Top tip: Camp anywhere
Norway’s northern coast gives way to the Arctic Ocean. It is bordered by Sweden, Russia and Finland, and to the south by the Skagerrak (which separates it from Denmark). The coastline is over 25,000km (15,534 miles) long, its most outstanding feature being the fjords. Most of them are from 80km to 160km (50 to 100 miles) long, and are usually flanked by towering cliffs and mountains. Much of northern Norway lies beyond the Arctic Circle and consequently gives way to windswept tundras. The lanscape to the south is covered with mountainous pine and larch forests, and dotted with lakes.
Norway has the same latitude as Alaska but a surprisingly temperate climate, as it benefits from the Gulf stream. Average maximum temperatures for July are about 16°C in the south (although they can reach as high as 30°C) and around 13°C in the north. At the other end of the scale, in winter temperatures plummet (as an extreme example, in January 1999, the temperature in Kirkenes dropped to a frosty -56°C). Snow up to 10m deep can accumulate in the mountains; a mere 2m to 3m is more usual in the lower areas. Anywhere north of the Arctic Circle, the true midnight sun is visible at least one day a year, and at Nordkapp it shines from 13 May to 29 July.
Facts and Figures
|Area||385,252 km 2148,746 sq miles|
|Language||The official language is Norwegian. Several Uralic Sami languages are spoken throughout the country.|
|Religion||Christian, mainly Lutheran|
|Time||GMT +1 and +2 (summertime)|
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