Traveling is always a fun time and you should be excited no matter where you are going. A weekend somewhere in your country can be a great experience, and so can a day-long picnic just outside your town. However, a truly life-changing trip can only happen if you step outside of your country’s borders and decide to visit someplace vastly different from what you know. But where do you travel in such a diverse world like our own? How do you choose? Most people want to go somewhere they have never been to and only revisit a place when they have seen plenty of other destinations. If you are struggling to pinpoint a location on the globe, you should seriously consider Norway.
It is definitely not as popular as some other European countries like France, Italy, or Germany, but it does not need to be. It is less famous but equally as touristy and magical, if not more so. Norway is a unique country that offers so much regardless of what you want from your vacation. In this article, we will talk about what you could and should do when or if you ever find yourself there for a holiday. Try as many of the things we discuss and an unforgettable experience will be guaranteed. Read on to find out more and visit VoyagePrive to learn additional info.
1. Check Out the Fjords
The number one thing you have to do when you visit this Scandinavian country is to tour its magnificent fjords. There is nothing like it elsewhere in the world really as the country is famous for its unique cliffs and waterfalls that vary in height, composition, and views. In total, there are over a thousand of them scattered along the shores and inland. The three most popular ones and therefore your primary targets should be Geirangerfjord, Nærøyfjord, and Sognefjord. The first is a UNESCO site and one of the “World’s Most Stunning Fjords”. The second is right there with it sharing the title. The third is also dubbed the “King of the Fjords” because it is both the deepest and the longest in Norway, and is also a part of two beautiful national parks, Jotunheimen and Jostedalsbreen.
2. Do Some Hiking and Climbing
Hiking opportunities in Norway are something you should absolutely do because there is nothing like it really. No matter where you have hiked before, Norway will beat it. The natural beauty of the country is the reason why, while the trails and climbing spots are made with special care so that the tourists can experience all the wonders that surround them. Preikestolen is the most popular destination, also known as Pulpit Rock. A round trip takes between 4 and 5 hours and it is 10 km (6 miles) long. The summit is 604 m (1,982 feet), a cliff overlooking Lysefjord. It is among the best photo ops on the planet. The Loen Skylift is another great place to reach by hiking. It is among the newer viewpoints and tourist sites. The cable car takes you 1,011 meters (3.317 feet) up to Mount Hoven, from where you can take in magnificent views of Nordjord. There is a restaurant there as well as numerous other activities.
3. Cultural Heritage
Everyone knows that Norway is one of the Viking countries. As such, it is an exciting historical place rich in culture and tradition. This is evident no matter where you go, but you should still plan out your trips if you want to maximize the experience. Beautiful cities are often as great to witness as natural beauty so balance your vacation well. Visiting Oslo, Lillehammer, Trondheim, and Bergen should be at the top of your list.
The capital and the cultural center of Oslo offer plenty of highlights. For lovers of art, Vigeland Sculpture Park is the place to be. The Oslo Royal Palace is among the top buildings and architectural wonders of Norway, and the home of the Royal Family. Museums are widely present, from the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History to the Munch Museum of art. Of course, you cannot miss the Viking Ship Museum.
Lillehammer was the host of the ‘94 Winter Olympics, which is evident as it is still a paradise for outdoor sporting activities. The Olympic Museum is the best place to go for those of you who like ski sports. Apart from winter sports, the city also features a collection of 19th-century wooden cottages, along the beautiful Lake Mjosa. It doubles as an open-air museum.
Trondheim is the third-largest city in Norway. It is full of scenic, picturesque viewpoints as well as historical points that are major tourist attractions. It used to be a Viking trading post and it was founded more than a thousand years ago in 997 AD. When Christianity took over, it became a major pilgrimage destination too. It was even the capital for a bit! So the history is rich, there is no denying it. Bakklandet district with colorful houses alongside the Nidelven River is iconic and you have probably seen it in photos.
Remember the fjords? Well, Bergen is located between Sognefjord and Hardangerfjord, which is why most excursions and trips to both of them start in this city. In the 13th century, it was the capital. Today, its Bryggen wharf area has kept the traditional charm and offers numerous historical and cultural attractions. For the best way to tour the environment and take in the views of the city, ride on the Floibanen funicular to Mount Floyen.
4. Go Further North
Be it Lofoten Islands, Tromso, or Svalbard, you will not meet real Norway unless you tour the Arctic Circle locations. Tromso is among the best places where you can catch the northern lights. Lofoten is a place where the sun never sets or rises, depending on when you arrive. It is made up of numerous fishing villages and is a good way to see how the locals live. Svalbard is remote and wild, and perfect to experience the glaciers, snow-covered plains, and mountains, and to see some wildlife like polar bears, seals, whales, and arctic foxes. The best way to tour either of these is to book a cruise and sail over the ice-cold waters of Norway’s northernmost area. Hurtigruten cruise is the best by far, as it spans 2,000 kilometers along the shoreline from Bergen, all the way to Kirkenes. You can either book the entire cruise that lasts upwards of a week or hops on somewhere in the middle for just a few days.