Norway tours for seniors.
In 2017, Norway was named the world’s happiest country according to the World Happiness Report, and it has remained towards the top of these rankings ever since. Apart from its stable economy, high standard of living, and strong welfare system, Norway is also rich in natural beauty–all of the factors contributing to a happy citizenry. Travellers taking a trip to Norway can take part in the joy of the country, viewing Norway’s many breathtaking scenery, from rugged mountain ranges to verdant forests and spectacular glaciers and fjords.
While Norway is known generally for its epic natural landscapes, the fjords of Norway are simply breathtaking and most likely like nothing you have seen before. Geologically, a fjord is a long, narrow inlet with steep sides or cliffs, created when a glacier retreats creating a U-shaped sea undersea valley. Norway is home to nearly 1,200 fjords, some of which are UNESCO World Heritage-listed. Some fjords worth visiting include Geirangerfjorden, Lysefjord and Sognefjord–Norway’s longest and deepest fjord stretching 204km with a depth that reaches 1308m.
Another highlight are the Lofoten Islands, off the coast of Northern Norway, with its beautiful scenery, clear blue waters, and spectacular mountains. The islands are a hiker’s dream and there are unparalleled views of the surrounding Arctic waters. Dotted with idyllic villages and sheltered bays, this is one of Norway’s most breathtaking spots.
In Oslo, visit the Vigeland Sculpture Park, the largest sculpture park in the world by a single artist, Norwegian sculptor Gustav Vigeland. Also in Oslo is the Munch Museum, dedicated to the life and work of Norwegian Modernist artist Edvard Munch, most famous for his painting The Scream.
Norway is also the perfect spot to witness the Northern Lights. In Northern Norway (and parts of central Norway) between late September and late March, you can witness this celestial wonder. There are a few areas that are deemed to be the best viewing spots but generally, weather allowing, they are easy to see in this part of the country.
Odyssey travels by coach and occasionally uses local transport, including trains and ferries. Specifics are always outlined in your tour itinerary. NSB, the Norwegian State Railways, operates an extensive and well-developed rail network, while the country is well-served by domestic flight coverage. Nearly every town and city has a bus service, while passenger ferries can be an excellent way to not only get around, but also take in some wonderful scenery.
In major cities, Odyssey stays in centrally located 3-4 star hotels, with easy access to public transport. In smaller towns or rural areas, we usually stay in family-run hotels or guesthouses. On our longstay tours, during which you spend the length of the tour in a single location, we use serviced apartments.
Odyssey always engages local guides with regional knowledge to ensure an authentic experience during which you can learn as much as possible about the history and culture of places you visit.
Geography, Environment, & Weather
Norway is the northernmost country of the Scandinavian peninsula, and faces the North Sea, North Atlantic Ocean and Barents Sea. Norway is dominated by mountains, with the country having an average elevation of 460 metres, while the country’s famous fjords punctuate the landscape. Norway has a long and rugged coastline, and has some 50,000 islands across the length of its coast.
Norway has a milder climate than other areas of the world at a similar latitude due to the moderating effects of the North Atlantic Current. However, temperatures can drop below freezing over much of the country during winter, so pack some warm clothing if travelling between November and March.
World Heritage sites
Norway has 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. You can view the official list of the sites here (https://whc.unesco.org/en/statesparties/no). While every site is worth a look, here are a few highlights:
Bryggen, the historic harbour district of the city of Bergen
Vegaøyan, a archipelago just south of the Arctic Circle which still features the distinctive way of life based on fishing and hunting
Rock Art of Alta, featuring engravings and paintings that date back thousands of years.
Festivals & Events
Norway has a vibrant cultural scene, and has numerous festivals and events throughout the year. The Nordlysfestivalen (Northern Lights Festival) is a music festival that has been running in the city of Tromsø for 30 years, and features and ecletic range of musicians and musical groups. Gladmat is Norway’s biggest food festival and plays host to over 200,000 foodies, travellers and chefs to the city of Stavanger for a taste of the southern Norway food scene. The Riddu Riddu Festival is held in July and celebrates the unique culture and traditions of the Sami people through music, literature and live performances.
Moon Norway, by David Nikel
Growth of the Soil, by Knut Hamsun
Frommer’s Norway, by Roger Norum
Sophie’s World, by Jostein Gaarder
Eating & Drinking
Seafood features prominently in Norwegian cuisine, with rakfisk (preserved trout), lutefisk (preserved cod), and pickled herring all being amongst the country’s most famous dishes. Bergensk fiskesuppe (a fish soup) is another example of Norway’s seafood fare, and is often served with fish balls made from haddock, cod and pollock. Lefse, a traditional soft flatbread sweetened with butter, cinnamon and sugar, makes for a popular accompaniment to meals and is often a popular snack in its own right. If you’re in the mood for a coffee while in Norway, you’ll have come to the right place – Norwegians are the second highest consumers of coffee in the world. If you’re looking for something stronger though, akevitt might be worth a try, as might glogg or mjød (mead).
Health & Safety
Generally Norway is very safe to travel around in, though always exercise common sense while travelling.
Whenever you travel overseas, it’s always wise to take an appropriate travel adapter. The standard voltage in Norway is 230V, while the standard frequency is 50Hz. Norway uses both the Type C and Type F plug, so be sure you have an adapter handy as needed.
Urnes Stave Church
Norway has a single time zone, Central European Time (UTC+1). Norway observes daylight saving time from the last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October.
If you’re on an Odyssey tour, we take care of tipping so you don’t need to give it a second thought. However, in your free time, or if travelling independently, it’s essential that you tip an appropriate amount for services. Tipping is not compulsory in Norway, though tips in restaurants and bars for good service are welcomed. A 10-20% tip is expected if one is pleased with the service.
English is widely spoken, though Norway’s two official languages are Norwegian and Sami, indigenous to northern Norway. Norwegian is the most widely used language, spoken by 95% of the population. There are two ways of writing Norwegian. These two written standards are known as Nynorsk (‘New’ Norwegian) and the Bokmål (Book Language, based on written Danish). Both Bokmål and Nynorsk are taught in school in Norway and generally if you understand one, you will understand the other. Norwegian is a North Germanic language that is a linguistic descendant of Old Norse. Its closest relatives are Swedish and Danish.
The currency in Norway is the Norwegian Krone (NOK), which is sometimes mistranslated into ‘crown’ in English. There are 100 øre in 1 krone. Although debit or credit cards are accepted at most places in Norway, it is still a good idea to have a bit of cash on you. Unlike other countries in Europe that accept the Euro, foreign currency is rarely accepted in Norway, so you do need Norwegian currency to get by.
External articles to assist you on your visit to Norway.
- Vigeland: Humanity in the World’s Largest Sculpture Park (Culture Trip)
- 13 Photos That Will Make You Want to Visit Norway’s Lofoten Islands (CondeNast Traveler)
- Munch Museum
- Enjoy some of the world’s best train journeys (Visit Norway)
- Fjord (Britannica)
- 10 Things You May Not Know About The Scream (The British Museum)
Responsible travel tips for Norway
- Learn at least the local greetings to break the ice. Although many locals speak English, the more you know of the native language, the greater your experience of the country will be.
- Carry a business card in your wallet or purse from your local hotel, to assist you with the return journey if you do become lost.
- Always ensure that you are covered by travel insurance. If you need advice on this feel free to contact Odyssey and we’ll be able to help.
- When travelling independently, make sure you check the opening hours of shops and museums so that you don’t miss out! Also be certain to check whether your trip coincides with any public holidays, so you can plan accordingly.
- Before departing on your trip, contact your bank to inform them that you may be making purchases overseas. Otherwise, they may flag any activity on your account as suspicious. Also, check which ATMs and banks are compatible with your cards, to ensure you can withdraw cash with minimal fees.
- Before departing, make sure you have a number of kroner in a range of denominations. You don’t want to be carrying around enormous amounts of cash, but take enough to make it easy to pay in locations that might not accept credit card. It will also help you avoid card transaction fees, and it makes tipping a breeze.