Two weeks in fjord country with unforgettable natural landscapes and spectacular cultural experiences marked my first, but definitely not my last, visit to Norway. Nothing could have prepared me for the scale and beauty that fjord country has to offer.
Norway in July is absolutely exquisite, with its temperate weather, warming waters, vibrant wildflowers, and midnight sun. We packed fall weather gear but were lucky to never have needed more than a light jacket.
The best part about visiting Norway during summer is experiencing the natural wonder of 18 hours of daylight. In the love language of fernweh, that translates to more time for my hungry soul to wander. This phenomenon allows for almost endless exploration and full immersion in the sunlit splendor of the Norwegian countryside.
And yes, you may need a car to see the full breadth and beauty of fjord country, but it’s worth every penny if you hire one.
Here’s a collection of just a handful of my favorite photos in wild, wonderful Norge.
If you know nothing else about this splendid country, you’ve probably heard of Norway’s unforgiving winters. With half of the country lying above the arctic circle, one can only imagine the unique landscape that centuries of shifting ice have sculpted. Ancient ice masses carved out giant valleys that allow fresh rivers to feed the waters of the Atlantic ocean. As winter ends and southern Norway thaws, the mountains erupt with green spring life as glacier-fed waters fill the fjords with turquoise brilliance, contrasting the dramatic, rocky landscape.
Not even the best photographers can capture the essence of this place in a still image.
Even in the warm months of summer, hundreds of waterfalls trickle down the many cliff faces of The Great North. Melting ice dramatically dives into fjords every which way you look. Attempting to count all the waterfalls during a visit to Norway is foolish, because you’ll lose track. Instead, I suggest just marveling in the powerful display of nature running its course. Just remember, you’re in one of the world’s most beautiful places.
Norway’s best fjord cruise winds through Nærøyfjord, a place considered one of the best natural heritage sites in the world. Grandiose mountains tower above as the ferry makes its way from Gudvangen to Kaupanger. What makes the trip so special is that the fjord is too small for large cruise ships to journey through. Its lightly trafficked waters and narrow thoroughfare allow for prime viewing of untouched Norwegian landscape.
In July, the countryside is beaming with wild blue bells and purple fireweeds. Arctic blueberries, lingonberries and raspberries grow thickly in forests as residential gardens thrive from the temperate and generous climate. On many occasions, we picked wild fruits and garden herbs to use at our culinary discretion and delight.
Authentic Norwegian food, like what is served at the Ciderhuset in Balestrand, is colorful, fresh, full of flavor, meticulously crafted, and always harvested locally. Taking pride in sustainable practices, Norway celebrates regionally grown food and seasonal fare. My favorite was the cured lamb, reindeer meatballs, fresh smoked salmon, and white undredal goat cheese. The dry craft cider rounded out the dishes perfectly.
The Grand Finale
On my final day in fjord country, my family hiked to a glacier. We discovered the bluest water with massive pieces of floating ice bobbing down the small gorge. It was the perfect spot for lunch with my daughter before we began our final stretch to see the glacier in its full glory up close.
On the drive home, with my kid asleep in the back seat and my husband navigating, I meandered our rental car alongside the Josetdel river. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw something incredible. Two waterfalls had carved out a giant shape in the mountainside.
What better than to end your first visit to fjord country with seeing a natural heart in the Norwegian mountain face.
Norway, you’re better than what even my wildest dreams are made of. Love, a Nomadic Dreamer.