Norway is one of these countries you won’t believe your eyes! Located along the western part of the Scandinavian peninsula, it was once the home of the vikings. There can be found dramatic sceneries with deep coastal fjords that where formed when the glacial erosive process started 2, 5 million years before present. Part of it is above the Arctic Circle which means the habitants barely see the sun during winter but summer is a never ending day. This country is definitely made for outdoor activities seekers. We went there, we love it and we now share with some things to do in Norway; 10 moments you could live :)
1. Explore the fjords on a boat cruise
A trip in Norway is not complete if you don’t go on a cruise across the fjords. It’s a great way to realise how small we are! The fjords are a long, narrow inlet with steep sides or cliffs, created by glacial erosion. Some drops can be as high as 1000m, in the Sognefjord for example. No need to say the sceneries are gorgeous, waterfalls and little fisherman villages are part of the discovery. You can easily find tours going from Bergen which is the city where most of the excursions start from.
2. Visit Bergen’s famous fish market
While in Bergen, why not go to the picturesque fish market. It is one of the most visited markets in Norway and for a reason. This place has been since 1200 a meeting point for merchants and fishermen. There you can eat tasty crabs, shells, mussels, smoked fish, fish soup and they are all delicious!
3. Discover the blue lagoons of the Lofoten Islands
Exploring the Lofoten Islands is an unforgettable experience. The scenery is just magic…Blue lagoons with sharp mountain backgrounds, fantastic sandy beaches, it is hard to believe that such place exists on earth. The postcard village of Reine is one of the symbol of Lofoten but there are loads of hidden gems to be found going off the beaten track around Fredvang and Ramberg for example. There you can see the cod fish in the process of drying, hanged on wooden structures. Exploring the area on a bicycle is highly recommended. Many bridges help you to connect from one side to another over the blue lagoons.
4. Go for a midnight hike in the Sjunkhatten
Located in the Arctic Circle near the town of Bodø, the Sjunkatten national park is a fantastic place to go hiking. You’ll find waterfalls, lakes and fjords among this tundra like landscape. For the ones up for a physical challenge climbing up Heggmoen mountain will for sure make them sweat! The view from the top is just magnificent and worth the effort. Once there, caution needs to be observe as there is a vertical drop of 890m, just make sure you don’t find yourself down the fjord.
5. Spend a day or 2 in Oslo
Oslo is the capital city of Norway and while being there, travellers can enjoy some must do activities as Oslo concentrates many aspects in terms of culture and architecture! The Norwegian National Opera is the most known for its very modern style. The open-air Museum of Cultural History is the one not to be missed, it allows the visitor to time travel back in the age of bronze to a more recent period. Built as a village, it invites you to understand Norwegians lifestyle through the years as stepping in the different houses. A wooden church dating back to 1200 has been entirely rebuilt and it is gorgeous. The lively neighbourhood of Grünerløkka is ideal for finding nice restaurants or bars and if you fancy going for a gig you could go to Parkteatret concert hall, so check out their program!
6. Take the train between Oslo and Bergen
One of the most beautiful train journeys in the world according to the Lonely Planet. It is hard to believe that this rail found its way trough this inhospitable land. It lasts for about 7 hrs and believe me, you won’t even think of playing with your smartphone during the trip unless to immortalise the sceneries and there is no way you can get bored. Half way through, you could combine it with a boat trip in the Aurlandsfjorden getting of at Myrdal station and hoping on the Flåm railway for 20 km down to the fjord. This is another prowess of engineering. A bus will take you back to another train station after the cruise and will let you continue to Bergen. A day well spent and an unforgettable experience!
Extra tip: You can buy tickets as cheap as 20 euro if you order within 2 or 3 weeks before going. The Flåm Railway, which is one of the leading tourist attractions in Norway, is a bit more expensive considering the duration (one hour, 30 euros) but again it is worth it as a one time experience.
7. Stroll among Bergen’s street art
Bergen is a place where it rains a lot! But fortunately it has a warm heart with its colourful art. It is really a special place. The Bryggen area (The Dock) is an interesting tangle of wooden houses with a great story that comes with it. The cable car is also a great way to check to city from the top and many paths that go straight into wilderness can be found.
8. Meet the local lifestyle in a countryside house
When travelling, we like making new friends right? Spending time with locals can in most cases lead to things you’d never experience in other circumstances. In Norway, it is not rare that families own a countryside house. If you are lucky enough you might end up in one of them spending the afternoon cooking, laughing, taking a nap…and of course get a better understanding of the Norwegian culture.
9. Dare trying some smoked whale
Norway is one of the three countries in the world that still allow whale hunt, I agree to say, it is not right but after doing some research, it appears that the type of whale they hunt is not on the list of endangered species and there is a quota catch. That being said, if you get the chance to try some smoked whale, don’t hesitate. It is hard to describe as it really tastes like nothing else but again, being curious in experiencing new things is a good thing ;)
10. Find the Arctic surf spot
This is for the surfers searching for new spots that are less known on the planet! In the Lofoten Islands great waves are everywhere, you just need to find a way to get there. We picked Kvalvika Beach, a super remote beach. This place is the best setting for adventurous surfers. If you don’t surf, that’s alright, you could just take a swim in the Arctic circle waters.
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Norway is on our list – and now I am adding that midnight hike too, it looks amazing!