The beautiful country of Norway has been captivating the hearts of travellers for many years. Its picturesque towns and quaint villages are perfect for exploring and emerging yourself in its culture. According to the World Happiness Report, it is the happiest country in the world, and on a Norwegian fjords cruise, you’ll be able to see just what makes it such a fantastic place to be.
Whether you’re thinking of viewing the country by cruise ship or heading inland to explore one of the beautiful towns, there is something for everyone here. What’s more is that you’ll find that the countries friendly inhabitants are willing to lend a helping hand, giving you advice as to how you can best enjoy your time there. We spoke to a few of Norway’s locals to see what made their country so special.
“There are few countries in the world with such easy access to nature”, shares Vanessa from Nordic Wanders. “Not only is Norway one of the most stunning countries on earth, but unlike many other places, you don't need to travel in order to enjoy the beauty - it's right off your doorstep! This reflects in Norwegian culture and the workplace as well. In many office jobs, for instance, it's very common for people to work a little longer early on in the week, to then take Friday afternoon off or leave work earlier in order to head to the family cabin in the mountains for the weekend. Work/Life balance is very important for Norwegians and I think the surroundings here are part of why people tend to be more relaxed in general.”
What tip would Vanessa offer to those who are looking to visit Norway? “Go for a hike! It's sort of Norway's national sport (at least in the summer - in winter it's skiing, of course!) as everyone heads to the mountains and forests as soon as the snow melts and the days get longer and brighter again.”
Let's get lost
We spoke to Janicke Hansen from the blog Let’s Get Lost, who told us what her favourite parts about living in Norway are. “Norway has a very unique nature with high mountains and deep valleys, stunning fjords and a rough, long and beautiful coastline. It's a paradise for any adventure seeking traveller and has lots of outdoors activities and opportunities to interact with nature. My favourite thing to do in Norway is to go hiking. With a very varied nature, everyone can find their perfect hiking trail. We have a huge selection of marked hiking trails across the mountains or you can go on a relaxing stroll along our multiple white sandy beaches.
“Norway is a foodie paradise and in every little fisherman’s Og mountain village there are delicious food and drink specialities that visitors should try. To celebrate the local food traditions there are annually over 100 food festivals spread across the country, so make sure to catch one when visiting.”
Heart My Backpack
“While most tourists tend to head to Oslo, Bergen, and the fjords, I always encourage people to consider visiting Northern Norway instead”, shares Silvia from the travel blog Heart My Backpack. “It's quieter, so you'll get a more authentic experience away from the tourist crowds, plus the landscape is much more dramatic in the North. I personally think Lofoten is the most beautiful place in Norway, and I also adore the Helgeland coast. Both are also important fishing regions, so you can not only experience Norway's beauty but also, it's rich in history and culture here.
“I've visited over 80 countries and Norway tops my list of most beautiful places I've seen. But beyond Norway's beauty, there's a lot that people could learn from the quiet Norwegian way of life. Things move more slowly here, which at times can be frustrating, but living in Norway has really taught me to slow down and appreciate the beauty of nature each and every day.”
We spoke to Linda, who is a private tour guide, consultant and planner from Go Norland: “Norway’s beauty is my most favourite part about the country, as it triggers all my senses with awe, exasperation and excitement. It calls and urges a reaction in my inner being to be out in nature, taking each moment to experience the outdoors with all of my senses. From the smells of the Heather and the Juniper in the mountains to the sounds of the bells of the goats and sheep roaming in the distance in summer. Standing absolutely still while hiking, you can listen to the music of the wind feeling the brittle cold air to the warming sun on your cheeks, or you can sample the salty taste of the sea while swimming in the fjords.”
“Hiking up and up to get the best view, one never grows accustomed to it. There are more mountain peaks to be explored. It motivates and challenges me to create something in my own life, giving me hope in a new day. It triggers me to new ideas, new areas to explore, and new horizons to meet adding more colour to my own palate in life. Norway doesn’t stagnate. Norwegians use its outdoor beauty within their daily lives. An expression Innovation! Norway uses every part of its own natural beauty and culture, creating and developing new innovation in architecture, environment, culinary, its roadways, waterways, yet still reminding us to continue to bring up the past and those who have been a part of Norway’s innovative creation.”