Sunday, May 29, 2016

Top 14 Things to See & Do in Norway

Looking for a bold adventure in a country where the battle between water, land, and ice has hewn the landscape?  Look no further than this beautiful countries.  A country that should be on the top of any traveler's list.

Ok, so this might not be the top place in all the places in Norway.  In fact, in many works it doesn't even make the list, but part of this has to do with the large crazy precipice over a fjord.  It's probably not near as safe as the pulpit rock, but this tops the list for me because it combines the danger and beauty of Norway along with a less visited spot.

One of the most beautiful places in the entire world.  Not only can you see the Northern Lights this far north, but this is one of the most unique chain of islands in the world.  Climb a peak and enjoy the spectacular view, go catch some cod, see the northern lights, and if you're there in the winter, find some gnar to shred.

3.Geirangerfjord, Aurlandsfjord, and Naeroyfjord
I don't think you really can go to Norway without seeing a fjord as many of the cities are located directly at the end of fjords, but not all fjords are created equally.  One of the most famous is the Geirangerfjord with a to-die-for view, but the other two are no slouches either.  Both Geirangerfjord and Naeroyfjord are UNESCO sites, and any questions why will be answered once you stand over the gaping expanse of blue, white, and green.

The easiest way to get here is once again to rent a car, but they do tour buses that try to make it up the long switch backs.

4.Trollstigen and Trollveggen
It's hard to find a more spectacular and breathtaking road than the one found at Trollstigen.  This road offers great views of one of the few valleys in Norway that doesn't lead directly to the sea and therefore doesn't have water and instead has an amazing road that is a marvel to watch the huge tour buses struggle to make it to the top of.  The Trollveggen is a large mountain for mountain climbers in case the view that is presented from Trollstigen isn't good enough.  Additionally, there is a large glass precipice you can walk out on here and look down and see...well, nothing!

5.Atlantic Sea Road-Atlanterhavsveien & Alesund
One of the great engineering marvels of Europe.  This huge road connects many different islands on the road to Alesund.  During the autumn the storms can make for quite a dramatic experience for driving through this route.

6.Preikestolen and Kjerag
These are probably the two most famous spots in all of Norway.  One is the large "Pulpit Rock" that draws thousands of visitors throughout the year.  The other is one of the most famous places to base jump and also has the little rock lodged between a chasm with nothing but long canyon below.

The easiest way to access these points is by the town of Stavanger.  From there, there are quite a few different possibilities from boat tours and ferries.  The best way is to take the ferry and drive to the top.

7.Stave Churches
Few things showcase the history of Norway like the old wooden churches.  The unique architecture is reminiscent of the days where Christianity and paganism collided.  The tops of the churches were adorned with old viking symbols to ward off bad spirits.  None of these are in completely original conditions but have been rebuilt and transported to more visited areas.

8.Get cultured in Oslo
Oslo is one of the best cultural hubs in Europe.  You can visit the amazing opera house or some of the galleries and see some of Edvard Munch's Scream paintings.  You can also go and visit some great history museums and see original viking boats, archaeological treasures, and a museum completely dedicated to the original arctic explorers.

9.Eat Whale Steak
You can also have some reindeer jerky, but you really won't have any kind of meat like whale steak.  It's like normal meat but with a thousand strings in every bite.

10.Northern Lights
This is best done in the winter with the long nights, and preferably towards Spring, but go to the north of Norway and see the lights dance all over the night sky.

This cute old mining town is really quite the experience even if you can't make it during the great festival at the end of February every year.  If you can make the festival, you'll be met by large concourses of sleds and stocky Norwegian horses.  This is another of the many UNESCO sites in Norway, and is worth a visit any time.  Additionally, there are quite a few reindeer herds kept nearby the town if you ask around you'll have quite the treat of seeing a herd of reindeer.

Bergen is home to one of the old Hanseatic League's town centers.  It is an official UNESCO Site and it is an amazing city.  It is also a great place to stage other trips into the fjords and mountains of Norway.

Make sure to see the center and the waterfront.  You can also take a cable car or hike to the mountain surrounding the city to get a full view of the world below.

13.Walk on a Glacier
There are a couple of great places to do this.  One of the more famous is in the west at Briksdal Glacier.  This is the largest glacier on the European mainland.  There is also another huge glacier on the drive north towards Lofoten.  This one is a favorite destination for x-country skiers.

14.Visit a National Park
Maybe not the top on most people's list Norway is home to one of the most beautiful National Parks in the world.  This is Jostedalsbreen National Park, and is home to some of the greatest contrasts you will ever find in all of nature.  Strange colored harsh growing flowers meet towering, snow-draped mountains and deep sea blue fjords.

If you have any suggestions or would like to contribute click here to send me an email.  If you would like to sponsor my trip somewhere to showcase your business or to work with me please send me an email as well.

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