Norway is a sort of European Canada, and Norway holidays are all about heart-stopping natural beauty and big, bold landscapes. Explore majestic fjords such as Sognefjord (aka the 'King of the Fjords' as both the largest and deepest in the country) as well as the UNESCO-listed and almost impossibly beautiful Geirangerfjord, thanks to its thick forests and waterfalls. Gaze at the Northern Lights in Tromsø and try your hand at the plentiful winter activities on offer such as snowmobiling, ice fishing and husky dog sledding. You might even see a polar bear when exploring Svalbard’s frozen frontier.
Oslo - Norway’s pint-sized capital - rivals the trendy Scandinavian cities of Stockholm and Copenhagen, with its splendid waterside location, vibrant night-life and rich Viking history. The city is a great starting point for your trip and you can discover its contemporary art scene and innovative culture alongside a local guide. On the Norwegian foodie front, you’ll find that some of the country’s finest treasures are plucked from the sea. Travel to the Lofoten Islands to try your hand at salmon fishing and feast on lemon-doused king crab, washed down with a glass of aquavit. One of the best things about Norway holidays is their suitability for every season. Norway’s winter welcomes snow bunnies, with opportunities to ski, snow shoe and get cosy in front of your lodge’s fireplace. Summer holidays, on the other hand, are the prime time to explore Norway’s picturesque towns and hop between the islands of the Lofoten archipelago, with stays in traditional rorbuer (fishing cabins).
Contact one of our Norway specialists + 44 (0) 20 3958 6120
Just home from the most incredible trip to Northern Norway. We had it all from clear skies and bright sunshine to full snowstorms, and saw plenty of the northern lights.
Thank you again to The Voyageurs Collection for organising such an incredible experience for us.
What can you find in Norway that you won’t find elsewhere?
Mighty fjordlands and dramatic coastline. In Norway’s craggy northwest, the long blue waters of the Vestfjord are often graced with orcas while the Lofoten Islands archipelago, adorned with painted fishing villages, sheltered bays and dramatic peaks (perfect for the Instagram feed), exudes rugged beauty. Beyond the Arctic Circle, admire Lysefjord from the famous Preikestolen cliff, teetering at 1,982ft (those with vertigo beware) as well as UNESCO-listed Geirangerfjord, one of the world’s most picturesque inlets with its dwarfing mountains and wild waterfalls.
Who are Norway holidays best for?
Norway holidays are perfect for families. Spend a weekend in Oslo canoeing on the surrounding lakes, inspecting Viking ships up close in the Viking Ship Museum and meeting the farm animals at 18th-century Bogstad Manor. If you have more time on your Norway family holiday, children can re-enact Disney’s ‘Frozen’ on the grand fjords, to the backdrop of magical waterfalls and wildlife. Alternatively, if you're the type who might like to ski by boat or take a snowmobile safari through polar bear country, you've come to the right place. Original Travel can arrange tailor-made adventure trips to the fjords of western Norway and the Arctic island archipelago of Svalbard, both of which major in big, bold scenery. The fjord region is, quite simply, one of the most dramatic destinations anywhere in the world, while Spitsbergen, the main island in Svalbard, is a frozen landscape of glaciers, mountains and fjords full of blue icebergs – think the Scottish Highlands during an Ice Age with added polar bears and you'll get the picture.
What are the best ways to discover Norway?
We recommend travelling the country in a hire car, so that you can linger or roam as you please during your trip.
Armed with our top tips and little black book, there’s no shortage of activities. But before you set off to more rural pastures, Oslo offers a wealth of cultural treats. For an art-filled break, spend the weekend in Oslo, admiring world famous works by Edvard Munch in the dedicated Munch Museum. You can see his most famous painting, ‘The Scream’, in the National Gallery alongside works by El Greco and Pablo Picasso. Don’t miss a concert at the University of Oslo Aula, if only to admire its decoration – Munch himself was commissioned to decorate its large walls in 1914. Then stroll the Grunerlokka neighbourhood where the artist grew up and whose residences remain unchanged since the 19th-century. Today the neighbourhood still retains its creative streak with cool coffee culture and shopping scenes. Start at Munch’s first address, Thorvald Meyers gate 48, then follow the timeline to Fossveien 7 where his beloved sister (and possible inspiration for The Scream) died of tuberculosis. Meanwhile, fill in the gaps embracing your inner hipster, dipping into achingly cool Scandi shops, sipping on cocktails in a trendy neighbourhood haunt come night time and dining on inventive tapas.
Aside from a Munch-inspired tour, we can easily sweep you through the city’s highlights, including the Royal Palace, Stortinget (Norway’s parliament), the National Theatre and the Akershus Fortress (which was the inspiration for the castle in Disney’s ‘Frozen’, so is a must-visit for anyone with children in tow). Not to mention some world-class museums and standout restaurants – naturally we’ll reserve the best tables in advance. Along with dining in some world-class establishments, take part in the country’s taco-eating tradition. The Friday night event (called ‘Fredagstaco’) has become a cultural phenomenon, whereby families sit down to eat together and share the Mexican dish.
A special experience in Norway:
Spend a long weekend in the Norwegian fjordlands in a traditional lafta (interlocking log) style lodge or a more contemporary style hotel immersed in nature. Kayak along the rivers without another person in sight and see extraordinary wildlife such as lynx, wolves and reindeer during a trip to the Langedrak Nature Park. Birdwatching is popular activity while visiting the Svalbard archipelago, a region characterised by ice caves and mountains, and around 30% of the world’s Atlantic puffins reside in Norwegian territory (a species which is instantly recognisable thanks to their colourful beaks). For those in search of a winter wonderland, the Valdres region (located just a few hours from Oslo by car), is filled with frozen lakes and snow-dusted forests. Here you can ski, snowshoe and experience what it’s like to be a musher with dog-sledding through the snow-clad landscape. Warm-up in between activities with rejuvenating spa treatments, sauna sessions and cosying up in front of your hotel’s fire.
Undoubtedly one of the most magical experiences in Norway is the chance to spot the elusive Northern Lights, and Tromsø, a city situated above the Arctic Circle in northern Norway, is an excellent place to see them from. Plan your trip between October and April to optimise your opportunity to catch sight of the iconic Aurora Borealis. Our travel experts can help design your tailor-made itinerary to incorporate this dazzling natural phenomenon.
Best Time to Visit Norway:
Despite its high latitude, Norway experiences a fairly temperate climate, and the coast is also blessed with relatively warm weather thanks to the Gulf Stream. Unfortunately, the weather can still be quite variable across the country and there are periods of heavy rainfall. Temperatures range from up to 30°C in summer and as low as -40°C in some remote areas during the winter. Unlike the rest of Scandinavia, however, winter is not the country’s only season and the surrounding sea isn’t frozen. In Oslo and Bergen, temperatures climb to around 20°C during summer and drop below 0°C in the winter months. The northern position of the Lofoten Islands means that the North Atlantic Drift, Norwegian Current and Gulf Stream all influence the climate here, although surprisingly both summer and winter are fairly mild. Finnmark, located in Norwegian Lapland, is one of the country’s coldest regions and has reached a record cold temperature of -51.4°C in Karasjok. Visit our guide page on the best time to travel to Norway for more information.