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Few places on earth match the spectacle that is the breathtaking natural beauty of our tours in Norway.
Discover a land of magnificent fjords and mighty mountains, of charming cities and vast open spaces, where the midnight sun shines in the summer and the Aurora Borealis dances across the skies in winter.
Any organised holiday to Norway should probably begin with an exploration of the fjords - Norway's unique and most astonishing attraction. Stretching hundreds of miles from the striking coast to the pristine inland regions, their still, deep waters are fringed with picture-book settlements and backed by a breathtaking landscape of forests, glaciers and snow-capped peaks.
Particularly popular with customers of Newmarket tours in Norway, the fjords welcome their many awe-struck guests from early spring all the way into late autumn, each season revealing a different aspect of their glory – spring’s apple blossom and the freshness of the awakening year, summer’s warm days, which are perhaps the best time to venture inland to view the vast Briksdal Glacier, and autumn’s red and gold, when the plunging waterfalls are at their tumultuous best.
Nestled in the hidden coves and along the waterside meadows of the fjords, waiting to welcome visitors on a Norwegian tour, you'll find some of the country's most charming settlements. Mighty Sognefjord leads to Balestrand, where the Kviknes Hotel has been welcoming visitors (most famously Kaiser Wilhelm II) since the 19th Century, and remote Flam, terminus of the world famous Flamsbana Mountain Railway. Tiny Ulvik lies deep in the heart of Hardangerfjord, and Geirangerfjord is home to several picture-perfect fjord-side villages.
In the south-eastern corner of the country, Norway's capital, Oslo (which stands at the far end of its own little fjord) is small but perfectly formed and offers a plethora of things do for even the most discerning traveller.
Almost entirely at the other end of the country lies another of its most popular destinations - Tromsø. A little over 200 miles inside the Arctic Circle, this colourful city is a jumping-off point for tours of Norway's vast northern wilderness. It's a place of warm, welcoming bars and restaurants, and never-ending summer sunlight, dominated by the stunning, strikingly modern Ishavskatedralen (Arctic Cathedral) with its vast, triangular stained-glass window.
Even further north, in Alta, Honningsvag at mainland Europe's northernmost tip, and the remote Islands of Svalbard far out into the Arctic Ocean, Norway continues to offer astonishing sights and experiences and warm welcomes despite the isolation. In fact, wherever your chosen Norway tours take you, you'll find plenty to enjoy in what is easily one of the most beautiful countries in the world.
Wherever you choose to travel on Newmarket tours in Norway, you’ll certainly be captivated by the country’s unbeatable Scandinavian charm.
Vast, rugged, spectacular and unendingly outdoorsy, Norway is a wonderful place to explore. Here are just a few of the essential things to do in this one-of-a-kind country.
Norway’s landscape is diverse and layered: from the spectacular ruggedness of its northern crags to the lush green banks of its meandering fjords, untouched pine forests to mirror-like lakes, there are opportunities for every kind of fresh air-loving traveller. Exploring the meandering fjords by boat and taking hikes alongside is one of the most memorable ways to experience Norway.
Western Norway is the destination dreams are made of when it comes to spectacular landscapes and where you’ll find the famous fjords, a complex network of waterways that were formed during the glacial period many thousands of years ago.
Today, the fjords are one of the main attractions not to be missed on tours in Norway, available for visitors to enjoy from spring through to autumn, each season offering a different experience. Begin your journey in the picturesque village of Balestrand, a charming settlement nestled beside the breathtaking Sognefjorden, known informally as the King of the Fjords (it is the largest and deepest fjord in the whole of Norway).
Take a hike through the rugged peaks and view the glasslike fjord from above on Kreklingen Nature Trail or Raudmelen, then head into Balestrand itself for a bite to eat, a wander round the charming shops in search of a keepsake, or try authentic Norwegian apple cider with a cider-tasting afternoon.
Bergen is the historical gateway to the fjords and offers the perfect union between city life and nature: explore the narrow cobbled streets, eat the most delicious freshly caught fish from the world-famous fish market, take in some of the city’s vibrant history as the birthplace of prominent composer Edvard Grieg, and take a journey on the quaint hillside railway up the scenic slopes of Mount Fløyen.
Jostedal Glacier is the largest in the whole of continental Europe and is another fantastic place where the true power and magnitude of Norway’s nature can be experienced to its fullest, offering some incredible views and hiking opportunities.
The country’s capital, Oslo, is a wonderful and accessible city with an exciting culture and lots to be explored. The city's compact size makes it easy to wander from sight to sight - from the cobbled courtyards and stone walls of Akershus Fortress, down the hill to the tiny Stock Exchange building, across the Bjorvika from the ultramodern, asymmetric Opera House, then back along Karl Johans Gate past the parliament building and the National Theatre to the Royal Palace.
Aside from the fjords, undoubtedly one of the most exceptional aspects of our Norway tours is experiencing the Northern Lights in all their radiant glory. Head to the pristine vastness of Northern Norway for a chance at glimpsing the ethereal Aurora Borealis.
At the door to the Arctic Circle you’ll come across the unique city of Tromsø, a cosy settlement that has its roots in the Middle Ages, and where you’ll find a surprisingly bustling metropolis of colour and culture, framed by striking snow-capped slopes that contrast beautifully with its dark rocky crags.
The city has a rich history as the starting point for Arctic expeditions: explore this in depth with a visit to the Polar Museum, the Polaria aquarium, the Tromsø museum and the incredible contemporary Arctic Cathedral, showcasing architecture that imitates the snow white slopes between which it sits.
Tromsø is the perfect base from which to explore the edge of the Arctic in all its immaculate glory. In this rugged wilderness, you may just be lucky enough to see the incredible phenomenon that is the Northern Lights, caused by charged sunlight particles meeting the atmosphere. The best time to experience the lights is between autumn and early spring when the nights are at their longest - or why not make it a Christmas adventure? Explore Christmas on Norway tours for a festive season you’ll never forget.
Exploring Norway’s rugged wilderness and feeling that bracing Scandinavian breeze on your face will certainly build up an appetite for the country’s many delicious foods.
At first glance, Norwegian food is straightforward, hearty and entirely what you'd expect from a north European nation with a tendency for long, cold winters. But take a moment to look closer at the cuisine, and you’ll find a treasure trove of culinary surprises, one-off delicacies and dishes that are more complex and infinitely more delicious than they may at first seem...
Some dishes are certainly simple. Take Lefse, for example: simple flour and potato flatbreads cooked on a griddle, and yet they’re a traditional treat around Christmas and New Year and are delicious served as a sweet or savoury snack.
The national dish, Farikal, is similar: a simple casserole of bone-in lamb or mutton and white cabbage, but what lifts it is the quality of the meat (Norwegians are very proud of their lamb) and the golf-ball-size bundle of whole peppercorns that adds a spicy depth to the dish.
Other dishes are more unusual: Pinnekjott is a traditional Christmas Eve dish of air-dried sheep ribs that are soaked and steamed over beechwood, then served with mashed kohlrabi (which despite looking like a turnip is actually a sort of cabbage and tastes like fragrant broccoli), while Lutefisk is cod that has been soaked with water, then lye, then more water and then finally cooked. It has a soft, jelly-like texture and a subtle fish flavour.
More accessible, perhaps, are gravlax (salmon cured with sugar, salt, brandy and dill), or warm buttered Svele pancakes drizzled with syrup and served with coffee (or - if you're adventurous - with Norwegian brown cheese that has a texture similar to fudge).
Potatoes accompany almost everything in Norway, and meat is widely available, from tender roast reindeer, venison or even elk to moreish cured spekemat (which could be pork, lamb, beef or reindeer and is often served with creamy scrambled eggs). The most common fish dishes involve cod and shrimp, but pickled herring is less frequently offered than you might expect, although worth a try just for the experience!
If you're looking for a drink, expect to find coffee, traditionally enjoyed black and strong, everywhere you go on our Norway tours. The beer on offer in bars tends to be pils lagers, and to be rather more expensive than southern European countries, while wine is normally taken with meals.
If you've a taste for something stronger, look out for Linie Aquavit, which is a version of the national spirit that has been aged in barrels at sea. The bottle should tell you where that particular batch went, on which ship and how long it spent at sea, and you’ll find the golden liquor it contains will be a pleasantly warming drink in that Nordic climate.