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Røros Winter in Røros
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Photo: Kyrre Lien
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The dark night returns

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 and spend time with the family, but in this day and age, you might as well spend your winter days enjoying the snow under your feet and the northern lights overhead.

In winter much of Norway is usually transformed into a snow-clad paradise, but harsh winters can be both dark and cold in places, especially in areas higher up or farther north.

Not all of Norway gets covered in snow, however. In the lower areas along the coast, the temperature only rarely sinks below freezing, and winter might seem like an extension of the autumn rather than a season of its own.

Winter nights are long and dark in all of Norway, and in midwinter even well south of the Arctic Circle, the sun may not rise high enough to clear the surrounding mountains.

However, 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. October, February and March are the best months for seeing the northern lights.

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.

Snow Igloo
Trysil
C.H. - Visitnorway.com
Family playing in the snow in Vinje, Telemark
Vinje
CH - Visitnorway.com
Snow Blower sunrise
Norway
Foap
Northern Lights, Skullsfjord, Kvaløya
Kvaløya
Gaute Bruvik - Visitnorway.com
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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 will offer cod, halibut, salmon and trout of the highest quality at this time.

Dishes based on fish, mutton, pork or venison 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).

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 getting caught in the wind. Wind chill factor will make you feel much colder than it actually is, and its effects will get worse the stronger the wind. And if you’re wet, to boot, hypothermia and frostbite may not be far away unless you are well prepared and dressed.

Winter wonderland

Local weather and climate

Dynamic Variation:

Our other three seasons

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