Jæren Coastline

Jæren Coastline

photo by Per Olav Bøyum (Flickr Creative Commons)

Norway Geography

ne of the main reasons that travellers flock to Norway is the abundance of natural beauty in this Northern European country, located at the tip of the Scandinavian peninsula. Here you will find majestic mountains and pristine waters, as well as glaciers and fjords created over millenia. There is no better way to traverse the long stretches of Norwegian road than by motorhome, stopping when you please to discover the dazzling splendor of the area's green valleys and imposing peaks.

Norway's jagged coastline runs for thousands of kilometers and there are more than 50,000 small islands located off the country's main land mass, which is bordered by Sweden, Finland and Russia. Norway is perhaps most famous for its imposing Scandinavian Mountains, although near the Norway-Sweden border one can find hills and soft slopes and follow the mountains as they extend towards Kjølen in the north east. Going the other way one will find the Dovrefjell and Rondane ranges, which go west towards Trondheim.

On the other end of the range, north of the Skagerrak coast in Setesdalsheiene, are higher mountains populated by a large number of Vestlandet fjords. This area includes Hardangervidda, Jotunheimen (which features the high peak of Galdhøpiggen) and Sognefjell. If you head towards Trollheimen in the north you can discover mighty glaciers like Hardangerjøkulen, Jostedalsbreen and Folgefonna. Many fjords, which split off into islands as they connect with the sea, can be spotted in the areas of Nordland and Troms. The mountains, including the Lyngen Alps, work to effectively split Norway into five distinct geographical regions or landsdeler, all with their own beauty and wonder just waiting to be explored.

If you head towards Northern Norway (Nord-Norge/Nord-Noreg) and Troms, Nordland and Finnmark you will get to see a large array of mountain peaks and impressive fjords. This area holds the Saltfjellet mountain range, among others, and the islands of Senja, Lofoten and Vesterålen. This is also the land of the midnight sun, perfect for cruises and exploring. The area around eastern Nordkapp, as well as eastern Finnmark, does not have as many mountains and there as some low lying areas in the north, with a significant feature of this area being the plateau known as Finnmarksvidda. While there are no small islands or skerries here there are some impressive fjords that you can spend your time discovering.

Southern Norway (Sørlandet or Agder) is mostly made up of beautiful coastlines and is a favourite vacation destination for Norwegians and tourists alike in the summer months. Visit the gorgeous archipelago in this area or tour the wood towns painted gleaming white. This region con of the Vest-Agder and Aust-Agder counties and boasts numerous green valleys as well as flatlands like those found in Lista. If you travel to southern Norway be sure to search out one of the region's longest valleys--Gudbrandsdal and Østerdal--as well as beautiful Lake Mjøsa and the Glomma River.

Mountains and fjords can be found in Western Norway (Vestlandet), including Sognefjord, the longest fjord in the country. Vestlandet, north of Stavanger, is land dominated by mountains that reach all the way to the coast where they slope lower until they meet the waiting sea. A visit here should also include Geirangerfjord and the beaches.

The region of Eastern Norway (Østlandet) has mountains to the west and north, the border with Sweden in the east and Skagerrak and Viken in the south. The highest peak in the country can be found here, part of the Jotunheimen mountain range. This are also contains cities like Oslo and many gorgeous valleys.

If you want diversity then consider the Trondehim region, which boasts mountains, valleys in Trondheimsfjord and lowlands. If you head north you will find Namdalen in the Namsos region and if mountains are more your speed then steer your motorhome in the direction of the Fosen peninsula where the northern region of Leka is full of imposing mountains casting shadows on the valleys below.

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