Norway is the northernmost country in Europe and also one of the largest ones. It is easily one of the most spectacular destinations in Europe (and probably also in the world) and Norway highlights are plenty. Norway is the westernmost, northernmost and even easternmost of the Scandinavian countries.
With a coastline that is 25,000 kilometers long and consists of more than 1,000 fjords, it is hard to overstate how spectacular Norway is. I spent about three weeks traveling from the far and barren north – the North Cape – to the green south – Oslo – by bike and boat in 2013. I saw pretty much all there is to see in Norway. I loved it; it still is my favorite country so far. It’s just so incredibly spectacular and the landscapes are both unique and extremely accessible.
I spent some time writing down a list containing my seven Norway highlights. Although this is obviously a personal list, it does consist of areas that you definitely should visit if you have the time and, maybe more importantly, money – it’s quite the expensive country.
7 Norway Highlights
Let’s start with one of the major highlights, shall we? Fjord Norway is the name of the western regions of the country where the most famous and spectacular fjords are located. We’re talking about places such as the Sognefjord, Hardangerfjord, Lysefjord and – king of the fjords – the fabulous Geirangerfjord.
I must admit that I didn’t know about the Atlantic Road, even when I was on it. I rode across and had no clue about the fame of that road. It often appears on lists of the ‘most beautiful drives in the world’. As a result of my ignorance, I don’t have any pictures of this world-famous road.
This is my number one favorite region in the world. I cycled across this rugged archipelago, along its calm coastline and underneath towering mountains. Scenic bridges connect the Lofoten Islands, which are, by the way, located a couple hundred kilometers north of the Arctic Circle. The Gulf Stream provides a surprisingly mild climate though. It’s a gorgeous region and this is a place I recommend visiting most.
Trondheim used to be the capital of Viking Norway. The city dates back more than a thousand years and is home to many churches, and old wooden city center and the awe-inspiring Nidaros cathedral.
Norway’s second city is, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful cities on this planet. Surrounded by seven fjords and seven mountains, this old seafaring city of Bergen has a gorgeous harbor – part of which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site – and a fun daily fish market.
This is the northernmost point on the European continent that can be reached by car. It is not, however, the actual northernmost point in Europe; that title belongs to Knivskjellodden, a nearby peninsula that reaches about 1,500 meters more north. The North Cape is worth a visit though. It’s as far north as you’re very probably ever going to get.
I also cycled across Finnmark and saw its coastline from the Hurtigruten coastal steamer. This is a place that consists of wide shallow rivers filled with fish, mountain ranges, small settlements and tundra. In summer this might just be one of the very best places for outdoor activities, such as kayaking, hiking, camping and fishing. In winter the Northern Lights dance in the clear skies.