Gateway to Norway: The Norwegian Summer

Summer, the most popular season to explore Norway’s coastline

I have been in Norway for almost a year and a half now, and life has been great but I’m still getting used to the changing of seasons because I come from a country that is either hot and humid, or raining all day.

It’s now Summer in Norway and because we had a rather brutal winter last year (until early April), summer this year has been exceptionally hot – yes, coming from someone who has lived most of her life in a tropical country. I’ve never truly experienced the Norwegian Summer before because I was in America & Malaysia the past 2 summers. This year’s summer trip will be a little bit later than usual, so that means I get to experience the Norwegian Summer I’ve been missing out on. Everyone seems to be enjoying the weather, I do too, but sometimes it gets a little bit unbearable even for me. I live near the coast and we have a few nice beaches around here, so when we are in the mood for sunbathing, the nearest beach is less than a mile away.

The weather can reach up to 32°C on the hottest day and the water temperature can be around 20°C, so it’s really nice to go for a quick dip after being under the heat. The day is longer too during the Summer – where the sun puts in 18 hour shifts, so everyone has almost the whole day to spend on the beach or to go there after work. A lot of time is spent in nice parks around freshly bloomed flowers or in a garden sipping on the ales. The lack of humidity also motivates a mini exodus from cities in the north that are typically colder, to the beaches in Oslo area district. While Oslo is the more popular spot for tourists, Hurum, a district on the southern part of Hurumhalvøya, makes for a fine summer playground as well.

This Scandinavian country is usually famous for its Winter but when Summer arrives, it opens another dimension into this country’s love affair with its natural surroundings, as every Norwegian from all over Norway bound into the outdoors the moment the snow begins its seasonal retirement. The national pastime during those long summer days in Norway is perhaps none other than the humble barbecue – marinated meats are on tilbud (sale) all over the place – that’s when you know the official grilling season has started!

In summer, all of Norway awakens where going to the beach is not the only thing they love to do. A lot of Norway’s exceptional landscape is unreachable during the winter due to high levels of snow and slippery slopes – the summer heat is like one fantastic work of art that carves a path into the heart of the country’s breathtaking fjords. Exploring nature is also Norway’s national pastime, even in the coldness and darkness of winter, being outdoor to do winter activities is nothing to them. As winter dawns, the hiking still continue during summer – days of hiking fjords, sipping Norwegian coffee, and setting foot on ancient Viking lands don’t have to end.

Hiking has slowly become my cup of tea and although I’m not that athletic compared to Norwegians (who have legs of steel), I’m catching up pretty fast now. For people who are not into hiking but love to be surrounded by picturesque mountains and beautiful scenery, that is doable and possible without having to hike for hours. There are many places near Oslo or other cities that offer this kind of landscape, for example Semsvannet in Asker.

All I can say is the Norwegian Summer is very exciting, from the fresh mussels and shrimps you can indulge in to the breathtaking nature backdrops you can witness along the fjords. Norway is an intensely beautiful country where you can find all the space you need for the hike of your dreams and where during summer, the country turns into a big playground for nature enthusiasts.

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