12 reasons why you should travel to Norway right now
Occupying a small part of the Scandinavian peninsula and covering its borders with many nearby islands, the Kingdom of Norway has for many years remained the most popular country in Northern Europe among travellers.
The surreal beauty of the Scandinavian landscapes leaves no chance for those who still think that Norway is only cold, dark and isolated. The history of an entire nation of Norway, the majestic landscapes, the modern people in their vision of the world, and the untouched nature, imbued with gratitude for respect for itself, is what the Western Kingdom of the North represents.
Why is it necessary to quickly collect the essential things in a bag (without forgetting the additional "layer" of clothes for any case!) and poison yourself on the first flight to Norway?
1. Discover every, technology untouched, corner of this land
Norway is a vast country, whose Norway population hardly exceeds 5 million. Thanks to this, most of the territory for many centuries remains intact, and every inveterate traveller at heart hopes to become the discoverer of some godforsaken rock or unnoticed by no one previously plains.
According to what is translated from Norwegian as "the right of every person", any resident or guest of the country has absolute freedom in travelling around the country. National parks and most undeveloped land are open to the public, while the borders of private property traditionally remain intact.
Everyone has the opportunity to see the best places in Norway, the most picturesque corners of the Northern Kingdom with their own eyes, without being tied to guides or hotel booking terms. All you need is a reliable tent, pleasant company and ready for adventure.
2. To feel completely safe thanks to the abnormally low crime rate and high happiness index
You can relax and forget about all the problems because in Norway it is safe. Moreover, the police work quickly and smoothly, and the residents of the Kingdom, being the happiest people in the world, are ready to come to the aid of a confused tourist. According to The Jante Law, the content of which largely explains the Scandinavian mentality, no one has the right to laugh at the confusion of others. Everyone is obliged to show respect, even to the casual passerby.
What's remarkable: it's not just about safety in public places or narrow, poorly lit city streets. Norway wildlife is also safe: most of the animals we prefer to avoid are the first to be seen.
3. Imagine yourself as the world's lord or a wide-wing eagle soaring in the air
Rising 1100 meters above the Lake Ringedalsvatnet, a rock called Trolltunga, has an intimidating and simultaneously eye-catching energy. The view from the cliff is truly indescribable, but the path to the destination may not be for everyone. It is not surprising, because only the most persistent and brave deserve to get to the Scandinavian top of the world! Note that the ascent takes on average about 11 hours and the most favourable period for the implementation of the plan - from July to September under adventurous Norway weather conditions.
Another miracle in Norway - Kjeragbolten, also known as the Kiragg Plateau - breaks the "myth" that it is impossible to stand in the air. Indeed, being in a mountain crevice at an altitude of 984 meters above sea level, it is not difficult to feel like a bird that is preparing for a spectacular jump before takeoff. The Terrible Boulder is genuine and even safe. Scandinavian nature has worried that instead of horror and trauma in the memory of travellers are only paintings of its true splendour, and in their hearts - a sincere child's delight.
4. There is much more to see than Oslo and Bergen
The real Norway, its true Scandinavian nature and the spirit of the "northern route" of the Normans is revealed primarily in cities such as Trondheim.
More than a thousand years of history of the city, the founder of which was Olav I Trygvason, keeps secrets that were not even mentioned in the chronicles. Located in the heart of the Kingdom - the province of Trondelag - Trondheim has long been home to almost two hundred thousand people, welcoming everyone who wants to visit.
Trondheim's medieval Archbishop's Palace is not only the most popular stop on the route of many travellers but also one of the most protected best sights in Europe. The delightful collection of royal jewellery and exposition of Scandinavian arms are not all that is worth your attention on the palace's tricky territory. There is a museum in the south wing, which holds priceless evidence of archaeological excavations of Nidaros Cathedral - the most significant Gothic temple in all Scandinavia.
5. Learn the culture of outdoor recreation in Scandinavian style
Contrary to a different stereotype, Norway is not only dozens of ski resorts and covered with a layer of snow for a moment not melting land. The country of the midnight sun offers unlimited opportunities for a variety of recreation "on your feet" at any time of year.
Hiking to the glaciers or on the outskirts of the surrounding fjords cliffs, skiing or dog-drawn sledging, walking on snowshoes or camping - native Norway people love active recreation in the open air, as well as tourists who specially come from the most remote corners of the world.
Residents of the west coast of the Scandinavian Peninsula see a special, if not sacral, meaning in merging with nature, altogether rejecting the reclusive lifestyle, the label of which is universally hung on representatives of northern peoples. Moreover, every self-respecting Norwegian will prefer to go to his cosy house somewhere in the middle of the forest, by the lake, or by the river instead of having a Saturday party by the fireplace or in front of the TV for a day or two. Only in this way: in a place forgotten by God, but dear to the heart, convinced the Scandinavian - you can escape from the hustle and bustle of the humming daily life.
6. Fill with the freshness of crystal clear waters of majestic Norwegian waterfalls
Thanks to the significant number of glaciers, Norway is replete with waterfalls. Some are reduced to the size of mountain streams when the air temperature is relatively high. Others, on the contrary, retain their power and breathtaking greatness all year round.
One of the largest in Europe and the most impressive waterfalls of the Kingdom is considered Mardalsfossen. By letting its stormy waters run cascading from a height of 297 meters down into a quiet, undisturbed valley, the ice stream is a source of life for the surrounding lands.
Vøringfossen is the most famous and popular waterfall among the guests of Norway. The water stream descends from a height of 180 meters and continues its winding path in the valley Mabodalen, which is located between Oslo and Bergen. Surrounded by threateningly sharp limestone rocks and lush, bright emerald leaves, Weringsfossen is likely to be one of the most memorable chapters of your journey to Norway.
7. Make sure that the fjords are much more than a beautiful picture in a magazine
Norway, without its impressive fjords, like Ukraine without the majestic Carpathians or Switzerland without the snowy Alps, is impossible. Moreover, a trip to Scandinavia will be considered unfinished and even in vain, if you forget to include the northern "eighth wonder of the world" in the list "what to see in Norway".
Most of the fjords take their origin off the west coast of Norway. The history of these unique bays takes us back to the end of the Ice Age. Breaking through the mountain crevices, the waters of the rapidly melting glaciers filled the vast size of the valley. Today, stretching many miles ahead, surrounded by lush broad-leaved forests and steep rocky cliffs, the fjords embody the Scandinavian detachment from worldly vanity and the Norway people' longing for peace.
The world's third-largest fjord Hardangerfjord has been one of the most popular among tourists for several decades. Named the "Norwegian Garden" thanks to the abundance of fragrant fruit trees growing against the background of atypically bright landscapes of Norway, the region is full of life and colour. There are many ways to fully experience the atmosphere of the Hardanger Fjord and its surrounding area. For example, you can try all possible trails on your two, or plan a long bike ride, go on a boat cruise or an independent micro-trip on kayaks.
8. Become part of an exciting road adventure
And no, this is not about extreme driving on bumpy roads familiar to all of us. The Kingdom is concerned about the safety of its guests and residents.
Hundreds of roads permeate emerald and snow-white landscapes of Norway: coastal highways, tangled mountain paths or 15-mile tunnels - all of them lead travellers in the footsteps of the mighty conquerors, discover the most exquisite beauty of nature, which are not written about in the guidebooks.
But even if you can't rent a car, Norwegian public transport is good enough to protect you from any inconvenience. Moreover, cabs in Norway are a real luxury, which costs not much less than a plane ticket.
Norwegian Railway is so unique that may be the only reason to come to the country of the midnight sun right now. Binding the village of Myrdal and the small village of Flam, Flamsbana Railway is one of the most picturesque and breathtaking routes in the world. Terrestrial Scandinavian landscapes: majestic mountains covered with dense forests, threateningly sharp rocks and violent waterfalls, as well as the impressively sized Sognefjord, will open up to you a few moments after departure.
9. Memorize the northern lights and forget about dreaming for the midnight sun
Thinking about where to go in Norway and what to see in Norway, few people will miss an opportunity to try their luck and, if they are lucky, see the real Northern Lights. And really, there is something magical in this phenomenon: it seems that the sky, dressed in shades of green and purple, wants to hypnotize curious travellers with his dance.
But it is important to remember that you can enjoy the heavenly glow, not in every point of Norway. The further you move north, the more chances you have to see the natural phenomenon that amazes even the travellers who have seen it. Also, in all its glory, Aurora Borealis is shown on cloudless winter days.
Known as the Midnight Sun, the Norwegian midnight sun, despite numerous rumours, is no different from what gives us its light in the daytime. Like the Northern Lights, the awake Star keeps its secrets, and this attracts more and more tourists every year. In Norway's northernmost point, the city of Tromso, despite the gloomy darkness of a few months, the sun does not set for a moment between May and July. It seems that no street lamps are needed in the devil, because sunset and dawn merge, and the horizon line remains filled with bright rays of the celestial light 24 hours a day.
10. Welcome the polar bears
Archipelago Svalbard (Svalbard) is unlikely to become so popular among tourists, if not inhabiting its territory representatives of Norway wildlife in addition to the glittering glaciers and gloomy mountain peaks. It seems as if one-day people decided to liberate Spitzbergen (Spitzbergen), as it is also called, washed by the waters of the Arctic Ocean to give freedom to northern elks, deer, musk oxen, wolves and sharp-billed eagles.
The only Svalbard polar bears of its kind are real Norwegian miracles. Although they do not swim on ice floes like brigantines, they painfully resemble the sweet Umka, who lost his mother. As part of one of the tourist tours, which originated in the village of Longyearbyen, you can get acquainted with the inhabitants of the far North in their habitat. Watching these fantastic, majestic creatures, do not forget that it is better to do it from far away, because even white and fluffy in an instant can bare their ominous glass.
11. Visit the historical homeland of northern fishers
Being one of the most picturesque places in Norway, The Lofoten Islands in the past is the home of many fishermen who lived in the North. Riding on the steep peaks of small bays of the Sea, the villages, like drawings on souvenir cards, convey their unique, colourful, incomparable atmosphere.
One of the most significant human-made best sights in Europe in the archipelago is bright red fishing huts, built right along the rocky line of the shore, sheltered from strangers' eyes. Spending the night in sturdy piled houses, traditionally called "rorbu", is one of the options for a memorable pastime near the waters of the Norwegian Sea, surrounded by the dramatically beautiful wildlife of Scandinavia.
A little further north of the Lofoten Islands is a mountainous archipelago Vesteralen. Hiking along The Queen's Route: walking along the white shore of the Atlantic Ocean and through mountain crevices, watching birds fly high above your head and sperm whales float right near the water surface, you'll find yourself in another fishing village whose inhabitants still preserve the traditions of Norway.
12. To merge with the local Norway population of cities on the water, near the water and ... almost in the water
Norway is famous for its countless coastlines with a total length of several hundred miles. Dozens of coastal cities in the Kingdom of fjords have much in common: simple architecture developed fishing industry and restaurants, which offer dried or salted cod as a dish of the day regardless of the season.
If everything is so diverse and predictable, what is so worth seeing and getting by choosing one of the points on the map of the coastline of Norway? Undoubtedly, much more than the possibility to tick the next point on the to-go sheet.
Alesund - a fantastic example of a coastal town on lined islands, the natural beauty of which is breathtaking and remains in memory for many years. If you are a fan of hiking, you will feel at home here, because locals consider hiking the best weekend entertainment.
Another stunning coastal town Henningsvær looks like a cosy fishing village in the best traditions of Norway. Bright as colourful liquorice candies, the building resembles more the houses of fabulous elves than people living in the 21st century. The magic glow of the sun's rays, reflected in the calm waters of the Norwegian Sea, makes you forget about any problems and worries and enjoy... Enjoy the atmosphere of the country of the majestic North.