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Norway holidays tailor-made

Norway is one of Europe's most adventurous and luxurious destinations, a little populated but scenically stupendous country where outdoor experiences are the focal point of tailor-made tours in both summer and winter. [See Norway holidays tailor-made itinerary ideas]

Cruising the stunning Norwegian fjords, which extend all the way up the west coast of the country, is a key Norway travel highlight. And rightly so - they are truly breathtaking. Geirangerfjord, Sognefjord and Hardangerfjord are the best known and most visited, and seeing at least one of these three is hugely recommended.

You might also like to try fishing for king crabs in the Arctic Circle under the Midnight Sun, watching sea eagles in the Lofoten Islands, seeing the swirling and shifting Northern Lights while staying in an ice hotel in deep winter, visiting stave churches or small coastal towns, or combining several activities via some of the Norway's most scenic coastal and mountain self-drive routes.

There's also the chance to see polar bears by joining an Arctic expedition cruise in the Svalbard archipelago, a remote outpost of Norway where polar bears outnumber humans.

Back on the mainland, the pretty historic west coast port city of Bergen and the cultured capital of Oslo are two of the most popular starting points for Norway holidays. Both cities are ideal short break destinations, with Viking museums, art galleries and lots of other attractions close at hand. But if time allows it's well worth venturing further afield to see what else Norway has to offer.

The Oslo to Bergen railway is an especially memorable way to travel from one city to the other and can be incorporated into a ‘Norway in a nutshell' tour that includes the dramatic Flam railway and the much-vaunted western fjords.

WEXAS offers a range of luxury holidays in Norway.  

Wexas Travel brochure for Norway holidays tailor-made

Scandinavia 2014/15

Our in depth guide packed with background information, sample itineraries designed by our experts and hand-picked suggestions for what to see and do, where to stay and when best to go.


When to go

"It's the great north wind that made the Vikings."
Scandinavian proverb

The two main seasons for travel to Norway are Summer and Winter - and for radically different reasons.

Summer is wonderful for hiking, sailing, kayaking, white-water rafting and other outdoor pursuits among the breathtaking fjords, glaciers, rivers and mountains. The main season runs from mid-June to mid-August, though many operators open from May to late September. The midnight sun keeps burning over most of the country from late May to mid-July, and from late April to late August in Arctic Svalbard.

Norway's long, dark winters attract cross-country and downhill skiers, and increasing numbers of snow safari aficionados, combining activities like dog-sledding, ice fishing and snowmobiling. February is generally the coldest month, but offers the best opportunities to witness the northern lights.

Easter is the time to catch traditional Sami festivals, and mid-May can offer a colourful glimpse of the brief Norwegian spring. Autumn can be stunning too, but bitterly cold in the far north.

JANUARY FEBRUARY MARCH APRIL MAY JUNE JULY AUGUST SEPTEMBER OCTOBER NOVEMBER DECEMBER
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Essential Experiences

We’ve rounded up our list of recommended sites and things to do. Click on the map to enlarge it and see what we suggest or follow the links in the list to discover how to get the best out of your holiday.


Practical Information

Capital - Oslo

Size - 324,000 sq km

Language - Bokmal Norwegian and Nynorsk Norwegian are the official languages and there are small Sami and Finnish speaking minorities. Sami is official in six municipalities.

Population - 4.7 million

Religion - Evangelical Lutheran (Church of Norway) is the predominant and official religion. Others include Roman Catholic, Pentecostal and other Christian and Muslim.

Currency - Norwegian krone (NOK)

Time zone - GMT + 1

Flight time - 2/2½ hours 

Festivals

Late January - Northern Lights Festival, Tromsø: week-long classic and contemporary music festival marking the return of the sun.

February - Sami Week, Tromsø: Sami crafts market, national lasso throwing championship and reindeer-sled race, surrounding the Sami National Day, 06 February.

March/April - Birkebeinerrennet: 58km cross-country ski race from Rena to Lillehammer, following the route taken by Håkon Håkonsson when the young prince was taken over the mountains to safety in 1206.

March/April - Finnmarksvidda Easter festivals: Sami celebrations marking the start of spring include folk music concerts, art exhibitions, church services and traditional sports such as reindeer-sled racing, cross-country skiing and lassoing.

May/June - Bergen International Festival: city-wide contemporary music festival.

June - Norwegian Wood, Oslo: three-day open-air rock festival in Frogner Park with international acts and local bands.

June - Extreme Sport Week, Voss: Ekstremsportveko (or 'Veko' to the locals) combines international competitions in paragliding, base jumping, rafting, bungee jumping and other thrill-seeking pursuits with a suitably loud music festival.

June - Midnight Sun Marathon, Tromsø: annual international night run under the Arctic sun.

July - Kongsberg Jazz Festival: four-day festival of mostly Norwegian jazz.

July - Moldejazz: six days of jazz attracting international stars.

July - St Olav Festival, Stiklestad, Trondheim and countrywide: historical pageants, plays and other activities commemorating Norway's first Christian king, killed at the Battle of Stiklestad on 29 July 1030.

July/August - Rauma Rock, Åndalsnes: two-day/two-night international rock festival.

August - International Chamber Music Festival, Stavanger: a statelier-than-average music festival including recitals in Stavanger Cathedral.

August - Oslo Jazz Festival: a six-day event with big-name international performers.

August - Norwegian International Film Festival, Haugesund: 'the Nordic Cannes' with invitation-only industry-focused screenings.

September - Dyrsku'n Festival, Seljord: Norway's largest traditional market and cattle show.

September - Ultima, Oslo: ten-day festival of contemporary classical music featuring Scandinavian and international musicians.

October - UKA, Trondheim: the largest cultural festival in Norway, lasting 25 days, and arranged solely by student volunteers. Biennial (2013, 2015, etc.).

October - Bergen International Film Festival: public-facing film festival established in 2000 when Bergen was a European Capital of Culture, and now the country's biggest.

October - Svalbard Blues, Longyearbyen: scheduled concerts and improvised jam sessions herald the return of the long polar night.

Visas

Please note that entry requirements and visa regulations can change often and at short notice. We can provide general information about the passport and visa requirements for your trip and this information may be included after the itinerary section of your quotation. Your specific passport and visa requirements and other immigration requirements are your responsibility and you should confirm these with the relevant Embassies and/or Consulates. Neither we nor the principal(s) or supplier(s) accept any responsibility if you cannot travel because you have not complied with any passport, visa or immigration requirements. Please call your WEXAS specialist if you wish to discuss entry requirements.

Passport requirements

Passports must be valid for the full duration of your stay. No additional period of validity is required.

Money

"It's such sport with these heroes of finance; they are like beads on a string - when one slips off, all the rest follow."
Henrik Ibsen, The League of Youth

Currency

Notes and coins are issued by the Central Bank of Norway. Coins come in denominations of 1, 5, 10 and 20 kroner; notes in 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1,000 kroner. The krone is divided into 100 øre, but the last small-change coin, the 50 øre, was withdrawn from circulation in May 2012.

ATMs

ATMs are everywhere in towns and cities, and in rural areas you can usually withdraw money at kiosks or petrol stations.

Cash and EFTPOS

Always keep some cash on you for small purchases. If you wish to withdraw or exchange money over the counter, banks are normally open from 9 am to 3.30 pm on Monday to Friday only, with longer hours on Thursdays to 5 or 5.30 pm. Credit and debit cards are accepted almost everywhere, even for small amounts like parking fees or tolls. Some supermarkets and grocery stores accept foreign debit cards but not credit cards.

Guideline prices

Norwegian prices can be a shock to first-time travellers. A bottle of beer in a bar is around 60 kr, a main course in a good restaurant 200-250 kr, and a bottle of wine 350 kr. Car rental for a week is 3,000-6,000 kr, depending on season, location and type of vehicle.

Regions [12]

Click on a place name below to find out more. Alternatively, to start planning where to go in Norway holidays tailor-made, talk to one of our destination specialists on 020 7590 0618.

Northern Norway

In Northern Norway the season in which you travel is more important than anywhere else in the country. Here, high up in the Arctic Circle, visitors can experience the most dramatic changes in daylight and darkness in the country.

Oslo

Oslo is Norway's confident and culturally rich capital. Its showpiece museums and galleries, combined with pretty parks and opportunities for island hopping boat tours in the Oslofjord, make this one of Scandinavia's most exciting city break destinations.

Southern Norway

Southern Norway is a fine summer holiday destination, known for its pretty harbour towns with white-painted houses and a craggy coastline. It might not have the wild drama of other parts of Norway, but its skerries, forests, inlets and family-friendly beaches make this …

Stavanger

Svalbard

The Svalbard islands are Norway's Arctic Ocean outpost, a hostile but breathtaking wilderness of ice caps and glaciers, mountains and coalmines. Polar bears outnumber humans in this untamed landscape 650 kilometres from the mainland and seeing these powerful creatures …

Tromso

Tromso, the ‘Capital of the North', is a lively university town surrounded by mountains, fjords and islands. This extremely likable and walkable city has for many years been the jumping off point for Arctic expeditions and adventures, and continues to be a hub for …

Western Norway

Western Norway is best known for its deep fjords and towering mountains, which comprise some of the most spectacular scenery to be found anywhere in Europe. The rugged, expansive and breathtaking fjords continue all the way along the Norwegian coast as far as the …


Itinerary ideas [49]

The itinerary ideas listed below are designed to give you a flavour of the things to do in Norway holidays tailor-made. We can adjust any element and tailor-make your trip though, to suit your individual needs and available time. To start planning your trip, talk to one of our destination specialists on 020 7590 0618.

Cruise into the Northern Lights Norway

Special offer From £795 pp incl. flights
Activity adventure Exploration cruise Natural world

Hurtigruten ships have been an integral part of Norwegian coastal life for more than 100 years, delivering freight, post and passengers to remote communities …

Norway's Best of the West

Special offer From £885 pp incl. flights
Activity adventure Natural world Self-drive

The architecturally impressive coastal town of Alesund and the equally striking Hotel Union in Geirangerfjord provide perfect bases from which to explore the …

Hardangerfjord in a Nutshell

From £750 pp incl. flights
Activity adventure City History & culture

A journey through the Hardangerfjord region is a chance to witness some of Norway's most awe-inspiring fjord scenery. It can be explored independently on a …

The Wideroe Explore Norway Ticket 13-day independent tour

From £1,850 pp incl. flights
Activity adventure City History & culture

Norway is blessed with some of Scandinavia's most breathtaking landscapes, interesting historical sites and vibrant cities. All of which makes it a great …

Fjord Escape to Bergen & Balestrand

From £995 pp incl. flights
Activity adventure History & culture Natural world

Norway is rightly renowned for its majestic scenery and there's no better example of this than the sublime landscapes of its dramatic fjords.

Tromsø & Malangen Brygger

From £875 pp incl. flights
Activity adventure History & culture Luxury travel

A relatively new arrival on the Tromsø winter scene, Malangen Brygger is already a hit with our staff and clients alike, due in no small part to its incredible …

Fjord Focus in Norway

From £1,085 pp incl. flights
Activity adventure City Exploration cruise

Everything about Geirangerfjord is dramatic: a great slice of deep blue, snaking like an ‘S' between sheer rock walls and cascading waterfalls. This is just …

Highlights of Norway

From £675 pp incl. flights
Activity adventure City History & culture

See the best of Norway on this five-day journey from Oslo to Bergen, designed by our travel experts to capture the essence of Norway's magnificent fjords and …

Spitsbergen & Tromso

From £1,075 pp incl. flights
Activity adventure City History & culture

Spitsbergen - the main island of the Svalbard archipelago - lies a few hundred miles north of the Norwegian mainland and deep within the Arctic Circle. It's …

Whale-watching in the Midnight Sun

From £1,430 pp incl. flights
Activity adventure City History & culture

Northern Norway is without doubt one of the most beautiful regions of Scandinavia, full of beautiful fjords, snow-capped mountains and an abundance of wonderful …

Motorhomes in Scandinavia

From £695 pp incl. flights
Activity adventure Self-drive Summer

Few other forms of travel offer the same freedom as that of a motorhome. Convenience, flexibility, the option to where you like, when you like, the freedom of …

Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel, Alta, Norway

From £1,080 pp incl. flights
Activity adventure Ice hotels Natural world

Norwegian Lapland - or Finnmark as it is also known - is home to Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel (formerly the Alta Igloo). Every year this architectural splendour is …

Lyngen Lodge and the Northern Lights

From £1,205 pp incl. flights
Activity adventure Natural world Northern lights

Set amongst some of Norway's most spectacular scenery, deep inside the Arctic Circle and around three hours from the city of Tromsø, Lyngen Lodge offers guests …

Explore Central Norway with Wideroe

From £1,485 pp incl. flights
Activity adventure City History & culture

Wideroe offers Norway's most comprehensive network of domestic flights, taking visitors to all corners of this spectacular Scandinavian destination. Visitors …

A ship in the ice Svalbard, Norway

From £2,995 pp incl. flights
Activity adventure Natural world Short break

Even in the Arctic where adventures abound, staying aboard the world’s only hotel ship frozen in sea ice, wondering when the next 700-kilo polar bear is going …

The sun returns to the ship in the ice

From £1,650 pp incl. flights
Activity adventure Natural world Short break

Following an autumn tracking shoals of herring around the beautiful Lofoten Islands of northern Norway, the good ship Noorderlicht returns to Tempelfjorden in …

Kirkenes Snowhotel Break, Norway

From £1,015 pp incl. flights
Activity adventure Ice hotels Natural world

Journey to the frontier town of Kirkenes in northern Norway where you'll spend four days exploring this stunning winter wilderness on the shores of the Barents …

Winter at Ongajok Mountain Resort

From £675 pp incl. flights
Activity adventure Natural world Northern lights

Ongajok Mountain Resort is tucked away in the remote far north of Arctic Lapland, about 25km from Alta. As Top Gear's Richard Hammond remarked of his stay here: …

Hardangerfjord by car

From £895 pp incl. flights
City History & culture Natural world

The apple blossom season is one of the most delightful times of year to visit the 'garden of Norway' and this six-day summer self-drive itinerary sees the …

Fjords & Mountains self-drive

From £1,370 pp incl. flights
Activity adventure City Natural world

Mountain biking, hiking and fjord cruises are just a few of the outdoors activities that can be experienced during a tour through the breathtaking mountains and …

Gastronomy of the Fjords

From £1,145 pp incl. flights
Activity adventure Food & wine Natural world

The spectacular western fjords are explored on this unforgettable tailor-made self-drive route that starts and ends in the historic port city of Bergen.

The southern fjords self drive

From £1,245 pp incl. flights
Activity adventure Natural world Self-drive

The southern fjord regions of Stavanger and Hardangerfjord boast some of Norway's most spectacular natural attractions, including Solastranden beach - …

5 nights - Oslo and The Atlantic Road

From £895 pp incl. flights
City History & culture Natural world

The Atlantic Road, which links the islands between Molde and Kristiansund along Norway's west coast, is considered by many to be one of the most spectacular …

Northern Lights & Whales in Tromsø

From £530 pp incl. flights
Activity adventure City Natural world

Once dubbed the 'Paris of the North', Tromsø is Norway's largest city inside the Arctic Circle and one of the best places on earth to see the Northern Lights, …

Fjord Norway with Wideroe

From £1,185 pp incl. flights
City History & culture Natural world

Wideroe operates a comprehensive range of domestic air routes within Norway, allowing visitors the freedom to explore great swathes of the country that would …

Arctic Adventure Cruise

From £1,285 pp incl. flights
Exploration cruise History & culture Ice hotels

Delight in a Norwegian coastal Arctic cruise travelling from Bergen to Alesund, Trondheim, the Lofoten Islands, Tromso & Kirkenes, and finish with a unique stay …

The Western Fjords of Norway with De Historiske

From £1,685 pp incl. flights
City History & culture Natural world

De Historiske hotels are not ordinary hotels. They are landed estates, country houses, manors, timber-built hotels in pseudo-Swiss and Jugend style, old …

Hiking in Hardangerfjord

From £695 pp incl. flights
Activity adventure City Natural world

Norway boasts some truly magnificent and dramatic fjordland scenery and what better way to experience it than by leaving the road behind and enjoying some of …

Fjord Fiesta in Norway

From £1,450 pp incl. flights
City Natural world Self-drive

This scenic nine-day tailor-made fly-drive holiday takes in some of western Norway's most picturesque landscapes as you travel from Alesund to Geiranger and on …

Lofoten Islands, Norway

From £1,595 pp incl. flights
Natural world Self-drive Summer

By any criteria, the Lofoten Islands are incredibly beautiful: an Arctic landscape of soaring mountains, deep blue fjords, squawking sea birds and long, …

Hurtigruten – Classic round-trip voyage

From £1,415 pp incl. flights
Activity adventure Exploration cruise History & culture

Norway's legendary Hurtigruten cruise ships sail along its intricate western coastline, a region of fjords, glaciers, mountains and, in the winter months, the …

Along the Pilgrim’s Trail in Dovrefjell, Norway

Call for details

The road is the oldest connection between Oslo and Trondheim and this tour is literally a walk through Norwegian history, combined with spectacular scenery …

Journey to the Northern Lights

Call for details
Activity adventure Exploration cruise Natural world

Winter in the Lofoten Islands provides an untrammelled landscape of snow-covered mountains, icy fjords, bracing beaches and colourful fishing villages. Northern …

Trondheim & Røros

Call for details
History & culture Northern lights Rail journey

This five-day tailor-made tour combines two of the greatest attractions in Trøndelag: historical Trondheim and UNESCO World Heritage-listed Rorøs, enjoying …

Alta - City of the Northern Lights

Call for details
Activity adventure City Natural world

Alta is the perfect destination to see the spectacular beauty of the Aurora Borealis, with the Lights visible on an average 200 nights each year from October to …

Fjord Norway

Call for details
Activity adventure Honeymoon Luxury travel

Western Norway is famous for its spectacular and easily accessible fjords and mountains. With snow-covered peaks, wild waterfalls, lush vegetation, gleaming …

Engholm Husky Lodge

Call for details
Activity adventure History & culture Natural world

Engholm Husky Lodge is a wonderful, warm and welcoming design lodge located next to the Karasjohka River, six kilometres from the town of Karasjok. This is …

Luxury hiking in the Lyngen Alps

Call for details
Activity adventure Luxury travel Natural world

The spectacular landscape of the Lyngen Alps offer some of Norway's most dramatic scenery and best hiking trails. Located just outside of Tromsø inside the …

The great Norwegian coastal tour

Call for details
Activity adventure Exploration cruise History & culture

The Norwegian coast, stretching from the charming town of Bergen in the south to the Arctic town of Kirkenes in the north, is a treasure trove of natural …

Skiing in Norway

Call for details
Activity adventure Ski Winter

Norway is a superb skiing destination, with modern facilities and a climate that almost guarantees snow throughout the ski season from mid December until April. …

Norway's Winter fjords & mountains

Call for details
Activity adventure Natural world Winter

Norway's spectacular fjords and mountains look just as spectacular in winter as they do in summer, offering up incredible views at every turn as well as a …

Beitostølen mountain break

Call for details
Activity adventure Short break Ski

This five-day mini mountain adventure begins with a night in Oslo and a chance to explore the Norwegian capital. Then feel like a rock star as you fly in what's …

Norway. Bergen & The Atlantic Road

Call for details
Escorted tour

Hailed as one of the finest tourist roads in the world by The Guardian, The Atlantic Road in Norway winds like a sea serpent over islets linking together the …

Winter adventure to the ship in the ice

Call for details
Activity adventure Natural world Short break

As the sun returns to the remote Arctic wilderness of Svalbard after its long winter break, so does the chance explore some of Scandinavia's most spectacular …

Places to stay [10]

The places to stay listed below only represent a handful of the accommodation options available in Norway holidays tailor-made. We can also recommend and arrange accommodation to suit your personal tastes and budget. To start planning where to stay in Norway holidays tailor-made, talk to one of our destination specialists on 020 7590 0618.

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Just back from: Norway's fjords

WEXAS Travel's David Warne acquaints himself with the three f's - fish, fjords and fires - that have … [Read more about Just back from: Norway's fjords]

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