Famous for its tranquil fjords, stunning mountains and unspoiled woodland, Norway is one of the most popular tourist destinations in northern Europe.
The country is home to a wide range of attractions that cater for all tastes, and has a lot to offer fans of the great outdoors. Thrill seekers can indulge in a spot of skiing, snowboarding, canoeing, rafting, rock climbing and even glacier walking, while activities such as hiking, sailing and fishing are available for those looking for a more serene experience. On top of that, Norway boasts a variety of historic towns and cities where you can sample the country's rich culture and traditional cuisine.
Most international flights to Norway land in the capital city of Oslo, but the country is also served by a number of other international airports:
The country also has plenty of smaller regional airports, which means that you can reach almost anywhere in Norway by transferring onto a domestic flight with SAS at one of the country’s major terminals.
Once there, you’ll be spoiled by the choice of places to go and things to do. Oslo is the most popular city in the country and with good reason. Culture lovers can enjoy the Viking ships housed in the Vikingskiphuset, Kon-Tiki Museum, Edvard Munch Museum, and the artistic wonders found in the Vigeland Sculpture Park.
The city also boasts a busy nightlife, with key attractions being the Opera House, Herr Nilsen Jazzklubb, and the popular Fuglen cocktail bar. On top of that, Oslo is also home to some of the best restaurants in Norway, which offer a selection of traditional and international cuisine.
Outside the capital, the cities of Bergen, Stavanger, Tromsø, and Trondheim are also extremely popular, with the latter being home to the stunning Nidaros Cathedral – the largest medieval stone building in northern Europe.
Despite the attractions of Norway’s towns and cities, most people are drawn to the countryside to experience the stunning landscapes, and the wide variety of outdoor pursuits on offer.
If you want to take to the slopes, Norway’s most popular ski resorts are found in Hemsedal and Trysil. Both are located in southern Norway, as are most of the country’s other skiing hotspots.
However, if you're planning a holiday in northern Norway, ski slopes can also be found at Tromsø, Lofoten and Narvik, so you're never too far from the piste.
If you want to experience the majesty of the fjords, the vast majority are located in the western and northern parts of the country. However, if you're visiting southern Norway, there are large fjords located near a few of the major cities – the Oslofjord south of the capital, Boknafjord north of Stavanger and Hardangerfjord south of Bergen.
The fjords truly are a sight to behold and any Norwegian holiday would be incomplete without a glimpse of these ancient glacial inlets.
Skiing in Norway
For winter enthusiasts who love to ski, Norway is a beautiful country filled with many great sights, both natural and man-made. It is a northern country that experiences heavy snowfall every winter. This heavy snowfall makes Norway one of the best destinations for skiing trips. There are many great mountains, resorts and skiing ranges available to skiers of all levels. Don't forget to research each location carefully before you decide on the destination where you want to ski.
One of the most famous of all Norwegian ski ranges is the range in Lillehammer. Lillehammer made a name for itself as the host for the 1994 Winter Olympics. Lillehammer is located near Lake Mjøsa, which is Norway's largest lake. The Lillehammer area is home to many great downhill and cross country skiing experiences, including Sjusjoen and a ski jump at Lysgardsbakkene.
It is also located close to the Olympic Museum, rock carvings, the Nansen Academy and the nearly 1000-year-old Garmo stave church. Lillehammer is not only an excellent skiing location, but an excellent all-around tourist destination for all seasons.
Hemsedal ski area
Hemsedal is a small Norwegian town that is known as the Scandinavian Alps. The mountains around this area elevate the skiing area from 2050 to 6300 feet high, making this one of the highest skiing ranges in Norway. It is also one of the busiest, as the snowy season in Hemsedal can stretch from November right through to May, giving tourists over half a year of skiing fun.
Chairlifts help take skiers to the top of the mountain. Hemsedal also caters to younger and more adventurous tourists with a snowboard park. Kiddie parks are also available, including supervised play areas and skiing instructions. Dog sledding and horse sleigh rides are available for those interested in a less extreme form of winter fun.
Kvitfjell is a more relaxed skiing resort that focuses on exploring the landscapes of Norway at a slower pace. This resort is perfect for tourists that want to ski without being competitive or serious about it. Cross country skiing tours are a focus of much of Kvitfjell activities.
Other activities for patrons of Kvitfjell include dog sledding and ice climbing. Food is prepared at camp and delivered directly to your lodge or wherever you are located during any skiing activity.
Geilo ski area
Last but certainly not least, Geilo ski resort offers patrons access to two different ski locations. This southern Norwegian town offers downhill, cross country, snowboarding and dog sledding as well as many off-slope activities such as group parties and meetings.
Another interesting aspect of Geilo is their focus on "kite skiing." This sport focuses on skiers using a large kite to pull them across the terrain. Geilo is one of the premiere ski kiting locations.
Obviously, Norway is an excellent spot for skiing. There are many other ranges and towns to visit. Next time you want to take a serious skiing expedition, why not fly SAS to Norway and have some fun skiing.