Norway is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. It could bless you with its charm all year round. Depending on what season you’ll visit, you’ll find it nothing less than extraordinary.
Aside from the flowers in full bloom, Spring promises a time of celebration and a month of festivities during the Norwegian National Day on May the 17th-- people go out on the streets and take pride in joining the parade with their flags in hand. You’ll hear people sing songs and dance throughout the day. In this time of the year, migratory birds also begin to return which brings life to the coastal regions. This is the perfect time for you to witness Norway’s beauty, culture, and tradition.
Have you ever heard of The Season of Eternal Sun? And do you know why it’s called as such? If you visit Norway during the summer, you’ll experience daylight in the middle of the night. That’s as much as 19 hours of sunlight! Here, you can say you’ve gone swimming at the beach at midnight!
Autumn is the perfect season to see red, green, and orange hues in mountains and hills. If you’re lucky enough, you’ll get to see snow-capped mountains on its peak as well as the Northern Lights.
Winter brings you everybody’s daydream-- the view of the magical Aurora Borealis or the Northern Lights where the sky is filled with stunning colors from light green to dark purple. The houses glow like stars in the night, and you’d have to pinch yourself to see it’s not a dream at all.
No matter what season you prefer, Hurtigruten's M/S Spitsbergen will make your visit to Norway’s Beautiful Coastal Towns both remarkable and magical.
Bergen is Norway’s second largest city, but you wouldn’t feel like you’re in a city at all. This town is surrounded by seven marvelous and towering mountains overlooking the sea which would captivate your hearts one beat at a time! Getting around Bergen is not difficult at all-- it’s best to see it on foot, and their efficient public transportation is always an option too.
You can start by understanding and appreciate its history by visiting the Bergen Fortress and Troldhaugen Edvard Grieg Museum. You can also go to Mount Floyen and the Funicular (Floibanen) which gives you a panoramic view of the city, and of course, the sea.
Located at the west coast, Ålesund will give you not just a glimpse but a stare of the art nouveau architectural style in which most of the town was rebuilt after a fire in 1904, as documented at the Jugendstilsenteret museum. There are panoramic views of Ålesund’s architecture, the surrounding archipelago, and fjords from the Mount Aksla lookout.
There are plenty of buses around Ålesund but note that it is very limited after 5 PM. Worry not as there are taxis around albeit very expensive. Staying at the City Center is a huge advantage as almost all the attractions can be reached within a 20-minute walk.
A well preserved ancient city, you will surely feel like you just passed a time machine. Engulf in the beauty and gothic style architecture of Nidaros Cathedral which is the burial place of Norway’s Patron Saint, St. Olav. Go kayak on River Nid from June-September, and you’ll find the colorful river houses sprawled all around. Public transportation is efficient so you wouldn’t have a hard time getting around. You can also rent a bike and get around at your own pace and time :)
This is an excellent starting point for excursions to the region’s many attractions and destinations. This is also the perfect place to see the summer’s 24-hour sunlight and winter’s Northern Lights. A favorite local restaurant called Lokalmatbutikke serves excellent local cuisine which you definitely should try! Get around on foot or on bike, whichever you prefer :)
This is where you’ll witness the World’s Most Powerful Current. If this doesn’t seem appealing, you can opt to stay on the shore and observe flocks of sea eagles. The Sentrumsrunden bus brings you anywhere you want within the city center, and there are also buses going northwards to the suburbs. Using this bus, you can go to the Norwegian Aviation Museum where you’ll be fascinated by how the modern aviation technology works.
In 1890, a fire struck Hammerfest which destroyed nearly half of the town’s houses. It has been rebuilt little by little until it stands to be what is now-- a beautiful town which offers sports and commercial fishing, as well as scuba diving. This is the home to Sami People-- as per Wikepedia, this is the only indigenous people in Scandinavia that are recognized and protected under the international conventions of indigenous peoples, and are hence one of the northernmost indigenous people of Europe. Just close by the Hurtigruten Pier stands The Polar Bear Society-- it houses a small exhibition which depicts the magnitude of how important the Polar Bears are through paintings, drawings, and writings. Go around for free and try to at least buy something from their gift shop :)
Indulge in the beauty of art in this small and compact coastal town. Being such, exploring the city on foot is always a good idea. Hike up the mountains and see panoramic and breathtaking views. You can always ask for a trail map from the tourism office and you’re good to go.
Tromso is a great place to celebrate life with the sand on your feet and thousands of stars on the sky-- the Northern Lights too if you’re there during the winter! It is the best place to experience nature at its finest. Depending on what season you’ll visit, you can go on a husky sled, Lapland whale watching, and visit museums. District and city buses, as well as taxi & car rentals, are always available in case you’re wondering.
You might just go on, and on singing The Carpenter’s Top of the World when you reach Honningsvåg because (congratulations!!!), you’re only 2,000 kilometers from the North Pole. Standing on the North Cape Plateau will mean that you’re at the top of the world--literally. Your trip wouldn’t be complete unless you have an ice-cold drink at Artico Ice Bar :) Public transportation is limited on this side of the world. You may get around by car or by foot, although most tourists prefer a package tour.
Kirkenes is known as the capital of the Barents region and gateway to the east. The Russian border is a just few miles away so don’t be surprised to see that the local road signs are written in both Norwegian and Russian. Here, you can either get the chance to see a reindeer, ride on a dog-sled, or eat a Giant King Crab and take pride for catching it yourself-- or hey, you can do everything all together in the winter!
Hurtigruten's 12-Day Classic Roundtrip Voyage: Bergen-Kirkenes-Bergen will take you to these alluring coastal towns and a whole lot more! You’ll be on board M/S Spitsbergen and see the marvelous landscapes & seascapes, architecture, food, culture, history, and everything in between that Norway has to offer ♡
Hurtigruten is a daily passenger and freight shipping service along Norway's western and northern coast between Bergen and Kirkenes. They also offer Explorer voyages in Antarctica, Greenland, Iceland, Spitsbergen and across the Transatlantic.
You’re just a click away from your daydream! Find your preferred cruise here. ♡
Get 10% off by using the promo code when booking online: TWOMONKEYS (written the upper case and without space) when you book online for a full voyage Norway coastal sailing between 17DEC17 and MAR2020 or you can call +44 (0)203 811 4951 for booking!
Photos from Hurtigruten.com
This article originally appeared on my blog.