The landscape affects the weather and climate
Because of Norway's geographical conditions, the weather and climate are characterised by great variations in the different regions of the country, as well as through the different seasons. Norway is a long, narrow country with a long coastline stretching from north to south. Western Norway has many fjords and bays, and many high and low points. This can affect the rain, wind and temperature in the areas. You should always bear in mind that the weather and temperature can change quickly, especially in the mountains.
Fact or fiction?
Norway isn't just cold. Myth clarified. Fact: The climate in Norway is milder than its northern location suggests, thanks to the warmth of the Gulf Stream. Of course, it can get cold, but it can also get hot!
March, April and May are considered to be the spring months in Western Norway. The season is filled with awakening wonders, a time where nature bursts into life. We feel the days getting longer and lighter, the snow melts, migratory birds return, and the first flowers peek out of the ground.
In Western Norway, March and April usually feel and look much like winter. Skiing in the mountains is still a popular activity during these months. By the fjords, the first flowers may have arrived around this time, although the grass might not turn green until May. In May, the many fruit trees in Fjord Norway are in bloom, the lambs are frolicking, and mountain water cascades down the valley sides.
17 May is a lively day in Norway as we celebrate our National Constitution Day with parades, flags, music and lots of food and ice-cream. People dress up in their finest clothes, many of them wearing the Norwegian folk costume called the “bunad”.
June, July and August are the summer months in Western Norway. The days are at their longest, the landscape at its greenest and the temperatures are at their most pleasant. The light, endless evenings attract plenty of outdoor activities in the beautiful nature; kayaking, hiking, cycling, swimming, and late-night barbecues as the sun sets. However, the weather can still produce some surprises. So be smart, check the weather forecast, and bring warm clothes as a backup, if necessary.
20– 22nd of June are the longest days of the year with sunrise in Flåm at approximately 04.00 and sunset at 23.00. On 23 June, Norway celebrates Saint John's Eve, more commonly known as Midsummer's Eve. Bonfires are lit in every village, town and city and people gather to celebrate the midsummer evening together.
September, October and November make up the autumn season in Western Norway. Autumn is the golden time of year in Norway, with leaves in a variety of colours, pure, clear air and tasty fruits, berries and mushrooms. During the first months of autumn you can spot the change in colours from bright green to beautiful yellow, orange and red. A sight for the eyes!
Autumn is a great time to head into the mountains, take a bike ride or stroll by the fjords or in the valleys. The famous Rallar Road is a popular attraction in the autumn season, offering great views of waterfalls and lush nature in changing colours. A spectacular combined trip is to enjoy the nature on a train ride on the Flåm Railway from Flåm to Myrdal, then rent a bike and cycle back from Myrdal and down the last part of the Rallar Road to Flåm.
During the first months of the autumn season, the temperatures can still be quite warm and pleasant, sometimes even as high as in the summer months. But it can also be wet and chilly, so it's a good idea to dress in multiple layers and have access to warm clothing and an umbrella. In November, winter is fast approaching with the first snowfall, and it's time for cosy log fires and indoor amusements.
December, January and February are the winter months. In December, we celebrate Christmas and the whole month is mostly devoted to preparing for Christmas festivities. The weather in December is usually not as stable as January and February, which are the proper winter months, with sparkling snow and freezing temperatures. This is a beautiful time of year, with a bluish light, snow-clad mountains and frozen waterfalls. All you need is need warm clothing for a ski trip or for playing in the snow.
The winter offers many activities with and without skis by the fjords, mountains and ski resorts. Snowshoeing is a fun and popular activity and a great way of enjoying the snow without skis. Another tip is to head to Stegastein Viewpoint for a breathtaking view of the snow-covered mountains and the deep, blue-coloured Aurlandsfjord.
After a day outside in the cold, you can relax with hot chocolate or “gløgg” in front of the fire. A widely-known secret is that Norwegians light fires and candles whenever they have an opportunity to compensate for the shorter days. A very cosy habit, we can assure you.