Several anniversaries and one-off events are taking place in 2018. As many good excuses to visit Norway this year, says our travel editor Marie Peyre.
In 2018 DNT (Den Norske Turistforening, aka The Norwegian Trekking Association
) celebrates 150 years. The perfect excuse to plan a hiking holiday
in Norway, or at least spend a night in one of their many cabins (500 to be precise). DNT maintain a network of about 20,000 km of marked foot trails
and about 7,000 km of ski tracks for cross-country skiing all over the country. It is one of the most popular associations in Norway, with over 300,000 members, a fact that reflects Norwegians' love story with nature and 'friluftsliv'.
Cabin in Selsli . Photo: Marie Peyre
If hiking is not your thing, consider a cruise along Norway's stunning west coast. Hurtigruten
, dubbed by many as 'the world's most beautiful voyage'
, will be 125 in 2018, and cruising the Express Route is a quintessential Norwegian experience. The route stretches from Bergen in the south to Kirkenes in the north and ships stop at no fewer than 34 ports of call along the way. You can travel the full route (the round-trip journey takes 11 days), or hop on for a day or two (or more), depending on time and budget. There are plenty of exciting excursions
to choose from along the way too, from snowmobile or RIB trips to a sea eagle safari or a midnight concert in Tromsø's Arctic Cathedral for example. Or you can just take in the scenery from deck. It's up to you.
Hurtigruten. File photo: Jan Greve/NTB Scanpix
the iconic Britannia Hotel
is reopening in late 2018 after being closed for two years for total renovation. The city's grande dame, and one of Norway's best loved hotels, first opened in 1870, and was in its heydays the hotel of choice for prominent visitors from Norway and abroad. The new director, Mikael Forselius, formerly of Røros Hotell, is one of the most popular advocates of Norwegian food and local cuisine - so the restaurant at Britannia Hotel should deliver.
Britannia Hotel in its heyday.
Food will be in the limelight in other parts of Norway too, as the World Cheese Award 2018 will be coming to Scandinavia for the first time ever, taking place in Bergen on 2 November. The competition features 3,000 cheeses from some 30 countries, and Norwegian cheeses are expected to do well again after Kraftkar from Tingvollost won the top prize last year. In Stavanger, Gladmat, Norway's oldest and one of Scandinavia's leading food festivals, will celebrate 30 years in 2018 - more good news for foodies.
Photo: Guild of Fine Food
Last, but not least - Oslo
, which was named by Lonely Planet as one of the top 10 cities to visit in 2018
. We think Oslo is a great place to visit any year, but in 2018, King Harald and Queen Sonja will celebrate 50 years of marriage, and the city will up its game to mark this royal golden jubilee
Love art? The National Museum
will show a major retrospective exhibition of Harald Sohlberg
's work in 2018, including some of his most famous paintings and works that have not been displayed to the public for over 50 years. Astrup Fearnley Museum
, meanwhile, will celebrate its 25th anniversary as one of Europe's most significant modern art galleries with a series of exhibitions and artists visits, while highlights from the City of Oslo's extensive art collection will go on show for the first time at Kunstnernes Hus this spring.
Harald Sohlberg's 'Street in Røros in Winter'.
One of Oslo's most famous landmarks will also celebrate an anniversary - on 12 April 2018, the opera
will turn 10. The striking building by the waterfront, designed by Snøhetta, will soon be joined by others, including the new Munch Museum, currently taking shape just behind it, and due to open in 2020 - but that's another story.
Oslo Opera House. Photo: Marie Peyre