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Norway

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Norway is the westernmost of the three Scandinavian countries, located in Northern Europe west of Sweden. Best known for the complex and deep fjords along its west coast, it stretches from the North Sea near Denmark and Scotland into the Arctic Ocean.

Norway is well known for its amazing and varied nature. The fjords in the west of the country are long narrow inlets of the sea, flanked by tall mountains. Norway was an old Viking kingdom. Economically it is known for its oil and seafood exports.

Norway has space. In this country, roughly the same size as Great Britain or Germany, only 4.5 million people live. Thus, for each inhabitant there is 70,000 square meters of land, but the vast majority of this land is a rocky wilderness which is completely unusable for any agricultural purposes. As a result, Norway has a large number of completely unpopulated areas, many of which have been converted to national parks. But even outside the national parks, much of the land is unspoiled nature which Norwegians strive to keep unspoiled.

In winter, cross-country skiing, alpine skiing and snowboarding are very popular. In summer, hiking and biking are obvious ways to enjoy the enormous mountain areas. For the adventurous, kayaking, wildwater rafting, paragliding, cave or glacier exploration are possible. Car tourists will enjoy driving along the fjords and mountains in the west or to the midnight sun in the north. Briefly, Norway has a lot to offer in terms of nature.

Norway is located on a large peninsula shared with Sweden in the north of Europe. In the north, it also borders Finland and Russia. A large but loosely defined northern part of of Norway and Sweden, as well as parts of Finland and Russia outlines an area known as Sapmi (Sameland), which is where the most of the Sami (lapp) people live.

Because of the gulf stream, the climate in Norway is noticeably warmer than what would otherwise be expected at such a high latitude. Almost half the length of Norway is north of the polar circle. Summers can be moderately warm (up to 30 degrees C), even in northern areas, but only for limited periods. The length of the winter and amount of snow varies. In the north there is more snow and winters are dark; on the southern and western coast, winters are moderate and rainy, while further inland the temperature can get below -25 degrees C. Some mountain areas will have permanent glaciers.

Norway is part of the Schengen countries, meaning you can travel from any other Schengen country with few or no border checks. Most citizens of industrialized nations do not need a visa to enter Norway for tourism or short business trips. You can find all the timetables you need from Rutebok timetable service.

By plane
Oslo Airport Gardermoen (OSL) is the biggest airport in the country and the main international hub, and is located 60 km north of Oslo. The airport had 15.9 million passengers in 2005. The fastest way to reach the city of Oslo is with the Airport Express Train, which takes 19 minutes. See Flytoget.

The airport has scheduled flights to 71 destinations abroad and 24 destinations in Norway. New direct routes in 2006 will be Naples (SAS Braathens), Madrid (Norwegian), Rijeka (Norwegian), Florence (Sterling), Palanga (FlyLAL), St. Petersburg (Norwegian), Bourgas (Norwegian), Heraklion (Norwegian), Rhodes (Norwegian), Varna (Norwegian), Kos (Norwegian), and Ibiza (Norwegian).

Airlines on Oslo Airport Coast Air Norwegian SAS Braathens Widerøe Sterling Fly Nordic Germanwings Lufthansa British Airways KLM Air France SN Brussels Airlines Finnair Sterling Austrian Airlines Blue1 Welcome Air Windjet Czech Airlines LOT Polish Airlines Air Baltic Estonian Air Málev Hemus Air FlyLAL /City Star Airlines /Tap Air Portugal /Aeroflot /Air Malta Cimber Air Air Norway Atlantic Airways Continental Airlines PIA Turkish Airlines Ryan Air

Oslo Torp (Sandefjord Lufthavn) is located 115 km to the south of Oslo, and is Ryanair's destination airport in Oslo. Here you can spend as much on the coach trip (about £10) as on the flight! Ryanair now operate another service, from London Stanstead to Haugesund on the west coast.

There are also some international flights to Bergen, Trondheim, Stavanger and Tromsø.

By train
There are trains from Sweden to Oslo, Trondheim and Narvik, with onwards inland connections.

For Oslo, there are a weekend-only day service from Stockholm (every day beginning january 2007), as well as an every-night night train running through Gothenburg. The night train also carries rail cars from Malmö. For Trondheim, the Nabotåget service from Östersund corresponds with one day and one night service from Stockholm, as well as the train from Sundsvall. For Narvik, two trans daily run from Stockholm via Kiruna. Both are overnight.

By bus Several international bus lines run into Oslo from Sweden, the major operators being Eurolines, Swebus Express and Säfflebussen. Service to Gothenburg and Copenhagen is almost hourly. The service to Stockholm is also far more frequent than the train.

The minibus service between Kirkenes and Murmansk run three times per day. Contact Grenseland/Sovjetreiser (yes, they are actually still called that!) in Kirkenes for booking.

Other express lines go from Sweden to Bodø and Mo i Rana, as well as from Denmark to Stavanger.

By car
It is possible to enter by road from Sweden, Finland, or Russia.

Information provided by Wikipedia

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