Unmissable coastal getaways in Norway

photo by CC user Hesse1309 on wikimedia

Scandinavia’s wealthiest country stretches along the western edge of Northern Europe from the urban environs of Oslo right up to the edge of the Arctic, offering unforgettable experiences the whole way. These unmissable coastal getaways in Norway will make it worth every kroner that you spend on them…

1) Lillesand

Located on Norway’s south coast, the idyllic white houses of Lillesand are an easily accessed escape for those grinding away at a 9-5 job in nearby Oslo. As a traveler, you will find the same relaxing atmosphere, as the small footprint of this town of just over 9,000 residents is a marked difference from the fast pace of life in Norway’s biggest city. Join locals and domestic travelers as they sail, fish and swim in the waters off this popular resort, as it is truly the place to be during this nation’s long summer days.

2) Balestrand

Those that are seeking the soaring coastal mountains and ocean fjords that are this country’s greatest natural assets will find them both in the sleepy town of Balestrand. Unlike the zoo that is Bergen (Norway’s second largest city at 278,000, and one of its most popular tourist draws), Balestrand is home to little more than 1,300 permanent residents, many of whom are artists that fell under the spell that the area’s captivating scenery casts on visitors long ago, and opted to stay and make it their home.

In addition to a slate of outdoor activities, there is a summer jazz festival that goes off here every year, which makes for the perfect accompaniment to an evening spent admiring the outstanding vistas that can be found here in every direction.

3) Brekstad

Further up the coast in Norway’s mid regions is the town of Brekstad, which is an island community of 2,000 people that grants you the opportunity to feel the rural spirit that is still present in the wilder parts of this country.

Despite being located quite far north, there is a royal residence known as Austrått Castle that you can explore, as well as World War II ruins dating back to when the Germans occupied this part of Europe. Don’t leave without dining at Melissa, a locally famous Italian restaurant that is famed for its authentic pizzas and juicy burgers!

4) Harstad

Located almost 70 degrees North Latitude, you might think that Harstad would be an inaccessible, inhospitable icebox … but this is Norway. The ocean moderates its climate year round, and the world class Norwegian highway system makes getting here much easier than you would suspect.

The long reign of the Midnight Sun in summer makes this place a bucket list destination for golfers, as the experience of playing 18 holes at 2 am is something that can’t be easily matched by the more mundane activities that you sleepwalk through in day to day life.

Similarly, the long stretches of perpetual darkness in winter make for easy viewing of the stunning Northern Lights, while the balmy air and jacuzzis of the stunning Grottebadet park (built within the bedrock that the town sits on) will warm you up after a long evening spent admiring nature’s greatest light show.

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