Northern Norway – one of the most varied wildlife-watching destination in Europe
We must admit that Northern Norway is one breathtaking territory. Its surreal Arctic landscapes, magnificent shores of the Atlantic Ocean, and incredible natural phenomena (e.g. midnight Sun, Polar Nights, Aurora Borealis) should convince international travelers that exploring its territories is a once in a lifetime opportunity they just can’t miss. Northern Norway is wildlife kingdom packed with an abundant fauna and flora. Starting from the wildest animals to the most beautiful birds, seeing these places will leave you speechless.
The Svalbard Archipelago
The Svalbard archipelago is famous for being an excellent spot to catch the Northern Lights. From November until late February, travelers will witness how the sky catches fire. However, this region is also famous for hosting impressive wild animals, such as mountain reindeer, polar bears and walruses. In fact, Svalbard’s population of 2,700 people doesn’t surpass the number of polar bears, which is beyond 3,000.
This incredible territory is idyllic in wintertime, not to mention that over 60% is positioned really close to the Arctic region and the North Pole. It’s certainly a challenging trip to reach the archipelago when it’s freezing, but the demanding expedition will exceed all your expectations. Can you imagine spending an evening admiring the Northern Lights, the polar bears and the ethereal surroundings all at the same time? It’s safe to say that you’ll feel like in a fairytale.
Svalbard’s marine life is equally impressive. The region prides itself with a notable population of walruses. Moffen Island, Forlandet and Karl Prins are major breeding grounds. These mammals are not often seen at the shore, although travelers can opt for a boat safari trip to admire them at bay. Adventurous travelers fond of Norway’s mountain fauna, should head to the Norwegian National Park where they’ll come across various species of reindeer. These animals are mostly owned by the Sami people, Norway’s indigenous population.
Norway’s Arctic foxes appear mostly in the north regions. They adapt really well to the cold weather conditions, and they create eskers and low mounds in the tundra. These are incredibly dense, and have been used as entrances for generations. The Arctic fox is an extremely beautiful wild animal; it features a high-pitched bark but it doesn’t howl. Thanks to an incredibly acute hearing, they easily target their prey and eat mostly lemmings.
The Eurasian lynx
The gracious Eurasian lynx can be spotted in Troms County, in Reisa National Park. This beautiful hiking spot is ideal for mountaineers and hikers fond of all-natural wild sceneries. To add to the park beauty, make sure to spot by the Reisa River. A couple of centuries ago, it managed to dig a beautiful valley and thus form a canyon; the superb gorges and cascades created make the park a genuine wonder of nature.
Wolves and wolverines
Norway’s species of wolves can be spotted in the forested areas of the country, close to the Swedish border. In fact, many tourists choose to cross the border just to catch a clearer glimpse at these imposing wild animals. Don’t get too close though, as they come in packs of 15. They’re carnivores and quite dangerous, but from the exterior, they’re superb animals. In Norway, wolves are critically endangered animals, so they’re protected by the law. Norway’s wolverines may look ferocious and fierce, but in fact they live in the most remote areas of the country’s parks.
Andenes and its whales
Last but not least, we have Norway’s whales. Since the country is open to the Atlantic Ocean and it is packed with plankton; it’s only natural for whales to feel like in their natural element. Andenes is such a peaceful and serene fighting village, and it is also a main base for whale-watching. Those who want to see an amazing water show, and enjoy some peaceful time, must see this place. Between the months of May and September whale-watching safari trips are being organized, so make sure to sign up for the adventure.
We love Northern Norway because it is packed with incredible wildlife. The superb fauna goes hand in hand with the idyllic flora. Whether you’re traveling in wintertime or in the summer, there’s no doubt that Northern Norway is absolutely breathtaking.
By William Taylor and BalticTravelCompany.com!