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Narvik, Norway

Tucked into a fjord north of the Arctic Circle, Narvik is a popular place for Norwegian outdoorsmen to ski, hike and otherwise get into nature. It was the site of a fierce battle between invading German troops and resolute Norwegians in 1940, commemorated at Narvik’s modern War Museum. The small Nord Museum offers more general history, including displays about the culture and history of the nomadic Sami people who follow their reindeer herds across the national borders of the northern Scandinavian realm. There is a Polar Park offering close-up looks at the region’s wildlife, and a cable car to the top of nearby Fagernesfjellet peak, as well as a scenic railway that runs from Narvik through the fjords and mountains to Sweden.