• Balestrand, Sognefjord, Norway
    Balestrand, Sognefjord


Norway is stacked with superlatives — it's the most mountainous, most scenic, and most prosperous of all the Scandinavian countries. Perhaps above all, Norway is a land of intense natural beauty, its famously steep mountains and deep fjords carved out and shaped by an ancient ice age. On a sunny day, Norway exudes an "I could live here" appeal like no place else.


At a Glance

▲▲▲ Norway in a Nutshell A combination train, bus, and ferry trip to and through Norway's most spectacularly beautiful fjords — the Sognefjord and Nærøyfjord — passing pristine waterfalls, verdant forests, and take-your-breath-away scenery.

▲▲ Oslo Norway's sharp capital city, with its historic and walkable core, mural-lined City Hall, sculptures at Vigeland Park, and inspiring Nobel Peace Center, while the nearby Bygdøy district hosts museums dedicated to ships (Viking, Fram, and Kon-Tiki), traditional folk life, and the Holocaust.

▲▲ Bergen Salty port town and medieval capital of Norway, with lively fish market, colorful Hanseatic quarter (Bryggen), and a funicular to the top of Mount Fløyen with great views.

Sognefjord Fjordside hamlet of Balestrand, a cozy home base for exploring nearby sights (including a medieval stave church), plus the serene Lustrafjord, with another stave church and a glacier you can walk on.

Gudbrandsdal Valley and Jotunheimen Mountains Lush green valley connecting northern and southern Norway, with touristy Lillehammer, the excellent Maihaugen Open-Air Folk Museum, and a rugged mountain range with some of this country's finest hikes and drives.

South Norway Harborside Stavanger, the time-passed and remote Setesdal Valley, and the port town of Kristiansand (connected by ferry to Denmark).