Photo: Arild Lyssand/MFA Norway

Regions and Wildlife

Norway is a long and narrow country with a long coastline and lots of inlets called fjords. Because of the length of the country, there are great differences in the weather between northern and southern Norway. The country is also divided into four regions, each with different features.

In the southeastern region, the landscape consists of mountains, valleys and arable (crop farming) land, as well as large areas of forest.

The southwestern coast has deep fjords that can reach as much as 200km into the land itself. There are also many islands along the coast. Some of these are large enough to have their own towns and villages but some are just small, rocky islands called skerries. The mountains in the southwestern region are over 2,000 metres high. Even in the summer, some of the glaciers in this area don’t melt!

The central region also has fjords and mountains, as well as large lowland areas with rich, arable land.

In the northern region of Norway, the landscape is dramatic. Amongst the fjords are tall jagged mountains that rise straight up from the sea. The treeline in the far north is quite low so trees don't grow very far up the mountainside. This can make the landscape look bleak and barren.

Norway has a rich range of wildlife on both land and sea. There are elks and deer in the forests and also predators such as brown bears, wolves and the lynx , a member of the cat family. On the islands of Svalbard, which belong to Norway, there are also polar bears! Millions of sea birds hatch their eggs on the ocean cliffs and the puffin  is one of many species of sea bird to be found along the coast. Norway’s coastal waters are full of fish, and whales and seals are also a common sight.


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Did You Know?

Fjords were created by glaciers carving deep valleys along the coast during the ice age. As the ice melted, the North Sea flowed in. There are more fjords in Western Norway than anywhere else in the world!