Norway never fails to impress. Take, for example that Scandinavian quality of life (biking to work, enviable home design, 25 vacation days a year) and the dreamy Norwegian landscapes that fill the Insta feeds of our most worldly friends. It’s at the top of our travel bucket-list this year, and these are 7 cool things we plan on doing when we get there.
Tackle the Kjeragbolten Hike
The Kjeragbolten Hike, not far from Stavanger in southern Norway, draws adrenaline junkies to spectacular Lysefjord for a singular—and totally Norwegian—experience.
Here, some 3,500 feet above sea level, a boulder lodged between two mountains (the only thing separating hikers from a straight drop down into the fjord) beckons daredevils to step out for the ultimate Instagram moment.
Not willing to risk it? No worries: the roughly seven-hour round-trip hike is full of other scenic moments. The area is famous among base jumpers, too, so you might even see someone taking the plunge.
Go reindeer sledding under the Northern Lights
As soon as early autumn reaches northernmost Norway, the Northern Lights start becoming visible in the darkened night skies. For something even more extraordinary, plan your visit during the dead of winter, when snow blankets the plains around Tromsø.
During a Tromsø Arctic Reindeer Experience, you’ll head out into the frozen wonderland in a reindeer-drawn sled to try and spot the aurora.
Go on a midnight sun safari in the Lofoten Archipelago
Rolf Malnes, the captain and owner of tour operator Lofoten Opplevelser, has spent his life in northern Norway’s remote Lofoten Archipelago, just above the Arctic Circle.
Tagging along on one of his adrenaline-infused RIB boat tours, which navigates the waters surrounding rockyr islands home to sea eagles, is a bucket-list experience in every way. During summer months, the trip culminates with a ride out into the open ocean to watch the midnight sun bobbing close to the horizon.
Road trip along the Atlantic Road
There are road trips, and then there are road trips in Norway, where the roads themselves are works of engineering art and the fjord and mountain views are sublime.
Among the country’s most spectacular scenic routes is the Atlantic Road—a toll-free National Tourist Route that stretches between the village of Bud and Kristiansund and was named the “Norwegian Construction of the Century.”
The road connects the mainland to a string of jewel-like islands and islets via eight modern bridges, with classic Viking scenery at every bend.
Sail to the Traena Festival
You’ll feel as bold as a viking during a coastal sailing adventure with SeilNorge to reach the spectacular Traena islands, off the coast of northern Norway. Here, one of the world’s most remote summer music festivals plays out every July.
During the Traena Festival, musicians perform within caves with perfect acoustics on an archipelago of islands said to be the historical starting point for viking raids. Festival goers set up camp within sight of the Norwegian Sea; summer’s midnight sun, of course, shines down on it all nearly 24 hours a day.
Snorkeling with orcas
Norway is the only country in the world where you can legally enter the water to snorkel with orcas. Every winter, from November to early February, these iconic whales cruise along Norway’s northern coast near Tromsø and the village of Andenes to the south to feast on migratory herring.
Operators like Lofoten Opplevelser can get you suited up in a dry suit, out on a RIB boat, and into the water with feeding orcas for an underwater view like no other. Keep your eyes peeled for humpbacks and fin whales, as well, who often show up for the feast.
Dine at Galt
Nordic cuisine is often in the world’s culinary spotlight thanks to universally fresh and unusual ingredients and a refined, minimalist presentation. Just five months after opening in Oslo’s Frogner district, Galt became the latest of the city’s tastemakers to be awarded a Michelin star.
Here, traditional Nordic foods get a gourmet spin (Galt means “crazy” in Norwegian), with local cheese, berries, and seafood all starring on the rustic-inspired, six-course set menu.
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