A land full of contrasts, from magnificent snow-capped mountains, dramatic fjords, vast plateaux with wild untamed tracts, to huge lakes and rich green countryside.
There is a misperception among we British that because it lies north of our little island it must be chilly all year round; summer temperatures, however, can easily reach 25 degrees or above, and the air is blessedly free from humidity. It would also be a mistake to assume that Norway is all fjords and forests – the southern coast has some excellent beaches.
1. To cross into the Arctic Circle
2. To find the eye of the Moskstraumen
If you’re going to brave the north, then you mustn’t miss the maelstrom at Saltstraumen. Here you’ll find the strongest tidal current in the world with water speeds of up to 25mph, and whirlpools of up to 10m in diameter. Strangely for such a ferocious setting, the peaceful, laid back pastime of angling is popular here.
3. To walk on a glacier
Purportedly the most spectacular drive in the world, the Atlantic Road stretches for 8.3km over small islands and skerries between the cities of Molde and Kristiansund. The open sea views are nothing short of astonishing and make for an exhilarating experience whether you cross in calm weather or wild storms.
5. To meet the Vikings
6. To lay on the beach
7. To visit a fairytale
Population: 5 million
Climate: Weather can be unpredictable, although less extreme on the west coast. Some regions have 24 hours of daylight in the summer but none in the winter.
Language: Norwegian, but English is widely spoken
Telephone: The country code is 00 47
Money: Currency: Norwegian Krone. Banks: Mon-Fri 09:00-15:00
Public holidays: New Year's Day; King's Birthday 21 Feb; Holy Thursday; Good Friday; Easter Monday; May Day; Liberation Day 8 May; Constitution Day 17 May; Ascension; Whit Monday; Queen's Birthday 4 July; Saints Day 19 July; Christmas Day; Boxing Day
Motoring: Roads are generally uncrowded around Oslo and Bergen but be prepared for tunnels and hairpin bends. Certain roads are forbidden to caravans or best avoided. Vehicles must have sufficient road grip and in winter it may be necessary ti use winter tyres with or without chains. Vehicles entering Bergen on weekdays must pay a toll and other tolls are also levied on certain roads.
The Hulvågen Bridges looking towards the mainland - By Arno van den Tillaart - originally posted to Flickr as Atlanterhavsveien, Norge, CC BY-SA 2.0
Saltstraumen, Norway. Børvasstindene mountains in the background - By No machine-readable author provided. Drguttorm assumed (based on copyright claims)
Viking helmets - By Helgi Halldórsson from Reykjavík, Iceland - Viking Arms and Armor, CC BY-SA 2.0