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Many birds flying across the sea outside of Træna under the midnight sun
Træna island in Helgeland.
Photo: Bård Løken / www.nordnorge.com/ Træna
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You want to see both the legendary fjords and the midnight sun, but only have one week in Norway. It may seem out of reach, but with a well planned out itinerary, 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.

However, 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.

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 day trip to the mountain plateau Preikestolen (The Pulpit Rock) is a must. The hike takes about three hours, and the view from the top is captured in more than 300,000 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 region and want another hiking challenge, consider a trip to Kjerag and admire Kjeragbolten, the famous boulder stuck between two mountainsides.

Bergen

It is easy to get to Bergen from both inland and abroad. Once there, the day trip 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.

Ålesund and Sunnmøre

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

From the art nouveau style city of Ålesund, you can take a day trip to the Geirangerfjord, a jewel in the Norwegian fjord crown and listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Dynamic Variation:

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.

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 always 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 offers 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.

What is the midnight sun?

The midnight sun is a natural phenomenon that occurs during summer in places south of the Antarctic Circle and north of the Arctic Circle – including Northern Norway.

The earth is rotating at a tilted axis relative to the sun, and during the summer months the North Pole is angled towards our star. That’s why, for several weeks, the sun never sets above the Arctic Circle.

Svalbard is the place in Norway where the midnight sun occurs for the longest period. Here, the sun never sets from 20 April to 22 August.

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

Plan your route

Suggested route
Breathtaking surroundings with fjords, mountains and long, white beaches. Stavanger and Sandnes also boasts an impressive assortment of museums and… Read more
The Stavanger region
Bergen is Norway's second largest city, and lies clambering up the mountain sides, overlooking the sea, embracing you. You can roam through living… Read more
Bergen
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The Ålesund and Sunnmøre area
Lofoten is known for excellent fishing, nature attractions such as the northern lights and the midnight sun, and small villages off the beaten track.… Read more
The Lofoten Islands
Tromsø is ideal for seeing the northern lights and has a modern mix of outdoor activities, a vibrant nightlife, and places to eat… Read more
Tromsø
Far above the Arctic Circle, the North Cape offers arctic adventures like dog-sledding in the winter and months of never-ending sunlight in… Read more
The North Cape
The Svalbard Islands are located in the Arctic Ocean, halfway between Norway and the North Pole. Here, you will find untouched arctic wilderness and… Read more
The Svalbard Islands
The most famous fjords
With more than 1,000 fjords around the country, 10 of which are frequented regularly by cruise ships, you might need some help to choose where to go and which fjords to see.
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Step on world famous mountain plateaus like Preikestolen and Kjerag, and then challenge yourself on the 4444 steps of the wooden staircase of… Read more
The Lysefjord area
From the fjord itself to Folgefonna glacier and the iconic Trolltunga, the Hardangerfjord region offers Norwegian nature at its most scenic. The area… Read more
The Hardangerfjord region
A narrow, lush branch of Norway’s longest fjord, the Sognefjord. The village of Flåm is located by the Aurlandsfjord, and you can travel there on the… Read more
The Aurlandsfjord
The Nærøyfjord is on the UNESCO world heritage list and is a side arm to the Sognefjord. Read more
The Nærøyfjord
The Sognefjord is Norway’s longest and deepest fjord, and it’s famous arm the Nærøyfjord has World Heritage status. The… Read more
The Sognefjord area
The deep blue UNESCO-protected Geirangerfjord is surrounded by majestic, snow- covered mountain peaks, wild waterfalls and lush, green vegetation. Read more
The Geirangerfjord area
This fjord has much of the same dramatic physique as the Geirangerfjord, but with far fewer tourists and more untouched nature. Quaint villages are… Read more
The Hjørundfjord
The Romsdal area is known for its diverse nature. Two well known tourist attractions in the area are the winding mountain road Trollstigen and the… Read more
The Romsdalsfjord
This fjord measures only about 100 metres across at its most narrow point, but it is still frequented daily in the summer by cruise ships like… Read more
The Trollfjord
Where to see the midnight sun
The Vega archipelago, situated off the Helgeland coast, is named one of the world’s top undiscovered island gems. You should also pay a visit to… Read more
Helgeland
Experience the cultural hub of Bodø as well as untouched nature, the world’s strongest tidal current, and remarkable, windswept… Read more
Salten
Bodø is home to the world’s strongest maelstrom Saltstraumen. The largest city in the county of Nordland is also just a boat ride away… Read more
Bodø
Lofoten is known for excellent fishing, nature attractions such as the northern lights and the midnight sun, and small villages off the beaten track.… Read more
The Lofoten Islands
The archipelago of Vesterålen is a place characterized by contrasts, from white beaches and idyllic farmlands to craggy mountain peaks rising… Read more
Vesterålen
Bring your hiking boots and experience the tall mountain peaks close to Harstad. Enjoy culinary brilliance and find out why Harstad is known as the… Read more
Harstad
It’s wild, it’s dramatic – and it’s most certainly unique. Narvik is perfect for nature experiences or an active holiday. Read more
Narvik
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Senja and Central Troms
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Tromsø
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The Lyngenfjord region
In the city of Alta you can experience Sami culture up close, see UNESCO protected rock carvings, sleep in a ice hotel or hunt for the northern light. Read more
Alta
Join a dogsled expedition, learn to throw a lasso, and experience the Sami culture first hand in Karasjok and Kautokeino. Read more
Land of the Sami
Far above the Arctic Circle, the North Cape offers arctic adventures like dog-sledding in the winter and months of never-ending sunlight in… Read more
The North Cape
An urban surprise along a barren, mostly uninhabited coast, Hammerfest is an arctic town full of life and outdoor adventurous. Read more
Hammerfest
In Nordkyn, the northernmost region on the European mainland, you can enjoy beautiful scenery, world class fishing, Arctic adventures and… Read more
Nordkyn
Teeming bird rocks in Hornøya, a snow hotel, dramatic war stories and a witch monument in Vardø are among the attractions awaiting… Read more
Kirkenes and Eastern Finnmark
The Svalbard Islands are located in the Arctic Ocean, halfway between Norway and the North Pole. Here, you will find untouched arctic wilderness and… Read more
The Svalbard Islands
Norwegian Scenic Routes
Along selected roads in Norway, natural wonders are amplified by art, design and architecture – taking you closer to nature in new and surprising ways.
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Varanger
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Havøysund
The steep mountains plunging deep into the ocean are a breathtaking sight and the most prominent feature of this stretch. Read more
Senja
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Andøya
Regardless of the time of year, Lofoten provides a journey in breathtaking natural surroundings. Read more
Lofoten
The six ferry trips and the contrasts the Norwegian Scenic Route Helgelandskysten presents mean that you must set aside plenty of time for the drive. Read more
Helgelandskysten
Nothing is as mighty as the ocean – the most important transport route for centuries, a source of income and the starting point for innumerable… Read more
Atlanterhavsvegen
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Geiranger-Trollstigen
Sometimes it is the road itself that is the destination, and this is true of Norwegian Scenic Route Gamle Strynefjellsvegen. Read more
Gamle Strynefjellsvegen
Over 2,000 metre-high summits in a singular landscape decked in blinding white snow, the rays of the low-hanging sun reflecting on the glittering… Read more
Rondane
From the verdant meadows and the lush cultural landscape of Bøverdalen you can catch a glimpse of towering mountains in the far distance, as the road… Read more
Sognefjellet
Driving in the open sweep of the landscape can be compared with the feeling of flying. The road swoops and stretches out ahead in long sweeps of… Read more
Valdresflye
For most people, Gaularfjellet is a well-kept secret, but for all those who have discovered the road, it is quite special. Read more
Gaularfjellet
Most scenic routes are stunning no matter what direction you drive in but this particular stretch presents its most dramatic side if you start the… Read more
Aurlandsfjellet
It’s no secret that Hardanger is like a picture postcard and almost everywhere you look you will feast your eyes on thundering waterfalls or fruit… Read more
Hardanger
The fact that the road crosses the biggest high mountain plateau in Northern Europe tells you something about what lies in wait, but not everything. Read more
Hardangervidda
The drive along the Norwegian Scenic Route Ryfylke is a trip full of contrasts. Here you will encounter high barren mountains, lush hillsides, sheer… Read more
Ryfylke
To some extent Norwegian Scenic Route Jæren differs from many of the others – it’s quite simply a regular all-purpose road. Read more
Jæren
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