An introduction to the geography of Norway for beginners.
Norway is known throughout the world as a naturally beautiful country with a strong economy and proud history. Yet many people, especially from outside Europe, don't know its exact location or other interesting facts about the country's geography.
Norway is a Scandinavian country in northern Europe. It has many great mountains and fjords, and shares land borders with Sweden, Finland and Russia.
Geography of Norway
When you look at a map of Europe, Norway is easy to spot. It makes up the western half of the Scandinavian peninsular, and is located west of Sweden, north of Germany and Denmark, and north-east of the United Kingdom.
The country is perhaps best known for its fjords. During the last Ice Age, Norway was covered by a thick sheet of ice. When it melted, the movement of the ice created the islands, lakes, rivers, mountains and fjords that characterise the Norwegian landmass of today.
Norway is one of the world's northernmost countries, and one of Europe's most mountainous countries. Approximately 32% of the mainland is located above the tree line. The Hardangervidda and Jotunheimen mountains are some of Europe's most famous.
Where is Scandinavia?
Norway and Sweden share the Scandinavian peninsular, while Denmark is part of continental Europe, north of Germany. Together the three countries make up Scandinavia. Finland is sometimes included in the definition, even though it is technically a Nordic country.
The region known as Scandinavia makes up most of northern Europe, and is characterized by common North Germanic heritage and culture, and a set of languages that are, to a large extent, mutually intelligible. The languages are so similar that some linguists argue that Norwegian, Swedish and Danish are really just strong variants of a standard Scandinavian language.
Where is Svalbard?
The Arctic archipelago of Svalbard contains some of the world's most remote communities. The land mass is vast, ranging from 74° to 81° north latitude, and from 10° to 35° east longitude. They are immediately north of the Norwegian mainland, with the capital Longyearbyen approximately 1,000km north of Tromsø, the biggest city in Arctic Norway. Learn more about living on Svalbard.