COVER Visit beau­ti­ful Nor­way

With its stun­ning scenery and a front row seat to view the North­ern Lights, it’s no sur­prise that this Scan­di­na­vian coun­try was voted the hap­pi­est place in the world

YOURS (UK) - - News - By Gabrielle Al­bert

Snowy sur­rounds

Come the win­ter months, much of Nor­way is trans­formed into a snow-clad par­adise, of­fer­ing per­fect con­di­tions for a num­ber of ex­cit­ing out­door ac­tiv­i­ties. While ski­ing is the go-to ac­tiv­ity here, a dogsled­ding ex­pe­ri­ence is sure to blow you away.

Speed past ma­jes­tic moun­tains, crys­tal clear fjords and arc­tic glaciers as a pack of Alaskan Huskies guide you through the white Nor­we­gian wilder­ness. It’s a great op­por­tu­nity to feel the strong bond be­tween man and dog and you may even get the chance to feed and look after the Huskies your­self – a dog-lover’s dream!

For ex­tra win­ter magic, jour­ney to the north­ern city of Tromsø for an un­for­get­table rein­deer sleigh ride through the snow. Meet and feed Ru­dolph and his friends, learn about the indige­nous Sami peo­ple, eat tra­di­tional food and en­joy sto­ry­telling by a camp­fire on a four-hour ex­cur­sion.

■ Dogsled­ding tours take place at var­i­ous lo­ca­tions through­out Nor­way. For more in­for­ma­tion, call the tourism board on 220 02 500

■ Arc­tic Rein­deer Ex­pe­ri­ence starts from NOK1590 per per­son. Call 983 13 038 or visit www.trom­soarc­ti­crein­deer.com

Pass moun­tains, crys­tal clear fjords and glaciers as Alaskan huskies guide you through the wilder­ness

FAN­TAS­TIC FJORDS

A visit to see these won­ders of na­ture in Western Nor­way should be on ev­ery bucket list. Sculpted by glaciers dur­ing the ice age, this part of the coun­try has some of the long­est, deep­est, nar­row­est and most beau­ti­ful fjords in the world. Of­ten re­ferred to as The Gate­way to the Fjords, the colour­ful coastal city of Ber­gen is a great start­ing point for ex­plor­ing these breath­tak­ing land­forms, with cata­ma­rans de­part­ing from the har­bour all year round. A typ­i­cal cruise to Mos­trau­men lasts ap­prox­i­mately three hours, pass­ing steep moun­tain­sides, quaint fish­ing vil­lages and won­der­ous wa­ter­falls.

■ Mos­trau­men fjord cruises start from NOK600 per adult. Call 555 52 000 or visit www.vis­it­ber­gen.com

An­i­mal an­tics

Nor­way boasts a myr­iad of crea­tures that’ll cap­ti­vate any an­i­mal lover. Keep your eyes peeled for moose, rein­deer or even a white-tailed ea­gle.

Po­lar Park, lo­cated in the heart of the Salangs­dalen Val­ley in Bardu, aims to recre­ate the Nor­we­gian wilder­ness with vast habi­tats hous­ing brown bears, lynx, elks and many oth­ers. Book onto a feed­ing ses­sion with arc­tic foxes, or greet and ‘kiss’ a pack of wolves! If you’re after an aquatic ad­ven­ture, Nor­way is a real hotspot for whales who visit through­out the year to feed on the plank­ton and her­ring-rich wa­ters. Plan your visit be­tween late Oc­to­ber to mid-Jan­uary when fin­backs, hump­backs and or­cas are around.

For sum­mer whale watch­ing, head to An­denes be­tween May to mid-Septem­ber where sperm whales, por­poises and or­cas can still be sighted on sea sa­faris.

■ Po­lar Park from NOK260 for adults. Call 771 86 630 or visit www.po­larpark.no

■ An­denes whale sa­fari from NOK1095 for adults. Call 76 11 5600 or visit www.whale­sa­fari.com

Won­der­ful walks

Sit­u­ated in a shel­tered bay of the spec­tac­u­lar Har­dan­ger­fjord, the vil­lage of Ulvik looks like a pic­ture post­card with its wooden houses, snow-capped moun­tains and crys­tal blue wa­ters. Known as The Or­chard of Nor­way, it also of­fers an ex­cel­lent net­work of well­marked and var­ied trails wind­ing through mead­ows, forests and cider farms.

The Brakanes Ho­tel is a great start­ing point for many hikes in this re­gion. Its serene fjord­side gar­den and in­door spa also make the per­fect rest­ing spot. Guests can take the ex­press boat along the Han­dan­ger­jord to the small town of Eid­fjord to visit the Na­ture Cen­tre, be­fore con­tin­u­ing to Vørings­fos­sen Wa­ter­fall.

■ Half-board pack­ages from £738 per per­son, cider farm tours from NOK50 per per­son, wa­ter­fall ex­cur­sions from NOK594. Call Ing­ham Hol­i­days on 01483 791 111 or visit www.in­g­hams.co.uk

HEAPS OF HIS­TORY

Head to the cap­i­tal city of Oslo and swot up on Scan­di­na­vian his­tory with a visit to the Vik­ing Ship Mu­seum, hous­ing an im­pres­sive col­lec­tion of Vik­ing trea­sures, 9th Cen­tury long­ships and unique burial arte­facts re­cov­ered from the Oslo Fjord.

The Nor­we­gian Mu­seum of Cul­tural His­tory will give you a glimpse into Nordic life over the past 600 years. Wan­der the in­door ex­hibits full of tra­di­tional hand­i­craft items, folk cos­tumes, Sami cul­ture, weapons, toys and more.

In sum­mer, the open-air mu­seum brings Nor­way’s his­tory and lo­cal cul­tures to life with folk mu­sic, freshly­baked lefse (flat­bread), horse and car­riage rides, guided tours, hand­i­craft demon­stra­tions and sheepshear­ing.

■ Vik­ing Ship Mu­seum and Nor­we­gian Mu­seum of Cul­tural His­tory, en­try costs NOK100 for adults. Call 228 51 900 or visit www.khm.uio.no

Catch the Aurora Bo­re­alis or meet the rein­deer

Ber­gen White-tailed ea­gle

The quirky Nor­we­gian Mu­seum of Cul­tural His­tory

Vor­ings­fos­sen wa­ter­fall

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