In the summer, the average temperature in Norway ranges from 57° to 65°F (13°-18°C). In January, it hovers around 27°F (2°C), ideal weather for winter sports.
The Gulf Stream warms the west coast, where winters tend to be temperate. Rainfall, however, is often heavy here. Above the Arctic Circle, the sun shines night and day from mid-May until late July. For about 2 months every winter, the North Cape is plunged into darkness.
From May to mid-June, the scenery in Norway is at its most spectacular, with fruit trees in blossom, snow in the mountains, and meltwater swelling the waterfalls. There are several public holidays in May, and the Norwegians make full use of them to celebrate springtime after a long winter. In particular, National Day, on May 17, is marked by parties, music, and street parades, with many people dressed in beautiful national costumes. Low-season rates apply during this period.
Late June to early August is the high season in Norway, when the weather is warmest and the schools are on holiday. The most popular tourist places can be busy, but finding peace and quiet, if you wish, is easy. All the man-made tourist attractions are open, and public transport services are more frequent.
Mid-August to October is a time when accommodations and ferries are at mid- or low-season rates. There is so little traffic that you may feel as if you have the whole country to yourself. The temperature drops slowly through September, making for good berry- and mushroom-picking weather. The glorious colors of autumn are at their best in October.
Norway's summer weather is variable and unpredictable, with a number of surprising features. The Atlantic Gulf Stream keeps the western fjord area and the coast up into the Arctic North much warmer than you might expect. The west coast receives the most rain, but the area farther east is drier. The sea temperature can reach 64°F (18°C) or higher on the south coast, where swimming is a popular pastime. Surprisingly, the water is often calm, as most of the inhabited places in Norway are sheltered from the prevailing wind by mountains and forest.
The warmest and most stable weather occurs on the eastern side of the southern mountains, including the south coast between Mandal and Oslo. Even in the north, summer temperatures are pleasantly warm; however, as nearly all of this area is near the west coast, the weather can be wet and changeable. Be sure to take waterproof clothing. If you should be unlucky with the weather, remember a wise Norwegian saying, "There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing."
In winter, much of Norway is transformed into a snow-clad paradise from November to April. Undoubtedly, the best way to enjoy it is on skis, but there are many other things to do as well. Just sitting by the fire in a warm and cozy log cabin is a pleasure for some, as is the friendly, relaxed atmosphere of the hotel bar. Children of all ages (and many grown-ups) never get tired of just playing in the snow. Active types can go tobogganing, skating, ice fishing, ice climbing, dog sledding, and more.
The Midnight Sun -- In the summer, the sun never fully sets in northern Norway; and even in the south, the sun may set around 11pm and rise at 3am. Keep in mind that although the sun shines at midnight, it's not as strong as at midday. Always bring a warm jacket or sweater.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.