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A view of islands and mountains of Port Narvik Norway

Narvik, Norway

On the shores of the wide Ofoten Fjord, Narvik is a striking juxtaposition of an industrial city surrounded by beautiful mountains. Getting out of the city to appreciate the natural setting is highly recommended—those mountains offer some of the best hiking, as well as free skiing in season, in Norway with views of the magnificent Lofoten archipelago. On clear days, take the cable car up to the summit of Narvikfjellet for an unforgettable panorama. Although you can take a train all the way to Stockholm, Narvik is curiously not connected to the Norwegian railway network. Narvik was built on iron-ore mining and these mineral riches caused one of the first battles of World War II, the infamous Battle of Narvik. The city suffered greatly at the hands of the Nazi invasion, fought in the mountains and on the water. Today the Narvik Peace Foundation documents the period and facilitates youth exchange programs with other peace centers around the world.