Midnight sun, fjords, mountains and northern lights are only a few, but essential elements to the perfect holiday. Access it all from Gardermoen, the gateway to Norway.
A common misconception is that Norway is a rather small country that can be explored in a few days. However, this long and lavish country holds an abundance of things you need to see, places you have to go and food you need to eat. Check out our guide to make sure you do not miss out when you visit the beautiful gem of the North.
We can’t do much else than start with the nature, which is the number one reason to visit Norway. There is an everlasting list of places to see, but we have tried to narrow it down to a top four for you:
1. The Geiranger Fjord
© Øyvind Heen/visitnorway.com
Geiranger is a charming village in the Stranda municipality and is one of Norway’s most popular natural attractions. The Geirangerfjord flows at the bottom of the majestic valley, surrounded by snow-covered mountains and lush, green vegetation. Head up one of the many trails offering unrivalled, scenic views of the fjord. Bring a camera and some snacks, because you will not want to leave once you’ve seen these brilliant views.
2. The Pulpit Rock
© Andreas Gruhle/visitnorway.com
This dramatic piece of nature has been chosen by Lonely Planet as one of the top ten most scenic viewing points in the world. The flat plateau that suddenly drops hundreds of meters straight down makes for the perfect spot to gaze out at the seemingly never-ending mountains. Depending on your pace and how many photo breaks you take, it will take you anything from one to four hours to reach the plateau. We recommend wearing hiking boots or shoes with a thicker sole as the path is quite rocky and can be slippery at times. Also, it is important to know that the main season to visit the Pulpit Rock is from April to September
A hike that is suitable for more experienced hikers, but no less beautiful. The trip itself takes 10-12 hours and takes you through 22 kilometers of rocky sections and wild, stunning nature. Naturally, this trip requires some more gear and experience than the others do, and also more sweat and effort, but it sure pays off in the end. The destination for this hike is Trolltunga, or the Troll’s tongue, a narrow, thin plateau that “hangs” in the air more than 700 meters above ground. In the period from October to March you will not be able to hike here, due to the harsh environment.
© Per Eide / Visitnorway.com
The 4,5 kilometer hike that leads to one of the scariest and most rewarding spots is our number four. This medium to difficult hike will take you approximately 3,5 hours before you’re allowed to step out on this round rock wedged between two mountains. Terrifyingly beautiful views awaits and you will get some serious bragging rights.
Most iconic places
Some sceneries are more famous and iconic than others, which is also true for Norway. Here is a list if the top four iconic spots that will make for the perfect photo background.
1. Bryggen in Bergen
© Anders Giubelli / Visitnorway.com
The Hanseatic Wharf in Bergen is a unique part of the city with colorful, wooden buildings and a rich history. Walk along this UNESCO World Heritage site and explore the small shops and fantastic restaurants that call this place home.
2. Nidarosdomen in Trondheim
The grand Nidarosdomen Cathedral is located in the city center of Trondheim, Norway’s fourth largest city. Make sure to get the round trip of the building allowing you to explore the crypt and the high towers as well as learning more about the different sculptures on the magnificent front.
4. The North Cape
If you really want to experience the raw and unforgiving nature of Norway, head to the north. The North Cape is essentially a cliff with a great sculpture of a globe, which you can reach by car, foot, boat or bike. The scenic views and incredible nature are truly one of a kind, and should be high on your to-do list when visiting Norway.
What to eat
The Norwegian cuisine is built upon a rather primitive and basic selection of meat and potatoes, but has become far more sophisticated with time. Many dishes evolve around meats like deer, reindeer, beef, sheep and chicken as well as their famous salmon. The fish is widely known for being high quality and is an important part of Norwegian exports. The varied selection of restaurants found throughout the country offers anything from American to Asian, Mexican and traditional Norwegian foods like smalahove (sheep’s head) and svele (Norwegian pancake).
How to plan your trip
Whether you’re going for the all-out South to North round tour or want to visit selected attractions and cities there is a natural starting point to your journey. Kick off your grand tour from Radisson Blu Airport Hotel, Oslo Gardermoen, located minutes from the gates of Norway’s largest airport and only 40 minutes from Oslo. Work your way from the capital in the East all the way to the North Cape to explore the diverse, wild and unforgettable landscapes of Norway.
Main image: Per Eide/visitnorway.com