Why Winter Is My Favorite Time To Visit One Of The World's Safest Countries

Why Winter Is My Favorite Time To Visit One Of The World’s Safest Countries


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Earlier than you scroll by means of to the following article on sunny Mexico, bear with me a second:

I do know Europe is not everybody’s thought of enjoyable in winter, particularly in the event that they’ve been saving up all the 12 months to splurge on that customary, all-inclusive seaside getaway.

A Wintertime View Of Norway With The Northern Lights, Scandinavia, Northern EuropeA Wintertime View Of Norway With The Northern Lights, Scandinavia, Northern Europe

Between the incessant London rain, the grey Parisian skies, and Italy’s plummeting temperatures, I can see how the concept of embarking on a Transatlantic journey proper now might sound unappealing, however what if you don’t must escape winter to have a cracking time in your subsequent trip?

Enable me to clarify why winter is my favourite season to go to Norway, one of many world’s most Northerly nations – and one of many most secure ones at that – and why it’s best to give it an opportunity your self:

Why Is Norway Changing into So Well-liked As A Winter Vacation spot?

Norway is surging in recognition in 2024, and I can’t say I’m stunned: one of many explanation why I fell in love with it within the first place was how unspoiled and plentiful the character is.

Although it boasts a excessive Human Growth Index and High quality of Life, a lot of the nation is comprised of forested areas and rural hinterlands, and no matter the place you’re headed, be it the Arctic North or the fjord lands, there is no such thing as a scarcity of pure wonders to be discovered right here.

From the minute you step out of the aircraft and breathe within the crisp, recent mountain air, with out having forged a single look on the nearest mahoosive peak but, you understand you’re not in terminally-industrialized Germany, nor overpolluted France anymore.

traveler with backpack hiking in Norway mountainstraveler with backpack hiking in Norway mountains

Caribbean seashores are nice, however I’m certain most would agree ice-skating on mirror-like frozen lakes, stress-free in saunas, snowboarding down winding slopes, and comfortable late nights sitting by a fireplace, sizzling chockie in hand, watching the snowstorm from the window could be simply as alluring a prospect.

Why Fly To Norway For A Winter Wonderland When You Can Go To Aspen As an alternative?

You might be questioning why precisely I’m making an attempt to persuade you to fly midway throughout the globe for a winter vacation when you could possibly simply go to Colorado as an alternative: as stunning as it might be, the Centennial State lacks Norway’s mystique, historical tradition, scenic railways and hearty ‘Scandi’ meals.

Nonetheless, this can be a massive nation we’re speaking about, with a fjord-traversed shoreline extending for 1,100 miles alongside the North Sea, and in the event you’re warming as much as the concept of occurring a bit of low season Viking journey, you might be questioning the place to go for essentially the most epic surroundings.

Away from the massive cities and off the crushed path, listed below are 4 unbelievable winter locations in Norway (and why they need to be added to your bucket record):

4 Unbelievable Locations To Go to In Norway In The Colder Months

Flåm

Flåm, a small village on the innermost a part of the historic Aurlandsfjord, is one in all Europe’s best-hidden secrets and techniques this winter, dwelling to the four-star Fretheim Lodge, inbuilt traditional chalet model, an award-winning microbrewery, and the world-famous Flåmsbana prepare.

Rattling up a steep 2,841 ft ascent, with large panoramic home windows providing views of deep valleys, slim fjords, majestic waterfalls and remoted, colourful villages with chimneys and lampposts poking out within the virgin snow, it’s a $50 round-trip value embarking on.

Sauna tradition is just not as prevalent in Norway because it in fellow incredible winter wonderland Finland, the place it originated, however in Flåm it simply occurs to be one of many high points of interest, with FjordSauna welcoming company onboard floating steam rooms on the fringe of the ice-covered fjord.

Should you’re a fan of the Vikings, you could possibly take a day journey out to Gudvangen to see a Norsemen village functioning as a folks park, or go for some beer tasting and fish supper at Ægir, a pub and restaurant modeled after pagan messhalls of the Tenth-century.

Voss

The unofficial ski capital of Western Norway, simply over an hour away from Bergen, Voss is a small settlement resting on the backside of an elongated valley dotted with lakes, the place colourful homes and a medieval stone church make for a picturesque townscape.

Well-liked for its gondola rides, diversified collection of Haute delicacies eating places, and surprisingly big selection of leisure choices – it has its very personal skydiving heart – this laid-back alpine village is just not a spot you’ll wish to skip when paying Norway a go to within the colder months.

Medieval Church Is Vossvangen, Western Norway, Scandinavia, Northern EuropeMedieval Church Is Vossvangen, Western Norway, Scandinavia, Northern Europe

Moreover, it’s the place the highly-reputed Myrkdalen Ski Resort is situated, boasting 22 ski trails, 9 ski lifts, 2 of that are categorical chairlifts, distinctive stays – assume repurposed barns and homely, self-catering picket cabins – and three distinguished eating places for both nice or informal eating.

Costs for double rooms begin at $239 this season, and if snowboarding isn’t your factor, Myrkdalen continues to be the right base for exploring the encompassing nature, as it’s a stone’s throw away from UNESCO-listed Nærøyfjord, and mystical Gudvangen (Norwegian for ‘Valley of the Gods’).

Snowy Mountain In Vossvangen, Western Norway, Scandinavia, Northern EuropeSnowy Mountain In Vossvangen, Western Norway, Scandinavia, Northern Europe

By the way in which, ski season on this a part of Norway can final as late as April.

Bodø, Norway

An enthralling fishing port in Northern Norway, Bodø was recognized by the European Fee as one of many continent’s Cultural Capitals in 2024, and with over a thousand events deliberate to rejoice the city’s wealthy heritage, beginning this winter, it’s positively someplace you don’t wish to miss in 2024.

Bodø is finest identified for its walkable, museum-packed historic heart, vibrant artwork scene, with revolutionary installations and awe-inspiring avenue artwork lurking in each nook, and in recent times, it’s developed a popularity for being a foodie hotspot.

Panoramic View Of Bodo, A Port City North Of The Arctic Circle In Norway, Scandinavia, Northern EuropePanoramic View Of Bodo, A Port City North Of The Arctic Circle In Norway, Scandinavia, Northern Europe

Reindeer is often served in eating places, according to Northern Europe’s staple food regimen, and it’s Kjelen kafé in Bodø the place you’ll discover essentially the most scrumptious møsbrømlefse, a Norwegian flatbread full of camarelized goat cheese, and different native delicacies.

Winters in Nordland could be harsh, with freezing temperatures and restricted daylight by means of March, however it’s usually within the darkest of nights the sky bursts into 1,000,000 totally different shades of inexperienced and purple (sure, we’re speaking about Aurora sightings).

Northern Lights Pictured In Norway, ScandinaviaNorthern Lights Pictured In Norway, Scandinavia

Lofoten

My last entry on this record is Lofoten, a grouping of islands related by a collection of bridges and undersea tunnels additional North from Bodø that really feel nearly otherwordly, with jagged peaks capturing as much as the celebrities, and fishing villages sitting on rugged coasts.

Three of essentially the most sought-after winter actions amongst guests to the archipelago embrace horse driving, taking sea eagle safaris to Trollfjord, an space of excellent pure magnificence, and searching down the elusive Northern Lights.

Hamnoy in snow in winter in Lofoten islands, NorwayHamnoy in snow in winter in Lofoten islands, Norway

Village-hopping across the islands can also be a must-do: Reine and Nusfjord are notably stunning, with their centuries-old fishing custom and Instagram-ready, brightly-painted cottage homes lining quaint, snow-dusted harbors.

To high it off, Lofoten enjoys a way more delicate winters in comparison with different locations on the mainland: as it’s surrounded by the North Sea, the local weather is often maritime, that means you’re unlikely to be caught knee-deep in snow when snowshoeing within the wild.

Traditional Norwegian fisherman's cabins, rorbuer, on the island of Hamnoy, Reine on the Lofoten in northern Norway. Photographed at dawn in winter.Traditional Norwegian fisherman's cabins, rorbuer, on the island of Hamnoy, Reine on the Lofoten in northern Norway. Photographed at dawn in winter.

That’s to not say it’s heat. By all means, do put on a number of layers.

Why Is Norway Surging In Recognition Regardless of The Harsh Winters?

In line with the latest data, reservations for Norway – extra particularly, freezing chilly Northern Norway – have skyrocketed this winter, a lot in order that European airways are launching new direct routes to secondary airports like Harstad/Narvik, Evenes, and Alta.

Alta is Norway’s distant capital for aurora sightings, and its Northern Lights Cathedral, eclectic structure and Arctic way of life have been on our radar since last winter; now, new flights arriving from Frankfurt with Lufthansa have enormously improved connectivity within the space.

Airplane Taking Off From Snowy Runway, Unspecified LocationAirplane Taking Off From Snowy Runway, Unspecified Location

Equally, a rise in arrival figures for Tromsø Airport, serving essentially the most Northerly main settlement in mainland Norway, has led to the development of an further terminal.

Wintertime visitor bookings between 105 journey corporations throughout Norway now whole 350,000 so far, with Finest Arctic CEO Trond Arne Kongsli claiming his firm alone had ‘triple’ the quantity of reservations this season in comparison with the 2022-2023 interval.

Norwegian authorities have cited Norway’s numerous vacationer provide, superb meals, and rising recognition as a cultural vacation spot as three of the primary drives behind the rise in demand, despite its harsh winters.

What I Suppose As Somebody Who’s Been To Norway In Winter

Personally, I might add tourist-friendliness as a significant factor contributing to Norway’s surging recognition as a year-round vacation spot.

Having traveled solo in Norway within the useless of winter, when service availability is often decrease and lots of points of interest are shut down, I nonetheless had a exceptional time.

Naturally, it’s best to handle your expectations: going climbing in most trails is just not doable as a result of heavy snowfall and poor visibility, so you possibly can scrap the long-lasting Trolltunga or go away it for the hotter months, however there may be nonetheless a lot to maintain you entertained on the character entrance.

Norway’s ‘Proper to Roam’ is a freedom enshrined within the structure that’s fairly telling of this historic nation’s appreciation for the good outdoor. In Norway, everybody has the best to get pleasure from and make cheap use of nature with out paying to entry it.

In essence, you possibly can go roam freely throughout nature preserves, camp out within the open, try climbing, and even reside off of any uncultivated land as long as you’re not finishing up industrial actions, beginning harmful fires, or polluting.

The Northern Lights In Norway, Unspecified LocationThe Northern Lights In Norway, Unspecified Location

Exercising the best to roam in winter is trickier, as I wouldn’t be sleeping exterior in unfavourable temperatures myself, however as you possibly can attest from the locations listed above, nature in Norway is at all times breathtaking, and it may be notably stunning when it’s frozen and glistening white.

Lastly, Norway is an extremely protected nation to discover – one of many most secure on this planet, at that.

In line with the U.S. Division of State, it’s one in all a handful of locations globally to get pleasure from a Stage 1 standing, that means vacationers wouldn’t have to be overly involved about their security when visiting.

Winter in Bergen NorwayWinter in Bergen Norway

Violent crime charges are negligible, pickpocketing is just not widespread, in contrast to in different European states, and poverty ranges are very, very low. Whether or not you’re in a significant city heart like Oslo or Bergen or the huge countryside and fjordlands, you possibly can put your worries about private security apart.

The largest risk going through Norway these days is recurring terrorist assaults, like most Western nations, however even these don’t occur on a big scale.

Caught the journey bug? Learn on about Norway, and begin planning your frozen journey here.

Learn Extra:

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How To Easily Earn Points For Free Travel

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Opinions expressed listed below are the creator’s alone, not these of any financial institution, bank card issuer, resort, airline, or different entity. This content material has not been reviewed, accepted or in any other case endorsed by any of the entities included throughout the put up.





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