For a close encounter with nature, little changed over the centuries, come to this incredible land created by the last Ice Age. Other Scandinavian countries, especially Denmark, but also Sweden, just can't compete with what Mother Nature has to show us here. Choose one of the cluster of hamlets and little resorts for your base and set out for trips through the Jostedalsbren National Park or other scenic wonders. It doesn't matter which village you choose as a base because they are all within easy reach of one another, essentially forming the same community. The largest settlement, with a population of only 1,500, is Stryn, the capital of the upper Nordfjord district. Olden is one of the best centers for excursions to the Briksdal Glacier. Its population is 800. Even smaller is Loen, with only 400 residents. Loen lies at the mouth of the panoramic Lodalen valley and is used by many as the gateway into the national park. The village itself is touristy and of little interest, but it makes a good refueling stop for some of the most dramatic excursions in Norway.