Northern Norway: Journey Through Charm, Wilderness, and History

Northern Norway invites travelers to explore its bustling towns and rugged landscapes, set against the backdrop of the Northern Lights. Whether it's the historic streets of Trondheim or the picturesque charm of Ålesund, each location in this gorgeous region tells a unique story, culminating in the scenic splendor of Scandinavia.  

Scandinavian Travel team members Becca Peirce and MaryAnn Callaghan recently took a trip to this bucket-list destination. Join us as we embark on a journey through their top highlights. 


Tromsø, Norway, often called the "Gateway to the Arctic," is a stunning little city with walkable streets, cafes and restaurants – all surrounded by snow-capped mountains. During the summer, the midnight sun bathes the city in continuous daylight, providing endless opportunities for outdoor adventures such as hiking, fishing, and kayaking. The city is also home to the Arctic Cathedral, the Polar Museum, and the Tromsø University Museum, which offer deep insights into Arctic history and culture. After a day of adventure, we recommend a visit to the Skybar at the Edge Hotel, where you can have a drink, take in endless harbor, mountain views and enjoy a beautiful sunset.  

The allure of Tromsø extends beyond the city limits. Venture into the serene countryside to escape the city lights and seek out the clearest skies for Northern Lights viewing. Imagine sitting on warm reindeer skins by a roadside fire, sipping hot drinks while the auroras paint the night sky in vibrant hues. This is an experience that stays with you forever. 

For a taste of history, don't miss the iconic Ølhallen, one of Norway's oldest pubs. It’s a perfect spot to savor local brews and soak in the historic ambiance. 

Lyngen North 

Lyngen North, located in the Lyngen Alps, is a haven for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers. This breathtaking area is famous for its towering peaks and pristine fjords and here, you can take advantage of relaxing in a jacuzzi or sauna overlooking the sea with the spectacular Northern Lights above you. In winter, plan to enjoy thrilling activities such as skiing, dog sledding, and snowshoeing. The summer months bring opportunities for hiking, fishing, and exploring the stunning landscape under the midnight sun. Lyngen North also offers unique accommodations, including glass igloos that provide an immersive experience of the Arctic wilderness. It’s a slice of Arctic paradise that combines natural beauty with luxurious comfort. 

Lofoten Islands 

The Lofoten Islands express the raw beauty of Norway's coastline. Here, the fishing industry reigns supreme. Watch local fishermen bring in their daily catch at the docks, or for a more hands-on experience, join a private fishing charter where you can catch your dinner and have it cooked fresh. 

Staying in one of the authentic fishing cabins is a must. These cabins, updated for comfort yet retaining their original charm, offer a glimpse into the region's rich maritime heritage. The culinary scene here is dominated by cod, aptly dubbed the "King of Fish." From fish sandwiches to hearty fish soup, and even chandeliers made of fish bones, the Lofoten Islands celebrate this staple in every imaginable way. 

Don't miss out on an eagle safari, where you can learn about these magnificent birds and their way of life, adding a touch of wildlife adventure to your trip. 


Trondheim, one of Norway's oldest cities, is a charming blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. As the country's original capital, it boasts a rich heritage, highlighted by the stunning Nidaros Cathedral, the northernmost medieval cathedral in the world. Trondheim is also a hub for music, art, and education, home to Norway’s largest university. Visitors can explore a variety of museums, enjoy scenic hikes, and sample local cuisine at cozy cafes and restaurants. For a unique perspective, consider a kayak or boat tour along the winding river. The pedestrian streets are lined with fantastic shopping opportunities, making it easy to find that perfect souvenir. 


Ålesund is the epitome of quaint charm. Its slightly hilly terrain adds to its picturesque appeal. The welcoming lobby and fireplace at Hotel Brosundet offer a cozy retreat where you can watch kayakers paddle by. The local snacks are a treat, featuring a delightful mix of meats, cheeses, fruits, and fish. 

Exploring the Geiranger Fjord from Ålesund is a must. The journey along winding roads, car ferries, and numerous waterfalls is breathtaking. In Geiranger, grab a drink on the Terrace of the historic Hotel Union and take in the spectacular views of the fjord below. 


Flåm is a small village that punches well above its weight in terms of scenic beauty. A visit to the Stegastein viewpoint offers breathtaking views of the fjords. The Flåm Railway, one of the steepest train lines in the world, offers an unforgettable journey through dramatic mountains and deep valleys, with breathtaking views of waterfalls and scenic landscapes. Visitors can explore the majestic Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord, both part of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed West Norwegian Fjords. Outdoor enthusiasts will find ample opportunities for hiking, biking, and kayaking. While waiting for your ferry, enjoy a coffee at the Flåm Bakery or indulge in an authentic Viking dinner complete with beer tastings. It's the perfect way to cap off your Norwegian adventure. 

Please send us an email or submit an inquiry on our website if you would like us to plan a trip for you and your fellow travelers. 

Images on this page are courtesy of Christine Baglo, Marte Kopperud, Alexander Benjaminsen, Fredrik Ahlsen, and Visit Norway.