Norway is a country full of dramatic scenery, waiting to be explored. Mountains, glaciers, and deep coastal fjords make for an adventure traveler's playground, endless in the opportunities to be had. Explore this Scandinavian country in the summer time for long days full of hiking and water sports, or venture over during the winter when skiing and snow activities offer their best.
If adventure/outdoors travel isn't quite your preferred way to experience a new place, consider spending your time in Norway on a food and culture tour, sampling the local Scandinavian fare. Or, book a multi-day tour to experience the Northern Lights firsthand. No matter what you do, see, or taste while touring in Norway, you won't be surprised why this country is considered one of the happiest places to live.
Skiing & Snowboarding Tours
One of Norway’s most popular sports, vacationers come from all over to ski the mountains in Norway. Rumored to even be where skiing originated from, you’ll have your choice of resorts to practice your skills at as you speed down the hill. Choose from a variety of beginner runs to experienced-only options.
Hiking & Trekking
In the summer months, the same mountains that provide excellent skiing opportunities are a playground for hiking and trekking. Guided and self-guided hikes throughout Norway are a great way to experience the majesty of the fjords and mountains. Being at or near the Arctic Circle, the sun hardly goes down at night, so this is your chance to go on some long hikes you wouldn't be able to complete before sundown elsewhere.
With so much focus on Norway’s mountains, it’s easy to forget that it borders water as well. During the warm summer months, book a trip on a sea kayaking tour to explore the fjords. In the summer you might see animals such as puffins, sea eagles, or harbor seals.
Multi-day kayaking tours can often be combined with other activities. Kayak to shore, and then go hiking for the afternoon in the nearby mountains. Camping with kayaks is another popular activity. Just put your tent and other equipment in a waterproof bag on your kayak, and pull up to the campsite when you’re ready to call it a day.
Food & Culture Tours
Admittedly less popular than the adventure tours which bring most travelers to Norway, you can certainly find tours which allow you to sample the good life Norwegians embrace. Lutefisk is a must-try for all foodies in the area, or book yourself a tour that allows you to sample some of Norway's unique foraged plant and berry species.
Northern Lights Tours
It's impossible to skip one of the primary reasons travelers come to Norway: to see the Northern Lights! In the winter months, all you need is clear skies to see one of nature's most impressive shows. If this is on your bucket list, look for tours which take you into northern Norway, provide accommodation and other amenities and guide you to the best viewing spots.
Planning Your Trip
Best Time to Visit Norway
When to come to Norway depends on what you want to do. Skiing enthusiasts and chasers of the Northern Lights should plan on booking a trip between December and March for a chance of good snow and dark skies. Hiking has a shorter window, with July through September being the best time for warm and dry weather. Rain or snow will make the trails slippery and pose a hazard throughout the rest of the year.
What to Look For In a Tour
When it comes to booking a tour in Norway, you don't necessarily need to worry about ensuring your tour will be high quality; Norway is known for hospitality and professionalism when it comes to travel.
Instead, be sure to check for what's included (and what's not) in your tour. As Norway is an expensive destination, it's important to know what additional costs you can expect in your tour to help you make an informed decision about which tour to book.
Average Tour Cost
Norway is on the more expensive side compared to other European countries -- and the rest of the world. You can expect most tours to start in the range of $200 per day, and it's easy to spend $2000 on a week-long tour. This cost continues to climb if your tour includes activities which are more expensive or require gear rentals, such as skiing or kayaking.
Packing Tips & Gear Rental
If coming in the winter, make sure to bundle up. Outdoor sports such as skiing will require thermal underwear and socks, gloves, hats, and even a face mask when frostbite might be an issue. Skiing gear can easily be rented from the resort or your tour operator, which will save you room in your luggage.
If participating in water sports, bring clothing that will dry fast as well as multiple changes of clothes so you’re not wet at night. Even though Norway is far away from the Equator, you’ll still want to wear sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses during the day to protect yourself from the sun’s rays.
Health & Safety
When skiing or hiking in the mountains, always stick to marked trails. Avalanches or other dangers can occur when going off the path, so it's crucial to your safety. Pay attention to any signage, and follow posted rules and regulations.
Norway is famous for many Instagram-worthy mountaintops and cliffs, but please take care when going for that perfect photo op. Many mountainous areas are hard to access if help is needed.
Keep in mind the unique daylight hours unlike many other destinations. In the summer, consider bringing a sleeping mask to help you rest when the sun hasn't gone down. During the winter, be prepared for long days without much light.
Don't forget to ensure that your health insurance covers the adventurous activities you plan to participate in.