Coastal Norway – Wild and Beautiful

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Foreign tourists have discovered Norway’s shoreline with its pretty ports and dramatic fjords. The exotic north has long been established as a popular travel destination for people from all over the world.

It was a massive ice sheet, which gouged out these fjords and valleys, and melted 10,000 years ago and thereby revealed this dramatic legacy.

More and more people discover that cruising along the Norwegian coast, or even crossing over to Svalbard or Greenland, is an adventure not to be forgotten.

Arctic Norway. Photo: Baard Loeken
Arctic Norway. Photo: Baard Loeken

Throughout the year the beauty of Norway comes in many forms. In winter multicolored buildings appear especially radiant during the short Arctic days. Through summer, cities and valleys are filled with green trees. The picturesque scenery along the vibrant Norwegian coast is always inviting.

Torghatten near Brønnøysund. Photo: Baard Loeken
Torghatten near Brønnøysund. Photo: Baard Loeken

And if you travel to the northern reaches of Norway between November and March, you may witness a spectacle that will imprint itself on your soul, the northern lights.

Northern lights. Photo: Ctjan R. Olsen
Northern lights. Photo: Ct. Jan R. Olsen

There are in fact more foreigners sailing along the Norwegian coast than natives. “The exotic North” has established itself as a popular destination for sailing enthusiasts from all over the world.  A midsummer cruise, on which the sun never sets, along angry cliffs, deep fjords and scattered islands, is a memorable experience.

Lofoten islands
Lofoten islands

The country’s stunning coastline is best seen from the water, and Hurtigruten is a favorite way to see it. It is part cruise shop, part ferry and part commercial vessel. Hurtigruten offers offshore excursions at ports from Bergen to Kirkenes with activities, educational talks, and other onboard events to liven up a week cruising the Arctic waters.

Midnight sun sailing
Midnight sun sailing

Sail Norway has established itself as a popular choice among groups of people who seek maritime experiences in the northern parts of Norway.

Norway is an under-inhabited land, but the nearly 5 million people living there are very serious about preserving their landscape, adhering religiously to their government’s severe building restrictions.

The magic Helgeland coast
The magic Helgeland coast

Many people believe that the weather is quite rough up north, but the fact is that you may sail inshore all the way north to Tromsoe.

There is little along this coastline that isn’t a visual feast. For example, even the Norwegians themselves talk in awe of their Lofoten Islands – they have a mystical presence in the collective psyche of this nation. Say to a Norwegian that you’re heading there and they’ll nod with approval.

Northern lights in Tromsoe
Northern lights in Tromsoe

One of the driving forces to visit the far north is the beguiling wonder of the aurora borealis. September through April are good months to catch sight of them, but the best odds are in January and February. Check out the highly accurate forecasts of NorwayLights.com, which shares specific hour-by-hour predictions for viewing the northern lights from various Norwegian cities.

Tromsoe from above
Tromsoe from above

Many people dream of a drowsy sailing vacation in the Carabbean. But the real sea adventure you’ll find along the beautiful Norwegian coast. Sail north and discover the natural treasures of Helgeland, Lofoten – and Svalbard.

Coastal Norway – Wild and Beautiful, written by Tor Kjolberg

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