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 via 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 the complete 12 months 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 must escape winter to have a cracking time in your subsequent trip?

Allow me to clarify why winter is my favourite season to go to Norway, one of many world’s most Northerly nations – and one of many most secure ones at that – and why you must 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 stunned: one of many explanation why I fell in love with it within the first place was how unspoiled and plentiful 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 regardless of the place you’re headed, be it the Arctic North or the fjord lands, there isn’t any scarcity of pure wonders to be discovered right here.

From the minute you step out of the airplane and breathe within the crisp, recent mountain air, with out having solid a single look on the nearest mahoosive peak but, you understand 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 certain most would agree ice-skating on mirror-like frozen lakes, enjoyable in saunas, snowboarding down winding slopes, and comfy late nights sitting by a fireplace, scorching chockie in hand, watching the snowstorm 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 would simply go to Colorado as a substitute: as stunning as it could be, the Centennial State lacks Norway’s mystique, historical tradition, scenic railways and hearty ‘Scandi’ meals.

Still, it is a large nation we’re speaking about, with a fjord-traversed shoreline extending for 1,100 miles alongside the North Sea, and when you’re warming as much as the thought of occurring just a little low season Viking journey, you might be questioning the place to go for probably the most epic surroundings.

Away from the massive cities and off the crushed path, listed below are 4 unbelievable 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 among Europe’s best-hidden secrets and techniques this winter, house to the four-star Fretheim Hotel, in-built traditional chalet fashion, an award-winning microbrewery, and the world-famous Flåmsbana practice.

Rattling up a steep 2,841 ft ascent, with vast 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 isn’t 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 prime points of interest, with FjordSauna welcoming friends onboard floating steam rooms on the fringe of the ice-covered fjord.

If you’re a fan of the Vikings, you would take a day journey out to Gudvangen to see a Norsemen village functioning as a folks 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, assorted choice of Haute delicacies eating places, and surprisingly wide selection of leisure choices – it has its very personal skydiving heart – this laid-back alpine village isn’t a spot you’ll need 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 – suppose repurposed barns and homely, self-catering picket cabins – and three distinguished eating places for both advantageous or informal eating.

Prices for double rooms begin at $239 this season, and if snowboarding isn’t your factor, Myrkdalen remains to be the right base for exploring the encircling 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 best way, 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 have fun the city’s wealthy heritage, beginning this winter, it’s positively someplace you don’t need to miss in 2024.

Bodø is finest recognized for its walkable, museum-packed historic heart, vibrant artwork scene, with revolutionary installations and awe-inspiring avenue artwork lurking in each nook, and lately, it’s developed a popularity 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 keeping with Northern Europe’s staple food plan, and it’s Kjelen kafé in Bodø the place you’ll discover probably the most scrumptious møsbrømlefse, a Norwegian flatbread filled with camarelized goat cheese, and different native delicacies.

Winters in Nordland could be harsh, with freezing temperatures and restricted daylight via March, nevertheless it’s sometimes within the darkest of nights the sky bursts into one million totally different shades of inexperienced and purple (sure, we’re speaking about Aurora sightings).

Northern Lights Pictured In Norway, Scandinavia

Lofoten

My closing entry on this record is Lofoten, a grouping of islands related 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 celebs, and fishing villages sitting on rugged coasts.

Three of probably the most sought-after winter actions amongst guests to the archipelago embody horse driving, taking sea eagle safaris to Trollfjord, an space of excellent pure magnificence, and looking 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 stunning, with their centuries-old fishing custom and Instagram-ready, brightly-painted cottage homes lining quaint, snow-dusted harbors.

To prime 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 often maritime, which means you might be 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 life-style 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 corporations 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 supply, 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 factor contributing to Norway’s surging reputation as a year-round vacation spot.

Having traveled solo in Norway within the lifeless of winter, when service availability is often decrease and lots of points of interest are shut down, I nonetheless had a outstanding time.

Naturally, you must handle your expectations: going mountain climbing in most trails isn’t potential because of the heavy snowfall and poor visibility, so you possibly can scrap the enduring Trolltunga or depart 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 nice outside. In Norway, everybody has the precise to take pleasure in and make affordable use of nature with out paying to entry it.

In essence, you possibly can go roam freely throughout nature preserves, camp out within the open, try mountain climbing, and even stay 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 precise to roam in winter is trickier, as I wouldn’t be sleeping outdoors in damaging temperatures myself, however as you possibly can attest from the locations listed above, nature in Norway is at all times breathtaking, and it may be significantly stunning when it’s frozen and glistening white.

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

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

Winter in Bergen Norway

Violent crime charges are negligible, pickpocketing isn’t frequent, not like in different European states, and poverty ranges are very, very low. Whether you’re in a serious city heart like Oslo or Bergen or the huge countryside and fjordlands, you possibly can put your worries about private security apart.

The greatest risk going through Norway these days is recurring terrorist assaults, like most Western nations, however even these don’t occur on a major 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 below are the writer’s alone, not these of any financial institution, bank card issuer, resort, airline, or different entity. This content material has not been reviewed, accredited or in any other case endorsed by any of the entities included inside the submit.





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