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Things To Do In Norway
Norway, the land of Norse Gods and Vikings, the land of hauntingly beautiful Northern Lights and the brilliant midnight sun, the land that embraces glaciers and forests… The country is one of the northernmost lands of Scandinavia and makes for the happiest population in the world. With its stunning natural endowments, culture that is passed down from Vikings and evolved along the way, and so much nature tourism, Norway is meant for a vacation. You will cruise down streams and fjords, camp out to observe northern lights, sled with reindeer and walk on glaciers. There are many more things to do in Norway, of course; some of the best are described below.
Midnight Sun Safari in Lofoten
The Lofoten Archipelago is a collection of islands that lie just above the Arctic Circle and hence make for the best location to find midnight sun in summers. One of the best ways to enjoy this phenomenon is to take a safari with Lofoten Opplevelser, led by Captain Rolf Malnes who has spent his entire life in the region. The RIB boat takes you through narrow cut water streams and rocky islands where you will be able to spot sea gulls as well as the sun, even in the middle of the night. These trips are only taken from May to July.
How can you come to Norway and not ride the sled like Santa Claus? Is that even possible? With the onset of autumn by October, the northern parts of Norway start receiving snowfall, and here starts the charming activity of reindeer sledding. In the thick winter of December-January though, the sledding is at its peak in the Tromso Arctic region, where you will be able to buy a ride on sleds across frozen floors of glaciers and forests. If you are lucky, then the skies will favour you and shower northern lights along your way too! How incredible is that?
Cruise the Fjords
Norway is renowned for its fjords or the steep mountainsides with ridges, that allow rivers and streams of water to flow through them. Now this is a unique structure and unique name found mostly only in this region. So make the most of it and pack your bags for a cruise down these fjords. The western parts of Norway have the best fjords and also feature on the UNESCO World Heritage List. You should visit the fjords of Næroyfjord and Geirangerfjord for their adventurous trails, and zip down their waters in summer.
Ride on the Flam Railway
Flam is a remote village in Norway and best known for its quaint lifestyle. But another great adventure that awaits you here is the Flam Railway, a journey of 50 minutes that takes you from the Myrdal railway junction into the village of Flam. You will be smitten and awed and stupefied by the brilliant countryside landscape, with valleys and mountains, bright villages and terraced farms. The trains ride up steep slopes, almost like rollercoasters, and take you through the Kjosfossen Waterfall, where the journey breaks to let you take some classic photos. You can enjoy the Flam rail journey all year round.
Visit Tromso: the Arctic Capital
Tromso lies in the north and makes for one of the remotest towns of Norway. The city has its own unique culture, food habits and lifestyle; given it faces the cold of the Arctic all year round. You will still find yourself covered in a modern lifestyle and not the ancient igloo culture. Tromso has a harbour that has lately become a big fishing port; and the city also boasts of some unique foods like char and reindeer. You can visit the Botanical Garden here, enjoy electro emo music in the local pubs and try your hand at fishing. Hikes are also great for summers nearby, while sledding and skiing are amazing for winters.
Chase Northern Lights
Since Norway is the northernmost Scandinavian country, it is quite possible that you will be able to spot the green fireworks in the sky in cities as far down south as Oslo, but the best Northern Lights experience is had at Loften Islands and Tromso. From reindeer sleds to snow-mobile rides and boat cruises, camps to bon fires, many different group tours are offered to show you the best experience of your life while seeing Northern Lights. The Vikings called them a blessing from their gods and in the Norse myth, Northern Lights were viewed as reflections from the Valkyrie armour. The locals will surely amuse you with all these tales and more.
Walk on a Glacier
In Jostedalsbreen, the glaciers are hard and very very enduring. The best in fact for a walk through them. You will have an experience of a lifetime stepping on a glacier, walking on a slab of ice as huge as a mountain, deeply creviced at some places and jutting with ice gorges at others. The Jostedal glacier is the biggest in all of continental Europe and makes for the best place to go walking. Head to Sognefjord in west Norway and you will find this glacier. Another option is Nigardsbreen, where a two-hour walk is the tour norm and you can enjoy it with your family.