Norway has a total coastline of some 25,000 kilometers when fjords are included and an unbelieveable 80,000 kilometers when islands are included. There are a number of nice sandy beaches, but these occupy a very modest proportion of the endless Norwegian coast. Instead, typical for the outer coast are the characteristicly rounded and polished slabs of basement rock ("svaberg"), these can be too steep to walk or can be gentle and thus ideal for leisure activities. In addition, the short summer and genearlly cool water does not make Norway the typical sun & sand destination, however, at late summer for instance the inner part of Oslofjord can get warm. 

Moreover, most of the Norwegian mainland (as well as the countless boat routes) is protected from the rough ocean by countless islands, islets and skerries. These are collectively known as "skjærgård", no translation to english exist but roughly corresponds to "archipelago" although "skjærgård" does not refer to a specific and well-defined group of islands.  Instead, the skjærgård is virtually unlimited string of islands and skerries allowing boats to travel and dock safely, such stretches are then "skerry-guarded" or protected by the skerry "fence".

The "skjærgård" along the outer part of Oslofjord (Østfold and Vestfold counties) as well as on the south coast ("costa del sol") are very popular vacation areas and thus host the most expensive holiday homes in Norway. Within the skjærgård (as well as in the narrow fjord) the sea is mostly calm and thus offers good conditions for even smaller boats.

Curiously Norwegians tend to go either to the coast (skjærgård) or to the mountains on vacation (depending on season), while the fjords are largely the goal of foreign visitors. Norway's charming coastline is largely neglected by foreigners, except experienced visitors to Norway.

Many beaches directly exposed to the Atlantic offers great opportunities for surfing (and kitsurfing). The long sandy beaches south of Stavanger, the beach at Hoddevik (near Norway's westernmost cape), and Unstad in Lofoten offers great waves in magnificant surroundings. Wetsuits usually needed to keep warm.

Norway's islands cover some 85,000 square kilometer (roughly the size of Austria), if Svalbard archipelago is not included the islands along the mainland covers about 25,000 square kilometer (almost the size of Belgium). Hinnøya, the largest island along the mainland, is about the same size as Luxembourg. Inhabited islands are connected to the mainland and to each other by bridges, underwater tunnels, boats and ferries.