Christmas is such a magical time, and there’s fewer better places to enjoy it than the snowy paradise of Norway. With thick blankets of soft snow covering everything from the majestic mountains to the glistening fjords below, the scenery is astounding. If you can imagine yourselves snuggled up by an open fire inside a rustic log cabin, and sipping hot chocolate as the brilliant colours of the aurora borealis fill the sky – it’s time to book a trip to Norway this festive season.
Here, we share our top tips for enjoying a Norwegian adventure this Christmas.
Christmas is a big deal in Norway. It comes with many traditions that bring people together to create lifelong memories that will warm your heart for years to come. From early November, there’s a plethora of cosy festive markets to explore, hosted everywhere from the twinkling high streets to the striking Fredriksten Fortress in Halden. For a more rural experience, try the charming Christmas market in the mountain town of Geilo, where you can sample locally made food and artisan crafts around a roaring bonfire.
No matter which Norwegian Christmas markets you visit, you can expect a warm welcome from the locals. And with choir singing, mulled wine, handmade gifts and entertainment aplenty, it’s an experience not to be missed.
The communal Christmas spirit in this winter wonderland has led to the creation of some truly magical family attractions, including entire miniature towns made from gingerbread, the ‘Norwegian Santa’ Fjøsnissen, and the Fjellheisen cable car ride over Tromsø. But you don’t have to have children in tow to enjoy these mesmerising festive experiences – they are captivating for all ages.
If you are visiting Norway with little ones, be sure to pay a visit to Santa’s official post office in Drøbak, a small village outside Oslo. Whilst there, you can indulge in some authentically Norwegian festive treats such as Pinnekjøtt, tender salted and dried meat on skewers, or you could get in the mood with some traditional Aquavit, a spicy potato liquor aged in Oak casks.
Cruise along the fjords
For an entirely different perspective of a Norwegian Christmas, why not enjoy a relaxing cruise along the icy fjords? These ancient fjords are remnants of massive glaciers that have melted over time to create deep waterways that wind through the valleys and gorges in this ethereal mountain range.
As you gently glide along, you can expect unspoilt, panoramic views that are nothing short of spectacular. And in the thicket of winter, the snow-covered mountains offer an especially festive viewing experience. Depending on which of the thousands of fjords you explore, you may see some of the highest waterfalls in the world, wild elk or moose, the rare Stellers’ eider (a rare sea duck), and even the spectacular northern lights.
A true winter wonderland
It’s clear that Norway is the perfect place to enjoy a true winter wonderland this Christmas. And with such amazing scenery and a jolly, festive spirit radiating throughout the country, it’s impossible to not get swept up in all of the delights of this special season.