As a magical land of mountains, lakes, rivers, and coastal cliffs, Norway is an alluring travel destination at any time of year. However, it is perhaps in the winter months when Norway is at its most enchanting. You may miss the chance to see the midnight sun, a phenomena of Norway’s almost endless summer days, but there are an abundance of other highlights to discover.
Travellers visiting from the UK can opt to take a cruise from Southampton to the Norwegian fjords for a unique perspective of this stunning arctic landscape. As well as watching the colourful sky illuminations that this region is known for in winter, a cruise around Norway promises adrenaline-filled activities, cosy culinary experiences, and the chance to pick up local produce at the traditional Christmas markets. Explore the top four reasons why you should cruise Norway this winter.
Experience the Northern Lights
Between October and March, Northern Norway is largely shrouded in darkness due to its position within the arctic circle. Throughout winter, therefore, this region is the best place to see the aurora borealis in Norway. Whether you are sailing the rivers of a fjord or dining under the stars in a port, the Northern Lights are guaranteed to make your holiday feel like a fantasy.
Explore arctic landscapes
Sail past snow-capped mountains and iced countryside, glowing strangely in the half-light of the day. Those who are feeling active can experiment with unique adrenaline-filled activities such as dog sledging and riding around the landscape in snow mobiles. Norway is home to Europe’s longest and toughest dog-sled race which takes place on the 10th Saturday of the year each year and covers over 600 miles. Aside from the exhilarating adventures activities, there are plenty of other ways to experience the stunning arctic surroundings. Wildlife lovers will jump at the chance to go whale watching among the semi-frozen waters.
Get cosy in the cities
When compared to other countries around the world, Norway’s cities are relatively small. The small population and dramatic terrain that separates them mean that each city has the charm of a rural town, so your stops in civilisation will not interrupt your off-grid relaxation – in fact, they will enhance it. Cosy up in traditional pubs with warm drinks and fresh seafood delights and sweat it out in the rustic saunas which juxtapose wonderfully with your arctic surroundings.
Wander the Christmas markets
Christmas markets in Norway are a true winter wonderland of snowy streets, wooden cabins reminiscent of gingerbread houses, and the scent of frying meat and fish and delicious baked pastries and sweet breads. Lights adorn the towns and cities for weeks on end around this season, and there are many music concerts to entertain travelers and locals alike. In addition to delicious food and warming beverages, the Christmas markets in Norway showcase the country’s traditional arts and crafts, clothing, and beautiful unique trinkets that will make perfect presents or keepsakes.