Norway is a beauty country that everyone should go to at least once if they can. I could spend a year in Norway, heck, I could spend 10 years in Norway and still have a million destinations I would want to explore, and things I would want to see in the country. Unfortunately, we don’t all have this luxury of free time, so it is important to know what is going on in Norway for each season of the year, so you can start to plan out your perfect holiday.

NORWAY’S MOST UNPREDICTABLE TIME OF THE YEAR – SPRING

The period of blossoming and nature’s waking up in Norway could be a little bit tricky. Spring starts in May, but as soon as the snow starts melting in February, you can see the first marks of this season. The main characteristics of this season could be lots of sunny days, lots of cold days, unexpected windy day, and unexpected rainy day.

Summer

So, if you are planning your trip to Norway in this time of the year, you should bring both winter and summer clothes and combined them into layers when you go out because you never know when the weather is going to change. And it does change, more often than you can imagine. It is recommended to pack your suitcases with warm clothes, boots, sunscreen, and umbrella. Norway is a demanding enchantress, but so so worth it.

Highlight for Spring

May is very special month for all Norwegians because they are celebrating country’s Constitution Day, adopted in 1814, on May 17. It is the National holiday in Norway, which you can’t miss if you are there at that time. In the cities all over the country, this day is celebrated by organizing the children’s procession through the city’s center, led by a school music band. When the parade is finished, everyone can join the children and enjoy the entertainment like food and movies.

 

SOAKING UP THE NORWEGIAN SUN – SUMMER

From the middle of June, the rays of the sun are everywhere, even during the night, and Norwegians really look forward to this season all year round. As a tourist, you can feel the positive vibes in the air, the kindness of the locals and the smell of the barbecue all around you.

Photo: Siegfried-Rabanser, Flickr.com
Photo: Siegfried-Rabanser, Flickr.com

Even though it is a summer season, you should bring with you windproof clothes and waterproof, also. The weather is very unpredictable, in every season. I was blessed with 14 days of sunshine my first trip to Norway, but since then, I’ve been very thankful to have both shorts and sweaters each time I’ve gone.

The most important thing you need to experience if you are visiting Norway in the summer is midnight sun summer nights, which you can feel the further north you travel.  Temperatures could reach up past 30  degrees Celsius, or 86F and the water is warm enough for the swimming activities.

Summer Highlight

The event you must attend is a celebration of the Midsummer’s Eve, the summer solstice. On the 23rd June, in the evening, groups of people in each part of the country, organizes bonfires, mostly on the beaches. This is the ancient way of protecting humans from the evil spirits. In Norway, this celebration gains epic size because every year people try to outdo themselves, by building bigger and higher bonfires than the year before.  This is especially true in the towns of Bergen and Ålesund, on the west coast.

View from Mt. Floyen. Bergen.
View from Mt. Floyen. Bergen.

But, anywhere you go at that time, on that evening, you will find a beach party around the bonfire so, use the chance and join them in celebration. Summer time is also a great time for food, secondly only to winter in my opinion. Perfectly acceptable summer foods are strawberries and pancakes. Some say ice cream as well, but I am pretty sure they were just trying to score ice cream as often as they could. I have always been a fan of strawberries, but it wasn’t until trying them by the fish market in Bergen that I knew just how delicious they could be.

 

AUTUMN IS MADE FOR HIKING

Although the temperature is falling as winter knock on the door, many tourists choose this season for their trip to the land of fjords. Nature is colored with golden tones, and some unexpected storms will make your adrenaline jump high. The perfect time for exploring by day, and staying cozy in one of the many Norwegian cabins by night. Intense colors and crisp air will drive you out from your comfortable accommodations, and that is the moment you should use for some exciting tours.

Top of Geirangerfjord
Eagle eye view. Geirangerfjord. Photo: John6536, Flickr.com

We recommend visiting national parks Jotunheimen, Rondane, Dovre, and Dovrefjell- Sunndalsfjella which are stunning at this time of the year. If you prefer something more adrenaline inducing, you should go to the river rafting or hiking. River Sjoa is very popular among active tourist because it offers the possibility for rafting and kayaking from the Jotunheimen national park all the way to the Gudbrandsdalen Valley. Rafting on the Sjoa is suited for both beginners and experts, also as other activities on the river.

Highlight on Hiking

There are a lot of tour operators who are organizing special autumn hikes in Norway for tourists. The most popular place for this activity is Bergen. This area offers a full spectrum of outdoor recreational activities. Great Bergen’s mountain for the hiking is Mount Fløyen, and the highest of its 7 mountains is Mount Ulriken. From there you are able to enjoy the scenic view of the whole area. The terrain is suitable for families because there are many trails for different levels of experience and you can hike with hiking poles. Remember to wear boots and waterproof clothes. I took the cable car up the mountian and decided to walk down. Perfect way to get in both experiences.

Photo: Ronny Randen
Photo: Ronny Randen

We would never forgive ourselves either if we didn’t mention Preikestolen, near Stavanger. This is one of the most iconic images of Norway and surprisingly easy to get to.

 

ENJOY THE SNOW SPORTS AND NORTHERN LIGHTS- WINTER

In the winter season, Norway becomes an icy paradise. In the north, days are shorter than in the south.

On the longest day of the winter, sometimes the sun doesn’t rise high high enough to illuminate the mountains around. Unlike the summer’s midnight sun, in winter, the northern parts of the country, see longer days of darkness, a kind of twilight feeling is present for most of the day.  But don’t worry, there are still tons of fun things to do in winter. Arctic adventures, ice and snow hotels, skiing, dog sledding, and Christmas markets thrive in wintry conditions.

Trip with Svalbard Husky
Trip with Svalbard Husky

Highlight Northern Lights

You have all heard of the Aurora Borealis, a spectacular view of the Northern Sky that if you’re lucky, you’ll be able to chase through the sky. It is the polar light that can be seen more recently from the Lofoten islands and in the Trøndelag city. There are a few other locations as well in Norway that specalize in sightseeing trips in the best places to chase the Northern lights.  It is not a constant scenery. It can show up somewhere between late September and late March, between 6 pm and 1 am. Usually, best chances to see it is in December. Wear something really warm, light a bonfire in front of your cabin and watch the magic dance above your head with your travel companions.

Norway is the home of giants and polar lights, but also winter sports. Norway is the 2nd most successful nation in winter sports in the Olympics. Their land terrain allows them to practice winter sports, perfect them, and to attract tourist from all over the world to check out their beautiful landscapes. The most popular winter sport among tourist is the cross-country skiing.  Gudbrandsdalen Valley is the perfect location for that because of the spectacular landscape views.

Folgefonna summer ski center
Get a bit of snow in. From Folgefonna.

Another great location for winter activities is Lillehammer, the location of the 1994 Winter Olympics. It is a place recognizable by the preserved wooden houses dating back to the 19th century. Here, there are 350 km long cross-country skiing trails to be enjoyed by all. Popular winter sports are also biathlon (ski shooting), alpine skiing, skating, figure skating, ice hockey, ski jumping, harness racing, betting. Say, have you ever seen a reindeer race? Just visit the Sami towns for a look into the lives of these indigenous Arctic people and check out their traditions, reindeer racing and all.

 

That’s our quick overview of the different seasons

What do you think? Can you choose which season is right for you?

For more details on weather and temperatures, check out when is the best time to go to Norway. We can give you a hint; the best time is any time!