|Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway (Norwegian: Kongeriket Norge (bokmål); Kongeriket Noreg (nynorsk)), is a country in Northern Europe that occupies the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula. It is bordered by Sweden, Finland, and Russia. Norway has a very elongated shape; the country's extensive coastline along the North Atlantic Ocean is home to its famous fjords.|
The Kingdom of Norway also includes the Arctic island territories of Svalbard and Jan Mayen. Norwegian sovereignty of Svalbard is based upon the Svalbard Treaty, but this does not apply to Jan Mayen. Bouvet Island in the South Atlantic Ocean and a claim for Peter I Island in the South Pacific Ocean are also external dependencies, but these are not part of the Kingdom. Norway also claims Queen Maud Land in Antarctica, where it has established the Troll permanent research station.
Norway comprises the western part of Scandinavia in Northern Europe. The rugged coastline, broken by massive fjords and thousands of islands, stretches over 2,500 km. Norway shares a 2,542 km land border with Sweden, Finland, and Russia to the east. To the west and south, Norway is bordered by the Norwegian Sea, the North Sea, and Skagerak. The Barents Sea washes on Norway's northern coasts.
At 385,155 km² (including Jan Mayen, Svalbard), Norway is approximately the size of Germany, but much of the country is dominated by mountainous or high terrain, with a great variety of natural features caused by prehistoric glaciers and varied topography. The most noticeable of these are the fjords, deep grooves cut into the land flooded by the sea following the end of the Ice Age; the longest is Sognefjorden. Norway also contains many glaciers and waterfalls.
Norway is well known for its amazing and varied nature. The fjords in the west of the country are long narrow inlets, flanked on either side by tall mountains where the sea penetrates far inland. Norway was an old Viking kingdom. Economically it is known for its oil and seafood exports.
Norway is a sparsly populated country, roughly the same land size as Great Britain or Germany. It has a population of only 4.5 million people but a land area of 385,155 square kilometers. Thus, for each inhabitant there is 70,000 square meters of land, but the vast majority of this land is a rocky wilderness which is completely unusable for agricultural purposes. As a result, Norway has a large number of completely unpopulated areas, many of which have been converted to national parks. Even outside the national parks, much of the land is unspoiled nature, which Norwegians strive to keep unspoiled.
In winter, cross-country skiing, alpine skiing and snowboarding are very popular. In summer, hiking and biking are obvious ways to enjoy the enormous mountain areas. For the adventurous, kayaking, wildwater rafting, paragliding, cave or glacier exploration are possible. Car tourists will enjoy driving along the fjords and mountains in the west or to the midnight sun in the north. Briefly, Norway has a lot to offer in terms of nature.
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