About Norway

The geograpical divison of Norway is defined by the dominant features of the landscape. In southern Norway, the major mountain massifs (including Hardangervidda, Jotunheimen and Dovre mountains) and the water divide (watershed) these create defines the major areas Western Fjords (Vestlandet), Trondelag (Trøndelag), and Eastern Valleys (Østlandet). Because these mountains are such a dominant feature, Norwegians often say “east of mountains”, “west of mountains” or “north of mountains”.

The big valleys of eastern Norway cuts into the central mountain massifs from east to west or from south to north, while the great fjords of the west similarly cuts into mountain massifs (or actullay the contigous mountain shield) from the shield’s steep western edge to watershed. In most of northern part of the country the water divide defines the border with Sweden.The resulting “fragmented” landscape is clearly visible on maps and satelite images.

A very long and incredibly rugged coastline is Norway’s most characteristic feature. The Geographical Survey of Norway esitmates that the coast (including islands) is more than 100,000 kilometer (only Canada has a longer coastline). The geographical survey also identifies 240,000 islands. Most Norwegians live within few kilometers from salt water (fjords or the ocean). Virtually all towns are sea ports, notable exceptions being towns on lake Mjøsa and the old mining towns Røros and Kongsberg.

Eastern Valleys are characterised by endless valleys, large lakes, dense pine forests, and in the eastern and southern corners relatively flat lowland. Alpine altitudes and vast mountain plateaus is found along the watershed (western and northern perimeter). Climate is mostly continental (cold winters, warm summers), except areas close to the Oslofjord. Oslo, the capital of Norway, is the main town in the eastern region. While Oslo is the geographical focus of eastern valleys, the two major valley/river systems terminate at Drammen and Fredrikstad.

*Text content from Trip Advisor