November is a quiet month to visit Norway’s fjords, allowing you to take advantage of the last autumn colors before the snow arrives. This is a month offering fewer crowds, early ski openings, Northern Lights, and great whale watching. This monthly guide will tell you what to do and where to go.

Weather

If visiting the fjords in November, you can expect crisp, chilly air, and fewer daylight hours. In fact, the sun doesn't rise at all in parts of northern Norway toward the end of the month, called Polar Nights, while the coastal city of Bergen, further south, gets about 6-8 hours of daylight per day and more rain.

As for temperatures, the southern portion of the country usually ranges between the mid-30s and 40s Fahrenheit. In the north, however, seasons change more quickly than in the rest of the country—depending on where you go, you may experience fall to winter fluctuations within a span of just a few hours. Pack winter layers and gear, and solid walking shoes that can handle rain that sometimes turns into snow.

Learn more in our article on Norway in November.

Crowds & Costs

November is one of the year's slowest and most peaceful travel months in the fjords and flight and hotel prices tend to be at their lowest. This is a great month to come if you're seeking peaceful surroundings and enjoy late autumn weather. Many seasonal hotels and local operators in the smaller villages have closings this time of year, but the properties that do stay open tend to celebrate the season with unique excursions and atmospheric environs, especially after dark.

Where to Go

This is a good month to get out and explore the fjord cities like Oslo, Bergen, Alesund, and Trondheim. A classic route between Oslo and Bergen includes a ride along the Flåm Railway where you'll have access to some of Norway's more than 1,100 fjords through the central mountains. This will be a scenic journey, as the bountiful trees have now turned a hundred different shades of red, orange and gold. 

Once in Flåm, you can explore the Sognefjord, the country's longest and deepest fjord, with access to Jostedalsbreen, the biggest glacier in all of Europe, as well as Jotunheimen National Park, and charming fjord-side villages of Balestrand and Solvorn.

Those in search of unique outdoor adventures can head north for early-winter excursions, with more chances of seeing the Northern Lights as well as humpback whales and orcas when they begin arriving in the waters around Tromsø, a lively city, nicknamed 'Paris of the North'. It's good to know that during the last few days of November, areas in the Arctic Circle will experience Polar Nights (complete darkness). 

What to Do

Thriving urban areas located in the fjords, like the aforementioned cities, offer easy day-trip access to spectacular outdoor scenery, and there are plenty of ferry and overnight cruise options for taking photos and enjoying the scenery. Late autumn shouldn't deter you from checking out the hiking and biking trails if the weather cooperates. In case of rain, though, you'll have plenty of cultural opportunities in the form of UNESCO-listed architecture, art exhibitions, local harvests, literature festivals, and small concerts.

For instance, in Bergen, you can take a number of short hikes in the surrounding mountains and then catch a performance of the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra. Meanwhile, the city's Møhlenpris neighborhood, near the University of Bergen, is an up-and-coming area of cafés and restaurants that create a local experience.

Ski slopes near the southern fjords may begin to open in November, as well—but if all else fails, there's a year-round ski option above the Arctic Circle in the Lyngen Alps. Here's the Ultimate Guide to Ski Touring in Norway

Events in November

Bergen Design Festival. Taking place for a week each November, designers meet in Bergen to discuss, experiment and socialize through seminars, lectures, workshops, and social gatherings.

Rakfisk Festival. During the first weekend of November, the town of Fagernes along the Strondafjord hosts this fish festival in honor of the semi-fermented trout delicacy called rakfisk. Over the years, this has grown to become one of the largest food events in Norway drawing more than 25,000 people every year. Producers of rakfisk and other local products and handicrafts turn the streets into one big marketplace with more than 100 small stands where you can sample and buy their products.

Traveling to Norway in November? Check out these great itineraries. 

Classic Autumn Fjord Adventure. This incredibly scenic itinerary checks off several key Norwegian highlights in the span of a week after the summer crowds have left. Start off in Europe's fastest-growing capital with a day in Oslo. From here, travel via the Flåm Railway, one of the steepest trains in the world, and stay a night in Aurland before taking a cruise through the UNESCO-listed Nærøyfjord. You'll then travel to Bergen and spend a few days exploring this colorful wharf city surrounded by seven mountains before returning to Oslo for one more night on the town.

Stavanger & Lysefjord Adventure. Explore two famous mountain formations in Norway: Pulpit Rock and the Kjerag Boulder. Take in breathtaking views, climb to heart-pounding heights, and speedboat through the stunning Lysefjord all in just four days. Spend your evenings shopping and dining in the vibrant city of Stavanger.

More Helpful Information

Norway's Fjords in October
Norway's Fjords in December
How Many Days Should You Spend in Norway
Norway: Frequently Asked Questions