Driving in Viking Land: a complete guide to a road trip in Norway

Driving in Viking Land: a complete guide to a road trip in Norway

1. Introduction

A trip to Norway, with its stunning landscapes and winding roads, promises an unforgettable adventure. Before embarking on this legendary road trip, it is essential to prepare well. In this guide you will discover all the tips and tricks to turn your trip into a magical and hassle-free experience.

Starting your Norway adventure requires careful planning. A key step is renting a car, which offers the freedom to explore this beautiful country at your own pace. We recommend renting a car in Oslo with the company Cars Norway, known for the quality of its services and the diversity of its vehicles, suitable for all types of road trips. Whether traveling through the majestic fjords, exploring picturesque villages or simply admiring the Nordic landscapes, a reliable car is your best travel companion.

Get ready for an enriching experience where each step reveals a new natural wonder. This guide will be with you every step of your journey, ensuring that your Norway road trip is as fascinating as the Viking lands themselves.

2. Trip planning

Preparing for a road trip to Norway requires careful planning to make the most of this unique experience. This section will guide you through the key steps to planning your adventure.

2.1. When to go: weather and seasons

Choosing the time of your trip to Norway is crucial. The Norwegian climate varies greatly with the seasons and offers different experiences at each time of the year.

  • Summer (June to August): This is the ideal time for road trips. The days are long, especially in the north with the midnight sun, allowing you to make the most of your discoveries. The climate is generally warmer and more stable, perfect for hiking and visiting the fjords.
  • Autumn (September to November) – Fall colors provide spectacular scenery, particularly in forests and mountains. This is also a good time to see the Northern Lights, usually starting in September.
  • Winter (December to February): Ideal for winter sports lovers and those who want to experience the Northern Lights. The days are short and the conditions can be harsh, but the winter scenery is stunning.
  • Spring (March to May): Spring is synonymous with longer days and milder temperatures. It's the perfect time to watch the snow melt and nature awaken.

Keep these elements in mind when planning your road trip to choose the season that best suits your expectations and planned activities.

2.2 Estimated budget

Planning a budget for your Norway road trip is a crucial step in ensuring a stress-free experience. Norway is known for being an expensive destination, but with careful planning you can control your expenses.

  • Car rental: The cost varies depending on the type of car and the duration of the rental. Plan between 60 and 120 euros per day, insurance included.
  • Fuel: Fuel prices in Norway are among the highest in Europe. Calculate approximately 1.70 euros per liter.
  • Accommodation: Options range from budget campsites to luxury hotels. Plan a budget of 50 to 200 euros per night.
  • Food: Eating out can be expensive, around 20-40 euros per meal. Supermarkets are an economical alternative.
  • Tolls and parking: Many roads and tunnels in Norway have tolls. Reserve a budget for tolls and parking in the city.
  • Activities and tours: Entrance fees to museums, national parks, etc., may vary. Estimate between 10 and 30 euros per activity.

This budget is indicative and may vary depending on your personal choices. It's always a good idea to set aside a little extra for unexpected expenses.

3. SUGGESTED ITINERARY FOR 10 DAYS

Discovering Norway in 10 days is an exciting challenge that requires a carefully planned itinerary. This section offers you a balanced route, combining natural and cultural aspects, for a complete and enriching road trip experience.

Day 1: Arrival in Oslo and preparation for the Roadtrip

 

Your adventure begins in Oslo, the vibrant capital of Norway. After your arrival, take time to immerse yourself in the city's unique atmosphere. Before heading out to explore the streets of Oslo, it is essential to take care of renting your car for the road trip. We recommend this Oslo-based car rental company, which offers a wide variety of vehicles suitable for your trip to Norway.

After picking up your car, head to iconic locations such as the Vigeland Sculpture Park, the Fram Museum and the lively Aker Brygge district. These first discoveries will immerse you in Norwegian culture and prepare you for the days to come.

Day 2: Oslo to Geilo (220 km, approximately 3 hours)

After a quiet first day, hit the road towards Geilo, a town known for its outdoor activities. Leaving Oslo, follow the E18 and then take national road 7, a panoramic road that crosses the Hardangervidda plateau. Along the way, consider stopping at the Bygdøy Viking Ship Museum to learn about Norway's fascinating maritime history. Continue to Hønefoss, a charming little town perfect for lunch. Upon arriving in Geilo, enjoy the fresh mountain air and explore the surroundings. Geilo offers a variety of activities such as hiking, mountain biking and, depending on the season, skiing or snowboarding. Overnight in Geilo, preparing for another day of discovery.

Day 3: Geilo to Bergen (245 km, approximately 4 hours)

The third day begins with a trip from Geilo to Bergen, one of the most beautiful cities in Norway. Take National Highway 7, known to be one of the most scenic in the country. This route will take you across the Hardangervidda plateau, offering spectacular views of the mountains and lakes. Along the way, stop at Vøringsfossen, one of Norway's most famous waterfalls, to admire its striking beauty.

Continuing west, you will pass through the magnificent fjord region. Take the time to stop and enjoy the stunning views of Hardangerfjord, Norway's second longest fjord. The road to Bergen will also offer you the opportunity to discover small, picturesque coastal towns, perfect for taking photographs and tasting local products.

When you arrive in Bergen, explore the UNESCO World Heritage-listed historic district of Bryggen with its colorful houses and cobblestone streets. Don't miss the fish market and the funicular up Mount Fløyen, which offers stunning views of the city and its surroundings. Night in Bergen, a city that harmoniously combines nature and culture.

Day 4: Exploring Bergen

 

Move on to your fourth day exploring deeper into Bergen, a city that offers a rich palette of cultural and historical experiences. A car-free day will give you the freedom to fully immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the city. Start with a stroll through the cobblestone streets of Bryggen, the historic heart of Bergen, where colorful buildings tell the story of Hanseatic merchants.

After exploring Bryggen, head to the Fløibanen funicular. This short tour will take you to the top of Mount Fløyen, from where you can enjoy spectacular panoramic views of Bergen and its surroundings. Take time to breathe fresh air and stroll along mountain trails for a nature experience.

In the afternoon, visit some of Bergen's many museums, such as the Hanseatic Museum or the Bergen Art Museum, which offer insights into local history and culture. At the end of the day, stroll through the fish market and port, perfect places to taste traditional Norwegian cuisine.

This free day in Bergen will allow you to relax before hitting the road again by car the next day to continue exploring the Norwegian wonders.

Day 5: Bergen to Ålesund (460 km, approximately 7 hours)

On the fifth day, drive back to Ålesund, a city known for its unique Art Nouveau architecture. The drive from Bergen to Ålesund is long but incredibly scenic and offers stunning views of Norway's fjords and mountains.

From Bergen, head north on the E39. This route will take you through beautiful coastal landscapes and several ferry crossings, a typical Norwegian experience that will allow you to savor the beauty of the fjords from the water. Take time to stop in small towns along the way to learn about the local culture and enjoy the spectacular views.

When you arrive in Ålesund, you will be greeted by a city that spans several islands, connected by bridges. Ålesund is famous for its Art Nouveau buildings, rebuilt after a major fire in 1904. Stroll through the streets to admire the unique architecture and visit the Art Nouveau Center to learn about the city's history and its notable architecture.

The day ends with an overnight stay in Ålesund, giving you a chance to rest after a long day of driving and exploring.

Day 6: Exploring Ålesund

 

Spend your sixth day exploring the wonders of Ålesund. This city, known for its exceptional Art Nouveau architecture, offers a unique experience. Start your day with a visit to the summit of Mount Aksla. Accessible by car, this hill offers stunning panoramic views of Ålesund and the surrounding islands, a perfect opportunity for unforgettable photos.

After this overview, head out into the streets of Ålesund to explore further. Visit the Art Nouveau Center to understand the architectural history of the city. Then stroll along the docks, admiring the elegantly decorated buildings that line the streets. Take time to visit the Aalesunds Museum, which offers information on the maritime and cultural history of the region.

In the afternoon, explore the surroundings of Ålesund by car. You can choose to visit the Atlanterhavsparken Aquarium, one of the largest aquariums in Scandinavia, located a few kilometers from the city. This day without a long drive will allow you to fully immerse yourself in the charm and culture of Ålesund, while resting for the adventures of the following days.

Day 7: Ålesund to Trondheim (300 km, approximately 5 hours)

 

Your seventh day of your Norway road trip begins with a road trip from Ålesund to Trondheim, one of Norway's most important cities. This journey takes you through magnificent landscapes and picturesque villages.

Leave Ålesund in the morning and take the E39 road north. During your trip you will have the opportunity to experience the stunning Norwegian coast and its fjords. Be sure to make a stop in Kristiansund, famous for its unique architecture and stunning location on four islands. Take the opportunity to have lunch at one of the local restaurants, which offer a variety of traditional Norwegian dishes.

As you continue towards Trondheim, you will pass through varied landscapes, from rocky coasts to green mountains. Upon arrival in Trondheim, explore the city, known for its magnificent Nidaros Cathedral, an important pilgrimage site. Trondheim also offers a vibrant cultural and food scene, perfect for an enriching evening. The city skillfully combines its rich historical past with a modern urban environment, making it fascinating to explore.

Day 8: Trondheim to Lillehammer (380 km, approximately 5.5 hours)

 

The eighth day of your road trip will take you from Trondheim to Lillehammer, a charming city known for hosting the 1994 Winter Olympics. The road trip offers varied landscapes, from vast forests to tranquil lakes.

Leave Trondheim on the E6, a road that winds through the Norwegian landscape. Along the way, you'll have the chance to see the diversity of Norway's landscapes, from deep valleys to towering mountains. A break in Oppdal is recommended, a small mountain village perfect for lunch and a walk in nature.

Continuing south, the road towards Lillehammer is dotted with charming villages and panoramic views. When you arrive in Lillehammer, explore this picturesque town. Visit the Olympic Park, where you can learn about the history of the Winter Olympic Games and even try some sports activities. Also stroll along Lillehammer's main street, Storgata, full of shops and cafes, offering a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere.

Lillehammer, with its mix of sporting history and Norwegian charm, offers a perfect end to the day before the final stages of your adventure.

Day 9: Lillehammer to Oslo (180 km, approximately 2.5 hours)

On the ninth day of your road trip, you will take the car back to Oslo, the capital where your adventure began. This shorter route offers a peaceful transition from Norwegian nature to bustling city life.

Depart Lillehammer by car on the E6 heading south. Take advantage of this last stretch of the path to admire the typically Norwegian landscapes for the last time. Along the way, consider stopping in Hamar, famous for its wooden cathedral and rich Viking past. This small town is a perfect place for a cultural and historical getaway.

Arriving in Oslo in the early afternoon, you'll have time to rediscover certain areas of the city or explore new places. Maybe visit the trendy Barcode district or the Munch Museum, home of the famous work "The Scream."

Your last night in Oslo is a chance to celebrate the end of your road trip. Dine at one of the city's many renowned restaurants and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere of the Norwegian capital to complete your trip in style.

Day 10: Last day in Oslo

Your tenth and final day marks the end of your Norway road trip. It's an opportunity to cherish the memories made and discover everything you haven't yet explored in Oslo. Without a car, enjoy the freedom of moving around the city easily.

Start the day with a visit to Parc de Frogner to see the impressive sculptures by Gustav Vigeland. Next, head to the Bygdøy Peninsula, accessible by ferry, where you can visit several museums, including the Viking Ship Museum and the Fram Museum, which offer a fascinating insight into Norway's maritime history.

In the afternoon, explore the trendy Grünerløkka district, known for its independent boutiques, cafes and street art. It is the perfect place to find unique souvenirs and enjoy the local atmosphere.

End your trip with a stroll along the Aker Brygge promenade, where you can enjoy a last Norwegian dinner, while admiring the views of the fjord. This last night in Oslo is a time to reflect on all the incredible experiences you had during your road trip through this magnificent country.

4. Driving in Norway

Driving in Norway

offers a unique experience, with its impressive landscapes and varied roads. However, it is important to familiarize yourself with the rules and safety tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip.

4.1. Safety rules and tips

Road safety is paramount in Norway. Here are some essential safety rules and tips to keep in mind:

  • Obey speed limits: Speed limits vary between 50 km/h in urban areas and 90 km/h on most national roads. These limits may be reduced depending on weather conditions.
  • Car equipment for winter: From November to April it is mandatory for cars to be equipped with winter tires. Roads may be slippery and covered with snow or ice.
  • Alcohol and driving: Norway has a zero-tolerance policy regarding drunk driving. Even a small amount of alcohol in the blood can result in serious penalties.
  • Headlights on 24/7: It is mandatory to keep your car's headlights on at all times of the day and night, regardless of visibility.
  • Respect for wild animals: pay attention to signs indicating the presence of wild animals, especially in rural and mountainous areas.
  • Safety distance: Always maintain an adequate safety distance from the vehicle in front of you, especially on slippery roads or with poor visibility.

These rules are designed to ensure your safety and that of other road users. Driving in Norway can be an incredibly rewarding experience, as long as you are careful and respectful of local rules.

5. Car rental in Norway

Renting a car in Norway offers unparalleled freedom and flexibility to explore this magnificent country. Let's discover the advantages of choosing the car as a means of transport for your road trip in Norway.

5.1. Advantages of a car for a Roadtrip in Norway

Norway, with its diverse and extensive landscapes, is ideally explored by car. Here are some of the key benefits:

  • Flexibility and freedom: Unlike traveling by train or bus, a car allows you to stop wherever you want, change routes as you want and discover places off the beaten path.
  • Access to remote sites: Many of Norway's most beautiful sites, such as remote fjords and small fishing villages, are not easily accessible by public transport. A car gives you access to these hidden gems.
  • Long-distance comfort: Norway is a big country. Traveling by car offers special comfort, especially if you are traveling with children or a lot of luggage.
  • Adaptability to weather conditions – The weather in Norway can change quickly, especially in mountainous regions. A car makes it easier for you to adapt to these changes.
  • Savings on travel costs: Although renting a car may seem expensive, it can be economical, especially if you are traveling in a group, compared to purchasing multiple tickets for public transportation.

These benefits make renting a car an attractive option for those who want to explore Norway at their own pace, experiencing everything this country has to offer, from bustling cities to stunning natural landscapes.

6. Conclusion

Through majestic fjords, towering mountains and charming villages, this Norway road trip promises an unforgettable adventure. From planning your route to driving through spectacular landscapes, each stage of this journey will bring you its share of discoveries and wonders.

Whether you choose to rent a car to explore at your own pace, immerse yourself in local culture and history, or marvel at Norway's natural wonders, your trip is sure to be filled with memorable moments. Remember to plan carefully, follow local rules, and enjoy every moment of your trip.

Norway, with its stunning natural beauty and rich culture, is more than a destination; It is an experience that will remain engraved in your heart. Have a safe trip and have a nice road trip around Norway!

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