Norway Weather, climate and geography

Weather & climate

Like neighbouring Finland and Sweden, Norway experiences extreme cold in the winter, particularly in sub polar regions, and gentle heat in the summer, with temperatures hitting around 30°C in the south. Coastal areas enjoy a moderate climate thanks to the tempering effects of the Gulf Stream. Inland temperatures are harsher with hot summers and freezing winters (November to March). The lowlands of the south and the inland mountains generally experience colder winters than the coastal areas. Rainfall is sporadic throughout the year with frequent inland snowfalls during the winter. Northern parts inside the Arctic Circle have continuous daylight in midsummer and twilight all day during winter.

Best time to visit

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 deals 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.

Geography

Norway is bordered to the north by the Arctic Ocean, to the east by Finland, the Russian Federation and Sweden, to the south by the Skagerrak (which separates it from Denmark) and to the west by the North Sea. The coastline is over 25,000km (15,534 miles) long, its most outstanding feature being the numerous fjords. Most of them are from 80km to 160km (50 to 100 miles) long, and are usually flanked by towering mountains. Much of northern Norway lies beyond the Arctic Circle and consequently, mostly takes the form of rugged tundras. The south is covered with pine and larch forests, and dotted with lakes, rivers and mountains.

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