Thousands of little islands, peaceful majestic fjords cutting their way into a jugged coastline and glorious glittering glaciers making their way to the shores - Norway's landscape is stunningly beautiful and makes for a wonderful setting for outdoor activities.
A wide range of outdoor adventures can be pretty much enjoyed all year long. If you are looking for endless summer sun or the magical Northern lights occurring over the winter months, Norway offers you just the right possibility to get active and close to nature no matter the season. If you wish to explore the Western fjords, discover the beautiful Lofoten islands or venture off to the North Cape, you will be met with a wonderful scenery and welcoming people no matter where you go. Further, you will find some of the most beautiful villages and stylish cities buzzing with vibrant cultural life around heritage, arts, music and food.
OUR NORWAY ADVENTURES
Norway is the most Western of the Scandinavian countries in Europe and it is also the country in Europe which stretches the furthest up North. The country borders on Sweden in the East and Finland and Russia in the Northeast. In the South, Norway meets with the Northern sea at the Skagerrak while the Norwegian sea lies to the West and the Barents Sea to the North. Overall, Norway has a size of 385,199 km2, which includes Bear Island, Svalbard and Jan Mayen in the northern Barents Sea, the Bouvet Peter I islands in the South Atlantic and the Queen Maud mountains in Antarctica. Mainland Norway’s coastline alone is nearly as long as half of the equator and from North to South, the country stretches over around 1,800km.
From the Cape Nordkinn, the most northern point in Europe, to the Pysen in Lindesnes, the most Southern point, Norway has of the longest and most rugged coastlines in the world. Most of the country is shaped by rock and water and only 3% of Norwegian land can be used for agriculture. Mountain ranges rise behind the coast, whose peaks are often covered in snow and ice, also over the summer months. Much of the countryside does not carry any vegetation at all. Most of the more than 1,700 Norwegian glaciers are quite young and only formed around 500BC due to a change in climate.
Norway is divided into five main areas - Sørlandet in the South, Vestlandet in the West, Östlandet in the East, Tröndelag around the Trondheimsfjord and Nord-Norge in Northern Norway. Around half of the country’s population lives in Östlandet, taking up a third of Norway. The highest peak of Norway, Jotunheimen with an elevation of 2,469m, can be found in Westland. Forests and agricultural land shape most of the countryside while alpine vegetation is typical in higher areas over 1,000m and in Northern Norway, where agriculture is hardly possible.
The coastline is dominated by fjords deeply carving their way into the land. The western fjords area between Stavanger and Molde is home to the most impressive fjords, often reaching considerable depth and framed by high, steep rock walls. The Sognefjord with a length of 183km and a depth of 1,308m is the biggest fjord in Norway. “Fjell”, a bare high plateau with lakes and rocks formed during the Ice Age, is another Norwegian characteristic landscape.Hardangervidda between Oslo and Bergen is considered to be the most distinctive fjell in Norway.
REGIONS OF NORWAY
Southern Norway - Sørlandet
The Sørlandet region is made off the province of Aust-Agder and Vest-Adger. With just 16,500km2, Sørlandet is the smallest region in Norway. The summers tend to be warm with long days and the villages and towns along the Skaggerrak are a popular destination for summer holidays. The idyllic Southern coastline is characterized by small rocky islands while the landscape is getting harsher and rugged as you move further Northwest. Wide sandy and rocky beaches are typical for the Jaeren region South of Stavanger.
Western Norway - Vestlandet
Western Norway stretches along the Western fjords from Stavanger to Kristiansund. The area is dominated by the impressive fjords that carved their way into the coast and formed a unique, stunning landscape. From naked rock regions to lush forests and green meadows, the landscape here is very varied and makes for an incredible road-trip adventure. The cosmopolitan towns of Stanvanger and Bergen are the main centers in the region and both can be reached directly by plane.
Mid Norway - Trøndelag.
The Trøndelag region is the very heart of Norway with Trondheim as its centerpiece. While the cosmopolitan city boasts with student life and pretty waterfront bars and restaurants against the historic setting, the countryside is characterized by soft rolling hills and farmlands full of wheat and barley. The small settlements stretching along the coast are worth exploring and lakes and incised fjords are plentiful in this area.
Eastern Norway - Østlandet
Østlandet combines eight provinces and is the most populated are in Norway. In fact, around a third of the Norwegian population lives in this area and Østlandet is also home to the Norwegian capital Oslo. The region is characterized by mountain ranges and is a popular area for hiking over the summer and for skiing over the winter months. Wide forests and large lakes are spread over the region, making it a popular destination for walking, fishing and swimming.
Northern Norway - Nord-Norge
The Northern region of Norway runs along the Northwestern coast from Helgeland at its South to the Northern Cape at the Northern end of the European continent. While the interior is characterized by bizarre mountain structures and colorful rock formations, the coastline is rugged with many fjords and flat lowlands. Small islands with steep mountains and a rugged coastline are typical for the area all the way up to Tromsø with the Lofoten and Vesterålen archipelagos being the largest and most spectacular ones. Half way up Northern Norway, you will cross the Arctic Circle and the closer you get to the North Cape, the more surreal the landscape becomes. The population of the area is scarce with just 4,1 people per square kilometer and most of the 463,000 people living in Northern Norway are in the bigger centers like Tromsø, Bodø or Vadsø. The Northern area is also home to the indigenous Sami culture, which encompasses the Northern parts of Norway, Sweden, Finland and the Kola peninsula in Russia.
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