Norway or Iceland?

Destinations that emphasize outdoor experiences will be at the top of the list as international travel slows returns.

Norway and Iceland offer rugged landscapes and stunning natural beauty, making them attractive choices for outdoor enthusiasts.

Norway and Iceland landscapes

Over hundreds of thousands of year, the landscapes of Norway and Iceland were shaped by glaciers. Iceland is most famous for its volcanic activity, which has shaped much that tourists love about Iceland today, including volcanic craters and black-sand beaches as well as endless lava fields, natural hot springs, and endless lava field.

Norway’s last Ice Age saw hundreds of fjords created by glaciers. This left behind one of the most popular natural tourist attractions in the world. The fjords attracted first settlers to Norway long before tourists arrived. They were known for their shelter, tranquil waters, and fertile land.

You will find breathtaking scenery in any country. Iceland is the best choice for volcanic and otherworldly landscapes. Norway is the best place to go for mountains and fjords.

Another thing to remember is that Norway’s coastline is easier to access than Iceland due to the Hurtigruten coast ferry. The 12-day journey from Bergen to Kirkenes, and back, follows the coast and passes highlights such as Tromso, Tromso, Alesund, Trondheim and Tromso.

Northern lights

If you’re lucky enough to travel at the right season, both countries offer prime spots for the northern lights.

Travelers require dark skies, but they should avoid winter storms that can make it impossible to see the lights. The best times to visit each destination for an aurora hunt are generally September-October and February/March.

While Iceland is located in the northern lights, it’s not Norway. To see similar displays, you will need to travel north. Depending on the other things you see on your trip, Iceland might win if you are determined to see the lights.

Road trips

Both countries offer great options for driving around. You have options in Iceland: the golden circle, island ring road route, and diamond circle.

Norway offers a wide range of road trips, with many options within the fjord area and throughout the country. The 18 national scenic routes are a good place to begin planning your Norway road trip.

The Helgeland coast route has seen significant investment in recent years. It allows you to incorporate memorable road trips into any itinerary.


While neither Norway nor Iceland are top European cities to visit, their cities are well worth the effort. Norway is a great example of this, with its historic center in Bergen being a big draw and the northerly Tromso providing spectacular Arctic views and the midnight sun in summer and the northern lights at night.

Reykjavik is Iceland’s capital city, despite its small size. There are many things you can do here. However, Iceland’s urban areas outside of the capital are mainly small towns and villages. Norway is a good choice if you are interested in historical cities.

Visit cost

It’s not a good idea to be upfront about the cost of Iceland and Norway, which are both expensive destinations for tourists from other parts. While budget accommodations are readily available in both major cities, the costs for road trips can be quite high.

Although exchange rates can vary, most cost comparison websites still consider Iceland more expensive than Norway at the time. It’s possible to spend a lot in Norway if not careful.

However, in-country costs should not be the only concern. Low-cost flights to Norway have become scarcer since the end of Norwegian’s long haul service. While the launch by Norse Atlantic Airways could change things, many U.S. tourists find Iceland to be a cheaper and easier option.

PLAY, Iceland’s budget airline, plans to expand into the U.S. in 2022. This will allow for cheaper flights to Reykjavik.

The best of both the worlds is possible by combining them. Icelandair’s beloved stopover offer has been restored since the end of the pandemic travel restrictions. Travelers flying from the U.S. or Canada to Norway now have the option of stopping in Iceland for up seven days without additional airfare.

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