Norway: Travel Information
The Royal Kingdom of Norway is a part of Scandinavia bordering Sweden to the east and Finland and Russia to the north east. It is a sparsely populated country (5 million people) but offers some of the most stunning and dramatic scenery anywhere. In particular, the south west coast is the most visually impressive coastline in the world. Geographically, it is very varied from its renowned fjords, its mountainous interior and its arctic landscapes in the far north to its gentle southern coastline and farmlands in the south.
The country can be broken down into specific regions. Its capital, Oslo located in the south east corner of Norway, is the third largest city in Scandinavia. To the west of Oslo is the milder and less rugged coastline of southern Norway. Kristiansand is the major city with its attractive white-painted wooden houses typical of the region.
Probably the best known region and certainly offering the most spectacular scenery is along the coastline of south west Norway. This is the area of the Norwegian Fjords. The natural beauty here is breathtaking. The fjords are ocean inlets penetrating deep inland surrounded by mountains and towering cliffs with gushing waterfalls cascading down the sides. The best known are the Hardangerfjord, Geirangerfjord and the Sognefjord. The city of Bergen, Norway’s second largest and surrounded by mountains, is the ideal centre for exploring the area fjords and for hiking. The fjords are linked by bus and ferry services allowing for visitors to conveniently experience the region.
In Central Norway is the old city of Trondheim located on the coast known for its culture and its magnificent sunsets in the summer. In the north are two centres, Tromso and Kirkenes, both ideal for watching the spectacular Northern Lights with their fantastic luminous green streaks rushing across the sky between late Fall and early Spring and the Midnight Sun in the summer where the sun never sets.
Two ways of experiencing Norway’s natural beauty are to take a coastal cruise along the west coast and to travel by rail to view ever changing landscapes aboard a relaxing train.
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