It's great to escape from everyday life now and again, but sometimes there just isn't enough time, or perhaps those big vacation plans just aren't possible. That's when a weekend break in Norway is the ideal option. You want some fun and relaxation, but have to be back at work on Monday. Don't despair: Take a couple of girlfriends on a city break, take your better half on a romantic hotel stay, explore the countryside with the kids or enjoy the freedom to do exactly what you want on your own. No matter what your plans, you can find the perfect destination within easy travel distance.



    City Break in Vestland's Capital

    Bergen is within easy reach of most places in Norway, and a great place to come if you're after some culture and city life in idyllic surroundings. Bergen has most things that a city can offer, but is still small enough to easily get around in. If you find a place to stay in the city centre, there are endless things to do within walking distance. As the city of culture, Bergen has both established high-cultural institutions such as the National Stage (Den Nationale Scene)and Grieg Hall, a vital and an exciting music and street-art scene, and a vibrant nightlife. If you're a first-time visitor, sights such as Bryggen, Fløyen and the charming city centre districts with its wooden houses are a must.

    Location: Bergen, Vestlandet, Norway



    The Elegant Gateway to Sunnmøre

    With dramatic scenery, Sunnmøre and its mountain neighborhoods attract many travelers, and Ålesund is often the first stop. Before heading inland to popular world-class destinations such as the Geirangerfjord and the spectacular routes in the mountains, set aside at least one day to get to know Ålesund. This Art Nouveau city, which emerged in the embers of the city fire in 1904, has a unified style and elegance that no other Norwegian city can match and which appeals to most people.

    Location: Ålesund, Møre and Romsdal, Norway



    Unique Experience in the Barent Region's Capital

    For the vast majority of Norwegians, Kirkenes represents the most remote city within the country's borders and a place that offers quite unique experiences. Located close to the Russian border and north of the Arctic Circle, Kirkenes offers a combination of inland climate and northern location that makes it a perfect destination for northern light tourists in winter. The cold season gives you a proper winter here with opportunities for sled rides with dog sleds or excursions on snowmobiles in beautiful, snow-covered Finnmark landscapes. Or you could try a king crab safari by the Russian border, with a delicacy meal included.

    Location: Kirkenes, Troms and Finnmark County, Norway



    Summer on the South Coast

    In the warmer months, it's always nice to head to the coast for some sunbathing, a refreshing dip and to live life at a leisurely pace. That's when Norway's Sørlandet is the ideal place and Kristiansand the ideal city. This city is easily accessible by automobile, train and plane, and its location in the far south of the country means an optimal climate and peaceful surroundings. If you bring the kids, it is almost mandatory to visit the zoo, a water park or a climbing park. You can also take the whole family on a boat trip in the skerries if you want to look around, but with nice beaches in the heart of the city and pleasant city streets with great places to eat, you really don't have to venture too far to have a lovely vacation.

    Location: Kristiansand, Agder, Norway



    Pleasant City Break in the South-West

    Stavanger has grown in scope and importance, but the city centre is and always will be a pleasant small town concentrated around the harbor area in Vågen. A weekend break gives you plenty of time to get to know the city streets, but the restaurant and culture scene is rich enough to merit a return visit. A good tip is to follow the Blue Promenade along the coast and port neighborhoods in the center of the city. Take a detour to the "color street" Øvre Holmegate for coffee and shopping, the Cathedral and the Old Town for sightseeing and Stavanger Concert Hall for music and culture, and you'll already have achieved quite a bit. On the way you will probably come across a couple of the city's excellent eateries serving local, continental or exotic food.

    Location: Stavanger, Rogaland, Norway



    Brutal Wilderness 78 Degrees North

    Svalbard has the most untouched and merciless wilderness to be found in Norwegian territory, and offers extreme nature experiences in the polar climate. Join experienced guides on excursions in the Arctic landscape with snowmobiles, dog sleds or skiing under the midnight sun in mountains that are snow-clad months after spring has sprung in mainland Norway. Snowmobiles are the number one means of transportation in Svalbard, and definitely worth a try. You could join a tour to see one of the Soviet Union's outposts in the abandoned Russian mining town of Pyramiden or go hunting in the winter. When you need access to civilization, you will also be amazed at how much Longyearbyen has to offer.

    Location: Svalbard in Norway



    Skerries and Southern Idyll

    Lillesand is one of the many pearls that lie in a row along the southern coast, and is an ideal destination for anyone who enjoys the good life on and by the sea. If you're lucky enough to have your own boat, you'll love the Lillesand guest harbor in the center. Here you are perfectly placed to enjoy the pleasant atmosphere by the docks. The area surrounding Lillesand offers easy and pleasant hiking terrain, and with some guidance from the tourist office, you'll find a route to suit you. The big attraction, however, is Skjærgården, and not least Blindleia, the beautiful sailing route in toward Kristiansand. This is a lovely route to explore with your own vessel, but there is also a sightseeing boat that sails at a leisurely pace between the islets and reefs.

    Location: Lillesand, Agder, Norway



    Ski Resorts of Olympic Standard for Connoisseurs

    The Winter Olympics in Lillehammer put Kvitfjell in Ringebu municipality on the map of serious ski destinations, and with its first-class facilities and snow-safe conditions it has gained an impressive status among skiers. Kvitfjell is also home to the World Cup downhill and super-g races, so if you like steep terrain and challenging slopes, this is the place for you. Fortunately, there are less neck-breaking slopes as well. With 14 elevators and 33 slopes, there is plenty of variety for a weekend here, and if that's not enough, Kvitfjell shares a ski resort with Hafjell a half-hour free bus ride away. With hotels and rental cabins close to the slopes, you'll definitely get the most out of your weekend trip.

    Location: Kvitfjellvegen 471, 2634 Fåvang, Innlandet, Norway

    Open: Daily from 09.30 to kl. 15.30/16.30, evening driving on selected days.

    Phone: +47 612 49 000


    The Vestlandsfjords

    A Healthy Dose of National Romance

    Norway is full of beautiful nature, but nothing surpasses the fjord landscape in Western Norway, with its mountains and waterfalls, rivers and valleys, and nature experiences you can live on for a long time. Which is the most beautiful fjord is open for discussion, but the UNESCO-listed Geirangerfjord and the twin fjords Nærøyfjorden and Aurlandsfjorden are strong contenders. There are also well-organised fjord cruises and other activities, and plenty of spectacular sights in the surrounding neighborhoods. Geiranger gives you hairpin bends up Ørnevegen to the Ørnesvingen viewpoint, and from Flåm in the innermost part of the Aurlandsfjord you can take the Flåm line up to the Hardangervidda. For a proper weekend of Norwegian national romance, the western fjords are the destination for you.

    Location: Vestlandet/Møre and Romsdal, Norway



    Mjøsa and Maihaugen Ski Resorts

    Lillehammer at the outlet of Gudbrandsdalslågen in Lake Mjøsa is a great year-round destination with Christmas fun, first-class ski resorts and guaranteed snow in winter, and interesting sights in summer. Ski enthusiasts can pick and choose from the many ski resorts around Lillehammer. The Olympic slopes in Kvitfjell and Hafjell are the major attractions, but the terrain also offers good conditions for cross-country skiing. If you come here at Christmas, make sure you visit the Christmas market and stroll the decorated pedestrian streets. In summer, try your hand at fishing in Lågen or Mjøsa, or join a moose safari and meet the king of the forest. You can also visit the open-air museum Maihaugen, where you can see more than 200 old houses that show how Norwegians have lived over the years.

    Location: Lillehammer Municipality, Innlandet, Norway


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