Norway is beautiful the whole year ...
But there are also good reasons to visit Norway in winter. I visited Oslo, Bodo and the Lofoten islands at Easter time, but it felt like winter. The weather was changing all the time and there was a lot of snow.
Nevertheless I really enjoyed my time in the north and here are the reasons why:
1. It´s not that cold as you might think
- reason: The mild waters of the Gulf Stream give Northern Norway and Svalbard the mildest climate of anywhere on earth at this latitude. On my trip to Nordland it was about -2° / + 7° and with 2 pullovers and a good winter clothes and shoes I felt as warm as in Thailand (btw that´s my next trip)
2. The gorgeous landscapes with snow
- The mountains of the Lofoten are simply gorgeous and with tons of snow they look even more amazing.
- Have you ever seen snow on the beach? Normally we admire white sand of the caribbean islands and think: "It is white like snow!" Well in Norway there is really snow on the beach, but the sunsets are stunning anyway.
- Most of the lakes are covered with ice and snow. You should check sometimes with google maps, if you are still walking on a field or on the ice of a lake or river. Never know, if the ice is to thin to care you and your heavy (photographer´s) backpack.
- Have a look from above - isn´t this beautiful?
3. The northern lights - a "must see before you die"
I travel a lot and I see many stunning things, but to see the northern lights right above me, was the best experience in my life so far. I was staying in the Sakrisoyrorbuer with a good view to watch the aurora borealis. On my last night there I went in front of a few bungalows with a gorgeous view of this mountain.
Ready to catch the light, I waited with my camera on the tripod for one hour, but there were no lights at all. Suddenly there was a young guy, who stayed in this bungalow. He asked me: „I try also to see the northern lights every night, but there is nothing to see. And you stand here for over an hour with your camera. Do you know sth. I don´t know?“
Here is the trick!
I laughed and explained, that with long exposure and my canon 6d mark II you can actually see a little bit of the green light before you can see it with your eyes. Also you should look for a dark place to watch the aurora in always point your camera in the north direction.
He was so kind and brought me a cup of hot coffee and a brownie and waited with me for another hour in the cold night. Then suddenly a light appeared on the right sight above the mountain. It grew bigger and there was a beautiful green light over the whole sky.
I started to take photos with 30 seconds - 1 minute exposure. Friends of this young man came also to watch the lights and we all were so excited! Especially as the aurora begun to dance, everybody was really amazed - „Look at this! And over there! This can´t be real! Wow!“
The best time to see northern lights is between December and March. I was there end of March and the activity was very low and the nights were shorter. There is a good website to check aurora activity in Norway and it depends on the clouds, how much you will see.
So if you want to have this amazing experience and an extra dopamine shot on your trip - go to Norway in winter!
4. It´s low season of the low season
In February and March there are only a few tourists. Beside the fact, that you can wander alone for hours and taking photos like this without other people, hotels and rorbuer houses are cheaper.
Also they are not fully booked and I had 2 times an upgrade in the rorbuer for free. It was so nice to stay in a bigger house with 2 bedrooms, kitchen and living room with fireplace on my own. I didn´t want to leave…
In summer, everybody said it to me, there are so many tourists, that you can not really enjoy the landscape. If you want to take a photo, there are always some tourists in front of you, and that´s not always a plus point for an epic picture.
5. The best light and backgrounds for self-portraits
As I travel always alone, I make my self-portraits on my own. The light is very important for portraits and normally the best light is in the early morning or in the evening. At midday the sun is right above you - and where is light, there is also shadow.
Means, there is always shadow under your nose and chin or eyes on pictures taken on midday.
In the soft winter light in Norway you can take photos all the time, in the morning, at noon or in the evening. (In the night you can photograph northern lights!) This portrait I made at 1 pm because the sun is not so high at midday.
By the way, if you want to learn more about self-portraits and get also some useful tips for Instagram, check this out.
Exploration is really the essence of the human spirit. Frank Borman
Have you already been in Norway? Tell me, what was the best for you and when would you recommend to go?