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Welcome to Norway
Without exaggeration this is amongst the most stunning scenery to be
found anywhere in the world… and then there are those beautiful little
villages with their distinctive wooden stave churches, some of which
date back many hundreds of years – irresistibly photogenic.
Travelling further north possibly voyaging along the unique Hurtigruten
coastal route, you will ﬁnd ever more enchanting places and an
enormous playground to explore and rejoice in. Then there are the
Norwegians, a friendly resilient race who conveniently for us, almost
all speak excellent English and are very keen to share their wonderful
country with visitors. Simply put, Norway is Europe at its most exotic
and charming, and I urge you to go there and experience it for yourself.
At Discover the World we specialise in designing holidays for the
individual and we also offer “off-the-peg’’ itineraries, which can all be
adapted to your own special requirements.
Managing Director – Discover the World
Having had the privilege to travel to many parts of the world and seen
some heart stopping scenery in such places as New Zealand, Iceland and
Canada – I embarked on my ﬁrst trip to the fjords of Norway expecting
to be mildly impressed. But what I saw literally blew me away and I defy
anyone not to be deeply moved by the wonderfully majestic mountains,
fjords and deep, deep green valleys of this part of Norway.
To ﬁnd out more about our Norway programme, please visit our website discover-the-world.co.uk/norway
for itinerary ideas and information on places to visit. Alternatively call our expert team on 01737 214 282
or email email@example.com and we’ll be happy to help put together your Norwegian holiday.
talk to the experts 01737 214 282 7
Bergen As well as being a gateway to the fjords, this is a
fascinating city in its own right. After just a 2 hour ﬂight from the
UK you can be soaking up the atmosphere in this cosmopolitan
city. Appreciate the situation of Bergen cradled between seven hills
and mountains by taking the Fløibanen (funicular railway) to Mount
Fløyen or perhaps onto the highest point, Ulriken. Bergen’s full of
interesting museums and art galleries, however if you prefer an
active day out, you can hike one of the routes across the outskirts
of the city amongst eclectic scenery. And the image of colourful and
quirky Hansa warehouses that line the harbourside is one of the
many memories you will take home after a visit here.
Hardangervidda National Park The largest mountain plateau
in Europe provides activities and experiences which will put you
in touch with local nature whether you prefer to be on two
wheels or two feet. High up in the Jondal municipality above
Odda are countless natural attractions, one of the most impressive
is Trolltunga, the trolls tongue. This unique rock formation juts
out over the southern branch of Hardangerfjord and affords
breathtaking views - a good 8 hour return hike but well worth the
effort. Or for those who want even more of a challenge, reach the
dizzy heights of a via ferrata route, complete with steel cables and
metal rungs anchored into the steeper rock faces, which give access
to lookouts across the playground that is the Norwegian fjords.
Hardangerfjord One of the most bountiful places in Norway
cuts diagonally inland and has the perfect climate for fruit growing
- a visit in late spring or autumn will delight all the senses. The
mountains rarely lose their snowy peaks and the waterfalls,
especially Vøringfossen, are simply awe inspiring. There are a
number of routes crossing this fjord by boat and a trip to Utne,
one of many charming fjord communities, is like stepping back in
time. Here you’ll ﬁnd the oldest hotel in Norway and the Hardanger
Flåm The scenic route north to Flåm may be a short drive but be
prepared for it to take a while as you add the unavoidable photo
stops. Once there, board the breathtaking corkscrew railway which
winds its way through the Flåmsdalen to the highest point, Myrdal.
With cycle hire available in Flåm, you can opt to cycle back down
to Flåm or perhaps take the train part way and ﬁnish with a
gentle stroll through the countryside, all downhill!
Nærøyfjord This is one of the many branches
of Sognefjord and it is the narrowest fjord in
the world. Take a cruise through the fjord and
marvel at the sheer sided mountains which
seem to quite literally plunge deep into the
Bergen I Hardangerfjord I Odda I Flåm I Nærøyfjord
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Sognefjord Many superlatives have been used to describe the king
of the fjords, and rightly so. Once a major trading route in Viking
times, today the heart of south west Norway, this incredible natural
formation gives rise to many attractions along its shores.
A unique ancient construction method can be witnessed while
travelling around the countryside of fjord Norway. We urge you not
to miss the highly photogenic Urnes Stave Church as its unrivalled
Norse carvings are a real gem.
Jostedalsbreen Head further north to this snowy covered
expanse, continental Europe’s largest glacier. It has glacial tongues
on all sides which offer diverse views and the chance to really
grasp its scale and beauty whatever way you decide to explore it.
The Norwegian Glacier Museum in Fjærland is not only a striking
structure but it provides an interactive exhibition about all aspects
Nordfjord This fjord winds its way from the coast to inland
Norway encompassing ocean, mountain and glacier along the
way. Home to one of the oldest horse breeds in the world which
actually display markings still seen on wild horses, a half day riding
excursion provides a ﬁtting way to enjoy this area. As you approach
the inner Nordfjord, three spectacular valleys stretch up towards
Jostedalsbreen, which beg to be explored.
Geirangerfjord Accessible on a day trip from Ålesund, this wide
sweeping fjord cuts in from the ocean and is an absolute jewel
tucked away under lofty mountain ranges. If time allows, in our
opinion, this area warrants at least a couple of nights to enjoy
arguably one of the highlights of your time in fjord Norway. With
opportunities to hike, kayak or simply cruise the gently rippling
waters, the natural beauty can be appreciated on many levels.
In fact it’s not only the destination that will amaze you but how
you reach it, whether by spectacular boat journey from Hellesylt
or driving the memorable Trollstigen. This incredible road, with its
11 rock-hewn bends, a mix of sweeping and hairpin, builds the
anticipation as you near your journeys end.
Ålesund This coastal town is quite a contrast to the rest of
southern Norway. After being destroyed by ﬁre just over 100
years ago, it was decided to rebuild in the style of the time - its
concentration of Art Nouveau architecture is quite unique in
Norway. The 418 steps up to Mount Aksla provide a stunning view
across the coastal islands as well as inland across the magniﬁcent
Sunnmøre Alps. Take a day excursion to one of these
islands - choose Runde if you are a nature lover as more
than 200 bird species can be found here and when
they take to the air en masse, it is quite a sight. The
famous Atlantic Road which connects Molde with
Kristiansund further north is a ‘must-do’ drive -
the bridges and views along this 8km stretch of
coastal road are simply breathtaking.
Sognefjord I Jostedalsbreen I Nordfjord I Geirangerfjord I Ålesund
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Lofoten & Vesterålen
Lofoten This collection of islands off the northwest coast of
Norway are a unique combination of sheer jagged mountain peaks,
tranquil villages with colourful rorbuer (converted ﬁshermen’s
cottages) and white sandy beaches. When viewed from a distance,
the 160 km long Lofotenveggen, otherwise known as the Lofoten
Wall, dominates the horizon with an outline of impressively pointed
At 68 degrees, high above the Arctic Circle, the Lofoten enjoy long
summer days and thanks to the Gulf Stream, mild and comfortable
temperatures. From the end of May to mid July the sun never dips
below the horizon, meaning long days to soak up the scenery. It is
surprising how the midnight sun energizes and even in September,
daylight hours can linger.
Driving here is a pure pleasure with little trafﬁc, amazing scenery
and excellent road conditions, with some impressive bridges now
connecting most of the islands. A stop in many of the colourful
ﬁshing villages is a must: Svolvær; Henningsvær; Nusfjord; Reine and
ﬁnally at the shortest-named village – Å (pronounced ‘or’), where
both the road and the Lofotenveggen end.
Vesterålen A car ferry north from Fiskebøl to Melbu connects
Lofoten to this second island group. In Melbu, visit the Vesterålen
Museum and in Stokmarknes, the Hurtigruten Museum. The principle
town of Sortland offers an ideal base for exploring the island of
Langøya. Drive around the foot of Mount Reka to the rugged
western side of the island, and you’ll ﬁnd an excellent area for
spotting many species of birds - the sea eagle, pufﬁn and razorbill
to name a few. Kayaking in the sheltered waters or travelling by
motorboat to the spectacular Trollfjord will give a completely new
dimension to these unique islands.
To the north of Langøya, you will ﬁnd the hidden gem of Nyksund.
In its heyday, a prominent ﬁshing village, but left to ruin when
inhabitants moved to larger towns. In recent years many of the
buildings have been renovated and the local museum tells the story
of this charming village. Visit the local blacksmiths or have a drink in
a quayside restaurant and you’ll be transported to a bygone era.
Whale watching trips operate from the town of Andenes at the
northern tip of Andøya - sperm whales return each year and
there is good chance of seeing other species such as minke, orca
The Møysalen National Park is located on Norway’s largest island,
Hinnøya. The guided hike from Lonkanfjord to the peak of
Møysalen reveals one panoramic view after another.
With more than 20 mountain peaks, on a clear day
you can see as far as Kebnekaise in Sweden.
Getting here is easy either by air from the UK to
Evenes, or Svolvær via Oslo. Alternatively, take
the Hurtigruten coastal voyage from Bergen.
Svolvær I Henningsvær I Nusfjord I Å I Sortland I Nyksund I Andenes
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Bodø This modern town has excellent connections south by road
and railway, and north to Lofoten and beyond via the Hurtigruten
route. Just outside Bodø you will ﬁnd the famous Saltstraumen,
the world’s strongest maelstrom. Twice a day the combination of
powerful currents and narrow channels create turbulent whirlpools.
Senja This is Norway’s second largest island, a northerly neighbour
to the Lofoten and Vesterålen islands. It is famous for its incredible
landscape, a mix of high mountain peaks, slow ﬂowing rivers,
coastal pine forests and pristine white sandy beaches.
Tromsø As a gateway to the Arctic, this city has a long history
associated with Arctic exploration, shipping and ﬁshing. Once an
ancient trading post, now sometimes known as the ‘Paris of the
North’ due to its wealth of shops, restaurants and street cafes. The
many museums and art galleries exhibit arts and crafts inspired by
Arctic nature and Sami culture, as well as research into the northern
lights. To the east of Tromsø, explore beautiful Lyngenfjord and the
lush green Lyngen Alps which rise to 1800 metres.
Finnmark The largest and most northerly county in Norway has a
long and rugged coastline with deep fjords and dramatic mountains
stretching all the way to the Russian border. Alta’s 6000 year old
rock carvings feature on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites,
and Hammerfest offers some excellent hiking opportunities. At
North Cape, the northernmost point of continental Europe, take in
the magniﬁcent view out to sea.
At nearby Gjesvær, join a boat trip to visit local bird colonies.
Whether travelling by sea, air or road there is plenty to experience:
the hidden ﬁshing villages of Kjøllefjord and Mehamn, or the
charming community in Kongsfjord where you will be assured of a
warm welcome during a stay at the family run guesthouse.
Kirkenes This is the ﬁnal port of call for the Hurtigruten ships and
the neighbouring border with Russia is just a stone’s throw away.
Here you can join a King Crab Safari in the Barents Sea, afterwards
enjoying the largest crab legs you’ve ever eaten! The three borders
of Norway, Russia and Finland meet deep in the Øvre Pasvik
National Park, where you can explore the country’s largest virgin
forest following the Pasvik River and the Russian border.
Further inland you’ll ﬁnd the two principal Sami districts of
Kautokeino and Karasjok. Each community celebrates this vivid and
unique culture with festivals throughout the year. For a glimpse of
this fascinating way of life, why not visit the local Sami museum
where they proudly present their traditional customs,
mythology and heritage. You can also take one of the
local signed culture paths - short walking trails which
pass ancient monuments and provide visitors with
a different way to learn about the Sami culture
whilst appreciating the natural surroundings.
Bodø I Senja I Tromsø I Finnmark I North Cape I Kirkenes
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Norway is stunning at any time of year, but the winter brings a
completely new dimension to your holiday experience. The dramatic
scenery of deep fjords, steep, snow covered peaks and traditional
ﬁshing communities can be even more striking than during the
summer months. Although the days are shorter in the fjord areas,
the deep contrasts of light bring changing moods and great photo
opportunities. The further north you travel the shorter the days,
until you reach the high latitudes above the Arctic Circle and meet
the polar night. The sun might not rise above the horizon between
December and mid-January, but the magical blue light this creates
together with snow, the moon and stars, adds to this unforgettable
Norwegian Fjords These are spectacular year round and in winter
the extra dusting of snow adds to their magniﬁcence. The travel is
easy by train, boat or bus and hired vehicles will come with studded
winter tyres. Visit some of the more popular areas at this quieter
time of year and you’ll have the lookout stops practically to yourself
for that all important photo. The two largest fjords, Hardangerfjord
and Sognefjord, are within easy reach of Bergen and can be
comfortably combined with some incredible train journeys, such
as the ‘Over the Roof of Norway’ (between Oslo and Bergen), the
‘Corkscrew Railway’ (between Flåm and Myrdal) and the beautiful
‘Rauma Railway’ (between Dombås and Åndalsnes).
Perhaps begin your holiday in Oslo, Bergen or Ålesund, and enjoy
their rich Scandinavian culture and history before venturing further
in to the country and fjordland.
Northern Lights Something on everyone’s wish list! We are
often asked for the best time and place to see them but if Mother
Nature’s spectacular light show could be predicted, there would
be no anticipation, magic or excitement! The lights appear
unexpectedly and can last from just a few moments to several
hours, varying in intensity too. The best chances of seeing this
natural phenomenon is around and above the Arctic Circle.
Tromsø There are many opportunities in this lively city for shopping
and dining, the greatest concentration of ﬁrst-rate restaurants,
cafes and late night bars are to be found in the centre. The striking
glass-fronted Arctic Cathedral is worth visiting as well as the Polar
Museum and the Polaria which is set in another distinctive building
- this houses an Arctic aquarium and interactive exhibits. Tromsø is
also home to the world’s most northerly brewery!
Whilst here, do take an excursion out of the city to more remote
areas, especially if you wish to catch a glimpse of the northern
lights, or perhaps try husky sledging.
Find out about our special aurora
holidays in Norway and beyond
by ordering a copy of our
Northern Lights brochure.
Fjords I Scenic Train Journeys I Northern Lights I Hurtigruten Coastal Voyages
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Hurtigruten Route Although ships sail this coastal route between
Bergen and Kirkenes throughout the year, calling at each port twice
a day, northbound and southbound, we ﬁnd voyages are most
popular with our clients during the winter months due to frequent
sightings of the northern lights. The ships vary in age and size and
some of the older vessels, although smaller, have a very special
character. MS Lofoten was built in 1964, re-furbished in 2004
and now has the honour of being named a listed vessel by the
Norwegian Director General of Historic Monuments. The newest
member of the ﬂeet MS Midnatsol offers an altogether different
experience and is a mix of traditional and 21st century design. It has
large panorama lounges, hot tubs on the sun deck, a selection of
cafes and bars, and more than twice the capacity of the Lofoten.
Some voyages have special themes, for example celebrating the
New Year at the North Cape. And whatever the sailing between
September and early April, with the vast, black open skies generally
pierced by stars, you have a good chance of seeing them awash
with the aurora borealis. The themed voyages are based on a set
itinerary or for those wishing to experience life ashore in the small
communities, disembark at the Lofoten and Vesterålen Islands.
North Cape In winter the road to North Cape is normally closed,
except for groups who are treated to a snowplough escort - winter
visitors generally arrive by Hurtigruten. Once high up on this
rocky platform, take in the views over the wild North Sea at the
northernmost part of continental Europe. From here the ships call
in at the small community of Kjøllefjord, where you can disembark,
change your mode of transport to a snowmobile, then join the ship
again at Mehamn. This is an excellent way to build up an appetite
just in time for dinner on board.
Kongsfjord Guesthouse Not far from the Hurtigruten port of
Berlevåg is an old 19th century farm. The buildings have been
lovingly and faithfully restored, with the addition of some modern
comforts. The peace and tranquillity here helps visitors unwind
completely – relax and enjoy the beauty of the surrounding
nature but keep an eye open in case the northern lights put in
Kirkenes The last port of call for Hurtigruten and just a stones
throw from the Russian border - this is a modern town with an
Arctic twist. Here you can stay in a Snowhotel, specially built each
year. Or maybe try some snowmobiling, husky sledging or take a
King Crab Safari to catch one of these giant creatures just in time
for lunch. If you’d prefer not to experience ‘sleeping on ice’ then it
is possible to simply visit the Snowhotel – there are plenty of hotels
in town with heated accommodation.
Despite the winter climate, the ﬂights and transportation system tend to work pretty much like clockwork here. However, it is important
to keep in mind that sudden changes in weather, road and sea conditions, can affect your journey. It may be necessary to make changes
to your holiday itinerary, so it is important you travel with this in mind.
24 visit discover-the-world.co.uk/norway
Norway & Beyond
Although closely connected through history and culture, each of
the other Nordic countries have very strong national identities and
traditions - so why not explore a little further aﬁeld and make your
holiday experience last longer?
Sweden The 1619 km shared border with Sweden provides an
excellent opportunity to visit this easterly neighbour and with
national parks, lakes, cities, coastal areas and archipelagos, there
is plenty to visit! As well as the scenery, Sweden is renowned
for mouth-watering Scandinavian cuisine. Excellent rail and road
connections allow easy access to all parts of Sweden - border
crossings are easy though rental cars must be returned to their
country of origin.
Finland Norway’s northern most county, Finnmark shares its border
with Finland. The indigenous Sami people have lived here for
centuries, inhabiting both sides of the border and the Sami museum
in Inari displays their rich traditions and culture. Finnish Lapland
offers excellent hiking, kayaking and river rafting opportunities in
the natural forests and fells that dominate this landscape. Further
south along the Russian border, spend a night in a bear hide,
silently waiting for, and hopefully rewarded with, a sighting of the
endearing European brown bear. These ancient taiga forests, where
the hides are situated, are teaming with other wildlife; there is a
chance to spot birds, foxes, wolverines and perhaps even wolves.
Iceland With ﬂights from Oslo year round, it is easy to combine
these two Nordic highlights. Bursting with mountains, waterfalls,
volcanoes, glaciers, hot springs and geysers, there is not a part of
Iceland that should be left unexplored. The lively capital, Reykjavik,
is small and easy to get around. The world-famous Blue Lagoon
is conveniently located near the airport, so a dip here on arrival or
departure is a must. Whether you are whale watching, snowmobiling
on a glacier, swimming in a hot outdoor pool, river rafting or horse
riding, there is something for everyone at any time of year.
Svalbard Heading up to the real Arctic wilderness, Longyearbyen
on the Island of Spitsbergen is easily accessible by air from Oslo and
Tromsø. Originally a coal mining town, it now serves as the base
for Arctic voyages travelling further into the Svalbard Archipelago.
The ice strengthened expedition vessels sail along the dramatic
rugged coastline, with land excursions by Zodiac (rigid-hulled
inﬂatable boats) to explore more of this barren beauty. Wildlife here
is plentiful with numerous bird species, seals and walruses, whales
and of course the king of the Arctic, the polar bear.
Denmark Although not directly bordering Norway, it is still easy to
travel between the two countries, by rail or ferry being the easiest.
The countryside here is beautiful with rolling hills, beaches and
forest, all perfect to explore on foot, by bicycle or car. Visit the capital
Copenhagen, historic Aarhus and the home city of Hans Christian
Sweden I Finland I Iceland I Svalbard I Denmark
26 visit discover-the-world.co.uk/norway
Mo i Rana
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Gjesvær North Cape
Daylight Hours & Average Temperature
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Kristiansand 7h / -2C 9.5h / -2C 12h / +2C 14.5h / +6C 16h / +10C 18h / +15C 18h / +17C 15.5h / +16C 13h / +12C 10.5h / +7C 8h / -0.5C 6.5h / -9C
Bergen 6.5h / +1C 9h / +1C 12h / +3C 14.5h / +7C 17h / +9C 19h / +13C 18h / +16h 16h / +15C 13h / +12C 10h / +8C 7.5h / +1C 6h / -2C
Trondheim 6h / -3C 8h / -2C 12h / +1C 15h / +4.5C 18h / +7C 20.5h / +10C 20.5h / +15C 16.5h / +15C 13h / +10C 10h / +6C 7h / -4C 4.5h / -7C
Tromsø 0.5h / -4C 7.5h / -4C 11.5h / -2C 16h / +2C 22h / +7C 24h / +7C 24h / +12C 18h / +10C 13.5h / +8C 10h / +3C 4h / -3C 0h / -3C
Time/Distance Chart Approximate driving times / Distances in kilometres
Oslo Bergen Stavanger Kristiansand Ålesund Trondheim Harstad Tromsø Hammerfest Kirkenes
Oslo 470 445 309 554 485 1394 1623 2070 2361
Bergen 9h 207 438 381 625 1534 1763 2127 2500
Stavanger 8h 5.5h 233 588 804 1713 1942 2305 2680
Kristiansand 5h 9h 4h 763 791 1700 1930 2293 2667
Ålesund 8.5h 7h 12.5h 13.5h 300 1210 1439 1802 2177
Trondheim 8h 11h 15h 13h 6h 913 1142 1506 1880
Harstad 28h 27h 30.5h 29h 22h 15.5h 250 625 1000
Tromsø 27h 30h 34h 33h 25h 19h 6.5h 450 824
Hammerfest 31.5h 36.5h 40.5h 40h 32h 26h 12h 8.5h 495
Kirkenes 38.5h 41.5h 45.5h 44h 37h 31h 17.5h 13.5h 7.5h
The distances and driving times shown here are based
on the shortest routes.There may be a faster or more
scenic route available so always treat this table as a
guideline only and allow extra time for stops made en
route, changes in weather etc.
Information from www.vegvesen.no
Daylight hours are based on the 15th of each
month from sunrise to sunset - average daytime
temperatures are in degrees Centigrade.
Information from www.yr.no