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You want to see both the legendary fjords and the midnight sun, but only have one week. It may seem out of reach, but with a bit of smart planning, it can absolutely be done.

Norway has more than a thousand fjords, but the really famous ones are located in Fjord Norway. The fjords might be the most important symbol of Norway, and are definitely amongst the most popular attractions. But as the midnight sun only occurs above the arctic circle, you need to plan carefully if you want to see both spectacles on the same trip.

First of all, take your time to figure out when and where you want to start. The fjords can be seen all year long, but the midnight sun only occurs during summer. The further north you go, the more nights of midnight sun you get. The closer to midsummer, the further south you will be able to enjoy the endless day.

Where and when to experience the midnight sun:

  • At the Arctic Circle: 12 June - 1 July
  • In Bodø: 4 June - 8 July
  • In the Lofoten Islands: 28 May - 14 July
  • In Tromsø: 20 May - 22 July
  • At the North Cape: 14 May - 29 July
  • In Svalbard: 20 April - 22 August
"These last few days I have been thinking and thinking of the Nordland summer, with its endless day."
Knut Hamsun, Pan

Norway

Map source: Kartverket (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

Highlights of Fjord Norway

Start your trip in Stavanger or Bergen and swing by Ålesund if you have the time. On your way, you can see the fjords from boats, trains or famous mountain plateaus.

The Stavanger Region

Stavanger has excellent domestic connections and direct flights to and from much of Europe, as well as a car ferry connection to Denmark. Once there, a daytrip to the mountain plateau Preikestolen (The Pulpit Rock) is a must. The hike takes about two hours, and the view from the top is captured in more than 200.000 selfies every year.

If you prefer to skip the hike, you can see the majestic cliff from below by taking a fjord cruise on the Lysefjord. If you have a bit of extra time in the Stavanger area and want another hiking challenge, consider a trip to Kjerag and stand on Kjeragbolten, the famous boulder stuck between two mountainsides.

Get active in the Stavanger Region

From Stavanger, make your way north towards Bergen. If you want to stay for a bit, the Hardangerfjord Region between Stavanger and Bergen, known for its towering mountains, steep waterfalls, blooming fruit trees and strong apple cider, is well worth the trip.

If you're driving, you can take the National Tourist Routes Ryfylke and Hardanger, both of which have lots of opportunities to make short detours or leave the car and explore small villages, high waterfalls and mountain plateaus with a view. Read more about National Tourist Routes.

Bergen

It is easy to get to Bergen, from both inland and abroad. Once there, the daytrip Norway in a Nutshell guides you through some of the most dramatic mountain landscape in Fjord Norway. You’ll get to ride with Flåmsbana (The Flåm Railway) and see the UNESCO-listed Nærøyfjord.

If you want to explore the mountains on two wheels, you can rent a bike and conquer Rallarvegen (The Navvy’s Road), which is easily combined with the Norway in a Nutshell tour. With its steep descents and wild waterfalls, Rallarvegen is named Norway's finest bicycle road by the magazine Travel and Vacation.

See it for yourself

Ålesund & Sunnmøre

If time allows, you should stop in Ålesund. The most relaxing way to travel from Bergen to Ålesund is Hurtigruten, the coastal steamer that serves the entire Norwegian coast north of Bergen on a daily basis.

From the art noveau style city of Ålesund, you can take a daytrip to Geirangerfjord, a jewel in the Norwegian fjord crown and Norway’s second fjord listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Join the midnight sun club

There are two kinds of people: Those who have already experienced the midnight sun, and those who have yet to see it. Summer nights are long and bright in all of Norway, but to experience true white nights, you must go north of the Arctic Circle. It is a long drive from Ålesund, so you might want to fly or take Hurtigruten instead.

The Lofoten Islands

Few places are better suited to experience the midnight sun than the Lofoten Islands. Surrounded by the sea and largely untouched natural landscape, you can lean back and enjoy the peace and quiet.

But there are also plenty of activities available under the midnight sun for visitors with energy to burn. North of the Arctic Circle, the locals tend to make sure that you forget to go to bed.

Lofoten never sleeps

Tromsø

It might be tempting to stay in Lofoten for the remains of your days, but Tromsø further north is a city you shouldn’t miss. From Bodø you can fly to the city with the nickname “Paris of the North” in one hour, or you can enjoy the midnight sun from the deck of Hurtigruten before it arrives in Tromsø late the following day.

If you have time to spare or want to extend your stay, continue north from Tromsø by plane, or use Hurtigruten as the hop-on, hop-off service it was meant to be. If you hop all the way to the turn-around port Kirkenes, you can fly back to Tromsø, Oslo or a number of smaller towns.

The North Cape

In the extreme north of Europe, the North Cape is one of Norway’s most popular tourist destinations and can offer a wide selection of attractions and activities. Here, only the Svalbard archipelago lies between you and the North Pole, and the sun never sets between the middle of May and the end of July. To get there, fly to Honningsvåg or take Hurtigruten to one of the towns in the region.

The Svalbard Islands

If you still haven’t got enough, you can fly from Tromsø to Svalbard and experience a true Arctic adventure. This far north you get midnight sun from 20 April until 22 August. Bring warm clothes, and watch out for polar bears.

Things to do under the midnight sun

Plan your route

Ferry Midnight, Salten, Bodø
Suggested route
Suggested route
The Stavanger region
Breathtaking surroundings with fjords, mountains and long, white beaches. Stavanger also boasts an impressive assortment of museums and… more
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Bergen
Bergen is Norway's second largest city, and lies clambering up the mountain sides, overlooking the sea, embracing you. You can roam through living… more
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The Ålesund and Sunnmøre area
You could go hiking or skiing, admire the city’s unique Art Nouveau architecture, explore the fjords – or just kick back and enjoy the… more
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The Lofoten Islands
Lofoten is known for excellent fishing, spectacular nature attractions such as the northern lights and the midnight sun, and small villages off the… more
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Tromsø
Tromsø is ideal for seeing the northern lights and has a modern mix of outdoor activities, a vibrant nightlife, and places to eat… more
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The North Cape
Far above the Arctic Circle, the North Cape offers arctic adventures like dog-sledding in the winter and months of never-ending sunlight in… more
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Nærøyfjorden
The most famous fjords
The most famous fjords
The Geirangerfjord area
The deep blue UNESCO-protected Geirangerfjord is surrounded by majestic, snow- covered mountain peaks, wild waterfalls and lush, green vegetation. more
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The Sognefjord area
The Sognefjord is Norway's longest and deepest fjord, and one of its arms, the Nærøyfjord, is on UNESCO's World Heritage List.… more
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Nordfjord
In Nordfjord you are greeted by a beautiful stretch of coastline, towering mountains and the biggest glacier on mainland Europe, Jostedalsbreen. more
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The Hardangerfjord region
From the fjord itself to Folgefonna glacier and the iconic Trolltunga, the Hardangerfjord region offers Norwegian nature at its most scenic. The area… more
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The UNESCO Nærøyfjord
The wildest and most beautiful branch of the Sognefjord. The Naeroyfjord the most beautiful and wildest arm of the Sognefjord is on the UNESCO World… more
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Aurlandsfjorden
National Tourist Routes
National Tourist Routes
National Tourist Route Hardanger
Driving the National Tourist Route Hardanger takes you through some impressive scenic fjord landscapes. This is a close encounter with the… more
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National Tourist Route Hardangervidda
National Tourist Route Hardangervidda takes you through the Hardangervidda National Park, from the high mountain plateau down through the canyons to… more
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Aurlandsfjellet - National Tourist Route
The mountainroad between Aurland and Lærdal is normally open from the 1st of June to approx. 15th of October. From Aurland to the viewpoint-… more
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Gaularfjell National Tourist Route
For most people Gaularfjellet is a well-kept secret, but for all those who have discovered the road it is quite special. A journey along the road… more
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Sognefjellet National Tourist Route
Route 55 across the Sognefjell mountain area between Luster and Lom is the highest and most impressive mountain pass in Northern Europe (highest point… more
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National Tourist Route Gamle Strynefjellsvegen
This is one the National Tourist Roads in Norway. The over 100 years old road winds over the mountain between Stryn and Skjåk. For many years the… more
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National Tourist Route Atlanterhavsvegen
A unique stretch of road which takes you right out to the ocean’s edge. In 2005, the road was voted Norway’s «Engineering Feat of the Century», and is… more
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THE NATIONAL TOURIST ROUTE - ANDØY
The road network on the west side of Andøya received National Tourist Route status on 30th June 2012. It stretches from the crossroads at Åknes to the… more
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The midnight sun in Tromsø
Where to see the midnight sun
Where to see the midnight sun
Bodø
Few Norwegian towns and cities are so close to the wilderness as Bodø. Here activities under the northern lights are right on your doorstep. more
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The Lofoten Islands
Lofoten is known for excellent fishing, spectacular nature attractions such as the northern lights and the midnight sun, and small villages off the… more
Showing 1 of 5
Tromsø
Tromsø is ideal for seeing the northern lights and has a modern mix of outdoor activities, a vibrant nightlife, and places to eat… more
Showing 1 of 5
The North Cape
Far above the Arctic Circle, the North Cape offers arctic adventures like dog-sledding in the winter and months of never-ending sunlight in… more
Showing 1 of 5
The Svalbard Islands
The Svalbard Islands are located in the Arctic Ocean, halfway between Norway and the North Pole. Here, you will find untouched arctic wilderness and… more
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