A Nordic adventure with Avis car rental
Connect with the capital
Visitors are spoilt for choice when it comes to Oslo’s cultural offerings. The National Gallery is home to the country’s largest collection of art, spanning Norwegian sculpture, European Old Masters and international 20th century works. You can even see a version of Edvard Munch’s The Scream here. If that whets your appetite, head to the Munch Museum, which houses over half of the artist’s paintings.
The Viking Ship Museum narrates the country’s past for a real Viking experience. The most popular attractions are the Oseberg, Gokstad and Tune ships, believed to date from around the 9th century. The ships were unearthed from burial mounds and have now been fitted with special platforms to allow you to see inside the hulls.
Winter sports enthusiasts won’t want to miss a trip to the Holmenkollen ski jump and ski museum about 20 to 30 minutes from the city centre. The museum recounts the history of skiing, the expeditions of Nansen and Amundsen, and the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer and Oslo.
Head south for the summer
While not considered a traditional summer destination, the south of Norway enjoys a milder climate than one might expect. Featuring a picturesque rocky coastline and dotted with charming towns and villages, the area offers a summer holiday Nordic style.
Kristiansand is the largest city in this area and offers an array of activities and attractions for the whole family. The city has a fascinating old town made up of low-rise wooden houses and also hosts a wonderful fish market. Take a boat trip to the pretty village of Lillesand and relax in the calm of the quaint old streets and coastal vibe. For those seeking a more active trip, golfing, fishing and diving are all on offer in the nearby area.
North and west
Hoping for a glimpse of the Aurora Borealis? One of the seven natural wonders of the world, this is truly an experience for all ages. As a natural wonder, the lights are of course unpredictable but to be in with the best chance of a sighting, head to the north of the country from late September to March. Let there be light!
The Norwegian fjords are the best-known features of the country’s landscape. They are most impressive on the west coast near Bergen, also a good base for touring the area. The Sognefjord is the longest and deepest and one of the most attractive fjords. It stretches inland to the Jotunheimen and Jostedalsbreen national parks and has pretty villages along its banks. To the north lies the Jostedal glacier, the largest in continental Europe and the winding Geirangerfjord with its deep blue waters, protected by UNESCO and surrounded by lush scenery.
Cuisine and events
No trip to Norway would be complete without tasting fresh salmon at least once. Fished along the extensive coastline and the many fjords, it has a distinctive and delicate flavour and is the staple ingredient of many delicious dishes. Other local produce includes the fresh-caught cod from Lofoten, succulent reindeer meat from Finnmark or the sweet and juicy cherries from Hardanger.
Music lovers will be in their element here. Norwegian Wood is the country’s top rock music festival and takes place in the capital in the summer. For those with more classical tastes, how about the annual Risør chamber music festival or ten-week Grieg festival in Bergen. For something a little different, visit the summertime Viking festival in Karmøy – you can even take part in an archery workshop.