No matter when you go, Northern Norway is a beautiful sight to behold (read our Top 10 things to see and do in Northern Norway). Here’s our guide what each season has to offer.
Spring is a great time to be in Norway as nature bursts back into life. It is also the best time to enjoy “winter” sports, as there is still plenty of snow and days become longer and sunnier. Bear in mind that skiing opportunities in Northern Norway are better suited to off-piste and cross country skiers as there are few dedicated ski resorts.
By late April most of the snow has melted away to reveal a lush and blooming landscape. However some parts of Northern Norway, such as Lofoten, can remain quite chilly and stark in spring and only really start to bloom as summer approaches. If you’re hoping to experience the wonder of the fruit tree blossoms, you are better off heading south to the Hardangerfjord.
Summer is the most popular season in Northern Norway, and prices are at a premium from June until early September. Temperatures vary during the summer months, sometimes reaching 25–30°C (77-86°F) during the day. Prepare for cooler days as well, as average temperatures in some parts of Northern Norway, such as Tromso and Bodo, are 12°C–14°C (53-57°F).
Many tourists travel to Northern Norway in the summer to experience the midnight sun, a natural phenomenon where the sun shines for a full 24 hours. Several activities are open at night during this time, such as sea kayaking, horse riding and midnight golfing. Cheaper options include going for a midnight swim or pitching your tent in the wilds – everyone in Norway has the right to roam freely.
Autumn is a good time to travel to Northern Norway. There are plenty of sunny days throughout September and October and much fewer tourists. The mountainous plains and dense woodlands look particularly stunning as trees transform into their autumn colours.
Daylight lasts until late afternoon so there’s still time to pack in plenty of outdoor activities such as trekking and nature safaris. This is also one of the best times of year to see the Northern Lights. Autumn is a tricksy season so bring lots of warm clothing and a set of waterproofs just in case the heavens decide to open.
During the winter months Northern Norway transforms into a frosty tundra, with much of the landscape coated in snow. Nights become long and unforgiving, with temperatures often dipping way below freezing. In fact, from mid November until late January, the sun does not rise at all in places such as Tromso. Pack plenty of layers and a good pair of insulated gloves to protect your hands from the bitter cold.
On the plus side, Northern Norway is much quieter during the winter months (except over Christmas). You’ll have a good chance of seeing the Northern Lights, which look particularly dramatic during dark, cloudless nights. What’s more numerous species of whale head to the coast of Norway during the cold winter months. If you book a whale safari in Andenes in January/February, you may see sperm whales, killer whales and humpback whales.
Get orientated with a tour through Northern Norway
Interested in exploring Northern Norway? Best Served Scandinavia run tours throughout the year to Lofoten, Nordland and other parts of the region. This includes a Polar Express tour that takes you on a journey through the Nordland countryside to Bodø. You’ll get to explore the Lofoten Islands and sail along the dramatic coastline on an overnight cruise with Hurtigruten. The tour runs throughout the year and and prices start from £1,125pp for an 8-day tailor-made journey (flights included).