Breathtaking fjords and glaciers. Lush valleys and high mountain lakes. Vast tracts of wilderness. And summers of white nights. All these unique wonders await you in Norway, land for nature lovers. From its financial centre and capital, Oslo, to picturesque Bergen, the gateway to Fjordland – Norway is one of the best destinations to experience your Scandinavian adventure.
Alesund is a small fishing center in the middle of Norway's popular tourist region between Bergen and Trondheim. Although its history dates back to the Viking period, you'll notice that the architecture throughout the city has an interesting art nouveau style. This is because after a massive fire in 1904, the entire city was rebuilt. Today, turrets, spires, and other whimsical Art Nouveau architectural touches give the town its distinctive, fairy tale-like atmosphere. While it may have lost its historic look, you'll find the city certainly didn't lose any of its charm.
- Alesund Museum, for life in Alesund before and after the big fire of 1904. Local fishing methods, shipbuilding and the German occupation from 1940 to 1945 are just some of the topics covered by the museum's exhibits.
- Sunnmore Museum, an open-air museum with 50 original buildings from the late middle ages. It features the history of Alesund and its people from the Stone Age to the 1900s, and showcases one of Norway's largest collections of replica fishing boats from 400 A.D.
- Atlanterhavsparken, one of the largest aquariums in Europe. More of a park than a traditional aquarium, it has outdoor hiking trails and diving venues, aside from fantastic marine life.
- Vasset Outdoor and Sports Park for all kinds of outdoor adventures: hiking, fishing, horseback riding and more.
- The scenic spectacle of the Geirangerfjord, one of Norway's best-known attractions, is just a stone's throw from Alesund.
Once the very seat of the medieval kingdom of Norway, Bergen is a former Viking stronghold encircled by deep fjords, towering mountains, and sweeping glaciers. Today's Bergen is quite welcoming, with much of the medieval flavour remaining in Bergen's harbour. Bergen offers visitors a cornucopia of delights, from the sheer splendour of its rugged glacial scenery to an ancient stone church containing the finest example of Baroque art in Norway. All of it, no doubt, inspired the great composer Edvard Grieg, whose home and gardens are open to visitors.
- Håkonshallen, part of Bergen's ancient fortress, built in the 13th century as a royal ceremonial hall. The first record of its use was in 1261 for the marriage celebrations of King Magnus Håkinsson and Princess Ingeborg of Denmark, a party said to have had more than 1,000 guests and spanned three days and three nights.
- Bergen Troldhaugen, the home of Edvard Grieg, Norway’s world-famous composer.
- Walk along the wharf to the Mount Floibanen Funicular Station. Upon reaching the top of Mount Floien, the highest point in the city, you can enjoy a walk through its many hiking trails with beautiful vistas overlooking the city.
- Aquarium, one of the largest in Northern Europe, with over 50 tanks of fish, including piranha. The main attractions are the seals and penguins, particularly at feeding time.
The town of Flåm is nestled in a tributary of the world's longest and deepest fjord. Surrounded by steep mountainsides, roaring waterfalls, and deep valleys, visitors here experience a one-of-a-kind encounter with nature.
From snow-capped mountains to crystalline glaciers and clear blue lakes, Geiranger is a photographer’s dream. One of the crowning glories of Norway’s intensely beautiful fjord country, this is a truly unforgettable area that will take your breath away. Geiranger is where Norwegians escape when they need a vacation. Sitting at the head of majestic Geiranger Fjord, the city is surrounded by towering snow-covered mountain peaks, lush, green vegetation and winding hiking trails often enjoyed by the ambitious vacationer.
- Geiranger Fjord, one of Norway’s most beautiful fjords. With its towering mountainsides and numerous waterfalls, the fjord stretches inland some 10 miles, fed by gushing waterfalls, and provides some of Europe’s most spectacular scenery.
- The mighty Seven Sisters Waterfall, Geiranger’s most breathtaking attraction (though it has many), which spills hundreds of thousands of gallons of water from an incredible 5,000 feet.
- Briksdal Glacier, one of nature's true wonders. Cross over a thundering waterfall before reaching a beautiful mountain valley that faces the awe-inspiring glacier.
- Journey through forest-clad hills down to Hornindal Lake. At more than 1,500 feet, it is the deepest freshwater lake in Europe.
- Geiranger Church, a quaint wooden church built in an octagonal shape with a lovely view of the countryside and the cruise ships below.
Honningsvag is the last village before Norway's mysterious North Cape, beyond which lies only icy water before one reaches the North Pole. This expanse of wilderness is marred by nothing, save for an occasional herd of reindeer. Honningsvag is your gateway to this natural splendour.
- Midnight Sun, the geological phenomenon of round-the-clock daylight in the North Cape from May to the end of July.
- Nordkapp North Cape Rock, over 1,000 feet above the sea, and the northernmost corner of Europe. The cliff formation represents the final frontier to the Arctic Ocean.
- North Cape Hall, which has restaurants, a post office and a souvenir shop - all situated below ground. The cliff above offers panoramic views.
Leknes is the most populous town in Lofoten, an area known for its excellent fishing and natural attractions, small villages off the beaten track and whale safaris. The town?s harbor Leknes Havn is one of Norway's most important and visited harbor for cruise ships, welcoming tourists to a unique Norwegian experience. Leknes' natural surroundings have made the area among the most stunning in Norway with mountains, peaks, cliffs and white sandy beaches, offering plenty of opportunities for kayaking, hiking and many more outdoor adventures.
This mining community is located north of the Arctic Circle and has an Arctic tundra climate with large glaciers covering much of the island. Founded in the early 1900s, it takes its name from developer John Munroe Longyear and was originally known as "Longyear City."
Acknowledged as one of Norway's major rose-growing centers, it's no surprise that Molde is often referred to as the "city of roses." Warmed by the Gulf Stream and protected by its surrounding hills, Molde is the beneficiary of a moderate climate, which contributes to its lush vegetation. This charming city is also home to the Ramsdal Museum, featuring one of Norway's most impressive collections of folk art.
The peaceful town of Olden sits calmly at the edge of the perpetually advancing Jostedal Glacier-which also happens to be Europe's largest glacier, towering 6,200 feet over a deep valley. After you've taken in all of its grandeur, embark on a hike through lush mountain valleys. Or if you're still feeling especially adventurous, explore the nearby caves and the remarkably well-preserved historic sites.
Oslo is the oldest of the Scandinavian capital cities with a varied collection of cultural attractions and natural wonders. Situated at the head of a 60-mile fjord on the southern coast, Oslo is beautifully framed by a vast expense of woods, moors and lakes. Today, Norway's capital is a blend of 19th and 20th-century architectural styles. Woodcarvings and colorful frescoes decorate the city's buildings, and the parks and public squares are resplendent with unique works of sculpture.
- Akershus Castle, for a spectacular view of the city and the fjord. Sitting on a cliff, this fortress was originally built in 1300. The present structure dates mainly from the 17th century and features quaint buildings and beautiful grounds.
- The beautiful scenic countryside to Hadeland, where you can discover the art of Hadeland Glassworks.
- The Royal Palace, current residence of the Royal Family.
- Holmenkollen Hill, where you'll see charming residences and impressive views. At the top, you'll see the world-famous ski-jumping area Hollmenkollen, built for the 1952 Olympics.
- The Viking Ship Museum, to see the incredible artisanship of all the beautiful Viking long ships, and Kon-Tiki museum, which serves as home to the Fram, a famous polar - exploration ship.
Stavanger is a fascinating combination of the best of the old and new. You'll find modern architecture and trendy, stylish cafes as well as ancient cobblestone walkways, museums and rows of 18th-century whitewashed wooden houses said to be the best-preserved timber buildings in northern Europe. Cruise ship docks are conveniently located in the center of town, just minutes from this charming city's many attractions.
The most northern of Norway's rugged islands, Tromso possesses the true wonders of the polar environment: glistening glacial ridges, the icy clear waters of Lake Prestvatn, even windswept valleys where reindeer roam free. Amidst the beauty, there is fascinating history to be found as well, from ancient northern settlements to signs of sacrificial sites and cults that pre-date Christianity.
- Polar Museum, devoted to the great Arctic explorers and hunters. It provides a rare insight into the lives of hunters, trappers and explorers in the region, from whaling in the 1600s to present-day hunting.
- Northern Lights Planetarium, which features a 360-degree movie that depicts the changing seasons: two months with continuous daylight and two without any sun at all.
- Polaria Arctic Center, a modern centre with unique exhibits, including a life-like demonstration with real snow and howling winds that will introduce you through unimaginable arctic conditions.