Bodo, Norway

Bodo perches on a picturesque stretch of peninsula just inside the Arctic Circle. A genuine Norwegian find. Selected spring and summer sails call here to explore the town and its beautiful backdrops.

Bodo’s surroundings feature impressive coastal pine forests and the mountainous backdrops that include Ronvikfjellet Viewpoint, just a short drive along the coastal roads.

You can decide whether to take a fishing trip to the world’s strongest current at Saltstraumen, kayak under the midnight sun or even board a RIB to Geitvagen 6 miles to the north, which is home to the world’s densest population of white-tailed sea eagles.

Home to some 50,000 residents, it is one of Norway’s fastest growing cities. It boasts a thriving arts community that includes crafts such as glass blowing, ceramics and jewelry making. The town also has a rising music scene that includes two major music festivals every August.

Like so many parts of Norway, Bodo suffered heavy bombing during the Second World War. Its Cathedral was one of the casualties, and was totally rebuilt following the conflict when the city ran an architectural design competition. The result is a striking design both inside and out. The unusual exterior includes an impressive 118-foot bell tower, while attention inside is inevitably drawn to the 40-foot high stained glass window. Staying on the theme, the Bodin church is another on the sightseeing list, rebuilt on its original medieval site and with an eye-catching onion-domed tower.

A smattering of shops can be found around the city itself, so too a few interesting exhibitions, like those found at the aviation museum. You can glimpse back into the past in Kjaerringoy, probably the country’s best-preserved seaside trading post where you’ll find strong echoes of how life was for the fishermen and merchants who lived here in the late nineteenth century. It has fifteen buildings, many with contents still intact, including one where a medicine cabinet displays various remedies over a century old. Another day trip could lead you to the island and islets of the Vaeran archipelago that shelter the Bodo Peninsula, for yet more dramatic scenery and hiking opportunities.