„Why should you visit Norway in winter?“

Norway is beautiful the whole year ...

and many people plan their holidays in summer. As a scandinavian country Norway is known for the phenomenon „midnight sun“ in the summer. 

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

Oslo Norwegen Easter 2018

  • 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 

Norway sunset snow on the beach
Norway Bodo sunset

  • 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"

Nordlights, Hamnoy, Lofoten, Norway

Aurora borealis in Hamnoy, Lofoten

Nordlight Henningsvaer, Lofoten, Norway

Nordlight Henningsvaer, Lofoten, Norway

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. 

Aurora borealis, Hamnoy, Sakrisoy, Lofoten, Norway

Aurora borealis, Hamnoy, Sakrisoy, Lofoten, Norway

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

Norway, Lofoten, Henningsvaer, selfportrait, selfie pill

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

Lofoten, Norway, self-portrait, coolesttravelista, julia art

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. 

Norway, Lofoten, Coolesttravelista

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

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Have you already been in Norway? Tell me, what was the best for you and when would you recommend to go? 

Stay tuned for more travel & photography tips!

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Leave a Reply 19 comments

Vivian - 27. April 2018 Reply

Thanks for the tips on how to capture the Northern Lights! Definitely bookmarking this for the future, it’s on my bucket list~

Dee - 27. April 2018 Reply

We’ve been to Bergen in February for a weekend and we absolutely loved it. It was amazing experience, we had all four seasons in one day. Now I dream of visiting more of this beautiful country, you reasons just confirmed that we need to travel there again

Luiza Calini - 27. April 2018 Reply

Norway is on my bucket list! Now that you’ve mentioned it, I might go at least for a weekend this autumn or winter.
Awesome photos! 🙂


Dalene Ekirapa - 27. April 2018 Reply

Norway is beautiful! The Northern lights look too spectacular I couldn’t believe that was real and natural until I read that whole review…that’s definitely a must see before we die as you say.

Shalee - 27. April 2018 Reply

Oh my goodness! Look at that amazing sky. What a special, once in a lifetime moment. It sounds like there are so many amazing things about Norway that people may not know about. Thank-you for sharing.

Elaine - 27. April 2018 Reply

ok. I have to go see these northern lights… now before i die!!

Laura Dove - 27. April 2018 Reply

Wow Norway really is stunning! I would love to go, it’s a bit of a hidden gem isn’t it!

Amalia Silva - 28. April 2018 Reply

Norway is a beautiful country with natural landscapes and I can’t wait to explore more! Would love to see the northern lights over there!

Alison Rost - 28. April 2018 Reply

I think it’s really beautiful. It’s definitely lovely and worth going to. I’ve never been to Norway but I’ve always wanted to visit. Reading this post just made me want to visit more!

Jhilmil Bhansali - 28. April 2018 Reply

We were planning to visit Norway, but rather in mild climate and not winters. But, I get now, that we need to visit there in winters. The snow on beach was awesome.

Akamatra - 28. April 2018 Reply

I really want to visit and have a chance of seeing the Northern lights. It’s my life’s dream!

MELANIE EDJOURIAN - 28. April 2018 Reply

I thought it was cold there most of the time so it’s interesting to hear it does warm up. I really want to go see the Northern Lights it’s on my bucket list.

Mayuri Saxena - 29. April 2018 Reply

You are 100% correct when you say that the northern lights are a „must see before you die“. I love the photos that you have shared in the post. Norway is on top of my bucket list!

Msddah - 29. April 2018 Reply

The scenery looks absolutely divine. Love the background of the pictures.

Nayna Kanabar - 29. April 2018 Reply

Norway sounds wonderful and how lucky you are to catch the beautiful Northern lights and get some great photos.

Komaln - 29. April 2018 Reply

The northern lights are my absolute dream to go see one day. Norway just has the perfect amount of romanticism.

Jennifer - 30. April 2018 Reply

So beautiful! I’ve never been to Norway. I had no idea that there were Northern Lights there, too. Just another reason to go!! 🙂

Sayanti | bingeonbasics.com - 30. April 2018 Reply

I really would love to visit the Northern lights. It looks mind blowing and the interests me a lot. I hope I could visit the Norway before Northern lights disappear.

Denni - 30. April 2018 Reply

I’m planning a Scandinavian road trip for this summer and Norway is top of the list , cant wait to see the fjords !! when is best season to see the northern lights ?

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