A trip north to the Scandinavian country of Norway guarantees spectacular nature, charming Nordic cities, and plenty of activities for the whole family. No matter what season you choose to visit, the Fjords are guaranteed to mesmerize—but that’s not all the natural beauty that Norway has to offer, not even close. The landscape is diverse, from the jagged coastlines battered by the Atlantic to the rugged mountain peaks, lush forests, plummeting valleys and stunning glaciers. Hiking, cycling and white water rafting are popular summer activities, while dog-sledding, skiing and snowmobiling take over come the winter. Norway is also one of the wealthiest countries in the world, reflected in the shiny glass, intricate architecture, quiet sophistication and immaculate upkeep of its cosmopolitan cities. The capital of Oslo is a dynamic and thriving metropolis, but many say the magic happens when you venture past the urban borders—into the Nordic countryside.
Fly to Norway
SAS flies to Norway directly from Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco and Washington D.C. to Oslo or via Copenhagen and Stockholm (depending on route). With daily departures from multiple locations, you can easily find a departure to suit your travel plans. Book early to save on airfare and when you choose SAS, enjoy a 24-hour right of revocation on your flight tickets and online check-in 22 hours prior to departure. Passengers on intercontinental flights can enjoy food and drinks on board. In addition, WiFi is available for a small fee. We look forward to welcoming you on board!
If you are travelling with children under 2 years (without own seat) they fly either free of charge or with a 90% discount on the flight portion of the ticket price, depending on the destination. Children from 2–11 years get a 25% discount. The discounts do not apply to taxes and fees.
Charming Norwegian cities with an international twist
The Norwegian cities are famous for their uncanny ability to blend an international, metropolitan vibe with the small town feel of a Scandinavian village. The capital city of Oslo is home to around 500,000 residents, and has developed into a melting pot of cultures, with many nationalities accounted for. This inventive metropolis features impressive historic and modern architecture, and word-class art galleries and museums such as the museum of painter Edvard Munch.
In addition, the city has a thriving social fabric. A well-developed café and bar culture flourishes, bringing together friends and family. In addition, the capital city is home to top restaurants, featuring a variety of Nordic and international dishes reflective of the eclectic demographics. As can be expected in such as scenic country, Oslo’s charm doesn’t just consist of the man-made, either. Just outside the city, you can find pockets of forests and lakes for hiking, swimming, boating, cycling and skiing. And a visit to Oslo wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the famous park, the Vigerlandspark, either!
On Norway’s western coast is the city of Stavanger, a former European Capital of Culture, and home to breathtaking natural sights such as the “Pulpit Rock” (Preikestolen) a mountain plateau located a staggering 1,981 feet above sea level. In addition, the nearly 330 foot high waterfall known as Månafossen and the Jæren coast, boasting long stretches of beach, are located close by. The city is also one of students, reflected in the lively atmosphere, varied collection of dining opportunities, thriving nightlife scene and wide selection of cultural activities available.
Midnight sun and Northern Lights in Northern Norway
Norway’s breathtaking scenery doesn’t begin on land—instead, in the illumination of the infamous Northern Lights (aka aurora borealis). Explosions in the sun release millions of particles into space. When they collide with our atmosphere, they unleash a reaction between oxygen and nitrogen into the sky. Coming in a variety of colors, intensities and forms, the Northern Lights are notoriously finicky. For the best viewing potential, head north of the Arctic Circle between the months of October to March, typically between 6 pm and midnight, thought watching from 10 pm to 11 pm is the optimum viewing time. The most important ingredient is a cloud-free sky – most likely to occur after December. In addition, you will want to make sure to have an unobstructed view.
One good place to look for the lights include the Norwegian archipelago Svalbard, located north of the artic circle, approximately halfway between Norway and the North Pole. The main town on the biggest island is Longyearbyen, home to around 1,000 inhabitants, and spectacular wildlife such as polar bears, seals, reindeer and whales.
Fjords and idyllic towns in southern and southeastern Norway
Perhaps Norway’s most iconic sight is the infamous Fjords. Running up from the coast in Stavanger to the Russian border, these huge cuts deep into the landscape are a must-see on a vacation to the country. Whether you choose to go in spring, when the flowers are in full bloom, winter, when its serene and the contrast of the dark blue waters on the icy mountains is breathtaking or summer, when hiking reaches its peak, the Fjords are sure to impress. They are most easily seen from the western city of Bergen, nicknamed the “Gateway to the Fjords”. The largest and deepest Fjord is Sognefjord, and the region is scattered with little resorts and idyllic homes, oozing Nordic charm.
Visit Norway all year round
No matter when you choose to visit Norway, you can be sure that each season offers different exciting experiences and unique opportunity to get up close and personal with the nature. During the springtime, the greenery blooms and beautiful blossoming fruit trees dot the landscape—especially in the Hardanger Fjord in western Norway. The Norwegian summer offers mild temperatures, perfectly suited for enjoying everything outdoors that the country has to offer – trekking in the mountains or kayaking on the fjords, for example. Come fall, Norway beams with golden and red nuances, and a harvest of freshly picked fruits and vegetables are sold in the village areas. From late autumn through winter, the wild landscape morphs into a skier’s paradise. Skiers and snowboarders of all ages and skills can enjoy the many modern and popular ski resorts throughout the country.
Ski action for the whole family
Winter sports such as skiing are deeply embedded into Nordic history, culture and lifestyle. In fact, Nordic skier Sondre Norheim was the inventor of the world’s first relatively stable ski binding, and is often credited as being a pioneer of modern skiing. Norway’s ski season begins in November and typically runs through April, although it’s possible to ski at some resorts based at a glacier all through the summer. The most popular regions for skiing are located in the central and eastern portion of the country, though you can find the opportunity to partake in cross-country or alpine skiing, snowboarding and much more all over Norway. Families with children are welcome at the many modern resorts, which not only cater to outdoor activities but also offer attractive nightlife, dining and relaxation experiences. One of the most famous resorts is Hafjell, in the north of Lillehammer, known for its high standards and being the host of the slalom competition for the 1994 Winter Olympics.
Trekking in fantastic natural surroundings
In the precious few warmer months, Norway still offers plenty of opportunities for physical activity. The country has a strong tradition of hiking and is home to one of Europe's most developed network of hiking trails – more than 12,800 miles spread across the country. Venture out on your own, or go with a guided tour, content in the fact that despite Norway being one of the world’s most expensive countries, the stunning natural scenery is free! For resting tired feet at the end of the day, stay in one of the many hiking huts that line the trails and usually offer the option for cooking or venture into some of the charming cities. Some of the most popular hikes include the Pulpit Rock, located on the waters in Lysefjord, the Rondane National Park and wild reindeer habitat, Bergen, Geiranger, Flåm, Aurland, Sognefjord, Geirangerfjord, and Jotunheimen National Park, to name a few.
River rafting, canoeing, kayaking and diving
In addition to a variety of exciting activities on land, Norway offers plenty of possibilities to cut loose on the water, too. River rafting, canoeing, kayaking and diving are all popular summer activities on the many rivers, lake and fjords that cover the landscape. The Sjoa River in Oppland is the most famous spot for river rafting in Norway, while Voss, on the western side, is known as a particularly exciting destination, guaranteed “to wet your pants” according to rafting center. These activities are all perfectly suited for the whole family and there are options for visitors of all ages and skill levels.