Norway

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Norway’s majestic mountains, yawning fjords, and fertile plateaus present a dramatic backdrop for myriad exciting outdoor pursuits. Meanwhile, Oslo and Bergen offer world-class cultural opportunities and cutting-edge design.

Things to do in Norway

Bergen International Festival

The largest of its kind in the Nordic countries, the Bergen International Festival comprises over 150 events taking place over two weeks in late May and early June. The festival showcases a mix of contemporary and classical art forms, including music, literature, theater, dance, opera, and visual arts, and attracts many local and international artists.

Festspillene i Bergen, PB 183 Sentrum, 011-47-5521-0630, www.fib.no
Tags: things to do | culture | performing arts

Experience Sami culture

The Sami are the semi-nomadic, reindeer-herding people of northern Norway’s Lapland. Learn about their culture and way of life at the Varjjat Sami Museum in Varangerbotn, eastern Finnmark, where you can also witness a leg of Finnmarksløpet, the world’s northernmost sled-dog race (held each March, www.finnmarkslopet.no); visit a traditional arts and crafts market; or stay overnight in a Sami tepee.

9840 Varangerbotn, Finnmark, 011-47-7895-9920, www.varjjat.org
Tags: things to do | culture | history | crafts | market | sports

Go on an Arctic safari

Voted best new trip for 2008 by National Geographic Adventure, this four-day safari highlights the best of Norway's northern wilderness and includes dog-sledding, northern lights hunting, a snowmobile ride, and a swim in the Arctic Ocean (in a survival suit) to catch king crabs - giants that can reach 6.5 feet in size and weigh up to 33 pounds.

Artic Adventures Resorts, Jarfjordbotn, N9900, Kirkenes, 011-47-7899-6874, www.arctic-adventure.no
Tags: things to do | outdoors | swimming | wildlife | adventure

Hiking

Norway is a hikers' paradise, with beautiful mountain scenery, well-maintained trails, and welcoming huts for overnight camping. Jotunheimen is home to Galdhøpiggen, Norway's highest peak (8,100 feet), and you'll find many popular walks in the area, including Besseggen. Glacier excursions can also be organized here.

Jotunheimen Reiseliv AS, Postboks 63 2688 Lom, 011-47-6121-2990, www.visitjotunheimen.com
Tags: hiking | things to do | outdoors

Hurtigruten Cruise

The best way to travel up or down the scenic Norwegian coast is with the Hurtigruten cruise company, which specializes in voyages to remote destinations. Ships follow the old postal route between Bergen in the south and Kirkenes in the north. The full trip takes seven days, but you can hop on and off as you like, cruising around islands and past majestic fjords along the way.

Hurtigruten, 866-257-6071, www.hurtigruten.com
Tags: cruise | smart splurge | things to do | outdoors | boat tour

Norway's National Day

Join in the biggest party in town as the whole population gathers near Karl Johan Gate, Oslo, every May 17 to celebrate the country's constitution. Many wear traditional costumes (bunad) and all cheer enthusiastically as a huge parade marches to the palace, where the Royal Family waves to the crowd from a balcony.

Karl Johan Gate, 011-47-8153-0555, www.visitoslo.com
Tags: family | festivals and events | things to do | holiday

Oslo-Bergen Train Line

The picturesque 326-mile trip (7-8 hours) from Oslo to Bergen winds along streams at the bottom of narrow gorges, bypassing fairy-tale villages and traversing snow-covered mountains to reach a height of 4,000 feet (at Finse) before pulling into historic Bergen – a coastal city that has welcomed world travelers for almost 1,000 years.

NSB (Norwegian Railways), Oslo Sentralstasjon, Jernbanetorget 1, 011-47-815-00-888 (press 4 for information in English), www.nsb.no
Tags: family | views | things to do | train

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