From breathtaking Fjords to diverse marine life and hundreds of islands, the land of the midnight sun provides beautiful sailing grounds.
Home to magnificent mountains, grand glaciers and deep coastal fjords, the Scandinavian country of Norway has non-stop offerings. The west coast arguably offers some of the best sailing grounds in Europe and even if not for its fair winds, its stunning scenery in breathtaking locations overrule the weather every time. National Geographic has listed the Norwegian fjords on the west coast as one of the world’s top tourist attractions and it’s easy to see why.
From the southern town of Bergen with its traditional colourful wooden houses to crossing the Arctic circle up to the city Tromso – by boat surely has to be the best way to explore this spectacular coastline. Impossibly steep-sided fjords cut through from a jagged coastline where hundreds of islands cluster to protect the land. With some of these islands connected to the mainland by bridges, many can only be accessed by the water providing the perfect location for island hopping by boat.
Typically referred to as the “Land of the Midnight Sun” Norway’s climate means during the summer months from late May to late July, the sun never completely dips beneath the horizon in areas north of the Arctic Circle. The rest of the country experiences up to 20 hours of daylight per day. This makes the ideal time to visit the west coast and the Norwegian Fjords during the summer months when temperatures can reach a pleasant 25 degrees and wildflowers cover the open landscapes. Also famous for its display of the Northern Lights, the best time to see them is from mid-September to mid of April. You may even get lucky and see auroras at the end of August or mid-April.
Norway can be divided into three different climate zones. The southern parts have a warm temperate humid climate with the summer months averaging the highest of 22°C and the winter months above 10°C over average. The mid to northern regions have a humid snow climate with less than four months above 10°C over average. The climate of the northern coastal areas and the mountainous regions are an Ice climate with the warmest month under 10°C.
The biodiversity and wildlife across Norway is rich and another great reason to explore the coast by boat. Marine life here is rife with the largest predator in Norwegian waters being the sperm whale and the largest fish is the basking shark. Orca and Humpback whales are also regular spots from expedition yacht Narwhal and with over 450 species, birdwatching is a highlight, from the puffins of Bleik to the migratory seabirds of Runde and Varanger. But the real prizes inhabit Norway’s high Arctic, in Svalbard, where polar bears and walruses are the poster species for a wilderness of rare, dramatic and precarious beauty.