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For those with a love of all things Arctic, this is where Norway really starts to get interesting. Heading northwards through long, slim Nordland, lush fields give way to lakes and forests, vistas open up, summits sharpen and the treeline descends ever lower on the mountainsides. Above the imaginary curve of the Arctic Circle, travellers get their first taste of the midnight sun in summer, while in winter, the Northern Lights dance across the night sky.

Linger along the spectacular Kystriksveien Coastal Route. Or travel the inland Arctic Highway: more direct, yet almost as lovely. And then there's Lofoten, where razor-sharp peaks stab at the sky and timeless fishing villages survive. Connected by bridges, the islands are easy to hop around, cycling is possible and hiking is as gentle or as tough as you care to make it.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Nordland.