The major appeal of Norway is straightforward: The country is absolutely beautiful. In an increasingly connected and digital world, there are precious few genuine opportunities to unplug and simply enjoy nature at its finest, and Norway more than fits that bill. With picturesque fjords, dramatic landscapes and air with an unmatched crispness, it is a nation that provides ample opportunity to enjoy the simple pleasures that life can provide.
As one of the oldest port cities in Northern Europe, Bryggen was a key trading harbor between the 14th and 16th centuries. In the period since then, the city has been damaged by fires on numerous occasions, but has been rebuilt each time, following the same building techniques and using many of the same materials. Because of this, it stands a link to a past long gone, and gives visitors the chance to see a fishing town as it might have been centuries ago.
Today, just over 60 buildings remain of the former townscape, relics of the ancient wooden urban centers that were once commonplace in Northern Europe. Their design and structure provide clues into the lifestyles of the merchants who lived and worked in them, a historical significance which has earned Bryggen a designation as a World Heritage Site.
Take a dog sledding adventure
It’s hard to choose who is more likely to have fun while sledding - you or the dogs. Norwegian huskies absolutely love to run, spurred on by generations of breeding and genetic imperative. For these intelligent, gorgeous creatures, all you have to do earn their loyalty is sit in control of the sled and let them do what they do best. Under the tutelage of an expert trainer, you will learn to command your own team, and be able to get out there and put those skills to use. For younger children, or those that aren’t yet ready to run their own sled, there are a number of shared options available.
There is no other feeling quite like the connection you’ll feel between yourself and the huskies, as you take a symbiotic journey over snowy hills, watching the world go by. It is truly an adventure like any other.
Catch, cook and eat Arctic Crab
Norway is famed for the freshness of its seafood, and there is nothing fresher than an Arctic Crab that you catch, cook and eat yourself. One of the most sought after types of seafood in the world, it has a physical stature that is only outmatched by how delicious it is - the crabs can have a leg span of up to five feet, nine inches, the same height as an adult man.
Get up close and personal with your dinner by taking a crab fishing tour, where an expert guide will show you just how to set traps and pull your catch in. After this exhilarating experience, you get to take the results of your hard work, prepare the crabs just how you enjoy them and have a meal that doesn’t compare to anything you could ever get in a grocery store.
See snow-capped mountains by rail
The topography of Norway is varied and beautiful, dominated largely by vast mountain ranges punctuated by valleys and fjords. These peaks are a vital part of not only the geography but also the culture of the country - they form the boundaries of the four major districts, and are some of the most active year-round recreational destinations for both locals and visitors alike.
To take in as many of the spectacular views as possible, travel by rail. With some of the steepest lines in the world, taking the train allows you to take in the panoramas while feeling the excitement of the journey.
Cruise through picturesque fjords
Around and through its mountains run Norway’s fjords, the most enduring and picturesque symbols of the country’s simple but powerful beauty. Time seems to slow down when you are cruising on them, giving you the chance to unwind and relax deeply.
There are more than 1,000 fjords throughout Norway, all of which run along the coast. While they have the placid appearance and bright color of lakes, they are actually made of saltwater, and are connected to the sea. They are easy to explore whether by yourself or on a guided tour, and often reach deep inland, beset on both sides by majestic cliffs and even sometimes rushing waterfalls. They are a connection to the Norway of the past, but also very much a representation of the country in the present: a humble tranquility presented with effortless grace.
Learn about Viking history
The legacy of vikings has captivated historians and laypeople alike. So infamous were their deeds that even now, their stories are the stuff of legend. Private guided Norway tours are the best place to separate fact from myth and learn more about these people that are so fascinating, even today.
Some things that you may have heard are true - vikings did bury their dead in boats, believing it to be a great honor to return to the sea that they loved so deeply. Others may not be - contrary to popular beliefs, viking hygiene was actually excellent, and they enjoyed frequent dips in natural hot springs. There are even interesting things that didn’t make the historical legend, such as the fact that they would sometimes ski as entertainment. There is so much interesting history to learn about the people, their customs and the traditions they left behind.
American and Canadian citizens must have a passport that is valid for at least 90 days beyond the intended return date in order to enter and depart the country. Tourists must also provide proof of return or onward travel. Each traveler is responsible for ensuring that his/her passport is up to date. Citizens of other nationalities should check with respective authorities before departure.
Please ensure that the name on your passport matches all travel documents we have issued. If this is not the case, please contact us immediately.
Please make a photocopy of your passport’s identification page and keep it separate from your original. It’s also a good idea to leave a digital copy with someone at home. This may speed up the replacement process should you lose your passport.
U.S. and Canadian citizens may enter for up to 90 days for tourist or business purposes without a visa. Citizens from other countries may require a valid visa. These requirements change often and therefore it is best that you check with the Embassy of Norway for the most up-to-date visa information.
Cancelation and Medical Insurance is highly recommended as it can safeguard against the expenses associated with in-country medical emergencies, lost or delayed baggage and emergency cancelation or interruption of your trip. Please ensure your policy will provide you with upfront medical coverage so that you are not responsible for a hefty medical bill. Insurance can be purchased through us.
We always recommend that you see a doctor or health-care provider who specializes in Travel Medicine. They will best determine your vaccination and medication needs based on your health and immunization history, areas of the country you will be visiting, planned activities and up-to-the-minute requirement changes. For all vaccinations and health requirements, we also recommend that you consult the World Health Organization (WHO): http://www.who.int or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) http://wwwnc.cdc.gov.
If there are any medical items that are essential to your health, such as prescription drugs or corrective eye wear, bring duplicates and divide them between your checked bags and hand luggage. While non-prescription drugs such as aspirin are generally available, it is difficult to replace prescription items.
Norway experiences extreme cold in the winter - particularly in sub polar regions - and gentle heat in the summer. The best time to visit is between mid-May and August, unless you're coming to ski, in which case the best time is December to the end of March. Northern parts inside the Arctic Circle have non-stop daylight in midsummer and twilight all day during winter.
For up-to-date forecasts, check weather.com.
Electricity in Norway is supplied at 220 to 230 volts. Sockets are designed to accept two round prongs. Some sockets will take the plugs with large prongs only; others will take the ones with small prongs. A multi-adaptor with different plug configurations can be very useful. We advise not to bring a hair dryer as it could blow a fuse.
Phone: Roaming charges vary between carriers, but tend to be quite costly. Consult your phone provider prior to departure to discuss overseas rates and international package options. It is also possible to purchase a SIM card locally to avoid international charges when calling numbers within Norway. (You should check to see that your cell phone is SIM card compatible).
Internet: Internet cafés and wireless access is available in most urban areas, airports and hotels.
The currency in Norway is the Norwegian Krone. Generally speaking, we advise bringing around 700 Krone per day, per person, for spending money. Be sure to bring lots of small bills for porters, wait staff and housekeeping (not obligatory and based on your satisfaction). Norwegian paper money comes in different colors and denominations (50, 100, 200, 500, 1000 notes). There are also Eurocent coins: 1, 5, 10, and 20 krone. We recommend that you bring approximately 750 NOK of spare cash in small denominations to have ready for tips and expenses when you first arrive.
We recommend that you get local currency from your bank before you leave home or from a bank machine in-country which is much cheaper than an exchange service at the airport or in tourist areas. Your bank card may work, but Visa or MasterCard are more widely accepted. You will need a 4-digit PIN to be able to use your cards in Europe.
Language: Norwegian and Saami
Currency: Kroner (NOK)
Religion: Protestant State Church
Time Zone: UTC +1
Electricity: 230 Volts
Telephone: Country code for calling you from outside Norway is +47
Calling North America: Dial 011 + 47 + ###-####
Emergency numbers in Norway: For Police 112, Medical 113, and Fire 110