According to DIGOPAUL, the Kingdom of Norway extends beyond the Arctic Circle to the northernmost point of Europe – the North Cape. On land, Norway shares borders with Sweden, Finland and Russia. Norway is an elongated and narrow country, more than 30% of its territory is covered with forests, many rivers and lakes. More than half of the country’s area is occupied by mountain ranges.
The length of the outer coast is 2650 km. The coast of Norway is deeply indented by narrow sea bays called fjords. The longest fjord is the Sognefjord (204 km). The highest mountain: Galdhepiggen – 2469 m. The longest river: Glomma – 600 km. The largest lake: Miessa – 362 km. The largest glacier in Europe is the Yustadal. The largest waterfall in Europe is Mardalsfossen.
Norway includes about 50,000 islands. The coast is washed by the Atlantic Ocean and thanks to the warm current of the Gulf Stream, the climate in Norway is temperate continental, mild and favorable. The main treasure of Norway is nature. Thousands of secluded bays and picturesque fjords encircle its coast, and low mountains covered with forests and meadows create a unique flavor of this country. Thousands of clean lakes and rivers provide a unique opportunity to enjoy fishing and water sports, and carefully protected nature allows you to get acquainted with one of the most untouched corners of Europe. Large national parks: Bergefjell, South Spitsbergen, North West Spitsbergen, North East Swaldbard.
Norway is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary form of government. The monarchy has a strong position in the state, and the reigning king Harald V is very popular and respected among the inhabitants of the country.
The monetary unit is the Norwegian krone. Norway leads the list of the most prosperous countries in terms of economic development, life expectancy, health care and education. Norway’s per capita income is one of the highest in the world, and unemployment is one of the lowest in the world at 3.7%. Oil and gas deposits in the North Sea are one of the foundations of the Norwegian economy. Other leading industries include fishing, timber, paper, mining, and shipbuilding.
Time in Norway is 1 hour behind Minsk time.
The mains voltage is 220 V, 50 Hz.
Communication When making an international call from Norway, dial 115 to reach the operator. There are coin-operated and magnetic card phones in the country. Cards can be purchased at Narvestan kiosks and post offices. To access the international network, dial the code 00. Oslo Card gives free entry to most of the city’s museums and attractions, guarantees unlimited travel by public transport. Students and people over 60 years of age, according to Norwegian rules, pay half the price of tickets in museums.
Shops, as a rule, work from 10.00 to 17.00, supermarkets – from 9 to 19 hours, on Saturday – until 15 – 16 hours. Toilets in shops and cafes are free, in other places the cost of a token is 5 kroons. Gas stations often sell groceries and are open until 11 pm. Many kiosks and vending machines are open in the evenings and on weekends (usually until 10 pm or 11 pm). In more than 2,600 stores, when buying goods in excess of 308 NOK, you will be issued a special check TAX – FREE. Upon presentation of a receipt, passport and goods sealed in the store at customs, you will be reimbursed from 11 to 18% of the purchase amount. Tips in restaurants and taxis should be rounded to the nearest whole crown.
Norwegian roads are considered among the best in the world. Direct highways are only in close proximity to major cities. Outside built-up areas, the maximum speed is limited to 80 km/h. In populated areas, the speed limit is 50 km/h. During the day, you must drive with the dipped beam headlights on all the time. The use of a seat belt is mandatory. You can travel by train by purchasing, for example, a monthly pass for Norway (or all of Scandinavia). It is designed for an unlimited number of trips. The bus service is connected to other modes of transport: ferries, ships, trains and planes.
Duty-free import is allowed: cigarettes – 200 pcs or 250 g of tobacco products, alcoholic beverages – 1 liter of strong, 1 liter of wine and 2 liters of beer, perfumes – within the limits of personal needs; food – 10 kg: (15 kg when entering the country through the northern provinces of Troms, Finnmark and Nordland) canned meat – no more than 3 kg, sugar – no more than 5 kg, chocolate products – no more than 1 kg; motor gasoline – no more than 200 liters, including no more than 10 liters in a canister. The total cost of the above products should not exceed 5,000 kroons (2,000 kroons if staying in the country for less than 24 hours).
It is forbidden to import: weapons and ammunition, drugs, medicines and poisons, alcoholic beverages with a strength of more than 60 °, meat and meat products, dairy products if they are made outside of Scandinavia and Finland.
It is forbidden to export: protected species of animals and birds; items of artistic, cultural and historical value. It is allowed to import medicines only for personal use, with confirmation from the attending physician. Import of foreign and national currency is not limited. Export of imported foreign currency is allowed, national – no more than 5000 kroons. When importing and exporting foreign and national currency in the amount of more than 25 thousand kroons (except for traveler’s checks), a declaration is required.
As souvenirs from Norway, you can bring a variety of knitted items, items made of tin and silver, deer skins, troll figurines, earthenware, porcelain and glassware, smoked fish. Store hours vary widely across the country. In large settlements, department stores and large stores are usually open Monday to Friday from 09.00 – 10.00 to 17.00, on Thursday – from 09.00 – 10.00 to 19.00 – 20.00, and on Saturday – from 09.00 – 10.00 to 15.00 – 16.00. Many supermarkets and large shopping malls are open until late in the evening. Kiosks and small private shops are often also open in the evenings and on weekends until 22.00 – 23.00, and Seven-Ileven shops are open around the clock.
The most important holiday in Norway is Constitution Day. It is celebrated on May 17, on this day many Norwegians go out into the streets in traditional folk costumes. Another popular holiday is Midsummer’s Eve. It is usually held on July 23rd and is celebrated by lighting bonfires on the banks of the Lappa (Saami). In Karasjok and Kautokeino, the tradition of celebrating Easter is preserved. Festivals include reindeer races, joiks (traditional singing) and concerts.
January 1 – New Year
April 9 – Maundy Thursday
April 10 – Good Friday
April 13 – Easter
May 1 – Labor Day
May 17 – Constitution Day
May 31 – Spirits Day
June 1 – Trinity
July 23 – Midsummer’s Eve
December 25 – 26 – Christmas
Norwegian cuisine is based on fish and other seafood. Popular dishes of Norwegian cuisine include: cod “torsk”, salted herring “boknafisk”, “fiskemelje” – chopped cod liver with fish caviar, marinated herring “sursild”, “fiskeboller” – fish meatballs with bechamel sauce, fried or smoked salmon ” laki”, shchi – fish soup with meatballs and egg, boiled shrimp “reker”, sea scallop stewed in milk with celery and garlic. Whale meat and various dishes from it are also considered a traditional dish. During the Christmas holidays, Lutefisk is very popular – smoked dried cod with a special taste.
Geilo is one of the most popular ski resorts in Norway, located at an altitude of 800 m above sea level. The highest point is 1178 meters. The resort is also called the “city of mountaineering” and the “mountain city of Norway”. It was here in 1935 that the first ski competitions in Norway were held.
Nearby is the national park on the plateau “Hardanger”, which is the largest in Europe, and the famous fjords of Western Norway. Geilo is known as one of the best ski resorts in Northern Europe due to the level and unique combination of winter activities on offer.
Geilo is distinguished by its advantageous location (240 km from Oslo and 250 km from Bergen), mild mountain climate, beautiful slopes and 34 pistes of different difficulty levels with a length of 33 km. The resort has 18 lifts, 7 slopes for beginners, 3 snowboard trails, 3 illuminated trails, 220 km of cross-country ski trails (including 5 km illuminated), 3 equipment rentals. Snowboarders consider Geilo one of the most attractive places in Norway. The resort is famous for its very well-developed base for winter sports. Tourists are offered dog sledding, snowmobiling, sledding from the mountains, riding in a carriage drawn by a couple of bays, skiing with torches, ice fishing, rock climbing and a trip on a scooter or a day trip to the fjords of Western Norway.
In the evening you will find bars, discos, saunas, a swimming pool, restaurants and a great opportunity to get acquainted with Norwegian cuisine. The resort has a variety of opportunities for families. For children, there is a Troll Club play complex, a toboggan slide, a playground, a ski school and a kindergarten. There are three children’s areas around Lake Jostedalen, where you can ride reindeer, dog sledding, dine in one of the restaurants that offer a children’s menu.
Hemsedal is a world-class ski resort and one of the best ski resorts in Norway. It is often called the Scandinavian Alps due to the uniqueness of the landscape. It is located 220 km from Oslo at an altitude of 625 – 1450 m above sea level. Convenient transport links (train, bus) connect this resort with Oslo and Bergen. Hemsedal has stable snow cover and excellent pistes throughout the season, from November to May. In 2005, Hemsedal opened an 8-seater chair lift and a great children’s track.
Hemsedal is the venue for the Giant Slalom World Cup. The resort is famous for the largest and best snowboard park. It offers a large number of well-prepared pistes of varying difficulty in several ski areas. There are 6 disc lifts, a fun park, a slalom slope, a toboggan run, 220 km of trails for cross-country skiers and 42 km of ski slopes. Tourists are offered a rich entertainment program: horseback riding, dog sledding, night skiing on illuminated slopes, freestyle arenas, a good selection of restaurants, bars and discos.
Hemsedal will delight you with its friendly and courteous Norwegian simplicity and comfort of hotels, restaurants, cafes and shops. For children, the resort has a special children’s slope with a playground, a ski school and a cafe. The resort has a kindergarten “Trollia Park”, where parents can leave a child from 3 months old. Children under 7 ride for free with a helmet.
SKI RESORTS IN NORWAY
Norway is the birthplace of skiing and a real paradise for ski lovers. The large amount of snow that falls in Norway makes the country one of the best places on earth for skiing. Ski resorts in Norway are distinguished by stable snow cover, long skiing season, well-prepared slopes and opportunities for snowboarding. The mountain landscape is beautiful at any time of the year. Ski resorts are located in the central part of Norway. Heights – from 1000 to 1900 meters.
All ski hotels and cottages in Norway are located near the ski slopes. These harsh and beautiful hilly slopes are half covered with forests and provide an opportunity for skiing lovers to enjoy skiing. Norway provides a wide range of ski slopes – from real “black” to family – “green”. On the ski slopes there is a wide variety of slopes and jumps, ski rental services are available. Every skier will find something to their liking. A distinctive feature of a ski holiday in Norway is a variety of opportunities for apress-ski.
All resorts have a developed infrastructure: numerous cafes, bars, nightclubs and sports centers. Each vacationer will find something to their liking: dog sledding, sleighing, snowmobiling and ice skating. Skiing gives tourists a charge of vivacity and the opportunity to comprehend the amazing nature. Mountains in a haze of mist, evergreen forests, snow-covered spruces and a ski track running into the distance will fill the body and soul with new energy and impressions. The main ski centers and the most famous international resorts in Norway are: Geilo, Hemsedal, Lillehammer, Trysil.
Hemsedal, one of the most famous ski resorts in Scandinavia, is located 220 km from Oslo and 280 km from Bergen. Here, tourists can enjoy all the delights of a winter holiday from November to May. The resort attracts skiers with beautiful steep slopes, a large number of prepared tracks of varying difficulty in several ski areas, the beauty of landscapes and opportunities for winter sports.
At the ski centers – Geilo, Vestlia and Schlatta, the total throughput is 21,000 people per hour. The ski season starts from December 1st to May 15th. Resorts have new contactless magnetic lift passes and new snowboarding trails. A ski festival is held here, where manufacturers of ski equipment present new products of the season.
Kvitfjell is a favorite destination for the Norwegian sports elite. It is called the “realm of speed”. The Slalom and Super G World Cup stages, as well as biathlon competitions, are annually held here. For young skiers, the resort has two children’s ski parks and ski schools. The season starts November 7th. The number of descents is 18, the height difference is 848 m, the longest descent is 3.5 km, the highest point is 1025.
FJORDS OF NORWAY
Fjords are unique bays that penetrate deep into the mainland in giant rocky corridors with a blue expanse of transparent waters. They are declared natural monuments of world importance by UNESCO and have earned the title of the best tourist attraction in the world. Fjords appeared on the territory of Norway during the Ice Age. The glacier, sliding down, seemed to push the mountains apart. Under the force of the moving ice, narrow gaps were formed, leaving from the sea. The height of the mountain peaks on the banks of the fjords reaches 2 thousand meters, and the depth of the bays is from five hundred to one and a half thousand. The water in the fjords is always cold (not higher than 7 degrees Celsius) and not very salty (sea water mixes with glacier melt water).
The fjord shores amaze with their extraordinary picturesqueness and are of great economic importance. A chain of offshore islands, the Skhergord, protects the fjords from strong westerly winds blowing from the Atlantic Ocean. Some islands are exposed rocks washed by the surf, others reach considerable sizes. The most significant and popular with tourists are: Sognefjord, Nordfjord, Trondheimfjord, Yayrangerfjord, Hardangerfjord, Stavangerfjord, Lysefjord, Glomfjord, Geirangerfjord.
Many of the fjords are framed by waterfalls tumbling down from the rocks and small colorful fishing villages. Sea excursions in the fjords are the most exciting trip in the country. Each fjord has its own unique landscape and water color. Contemplating the fjords from a panoramic platform or a cruise ship, there is a desire to explore and explore these wonders of nature.
A person who has fallen into the kingdom of the fjords is breathtaking from the grandiose and majestic beauty. Sheer, like polished rocks, mountains with glaciers on top. The bewitching, almost mystical beauty of the fjords makes you believe in Scandinavian sagas about Vikings, brave sailors and warriors. Jairangerfjord has become famous for its magnificent contrasts of water, meadows, stones, waterfalls, eternal snows and sky. You can admire the beauty of the natural landscape from the ship, from the rocks above the village of Yairanger and from the turns of serpentines going into the mountains.
Bergen is called the gateway to the realm of the fjords. After all, it is from here that you can make unforgettable trips through the most beautiful fjords in the world. Rogaland, the southernmost region of the Fjord Kingdom, is unique for its striking contrasts. The southernmost section is in the Dalane area, here the coastline is indented, forming many quiet and cozy coves. Another site – Jearen – is the only plain in Norway, endless beaches and sand dunes. Ryfylke is a place that deserves your special attention: everything is brought together here – skerries, archipelagos of islands, deep fjords and high mountains.
Geiranger is a magnificent creation of nature, the beauty of which was discovered back in 1869 with the arrival of the first cruise ship here. Traveling along the Geirangerfjord (a segment of the Golden Route), you will see picturesque high-mountain farms (Skagefla and Blomberg), mountain serpentines (Ornevegen), powerful waterfalls, and also see one of the main attractions of this region – Cape Flydalsjuvet.
Cruise through Norway’s most majestic fjord and see the famous Seven Sisters Waterfall, which has a free fall of 250m. Popular hikes to the waterfalls are Geirangerfjord and Trollveggen, a rocky and cloud-covered peak near Andalsnes that remains a real challenge for Norwegian climbers.
Opdal ski resort is located at an altitude of 585 m, 120 km from Trondheim and 420 km from Oslo, at the foot of Mount Dovrefjell. There is a national park near the resort. Tourists in Opdala are offered a variety of opportunities for outdoor activities surrounded by an amazing and unique landscape.
The resort is considered one of the best winter holiday destinations in Norway. Throughout the winter season, the resort has 16 ski lifts with a capacity of 16,000 people per hour, and offers skiing and cross country skiing.
The first lift in Opdala was built in 1953. Snow is guaranteed from December 1st. Opdal covers 5 ski areas: Vangslia, Huvden, Sletvold, Stolen and Odalen. The mountain range is called the “House of the Trolls”. During the summer period, tourists are offered to rest in cottages with a variety of additional programs. The ski school will provide beginner skiers with the opportunity to improve their performance with experienced ski instructors. Opdala also offers mountain climbing and snowboarding in winter. Ice fishing is very popular on one of the two lakes located near the resort.
Sognefjord is the largest fjord in Norway. It stretches almost half the country (204 km) and is the deepest (1300 km) fjord in Norway. Sognefjord is located 72 km north of Bergen, in the lower part it reaches a depth of 1308 m. It has everything – a panorama of the fjord running to the distant sea, snowy peaks bordering the water, quiet lakes, waterfalls, green meadows. Sognefjord has all the conditions for excellent fishing on rivers and lakes, hiking, boating and cycling. The fjord is surrounded on all sides by the steep mountains of Joyunheimen, which, parting, reveal tiny, picturesque villages and old wooden churches.
The majestic fjord is located in the heart of the realm of the fjords and offers all sorts of itineraries for cruising. It has several arms, including the Nærøyfjord, whose walls converge so closely that it seems as if a ship sailing into it is hiding in a tunnel. The region Sogn of Fjordane was named after the fjord. Here you can make one of the most exciting excursions “Norway in miniature” and ride through the picturesque natural corners on Flomsbane.
The Flåm Railway is considered a masterpiece of engineering, with 12 miles of ascents and descents through 20 tunnels at an 18-degree slope. Wild landscapes are seen through the train window, changing from rugged mountains to fertile gardens along the Sognefjord. Stop near Kjosfossen to take pictures of the waterfall that powers this unique Flåm railway. Between Sognefjord and Hardangerfjord is the small town of Voss. It is the main center of extreme tourism. You will have the opportunity to fly a hydroplane and a hang glider, go on a multi-day hike or go rafting.
Hardangerfjord is located in the south of the Nordaland region. In this area you have the opportunity to get acquainted with the picturesque nature of Norway. The Hardangerfjord Tourist Road is recognized as the most picturesque, surrounded by mountains and glaciers, open plateaus with charming farms. The fjords give the Hordaland region its unforgettable face and character. The main attraction of the region is the Hardangervidda mountain plateau with numerous lakes, rivers and one of the largest glaciers in Norway, Folgefonn. This is not only a natural landscape of stunning beauty, but also a good opportunity for hiking and fishing in mountain lakes.
In the east of the region, the high plateau of Hardangervidda cuts off the fjord. To the west, by the sea, the fjords also leave their mark on the landscape. Tiny picturesque villages are scattered along the banks of the fjords, the most famous are the “fruit” plantations of Ulvik and Ullensvang, powerful waterfalls, cliffs, steep mountains and glaciers. Along the way, tourists will meet the famous waterfalls Steindalfoss and Voringfossen, which falls from a height of 182 m. The sights of Hardagenerfjord also include the Jostedalsbren ice massif. It is on the Hardangerfjord that the most luxurious Ullensvang hotel is located, which has a superbly developed infrastructure and offers a huge program of active events and excursions.
The Nordfjord region, named after the largest fjord on its territory, stretches over 3.5 thousand square kilometers. Traveling along the Nordfjord, in a few hours you can feel how the landscape changes as you move from the Atlantic coast deep into the region (the mountains are getting higher, and the fjord narrower). The hallmark of the region is the national park Jostedalsbreen, the Briksdal glacier, going on a hike along which the most daring tourists can try rock climbing on the glacier. The Stryn summer ski resort is also popular.
Lysefjord is one of the wildest Norwegian fjords, surrounded by sheer cliffs up to a kilometer high. It is located near Stavanger. From the most famous cliff of Preikestolen, a breathtaking view opens up. Lysefjorden (the name translates as “Bright Fjord”) owes its fame to the wildness and impregnability of the rocks surrounding it. Throughout the fjord (about 40 km) there are no large settlements, there is not even a road that would run along the coast. For a dozen villages and farms, the fjord itself remains the only way of communication. In many places, kilometer-high cliffs come close to the water with sheer walls. It is the breathtaking views from the cliffs that are the main attraction of the fjord.
Ski resort Lillehammer – the capital of the 1994 Winter Olympics. It is located 300 km from Oslo, in the picturesque Gudbransdal valley, (the birthplace of Peer Gynt). It was here, in this valley, that folk beliefs about elves and trolls were born. The ski center of Lillehammer includes four ski resorts located in close proximity to each other. These are Hafjel, Kvitfjel, Golo, Sheikampen. There are four regions in total, with 35 lifts, 79 pistes and over 1,300 km of cross country skiing trails. The highest point of the prepared descent above sea level is 1066 m. The maximum elevation difference is 830 m.
Each resort attracts with its originality, comfort, providing the same recreational opportunities for beginners and professionals. In the skiing region, all three resorts have a single subscription (ski – pass) to all lifts of ski centers located in the vicinity of Lillehammer. The skiing season lasts from December to mid-April. Tourists can use a variety of skiing styles – slalom, downhill at speeds of more than 100 km per hour, snowboarding. The Kvitfjell slopes are 50 km from Lillehammer, the nearest ski lifts at the Hafjell ski resort are 15 km from Lillehammer.
The Hafjell ski resort offers the greatest variety of slopes. Also at the service of vacationers are great opportunities for apress-ski. Bars, restaurants, discos, pubs, Jorekstad swimming pool are at your service. There are galleries, a museum of local lore, an art museum. The Lillehammer Ski Center offers a wide range of different accommodation options, from apartments in the immediate vicinity of the slopes and ski lifts, to hotels.
Hafjell is the site of the 1994 Olympic slalom competition. The resort is located 15 km from Lillehammer. For 75% of all tracks, artificial snow is typical. Therefore, the excellent quality of the slopes is guaranteed throughout the ski season, which lasts from mid-November to early April.
Hafjell is one of the best holiday destinations for its location and facilities. The resort is protected from gusts of strong winds and adverse weather. It is suitable for both beginner skiers and professionals. There are 14 ski lifts, 24 slopes of different difficulty levels and one of the longest slopes in Norway with a length of 5.5 km. For lovers of flat skiing – 300 km of prepared tracks laid among low mountains and surrounded by forest from all sides. The park for snowboarders is very popular in the resort. In the very center is the Olympic bobsleigh track. Hafjell offers a variety of programs for children: a kindergarten, a club for children 4-6 years old.
Trysil is the largest ski resort in Norway and one of the largest ski resorts in Scandinavia. It is located in Southern Norway and borders the Swedish resort of Sälen. Trysil includes 2 ski areas: at the foot of Mount Hoggega and high in the mountains – Fageressen, between which a free bus runs throughout the day. Holidays in Trisil are fresh air, “crunchy” snow and low winter sun illuminating the snow-covered treetops.
The highest point is 1100 m above sea level, the maximum elevation difference is 685 m, 64 slopes (21 green, 17 blue, 15 red, 11 black). The total length of the tracks is 65 km. The length of the slopes with the artificial snow system is 21 km., 27 lifts (5 chairlifts, 15 rope tows, 7 children). The resort has a snowpark and two halfpipes. For lovers of cross-country skiing – about 100 km of prepared tracks. The infrastructure of the resort is focused on family holidays: trails of different difficulty levels surround the mountain from three sides and are located next to each other. This allows the whole family to ride on the same lift system.
For the youngest children, a special ski area is organized, which includes two lifts and two slopes. A large number of bars and restaurants, a children’s park, bowling, an ice rink. At your service: equipment rental, ski school, individual instructors, kindergarten, apress-ski. For accommodation, tourists are offered a huge number of cottages near the slopes. In addition, you can stay in a hotel, apartments, campsites.