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Norway – a dream destination

We were invited by travel rewards currency Avios to tell them our favourite travel destination in Europe and as someone who is more at home with the countryside than city life, it probably comes as no surprise that my dream destination in Europe is one that is perhaps better known for its rural qualities than for any urban metropolises. Northern Lights When asked by Avios for my “most inspiring destination” in Europe, therefore, I decided to choose Norway. Whether it be the fjords, the Northern Lights, the midnight sun or the outdoors in general, this country has it all and is arguably one of the most beautiful places on the planet. My personal favourite is the fjords of the west coast which in the Summer months are as dramatic as they are green. Whether you enjoy hiking, biking, kayaking, fishing or simply taking in the amazing views, there is something there for everyone to enjoy – a fabulous destination when you’re travelling solo, with a partner or with family. Norwegian fjords The area is easily accessible and each fjord has its own unique character and charm. You’ll find the world’s second longest fjord here (Sognejord, at just over two hundred kilometres long), some amazing waterfalls and the dramatic Preikestolen (also known as Pulpit Rock). A great way to get around if you don’t feel like driving is by rail – if you choose that option, don’t miss the opportunity to go on the Flam Railway where you’ll be able to soak up an amazing panoramic view of the fjords and mountains of the area. Preikestolen Not being a cruise fanatic, I have yet to experience the fjords from the comforts of a cruise ship such as those run by Hurtigruten but, if I was ever to entertain the prospect of going on a cruise, that is certainly one I would consider. Further north in Norway, above the Arctic Circle, you’ll increase your chances of seeing the Northern Lights and midnight sun, as well as open up more possibilities when it comes to wildlife safaris. You could even get to know the Sami, the country’s indigenous people. In the Summer, the sun never sets and you’ll get to enjoy this wonderful landscape all day long… quite literally! In the Winter, you could do something really different such as experience an amazing husky ride. Sami The eastern half of the country is less well known to tourists, perhaps overshadowed by the fjords of the west, but is in fact home to about half of the country’s population because it incorporates Oslo, too. The area still opens up lots of interesting opportunities to outdoor enthusiasts. The mountains of the Jotunheimen National Park, for example, are more remote and wild, but still well worth exploring. Jotunheimen National Park Down in the south of the country, there is a beautiful coastline and lots of interesting little towns and islands to explore. Sorlandet, known as the Norwegian Riviera, has for a long time been the number one destination for Norwegian holidaymakers. Bustling with activity in the Summer months, this is the place to be if you love the water, with fishing, boating, swimming and even a spot of sunbathing all being popular pastimes. Go in the off season and coastal hikes and cycling seem to be more the order of the day. Fishing in Norway So… there you have it – a whirlwind summary of my favourite European destination. Have you been to Norway? What was your favourite part and why? And what is your favourite destination in Europe?  If you’ve been inspired by my selection, click here for 15,000 Avios per person return plus a £35 Reward Flight Saver to fly from London Heathrow to Oslo Airport, Norway with British Airways. Images: Shutterstock

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson is Editor of A Luxury Travel Blog and has worked in the travel industry for more than 30 years. He is Winner of the Innovations in Travel ‘Best Travel Influencer’ Award from WIRED magazine. In addition to other awards, the blog has also been voted “one of the world’s best travel blogs” and “best for luxury” by The Daily Telegraph.

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  1. Those landscapes are truly amazing! Norway has an incredible flora and fauna, I am wondering what is the best moment in the year to discover it

  2. Norway is absolutely packed with unique and stunning things to see. An awesome place to go hiking and I would love to go on a biking trip up there at some point. Though certainly not the cheapest destination, the sights there are simply priceless.

  3. Having been an exchange student to Oslo many moons ago, I’ve always wanted to return. It’s magnificent in every sense. Sognefjord and Lillehammer are two of my most vivid memories from a road trip taken with my exchange family. I also recall lots of fun on the family homestead near the Swedish border, and a chance meeting with King Olav at Akershus fortress.

  4. If you wonder when to visit Norway I would say it all depends on where you are going. Are out going to Sørlandet, like Kristiansand, Grimstad and so on (south-east part), you should go during the summer time, June or July. Arte you going up north you should go during winter. It is dark almost all the time, but it is easier to see the Northern lights at that time of year, also there are a lot of activities you want to do in the snow. West Norway, you should also see in the summer. However I would recommend everyone to go twice, once during summer and once during winter, it is two completely different experiences.

  5. Stunning photos. I’ve wanted to visit Norway for a long time. I’d love to visit on a cruise one day. Seeing the Northern Lights is something I hope to do in the next couple of years if I’m lucky enough. Great post :)

  6. Just got back from a week trip in Stavanger, Norway. The Fjords are a must see! The hikes to Kjerag and Pulpit Rock were awesome to and your treated to a great view when you arrive!

  7. I haven’t been to Norway but of all the places in Europe it’s at the very top of the list. It looks so stunning. I’m very curious to know how it compares to Fiordland in New Zealand.

  8. this is beautiful, I can’t wait to go there one day. I wonder if the northern lights are better there or Iceland? My son wants to see them in person badly!

  9. Thanks for this story. We are flirting with a trip to the Arctic Circle in 2015. The range of places (Norway, Finland, Iceland, Canada, Alaska) is as impressive as it is varied. Your post is very helpful to us as we start thinking about what kind of adventure we seek when we head north.

    We are getting the impression that multiple trips to different places might be in order!

    Thanks for the post.

  10. Cant wait to go there next summer! I met someone at the Yoga Centre I visit each year who was from Norway. Heard such amazing stories of survival in such an extreme weather. Also told us that things are extremely expensive there as compared to India. So waiting to fill in before I visit Norway!

  11. Norway most definitely is one of the ‘dream destinations’ from the Nordics. We are seeing it coming through more and becoming as popular as the other top Nordic destinations like Sweden and Denmark. We would love to see some more from the Nordic destinations on A Luxury Travel Blog!

  12. Norway definitely is one of the most ‘dream destinations’ from the Nordics. Can’t wait to go there! It really is my Dream destination. I will definitely plan to go to Norway Someday. I really loved your blog. Keep Posting.

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