Planning when to go to Norway depends on the types of activities you would like to experience, and the choices are many. When booking your travel plans, keep in mind the seasons in Norway offer a variety of opportunities, from skiing in the winter to fishing in the summer. The country is a delightful travel destination at any time of year, so no matter when you visit, you're sure to find that your trip to Scandinavia is a memorable one.
Vacationers planning Norway trips in the winter have several skiing and snowboard areas to choose from, including Trysil, Lillehammer, Eikedalen, and Hemsedal. Most are within two to three hours' drive from Oslo, making them easily accessible to travelers spending time in the capital city. Trysil is the largest ski resort in Norway with 65 pristine slopes and 32 lifts ensuring convenient and timely access to the mountain slopes, and the Eikedalen alpine center is the second-largest ski area in the Hordaland region and is roughly an hour away from Bergen by car. The center has seven lifts and twelve slopes for skiing and snowboarding.
Norway's winter sports opportunities were made famous by its hosting the Olympics, and today travelers still come to this part of the country to ski the same slopes the Olympic athletes used. The 1994 winter games were held in Hafjell, located just north of Lillehammer, and skiers can head down one of the 28 slopes. Hafjell is accessible by shuttle bus via Lillehammer, so it's usually easiest to choose among the hotels in Lillehammer for your stay. Norway trips during the winter also include opportunities for cross-country ski tours through Tromso Island. The tour provides a look at the scenic mountains and towns along the way and is geared toward beginning and advanced skiers alike.
If you travel to Norway during the holiday season, you might spend Christmas at Baerums Verk in Oslo, where you can enjoy a romantic horse-drawn sleigh ride through the snow-covered city, sightseeing, and shopping in the seventeenth-century shops displaying handmade decorative items. For a particularly unique opportunity, in addition to the usual planes and cruise ships tourists use to travel to Norway, you can spend a day or more with a dog-sledding team traveler through valleys and along mountain trails.
For outdoor enthusiasts deciding when to go to Norway, excursions are available to try your hand at ice fishing. Near Kirkenes, in northern Norway, you can go fishing for king crab in the Barents Sea. In Tromso, a second excursion is available where you will set up camp then head out on snowmobiles to a solid ice cap for a day of fishing. If you're planning to spend plenty of time in Tromso when you travel to Norway, you can also take part in the Northern Lights Festival that takes place for one week in the city and features international musicians performing at venues throughout the city.
Planning Norway trips during the warmer months also provides plenty of excitement, with numerous opportunities for things to do, including hiking, sightseeing, fishing, boating, and attending annual festivals. Music aficionados discussing when to go to Norway might consider visiting during the summer to experience both the annual Oya Festival, featuring rock bands from around the world, and the six-day Oslo Jazz Festival, which also showcases international performers.
The fjords of Norway are a perennially popular attraction, and there are fjords tours and cruises that will take travelers up the coast to see these stunning natural features. Visitors can consider stopping at Geirangerfjord, Hardangerfjord, and Sognefjord, among others. There are also national parks such as Jotunheimen and Dovrefjell that highlight Norway's natural beauty and give travelers the chance to spend time outdoors over the long summer days.
During the summer, two particular popular tourist attractions, both drawing thousands of visitors annually, are Nordkapp and Tusenfryd. Nordkapp, or North Cape, is a lovely region of Norway bordered by high cliffs that provide panoramic scenic views for miles. At Tusenfryd theme park, which is located near Oslo, families can spend the day at one of the largest amusement parks in Norway and ride Europe's largest wooden roller coaster. No matter what time of year you visit or which activities interest you most, Norway is full of things to do and a vacation here is sure to please travelers of any age.