Trondheim, Norway

Looking south along the picturesque Trondheim fjord, the most northerly in Norways west coast Fjordland region, are lush forests and valley but look north and you see the beginnings of the vast expanse of the Arctic Ocean. But, whichever way you are heading, there is much to enjoy in Trondheim before you set sail. Visit Stiftsgården, the King of Norways official residence, which also happens to be the oldest wooden building in northern Europe, while the Archbishops Palace is the oldest secular building in Scandinavia. Among the pick of several fascinating museums is one featuring the decorative arts with its collections of 16th century ceramics and Art Nouveau artefacts. For the best bars and restaurants, try the 18th century Bakklandet waterfront district.