Exploring the best of Norway

Travelwise

Norway is a Scandinavian country encompassing mountains, glaciers and deep coastal fjords. It shares a long land border with Sweden and is also bordered by Finland and Russia to the northeast, with an extensive coastline facing the Atlantic Ocean and the Barents Sea. The long coastline influences the country’s climate. Coastal Norway is wet and mild whereas inland regions are cooler and drier with longer winters.

Soaring white mountains, breathtaking fjords, emerald-green forests and exhilarating outdoor pursuits such as hiking and kayaking are a big part of what makes Norway famous.

It is also known as the Land of the Midnight Sun, as a small portion of Norway lies on the northern side of the Arctic Circle, where it enjoys summers with the midnight sun. From May to late July, the sun never sets.

Most of the people in Norway speak English, especially the younger generation.

Oslo, its capital, is the largest and most visited city, famous for its modern design and architecture. The Oslo Opera House stands out from the crowd. Specially designed so that visitors can walk on its rooftop, this iconic building boasts an impressive façade.

Bergen is Norway’s second largest city. Surrounded by seven mountains and with a harbor of world heritage class, it is perfect for mountain hikes, city walks, water activities and culture. It offers small-town charm alongside a metropolitan character.

Tromso, capital of the Arctic, is located in the middle of northern Norway. If your bucket list includes the northern lights, whale watching, the midnight sun, and epic nature adventures, this is definitely where you should visit.

Trondheim is Norway’s third largest city, with colorful wooden houses and small-town charm offering several unique tourist attractions. It also offers vibrant urban nightlife and breathtaking surroundings, a rich history and some of Norway’s most beautiful landmarks. For the lover of small cities with loads of outdoor space and an easy-going vibe, Trondheim could be well worth visiting.

Alesund is a port town on the west coast of Norway, at the entrance to the Geirangerfjord. It’s known for its art nouveau architectural style in which most of the town was rebuilt after a fire in 1904. There are panoramic views of Alesund’s architecture, the surrounding archipelago and fjords from the Mount Aksla lookout. If conditions are good, you can also view the northern lights in Alesund.

The dense forests, deep valleys and massive mountain plateaus of Eastern Norway are all excellent starting points for nature adventures. This is where you’ll find some of Norway’s largest ski resorts, including Geilo, Trysil and Hemsedal. They offer year-round fun as they turn into world-class cycling and outdoor activity destinations once the snow melts. The long valleys of Valdres, Hallingdal and the Gudbrandsdalen valley are popular family destinations, offering everything from theme parks to quaint farms and great hikes. The same goes for the region of Telemark, where you can cruise on the Telemark canal and witness one of eastern Norway’s most impressive views from the top of Gaustatoppen mountain.

In the central mountains, you can enjoy the national parks of Dovrefjell, Jotunheimen and Rondane and nature-based activities such as hiking, cycling, rafting and climbing. Norway is a land of intense natural beauty. From hip urban cities to glittering fjords, northern lights and remote villages above the Artic Circle, Norway is a very long country, packed with things to see and do. Train travel is also one of the most sustainable ways to explore the country.

Whether you want natural highs or deep aesthetic experiences, or you want to go climbing up or skiing down, strolling slowly or cycling quickly, you’re sure to find what you’re after in Norway. Reach out to your travel advisor for the many various ways to explore the best of Norway.

About Nancy B. Alligood, CTC 25 Articles
Nancy B. Alligood, CTC is general manager/owner of Warwick Travel Service, Inc.and can be reached at 757-599-3011 or at n_alligood@warwicktravel.com.