For most people, a dream vacation means a trip to a tropical paradise such as Hawaii, or a romantic city such as Paris. Yet if you love cold weather and breathtaking scenery, you should consider a trip to Norway. Here are eight reasons to visit this country at least once.
- Gorgeous Fjords
Norway is perhaps best known for its amazing fjords. These sea inlets were created when ice cut through the country’s large mountains. There are fjords throughout the nation, so it should be easy to find one to explore. Sognefjorden, the longest fjord in Europe, is a particular highlight.
You can spend the day hiking, sailing or kayaking through the fjords. There are also unforgettable Norway cruises that let you explore these natural wonders.
- Northern Lights
The Northern Lights, also called Aurora borealis, is one of the most famous attractions in the world. While most people associate them with Iceland, the lights can also be seen throughout Norway. For the best view, travel north of the cities and closer to the Arctic Circle.
Since the Northern Lights appear at night, your best chance of seeing them is during the winter months when the days are shorter. Your odds of witnessing this phenomenon also increase on dry, cloud-free evenings.
- Adorable Animals
If you are an animal lover, you will enjoy the cute arctic foxes, moose and reindeer throughout Norway. There are plenty of polar bears, as well. To witness these and other adorable creatures, head to the Jotunheimen region or the Svalbard archipelago. Many of these animals are wild and dangerous, so you should only see them with an experienced tour guide.
- Outdoor Fun
If you enjoy winter activities, then Norway is the place for you. There are plenty of ski resorts for both cross-country and downhill enthusiasts. Hemsedal, in particular, has more than 20 ski lifts and dozens of different slopes.
Hafjell, meanwhile, is a great destination for families thanks to the tubing and sledding areas. For those interested in adventure, Norway also offers snowshoeing, dog sledding and glacier hiking.
Human remains from the Ice Age have been found in Norway, so you know this country is rich in history. The most famous Norwegian time period is the Viking era, which still inspires modern plays and films. You can learn all about Viking warriors in the various Norwegian museums.
The Heddal Stave Church is another must-see location for history fans. It is made entirely of wood, as are other intricate churches throughout Norway. The Heddal church is the largest of these wooden marvels and was constructed back in the 1200s.
Besides the aforementioned fjords, Norway offers other natural beauties to visit. The lakes, mountains and rivers provide gorgeous photo backdrops. Two of the most popular attractions are the Trolltunga cliffs and the Galhøpiggen Mountain, which is the tallest peak in the nation.
Waterfalls are also present throughout Norway. Most of them appear near the mountains and fjords. However, some of the waterfalls release only a trickle of water during off seasons, so do your research ahead of time to find out which ones are gushing at the time of your trip. You can always visit Mardalsfossen, a powerful waterfall that runs year-round.
- Scenic Railway
The Flamsbana Railway gives visitors one of the most beautiful train trips in the world. The 50-minute ride starts in the high mountains of Myrdal. From there, the railway goes through various valleys and mountains. Guests can snap selfies at one of the photo stops along the route, which ends in a village named Flam.
- Mouthwatering Seafood
With so much water surrounding Norway, it is no surprise that the seafood is top-notch. Local chefs use this fish to create high-quality dishes for guests.
Whether you are a history buff, a nature lover or a foodie, Norway offers something for you to enjoy. As you plan your next vacation, consider a trip to this European gem.