After sailing through the majestic fjords of Norway, it’s hard to even imagine a more breathtaking place on the planet. During a Viking Cruises journey Into the Midnight Sun we were able to get a glimpse of this enchanting part of the world. Here are 7 places we visited in Norway on this cruise with some inspiring images to feed your travel appetite.
Well north of the tree-line and the Arctic Circle, Honningsvåg is classified as the northernmost city in Norway. Rich in history, this picturesque fishing village offers quaint homes, ethereal views, and Nordic culture steeped in northern tradition.
Nordkapp (the Norwegianize term for North Cape) is just a short drive from Honningsvåg and is the northernmost point in all of Europe. The impressive visitor’s center has a range of offerings. A short walk down into the heart of the cliff upon which the center is resting will allow you to see a cinematic presentation of North Cape throughout the seasons. There is also a great place to eat Norwegian waffles and shop for souvenirs.
The iconic globe of North Cape overlooks a vast seaward expanse from a 1,000-foot cliff.
The midnight sun can be seen in Honningsvåg from May 14th to July 29th. During this time the sun will be out 24 hours a day and only dip close to the horizon before rising up again. It’s truly a unique experience.
With a population of 65,000, Tromsø, is one of the larger towns in the northern regions of Norway. I immediately fell in love with this wonderful city and its rich heritage. Expeditions to the North Pole were often launched from this city and a wonderful museum highlights some of tales of these brave adventurers.
I recommend visitors take the cable car up the mountain to see the fantastic views over the island of Tromsø to really soak in this enchanting place. You can also visit the unique, modern cathedral in town and visit unique shops along old cobble-stone streets.
Lofoten Islands (Leknes)
This was the first glimpse of Norway that we encountered on our 14-day Viking cruise Into the Midnight Sun. This ancient land of the Vikings immediately stood out with its regal mountains, jagged peaks, and unique scenery in every direction. Our ship docked at Leknes in the Lofoten Islands. This quiet town of 10,000 is the largest in Lofoten and is the shopping center of the islands. While Leknes does not depend on its fishing industry as other areas in this region, there are some stunning mountain peaks, tunnels, and white sandy beaches throughout the area. You will also find sheep roaming the countryside and campers set up in tents along the pristine sandy beaches in the summer time.
As someone who dabbles in photography I was like a kid in a candy shop the moment I visited Trollstigen. Meaning “The Trolls Road”, Trollstigen is a scenic road that winds through some of the most breathtaking and gut-wrenching countryside you can ever witness. While our ship was at port in Molde, Norway, I decided to go on this amazing excursion that navigated through the serpentine roadway.
You can see from the photos that the trip is worth it, and I can’t wait to go back and spend more time in this area. There are some hiking routes that will allow you to check out these views the old-fashioned way if you have more time.
The 11 switch-backs that traverse down this mountainside were too much for some on our bus to take-in, but I loved every second of it, all while being very impressed by our bus driver’s skills.
Trolls are a big part of Norwegian culture and history, and the name of this next place is more evidence of that. Meaning “Troll Wall”, Trollvegen is a massive ridge-line and the tallest vertical rock-face in all of Europe. Because of this fact some base-jumpers have been enticed by Trollvegen, even though the practice is illegal in Norway and 8 have died trying to base-jump from the Troll Wall. Trollvegen is 5,600 feet in elevation and 3,600 feet from it’s base to its highest point.
The views from the base of Trollvegen are astounding and are definitely worth a visit, as it’s only a short drive from Trollstigen.
For a town that only has a couple hundred full-time residents, there is a reason so many people from all over the world want to see Geiranger. It can be described as one of the most breathtakingly awe-inspiring places you will ever see. Since 2005 this has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it’s not hard to see why. From the Seven Sisters waterfall to the overlook views of deep-cut fjords, you won’t be able to stop taking pictures.
Being the 3rd most visited cruise port in all of Norway, there are some attempts to cut down on the number of ships that visit this area. It makes sense too, as I could see from our visit how crowded things can get in this little town. With so many buses on narrow, winding roads, limiting the number of tourists will make the experience that must better for those who do visit, but put this place on your bucket list now.
I can’t even describe the beauty of these views, so I will just allow you to see what the camera captured and hope it gives you an idea of what it’s like to be at gorgeous Geiranger.
Bergen is a very old city in the southern area of Norway that dates back to the 9th and 10th century. The city of 265,000 has had several devastating fires in its history, but has managed to both preserve and blend it’s rich maritime history with inviting municipal offerings.
Any time you see any article or post about Bergen you will undoubtedly see the iconic shops along the old wharf. Not only do these shops have unique and interesting finds, but the buildings themselves are a national treasure.
The Fløibanen Funicular is a great way to see panoramic views of Bergen from the mountainside and also check out some of the fun things to do once at the top. There are farm animals, playgrounds, ice cream stations, and more than just great views to be found.
You can see more pictures in a slideshow from this trip here.
Norway is such a beautiful country, and I’m sure many other places could add to this list of 7. These just happen to be some places we visited on our cruise that were extra impressive. Have you been to any wonderful places in Norway that you would like to add? Let us know in the comments below.