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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Before you scroll by way 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 your complete yr to splurge on that customary, all-inclusive seaside getaway.

A 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 thought of embarking on a Transatlantic journey proper now may sound unappealing, however what if you don’t should escape winter to have a cracking time in your subsequent trip?

Allow me to elucidate why winter is my favourite season to go to Norway, one of many world’s most Northerly international locations – and one of many most secure ones at that – and why you need to give it an opportunity your self:

Why Is Norway Becoming So Popular As A Winter Destination?

Norway is surging in reputation in 2024, and I can’t say I’m shocked: one of many the reason why I fell in love with it within the first place was how unspoiled and ample the character is.

Though it boasts a excessive Human Development Index and 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 airplane and breathe within the crisp, contemporary mountain air, with out having solid a single look on the nearest mahoosive peak but, you realize you’re not in terminally-industrialized Germany, nor overpolluted France anymore.

traveler with backpack hiking in Norway mountains

Caribbean seashores are nice, however I’m positive 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, scorching chockie in hand, watching the blizzard from the window could be simply as alluring a prospect.

Why Fly To Norway For A Winter Wonderland When You Can Go To Aspen Instead?

You could also be questioning why precisely I’m attempting to persuade you to fly midway throughout the globe for a winter vacation when you can simply go to Colorado as a substitute: as lovely as it might be, the Centennial State lacks Norway’s mystique, historic tradition, scenic railways and hearty ‘Scandi’ meals.

Still, this can be a large nation we’re speaking about, with a fjord-traversed shoreline extending for 1,100 miles alongside the North Sea, and should you’re warming as much as the thought of happening just a little low season Viking journey, chances are you’ll be questioning the place to go for probably the most epic surroundings.

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

4 Incredible Destinations To Visit In Norway In The Colder Months

Flåm

Flåm, a small village on the innermost a part of the historic Aurlandsfjord, is one in every of Europe’s best-hidden secrets and techniques this winter, residence to the four-star Fretheim Hotel, in-built basic chalet model, an award-winning microbrewery, and the world-famous Flåmsbana practice.

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

Sauna tradition will not be 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 sights, with FjordSauna welcoming visitors onboard floating steam rooms on the fringe of the ice-covered fjord.

If you’re a fan of the Vikings, you can take a day journey out to Gudvangen to see a Norsemen village functioning as a people 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.

Popular for its gondola rides, diverse collection of Haute delicacies eating places, and surprisingly big selection of leisure choices – it has its very personal skydiving middle – this laid-back alpine village will not be 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 Europe

Additionally, 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 wood cabins – and three distinguished eating places for both high-quality or informal eating.

Prices 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 Europe

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

Bodø, Norway

A captivating fishing port in Northern Norway, Bodø was recognized by the European Commission 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 greatest recognized for its walkable, museum-packed historic middle, vibrant artwork scene, with progressive installations and awe-inspiring road artwork lurking in each nook, and lately, it’s developed a repute for being a foodie hotspot.

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

Reindeer is usually served in eating places, in step with Northern Europe’s staple eating regimen, and it’s Kjelen kafé in Bodø the place you’ll discover probably 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 way of March, but it surely’s usually within the darkest of nights the sky bursts into 1,000,000 completely different shades of inexperienced and purple (sure, we’re speaking about Aurora sightings).

Northern Lights Pictured In Norway, Scandinavia

Lofoten

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

Three of probably the most sought-after winter actions amongst guests to the archipelago embody horse using, 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, Norway

Village-hopping across the islands can be a must-do: Reine and Nusfjord are significantly lovely, 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 usually maritime, which 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.

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

Why Is Norway Surging In Popularity Despite The Harsh Winters?

According to 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 vastly improved connectivity within the space.

Airplane Taking Off From Snowy Runway, Unspecified Location

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

Wintertime visitor bookings between 105 journey firms throughout Norway now complete 350,000 so far, with Best 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 various vacationer provide, superb meals, and rising reputation as a cultural vacation spot as three of the primary drives behind the rise in demand, despite its harsh winters.

What I Think As Someone Who’s Been To Norway In Winter

Personally, I’d add tourist-friendliness as a significant component contributing to Norway’s surging reputation as a year-round vacation spot.

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

Naturally, you need to handle your expectations: going mountain climbing in most trails will not be doable because of the heavy snowfall and poor visibility, so you may scrap the enduring Trolltunga or go away it for the hotter months, however there’s nonetheless lots to maintain you entertained on the character entrance.

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

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

The Northern Lights In Norway, Unspecified Location

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

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

According to the U.S. Department of State, it’s one in every of a handful of locations globally to take pleasure in a Level 1 standing, which means vacationers wouldn’t have to be overly involved about their security when visiting.

Winter in Bergen Norway

Violent crime charges are negligible, pickpocketing will not be frequent, in contrast to in different European states, and poverty ranges are very, very low. Whether you’re in a significant city middle like Oslo or Bergen or the huge countryside and fjordlands, you may put your worries about private security apart.

The greatest menace going through Norway these days is recurring terrorist assaults, like most Western international locations, however even these don’t occur on a big scale.

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

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This article initially appeared on TravelOffPath.com

Opinions expressed listed here 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 publish.



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