With a rugged countryside of mountains, fjords, and glaciers, Norway is filled with natural wonders. Part of its allure is its rich history and seafaring culture that reaches back to the days of the Vikings who inhabited Norway throughout the 9th century. Known as the ‘Land of the Midnight Sun,’ you can explore even longer with its endless summer days. Some of the best ways to explore is by bike, boat, car, skis, or even by husky-drawn sled.
One of Norway’s most historic and colorful cities, Bergen is sure to charm even the most season traveler. At the picturesque old Bryggen Wharf, you’ll feel like you have stepped into the pages of a storybook with its rows of tiny wooden houses sitting on narrow streets. The outdoor fish market sets the stage for a glimpse into local life and gives you a taste of the culinary delights important to this seafaring city.
Nestled between the Oslofjord and forested hills lies Oslo, Norway’s capital since 1814. Oslo is the center of Norwegian government and home to its royal family. You’ll find a vibrant, emerging cosmopolitan hub with an abundance of world-class museums, restaurants and art. Norway’s King Harald V and Queen Sonja reside here, and the UN considered it to be one of the best places in the world to live.
Viking Ship Museum:
A large part of Norway’s history dates back to the days of the Vikings. Learn the story of this fascinating time at the Viking Ship Museum. See two of the world's best-preserved Viking ships dating from the 9th century, as well other artifacts from the period including small boats, tools, textiles and household utensils.
Glaciers and fjords:
Norway is known for its massive glaciers that feed its deep blue fjords. There are so many to see, from the largest glacier in Europe to the one of the narrowest fjords in the world. Two of these natural wonders are recognized by UNESCO World Heritage and are simply incredible.
Artic Circle Crossing:
Here is a bucket list item you can check off your list – take a cruise that crosses the Arctic Circle. The Norwegian Coastal Voyage not only does just that but it is considered the world’s prettiest coastal route. Gaze at the distant rugged peaks and to the infinite sky…keep an eye out for sea life as you pass through fjords and by sleepy fishing villages.
In the quaint village of Flam, nestled at the entrance to the stunning Aurlandsfjord, embark on one of the world’s steepest train rides — the renowned Flam Railway. Ascend 3,000 feet, passing mighty waterfalls, towering mountains and amazing valleys on your way to the mountain plateau of Myrdal. Make your way to the edge for the best view of the fjord of Flam below and the breathtaking surrounding landscape.
Board a ferryboat for an exhilarating cruise on Geirangerfjord. Known for some of the most beautiful scenery in Norway, you are sure to be awed by one of the most famous fjords in the world. You will find Norway’s mighty waterfalls: the Seven Sisters, the Bridal Veil and the Suitor here. See charming homes that sit on the steep hillside beside acres of farmland that have been cultivated for centuries.
Europe’s most scenic rail journey is not to be missed. An engineering marvel built at the turn of the 20th century, you will be stunned at the effort it must have taken back then to make the 182 tunnels through mountains of sheer rock. Have your camera ready as this legendary ride takes you by Norway’s most tranquil and stunning landscapes, including a breathtaking fjord.
Just ask a Norwegian and they will tell you “there is no such thing as bad weather in Norway – only bad clothes.” So be sure to bring the right clothing. Layers are key. The weather in Oslo is much different than the weather in the mountains and even in Bergen. Just be prepared, and you will enjoy any weather.
Norwegians love their seafood. You will be able to try all types of fish prepared in many different ways. Don’t worry about it being too spicy, Norwegian food is light on the spice and heavier on the herbs and dairy.
Norway is known for making the best woolen handmade sweaters. If you are in the market, keep an eye out in particular for Selbu and Dale of Norway.