Location: State in Northern Europe, in the western part of Scandinavian peninsula and a large number of adjacent smaller islands.
Norway has a population of about 4.8 million and covers an area of 385,155 square kilometres. The official Head of State is King Harald V.
Norway is famous for its fjords, two of which, the Geirangerfjord and the Nærøyfjord, feature on the UNESCO World Heritage list.
The Northern lights are a common natural phenomenon in Northern Norway, and are most commonly observed above the Arctic Circle between late autumn and early spring.
The sun does not set in summer over the Arctic Circle, meaning visitors to Northern Norway enjoy 24 hours of daylight this time of year.
The weather in Norway is much milder than one would expect. Because of the Gulf Stream, temperatures along the coast of Norway are 5-8°C higher than at comparable latitudes elsewhere.
The Vikings have a bad reputation as raiders, but they were also traders, explorers and settlers, and the legacy from the Viking Age (AD 800-1050) lives on.
Trolls are an important part of Norwegian folklore. They vary in size and appearance, but are invariably ugly and messy creatures, and always mischievous (if not downright nasty). They usually live in caves or deep in the forest, and only emerge from their hiding places after sunset - legend has it that they turn to stone upon contact with the sun. Several places in Western and Northern Norway have been named after them, such as Trollheimen, Trollstigen, Trollhatten and Trollveggen.
The Sami people
The Sami are the indigenous people of Norway. Known for their colourful clothes and the huge herds of reindeer they look after, the Sami have been living in northern Scandinavia for over 10,000 years, and today they have their own parliament in Karasjok.
These include explorers Roald Amundsen, Fridtjof Nansen and Thor Heyerdahl, composer Edvard Grieg, violin virtuoso Ole Bull, artist Edvard Munch, playwright Henrik Ibsen, novelist Knut Hamsun, and politician Gro Harlem Brundtland, among many others.