Norwegian holidays may be one of the best ways to embrace winter. With a sprinkling of snow, the twinkling of lights, and a hot beverage to warm the soul. It’s the little things that make holidays magical!
However, due to the consistent warm weather and heatwaves appearing across Southern Europe – have you considered holidaying in one of the best Scandinavian countries instead?
Whether Norway has always been on your bucket list. Or you’re looking for a last-minute Norway holiday. We wanted to share a range of holiday ideas so you can escape the heat at any time of the year.
The best Norway holiday destinations include:
- Fjord Norway, in the southwest. A fjord is an ancient Viking term that relates to the phrase for ‘where you travel across’ (der man ferder over) and the word ‘ferry’ (ferje)”. The best fjords to view are the Geirangerfjord, Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord.
- Bergen the capital of Fjord Norway, was made an UNESCO World Heritage City due to its chocolate-box, clapperboard houses. These are surrounded by seven hills and seven fjords. From there, find a ferry to travel around the fjords from its medieval seaport.
- Stavanger, a historic city with a 12th-century cathedral and white sandy beaches. Step back in time! Walk along the cobbled streets of Gamle Stavanger (Old Stavanger) past wooden houses, gardens, and street lanterns.
- Tromso, a famous place which has been the start of many Arctic expeditions, as well as the location to see the northern lights! Although it is 400km north of the Arctic Circle, its climate is moderate due to the Gulf Stream. Take the Fjellheisen Cable Car to see the best views of this splendid city.
- Oslo, innovative city of culture and a culinary destination, was named European Green Capital 2019. With a commitment to sustainability, explore the contemporary art scene and museums via its excellent public transport network. Why not visit at Christmas?
Norway Christmas Holidays
Embrace everything Norway’s capital Oslo has to offer in your stride. Admire twinkling lights, listen to cheerful Christmas carols, and breath in the aroma of delightful delicacies throughout this modern city!
Christmas in Oslo is the ideal way to spend a family holiday while exploring a winter wonderland with a mountainous backdrop throughout December.
Get ready for Norway Christmas Holidays in Oslo – experience the following:
- December 13th is when the festive calendar kicks off with the festival of lights. In recognition of St Lucia’s Day, processions of children carry candles throughout the streets to waken the darkness.
- A Christmas holiday in any European city wouldn’t be complete without a wander through a European Christmas market. Stroll through Spikersuppa to find stocking fillers, a trip on the Ferris wheel, and a whizz around the ice rink.
- December 23rd is a day for baking, where the sweet aroma of cookies fills homes and hotels. It’s known as ‘Lille Julaften’, which translates as Little Christmas Eve.
- Give a nod to the Norwegian December tradition ‘syv slags kaker’, where seven different types of Christmas cookies are served, shared, and eaten.
- Christmas Eve is actually the biggest part of the yuletide season. It’s even more important than Christmas day, where families sit across from a roaring fire during dinner before exchanging gifts. This is when Santa makes an appearance.
Opt for an Oslo city break
Visit Oslo for a city break outside the yuletide season to learn more about Norway’s culture. You can observe street artists, visit museums and listen to music at its stunning opera house.
Then after some retail therapy within the Stovner shopping centre, follow a footpath to the Stovner Tower. Continue following the path to walk about Oslo’s treetops. There are many breathtaking sights to see in this city!
For more fresh air, have a picnic in the Vigeland and Ekebergparken Sculpture Parks and capture the impressive and humorous statues before a traditional meal of “ribbe” (pork rib) or “pinnekjøtt” (lamb or mutton rib).
Whenever you choose to visit, keep a look out for the northern lights. However, if you drive one or two hours outside Oslo, you’ll have a better chance of viewing them in Tromso.
A Tromso Holiday to see the Northern Lights in Norway
Visit Tromso from mid-September – April on a clear night to see the northern lights. Tromso is one of the best places to see them because it’s situated at the centre of the Northern Aurora Zone.
While in Tromso, why not learn how to photograph the Aurora Borealis? With gadget cover provided as standard with a Free Spirit policy, let your imagination led the way to capture shades of blue, green, and yellow, which run across the starry sky to create a mystical scene.
To fully appreciate a trip to the capital of the Artic, spend a few days exploring this cultural city surrounded by mountains, thick forests, deep fjords, and pretty islands. Also, you could combine a Tromso northern lights tour. Add a range of other excursions and activities to suit everyone in your party!
What can you do on a Tromso, Norway holiday in winter?
- Walk around one of the many museums such as the Art or Polar Museum before visiting the famous Arctic Cathedral.
- Set off for a snowy safari through the Spitsbergen wilderness via snowmobile, husky sled, or a sleigh pulled by reindeer, while learning about the Sami people and the polar fox.
- From November – January, go whale watching along North Norway’s fjords during a boat tour, to seek out humpbacks and orcas, before warming up with a hot beverage and meal at one of the many pubs and restaurants.
- After dark on a guided aurora safari, head to Camp Nikka outside the city for a hot meal and take in the sights of the northern lights, surrounded by a warming campfire.
- Spend a day on the slopes at ski resort Tromsø for some snowboarding or skiing.
Try Bergen, for a Norway ski holiday
Norwegian ski holidays in the mountains are a great way to embrace the slopes. Book one between February and March in Bergen, which sits in the west within Norway’s unique, fjord landscape.
With a combination of heavy snowfalls, there’s a small ski network of slopes within Bergen’s grasp, which are just waiting for eager ski enthusiasts to master! Also, a ski holiday is one way to add a little action to your holiday.
Where are the best ski holidays in Norway?
- The Voss Resort is in the centre of Fjord Norway. Reach it by car, bus, or train from Bergen or Oslo. New to skiing? Book into the ski school for lessons and some ski equipment. By day and night, take to the slopes after some homemade local cuisine and warm waffles. View the resort by travelling through the mountains in a gondola from Voss Railway.
- For family-friendly trails within charming countryside ski in Myrkdalen, Voss. It’s the largest ski resort in Western Norway due to its 22 slopes and a large space for off-piste skiing. Book a guide who’ll share where the best snow is, before resting in a modern hotel, cosy cabin, or apartment. The best way to reach the resort is by train.
- Drive 45 minutes outside Bergen in an electric car to support ecotourism to discover Eikedalen Ski resort. With 13 alpine runs of varying difficulty and cross-country trails, there will be a new challenge for everyone to try. Purchase a ski pass to enjoy the best of Norway’s snowfall in January. To view the snow forecast, visit the onthesnow website.
What else can you do in Bergen? Visit the fjords!
Holidays in Norway in the Norwegian Fjords
If you weren’t aware, fjords are long, narrow inlets with steep sides or cliffs, which have been created by a glacier, surrounded by mountain scenery. Visit during ‘Viking Season’, (October – April) to experience the fjords enveloped in the midst of mighty, mountain peaks covered in snow. As the warmer Gulf Stream keeps Norway’s fjords free of ice, snow can only be found within the surrounding landscape.
You can admire Norway’s fjords at any time of the year. Plus, there’s more experiences add to create your own cultural trip too…
What activities can I do in Fjord Norway?
- Arrive in Bergen, before spending a day climbing the mountains via one of the world’s most beautiful train journeys – on the Flåmsbana railway to Myrdal.
- The Stavanger region is where you’ll find wooden houses within villages. Visit different restaurants to try local delicacies, such as the world’s best cheese (2016).
- Admire Norway’s ‘springfulness’ when the fruit trees and flowers bloom in May.
- Learn about the history of the Vikings within the Viking village of Njardarheimr. See the Old Norse way of life and have the option to take part in some ancient activities.
- Explore adventure capital and art nouveau town Alesund, where you can set sail for a fjord cruise on a hybrid electric ship. Also, you could sail right around the Norwegian Fjords on a Cruise Liner throughout a Norwegian cruise holiday.
Once you’ve decided what activities to do, decide where to stay…
Where to stay in Norway?
- Spend a short break at The Lyngen Lodge on the edge of Lyngenfjord within the Lygen Alps. Found far from the city lights, it’s a peaceful place to learn how to photograph Norway’s northern lights and wildlife.
- Are you looking for a holiday that’s off the beaten track? Book a Norway cabin holiday in any Norwegian holiday destination. This is how to live like a local, embrace Norwegian culture and “hyttekos” (cabin cosiness). Each is luxurious or equipped with the essentials wake up to picturesque panoramic views!
- A traditional hotel with mountainous views will provide you with the time to see the northern lights from your bedroom window. At the end of a long day, enjoy a comforting supper.
- In winter, relax within Tromso’s ice domes for a snow-hotel experience. Each dome is built fresh each year with artistic sculptures. Also included is an ice bar, ice restaurant, and ice cinema to relax in after your daily excursions.
- Stay in an ICEHOTEL for a true Scandinavian experience. Sleep within a snow-sculpted ice room with an en suite and warm room.
Travel insurance for a Norway holiday
Have we inspired you to take a holiday in Norway? From joining in with Norwegian festivals and traditions, to embracing “hyttekos” throughout the winter months, Norway has a lot of warmth and magical experiences for all throughout the year.
Whenever you decide to immerse yourself in its culture and observe its natural beauty, take Free Spirit Travel Insurance to travel with confidence.