Norway can’t impress anything. Take the Winter Olympics this year for instance: Norway overperformed with 39 medals in all other countries. Then there’s the quality of life of Scandinavia (wheelchair, enviable home design, 25 holiday days a year, and the dreamlike Norwegians that satisfy our most worldly mates’ Insta feeds. This year it’s at the top of our travel bucket list, and we have ten fun things to do before we get to it.
- Go on a safari in the midnight archipelago of Lofoten.
In the isolated Lofoten Archipelago in Norway, just above the Arctic Circle, Rolf Marines, the captain, and owner of tour operator Lofoten Opplevelser had spent his lives there. Tagging one of his RIB boat trips, which are infused with excitement and sail across the waters of the rocky islands, is a bucket list experience in all respects. Over the summer, the tour culminates in an open sea trip to watch the sun bobble near the horizon at midnight.
- The path on the Atlantic Route
There are roads and then there are road tours in Norway, where the roads are engineering works and the view of the fjord and mountains is sublime. The Atlantic Road, the national non-exclusive tourist route between Bud and Kristiansund, was dubbed “The Norwegian Century Builders,” and connects the mainland to a string of joyful islands via a series of eight modern bridges, the traditional Viking landscape in each direction. The Atlantic Road is the spectacular scenic route in the world.
- Sail to the Festival of Trauma
During a sea-faring adventure with Seil Norge, you can feel as audacious as the Viking to hit the dramatic Traena Islands off the coast of northern Norway. Every July, one of the most remote festivals of summer music in the world is performed. The Trauma Festival is the starting point of the historical Viking raid, where musicians play in caves with great acoustics in an island archipelago. In view of the Norwegian sea, festival-goers set up camp; the midnight sun of the summer, of course, almost 24 hours a day, is brilliant.
- Live in a Manshausen Island water cabin
There is a known Norwegian craze to sleep — old atmospheric fishing booths overlooking the fjord. Get your experience on Manshausen Island, a fast boat tour off the northern coast of Norway, where you will be able to remain in the cabins of a rocky jetty that look forward to your future. Indoor cabin studies in Scandinavian minimalism are conducted with floor to ceiling windows that allow views of the nearby coastline and northern lights (in winter). Summer is just a couple of the enjoyable local pastimes for crabbing, cycling, and swimming.
- Address the Kjeragbolten Walk
Near Stavanger in South Norway, the Kjeragbolten Hike attracts adrenaline junkies to spectacular Lysefjord for a rare, entirely Norwegian, experience. Here, about 3500 meters above sea level (the only thing separating hikers from a clear plunge into the fjord) a boulder between two mountains invites Daredevils to leave for the last Instagram moment. Wouldn’t they lose it? No worries: the nearly 7-hour ride is packed with other scenic moments. The region is also renowned among base jumpers so you might even see someone taking a dip.
- Orcas snorkeling
Norway is the only country in the world where snorkeling with orcas can be entered legally. These famous walnut cruises take place on the north shore of Norway near Tromsø every winter from November to the beginning of February and on migratory herring from the south of the village of Andenes. An underwater view like no others can be tailored for operators such as Lofoten Opplevelser in a dry suit, on a RIB boat, and in water with feed orcas. Keep your eyes pelted for bumps and fin whales, too, who always come to the festival.
- Renaissance Sledding in the North
The northern lights start to become evident in the darkened night sky as early as autumn enters northernmost Norway. Plan your visit during the dead winter, when snow is covering the plains around Tromsø, for something even more remarkable. You will head out into the frozen wonderland in a rhine-drawn sled to try to spot the aura during a Tromsø Arctic Reindeer Encounter.
- Galt’s Dine
Nordic cuisine has a new and unique universal ingredient and an elegant, minimal presentation in the world’s culinary spotlight. Within five months of opening, Galt was awarded a Michelin star to the new taste-maker in town in Oslo’s Frogner district. Here you can find traditional northern dishes (Galt in Norwegian means “crazy”), with local cheeses, fruit, and seafood all featured in a 6-course rustic menu.
- Stay in The Lord
Oslo City Center is the second jet destination thanks to the five-star Thief Hotel in Tjuvholmen, where theaters and drunks once marked. Stylish sleep with beautiful original design furniture and cozy twists such as wool blankets, from Røros to the luxurious beds looking out into the Oslofjord strikes the ideal Nordic balance between modern and comfortable. But don’t be too easy. Tjuvholmen’s patchwork is worth a ride, including the Astrup Fearnley Museet, with channels lined with modernist flats, restaurants, and galleries.
- Next to a Nordenskiöld glacier in Svalbard, Sleep and sauna
The winter ecosystems of Norway are considered to be water-and-wind, but as wild as it comes, Svalbard, an arctic archipelago near the top of the world, has more polar bears. Take summer expeditions to Nordenskiöld Lodge with Basecamp Explorer Spitsbergen, a remote hut on the outskirts of a homonymous glacier. After a day’s scouting of polar bears, wake up in the sauna, and – if you’re in the game – dive into the cool freeze of the hut in an obligatory Norwegian fashion.