We like to bring you new holiday ideas here at BabyAbroad and here’s one for you. Have you ever thought about taking your children on holiday to Norway? We have the insider low down for you from the fabulous Liz Beaven of Fairy Photo Designs. Liz is a British expat originally from Yorkshire and has been living in the Telemark area of Norway for 5 years. She has two young sons aged 2 and 3 years old and hopes her experiences in Norway will be useful to any families considering a holiday in Scandinavia.
So over to Liz…
…I’m sure there aren’t many people from the UK who would think about Norway as their first choice for a holiday with children. If you do think of holidaying in Norway the first thing that probably pops into your head would be the famous Norwegian Fjord cruises.
Norway is a truly beautiful country and with a population of just 4.9 million within a total area of 148,747 square miles it isn’t hard to find peace and quiet. Perfect for people with stressful jobs who want to spend some quality time with their family away from the crowds.
Travelling to Norway
At the moment the quickest way to get from the UK to Norway is by aeroplane, although for those who fancy a driving holiday you can take the Dover to Calais Ferry and drive through Europe to Denmark and take the Danish Ferry to Norway’s South Coast. Or if you fancy seeing even more of Scandinavia you can drive from Denmark along the coast of Sweden to Norway. If you are travelling with children I recommend taking the trip over at least 3 days planning interesting stops along the way.
Things to Do With Children in Norway
Depending on where you holiday in Norway will determine the types of activities you can expect to find on offer. Oslo has the highest population of people in Norway, and as a result has a large selection of indoor and outdoor museums. Whether you are interested in Vikings, Peace Prize laureates, magic tricks or fire trucks, Oslo will have a museum for you. At most museums, you get free entrance with the Oslo Pass take a look at this website for more information http://www.visitoslo.com.
Another large tourist attraction is Kristiansand Zoo (Dyreparken) on the South coast of Norway. Dyreparken is actually five separate parks, including a water park (bring bathing suits and towels); a forested park; an entertainment park; a theme park; and a zoo, which contains an enclosure for Scandinavian animals such as wolves and elk, a large breeding ground for Bactrian camels, and exotic animals such as lions and tigers. In the zoo, the Africa exhibition allows you to move along a bridge observing native savannah animals such as giraffe and zebras. The park is 11 km (6 mi) east of Kristiansand, take a look here for more information http://www.dyreparken.no.
Another popular nature park can be found at Langedrag which lies a 3 hour drive North West from Oslo. Langedrag lies like a fairy-tale castle in beautiful surroundings, with magnificent views of the lakes and mountains between Hallingdal and Numedal. The park is open all year round and you can see Wolves, Arctic Foxes, Lynx, Reindeer as well as a petting area where children can stroke goats, ponies etc. For more information take a look at their website http://www.langedrag.no.
Of course as well as the organised tourist attractions Norway has a huge amount of countryside to explore for free, filled with beautiful lakes, mountains and forests.
Budgeting for Norway
Norway is an expensive country to take a holiday in, although if planned well in advance you can still manage it within a budget. If you plan to fly to Norway and can be flexible with your dates you can usually get a very reasonable flight with Ryanair.
Child friendly accommodation in Norway
Norway offers the usual hotels and camping sites, they also have a large number of cabin sites where you can hire a wooden cabin on a camping site. These vary in amenities; they begin very basic with no electricity or running water, and go up to others that have more familiar home comforts.
Norway is also very campervan friendly, with plenty of beautiful places to stop.
Climate in Norway
Generally Norway has four very clear seasons. During the winter you can normally expect snow from November until March and temperatures varying from +10 to -28 degrees Celsius. Spring and Autumn are a beautiful explosion of colour and are often comparable with the UK temperature wise. Summer time you can have temperatures as high as 30 degrees, Norwegians love to spend their summers swimming in the lakes and having BBQs with friends.
Travelling with young children to Norway
Here are my travel tips for travelling to Norway with young children:
- If you are travelling with a baby that requires formula my advice is to bring formula with you. Approximately 99% of mothers in Norway breastfeed their children so there isn’t a huge range of formula to choose from, and what they have is expensive. The main brand over here that you would recognise from the UK is Hipp, they do not sell Cow & Gate, SMA or Aptimal.
- You can buy Pampers and Huggies nappies over here, as well as other brands and the price of them is pretty comparable to the UK.
- For babies that are being weaned you can buy Ella’s kitchen baby food in some supermarkets, along with other local brands over here.
- You need to be aware that shops will be closed on Sundays, and on public holidays. Only places that are classed as kiosks will be open, which are comparable to small corner shops in the UK selling food essentials such as milk etc.
- The baby changing facilities in Norway are pretty good in shopping centres however not many restaurants will have them.
- Eating out is expensive in Norway, especially if you are paying for meals for children that are fussy and unlikely to eat it all. There are plenty of beautiful places to stop and have picnics or buy hotdogs and burgers though. If you are on a budget though it is advisable to buy supplies in supermarkets so you can prepare your own food.
Well we hope you were inspired to try a new holiday destination. See the links below if you want to take a peak at possible Norwegian holiday options. Please do leave a comment and let us know if you’ll be considering Norway for your family holiday next year.
Try Holiday-Rentals.co.uk for a wide range of Holiday Rental properties in Norway from fairy tale rustic farms to modern city apartments.
And cheapflights.co.uk to search for bargain flights.
More about Liz:
Thanks Liz for that helpful insight into holidays with children to Norway. If you’d like to know more about Liz, she runs a small photo editing Company in Norway called Photo Fairy Designs. Photo Fairy Designs can help you to be more creative with your photos, they offer a large selection of photo editing from photo enhancing, airbrushing, special effects, photo restoration, removing unwanted objects, and they can add some fairy or fantasy magic to photos of your children! On top of this they can present your photos on a photo DVD slideshow set to music – perfect for a special gift. Visit her website www.photofairydesigns.com for more information.
If you have an unusual family friendly holiday destination that you’d like to share with others, please do contact us at claresparks at babyabroad dot co dot uk.