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Iconic Norway.
Photo: Grim Berge / Sven-Erik Knoff / Natural Light Earth


Travel Trade

In the Viking sagas wintertime is often summed up as “that winter he stayed at home at the farm”. It was a time to stay indoors and rest up, but in this day and age, you might as well spend your winter days enjoying the snow under your feet.

The dark night returns

In winter, much of Norway is usually transformed into a snow-clad paradise, and that means ideal opportunities for exciting activities in the snowy landscape. Skiing has a special place in Norwegian culture and history, and during this fresh white season, people of all ages head outdoors to enjoy the slick slopes and groomed trails.

But winter nights are long and dark in all of Norway, and from the middle of November until the end of January, the sun does not rise at all in parts of Northern Norway, north of the Arctic Circle.

Northern Lights, Skullsfjord, Kvaløya Northern Lights, Skullsfjord, Kvaløya
Northern Lights, Skullsfjord, Kvaløya.
Photo: Gaute Bruvik - Visitnorway.com

However, the northern lights might appear over your head during this time, and light up the white landscape.

The northern lights are most commonly seen in the north, but may on rare occasions be seen in all of Norway – even at the country’s southernmost point. October, February and March are the best months for seeing the magical light show.


How to dress for winter in Norway

Winters in Norway can be bitterly cold, even if they aren’t always. How to dress for outdoor activities thus depends on what you are doing and where you are doing it.

If you are heading high up or far north – or both, for that matter – dress warmly and in layers. Use wool rather than cotton or polyester, and make sure you can protect yourself from getting wet and being caught in the wind.

Wind chill factor will make you feel much colder than the temperature actually says, and this effect will get worse the stronger the wind. If you’re wet, hypothermia and frostbite may not be far away – unless you are well prepared and dressed.

Seasonal food and drink

Most people prefer to think of seafood such as prawns, langoustines, blue mussels, scallops and lobsters as summer delicacies, but the fact is that the season is really in the wintertime, when quality and flavour is at its highest.

Fresh fish is also at its best in the winter, and many restaurants in Norway offer cod, halibut, salmon and trout of the highest quality at this time.

Dishes based on fish, mutton, pork or deer will also be popular Christmas food, and can be found at many restaurants in the run-up to the holiday season. Some traditional Norwegian dishes you should try are the “smalahove” (sheep’s head), the “lutefisk” (cod soaked in lye) and the pinnekjøtt (dried, salted and steamed sheep ribs).

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