the various international climbing groups and new possible options, since the environment constantly changes due to the melting ice, storms and rockfall.
Why to go there?: One of the most popular and beloved rocks among the climbers. Even if you are not a professional, the landscape is breathtaking. There are many climbing and hiking options in the region. AAK Fjellsport Senter provides with information, equipment and even gives climbing lessons.
Photo: Andreas Winter
Photo: Natalia Eriksson
4. The Atlantic Ocean RoadA 8.3 km (5.2 mi) long road stretches through the archipelago in the Norwegian Sea and promises one of the most scenic rides in Europe. The road passes through small Nordic villages, features some breathtaking twists and turns and sometimes is being hit by huge waves. Nevertheless it is classified as the National Tourist Route and is included in a cultural heritage list.
Why to go there?: The road is one of the most popular routes in the world. The way connects Averøy island with the mainland at Eide municipality. Adventurers come to the Atlantic Road in autumn to experience the storms, that hit the drive.
Photo: Asbjorn FlodenPhoto: Benjamin GsPhoto: Martynas Milkevičius5. Geirangerfjorden A 15 km (9.3 mi) long fjord is a branch of the much longer Storfjord. It is listed as the World Heritage Site and is protected by UNESCO. The picturesque environment is characteristic of lush greenery and precipitous rocky cliffs. Numerous waterfalls plunge down these walls, thus adding an extra charm to the place.
Why to go there?: The site can be explored via hiking trails or from a cruise in the Geirangelva river. Tourists also like kayaking, fishing and hiking here, while in winter it makes a great skiing spot.
Photo: Alireza Behrooz
Photo: Will Burrard-Lucas
Photo: Ghost Farm
6. Hoyvika Beach, AndøyaLocated on the northernmost island in the Vesterålen archipelago, the beach is considered to be one of the most beautiful in the region. The whole island has a dramatic surface, high peaks and a mountain range, which also surrounds Hoyvika. And although it is found in the Arctic circle, climate in Andøya is mild all year round and the temperatures do not drop much below zero in winter.
What to do there?: The island, Hoyvika and more beaches can be explored on a coastal trek from Stave to Bleik. The 9 km (5.6 mi) trail can be completed in about five hours. It provides numerous panoramic views to the mountains, hills and a rocky coastline. Hikers also have an opportunity to watch nesting colonies of puffins, shags, kittiwakes and guillemots.
Photo: Fred Åge Hol
7. Besseggen Ridge, JotunheimenA mountain ridge, embedded between the blue lakes of Gjende and Bessvatnet, creates one of the most fascinating sceneries in the country. Therefore it attracts the most hikers and backpackers in Norway. The most popular way to get around is by taking a boat from Gjendesheim to Memurubu and then hitting the road on foot. It takes approximately 5 to 7 hours to complete the route.
When to go there?: All year round. The peak season is of course summer, but in winter there are skiing facilities and tours offered for those who are not afraid of the snow challenge.
8. Trolltunga, HardangerAlso known as the Troll’s Tongue Rock, the site is among the most photographed places in Norway! No wonder, since it is indeed an impressive rock, protruding 700 m (2 300 ft) above the Ringedalsvatnet lake. The site is accessible from mid-June to mid-September and hikers get to admire impressive views all the way up to the “tongue”.
Why to go there?: It is characteristic that in Norway you won’t see any fences on such rocks. Therefore the authentic experience and views are preserved, while everyone is responsible for their own safety. The visitors love taking crazy pictures here, since obviously it provides one of the rarest opportunities to make an impressive shot.
9. TromsoThe biggest city in the Northern Norway is the best place to admire the Aurora Borealis – one of the main attractions in the Arctic Circle. Incidentally Tromso drops in the zone where the Northern Lights are visible for about 6 hours a day! Moreover despite the remote location it has a lively cultural life here – from the music scene to the museums, from beautiful nature to a ski track and a ski jump – the town provides numerous outdoor as well as indoor activities.
Why to go there?: The town is especially beautiful in winter and Christmas period. It is also the best place to see the Northern Lights. A very Nordic-like town with rich cultural life and plenty of activities.
This is one of the oldest fishing villages in Norway, providing a number of opportunities to experience the authentic Nordic lifestyle. Visitors are accommodated in the original fishermen cabins – the oldest one is from the 1890s! However, today all the facilities are installed inside, including internet, and provide a cozy stay in this wild region.
Why to go there?: The village has preserved unspoiled nature and the rough mountainous scenery dominates the landscape. Moreover tourists can rent boats and bikes, go hiking and fishing. Local museums and galleries introduce to the culture and history of the region. And even annual Feelgood Jazzfest is being held here!