Nicknamed the “Land of the Midnight Sun”, Northern Norway lies within the Arctic Circle in the far north of Europe. It encompasses the multicultural counties of Nordland and Troms og Finnmark where indigenous Sami, Norwegian Finns and Russians reside.
Things to do in North Norway
Historically rich towns, picture-perfect islands and landmark capes - Northern Norway is all about adventure.
Sightsee in Tromsø. Tromsø serves as the main cultural hub of Northern Norway and centres around an atmospheric old town clustered with historic wooden buildings. It’s home to the world’s most northerly aquarium, Polaria, where bearded seals are on display and the iconic Arctic Cathedral, a modern landmark known for its stunning stained-glass windows.
Stand atop North Cape. Marking the northernmost point of Europe accessible by vehicle, the North Cape rises 307 metres above the meeting point of the Atlantic and Arctic oceans. You can spot puffins at the bird cliff of Gjesværstappan or hike to the northernmost point on Magerøya at Knivskjellodden before staying to watch the midnight sun.
Explore the Lofoten Islands. Dominated by towering walls of rock and sparkling inlets, the Lofoten Islands are one of the most photogenic archipelagos in Norway. See a reconstructed chieftain’s house at the Lofotr Viking Museum and cruise along the turquoise waters of Trollfjord before learning about the importance of fishing to the islands in the authentic village of Austvågøy.
Hike to Torghatten. One of the most famous natural landmarks in Nordland is Torghatten, a granite mountain on the island of Torget carved by a hole formed during the Scandinavian Ice Age. Learn about the legend of the troll Hestmannen who is said to have been chasing a beautiful girl when he released an arrow that became the 160-metre-long tunnel.
Getting around North Norway
Tromsø Airport is the main aviation gateway to Northern Norway, with smaller airports serving Bardufoss, Bodø, Evenes, Alta and Kirkenes. Regular trains connect from Trondheim to the Bodø railway station while the Hurtigruten sails as far north as Kirkenes. Buses travel throughout Northern Norway while having your own vehicle gives you greater freedom to explore.