• Norway, scenery

The best time to go to Norway

Lying in the far north of Europe, the seasons vary greatly in Norway throughout the year. We focus on the north of the country as this is where we can offer the best wildlife experiences. With polar night falling throughout the winter creating long, dark days, it is important to plan wildlife safaris well, in order to make the most of the time you have. Conversely, in summer there is plenty of light which is great for bird watching and outdoor activities.

Temperatures vary from -5C in the heart of the winter to between +10-15C in summer, therefore, packing a number of layers is always best when planning your trip to Norway.

If you wish to swim with killer whales in Norway there are very specific dates of travel available. We run small group departures in November and January as this allows enough light to encounter the whales while still being the best time to see them congregate around the waters of Tromso and Tromvik. 

Alternatively, if you are planning a summer expedition to Svalbard to see the mighty King of the Arctic (trips run from May - August), you may want to add a pre/post safari extension in Norway to enjoy more wildlife encounters or additional land activities. 

NEXT STEPS

• Browse our Norway holidays
• Download our free whale travel guide
• Contact our Norway Destination Specialist for advice

Arctic 1

When to go

This is a guide for the country as a whole, indicating good times to plan a holiday, taking into account popular places to visit, wildlife encounters and overall weather. Please remember that where in the country will vary depending on month of travel.

Best time in Norway to see…

Killer Whales - The prime season for killer whales in Norway is November to January but the polar night is too dark to see the whales in December.

Northern Lights - The Aurora Borealis can be seen in Norway from around October to March with the best sightings being in locations away from other sources of light pollution.

Seabirds - A variety of sea birds can be seen off the coast of Lofoten Islands from February to August and which species you see will depend on the time of year you travel.

Other Whales - Humpbacks, minke and sperm whales can be seen in the fjords and off the coast of northern Norway. The Vesterålen coast is best for whales during the summer whereas Tromso is better in winter.

Patrick Dykstra, Norway Killer Whales

When to go by season

A brief overview of when to go to Norway by month and some of the highlights of each season.

November - January

This season lies in Norway's polar night so only certain safaris are available at this time. The highlights of travel during the winter are swimming with killer whales and humpbacks as this is the best time to see pods of whales hunting for prey off the coast of Tromso.

February - March

Although the whale season in Tromso has finished by February, this is a great time of year to see the Northern Lights as the nights are long and dark, which is the ideal conditions for seeing the green glow of the Aurora Borealis. There are some daytime activities available during this time, such as dog sledding and snowmobiling so winter safaris are still possible.

May - September 

The summer months in Norway are the perfect time for exploring the stunning landscapes of the Vesteralen Coast and the Lofoten Islands.  Known for their outdoor activities, safaris to the Lofoten Islands offer kayaking, fishing, hiking and scuba diving. This allows you to encounter wildlife at the same time as taking in the breath-taking views. In addition to these activities, bird watching is a popular choice for those visiting Norway during the summer and skuas, guillemots, eiders and gulls can all be seen. Why not add a Norway safari as an extension to your Svalbard Polar Bear Explorer expedition?

Norway, scenery

Your Next Steps

Talk to one of our specialists for further details on travelling to Norway.