Fjords, Islands, and Norwegian Nautical Pursuits
Collected by Joshua Samuel Brown , AFAR Local Expert
With more than 15,000 miles of coastline, it's natural that this land of fjords, shipbuilders, and Vikings should offer a plethora of watery wonders. Take a mini cruise, try "boat skiing," or hop on a short flight to find the Arctic gems of the far north.
E6 80, 9146 Olderdalen, Norway
Situated on the Lyngen Fjord, this timber lodge is well suited for boat skiing. From March through May, a skipper ferries guests to nearby islands, where they hike up peaks and ski back to the beach. From $4,500 per week. 47/ 4762-7853. This...
Nordnesparken, 5005 Bergen, Norway
It was August, so it seemed a perfectly sensible idea. I'm in Norway, land of the fjords—let's go for a splash in one! Bergen has a lovely little lido that offers you just that opportunity. Sure, you can swim in its heated outdoor pool, but the...
Rådhusbrygge 2, 0160 Oslo, Norway
If you fancy seeing Oslo by boat, the "Hop on hop off’" fjord cruise is a great option. Passengers sail around the fjord, starting from City Hall and passing by Akershus Fortress, the Opera House, the museums on Bygdøy and Tjuvholmen (all these...
Bygdøynesveien 36, 0286 Oslo, Norway
This museum is dedicated to Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl (1914-2002), who gained worldwide fame when he crossed the Pacific Ocean on Kon-Tiki (a raft made from balsa wood) in 1947. After his return, Heyerdahl worked on a documentary of the...
Orrestranda, Klepp, Norway
You don't associate the cold Norwegian climate with beautiful beaches, but all the 60 km long coastline between Stavanger and Brusand is a walk along some of the most beautiful beaches in Scandinavia or Northern Europe. You can take the train to...
Skagen 27, 4006 Stavanger, Norway
Scandinavian winters can be harsh--but don't let that stop you from visiting Norway when temperatures drop and daylight wanes. Stavanger is the third largest city there, boasting seascapes and hugging fjords all around, but it is quite a small...
Hovedøya, Oslo Municipality, Norway
Hovedøya is an island located in the Oslo fjord. The name derives from Norse word hǫfuð, meaning height. It probably got this name from a large hill on the Eastern part of the island where there used to be a military watch tower in Medieval times....
Aksla, 6007 Ålesund, Norway
Surrounded by barrier islands and mountains alike, Alesund is a little speck of color on Norway's mid-Atlantic coast. The history of this town is a sad one. On one night in January, 1904, a fire spread, destroying the entire island. The town was...
Svalbard and Jan Mayen
Exploring the ice floes and glaciers of the high Arctic—particularly around Spitsbergen Island, the largest in the Svalbard Archipelago—can be especially serene in a kayak. The icy waters here are still, quiet, and crystal clear, and paddling near...
Svalbard and Jan Mayen
While the beauty and curiosity of polar bears can make them appear friendly, it’s essential for Arctic travelers to stay a safe distance and explore with an experienced expedition team. The best way to observe the bears and other wildlife is from...
Bryggevegen 2, 2821 Gjøvik, Norway
The Skibladner is the world's oldest preserved paddle steamer. It does daily cruises in the summer up and down the length of Lake Mjøsa. Lake Mjøsa is either a long lake or an inland fjord, depending on whom you ask. The 150-year old Skibladner...
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