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10 Best Documentaries About Norway To Watch

These documentaries about Norway, a captivating Nordic nation in the western part of the Scandinavian Peninsula, show its breathtaking landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and a society shaped by a harmonious blend of tradition and modernity.

Beyond its natural wonders, these documentaries delve into the unique aspects of Norwegian life, from its resilient Viking legacy to the contemporary pursuit of innovation and sustainability.

Documentaries About Norway

Documentaries about Norway offer viewers a mesmerizing journey through fjords that carve through majestic mountains, vast expanses of pristine wilderness, and charming coastal towns steeped in history.

The Real Heroes of Telemark (2003)

The Real Heroes of Telemark is a documentary series by one of my favourite outdoors experts, Ray Mears. In this series, he explores the true story of the Norwegian resistance’s efforts during World War II to thwart Nazi Germany’s attempts to develop nuclear weapons.

During the war, German forces occupied Norway, and the Norsk Hydro plant in Telemark became a crucial site for the German nuclear weapons program. The Allies, particularly the Norwegian resistance, were determined to sabotage the heavy water production at the plant to disrupt the Nazi atomic bomb project.

Ray Mears, an expert in bushcraft and survival skills, delves into the history and terrain of Telemark as he retraces the steps of the Norwegian commandos who carried out the daring sabotage mission in 1943.

The documentary series focuses on the bravery and resourcefulness of the individuals involved in the Telemark sabotage, highlighting their pivotal role in impeding Nazi Germany’s nuclear ambitions.

Ray Mears’ presentations blend historical storytelling with his expertise in outdoor survival skills, providing a unique perspective on the challenges faced by those involved in critical wartime operations.

This is not only a historical series about Norway but also a beautiful look at the Norwegian wilderness and one of the best overall documentaries about Norway.

Joanna Lumley in the Land of the Northern Lights (2008)

Joanna Lumley in the Land of the Northern Lights is a television documentary series that follows British actress and presenter Joanna Lumley as she travels up to the north of Norway in search of the Northern Lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis.

Throughout the series, Joanna Lumley explores the Arctic Circle, meeting locals, experiencing the culture, and learning about the scientific aspects of the Northern Lights. The documentary showcases the breathtaking beauty of the natural light display and provides insights into the mythology and folklore associated with the Aurora Borealis in various cultures.

If you didn’t know, the Northern Lights are a natural phenomenon caused by the interaction between charged particles from the sun and the Earth’s magnetic field. These interactions create colourful lights in the night sky, primarily seen in high-latitude regions near the Arctic and Antarctic Circles.

This series combines travelogue elements with scientific explanations, cultural exploration, and Lumley’s reflections on the wonder of the Northern Lights. The series captures the magic and mystique of the Northern Lights, making it a great watch for nature enthusiasts and those interested in travel documentaries.

Joanna Lumley is one of my favourite travel presenters and this is one of my favourite documentaries about Norway showing the beauty of winter, some different regions, local people, and of course the stunning Northern Lights.

You can watch the full Norway episode on YouTube:

North of The Sun (2012)

North of the Sun is a Norwegian documentary film that follows the journey of two young surfers, Inge Wegge and Jørn Ranum, who decide to spend nine months of the Arctic winter on a remote, uninhabited island in Northern Norway.

The two surfers build a makeshift cabin from driftwood and other materials they find on the beach. They aim to live off the grid, relying on fishing and foraging for their food, and they also bring along a solar panel to generate a limited amount of electricity.

The film captures their struggle for survival in the harsh Arctic conditions and their attempts to ride the waves in the icy waters of the Arctic Ocean. North of the Sun is not only a surf film but also a story of adventure, self-discovery, and the profound connection between humans and nature.

The documentary explores themes related to environmentalism and sustainable living. It highlights the resilience of the human spirit in the face of extreme challenges and the beauty of the Arctic landscape.

Watch on Amazon:


Wild Scandinavia (2023)

Wild Scandinavia is not just a documentary series about Norway but about the whole Scandinavian region. It does feature Norway a lot in the series though and the series explores, as the title suggests, the wilderness of Scandinavia and its wildlife.

This is a beautiful wildlife documentary series to watch showing the epic landscapes of the region and its diverse wildlife. This is my favourite of these documentaries about Norway for wildlife and nature.

Watch on Amazon:


Rick Steves: Norway

Rick Steves is a well-known American travel writer, author, and television personality who is known for his expertise in European travel. He provides practical advice and cultural insights for travellers through his guidebooks, television shows, and other media.

In this series he explores Norway, giving insightful guides to the country, its traditions, and its people. This is a great travel-docu series to watch for a more travel-related theme for learning about the country.

You can watch all the episodes on YouTube for free, each being around 25 minutes long. There are several in Total. Start with this one about Bergen and the famed fjords of Norway.

Wild Nordic: Viking Coast (2021)

Wild Nordic is a National Geographic series that traverses across all the Nordic countries in search of their wildlife and stunning nature areas.

In this particular episode, Viking Coast, the series explores the coast of Norway, including its fjords. Although I found Wild Scandinavia to be the most impressive show on wildlife in Norway and the Nordic countries, Wild Nordic is still an impressive nature show to watch.

Songs of Earth (2023)

This is a seriously meditative documentary set in the scenic valley of Oldedalen in Nordfjord. An 85-year-old man who grew up there guides you through the region where generations have lived in balance with nature.

Majestic images of wild mountains, calving glaciers and bustling wildlife go side by side with the old people’s stories about the generations who trod the trails, the relationship they have with nature and what is valuable in life. The music comprises unique sound recordings – nature’s own melodies, translated and performed by the London Contemporary Orchestra.

This is one of the most peaceful and beautiful of these documentaries about Norway.

Norway’s Lofoten Island

The Lofoten Islands are one of my favourite places in Norway and this documentary shows you across the different islands throughout the seasons, spring, summer, autumn, and winter.

It explores the people and their traditions on the islands as well as the stunning nature of Lofoten itself.

World’s Northernmost City: Hammerfest (2023)

Hammerfest, located in the far north of Norway is the northernmost city in the world, where the sun disappears for 2 months in the winter. This lack of sunlight can bring about a condition known as “polar stress syndrome”.

This documentary about Norway looks at Hammerfest and what life is like in the city by meeting the local people. This gives really good insight into part of Norwegian life in the north of the country.

Norway: Land of Fjords, Islands & Vikings 

This is a great documentary about Norway that goes across the whole country exploring different regions, from its people, nature, and wildlife.


As the land of the midnight sun and the Northern Lights, Norway’s allure extends far beyond its geographical boundaries, captivating you with a glimpse into a nation that seamlessly combines natural beauty, cultural depth, and a commitment to environmental stewardship.

Those documentaries about Norway will help you understand the country better.

For more on the area take a look at the 20 best books about Scandinavia.

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