Norway, the land of fjords, Northern Lights, and endless adventure

This travel post has been generated by ChatGPT based on my inputs, and then customized to reflect our experiences in more detail. All photos are mine. Enjoy!

Welcome to Norway, the land of fjords, Northern Lights, and endless adventure. This beautiful country is known for its stunning natural landscapes, vibrant cities, and rich cultural heritage. 

If your main purpose of visiting Norway is to see the Northern Lights, then you need to aim to go between September and Mid April as you would be maximizing your chances due to longer evenings. I invite you to check this post for more details about predicting the Northern Lights for photography which a colleague of mine wrote.

Combination of Northern Lights and city lights reflection captured in Kirkenes - Norway

The beauty of Norway is that it’s an all year round type of destination. We chose to go to Norway in winter for its winter activities such as Dog Sledding, Snowmobiling and more. In this travel post, we'll take you on a journey to some of Norway's most exciting destinations, including Oslo, Tromsø, and Kirkenes. So buckle up, and let's get started!


Our journey began in Oslo, the capital city of Norway. This vibrant city is a hub of culture, history, and cuisine, with plenty to see and do for visitors of all ages. The most striking thing for me was seeing sculptures all around. You can start your trip with a visit to the famous Vigeland Park, where you can marvel at the beautiful sculptures and statues created by Gustav Vigeland. You can also visit the iconic landmarks such as the Viking Ship Museum, Royal Palace, and the Fram Museum. Next, head to the Oslo Opera House, where you can take a guided tour and learn about the history of this stunning architectural masterpiece; moreover you can enjoy the view from there as well. If you're a foodie, don't miss the chance to try some of Oslo's famous dishes, such as reindeer meat and smoked salmon. On our first night, we went to a nearby Italian restaurant “Campo De Fiori” which from the looks of it was quite a popular place with the locals, and it did not disappoint at all.

Opera House - Oslo

Opera House - Oslo

While in Oslo, you can also do a short fjord sightseeing cruise. When we were there we enjoyed some beautiful light as the sun only shines for 6-7 hours a day, and our cruise was breaking through ice-sheets so we were able to hear the ice break. The cruise allows you to view Oslo’s landmarks such as the Opera House, Oslo City Hall and other viewpoints from the water. 

Another thing we recommend is visiting one of the dozen sauna rooms in Oslo where you can spend time warming up then entering the ice cold fjord water for few minutes then repeating that. We didn't get the chance to do it but hopefully we can do this sometime in the future. 

"She Lies" sculpture designed and created by Italian artist Monica Bonvicini

"The artwork floats on a concrete platform tethered to the harbor floor, allowing it to turn and change based on the tides and currents. Its subtle movements are a reminder of nature’s constant change." Read more here.

Statues all around Oslo

Cruise trip

Another approach can be by starting your cruise from Bergen. This cruise passes through Norway’s fjords all the way to the north allowing you to stop at different parts of the country where you can marvel at snow-capped mountains, crystal-clear waters, and lush green valleys, truly one of Norway’s most spectacular natural wonders. I know that I will be doing this again one day, possibly spring time. You'll have the opportunity to see some of Norway's most beautiful towns and villages along the way, including Oslo, Alesund, and Geiranger. Make sure to bring your camera, as the scenery is absolutely breathtaking.


On our fourth day, we flew to Tromsø. We landed into a semi snow storm, all white around. I would say this was my first time seeing this much snow. We were amazed by the stunning natural beauty of the Arctic region.


View from Tromsø Harbor of the Arctic Cathedral

During your stay, you can go dog sledding with Alaskan dogs through the snow-covered forests, take an easy reindeer sleigh ride where you also get to get close to the reindeers and feed them, and learn about the Sami culture and heritage. We did all of this at Camp Tamok which was a couple hours drive away. The camp also has plenty of other activities that you can do. At night, you can embark on an unforgettable Northern Lights chase and witness the Aurora Borealis dancing across the night sky. Unfortunately we weren’t that lucky during our time there as it was very heavily cloudy. You can also take some time to explore Tromsø's charming streets and visit the Arctic Cathedral, Tromsø Harbor and the Polaria Aquarium.  

Reindeer Sledding - Camp Tamok

Pictures with the Alaskan Huskies - Camp Tamok

You can also try what apparently is the “best hotdog” in the world. We also found a really cute cafe called Svermeri [instagram] with the nicest cups and plates and best dessert.

Tromsø Hotdog

Svermeri Cafe - Tromsø

Hurtigruten Cruise

Our on fourth day in Tromso, we boarded the Hurtigruten for what was supposed to be a two-night voyage through the Norwegian fjords and into the Arctic Ocean in order to reach Kirkenes post. However, due to the high waves, we were informed a few hours later that we will be dropped off in the morning at another port and from there the great team had arranged for a bus to take us through Finland on an eight hour trip to reach Kirkenes. Luckily, we saw the Northern Lights that evening and during the day we savored seeing polar stratospheric clouds and some breathtaking snow-covered landscapes, towering mountains, and frozen lakes. We also had delicious Salmon for dinner and made it to Kirkenes early evening, in time to rest and be ready to start our activities early the next day. 

Nordnorge cruiseship - Hurtigruten Cruise

Interior of Nordnorge cruiseship

We sadly didn’t get to enjoy the cruise the way we were hoping. It was our first time on a cruise ship, and I was really looking forward to living the cruise life. I can though with confidence understand the appeal of being on a cruise as you constantly have the opportunity of seeing beautiful landscapes non-stop, eating great food, having several different spots to sit and read, eat, drink. There was also a jacuzzi on the top of the cruise. 


We finally made it to Kirkenes (pronounced Shirkenes), a small town located in the far north of Norway, only a few kilometers away from Russia. This charming town is a winter wonderland, with snow-covered landscapes, ice hotels, and exciting outdoor activities.

Northern Lights over Kirkenes - Norway

During your stay, you can experience the thrill of snowmobiling (see Reel video) and snowshoeing (see Reel video) through the Arctic wilderness. On our first day, we went snowmobiling on frozen fjords and lakes, with the mid-day sun shining on us with its unique Arctic light. It was a beautiful experience. That same evening, we spent a night in the Snow Hotel, where you can sleep in a room made entirely of snow at a temperature of -4°C. They had 12 rooms with an ice bar and several ice sculptures. You spend your time in a warm lounge with never-ending tea, coffee, hot cocoa and snacks. And at night, you’re invited for a lovely dinner during which they explain to you the instructions, such as wearing a balaclava, something to warm your neck with, and picking your very warm sleeping bags made for -30°C. See our experience in this reel video

Snowmobiling over a frozen fjord in Norway.

Snow hotel ice bar in Kirkenes - Norway

In that same location, Snow Hotel Kirkenes, you can also do dog sledding. We were tempted to do this again as it’s quite fun. Arctic huskies are super energetic, and even 0°C is considered warm. They need to release this energy and move around. They usually do one or two trips per day. From what we saw, we can tell that the dogs are being very well cared for in both establishments we went to. 

Is dog sledding an ethical activity? I invite you to read this article as I found it to be very interesting and insightful. 

What to pack

All activities provide you with shoes, gloves and overalls to wear to keep you warm. This doesn’t mean you should pack light. You are going to a very cold place where you will be doing many things on your own. You should definitely get yourself a warm parka or down jacket, wear layers (based layers, fleece), have warm gloves and snow gloves, ear muffs, neck warmer, beanie, and warm boots. You can also purchase hand and foot warmers. In some parts of Norway and any cold winter place, you will encounter icy grounds, for this I also recommend, only if you’re like me (extremely cautious and worrisome) to get crampons. There are several types, depending on the activities you will be doing and how icy the roads are. The representatives at the shop will be able to help you choose the right one. 

Learning about the Sami Culture inside a Lavvu in Camp Tamok


This itinerary provides a perfect blend of Norway's vibrant cities, stunning natural beauty, and unique cultural experiences. From the charming streets of Oslo to the Arctic wilderness of Kirkenes, this trip is sure to leave you with unforgettable memories. 

Some have asked us whether it is worth visiting both Tromsø and Kirkenes since most activities are available in both. I personally enjoyed visiting both and I felt I got to know Norway a bit more. Next on the list is to go during Autumn or Spring time and visit Bergen and Trolltunga. 

#FROMNORWAYWITHFUNK - Visit on Instagram.


Post a Comment

Popular Posts