Winter Highlights in Norway
JANUARY, FEBRUARY, MARCH
In winter much of Norway is usually transformed into a snow-clad paradise. The lower inland areas, both in the southern and northern parts of Norway, can have very low mean temperatures in winter. Temperatures can reach below –40°c in the inner areas of Finnmark, Troms, Central Norway and Eastern Norway, even if this does not happen each winter.
By contrast, the coastal areas have comparatively mild winters. However, gales, rain and clouds can be frequent and heavy.
When easterly wind or dry weather is forecast with a high probability of clear, excellent conditions for the Northern Lights, there is no better place to head than Ersfjordbotn. This beautiful and photogenic place is located just a 40-minute drive by bus or car from downtown Tromsø.
Dress warmly and bring your camera, tripod, a thermos of hot tea or coffee and something to eat, and you are all set for an exclusive evening trip. If you choose to catch the bus, the last bus back to downtown Tromsø (route 425) from Monday-Saturday departs at 11.15pm. Another option is to join one of the scheduled, organized Northern Lights excursions. There is a high chance that the experienced and highly competent Northern Lights guides will also head here.
In The Arctic Coastal Landscape. Tromsø’s most experienced dog-sledding company, Tromsø Villmarkssenter, invite you to an epic adventure with 250 dogs.
The brave ones go to see the Northern Lights by reindeer sled – and stay the night on their own in the wilderness.
The former mining town of Røros is simply unique – a modern community, in which people live and work right in the middle of an UNESCO Heritage Site.
The Oslo area’s main ski resort. You can be skiing in only 20 minutes from downtown Oslo with convenient access from the public transportation system. We have 18 slopes and 11 lifts, offering a range of activities including alpine skiing, snowboarding, telemark skiing, special areas for children and beginners, a terrain park, an intermediate half pipe and Norway’s first Olympic standard Superpipe.
Skiing in Oslo is really easy. Take subway line 1 towards Frognerseter and get off the train at Voksenkollen station. Many trails start from here and lead for example to Tryvannstua where you can have your first break for a cup of coffee and some nice bakery. Through the forest, up and down some hills the track leads you after ca. 1,5 h to Ullevålseter, where it is possible to have another break in the warm. From this point it takes about 45 minutes to get to Sognsvann station. The subway line 3 takes you back to the city center.
Take the local metro to the top of the toboggan run, and get an adrenalin rush going down at great speed. When you get to the bottom of the run, you simply get on the metro again to reach the top! The toboggan run is located right next to the bobsleigh run, built for the 1952 Olympic games. It is lit up in the evening, and don’t be surprised to find that adults are just as eager as children when it comes to this rather original form of activity.
Discover Oslo on these very nice and informative walks. There is a new guided walk every day of the week.
Holmenkollbakken has a hill size of HS134, a construction point of K-120, and a capacity for 30,000 spectators. Holmenkollen has hosted the Holmenkollen Ski Festival since 1892, which since 1980 have been part of the FIS Ski Jumping World Cup and 1983 the FIS Nordic Combined World Cup. It has also hosted the 1952 Winter Olympics and the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in 1930, 1966, 1982 and 2011.
Holmenkollen is the most visited attraction in Norway! The ski jump was used for the 1952 Winter Olympics and the museum located beneath the ski jump itself. Scandinavia’s first ever ski simulator is set up outside the Ski Museum and you can experience the thrill of downhill skiing with the latest technology.
Get into the Christmas spirit at Bærums Verk in Oslo. Take a short ride with horse and sleigh during the weekends or just enjoy the beautiful surroundings and small shops in old houses from the 17th Century. Experience an old-fashioned Christmas market with lots of handicrafts & designer-goods. Make Christmas tree decorations from sheep’s wool or make your very own soap. Meet Norwegian fairytale characters, the Hulder and the Trolls!
Join the Coastal Express for the 12 days long trip along the magnificent Norwegian coast. The Coastal Express is departing from Bergen, arriving Kirkenes on day 7, and then sails back to Bergen. Should you choose the full length journey, you will travel from Bergen, up to Kirkenes and back to Bergen, making 34 stops at ports both large and small along the way. You will encounter a land of contrasts, everything from fertile land to barren rock, small fishing hamlets and large towns, the open sea and narrow fjords. No two days are alike. Remember your camera!
Trysil is the largest ski resort in Norway. The location ensures a stable climate ideal for winter sports. The season generally starts in late October and ends in late April. Lifts: 32 Slopes: 65 Longest slope: 5.4 km Access: 3 hours by bus from Oslo.
Hafjell is located 15 km north of Lillehammer which is a town and a skiing district in central Norway. Lillehammer hosted the Winter Olympics in 1994 and many of the Olympic events took place in Hafjell. The shuttle bus service from Lillehammer centre makes it very accessible. Lifts: 14 Slopes: 28 & 300 km of cross country tracks Longest run: 7 km Access: 2 hour 40 minutes by train from Oslo
Hemsedal is a village and ski resort in central Norway. The stable inland climate ensures good snow conditions from November to May. Hemsedal includes two skiing areas, Hemsedal ski centre and Solheisen ski centre in Grøndalen. Lifts: 22 Slopes: 48 & 210 km of cross country tracks Longest run: 6 km Access: 3 hours by train from Oslo
Norway, the land of mountains, offers excellent ski resorts. ‘Norefjell’ is a good all-round ski resort, which is only located about 11/2h from Oslo. The terrain is suitable for all type of ski and snow lovers. Choose between country skiing, ‘telemark’, down hill skiing, snowboarding and sleigh rides. The winter season normally lasts from November until May.
Longearbyen is the central town at Svalbard Islands and it is located on the largest island called Spitsbergen. Mining plays a major part of the community and you can even enjoy a mining guided tour. But Longyearbyen offers more exotic excursions than that such as glacier trekking, dog sledding, fjord cruising, hiking, skiing during the summer period, and snow mobile riding. You can view the midnight sun between April 19 and August 23 and if you want to experience the period when the sun doesn’t rise you should visit this area between October 28 to February 14. Access: Approximately 1 hour 30 minutes from Tromsø.
APRIL, MAY, JUNE
May to mid-June is when the scenery in Norway is at its most spectacular, with trees and flowers waking to life snow in the mountains and melt water swelling the waterfalls. Orchards of flowering fruit trees along the Hardangerfjord in May are images of paradise. There are several public holidays in May, and the Norwegians make full use of them to celebrate springtime after a long winter. Spring is the season when the temperature differences between the southern and northern part of the country are largest. This is also the time of year when daytime and night-time temperatures differ the most. In early spring a zone near the coast of Western Norway usually has the highest mean temperatures, but in May the highest temperatures are usually found in the southern part of Eastern and Southern Norway.
The weather in spring can be very varied. There may be days when it is cold enough to snow, and days when it is warm enough to sit outside in the sunshine. Spring months can also be very windy. Remember that the weather and temperatures can change quickly, especially in the mountains. So whether summer or winter, autumn or spring – prepare yourself for the wilderness and bring good footwear and warm clothes.
On 17 May, it is the colorful processions of children with their banners, flags and bands – not military parades – that play the main role. The day is celebrated with as much enthusiasm in Norwegian villages (albeit on a smaller scale) as in the capital city of Oslo, where tens of thousands line Karl Johans gate, Oslo’s main thoroughfare, every year to watch the parade. The Royal Palace Square is another popular spot – many gather here to get a glimpse of the Royal Family waving to the passing procession from the palace balcony.
Vigeland Park is situated in the district of Oslo called Frogner. This large park is a home for 227 granite and bronze sculptures by Norway’s celebrated sculptor Gustav Vigeland. Gustav Vigeland was born on 11th of April 1869 in Mandal, a small coastal town of Southern Norway. His father was a master carpenter in Norway. This park is built on 30 hectare (75acre) land.
Norway’s largest museum of cultural history featuring the world’s oldest open air museum During summer, there are different activities at the museum every day. Most Sundays, they feature special program events. In the Open-Air Museum, many buildings are open, and a host in traditional folk dress welcomes you.
Edvard Munch, 12 December 1863 – 23 January 1944) was a Norwegian Symbolist painter, printmaker and an important forerunner of expressionist art. His best-known composition, The Scream, is part of a series The Frieze of Life, in which Munch explored the themes of love, fear, death, melancholia, and anxiety.
The Fram Museum Houses the world’s most famous polar ship, the Fram. Come on board and join the Norwegian explorers on their fantastic expeditions.
In Aker Brygge and Tjuvholmen everyone will find something to suit their taste: Restaurants, bars , cafees as well as art galleries and shopping.
Visit the Parliament building, seat of the Norwegian National Assembly from 1866. Guided tours of the Parliament building in spring: Saturdays at 10 am, 11.30 am and 1 pm. Meeting point at the Akersgata entrance (the back of the building) 15 minutes before the tour starts. Booking ahead is not possible.
The National Gallery’s collection is Norway’s largest public collection of paintings.
The National Museums contemporary art collection includes both Norwegian and foreign works from the period after 1945.
Nobel Peace Center, Nobels Fredssenter, is a showcase for the Nobel Peace Prize and the ideals it represents. The Center is also an arena where culture and politics merge to promote involvement, debate and reflection around topics such as war, peace and conflict resolution. The Center presents the Nobel Peace Prize laureates and their work, in addition to telling the story of Alfred Nobel and the other Nobel prizes. This is done using multimedia and interactive technology, exhibitions, meetings, debates, theater, concerts and conferences, as well as regular guided tours.
The International Museum of Children’s Art in Oslo, Norway is a pioneer institution, being the world’s first full scale Museum of Child Art. Today, the museum’s art collection contains art works by children and young from more than 180 countries.
Oslo citizens have a lot to be proud of, and bicycling opportunities is just one of the city’s assets. The relatively modest distances between Oslo’s major hubs and sights of interest make cycling a superb means of transport and a fine way to explore the city. Using a bicycle to cover distances of up to 3-4 kilometers (2 miles) is frequently just as fast as, if not faster than, using public transportation.
Walk in the footsteps of Harry Hole, the main character in Jo Nesbø’s criminal novels. Join a guided walk to visit important places from the books. Let two Oslo guides and Jo Nesbø fans take you through a mix of today’s Oslo and Harry Hole’s universe. In addition to some important tourist attractions, like the Royal Palace, you get to see other and less known parts of the capital.
The Oslo Opera House, Operahuset, is the home of The Norwegian National Opera and Ballet, and the national opera theatre in Norway. The building is situated in the Bjørvika neighborhood of central Oslo, at the head of the Oslofjord. It is the largest cultural building constructed in Norway since Nidarosdomen was completed circa 1300.
Oscarsborg Fortress, Oscarsborg festning, is a coastal fortress in the Oslofjord, close to the small town of Drøbak. The fortress is situated on two small islets, and on the mainland to the west and east, in the fjord and was military territory until 2003 when it was made a publicly available resort island. The fortress is best known for sinking the German heavy cruiser Blücher on 9 April 1940.
This is Scandinavia’s only permanent Christmas shop. Half an hour outside Oslo, on the east side of the Oslo Fjord, lays Drøbak. The narrow 18thand 19th-century streets lined with small wooden houses give the town an idyllic touch. The centre of Drøbak is the square Torget where you find the popular Tregaarden’s Christmas House and Santa’s Post Office. They have Norway’s biggest permanent Christmas exhibition. The Christmas house also has its own post office where you can stamp your letters or cards with their official Christmas stamp mark.
Norway’s national sanctuary, Nidaros Cathedral was built over the grave of St. Olav, Norway’s patron saint whose reputation shone far beyond the borders of his country. Construction started in 1070, but the oldest parts still in existence are from the middle of the 12th century. Ravaged by fire on several occasions, the church was rebuilt each time – mainly in the Gothic style, but the oldest parts around the transept reflect the Roman style.
Munkholmen, the monk’s islet, is an islet north of Trondheim, Norway. It sits in the Trondheimsfjord about 1.3 kilometres (0.81 mi) northwest of the island of Brattøra and the mouth of the river Nidelva. The islet has served as a place of execution, a monastery, a fortress, prison, and a World War II anti-aircraft gun station. Today, Munkholmen is a popular tourist attraction and recreation site.
Hadeland Glassverk is a leader in glass design. Designers and glassblowers are continually testing the limits of their art in the Glass Factory. Bring your friends and family and enjoy a exciting day at Hadeland Glassverk. You can visit us all year through and we are open on Sundays.
There are lots of activities for all ages at the Works. You will find the annual art exhibition, historical exhibitions about Blaafarveværket, tourist information, homemade food at the Barrelmakers’ Inn and the Blue Shop. The Children’s Farm is an exciting place for our youngest visitors. 1 hour’s drive from Oslo.