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Module 17:
Autumn in Norway

It is always a good idea to go on holiday to Norway, no matter the season. Autumn offers less crowds, fresh and delicious food, lots of art and culture, and loads of exciting outdoor activities. Snuggle up under a warm blanket by the fireplace in a cabin or face a true autumn storm. Explore cities and nature as the leaves change colour and discover majestic Arctic landscapes.

This module describes why autumn is an excellent time to head to Norway.


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The Aurlandsfjord in autumn colours.
Photo: M. Dickson / Foap / Visitnorway.com

Sites and activities

Experience Norway without the crowds. Here are some top tips for autumn.

Sample nature’s bounty

Høst is the Norwegian word for both ‘harvest’ and ‘autumn’. Autumn is the season to eat lamb, the main ingredient in a number of traditional recipes. Moose and other wild game are perfect with lingonberries and cream sauce. New potatoes, sweet carrots, and delicious chanterelles and other mushrooms are all on the autumn menu.

In Norway, fruit and berries have excellent growing conditions, with long hours of sunlight in summer and early autumn, making them especially tasty. Some berries can be picked right up until the first snowfall.

Why not book a table and experience Nordic cuisine with someone special at a Michelin-starred restaurant?

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Find extra information on Visitnorway.com
Umami, Harstad
Umami, Harstad.
Photo: Benjamin A. Ward / Visitnorway.com

Explore Norway’s compact cities

Norway offers compact and very walkable cities throughout the country. Explore history, experience arts and culture, and discover new places on foot. There are plenty of festivals in autumn.

Oslo is home to world-class museums. Visit the new MUNCH museum or the National Museum, the biggest art museum in the Nordic countries. Go north for an urban Arctic experience in Bodø or Tromsø. Ride the funicular to spectacular mountain views, right by the city centre in Bergen.

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A woman on a city break in Norway is overlooking Ålesund from Aksla viewpoint
Go on a city break to Norway! Aksla viewpoint in Ålesund.
Photo: Samuel Taipale / Visitnorway.com

Travel responsibly

Many destinations are certified as sustainable and help support local jobs. Travelling responsibly means buying local goods and staying longer in one region. Transport can be sustainable, too. Journey through stunning fjord scenery in autumn light aboard an electric ferry. You do not want to miss some of the top train rides in the world – travel from Oslo to Bergen on the Bergen Railway Line or experience the Rauma Line or the Nordland Line. Relax and take in all the vibrant colours of autumn.

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A man biking in the mountains of Trysil on a sunny autumn day
Mountain biking in Trysil.
Photo: Ola Matsson / Trysil
4 girls are having a wonderful autumn experience in Soria Moria sauna in Telemark, Norway
Soria Moria sauna in Telemark.
Photo: Dag Jenssen

Northern lights and whale safaris

Despite what you might think, winter is not the only time of year to see the northern lights. The intensity of the natural light show overhead is enough to leave anyone speechless. Up north, autumn is also ideal for spotting whales, including humpback whales and orcas. Vesterålen, Senja, Alta, and Tromsø in Northern Norway are superb destinations in which to experience this.

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A group of people watching the tail of a whale from a boat in Vesterålen, Northern Norway
Whale safari in Vesterålen.
Photo: Marten Bril / www.visitvesteralen.com

Wake up in nature

Get closer to nature by staying in unique accommodation. A stormy night is hard to forget, especially if you experience it in a lighthouse or a fisherman’s cabin right by the edge of the water in Northern Norway. Norway is also home to many treetop cabins where you can wake up to twittering birds and observe the changing seasons up close. If you want more luxury, spoil yourself by staying at a spa hotel.

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The Bolder Sky Lodges in Rogaland, one of Norway’s most unique places to stay
Unique accommodation in Norway.
Photo: The Bolder

Autumn climate

En mann vandrer i Aurlandsdalen om høsten
Vandring i Aurlandsdalen.
Photo: Thomas Rasmus Skaug / Visitnorway.com

The northern lights

In Norway, the chances of seeing the northern lights increase as the nights get longer.

North of the Arctic Circle, the polar night sets in at the beginning of November in the northernmost regions. During the polar night, the sun remains below the horizon for several months.

The northern lights can be seen when the sky is clear and dark. Cold, dry nights from October to March are the best to hunt for the northern lights, so a late autumn or winter trip to the north is recommended for those who want a glimpse of the northern lights.

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The northern lights over the fishing village Reine in Lofoten, Northern Norway
Northern lights over Reine in Lofoten.
Photo: Alex Conu / Visitnorway.com

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Dividalen, Troms
Dividalen, Troms.
Photo: Magnus Beyer Brattli / Den Norske Turistforening