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Norway's first capital may be the country's most scenic city, and it's easy to reach by ferry from Newcastle, England.

Longyearbyen, Svalbard
The world's northernmost town offers year-round Arctic wilderness experiences on the fjords, mountains, and glaciers of Spitsbergen, where polar bears outnumber people. Also see:

Bird Cliffs of Spitsbergen
Climb into a flotation suit and ride a tracked vehicle to an open boat. Next stop: Arctic birds' nesting cliffs on the Isfjord.

A fleet of 11 cruise ferries provide daily service year-round to 34 ports from Bergen to Norway's northernmost reaches.

Sortland: The Blue City
What can you do when critics describe your city as "an ugly modern sprawl?" Sortland's response: Use 50,000 litres of paint to create "The Blue City," which uses contrasting shades of blue to honor the maritime and fishing heritage of this coastal town in the Lofoten Islands region.

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Need a car in Europe?

If you live outside the EU, a tax-free Renault or Peugeot tourist car lease can be cheaper than renting for visits of 21+ days. Minimum driver age is 18, there' s no upper age limit, and rates include insurance.

  arrow Short-term car leases

For car rentals under 21 days:

  arrow  Auto Europe


Traveling by train?

Get free schedules, maps, and guides for 50+ European railroads. (Residents of North and Central America can buy tickets and rail passes online.)

  arrow Rail Europe


From Durant and Cheryl Imboden:

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