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Kittiwakes <i>(Risa tridactyla)</i> nesting warehouse, Vardo, Finnmark

Norway is a ruggedly beautiful country of mountains, fjords and glaciers. The 'Land of the Midnight Sun' has delightfully long summer days, pleasantly low-key cities, unspoiled fishing villages and rich historic sites that include Viking ships and medieval stave churches.

Norway prizes its stunning natural wonders and retains a robust frontier character unusual in Europe. It's not all frozen tundra, either. 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. Here the terrain ranges from soaring coastal peaks to vast boreal forests and barren treeless peninsulas. Adventurous travellers can journey even further north to the Svalbard archipelago, where seals, walruses and polar bears sun themselves on ice floes.

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