Nusfjord is another cute historical fishing village in Lofoten. It's very compact and is a bit more groomed than some of the others, which is probably one of the reasons why it's on most visitors' itinerary.
For decades Nyksund was a ghost town, but in the 90s the abandoned fishing village started to change. Today the small village attracts a fair share of tourists with its remote quirkiness. There are both a variety of lodging, restaurants, and even an art gallery.
About 3000 polar bears live on Svalbard, the highest concentration on the planet. Though the Svalbard archipelago is large, bumping into a polar bear is not that unlikely. Any journey outside the town of Longyearbyen requires you to carry a firearm - and know how to use it. A hunting rifle is preferred, but you should at least have a flare gun and spray. If you encounter a polar bear and it sees you, try to scare it right away. Jump, shout, growl and wave your arms. If that doesn't work, try to shoot the flare gun righ in front of it (not into the air), and in worst case scenario shoot the bear with the rifle you hopefully are carrying. Even inside town you are not totally safe, since curious polar bears have in the past ventured into settlements which can have dire consequences - and not just for the bear. So when come to Svalbard, take the polar bear danger seriously.
This place illustrates well why Norway is the king of fjords. After a couple of hours of scenic hiking, you finally reach the flat slab of rock that hangs dramatically with a 604 m sheer drop to the fjord below. Besides giving you a good dose of vertigo, it also offers a great view over neighbouring peaks and Lysefjord with its vertical walls to all sides. If you're lucky, you will even see the mad BASE jumpers throw themselves over the edge only with a parachute on their back.
One of the most popular hikes in Norway is the relatively short, but strenuous, hike to the summit of Reinebringen Peak. The trail is steep and made up of giant granite steps laid by Nepali sherpas in 2019. There are 1566 steps (we didn't count) and then some scrambling for the last 150 meters before reaching the peak and the incredible rewarding views over Reine village and parts of Lofoten archipelago. Be careful at the summit, because the drop is deadly. Don't be fooled by the short distance (6 km return from the parking lot in Reine), the hike feels more like a 2 hours non-stop session on a stairmaster.
This is probably the weirdest UNESCO site in Norway. It's a complex of hydroelectric power plants, factories, transport systems and towns built by the Norsk Hydro Company in the early 20th century to manufacture artificial fertilizer. It is a big area to get the grasp of. Probably the best way to explore it is to do one of the self-guided walks established by the tourist office in Rjukan (one of the factory towns). Keep in mind that people still live here. The building in the picture is the Såheim Powerstation, which is located in Rjukan and is still owned and run by Norsk Hydro.
Way before the Vikings, in the Bronze Age, Scandinavia was inhabited by hunter-gatherers. They carved their daily life into slabs of rocks. These rock carvings can be seen throughout Scandinavia (except for mainland Denmark), but the area at Alta is among the absolute best. There have been found more than 6000 individual carvings, where the main site, Jiepmaluokta, contains thousands. The wide variety of figures shows animals, fishing, hunting and shamanistic rituals. The most recent carvings were dated to around 500 BC, the earliest might be around 4200 BC or maybe even older.
The rock carvings are a UNESCO World Heritage site and is today an open-air museum with wooden viewing platforms and boardwalks. A full circuit is about 4 km.
Runde is a true highlight of the Norwegian coast. A stunning island, reachable by boat or bridge, it is a bird-watcher’s paradise, with as much as half a million sea birds present here during spring and early summer. With fewer than 100 people living on the island, you’re unlikely to feel very crowded. There are basically two things to do here: hike across the island on foot, or tour around it by boat. The weather here is, as one might expect, crazy: sunny one minute, heavy rain the next. But that provides some absolutely stunning ocean scenery, and the terrain is easy enough to navigate even in bad weather. While the climb to the top of the island’s 300 m centre is a killer, the sight of thousands of Atlantic Puffins crash landing against the cliffs is well worth the effort. There’s also a nearby ship-wreck that has yielded over 500 kg of gold, so if you feel lucky you can always pull on a dry suit and jump in the water!
Røros is a delightful old copper-mining town, with a UNESCO-protected historical district consisting of turf-roofed wooden miners’ cottages. But even the newer parts of town are quaint. Surrounded by mountains that remain snow-clad until early summer, Røros is small enough to walk around. There is also an 18th century church, a museum and several galleries worthy of a visit, and cafes line the main street. While it lacks a water-front setting, it certainly gives Bergen a run for its money in terms of pure aesthetics, and is not nearly as overrun by visitors. It is also possible to go on a cold, damp, subterranean tour of the old copper-mine, some distance out of town. And if all else fails, Røros is a good place for people watching, as its inhabitants seem to enjoy dressing up in traditional folk outfits for the slightest reason!
The Sami Parliament in Norway is located in the village of Karasjok. The present building was inaugurated in 2005 and parts resemble a traditional Sami tipi. The village Karasjok also has a Sami museum and even a Sami culture park.