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Best time to visit Norway

Norway is the home of the great Scandinavian outdoors. Blessed with stunning vistas and breath-taking natural beauty, Norway is a country that pushes you to be out and about and experience its bounty first-hand. Norwegians love their outdoors so much that camping is a family activity. Shaped by the harsh conditions, the rugged landscapes of Norway are but reflections of its soul.

The soaring rocky cliffs seem cleaved by giants with a single mighty axe stroke. The fjords, with their incomparable beauty are the single-most defining feature of Norway. Out of the 22 fjords you can visit, each one offers unique experiences such as hiking, biking, diving, canoeing, rafting and swimming. Norway also plays host to one of the greatest celestial shows in the entire world, the Northern Lights.

With its proximity to the Arctic Circle, Norway gets the brightest sightings of this magical phenomenon. During winter you get some of the best skiing anywhere. The Arctic north of the country, in Svalbard, hides the best treasures of all, polar bears and walruses. To be able to observe them in their natural habitat is a rare privilege.

With so much to explore outdoors, climate is an important consideration while visiting Norway.  The weather will set the tone of your holiday and let you enjoy this beautiful country without any interruptions. After all, you won’t be seeing the northern lights every day of the year! Here’s a closer look at Norway’s weather which will help you determine the best time of the year for a Scandinavian adventure.

Peak Season - Summer is the peak season in Norway. Between June to August, visitors start steaming in as the cold subsides to more bearable levels. You might see some rain, but it won’t hamper your plans. Expect tourist attractions to be crowded and be prepared to wait for your turn at restaurants.

Shoulder Season - Spring (May - June) and Autumn (September - October) are Norway’s shoulder seasons. Despite the pleasant weather, there are not many tourists around at these times of the year. You may enjoy some good deals on your food and accommodation.

Low Season - Between November to April, Norway experiences sub-zero temperatures as the entire country snuggles under a thick blanket of snow. Days turn shorter and darker. Most tourists can neither withstand the harsh conditions nor bear the freezing temperatures.

Travel Season Min./Max. Temperature Season
May - June 14 - 18°C Pleasant with Rain
July - August 17 - 18°C Pleasant with Rain
September - October 7 - 16°C Cold with Rain
November - April -6 - 7 °C Cold with Heavy Snowfall

Norway In Spring (May - June)

Temperature - The average spring temperature in Norway ranges between 14 - 18°C. However, it may be lower in the mountains where the snow has just begun to thaw.

Weather - As Norway throws off the last vestiges of a cold winter, the weather starts warming up gradually. It rains a bit, but the air remains crisp and rejuvenating. The snow starts melting and feeds the mountain rivers.

Significance - As the snow disappears, carpets of wildflowers emerge from beneath and add colour to the landscape. May is the month of parades, strawberries and waffles, while June is reserved for jousting, medieval music and theatre performances.

Why you should visit now - Spring is the best time to visit Norway’s famous fjords due to the engorged waterfalls and rejuvenated greenery. Locals venture outdoors to go trekking and camping. You can catch a glimpse of the Norwegian Royal Family as they attend the country’s biggest National Day Parade in Oslo. Sway to the tunes at Norwegian Wood Music Festival or take part in the Midnight Sun Marathon.

Things to know before the visit - The locals love celebrating spring as it never gets completely dark. They dress up for the celebrations and the parties spill out into the streets. Though not as crowded as summer, you will find people around.

Tips - Though it is pleasant (read, not too cold) by Norway’s standards, you will feel the bite of the cold winds. Carry a medium to heavy jacket and dress warmly for the mornings and evenings. If you want to be a part of the festivals, book your tickets in advance.

Norway In Summer (July - August)

Temperature - The temperatures during summer average between 17 to 18°C. Mountain areas are cooler than the rest of the country.

Weather - Despite being the summer season, it never gets too hot. July is the warmer month and August is cooler as it prepares for the autumn that is to follow. Both the summer months receive an almost equal amount of rain.

Significance - Summer, being the high season, sees an influx of tourists as bus, ferry, trains and flight frequency increases. The Midnight Sun gets more prominent during summer as you head northwards. The air is redolent with the tang of blueberries which ripen during summer.

Why you should visit now - The Midnight Sun is the biggest attraction during summer. Norway comes alive with unique cultural festivals. Be a part of the Riddu Festival and celebrate the indigenous Sami culture. Tuck in unabashedly at the Gladmat Food Festival in Stavanger and groove to the music at the Øya Festival in Oslo. The biking and hiking trails open fully. Set off on an adventure and forage for berries along the way. This mix of nature and culture is a heady combination that will make your holiday special.

Things to know before the visit - Summer days in Norway are really long. The sun rises by 4:00 am and sets around 10:00 pm. The beaches are open for activities like swimming, snorkelling and surfing. Remember to ask your hotel about local events happening nearby.

Tips - If you’re planning on venturing outdoors, take a pair of sturdy hiking boots along. Dress in layers as the evenings get chilly on the trails. Drink plenty of water and always keep a bottle handy.

Norway In Autumn (September - October)

Temperature - In autumn, the temperatures stay between 7 to 16°C. The coastal areas remain warmer that the inland. 

Weather - The Autumn weather in Norway leans a bit towards the cooler side of pleasant. The rains continue to be regular and you can already smell the snow on the air towards the end. It may seem to be cooler than it actually is, due to the rains.

Significance - Autumn is the season when locals go foraging for mushrooms and berries. The many cultural and music festivals draw people out for one last hurrah before winter sets in. This is also the season of Polar Nights.

Why you should visit now - Gold, orange and red hues take over Norway as autumn sneaks in after summer. The air is full of laughter and energy as Norwegians make the most of autumn before snowfall starts. The culture night in September sees institutions stay open late into the night. Take a torchlight walk by the Akerselva river and celebrate autumn equinox with the locals. Days turn shorter as the sun sets at 3:00 pm and Northern Lights make an appearance.

Things to know before the visit - Since the number of visitors reduce, the tourist services within the country scale down. You will have to factor that into your planning. But on the brighter side, you will get excellent deals on your travel and stay.

Tips - While it doesn’t rain heavily in this season, remember to carry waterproof packs and wear appropriate shoes on your treks. Do not forget to carry a first aid box and never venture out alone on hiking trails.

Norway In Winter (November - April)

Temperature - Extreme cold drags down the mercury to subzero levels as average temperatures around Norway steady between -6 to 7°C.

Weather - Winter is a harsh time in Norway with biting cold and unrelenting snowfall in some parts. The far north gets snowed in, while the rest of the country escapes with a lighter snow cover.

Significance - With nothing much to do outdoors, cultural celebrations abound. February brings excellent skiing conditions. The thickly packed snow makes for buttery-smooth ski slopes. Christmas brings a spot of warmth and cheer amidst the teeth-rattlin cold.

Why you should visit now - While the snow makes outdoor explorations impossible, Christmas weaves its magic. The colourful decorations stand out against the stark snow and lift the spirits. The Tromsø International Film Festival will keep you entertained on snowy days while the Nordlyfestivalen (Northern Lights Festival) will lure you into dancing the cold away. Sci-fi fans should head to the Star Wars event in Finse and jazz aficionados should check out the Polar Jazz Festival in Svalbard. This is also a good season to enjoy the Northern Lights from around various parts of the country.

Things to know before the visit - You may think you can handle cold weather, but Norway’s winter is as harsh as it gets. Almost all outdoor tourist attractions will be closed. Accommodation will be more pocket-friendlier but may be difficult to find as most hotels will be closed for winter.

Tips - Carry your heaviest sweaters and wear waterproof boots that will keep the snow out. If snow does get it, remove your boots as soon as possible and get out of the wet socks. Carry a good cold cream and keep applying it regularly.

Norway is a unique holiday destination that celebrates its outdoors. Whichever time you choose to go to Norway, you will have a memorable holiday. Just drop into your nearest Thomas Cook branch and tell us the kind of holiday you want, or you can simply book your holidays online on our website.

Travel Season
April to July Summer Season
15 C to 30 C Min/Max temp
April to July Summer Season
15 C to 30 C Min/Max temp
April to July Summer Season
15 C to 30 C Min/Max temp

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