Kati and I love Norway. The fjords. The northern lights. The incredible nature. We have traveled to Norway a few times and have already booked a trip back next year. We will explore the high Arctic area of Svalbard. We will report on that once we come back.
The stretched Scandinavian country of Norway has made a name for itself with its incredible scenery and the fascinating fjords that are scattered all around. The remote place and cold weather may discourage tourists at first, but once you visit the country, any doubt is removed from their heads. Norway borders with Sweden, Finland, and Russia but most of its coast touches the Arctic Ocean, which makes for great views and a chilly atmosphere. You can find a plethora of fantastic cathedrals alongside the country which showcase the history of the cities. If you are really thinking about your Scandinavian getaway, then remember that the whole country is a goldmine of places that every traveler should see. Norway doesn’t have only mesmerizing views to attract tourists, but it offers a lot more. From the cultural traditions of the Sami people to the modern civilized culture aspect of Oslo. To fully enjoy your stay in the country, follow the list of places below that we are suggesting, and we assure you that you’ll have a great time.
The Most Beautiful Norwegian Fjords
A Fjord is a long and narrow channel with steep sides or cliffs, which is created by a glacier. The Norwegian coastline is estimated at 29,000 kilometers and offers more than 1200 fjords alongside it. You see, there are a number of choices to make here as a traveler for visiting, but we have picked the best ones for you. Before we continue with the list, let’s look at where the word originates from. Fjord comes from the Old Norse, where it has a general meaning that, in many cases, refers to a long narrow body of water or a channel.
The first one on the list is Nordfjord, it’s located in the western part of the country, and it has a perfect blend of scenery and sight viewing. There a number of historical sites nearby, and you can do all sorts of fun outdoor activities as well. You can take a boat ride and enjoy the fascinating views that are presented to you by nature in more detail. Additionally, if you are willing to do more fun activities, you can try fishing or water skiing, and if you are more adventurous, canoeing. The neighboring islands, mountains, and woodlands can be traversed by scenic drives and hiking trips to see sights like beautiful waterfalls, the ruins of a 12th-century monastery, and Norway’s highest peak, Skåla.
Coming at number two on this list is Hardangerfjord, it’s the world’s third-largest fjord. The place is popularized by its vibrating area that is often called the Orchard of Norway because of its vivid fruit trees and gardens. A large number of travelers choose to visit here during May to see the blossoming of trees like pears, plums, cherries, and apples. In addition, you can go kayaking and boat cruising around the magnificent fjord. Visitors can travel the surrounding region by scenic drives as well as hiking and cycling trails to see a number of outstanding natural wonders here, such as Norway’s most spectacular waterfall, the Vøringsfossen Waterfall.
And finally, we suggest you visit the largest fjord in Norway, the Sognefjord. It offers plenty of fun activities and adventures along the way. The most visited sightseeing options here are Norway’s oldest stave church at Urnes, the Magic White Caves of Gudvangen, the Viking Village in Gudvangen, and the Aurlandsdalen Valley, which is often called Norway’s Grand Canyon because of its immense beauty and wildlife variety. Tourists here can pick from a wide range of exciting adventures like riding the world’s steepest railway, the Flåm Railway, through snow-capped mountains and around cascading waterfalls. Other activities include hiking along picturesque trails and cruising around the radiant fjord and its many branches, such as Nærøyfjord, which is the wildest and most beautiful branch of the Sognefjord.
The Northern Lights
We all have seen or heard about the northern lights, and to be honest, visiting Norway just to see this with your own eyes is going to be worth it. They are also known as Aurora Borealis, and the best chance to see them in action is in winter when the nights are longer than usual. To be able to have a higher chance of viewing them, you have to travel as much north as you can so that way the city buildings are not in the way. Many people think that in Tromsø is the best place in Norway to see the northern lights, thanks to its northern location and the proximity to the Arctic Circle. Dry weather and a lack of clouds will make conditions perfect for spotting the northern lights, so make sure you have that going for you if you want to see them.
We briefly mentioned this city in the last paragraph, but now we are going more in-depth to understand what makes it so special. Apart from the Lady Aurora that is called in those parts or Aurora Borealis more generally, there are a number of things you can do there. The city is located 400km north of the Arctic Circle and is self-proclaimed as Norway’s gateway to the Arctic. There sure is an Arctic atmosphere around the city though, it has chilly fjords all around and mountain peaks that are under snow for a lot of years and by no means are getting to see the light of the sun anytime soon. The city links to the mainland with a beautifully arched bridge.
The wildlife in Tromso is also really fascinating and worth exploring. In the months of October through February, there are a number of whale and dolphin species that migrate there. You can catch a glimpse of humpback whales, killer whales, and much more while they are feasting on the large stock of herring. If you are more adventurous and travel a bit more into the wild, you may even see a polar bear in the wild but it is normally not recommended that you do that on your own. There are a number of agencies that will take you to explore everything, so pick on and better be safe than sorry.
Modern architecture is really prominent in this place, with different buildings showcasing it in a spectacular manner. The Arctic Cathedral, for example, is truly a wonder of the modern ages as it has an amazing architecture. The building looks incredible, and it resonates with the arctic environment. Polaria is also an amazing architectural building that is supposed to look like ice floes that are pressed against the land violently by the rough sea. It’s the most northerly aquarium, and this attraction gathers a lot of tourists each year where they can see there a variety of marine animals.
If you haven’t tried skiing yet then you have come to the right place to do it for the first time. Apart from the fascinating scenery that you will find there, you can also learn really well by instructors that have been born in that place and know everything you need about the sport. In the winter months, a lot of places become available in Norway for downhill skiing or even cross-country. You can visit Hemsedal for some world-class ski resorts. There are a dozen of slopes and more than 20 ski lifts that will make your life way easier. The place is a lot of fun even if you are not a good skier or even just starting to learn it.
Hiking is the other option here if you are not willing to learn how to ski or are not even bothered to be in the snow. This is the most amazing choice to make for sports activities if you want to enjoy as much of Norway’s natural beauty as you can. Hiking there is also easier since the government has issued laws that allow more exploration, which means you can walk on paths and camping spots easily. You can climb the mountain Galdhøpiggen which is the highest point in Norway if you are up for a real challenge. But if you want the chance to see a reindeer in their normal habitat, make sure to check out the Rondane National Park.
Spectacular Opportunities for Photos
This will appeal to most people but especially more if you are a social media influencer. The sights that you are going to see here are breathtaking, and I’m sure you will be set with content for a long time. You don’t have to be a professional photographer either but in case you see these amazing views will make you flip out. Your social media profile will be glowing and booming after you take pictures in these wondrous places. At Kjeragbolten, there is an iconic boulder caught between two cliffs that you have to see to believe otherwise, you’ll think it’s photoshopped or a lie. At the Pulpit Rock, you can take a selfie on a steep cliff face that overlooks the pristine clear blue water. At Trolltunga, you can snap a pic of the rocky outcropping perched hundreds of feet above a river. Each of these photo opportunities is unique, and there are a lot more than you can capture on camera while in Norway.
The coastline for Norway is massive so there is no surprise that there would also be a lot of fantastic coastal cities. These traditional coastal towns are often places where the architecture is nouveau. The citizens work in industries like fishing and local culinary staples. Let’s look at Alesund; for example, this city is in between a row of islands that form fascinating views. There are a number of panoramic views of Ålesund’s architecture, fjords, and the surrounding archipelago from the Mount Aksla lookout. Places like this are a true gem for this country and definitively make it worth it to visit.
We love to travel to Norway for the fantastic fjords, wildlife, and northern lights. We have many friends that travel there for incredible fishing. And yet, we have other friends that love going to visit vibrant and picturesque cities. Whatever your reason is, put Norway on your to-do list. Have an incredible time. Have fun. And enjoy this Scandinavian country.
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