Norway’s landscape is a wild artwork with deep glacial fjords gouged into the coastline, rugged mountains laced with lush green valleys. Nestled in Northern Europe, it shares the Scandinavian Peninsula with neighbouring countries Sweden and Finland, and has a beautiful western coastline that crumbles into the ocean. The geography of Norway invites you to get stuck into myriad outdoor adventures and come snow or shine, its intrigue is impossible to resist.


Despite being small in population – just under five-and-a-half million people – Norway is one of the largest European countries in area, stretching 150,000 square miles. Nearly half of the population live in the southern region surrounding Oslo, with most of the rest settling in coastal cities such as Bergen and Trondheim. The difficult terrain and extreme climate of the northern and central parts of the country make for tricky living conditions, so are more sparsely populated than the urban areas.


Norway boasts one of the longest coastlines in the world; at around 63,000 miles it would circle the world twice if stretched out. This is due to its 1,700 twisting fjords that are dotted along the coast, formed by glaciers that deepen existing valleys, with water and ice gradually eroding the mountain rock. These grand waterways are the country’s most famous feature and to see these fjords is to truly experience the geography of Norway. Among the most visited are Geirangerfjord and Nærøyfjord which both feature on UNESCO’s World Heritage list.


Falling off the coastline in rocky clusters are Norway’s islands, and with thousands upon thousands scattered at sea they truly make up one of the country's most prominent geographical features. Situated high up in the Arctic Circle are the likes of Jan Mayen and Svalbard, the former having no permanent population and the latter being one of the world’s northernmost inhabited areas. Then there’s the lovely Lofoten Islands, on the northwestern coast, which are a hub of Norwegian culture, attracting tourists to marvel at the majestic nature, fishing settlements and glistening Northern Lights.


Norway’s spectacular snow-capped peaks sit close to most of the country’s towns and cities, including Bergen, Oslo, Flam and Stavanger. Offering exhilarating hikes and even better views, mountains such as Pulpit Rock are bucket-list destinations that have visitors itching to scale their rocky faces. With over 300 mountains, many rising more than 6,000ft into the heavens, both tourists and locals are spoilt for choice when deciding which mountain to visit next for a weekend of crisp, cold mountain air.

Towns and Cities

Dotted across Norway is a collection of charming towns and cities that complement the storybook scenery. On the country’s southern coast lies the capital city of Oslo, which was dubbed the ‘newest capital of Nordic cool’ by The Wall Street, and is a beautiful blend of contemporary and traditional Scandinavian buildings. Up in the North, above the Arctic Circle, you’ll find Tromsø where you can spend the summer months dancing the night away at Midnight Sun concerts and the winter months venturing out to spot the Northern Lights. And in the centre of the country is Trondheim, a popular jumping off point for the nearby fjords. These centres of culture and activity breathe a new kind of life into the geography of Norway and are well worth weaving into your itinerary.

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