The question I get asked most often is when is the best time to elope in Norway? Or what time of year is best to plan a wedding in Norway? And my answer will always be the same, it depends what you want to see. Northern Norway has four very defined seasons, and some weird in between fazes, some of which are so short they are counted in a matter of days rather than weeks or months. I have set out each season and the in between fazes so you can decide as to when would be best for you, one thing for sure though Norway is uniquely beautiful all year round!
Now some will think starting with winter is a bit strange. However, winter is the longest season in northern Norway and can last from October right through till the end of May on a bad year. For this reason I’m going to start here.
Many ask what the weather is like in winter. That’s a hard one to explain, bi-polar (pun intended) is the closest I can get to an explanation. There is a well-known Norwegian saying that translates to “if you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes, it will change.” This couldn’t be more true, especially in winter. October and November can be bright sunshine, they can also have several meters of snow, or it can just rain endlessly…..and that’s just in one day.
November 27th till January 15th is polar night, this is the time where the sun does not rise above the horizon. Contrary to popular belief it is not totally dark during this time, there is a short dusk/blue hour time for a couple of hours each day where it will seem like daylight, but that’s soon passed. Around the winter solstice this “daylight” is about 1-2 hours maximum. From January to May the light increases pretty quickly, sometimes as much as 30 mins extra per day. However, most of the snow usually happens during those months. It is not unusual to see 6+ meters of drifted snow over winter this far north, and that’s without mentioning the full arctic storms with winds up to 20+m/s. That said, all is not lost in the winter!
Winter is also the time of the Northern Lights. If your dream is to stand, or even say your vows to each other, under this magnificent wonder then Tromsø is the perfect place. It’s not called the Paris of the north for nothing! During winter, the whole city is lit up with a cosy Christmas feel. There’s plenty to keep your hours filled from dog sledding, to reindeer racing. Ice fishing, skiing, mountain hiking, whale watching and much, much more. I could talk about Tromsø, and Northern Norway in winter all day but I will save some of the must do’s for another day.
If you are thinking of planning a trip to Northern Norway or Tromsø, or want to say your vows under the arctic skies then get in touch. We can help personalise your trip and make it not only stress free, but magical with our local knowledge and friendly guiding.
Spring in Tromsø is a little blink and you missed it! It is a long time coming from those dark days and often hits Northern Norway around April to early June. It’s still fresh out but the trees are starting to bud, and there’s a promise of clearer days and melting snow.
During spring all the rivers and waterfalls are fit to bursting. This can provide some amazing places to stop while hiking to take a refresh. As well as some perfect locations if you have a waterfall in mind when you think of your perfect wedding spot. The snow has melted, for the most part, at lower levels but there is still quite a lot of high mountain snow. It is also prime avalanche season. So make sure if you are going hiking that you have an experienced local guide with you. The brighter days allow for some incredible fjord views and pastel skies. However, some winter activities are still available higher into the mountains. Also, the aurora is still possible for as long as there is darkness at night.
Water is a full feature in late spring (and often into summer). Not just the number of waterfalls that are EVERYWHERE, or the volume of water coming down them, but the mountain lakes and fjords are no longer frozen giving some amazing vantage points to hike to. It also rains….and rains….and rains. Don’t let that put you off. You will never have seen such a beautiful rainy day (especially if you are from the UK like me). The way the clouds hang with inversions between mountain valleys. The fresh smell of new plant growth, and the rays of sun light breaking through. With a light spring breeze, will invigorate your very soul.
Let’s first talk about the transition from spring to summer…..it happens literally overnight! One day everything is still in bud the next POOF everything is every shade of green imaginable! Nothing will quite prepare you for this transition or its speed.
Summer is unlike anything most people will ever imagine. Midnight sun means it is daylight 24hours a day, the sun might drop behind the mountains but it never sets. Be prepared for some serious lack of sleep but the adventure of a lifetime! Summer in Northern Norway means you can make 100% use of your trip. You can hike all night, and walk on glaciers. Mountain bike, or even fish for some seriously HUGE sea fish right in the fjords under the midnight sun.
Free tent camping in the mountains means you can really be at one with the wilderness that is Norway, and the fresh water salmon fishing is second to none. Whilst the sun doesn’t set between May 18th and July 25th it is still possible to see some breath-taking sunset/sunrise skies that last for several hours! If your ideal elopement is with that idealistic fjord view. Towering mountains under the deep red and orange of a sunset. Leading straight into a sunrise, without the freezing temperatures, summer is your perfect time to visit.
The transition from summer to autumn can seem quite long. As if the nature will almost skip autumn all together, but it’s worth the wait. The beginnings of autumn start at the end of August when all the trees turn yellow. As northern Norway has a lot of birch it seems like everything is brown and yellow, the same shades of brown and yellow everywhere. Its colder, but usually by the beginning of September the aurora has returned and all that sleep you missed all through the summer is finally beginning to return. You will start to see a dusting of snow, with the frequency increasing and watching the snow line creeping down the mountains is magical.
This is when the trees you hadn’t noticed at this point will turn to bright oranges, and reds mixed in with those yellows and pine greens! Autumn colours explode everywhere, even on the forest floor where the wild blueberries, raspberries, cranberries, and lingonberries are all in full fruit with their foliage all a spectacular array of autumn. It is also the time where the moose will start to come down from the mountains and you have a better chance of seeing the magnificent, if a little imposing, creature while out and about. It should be noted here however, that moose can be aggressive and should be treated with full respect, and caution. You should NEVER approach a moose for any reason.
Autumn is usually ended with the first true arctic storm of the winter. This can last several days or just be a short but no less powerful display of the pure arctic rawness.
It really is to be said that Arctic Norway has something to offer everyone. Each season pertaining its own natural unique magic, offering you the ideal scenic setting for you to elope in Norway. The wilderness not only allows for a truly once in a life time experience. It also shows you a deeper tranquillity that you might never know you possessed before.
Comments Off on When is the best time to elope in Norway?