Horseback riding in Norway

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Equestrian tours in Norway

Norway Mini Guide
    Source: World Travel Guide

Overview

From precipitous glaciers to deep-sided gorges and crystalline fjords, Norway's natural beauty is impossible to overstate. The unspoiled wilderness of the Arctic north is one of the few places where the sun shine at midnight during the summer and where the magnificent Northern Lights brighten the skies during the long winter nights.

Further to the south, the picturesque cities of Oslo, Trondheim and Bergen are brim-full of buildings showing off Scandinavia's age-old flair for design in cosmopolitan surroundings. Oslo is the present-day capital and financial center, while the country's second city, Bergen, is a picturesque former Hanseatic trading port and gateway to the fjords of Norway. Stavanger is the focal point of the Norwegian oil industry and former capital, Trondheim, is a long-established center of Christian pilgrimage, and more recently, technical research.

Though the weather can be a tad grim in Bergen, the UNESCO-listed waterfront adds a flash of color with its wooden warehouses and shimmering harbor. Oslo's waterfront is no less beautiful and has an ice-white Opera House that could give Sydney's version a run for its money.

Stunning though the cities are, the real wonders of Norway are to be found outdoors. In the far north, the glacier-covered sub-polar peninsular of Svalbard is one of the few areas where polar bears can be seen in the wild and Norway's miles of Arctic tundra double up as a destination for skiing and spotting the Northern Lights.

Elsewhere, a ferry trip along Geirangerfjord must rank among the world's prettiest voyages with pine-topped cliffs giving way to icy green water, regularly topped up by the waterfalls that cascade down the fissured sides of the ravine. Indeed, you'd be hard pushed to find a part of Norway's northern fjord area isn't strikingly beautiful, with snow-capped peaks and looming forests almost everywhere you look.

Passport/Visa

Passport Required?

British

Yes

Australian

Yes

Canadian

Yes

USA

Yes

Other EU

1

Visa Required?

British

No

Australian

No

Canadian

No

USA

No

Other EU

No

Return Ticket Required?

British

No

Australian

No

Canadian

No

USA

No

Other EU

No

 

Passports

A passport valid for three months beyond the length of stay and issued within the past 10 years is required by all nationals listed in the chart above except (1) EU nationals from a Schengen member state holding a valid national ID card. EU nationals do not require any length of validity on their travel documents, other than to cover the duration of their stay.

Passport Note

On 25 March 2001 Norway became a signatory to the 1995 Schengen Agreement.

Visas

Not required by all nationals referred to in the chart above for stays of up to 90 days.

Visa Note

Nationals not referred to in the chart above are advised to contact the embassy to check visa requirements (see Contact Addresses).

Types and Cost

Schengen visa: €60 (£51.42). Reductions are available for nationals of some countries and for children.

Validity

Schengen visa: 90 days within a six-month period. 
 

Money

Currency

Norwegian Krone (NOK; symbol Kr) = 100 øre. Notes are in denominations of Kr1,000, 500, 200, 100 and 50. Coins are in denominations of Kr20, 10, 5 and 1. The 50 øre coin is now out of circulation.

Currency Exchange

Available at banks and bureaux de change.

Credit/Debit Cards and ATMs

All major credit and debit cards (Visa, MasterCard, Diner Club, and American Express) are widely accepted. Mini-Banks (the Norwegian name for ATMs) are widespread although withdrawal fees vary from bank to bank.

Traveller's Cheques

Accepted in banks, hotels, some shops and by airlines.

Banking Hours

Mon-Wed and Fri 0815-1530, Thurs 0815-1800.

Exchange Rate Indicators

Date

April 2018

£1.00=

Kr10.97

$1.00=

Kr7.82

€1.00=

Kr9.61

 

Health

Vaccinations

 

Special Precautions

Diphtheria

No

Hepatitis A

No

Malaria

No

Rabies

No

Tetanus

Yes

Typhoid

No

Yellow Fever

No

Inoculation regulations can change at short notice. Please take medical advice in the case of doubt. Where 'Sometimes' appears in the table above, precautions may be required, depending on the season and region visited.

Other Risks

Vaccination for tick-borne encephalitis is sometimes recommended.

Health Care

Health risks in Norway are few, with most visitors likely to suffer nothing more serious than a few blisters from hiking or insect bites in the summer. Standards of health care are high but as with everything else in Norway, healthcare is expensive, so insurance is a must. Travelers should find out if they are covered for reciprocal health care arrangements. Chemist shops are called apotek and can be found on every high street. In an emergency, you can get treatment from the nearest public hospital free of charge. Dial 113 toll-free for an ambulance. Most operators also speak English.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that all travelers should be inoculated for measles, mumps, diphtheria, rubella, tetanus, and polio regardless of the destination.

Food and Drink

Food in Norway is safe to eat although care should be taken when purchasing food from unlicensed/roadside stalls. Norwegian tap water is safe to drink, although drinking from fjords, streams and rivers – however clean they look – isn’t recommended as even the most inviting-looking water can harbour parasites. Water that has been boiled or treated with iodine or chlorine tablets is usually safe to drink.

 

Getting There

Getting There by Air

Major operators of incoming flights include Norwegian (website: www.norwegian.com), SAS (website: www.flysas.com), British Airways (www.ba.com), and Ryanair (www.ryanair.com). From the USA, there are direct flights with Norwegian and SAS.

The cheapest time to fly to Norway is during the autumn and winter months when the chilly weather puts a dampener on climbing, wildlife watching, and angling- all the activities that make the country such a pleasure in the summer. If you're prepared to brave the cold, it's worth taking advantage of the cheaper fares for a chance to see the Northern Lights or indulge in a spot of skiing from the alpine crowds.

Approximate Flight Times

From London to Oslo is 2 hours. From New York to Oslo is 7 hours.

Air passes

Visit Scandanavia/ Nordic Airpass: valid for travel on SAS flights between Denmark, Norway, and Sweden on domestic routes within Norway.

Main Airports

Oslo International Airport (OSL) (Gardermoen) (website: www.osl.no) is 47km (30 miles) north of Oslo. To/from the airport: The high-speed airport express trains Flytoget leave to/from Oslo's central station (journey time - 20 minutes). Buses serving the airport include the SL buses and Bussekspress which stop in front of the terminal building (journey time - 45 minutes). A bus station for regional services is located within walking distance of the terminal. There is a taxi rank at the terminal building. Travellers are advised to order a taxi from the airport reception and ask for a fixed price. In addition to regular taxis, there are ‘airport taxis', cheaper taxis which must be ordered in advance by groups of up to three people, and wheelchair taxis. Facilities: Duty-free shopping, banks/bureaux de change, restaurants and cafes, car hire and information kiosks.

Bergen (BGO) (Flesland) (website: www.avinor.no) 19km (12 miles) south of the city (journey time - 25 minutes). To/from the airport: Bus services (Flybussen) leave for the city regularly. Return is from various points in the city centre. Taxi services are available to the city, with a surcharge after 2200 (journey time - 25 minutes). Facilities: Left luggage, lockers, banks, bureaux de change, post office, duty-free shops, bar, cafes, shops, tourist information, nursery and car hire.

Trondheim (TRD) (Værnes) (website: www.avinor.no) is around 25km (16 miles) from the city centre (journey time - 30 minutes). To/from the airport: bus services (Flybussen) and less frequent trains run regularly, taxis and pre-booked airport taxis are also available. Facilities: bureau de change, restaurant, duty free shopping, bar and car hire.

Departure Tax

None

Getting There by Water

Main ports: Bergen (website: www.bergenhavn.no), Oslo (website: www.ohv.oslo.no), Kristiansand (website: www.kristiansandhavn.no) and Stavanger (website: www.stavanger-havn.no). 

There are no direct sea route from the UK. Fjord Line (tel: +47 5146 4099; website: www.fjordline.com) operates services to Bergen via Stavanger from Hirtshals in Denmark. There is also a service to Kristiansand.

Color Line (tel: +47 8100 0811; website: www.colorline.com) connects Kiel with Oslo, Hirtshals with Kristiansand and Larvik, and Stromstad with Sandefjord. 

Stena Line (tel: +47 2317 9100; website: www.stenaline.com) operates services from Fredrikshavn to Oslo.

DFDS Seaways (tel: +47 2162 1340; website: www.dfdsseaways.co.uk) operates a daily overnight crossing from Copenhagen to Oslo.

Getting There by Rail

From the UK, you can take a Eurostar train to Brussels, and ICE train to Hamburg, then catch connections to Oslo via Copenhagen and Gothenburg (March to October only). NSB (Norwegian State Railways) (tel: 8150 0888 in Norway or +47 6105 1910; www.nsb.no) operates international services from Oslo to Stockholm and Gothenburg. Throughout the year, you can travel by train to Copenhagen and catch and overnight ferry from Copenhagen to Oslo.

Rail Passes

InterRail: offers unlimited first- or second-class travel in up to 29 European countries for European residents of over six months with two pass options. The Global Pass allows travel for 22 days, 15 days, one month, five days in 10 days, or 10 days in 22 days across all countries. The One-Country Pass offers travel for three, four, six or eight days in one month in any of the countries except Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro. Travel is not allowed in the passenger's country of residence. Reductions are available for travelers under 26. Children under 12 are free when traveling with an adult using an Adult Pass. Supplements are required fro some high-speed services, seat reservations, and couchettes. Discounts are offered on Eurostar and some ferry routes. Available from Voyages-sncf.com (tel: +44 844 848 5848, in the UK; www.voyages-sncf.com).

Eurailpass: Offers unlimited train travel in up to 28 countries. Tickets are valid for 15 days, 21 days, one month, two months, three months, five days in 10 days, 10 days in two months, or 15 days in two months. The Global Pass allows travel across all participating countries. The Regional Pass lets you travel in two bordering countries. The One Country Pass offers travel on one of 27 countries.

Adult passes are valid for first-class travel, while youth passes (under 26) are valid for second-class travel. Children under 12 are free when traveling with an adult using an Adult Pass. The passes cannot be sold to EU citizens or residents. Available from Eurail (www.eurail.com).

Rail note: NSB operates a minipris ticketing system which involves putting tickets up for sale in batches with early bookings resulting in cheaper fares. Minipris tickets must be bought at least one day in advance, are non-refundable, and cannot be changed but can give you a savings up to 75% of the standard fare. See www.nsb.no/en/our-tickets/minipris for more information.

Getting There by Road

The only direct international road connections routes are from Sweden or Finland and Russia in the far north. Eurolines (tel: +44 8718 818 177; website: www.eurolines.com) runs regular coach services to Oslo from London via Amsterdam and Copenhagen. Other international bus services to Norway depart from northern Finland, Gothenburg, and Stockholm in Sweden, and Murmansk in Russia.

 

Climate

The best time to visit is between mid May and mid August, unless you're coming to ski, in which case the best time is December to Easter. Hikers and those in search of outdoor pursuits including wildlife watching should aim to visit in the summer months when the warmer weather makes getting out and about in the Norwegian countryside a real pleasure. Better still, the summer is low season, which means accommodation and transport deal aplenty.

Required Clothing

European according to the season. Light- to medium-weights are worn in summer. Warmer clothing, gloves and hats are necessary during the winter. Waterproofing is advisable throughout the year.

 

Contacts

Royal Norwegian Embassy in the UK

25 Belgrave Square, London SW1X 8QD, UK
Tel: (020) 7591 5500
Website: www.norway.org.uk
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 0900-1600 (general enquiries); 1000-1100 (phone enquiries to consular section).

Royal Norwegian Embassy in the USA

2720 34th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20008, USA
Tel: (202) 333 6000.
Website: www.norway.org 

British Embassy in Norway

Thomas Heftyes Gate 8, Oslo 0244 
Tel: 2313 2700.
Website: www.gov.uk/government/world/Norway
Opening times: Mon-Fri 0900-1600.

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