A Norwegian Summer
Norway might be famous for those northern lights—bright neon colours splashed across the night sky—but as phenomenal as they are, the country offers so much more. After long frosty winters, summers are a welcome delight as many locals venture outdoors to bask in the crisp summer warmth to create a lively atmosphere; while fields are lush and green, sprouting the tastiest fruits and vegetables. On hiking trails to waterfalls, or laid-back days along the coast sipping on some local cider, journey with us to uncover the magic of Norway’s mid-year season.
Our first stop after the capital is Bergen. Perfectly nestled between mountains, islands, fjords and the great North Sea, this city is modern with a small-town feel. Spend a short sojourn in the hometown of Edvard Grieg and visit his home-turned-museum for a concert of his best-known works set amid his charming garden hut.
Stop by the traditional fish market that dates back to the 1200s. Open only for the summer, you can find everything from fresh salmon to seafood salads. Summer is best for prawns, mussels and crabs, with many restaurants offering giant plates of them.
In this UNESCO city of gastronomy, we have to dine at the oldest establishment in Bergen. Altona Vinbar serves Norwegian comfort food in cosy alcoves from the 17th Century.
With sapphire waters and rocky landscapes formed over the ice age, the fjords of Hardanger are a dramatically captivating sight.
As Norway’s ‘fruit orchard’, the drive from Bergen to Hardanger is a perfect chance to sample some of the country’s freshest plums, pears and cherries, among others. Stop by a family-run cider farm along the Ulvik route to learn how the local brew is cultivated.
Sitting at the foot of the fjords, Hotel Ullensvang has been family-run by generations since the 18th Century. Explore the neighbouring mountains or relax by the pool, if we had to name one ideal place to rest our minds, it has to be here.
From here, we can embark on magnificent hiking routes, see stunning waterfalls and take boat rides to nearby farms and of course, the famous hike to Trolltunga to let our feet dangle from a cliff seven hundred metres above Lake Ringedalsvatnet.
Having traversed the land of Vikings and indulged in delicious local produce, we continue our romance with nature with a visit to 29/2 Aurland.
Just a 2-hour drive away is a boutique hotel that epitomises the concept of sakte (slow) living.
A husband and wife team tell the history and culture of the valley with a restored family farmhouse. Every experience here takes us deeper into the heart of Aurland—meet artisans who have preserved traditional crafts over generations, like the Aurlandskoen shoe factory, where penny loafers are made-to-measure.
Take a row boat out to the fjords to admire the landscape in quiet serenity or spend the afternoon fly fishing in the Aurland River. A picnic of local mountain goat cheese and cured meats amid the grazing grounds is probably the best way to indulge in those rich local flavours.