Fjords. Just that one word should conjure grand images of lush green, monstrous mountains with jagged peaks, leading into emerald green waterways dotted with tiny, perfect, little villages along the green grass of the world’s number 1 destination pick.
Did it do that for you? No? Well, if it didn’t, have you seen the movie Frozen? From the lovable reindeer, beautiful landscapes, and even the name of the main city Arendal, these are all things Disney has so wonderfully introduced to you, and all happen to be based on, you guessed it, Norway!
Thanks to its dramatic mountainscapes, traditional villages, colorful urban centers and everything in-between, Norway can easily be ranked as the most beautiful country in the world. Whether you’ve been there before or not, you certainly need to plan a visit to the amazing country, and there’s no better time to do that than in 2017.
Feeling a bit skeptical? Here are eight reasons that will wipe your doubts away.
1: Preserved nature and history
Very few countries have the perfect mix of nature, urbanization, and history that Norway has. Its landscape (including fjords and vegetation) and animals are still in their natural setting and shape; so natural that the country looks and feels like a land of fairytales.
Nature is RIGHT at your fingertips. Don’t believe me? My first day in Norway, I was on a small fjord cruise, sailing in the Lysfjord. If that wasn’t exciting enough, the boat pulled up to an active waterfall from the mountain and captured some of the water in buckets for us to try. Right by the cute little goats that watched us silly humans with fascination. You haven’t tasted water till you’ve drunk fresh mountain water from a falling waterfall about the fjords. Let me tell ya.
If you’re looking for something more extreme, you can set out to the northernmost inhabited city in the world on the Svalbard Islands. Fun fact, there are more polar bears than people, so keep your eyes open and your food tightly packed away.
It’s not just nature that has been preserved. Norway is also rich in history and culture. The many villages and museums are popular attractions for people who want to learn some history and traditional cultures. If you can find your way to Trondheim, then you will have visited the oldest city in the country. It will be 1,020 years old in 2017. Not to mention, it’s super beautiful and has some of the cheapest beers in the country thanks to it’s youthful student population and lively atmosphere.
2: Observe the magic of the arctic
Most of us only get to see melting snow and weather change in the Arctic through our TVs. In Norway, people see it right before their eyes.
That is just one of the many amazing features of the arctic country. There is something for everyone here, young or old(er), active or more prone to relaxation. You can enjoy 24 hours of sunlight in the summer, or chase the Northern Lights in winter. Norway happens to be one of the very best places in the world for aurora sightings, so you can finally check that off your bucket list.
Other fun activities include dog sledding, king crab fishing, visiting old Soviet cities, sleeping in an ice hotel, or glacier hiking.
3: Exciting food scene that you should try
I’ll admit this now; I love food, but you don’t have to be a foodie to enjoy Norway’s exciting food scene. Over the last few years, the country has gained a spot in the culinary world on account of its organic food practices. That is because Norwegian cooking is highly influenced by the country’s climate and agricultural practices.
Well, the unpolluted climate is perfect for various fruits, vegetables, grains, and many other foods to thrive. The open fields and outlying pastures provide a great opportunity for rearing sheep and goats, both of which are primary delicacies in the country. For my birthday one year I was treated to a nice, local, traditional farm dish – boiled sheep’s head.
So I won’t gross out anyone who doesn’t want to read more into that, for pictures and more info about other delicacies in Norway (including whale!), you can read on here.
If you’re not into the head of a sheep, don’t worry Norway is full of less adventurous meals as well. Salmon is a highlight for me, fish (especially cod) is what the country is known for Simply put, Norwegian cuisine is natural and mouthwatering, and it is getting even better by the day.
4: Not overrun with tourists
Sure, Norway might not be the most visited country in the world, but it is a top destination for many people. Is that a bad thing? Absolutely not. In fact, it is an advantage because the country is not overrun with tourists. This means you can take those picture perfect photos without anyone else in the frame and enjoy nature without all the background noise or tour buses.
A large foreign population usually dilutes the natural and traditional environment of a place. That has not happened in Norway, and there are no signs that it will happen anytime soon; at least not in 2017.
5: The stable currency
Let’s talk about money. It’s usually one of the main factors we take into account when planning for just about everything. Lots of times the risk of unstable currency stops us from traveling somewhere, because we never know if the price we see today will be the price things actually are by the time we get there.
In Norway, you don’t have to worry about that. Why? Because the Norwegian Krone is among the safest currency in the whole world. That means it is secure and stable; you can easily and precisely predict how much you will spend while there. This means you can plan an extravagant holiday to your heart’s desire, or design a more budget friendly option with the help of our cost cutting techniques.
As always, nature is free and accessible.
6: Cheap flights
So many airlines have been gearing up to cut flight costs from the US to Norway by huge margins, and that will finally be realized in 2017. For example, you can score a flight on Norwegian Air from the U.S. to Norway for as low as $69! This is one way, but it’s still possible to find round-trip tickets at a steal of $300. That’s less, or the same price, as traveling from California to Chicago, but you could be in Norway instead! Though, I will admit, I do also love Chicago (hello pizza)!
Many other airlines are going the same way, and that means flights to Norway are going to be very cheap in 2017. You really have no excuse not to visit the country.
7: Witness nature’s wonders
Norway is home to many natural wonders and stunning sites. At 1,686 feet deep, Hornindalsvatnet is the deepest lake in Europe, and is surrounded by beautiful villages and magnificent fjords, mountains, and glaciers.
If that doesn’t spark your interest, you can visit and climb Trolltunga, (trolls tongue) a piece of rock that is dangling 2,300 feet above Lake Ringedalsvatnet. Alternatively, you can opt to tour the Kjeragbolten, a boulder that is wedged between the Kjerag Mountain and suspended thousands of feet above the ground. Those are just a few examples of what Norway has to offer.
8: Generally a cool place
Norway is generally one of the coolest places to visit. It has a very low crime rate and is considered to be one of the happiest places on earth. You surely deserve some happiness in 2017, and Norway has plenty of it to go around.
Would you like to go? Let us know what your ideal trip to Norway would involve!
P.S. Oh, as a side note, I happen to know some people from Arendal, and they assure me it’s not really like the city you see in Frozen. Guess you’re going to have to go for yourself to see what enchantments lay there.
Featured photo;Callandresponse, Flickr.com