Little-known beyond the capital and the famous fjords, Norway remains an enigmatic destination for most visitors. Yet it’s outside the cities and off the major roads that you’ll experience Norway at its most magnificent. The landscape majors in big, bold scenery offset by Scandinavian design and sophistication; travel here offers a matchless combination of wilderness with exceptional lodging experiences. Norwegians themselves are passionate about being in nature so make like a local and plunge into the countryside to explore by car, boat, kayak, on skis, snowmobile or even husky-drawn sled. Summer and winter bring spectacularly contrasting scenery and experiences so make your way north for the surreal Midnight Sun or to hunt the Northern Lights and discover that regardless of when you visit, Norway never disappoints.
Take in the capital Oslo, often overlooked in contrast to other Scandinavian cities. Explore the historic lanes behind the bold-coloured clapboard houses of vibrant Bergen before you sample the seafood market and dine on foraged New Nordic Cuisine at a top restaurant. Relax in the waterfront city of Ålesund, before travelling into the western Fjords in a high-speed RIB.
Alternatively, hike or cruise or ski the fjords. Or take to the air in a helicopter to get an aerial perspective. Watch the Northern Lights reflect in the stunning Geirangerfjord from a private yacht. Catch these ethereal dancing lights in Tromso too or enjoy a midnight concert at the Arctic Cathedral here. Discover Viking history and relics throughout the country or uncover the stories of Norway’s famous explorers in Norway’s world-class museums. Get up close to some of the world’s most stunning coastlines by sea-kayaking and island hop around scenic archipelagos.
Experience the thrill of dog sledding in the alpine backcountry, diving for king crabs and uncovering Sami culture and the Arctic wilderness around Finnmark. Take an exhilarating road trip through Trollstigen or drive the scenic Atlantic Road, which curves dips and arches across the Norwegian Sea. Opt for train travel instead, and step aboard for the stunning Flam rail journey. Maximise the summer sun, hiking the endless trails of Jotunheimen National Park with a local guide or trek to an iconic spot such as Pulpit Rock or the Troll’s Tongue or spend a more relaxing day trying your hand at fishing in the world-class waters of the River Aurland for sea trout. Brave a close encounter with an Orca while snorkelling off Narvik or go on a wildlife safari to watch minke, humpback whales and harbour seals; look out for puffins, kittiwakes and guillemots as well.
Beyond the mainland, set sail on an Arctic cruise, be awe-struck as your private boat approaches the towering Lofoten Islands, which might just be more dramatic than the mainland fjords and mountains, or, for the truly adventurous, head north to the untouched Arctic wilderness of Svalbard, where you can go on a snowmobile safari across the completely stunning landscape in search of walrus, polar bear and reindeer.
Base yourself in chic, sophisticated boutique city stays to start then venture into the countryside, where you’ll find luxury lodges such as the intimate Lyngen Lodge with magnificent fjord and mountain views and slow life hideaways such as the family-owned, scenically sited Storfjord Hotel. Look out too for converted Rorbuer fishing huts and restored trapper’s lodges now decked out with home comforts and stylish Scandinavian design touches where you can have incredibly authentic, immersive experiences. Seasonally, embrace the cold and snow with a stay in one of Norway’s famous winter haunts including an incredible luxury conversion of a 1933 telecommunications outpost at Isfjord Radio, which in winter can only be accessed by snowmobile, dogsled or a lengthy cross-country ski. Ask us as well about snow hotels, igloos and remote Arctic camps or how to stay in a traditional Sami lavvu tent.
This ever-excellent Scandic Ishavshotel serves as the perfect stopover in Tromso – the gateway to the Arctic and one of the best places in the world to see the Northern Lights.
Deep inside the Arctic Circle, this marvellous wilderness hideaway bewitches all who visit. Overlooking a fjord beneath the peaks of the Lyngen Alps, the backdrop merely hints at the Scandinavian adventure that awaits you.
Overlooking the stunning fjord of the same name and looking like something from a Scandinavian folk story, Storfjord Hotel is an insider’s address hidden in the Sunnmore Alps.
Although Norway is a year-round destination, every season has its own character and appeal. Travel over the European summer, from June to August for outdoor adventure that seems to last forever under the long daylight hours. Travel in mid-May for the Midnight Sun and chance to see the fjords at their very best. Or head to Norway on a winter holiday between November and March and see how the country transforms into a snowy playground bathed under the glow of the Northern Lights.
Norway, Greenland & Iceland with Silversea
20 days from £14,895 pp incl. flights Silver Explorer
Experience Scandinavia the right way with this super luxurious expeditionary cruise that bookends Greenland's Glaciers with Norway's polar north and Iceland's stylish capital
Norway's Western Fjords
7 days from £2,745 pp incl. flights
Couple stylish luxury accommodations with the meandering roads of Norway's majestic western fjords for the ultimate summer self-drive adventure
Lyngen Lodge Break
High up in the wilds of northern Norway, Lyngen Lodge is a marvellous wilderness hideaway, gloriously positioned on the edge of a spectacular fjord.
Arctic Luxury In Svalbard
Achieve the perfect balance of culture and adrenaline on this epic expedition to Svalbard. Sample the city delights of Oslo, from its art and architecture to pioneering Nordic cuisine.