Occupying the western part of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Norway has a long border to the east with Sweden and an extensive North Atlantic coastline, deeply cut by fjords. The most famous period of Norwegian history is the Viking age (from the 8th to the 11th century) when many Norwegians left the country to live in Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Greenland and parts of Britain and Ireland. Most of Norway is mountainous, with the Jotunheimen (the 'Land of the Giants') towards the south of the country, being the most impressive range. Galdhopiggen and Glittertind are the biggest peaks here, each of them around 2472 metres high. With excellent trails and a first-rate mountain huts, this is a great place for trekking and exploration during the summer months. In the winter, the range becomes a playground for ski touring, with challenging route options across frozen lakes and through high and snow-filled valleys.


Norway is bordered to the north by the Arctic Ocean, to the east by Finland, Russia and Sweden, to the south by the Skagerrak Sea (which separates it from Demark) and to the west by the North Sea. The coastline is over 25,000km long, its most outstanding feature being the numerous fjords. Most of them are from 80km to 160km long, and are usually flanked by towering mountains. Much of northern Norway lies beyond the Arctic Circle and consequently, mostly takes the form of rugged tundras. The south is covered with pine and larch forests, and dotted with lakes, rivers and mountains.

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