Norway is located on the continent of Europe, on the western and northern part of the Scandinavian Peninsula. It borders the North Sea to the southwest, the Skagerrak inlet to the south, the North Atlantic Ocean (Norwegian Sea) to the west, and the Barents Sea to the northeast. Norway has a long land border with Sweden to the east, a shorter one with Finland in the northeast, and a still shorter border with Russia in the far northeast.

Svalbard, an Arctic archipelago (chain of islands), is the northernmost part of Norway. It is located about midway between mainland Norway and the North Pole.

Typical rugged coastline found in northern Norway. This is from the mountains just north of Bodø.

Norway is one of the world’s most northerly countries, and one of Europe’s most mountainous countries. In fact, two-thirds of Norway is mountains. It also has some 50,000 islands, along with one of the longest and most rugged coastlines in the world. The coastline covers 25,148 kilometers (15,626 miles), including the mainland, long fjords, and islands. Thirty-two percent of the mainland is located above the tree line.

Northern Norway is a sparsely populated region comprised of three counties (Nordland, Troms, and Finnmark). It sits almost entirely north of the Arctic Circle, with the exception of the far southern tip of Nordland, and embodies a rugged, water-saturated, and mountainous landscape; a mix of remote villages and small cities; several distinct cultures and languages; and a number of diverse ecosystems (Arctic, marine, tundra, mountains).

A Note about Freshwater

Although there is an abundance of water in northern Norway, much of it is saltwater, which, of course, is not drinkable or usable for such things as cooking and sanitation. On the islands and other locations where freshwater is not found stored in abundance in lakes or rivers, freshwater often comes from rainwater, which is collected in reservoirs and by individuals and stored for use as needed.