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Unique experiences in Norway

Norway is a deceptively long country with thousands of kilometers of coastline, islands, and fjords. If you were able to pivot the country 180 degrees from Oslo, the tip of Norway would reach all the way down to the boot of Italy! In such a long and varied landscape, you are bound to find some truly unique experiences.
Car Ferry Forsand - Lysefjorden - sunset at Preikestolen, Norway
Paul Edmundson
What resonates with people the most is the breathtaking nature to be found in Norway with UNESCO-preserved sites dotted throughout the country. The highest mountains in Northern Europe, Aurora Borealis, and snow-sure winters have lured and enchanted tourists for centuries.
Here, we try to capture some of the most unique experiences you can find in Norway.
The Geirangerfjord - Geiranger, Norway
Geirangerfjord - Per Ottar Walderhaug/ fjordnorway.com

Fjords

The Norwegian fjord landscape, formed at the end of the last ice age when the glaciers retreated and the valleys were flooded by the sea. Geirangerfjord and Nærøyfjord are two of the most well known (and most visited) and have been placed on UNESCO's prestigious World Heritage List.
The fjords and coast have a relatively mild climate thanks to the Gulf Stream, and they remain largely ice-free even in winter. Seals, porpoises, and various fish species enjoy themselves, while eagles and other birds soar in the skies above.
The fjords are often very deep, Sognefjord the deepest, has depths down to 1,308 meters. This provides the perfect route for cruise ships to venture in from the open sea for an up-close and personal encounter with the mountains.
Mountaineering in Norway
Ferdinand Stohr on Unsplash

Mountains

Norway has between 230 and 300 mountain peaks over 2,000 meters. The exact number depends on the definition you use. There are 1000 mountain peaks in Norway of at least 1,650 meters above sea level.
Galdhøpiggen, at 2,469 meters above sea level, is Northern Europe's highest mountain and was first climbed in 1850 by a group of three men from the nearby village of Lom: a teacher, a church singer, and a farmer. The mountain is located in Jotunheimen National Park and Lom remains a popular gateway and basecamp to the mountains today.
A close second to Galdhøpiggen is Glittertind at 2,464 meters above sea level. Both can be climbed in different ways via different routes depending on desire and skill level.
At the base of the glacier below Galdhøpiggen, you will also find one of Norway’s three summer skiing destinations, Galdhøpiggen Summer Ski Center. National teams from around the world come here to train between May and September.
Hike the Mountains: Hiking in Norway
Climb the Mountains: Climbing in Norway
Read More: Mountaineering in Norway for beginners
Viking Ship  - Go Viking with Fjrod Tours , Gudvangen, Norway
Krystkowiak Photography

Vikings

The Vikings are probably one of Norway’s most famous (read infamous) exports. Reviving or at least preserving the history of the Viking culture is a popular theme in Norway and has catered to the purpose of tourism and marketing extremely well. Today, you can experience the culture of our forefathers in several places whether on a Viking cruise or in a museum.

Who were the Vikings?

A Viking was a merchant, farmer, or sea warrior from the Nordic countries in the Viking Age between 800 and 1050AD. The Vikings went on expeditions to Europe where they sometimes traded and often plundered, taking the goods home to the motherland.

Fun facts

The English were fascinated by the Vikings' style and copied their hair and clothing fashion. Many Vikings had symbolic tattoos and jewelry which remain popular themes in modern times. In fact, jewelry and other expensive items were often traded or exchanged as gifts within a Viking community which bound the community together. The chieftain would often distribute plundered spoils down the hierarchy to buy loyalty.
Hospitality was held in high regard among the Vikings, and when guests came, the sour milk was replaced with the festive drink mead. Meats, fish, and berries were laid out on tables in communal halls for all the village to feast and entertain guests.

Trolls

Troll is a term used to describe various supernatural beings in Nordic folklore and storytelling traditions and has roots in Norse mythology. Both appearance and characteristics can vary, but the creatures are often both dangerous and stupid. They tend to live in wilderness and areas inaccessible to men, such as mountain caves, dense forests, and the ocean.
The troll legends are many and very old. Those we are familiar with today feature in fairytales and folklore – in particular in Asbjørnsen and Moe's Norwegian folk tales from 1844 where the trolls often are the main characters.
Trolls were often described as strong, evil, and dangerous giants. They were ugly, with large noses and eyes "the size of plates", and often had several heads or just one eye. Gods and humans were their enemies, and they were angered by the “smell of Christian blood”. Most lived in the mountains or in a distant, cold country, but trolls living in the ocean or forest also existed.
For centuries, the belief that trolls existed was so strong that even early legislation had sections aimed at trolls.

How to reveal a troll

According to superstition and ancient Nordic scriptures, trolls have several hidden characteristics. If you see them, you are standing in front of a troll.
  • Size matters - Trolls are normally larger than humans, but in some cases, they can also be significantly smaller. If you meet someone with unnatural body height, you should take a closer look.
  • Rough features and big noses - Trolls have rougher facial features than humans. Longer noses for example lend a good sense of smell so that they can sniff out “Christian blood” from afar.
  • Extra body parts - If you meet someone who is trying to hide the fact they have a tail, he or she is probably a troll. If a person has more than one head, you guessed it, they are probably a troll.
  • Fear of church bells - Real trolls avoid crosses and the sound of church bells. In daylight, they risk being turned to stone. Therefore, pay particular attention to people who avoid going to church or stay indoors all summer.
Okay, we admit that trolls may only be found in fairy tales, but they have nevertheless meant a great deal to Norwegian history, and given names to many famous places, such as Trolltunga, Trollveggen, and Trollstigen.

Norway in a Nutshell® and our popular Nutshell tours

Experience the essence of Norway's most spectacular sights and highlights on our Nutshell tours. From scenic fjord cruises to iconic railway journeys and breathtaking natural wonders, each tour promises an unforgettable adventure. Whether you opt for a day trip or prefer to personalize your journey with extra days and unique experiences, create your perfect Norwegian holiday with us.
Vision of the fjords- Gudvangen - Flåm, Norway - Norway in a nutshell® Family
Norway in a Nutshell®
Norway's most popular and famous tour

Our most popular tour shows you the very best of Norway. See the stunning UNESCO-listed fjords. Ride the Bergen Railway and the Flåm Railway, two of the world's most scenic railway lines.

From 1600 NOK
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Woman enjoying Norway and the Sognefjord in a nutshell - king of fjords in Norway |Fjord Tours
Sognefjord in a Nutshell™
A relaxing cruise on the magnificent Sognefjord

Enjoy a fjord cruise on the spectacular Sognefjord, the second longest fjord in the world. Experience two of the world’s most beautiful train rides, the Flåm Railway and Bergen Railway.

From 2205 NOK
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Experience Agatunet By Sorfjorden on the Hardangerfjord in a nutshell tour & Rosendal- Hardangerfjord Norway
Hardangerfjord in a Nutshell™
Scenic Hardangerfjord and the Vøringsfossen waterfall

Discover the exceptional beauty of the Hardangerfjord, one of Norway's premier destinations, on this 2 day tour. Explore local life, visit fjord villages and experience famous waterfalls.

From 3120 NOK
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Skageflå mountain fram -Geirangerfjorden - Geiranger, Norway
UNESCO Geirangerfjord in a Nutshell™
Geirangerfjord and the scenic Trollstigen

Experience the crown jewel of Norway’s fjords – The Geirangerfjord. Enjoy breathtaking scenery, cascading waterfalls, and a journey on Trollstigen, one of Norway's most scenic mountain roads.

From 1856 NOK
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Sunset over the Lysefjord - Lysefjord in a nutshell, Norway
Lysefjord in a Nutshell™
Preikestolen, Lysefjord and charming Stavanger

This tour takes you to Preikestolen, the Pulpit Rock, one of Norway’s most photographed natural attractions. The tour includes a fjord cruise on the scenic Lysefjord and the charming city of Stavanger.

From 1381 NOK
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Hamnøy Bridge  - Reine - Lofoten Islands in a nutshell, Reine, Norway
Lofoten Islands in a Nutshell™
The world's most beautiful islands above the Arctic Circle

Situated above the Arctic Circle, the Lofoten archipelago offers dramatic, imposing beauty everywhere you look. Explore the amazing Lofoten islands in a comfortable and sustainable way.

From 1350 NOK
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Our most popular activities

We offer activities all over Norway! Whether you want to see the northern lights in Northern Norway, cruise the fjords in Western Norway, or explore our stunning cities, we’ve got you covered! You can either take an activity in combination with one of our Nutshell tours or as a single activity when visiting Norway. Check out our exciting collection!