Tourists continue to throng Norway by the millions each year in quest of exquisite Nordic magic that cannot be experienced elsewhere. Miles and miles of uncharted wilderness, 24 hour summer days, 64000 miles of pristine coastline, breathtaking Fjords and now, officially home to the world’s happiest people, there’s never a dearth of reasons to head to Norway.
If you were sceptical about extreme weather conditions or the staple fare of rye bread and herring, then toss your worries aside. We bring five motivating reasons for you to put Norway on the top of your bucket list this year.
At the end of this, you might just be tempted to beat a path to the nearest airport backpack in tow. So don’t say we didn’t warn you.
#1 – The Midnight Sun
Each year for a few months, the sun refuses to set in the North of the Arctic Circle. Norway is one of the best places in the world to experience this phenomenon, called ‘The Midnight Sun’ when the sun hangs low in the sky like a constant companion watching over the stunning Nordic landscape.
For tourists who can stop drooling over the stunning visual canvas, the midnight sun offers ample opportunities for activities. Pitch a tent and watch the wizardry of the heavens as the sky is engulfed in a perpetual amalgamation of orange and yellow or go kayaking in the seas. There are midnight hikes, trails, golfing clubs and hotels that celebrate this time of the year.
If the wintry waters don’t ruffle your feathers, then take a plunge into the ocean.
#2 – Northern Lights
To say that the brilliant ballet of lights in the sky is nothing but gas particles from the earth and charged particles from the sun on a constant collision course would be unfair to it. There’s celestial sorcery at work there. Jokes apart, Norway is your ticket to this rare and amazing phenomenon called ‘Aurora Borealis’. Of course, there’s Finland not too close behind.
What makes Norway special is the vast area that you can witness the northern lights from and the explosion of activities in the region during this time. Norway celebrates the Northern lights like none other. You can make the most of it by enjoying cruises, taking ice cave expiditions in Svalbard, going whale watching under the lights, enjoying a gondola ride to the Narvikfjellet mountain or just riding a snowmobile.
Like we said, there are tons of possibilities in Norway.
#3 – Allemannsrett
‘Allemannsrett’ is a general public right which can be simplified as the ‘Right to roam’. For a tourist, that translates into unabridged access to the stunning countryside in Norway and most of the other countries in Scandinavia.
As long as you follow the basic rules which are staying off private property or cultivated land, not damaging the surroundings and being considerate as to not be a hindrance or disturbance to others, you can enjoy the Norway countryside. That includes all the wilderness, mountains, bogs and beaches. Just walk until you find a spot that catches your fancy, pitch a tent or slip into your sleeping bag and watch the stars twinkling above you.
The only exception is if you are looking to stay more than two nights in the same place. You will need to seek permission from the land owner.
#4 – Fjords
Norway is the land of Fjords. There are more than thousand of these iconic waterways branching out inland like fingers of the ocean. They are flanked by towering icy cliffs on either side making it one of the most wonderful sights in the world.
The Fjords clubbed with the massive waterfalls that fall down the cliffs add a unique texture and color to Norway’s landscape. You can visit the most popular ones, like Sognefjord or visit lesser known ones. These interconnected waterways can be accessed via boat or walk along the glacier visiting quaint little villages peppered along the way.
Norway’s Fjord cruises are widely popular. But you can also rent Kayaks or hike your way around.
#5 – Wildlife
While it is more popular for the geographical diversity and the virgin coastline, Norway is also home to some of the most spectacular Wildlife species in the world. The Norwegian Svalbard archipelago is teeming with biodiversity and is home to the beautiful Polar Bear, the walrus, the arctic fox and the reindeer.
Marine life is aplenty too. There’s every possibility of spotting a variety of whale species including Sperm whales, pilot whales and Killer whales.
The Øvre Pasvik National Park and the icy forests of the Reisa National Park are home to bears, the Eurasian Lynx and the Wolverine. Bet you didn’t know about some of these marvels of nature.
These don’t sum up what you can do in Norway. But it certainly tops the list of things to do when you travel there. Did you just book an airplane ticket to Oslo?