Norway is located in Northern Europe and is the western and northern part of the Scandinavian Peninsula (the geographical coordinates are 62°N 10°E). The population of Norway is 5.328.212. Norway is bordered by the North Sea to the southwest, the Skagerrak inlet to the south, the North Atlantic Ocean (aka Norwegian Sea) to the west, and the Barents Sea to the northeast. Norway shares a border with Sweden and with a small part of Finland (northeast), and even further northeast, a tiny part of Russia.

The coastline of Norway is very rugged and there are over 50.000 islands and many long fjords.

Norway is extremely mountainous. Large areas of Norway are dominated by the Scandinavian Mountains. The average elevation is 460 m, and some of the peaks are so steep that no one has ever attempted to climb them. GALDHØPIGGEN IS THE TALLEST MOUNTAIN BUT NOT V FUN TO HIKE AS YOU DRIVE MOST OF THE WAY UP THERE

To the far northeast, above the Arctic Circle, the landscape is dominated by frozen tundra. The south central plateau slopes into Trøndelag, which is a hilly and mountainous area on the edge of the Trondheim fjord. Further south are additional lowlands.

Norway has over 150.000 lakes, though most are small. Hornindalsvatnet is the deepest lake in Europe and is located in Sogn og Fjordane County (on the west coast) and is 514 meters (1,686 ft) deep.

The most northern area of Norway is Svalbard, which is a archipelago located above the Arctic Circle, about midway between continental Norway and the North Pole. Glaciers cover approximately 60% of Svalbard. Ny-Ålesund is a settlement on Svalbard and is the northernmost settlement in the world with permanent residents (pop: 35). There are other settlements further north, however they only have temporary residents consisting of researchers. The most populated area in Svalbard is Longyearbyen (approximately 2,100 people), which is home to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. Longyearbyen is located on the west coast of the largest island (Spitsbergen).

Norway also has a volcanic island called Jan Mayen. It is located in the Arctic Ocean, about 1,000 km (620 mi) west of North Cape, Norway (in Finnmark County). The island has a population of 0, with up to 35 non-permanent residents, consisting of people working for the Norwegian Armed Forces and the Norwegian Meteorological Institute. Jan Mayen is made up of Nord-Jan which is the northeastern part, and Sør-Jan which is a smaller area. The two areas are connected by a thin strip of land (called an isthmus). The island is mountainous with the highest area being the Beerenberg Volcano on Nord-Jan. The most recent eruption was 1980.

Norway is divided into five regions:

**Nord-Norge - Finnmark, Troms, Nordland

Trøndelag - Nord-Trøndelag, Sør-Trøndelag
Vestlandet - Møre og Romsdal; Sogn og Fjordane; Hordaland; Rogaland
Sørlandet (Agder) - Vest-Agder; Aust-Agder
Østlandet - Telemark, Buskerud, Hedmark, Oppland, Akershus, Oslo, Vestfold, Østfold

Note: Sometimes Norway is divided into Nord-Norge, Midtnorge, Vestlandet, Sørlandet, Østlandet; in this case Midtnorge would consist of Nord-Trøndelag, Sør-Trøndelag, and Møre og Romsdal.

Major cities (in order of population size):

Oslo - capital of Norway; most populous; located at the northernmost end of the Oslofjord

Oslo - Norges hovedstad. Høyest innbyggertall. Ligger i den nordligste enden av Oslofjorden.

Bergen - located on the west coast of Norway; known as “the city of seven mountains.”

Bergen - ligger på vestkysten til Norge. Kjent som byen mellom de sju fjell.

Trondheim - located in Sør-Trøndelag, where the river Nidelva meets Trondheimsfjorden, on the west coast. It was the capital of Norway during the Viking Age until 1217. Nidaros Cathedral is located in Trondheim.

Stavanger - located on the Stavanger Peninsula in the southwest; the Old Norse form of the name was Stafangr (“stafr” meaning “staff” or “branch” and “angr” meaning “inlet, bay”).

Kristiansand - located in southern Norway, on the Skagerrak, and is 250 km from Oslo; it is the county capital of Vest-Agder County; the city hosts a free concert downtown once every week during the summer.

Fredrikstad - located at the Glomma river, where it meets the Skagerrak; named after the Danish king Frederick II in 1569.

Tromsø - Located in northern Norway, north of the Arctic Circle; most of it is located on the island of Tromsøya; considered the northernmost city in the world that has a population above 50.000; the midnight sun can be seen in Tromsø between May and July; the Northern Lights can also be seen in Tromsø.

Sandnes - located immediately south of Stavanger, at the base of the Stavanger Peninsula.

Drammen - located in the eastern and most populated area of Norway; it’s the capital city of Buskerud County; the Old Norse form of the name was Drafn.

Skien - one of the oldest cities in Norway; located in southern Norway; birthplace of the famous playwright Henrik Ibsen.


English Norwegian English Norwegian
Agriculture Jordbruk Archipelago Øygruppe (en)
(The) Arctic Circle Polarsirkelen Area Område (et)
Atlas Atlas (et) Average Gjennomsnitt (et)
(The) Baltic Sea Østersjøen (The) Barents Sea Barentshavet
Bay Bukt (ei) Border Grense (en)
Canal Kanal (en) Canyon Canyon (en)
Capital Hovedstad (en) City By (en)
Climate Klima (et) Coast Kyst (en)
Coastline Kystlinje (ei) Compass Kompass (et)
Continent Kontinent (et) Contour lines Kote / Høydekurve (en)
Coordinates Koordinater Coral reef Korallrev (en)
Country Land (et) County Fylke (en)
Creek Bekk (en) Current Strøm (en)
Degrees Grader Delta Elvedelta (et)
Denmark Danmark Desert Ørken (en)
Earth Jord (ei) Earthquake Jordskjelv (et)
East Øst Elevation Høyde (en)
Equator Ekvator (en) Europe Europa
Farmland Dyrket mark Faroe Islands Færøyene
Ferry Ferje (ei) Finland Finland
Fjord Fjord (en) Flat (adj) Flatt
Forest Skog (en) Frozen Frossen
Geography Geografi (en) Glacier (Is)bre (en)
Globe Globus (en) Greenland Grønland
Gulf Golf (en)** Hemisphere Halvkule (ei)
Hill Bakke (en) Iceland Island
Inlet Innløp (et) International Date Line Internasjonal datolinje (ei)
Island Øy (ei) Isthmus Eid (et)
Jungle Jungel (en) Lake Innsjø (en)
Landscape Landskap (et) Latitude Breddegrad (en)
Legend (on a map) Tegnforklaring(en) Longitude Lengdegrad (en)
Lowlands Lavlandet Map Kart (et)
Mesa Mesa (en) Midnight sun Midnattsol (ei)
Mountain Fjell (et) Mountain range Fjellkjede (en)
Municipality Kommune (en) North Nord
Northeast Nordøst Northern lights Nordlys (et)
North pole Nordpol (en) (The) North Sea Nordsjøen
Northwest Nordvest (The) Norwegian Sea Norskehavet
Oasis Oase (en) Ocean Hav (et)
Parallel Breddegrad (en) Peak Fjelltopp (en)
Peninsula Halvøy (ei) Plain (noun) Slette (ei)
Plateau Platå (et) Polar night Polarnatt (ei)
Population Befolkning (ei) Prime meridian Nullmeridian (en)
Region Region (en) River Elv (ei)
Russia Russland Sand dune Sanddyne (en)
(The) Scandinavian Mountains Den skandinaviske fjellkjede Sea Hav (et)
Sea level Havnivå (et) South Sør
Southeast Sørøst South pole Sørpol (en)
Southwest Sørvest Strait Stred (et)
Swamp Sump (en) Sweden Sverige
Terrain Terreng (et) Territory Territorium (et)
Time zone Tidssone (ei) Topography Topografi (en)
Tributary Sideelv (ei) Tropic of Cancer Krepsens vendekrets
Tropic of Capricorn Stenbukkens vendekrets
Tropical Tropisk (The) Tropics Tropene
Tundra Tundra (en) Valley Dal (en)
Village Landsby (en) Volcanic eruption Vulkanutbrudd
Volcano Vulkan (en) Waterfall Foss (en)
West Vest Runs (i.e. a river / creek) Renner

**Note: In Norwegian, some gulfs are called “bays” (bukt).

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Norway’s Geography (Wiki)

National Geographic Kids: Norway

World Atlas: Norway Geography

Oslo Wiki

Bergen Wiki

Trondheim Wiki

Stavanger Wiki

Kristiansand Wiki

Fredrikstad Wiki

Tromsø Wiki

Sandnes Wiki

Drammen Wiki

Skien Wiki

Regions of Norway Wiki

Jan Mayen (Wiki)

Beerenberg (Wiki)

Svalbard (Wiki)

The Northernmost Town on Earth (YouTube)

Inside the Svalbard Seed Vault (YouTube)

Exercise: Write a short paragraph (3-4 sentences minimum) talking about the geography where you live or of someplace you have visited.