Norway: Europe’s Most Adventurous and Luxurious Destination

Norway may not be the first place to pop into your hear when thinking of where to take a luxurious, once in a lifetime holiday. You may be in for a huge surprise! This is a country which is rich in history, culture and has an abundance of outdoor activities. There’s something to do in Norway at anytime of the year, and you can be guaranteed a holiday that you will never forget. There are two seasons for visitors – summer and winter and they appeal to very different sections of society.

When to travel to Norway

Summer is from May to September and temperatures are good, more importantly the sun literally never sets between late May and mid July. It is a great time to be outdoors hiking, sailing, and kayaking or if you feel brave enough, white water rafting. If you love adventure and appreciate the warmth, then this is the best time of the year to go.

Winter offers plenty of adventurous sports as well. Skiing is a favourite, although dog sledding, ice fishing or travelling vast distances on a snow mobile are all popular pastimes.  February is usually the coldest month but you will be rewarded with the northern lights; a sight everyone should see once in their life and one that literally takes your breath away.

Activities you can’t miss out while in Norway

Adventure is not the only reason to visit this beautiful country. Norway hosts many festivals throughout the year, most of which are known around the world. The cities are vibrant with examples of impressive architecture at every turn. The Norwegians are party people and love to celebrate the multitude of local traditions alongside many customs from around the globe.

The landscape has to be seen to really be appreciated. Mountains tower over deep blue fjords whilst glaciers stretch for miles from the largest ice fields in Europe; you will feel like you are in the Ice Age. The abundance of wildlife is truly amazing. Where else could you hope to see polar bears, reindeer and musk oxen?

The Arctic Circle is within spitting distance and can be explored fully from the safety of a cruise ship such as the Svalbard Express. From the boat you will be able to cruise the fjords and get close to the glaciers and mountains. You will also almost certainly see whales and if you are brave enough take a swim in the icy waters.

What to see while in Norway

The stunning mountainous Lofoten Islands in the north of Norway are a must see. This arc of islands stretches for 200km into the surprisingly warm Norwegian Sea. They’re truly a magical sight, so if you’re a traveller hunting for natural beauty, Lofoten Islands will exceed all your expectations.
The historic city of Trondheim is also worth a visit. Originally founded by Viking chief Olav Tyggvason, it is at the head of a fertile valley and was once an important power base for the Vikings and the Ting (the early Norse parliament). The cathedral here is worth a look if only to see the copper spires. Norwegian royalty have held their coronations here and subsequently been buried here. Nowadays, it has a thriving university, an abundance of designer boutiques, style shops, and a variety of excellent restaurants.

If you are visiting in the winter, then at the very least you must visit one of the ice hotels, better still stay in them and marvel at an entire structure made annually from ice. Every comfort and luxury is on hand whilst surrounded by ice – surely the ultimate natural retreat!

Make no mistake Norway is a beautiful country, probably the most beautiful in the world and a playground for those who love adventure. But it is not cheap. The cost of getting there, staying and travelling around is prohibitive. Nonetheless, the landscapes you’ll have a chance to see here are unique. Travelling to Norway is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so it’s certainly worth saving a bit just to enjoy the beauties of this Northern European country.

Whether you want to see Norway’s main cities and urban centres, and party all night long, or you’re all set for a memorable hiking adventure, there’s no doubt that this beautiful country will amaze you.

By Peter Smith and!