Deep, silent fjords, landscapes of rugged, snow-capped peaks and skies so clear that they dance with the lights of the Aurora Borealis, Norway is a country that has it all. If you’re not already sold, discover our six reasons why Norway needs to be top of your bucket list.
Norway is home to the world’s most beautiful fjords
It’s regularly claimed that Norway has some of the most beautiful fjords in the world – something hard to dispute. UNESCO World Heritage Site, Geirangerfjord is cited as an example of Norway’s exceptional natural beauty, thanks to the bewitching combination of sheer, rocky cliffs from which ribbons of icy water plunge into the silent shimmering waters of the fjord.
What’s more, despite its seclusion, Geirangerfjord can be easily accessed via a Norway cruise ship tour or a ferry from nearby Geiranger.
And has a stunning 15,600-miles (25,000) km long coastline
As a result of its thousands of fjords, Norway actually has the eighth longest coastline in the world – over 3,100-miles (5,000km) longer that the United States.
One of the best ways to experience this breathtaking coastline is with the Hurtigruten coastal ferry, a day-trip that follows Norway’s vast northern shoreline. Passing into secluded coastal fjords and dramatic, sweeping headlands, this ferry is the finest introduction to Norway’s captivating coast.
Norway is the place to watch the Northern Lights
For those hunting down the dancing colors of the elusive Aurora Borealis, you’ll find no better place than northern Norway. Located in the “prime zone” in terms of latitude, chances of sparkling nights are high and increased by the region’s clear skies, particularly in the inland mountains.
Added to this, if taking a cruise ship tour in the waters of northern Norway, you’ll likely visit remote hamlets far from light pollution – the ultimate place for a splendid light show.
Discover some of Europe’s most incredible hiking
With its mountainous landscapes and untouched nature, it’s not hard to imagine why Norway is one of the continent’s top trekking destinations. Jotunheimen National Park, a five-hour drive from the capital Oslo, is the most captivating.
Only the seriously adventurous need visit: find 60 glaciers, a plethora of 6,500ft. (2,000m) peaks, including Norway’s highest, 8,100ft (2,469m) Galdhøpiggen and enough hiking trails through enchanting scenery to keep you occupied for weeks.
Adrenaline inspiring driving
The Geiranger-Trollstigen National Tourist Route might look like something out of a Hollywood adventure epic, but this 66-mile (106km) road is a real road that can be driven. A paradise of hairpin bends, it’s matched with divine scenery.
Stare in awe at towering mountains from viewing platforms and look back at the road you’ve already traveled, which looks like a jagged scar on the landscape below.
This white-knuckle ride finishes at the Seven Sister waterfalls, where seven cascades of icy water plunge into a lake and provide a moment to collect yourself before attempting the return drive.
Many visitors to Norway come with the principle aim of seeing Svalbard and its resident polar bear population. Over 3,000 polar bears roam on this archipelago in the Arctic Ocean and tours allow visitors to get close enough for pictures of these splendid beasts in their natural habitat.
Polar bears may be the stars of the show, but Arctic foxes and the Svalbard reindeer are also residents of these remote islands, while on mainland Norway, elk and musk ox ramble. Expect to see puffins and eider ducks on Lovund and Vega, two islands off the Nordland coast, in addition to whales in the surrounding waters.