Come the summer months almost everyone going on holiday will plan a trip south for sun, sea and sand. While this is a lovely way to spend a fortnight, and there is nothing wrong with reading by the pool, it isn’t the most imaginative way to spend your time.
If you are a traveller by nature, you are doing yourself down by going on the same holidays over and again. You can still go on a pool holiday every now and then, but it’s time to think more creatively and buck the trend.
You might think that going north during the summer makes no sense, but actually, Norway in summer is beautiful. This is the land of the midnight sun where glaciers sparkle and the dogs can’t wait to pull your sled through the scenery.
What Should I Pack?
As you would imagine, the temperature in Norway doesn’t really reach 20*c so you should pack lots of thin layers so that you stay warm as you walk. You should also pack a raincoat with a hood as Norway does have a few showers even in the summer.
Comfortable, waterproof boots are a good idea in Norway as the landscape is so tempting, you will definitely want to do a lot of walking. Proper clothing is vital when you walk in Norway as you can get caught out by the weather. As before, thin layers are best with a scarf, hat and mittens too. You may also wish to pack some hiking gear though there are places you can rent this sort of equipment from.
Though the weather is not up to Mediterranean standards, the fjords are ideal for swimming in the summer so pack your swimwear and prepare to do some wild swimming. For those who are a little more susceptible to the cold, a wetsuit might be worth the weight! There are also beaches that are ideal for surfing and have fine-grained sand for reclining in the sunshine.
What Can I Do in Norway?
Norway is a fantastic destination for city-lovers as well as hikers, sunbathers and everyone in between. If you want a holiday where you can go from one extreme to the other, this is definitely the place for you!
Oslo, the capital city of Norway, is the home of the Vikings and you can’t come here without making a trip to the Viking Ship Museum. In fact, Oslo is full of different museums of all kinds from the Munch Museum to the Nobel Peace Center. Just doing a walking tour around the city centre will show you all kinds of different aspects of the history of Norway and give you some ideas of where to visit throughout your trip.
Though Norway is often advertised as one of the best places to see the Northern Lights, the time for them is September to March. However, don’t be too disappointed; Norway has another spectacular sky between May and July: the midnight sun. As the most northerly parts of Norway are just inside the Arctic Circle, there are 76 days where the sunset and sunrise merge into one and the sky is alive with orange light. Salten is one of the best places to witness this event and even offers midnight golfing!
Where Should I Go Next?
Norway is a good option but where else could you go this summer? There are plenty of northern gems to choose from and if you like to travel like a local, you will find all kinds of opportunities.
Iceland is a great destination and boasts a similarly dramatic landscape with black sand beaches, geysers and hot springs. Just like Norway, the long summer days mean that you can spend plenty of time outside and exploring the landscape. In fact, some areas of the interior of Iceland aren’t even open until July!
Finland is another brilliant destination and the Finns are so excited about the arrival of summer that they put on a wide variety of festivals covering almost every kind of music. The festivals are a range of sizes and occur across the country all summer long so you could easily make a holiday of travelling between them.
Though we all seem to be programmed to head south for the summer holidays, trying something new is always a good idea. Going north during the summer shows how the landscapes can change and in the Arctic region gives you so much longer to explore these regions. You won’t miss the sun at all, but if you really do need the heat, you can always go back to the south next year.
*This is a collaborative post. For further information please refer to my disclosure page.