Thursday, 27 August 2015

The Sognefjord: the heart of Fjord Norway

The Sognefjord is the longest and the deepest of Norway fjords. It is located in the southern part of the Sogn og Fjordane county, in the heart of Fjord Norway. 

The Sognefjord, Norway

  • Length: 204 km. The Sognefjord is the second longest fjord in the world. 
  • Depth: 1 308 meters. 
  • The Nærøyfjord, a branch of the Sognefjord, is included in UNESCO's World Heritage List. 
  • The national parks of Jotunheimen and Jostedalsbreen Glacier are partly situated in the Sognefjord area. 

WHAT TO SEE AND WHAT TO DO 

Fjord cruises 

Join in a cruise to see snow-cowered mountain peaks, powerful waterfalls and picturesque farmhouses. Even in winter, there is a ferry between Flåm and Gudvangen, and you will be able to combine a boat tour with the Flåm Railway. 

The Flåm Railway 

Enjoy a ride with the Flåm Railway (Flåmsbana) which can boast the steepest turnings in the world. The railway passes by breathtaking waterfalls, snow-covered mountains and goes through the tunnels. 

The Flåm Railway, the Sognefjord

Stegastein View Point 

Go up to the mountain road of Aurlandsvegen, and at 650 meters above sea level you will find a stunning view point Stegastein. The panorama to the surrounding mountains is unforgettable! This trip can be combined with a walk to the Prest Mountain. 

Urnes Stave Church 

This oldest Norwegian church was built in 1150. Urnes Church is the only stave church in the world included in UNESCO's World Heritage List. 

Urnes Stave Church

The Village of Undredal 

The village is famous for its traditions of making goat's cheeses – white and brown. There are 500 goats per 80 inhabitants. Undredal can also boast the smallest stave church in Scandinavia. 

White Caves of Gudvangen 

In the depths of White Mountain of Anorthosit, the magical White Caves of Gudvangen welcomes you with lights and darkness, silence and music, underground ponds, Trolls and Vikings. 

White Caves of Gudvangen

AROUND SOGNEFJORD 

Stalheimskleiva Road 

Stalheimskleiva is the 1.5-km long stretch of road from Nærøydalen Valley to the top at Stalheim. The road winds its way up 13 sharp hairpin bends. 

Stalheimskleiva Road, the Sognefjord

The Sognefjell Mountain Road 

This is the highest mountain pass in Northern Europe (highest point 1,434 meters above sea level). Along the Sognefjell Mountain Road you will see such landmark sights as Galdhøpiggen, Norway's highest mountain, and Jostedalsbreen, mainland Norway's largest glacier. 

The Aurlandsdalen Valley 

The Aurlandsdalen Valley is known as Norway's Grand Canyon. It offers tourists wild and unspoiled nature, rich flora and fauna, striking cultural, historical and geological sights. 

Norway's Grand Canyon

The Norwegian Wild Salmon Centre 

Visit the Norwegian Wild Salmon Centre in Lærdal. Here you will learn about the Atlantic salmon and the traditions of salmon fishing. You can also observe wild salmon and sea trout in the nearby currents. 


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Monday, 24 August 2015

Whale Safari in Norway

Whales spark emotions in just about everyone. Calm and massive giants, they are an embodiment for our planet's fragile ecological balance. 

Killer whale, Norway

The Norwegian coast is rich in plankton that attracts a lot of small fish – and whales. In the northern coast of Norway, not far from the Lofoten islands, you may find Greenland whales, sperm whales, humpback whales, Nordcaper whales, blue whales, finback whales, and killer whales. In winter, if you are lucky, you may see a whale even from the shore. 

The town of Andenes situated at the Vesterålen archipelago is one of the most popular whale tours’ points. Similar excursions start from Tromsø, Sommarøy and Stø. The season usually lasts from the middle of May to the middle of September. Some companies organize winter tours on demand. 

Andenes, Norway

Usually tourists are guaranteed to see whales: if you do not see one, you can go tomorrow again free of charge. However, chances seeing at least two other whales are high, as the safaris are arranged in an areas known as the whales' lavish food chambers. Here thousands of whales come to feed on squid and fish. 

The search is carried out with a sonar – a device that catches whales’ “talks” in ultra-sonic range. Moreover, whale safari offers wonderful views, fresh sea air and unforgettable natural beauty. 

Adult humpback whale, Norway

More often tourists see sperm whales. The sperm whales hold the world record among the earth’s mammals in diving. They can dive down as deep as 3,000 meters, so it is unlikely you will be seeing the same whale twice on the same trip. 

Companies that Organize Whale Safari 

Whalesafari Ltd.: mid-May to mid-September. Winter season November to March, with full whale guarantee. 
Sea Safari Andenes: mid-May to mid-September. Before 20 May on request. 
Arctic Whale Tours: 25 May until 1 September. 


Do not forget to book in advance. Cancellations may occur, so you should not stake everything on one single day. Put on warm clothing and footwear – and be ready to get excited. 
It can be wise to take a seasickness tablet before departure. Really, really wise! 


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Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Norwegian Jewel: the Geirangerfjord

Geirangerfjord is known as the jewel of the Norwegian fjords. With its distinctive S-shape, powerful waterfalls, snow-covered mountain peaks and abandoned mountain farms, the fjord landscape is included into UNESCO’s list of World Heritage sites. 

the Geirangerfjord, Norway

Length: 15 km 
Depth: more than 250 meters 
The Geirangerfjord is a part of the UNESCO World Heritage site The West Norwegian Fjords.

WHAT TO SEE AND WHAT TO DO 

Fjord cruises and boat tours 

Treat yourself with a boat tour around the fjord. Enjoy the breathtaking waterfalls like Brudesløret (the Bridal Veil) and De syv søstrene (the Seven Sisters); go sightseeing on a cruise boat M/S Geirangerfjord Sightseeing; or take the ferry from Geiranger to Hellesylt or Valldal. 

Ørnevegen (the Eagle Road) 

Ørnevegen is the steepest part of the serpentine road from Geiranger to Fidsdal (rv. 63). It consists of 11 sharp bends stretching up from the Geirangerfjord to the highest mountain point – 620 meters above sea level. From the Ørnevegen sightseeing platform, you can take incredibly beautiful photos of the fjord, the Seven Sisters waterfall and the alpine farm of Knivsflå. 

the Eagle Road, Norway

Dalsnibba and Flydalsjuvet 

Continue discovering amazing sightseeing points and visit Dalsnibba (1500 meters above sea level) and Flydalsjuvet. Submerge into the unspoiled nature, clear fresh air and unforgettable panoramas! 

Geiranger Fjord Centre 

Visit the Geiranger Fjord Centre that offers a unique opportunity to be acquainted with the history of the region, its welcoming people and beautiful nature. 

Geiranger Fjord Centre, Norway

AROUND GEIRANGERFJORD 

The Herdalssetra Mountain Farm 

Attend the bucolic summer farm where you will be able to see the process of making cheese and caramel of goat milk. Of course, you will meet many animals there – goats, cows, sheep. Pass several hours of your Norway journey in a country idyll. 

Trollstigen Mountain Road 

This picturesque road seems to be created purposefully for hiking. Around the mountain road, you will see high peaks yearning into the skies. 

Trollstigen Mountain Road

Skiing 

If you are a sport fan, the Geirangerfjord is a great place for you. You can ski there the whole year round! 

In winter, ski from a 1500-meter summit down to the fjord and enjoy superior quality of Stranda Ski Centre

Skiing in Norway

In summer, go skiing to the Tystigbreen Glacier beside the picturesque Strynefjell Road. Popular Stryn Summer Ski Centre opens at the end of May – beginning of June, depending on the thickness of snow cover. The Summer Ski Centre is situated 50 km from Geiranger. 


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Monday, 17 August 2015

Guide to Trondheim

Trondheim is the third largest city in Norway. This lively university city is also known as Norway’s capital of technology. 

Trondheim, Norway

CAPITAL OF TECHNOLOGY 

Trondheim hosts the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and the research foundation SINTEF. Some 80 per cent of Norwegian engineers finished NTNU. Apart from educational activities, the University carries out numerous scientific research in the field of technologies and innovations. The level of Norwegian technological expertise in the spheres of energy and environment, medicine, marine and maritime research, as well as information and communication is on a par with the highest international standards. 

HISTORY OF TRONDHEIM 

Trondheim was founded by the Viking king Olav Tryggvason in 997. It was the capital of Norway for 200 years. In 1152, the city became an archbishop's see. In the same year the country’s first school, the Cathedral School, was established there. Very soon, Trondheim turned into an important trading center, and has held this role until today. 

 Trondheim, Norway

The city's oldest name is Nidaros, "town at the mouth of the river Nid". In the late Middle Ages the name of Trondheim was formed – "the home of the Trønder people". Under the Danish rule (1450 – 1814), the name was pronounced as "Trondhjem". In 1930-31 there was an argument: to restore the old name of Nidaros or to keep the appellation of Trondhjem. After long debates, the citizens reached a compromise: the city was called Trondheim. This explains why many locals still call it "Trondhjem" and refer to themselves as "trondhjemmere." 

WHAT TO SEE IN TRONDHEIM 

The Island of Munkholmen 

Do you want to admire the outstanding Trondheim panorama from the sea? Then join in a boat trip to the historical island of Munkholmen (Monks' Island). This little island with a fort is situated in Trondheim harbor and served as Trondheim's execution ground and special prison in ancient times. 

Munkholmen (Monks' Island)

Nidarosdomen Cathedral 

Visit Norway´s national sanctuary built on the grave of St. Olav, King of Norway. The history of this magnificent building began in 1035; the Cathedral was completed around 1300. Being damaged by several fires in the 15th and 16th century, large parts of the Cathedral lay in ruins for several hundred years. In 1869, extensive restorations were begun, and a century later, the Cathedral was fully restored to its original grandeur. 

The Archbishop's Residence 

The Archbishop’s residence is the oldest secular building in Scandinavia. Works on it started in the second half of the 12th century, and it served as the Archbishop's residence until the Reformation in 1537. The Archbishop's Palace Museum features original sculptures from Nidaros Cathedral, and archaeological discoveries from the colorful history of the Archbishop's Palace. For example, here you can see the Archbishop's coin workshop exactly as archaeologists found it. 

The Archbishop's Residence

Stiftsgården – the Royal Residence 

One of the largest wooden buildings in the Nordic countries, Stiftsgården, was built during 1774 and 1778. It is the largest wooden palace in Scandinavia. Cecilia Christine Schøller, widow of the Privy Councilor, paid for this out of her large capital base, estimated at around five barrels of gold. In 1800, the building was sold to the state of Norway, and today it is the official Royal Residence in Trondheim. 

The Royal Residence, Norway

Sverresborg – Trøndelag Folk Museum 

Large open-air museum displays wooden buildings and scenes from Trondheim. Beautiful indoor exhibition "Images of Life" depicts life in the region in the last 150 years. You will also find a theme theatre, ski museum, and telecom museum. Sverresborg is a great place for the whole family. 

Trøndelag Folk Museum, Trondheim, Norway

Ringve Museum 

Are you fond of music? Then unique Ringve museum is a must-see for you! Ringve is Norway’s national music museum offering a musical journey through the history of music: 2000 musical instruments, tales, flowers and trees from around the world collected in one place. 

Rockheim 

Continue your musical adventure in Rockheim (literally "the home of rock"). Opened in 2010, Norway's national center for pop and rock music displays the best of Norwegian popular music from the 1950s to the present day through exhibitions, interactive experiences, and concerts. 


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Thursday, 13 August 2015

The Lysefjord Tourist Tips

The Lysefjord is located in the southern part of Fjord Norway, close to Stavanger. It is wildely known for the extraordinary mountain formations of Kjerag and Preikestolen. 

The Lycefjord, Norway
  • Length: 42 km 
  • Depth: approximately 500 meters 
  • Its name means "Light fjord", derived from the light-colored granite rocks along its banks. 
WHAT TO SEE AND WHAT TO DO 

Hengjanefossen Waterfall 

Do you want to see the fjord in all its beauty? Then join in an organized cruise! Quite often tourist boats stop in the middle of the Lysefjord allowing visitors to admire the breathtaking 400-meter high Hengjanefossen Waterfall. 

Hengjanefossen Waterfall, Lycefjord, Norway

Preikestolen (the Preacher’s Pulpit) 

Preikestolen is the most famous landmark of Ryfylke and one of the most visited natural tourist attractions in Norway. It consists of a steep cliff which rises 604 meters above the Lysefjord, with an almost flat top of approximately 25 by 25 meters. Apparently, the relief was formed with the melting frost 10,000 years ago. There is a popular tourist trail to Preikestolen 350 meters high, with picnic areas and bathing spots along the way. The hike takes around 4 hours both ways. 

Kjerag Mountain 

Kjerag towers 1084 meters above the Lysefjord, being the highest rock in the area. The Kjerag Plateau offers fantastic view to the fjord. It is a popular hiking and climbing destination, with many difficult routes. Tourists especially like to make photos of the Kjeragbolten, a round rock clamped solidly in a mountain crevice. 

The Kjeragbolten, Kjerag Mountain, Norway

The village of Flørli

Flørli is a small village not far from Kjerag. Its main attraction is the old power station, pipes of which lead up to a mountain lake and a 4,444 step maintenance staircase connected to the pipeline. 

The village of Flørli, Lycefjord, Norway

Lysefjordsenteret (The Fjord Center) 

Lysefjordsenteret is a tourist center showing the life in the Lysefjord in miniature. Here, you will find Salmonfarm with fishfeeding, a little park with fishponds, aquarium and domestic animals. 

AROUND LYCEFJORD 

Landa Park – prehistoric village 

See history come alive at the prehistoric village of Landa, portraying a remarkable chapter in the Norwegian history. Reconstruction aims to recreate something of the atmosphere that prevailed 3000 years ago. The first building, a Bronze Age house, was displayed in 1995. Landa is a great park for the entire family. 

Rock carvings at Solbakk 

Go to the shore of Solbakk, near the Ryfylke Road. There you will find prehistoric rock carvings dating back from around 500 BC.

Solbakk, Rock Carvings

The Old Tou Mill 

The Old Tou Mill complex consists of three well-preserved and fully-equipped wooden mill buildings in their natural setting on the seafront at Tau, right beside the modern Tou Mill. 


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Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Tromsø

Tromsø, wildly known as the "capital of the Arctic" and "Paris of the North", is a lively and busy city situated north of the Arctic Circle, among fjords and mountains. It is also a large port and a university center. 

Tromsø, Paris of the North

The city center is small and easy to walk around. The historical part includes Storgata, the Main Street, as well as Strandgata, Skippergata and Skansegata streets, stretching closer to the sea. From the Stortorget market square, you can enjoy a stunning view to the harbor and the Arctic Cathedral behind the strait. On the other side of Storgata, houses rise up to a set of hills that divide Tromsø into Western and Eastern parts.

CLIMATE 

Gulf Stream waters bring soft winters (avg. -3° С) and mild summers (+15°). The mountains protect Tromsø from the open sea and cold winds from Lapland. Summer in Tromsø lasts for two months and offers never-ending days, providing visitors with a wonderful opportunity to explore the landscape around the city. Winters offer polar nights (from 21 November to 21 January) and spectacular Northern lights.

Tromsø in Summer

ATTRACTIONS OF TROMSØ 

The Arctic Cathedral 

The Arctic Cathedral is a memorable architectural landmark inspired by the Arctic nature. It was built in 1965, and ornated with a unique glass mosaic. In summer, the Cathedral hosts popular Midnight Sun Concerts. 

The Arctic Cathedral, Tromsø

Fjellheisen Cable Car 

Fjellheisen Cable Car takes you up to Storsteinen Mountain, 420 metres above the sea level. The ride takes four minutes and offers unmatched panoramic views over the landscape. 

The Botanical Garden 

The world's northernmost botanical garden, the Tromsø Arctic-Alpine Botanical Garden contains thousands of plants from all over the world. However, the emphasis is on Arctic and Alpine plants, which have difficulty surviving in milder climates. Do not overlook blue poppies from the Himalayas, lewisias from the Rockies, local primroses and a selection of traditional medicinal plants. 

Blue poppy

Nordnorsk vitensenter (The Science Center of Northern Norway) 

The Science Centre is located at the world's northernmost university, the University of Tromsø. It has exhibitions focusing on major Arctic issues ranging from energy, climate and weather to Northern lights, resources and environment.

SHOPPING IN TROMSØ 

The largest shopping mall in Tromsø, Nerstranda is located in the city center, a minute walk from Prostneset Bus Station. 

Jekta Storsenter, the biggest mall in Northern Norway, has 56 different shops and is located close to the airport. 

Buying souvenirs in Tromsø

If you look for Norwegian souvenirs, do not miss Tromsø Gift & Souvenir shop, Snarby Strikkestudio (Norwegian sweaters), Husfliden, Blåst (glass souvenirs), and Arppa (Sami products,nadornments and books in Sami language). 

In bookstores in Storgata, such as Bokhuset Libris, you can buy maps and postcards, in addition to books about the region. Treat yourself in Taras, a lovely shop offering a nice selection of teas, coffees, confectioneries, spices and other charming trinkets.


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Monday, 10 August 2015

The Hardangerfjord

One if the most exciting fjords of Norway, Hardangerfjord is located near Bergen, in the county of Hordaland. The Hardanger region is a major Norwegian producer of fruit and berries (predominantly apples, pears, cherries, plums, raspberries and strawberries). It is known as the Orchard of Norway.

The Hardangerfjord
  • Length: 179 km. It is the second longest fjord in Norway and the third longest in the world.
  • Depth: 800 meters. 
  • The fjord is famous for its fruit gardens that are in blossom in spring. 
  • Hardangervidda and Folgefonna national parks are located in the region. 
  • The Hardangerfjord fish farms are world famous.
 WHAT TO SEE AND WHAT TO DO 

Fjord cruises and boat tours 

If you want to get a real taste of the Hardangerfjord, then go on a cruise around the fjord! Get on board of a ferry, or the Hardangerfjord Express or MS Peer Gynt passenger boats.

The Hardangerfjord Norway

Hardanger National Tourist Route 

Discover a picturesque Hardanger National Tourist Route – admire crystal waterfalls and massive glaciers, impressive Hardangerfjord and massive Hardangervidda, one of the largest mountain plateaus in Europe.

Hardanger Aqua Centre 

Learn more about fish farming in Norway! The visitors of Hardanger Aqua Centre observe salmons via underwater cameras. 

The Barony in Rosendal 

The smallest "palace" in Scandinavia is famous for its enchanting Renaissance garden and a vast menu of cultural events. The Barony in Rosendal is a unique place in Norway.

The Barony in Rosendal, The Hardangerfjord, Norway

Hardanger Fartøyvernsenter (ship-repair and ship-building center and museum) 

A vibrant museum with a main task of building and repairing boats is a place for real adventurers and romantics. Hardanger Fartøyvernsenter is situated in Norheimsund. 

Production of juice and cider 

Do you want to see how real Hardanger cider and apple juice are produced? Then visit the Juice- and Cider Factory in Ulvik, or the Hardanger Cideri in Jåstad, where you can join in a guided tour, learn how cider is produced, and test the product!

AROUND HARDANGERFJORD 

Vøringsfossen Waterfall 

The most famous waterfall in Norway, Vøringsfossen is 182 meters high, of which 145 meters is a direct drop. It consists of several waterfalls that flow together at the highest slope of the Måbødalen Valley.

Vøringsfossen Waterfall

Folgefonna Glacier 

Folgefonna Glacier is the third largest glacier of mainland Norway with the area of 203 square km. Here you can ski at the Fonna Glacier Ski Resort or go on a guided hiking tour. 

Trolltunga  

Trolltunga (The Troll's Tongue Rock) is one of Norway’s most spectacular hiking destinations. Only nature itself can create something so unnatural as Trolltunga – a piece of rock that stands horizontally out of the mountain. The full Trolltunga hike takes up to 10 hours return, and is only recommended for experienced hikers.

Trolltunga, Norway

Steindalsfossen Waterfall 

The waterfall's height is 50 meters. Steindalsfossen is special because you can walk between streams of water and the rock.


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Thursday, 6 August 2015

Northern Lights

Flashing blades of Valkyries who take fallen warriors away, to the palaces of Valhalla... It is hard to give a description more romantic and epic than these thoughts of ancient vikings about Northern Lights. The effect is also known under an imagination-boosting appellation of Aurora Borealis, named after the Roman goddess of dawn, Aurora, and the Greek god of the north wind, Boreas.

Northern Lights over a lighthouse

In fact, Northern Lights are one of the most magnificent spectacles that planet Earth performs for us. The phenomenon is quite hard to understand, and it is so tempting to believe old Lappish legends of sparks from a fox's tail or signs sent from the world of the dead to the living. 

Of course, today there is a simple and logical explanation of the phenomenon. Northern Lights (they can be viewed in South Pole too, that is why it is more correct to call them Polar Lights) are nothing but charged particles of solar wind dragged by the magnetic field of Earth into the upper layers of our atmosphere. There, about 100 km above the surface, they collide with air molecules and start their surrealistic game of color, shimmering from red to blue, violet or green. 

Aurora Borealis, Tromsø, Norway

No doubt, it is much better to see that stunning natural performance with your own eyes than read hundreds of over-fervid reviews. Norway is a perfect place to observe this magical phenomenon in the dark ink-blue skies. 

Unfortunately, there is now “perfect time” to catch Northern Lights, they are very hard to predict. Sometimes the lights can be seen 2 or 3 weeks in a row, and sometimes Aurora Borealis does not show itself for days. If you are going to “hunt” the phenomenon, pay attention to the weather forecast


Weather: It should be a frosty night with clear skies, without any snowfall or winds that may bring clouds. 
Dates: General dates are from October 21 to February 21, but they are flexible depending on the region. 
Time: From 9-9:30 pm to 11:30 pm. 
Place: The skies above virtually all territory of the Northern Norway may be a perfect scene for Aurora Borealis. 

Here is the list of recommended destinations for tourist who want to enjoy the Polar spectacle:
  • Svalbard, a Norwegian archipelago in the Arctic Ocean. It is wild, beautiful, lost on the edge of the world, but with all comforts of civilization. 
  • Tromsø, one of the most popular tourist destinations in Norway. 
  • North Cape (Nordkapp), the most northerly point of Norway.

Norway Travel Blog
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Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Norway's Top Ten Cities

1. Oslo

Oslo is the capital and the largest Norwegian city with a thousand-year's history. It never fails to surprise you with diversity: Michelin-starred restaurants, urban art, theaters, and opera combined with skiing, hiking and cycling just within the city! 

Norway's Top Ten Cities

Oslo is located at the northernmost end of picturesque Oslofjord. Forty islands of the 100 km fjord are a wonderful place for leisure and travel, and are easily reachable by ferry. 

The city offers many things to do and to see, starting from the amazing Vigeland sculpture park, the Viking Ship Museum, Munch Museum, the Holmenkollen Ski Jump, and finishing with the Nobel Peace Center and the Holocaust Center.

2. Tromsø

Tromsø, Paris of the North, the city of contrasts. On the one hand, you will be enchanted by lovely fishing villages, fragrant botanic gardens, and crystal-clear waterfalls, and on the other – enthralled by outstanding music festivals. If you are a fan of techno or electronic music, the Insomnia festival in Tromsø is a must! 

Tromsø is located north of the Arctic Circle. In summer, you will be able to observe midnight sun, in winter – Northern lights.

3. Kirkenes

Situated in a northwestern peninsula of Norway, Kirkenes, a tiny mining settlement, is especially popular in winter. It is an amazing freezing fairy-tale with snow hotels, ice fishing and breathtaking Aurora Borealis. Meet Santa's helpers in the Reindeer Safari park, go on an exclusive dog sledding trip and try delicious fresh king crabs!

Panoramic view of Kirkenes

 4. Bergen

This scenic Norwegian city is known as the gates into the world of splendid fjords. Go to Bryggen, listed in UNESCO World Cultural Heritage sites, and take photos of Hanseatic commercial buildings, resembling the setting of a costume picture. Do not forget to attend the lively Fish Market in Bergen, one of Norway's most visited outdoors markets!

5. Longyearbyen

Longyearbyen is the largest settlement of Spitsbergen. Utmost North, sparse population, and wild nature beckon real adventurers. Next to Longyearbyen, Svalbard Airport is located, the world's most Northern airport with regular flights. The town is also famous for its University Centre in Svalbard and the Svalbard Global Seed Vault.

Wild nature of Longyearbyen

6. Trondheim 

Technological capital of Norway, the university town of Trondheim is a heaven for engineers and a dream for historians. Nidaros Cathedral of the XI century is a national shrine, and the Royal Residence is the greatest wooden palace in Scandinavia. Moreover, Trondheim hosts SINTEF, the largest Scandinavian independent research organization. 

7. Ålesund 

A city of fantastic beauty, Ålesund is situated in the domain of fjords, and is settled upon several islands extending towards the Atlantic Ocean. From here, you can admire a stunning view to majestic mountains of Sunnmøre. 

Natural beauty of Ålesund is amplified with the exquisite architecture: after the fire that destroyed the majority of the town in the beginning of the XX century, Ålesund was rebuilt in the brilliance of the art nouveau style. 

Give yourself a treat and attend one of the world's largest oceanaria – Atlanterhavsparken

8. Lillehammer 

Lillehammer became world famous after it hosted Winter Olympic Games in 1994. It is undoubtedly a great place for skiing and other winter sports. If you are a sport fan, try Lysgårdsbakken ski jumping hill. If you prefer less adrenalin-producing pastime, attend Maihaugen, the open-air ethnographic museum, or go on an excursion to the Fåberg village to see ancient rock paintings.

Skiing in Lillehammer

9. Bodø 

Picturesque Bodø will meet you with midnight sun of a polar day in summer, and garlands of Northern lights in winter. About 10 km southeast of the town of Bodø, you will find Saltstraumen, a small strait with the strongest tidal current in the world. When the current is at its strongest, it forms whirlpools up to 10 m in diameter and 5 m in depth. Do not forget to feast your eyes upon local churches and herbal gardens, and visit the magnificent Aviation Museum. 

10. Stavanger 

Stavanger is the fourth-largest city in Norway. It combines old and modern in paradoxical harmony. The city history is routed back to the Middle Ages. Once Stavanger was a quiet market town on the seacoast, in time it turned into an important fishing port. Its destiny, landscape and pace radically changed when in 1969 oil reserve was discovered off the Norwegian coast.

Stavanger, fishing nets

When in the city, visit Old Stavanger (the historical part), the unique Norwegian Canning Museum, and Stavanger Cathedral built in the XII century.

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Monday, 3 August 2015

Fjord Norway

Fjord is a piece of art created by Nature itself in the times when glaciers started to retreat and seawaters poured in vales. Norway boasts the greatest concentration of fjords in the world.

Norway Fjords

MILD CLIMATE

Thanks to warm waters of Gulf Stream and currents of warm air under the influence of Coriolis Effect, the climate of Norway fjords is mild, water freezes rarely. Fur seals, white whales and numerous species of fish inhabit the waters. In the sky, you can see hovering eagles and other birds. Waters of fjords are salt and deep. For example, Sognefjord reaches a maximum depth of 1,308 meters below sea level. It is the deepest fjord in Norway. The depth of waters allows navigation of large vessels. Being on board, you can enjoy the beauty of outstanding fjord landscapes.


FERTILE LAND


Banks of fjords are usually covered with abundant greenery and are extremely fertile. Many lands have been cultivated for thousands of years. If you arrive in May, you will be able to see amazing fruit gardens of Hardangerfjord. 

CLOSER LOOK 

Sognefjord is called the King of the fjords. It stretches 204 km inland, offering magnificent views of pristine nature. Natural beauties combined with unique cultural heritage make Sognefjord an ideal place for family vacation.

Nærøyfjord is a branch of Sognefjord and is famous for its unspoiled and picturesque beauty. The 17 km long fjord is only 250 meters in its narrowest point. Since 2005, the Nærøyfjord has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

Hardangerfjord is known as the Queen of the fjords. It is world famous for its numerous fruit trees. Annually at the end of spring/beginning of summer uncountable apple and cherry trees are in bloom, turning the banks of the fjord in a place of unforgettable beauty.


Lysefjord is located between high rocks and mountains, the most famous of which is called Preikestolen (Preacher’s Pulpit). You can reach the fjord with a daily cruise from Stavanger.


Lysefjord

Geirangerfjord, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005, attracts tourists from all over the world with its panoramic views, breathtaking waterfalls and magnificent natural beauty. There are special observation points at Dalsnibba Mountain, the Eagle Road (Ørnevegen), and Scagefla farm.


Hjørundfjord is often called "a hidden pearl" of the Region because it is surrounded by Sunnmøre Alps. The fjord is easily reachable from Ålesund. Harmonious combination of the transparent-blue fjord, high mountains and pastoral life of local villages attracts many tourists.


View from Ålesund

CITIES IN THE FJORDS 

Stavanger is an ideal place to try national cuisine. The city hosts numerous festivals and cultural events. In 2008, Stavanger was designated European Capital of Culture. Go hiking to Preikestolen and admire the breathtaking view to Lysefjord! More information at regionstavanger.com


Bergen – the gates to the Kingdom of fjords. You will never be bored in this fantastic city. Go with an excursion to Edvard Grieg's House, visit Aquarium, and walk along the Fish market alongside the harbor called Bryggen. More information at visitbergen.com


Norway Fjords, the city of Bergen

Ålesund is an art nouveau style pearl. The city is indebted for its fairy-tale look to a destructive fire of 1904. After which, Ålesund rose like phoenix from ashes as an architectural ensemble of modern style. More information at visitalesund.com  


FJORD PANORAMA

Get a bird's eye view of Norway fjords in 360°!

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