Norway is a ruggedly beautiful country of mountains, fjords and glaciers. The 'Land of the Midnight Sun' has delightfully long summer days, unspoiled fishing villages and rich historic sites that include Viking ships and medieval stave churches. Norway's varied geography surprises many visitors who imagine the country as a frozen monolith. On the contrary, the temperate south includes rolling farmlands, enchanted forests and sunny beaches as well as the dramatic Western Fjords. North of the Arctic Circle, the population thins, the horizons grow wider and the temperature dips (well, not always, as we experienced). Here the terrain ranges from soaring coastal peaks to vast boreal forests and barren treeless peninsulas. Adventurous travelers can journey even further north to the Svalbard archipelago, where seals, walruses and polar bears sun themselves on ice floes. It's no wonder that Norway prizes its stunning natural wonders and retains a robust frontier character unusual in Europe.
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