What is Norway famous for?

Fjords in Norway

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Last updated:
26.01.2021

Norway is one of the most outstanding European destinations featuring picture-perfect sceneries, authentic customs, and a perfect amalgam of bustling hubs and remote quaint villages. Norway is famous for numerous truly exceptional features, including but not limited to the following seven things.

1. Mind-boggling fjords

If you ask any avid travelers what is Norway famous for, you can be certain that at least some of them will surely mention spine-chilling views over the fjords. Scattered all over the country, they provide a perfect setting for hiking, trekking, cruise tours, and many more activities, allowing to soak up the incredible views.

If you are wondering, which fjords to add to your Norway itinerary, be sure that all of them will leave a lasting impression; however, some of the most popular ones include Sognefjord, Nærøyfjord, Lysefjord, and Geirangerfjord. Did you know that the term fjord is actually a Norwegian word gone global? Its origins date back to 17th-century Norway!

Norway Fjord

Quick Norway facts:

  • Location: Northern Europe, Scandinavian peninsula
  • Size: 324,220 sq km (125,182 sq mi)
  • Biggest islands: Spitsbergen, Nordaustlandet, Edgeøya
  • Population: 5,421,241 (2020)
  • Currency: Norwegian krone (NOK)

2. Awe-inspiring northern lights

There is nothing quite like marveling at the awe-inspiring northern lights show, surrounded by breathtaking landscapes, with your own eyes. That is exactly what you get while traveling in Norway during the aurora borealis season. Even though it is happening all year round, the natural phenomenon appears in clear skies during the dark winter nights and is best seen from November to March.

The best location for northern lights hunting in Norway is considered to be Tromso, a city in northern Norway, above the Arctic Circle. Nonetheless, you can marvel at the dancing lights in other locations as well with enough research beforehand or on a northern lights tour with a professional guide.

Northern lights

3. Exceptional wildlife

Norway boasts not only postcard-like surroundings and a unique local flora but exceptional fauna as well! Home to hundreds of species of animals, it provides the perfect habitat for such wildlife as polar bears, arctic foxes, reindeer, and even wolfs! Depending on the region, you are most likely to meet at least a few local inhabitants; for instance, while touring the Svalbard archipelago, you can wave hello to a polar bear or take a closer look at a walrus or two.

A snow-white arctic fox might be a bit difficult to spot in the winter fairy-tale-like backdrop. Although, a herd of reindeer passing by is definitely a sight hard not to pay attention to. Another species of hard-not-to-notice animals in Norway is the imposing Musk Ox, which has traveled to the country from Greenland back in the late 1940s.

Arctic fox

4. Unforgettable rail journeys

Another answer to what is Norway known for is the stunning rail journeys all over the country, making train travel an unforgettable way of moving around. One of the best known and most beautiful rail routes not only in Norway but in the entire world is undoubtedly the Flam Railway, also known as Flamsbana. It takes you from Sognefjord in Flåm to Myrdal mountain station, situated 867 meters (2844 ft) above sea level, providing mind-boggling views along the way.

Another well-known train route in Norway is the Bergen train line, making its way through the Hardangervidda National Park and the Hardangervidda plateau. Did you know that the Bergen line is the highest railway line in Northern Europe, reaching the altitude of 1,222 meters (4009 ft) above sea level at Finse train station? Train travel is not only one of the most scenic ways of traveling in the country but also one of the fastest, safest, and most reliable ones as well as trains in Norway are modern and punctual.

Flamsbana

Scenic rail journeys in Norway:

  • Flam railway line;
  • Bergen railway line;
  • Dovre railway line;
  • Nordland railway line;
  • Rauma railway line;
  • Ofoten railway line;
  • Sørland railway line;
  • Røros railway line;

5. Authentic heritage

One of the most unique things about Norway is undoubtedly its history and heritage filled with authentic customs, examples of one-of-a-kind architecture, exceptional delicacies of local cuisine, and much more. Among the best-known components of Norway's eventful history is the Viking era, the records of which can be traced back to the 8th century.

The ancient warriors left a footprint that can be explored to this day by taking a guided Viking heritage tour and visiting numerous sites, such as the Viking village Njardarheimr or the village of Stiklestad in Trøndelag county, where the renowned Battle of Stiklestad took place back in 1030. There is also an abundance of Viking-related museums, for instance, the Viking Ship Museum, the Viking museum Sagastad, Lofotr Viking Museum, as well as festivities with unique costumes, authentic games, and other experiences.

Viking boat

6. Abundance of outdoor pursuits

Norway boasts a multitude of fun outdoor activities for you to enjoy while touring the country. Some of the most popular include skiing, hiking, cycling, kayaking. However, there are surely many more to take part in, depending on your interests. If you like fishing, don't miss the chance to try ice fishing on the frozen lakes amid spectacular surroundings; if you enjoy leisurely walks outdoors - set off on a walking tour on one of the paths that present several difficulty levels for you to choose from.

There are also numerous authentic activities specific to or popular in certain regions, such as reindeer or snowmobile safaris, dog sledding, wildlife sea safaris, and hunting the spectacular northern lights. Ensuring the perfect setting for any outdoor pursuit, Norway won't let you get bored for a second!

Skiing in Norway

7. Postcard-like islands

One of the interesting facts about Norway is that it has nearly 240,000 islands! Ranging from world-known destinations, such as the picture-perfect Lofoten Islands, to way smaller and less-known formations, the islands provide breathtaking sceneries wherever it is in Norway that you choose to travel. As a matter of fact, Lofoten Islands is certified as a Sustainable Destination due to its aspiration to preserve the local culture and nature, as well as ensure sustainable tourism.

In addition to being the staggering visitor attractions, the islands are also home to numerous communities and authentic activities such as the active fishing community in Norway’s westernmost Solund Island or the perfect spots for surfing in Vågsøy. Maybe it's time to start working on an island bucket list to include in your Norway itinerary?

Lofoten Islands

Home to picturesque nature and happy, hospitable locals, Norway boasts numerous exceptional features to get acquainted with while touring the enchanting destination. Small group and private tours to Norway are filled with not only postcard-like views, but exceptional activities, unforgettable sights, comprehensive tours, and a travel experience like no other, which are to be enjoyed firsthand to witness what Norway is famous for.

Must-visit islands in Norway:

  • Lofoten Islands
  • Kvaløya Island
  • Svalbard Islands
  • Vesterålen Islands
  • Stangholmen Island
  • Hidra Island
  • Bragdeøya Island

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