With its unparalleled scenery, countless fjords, and unlimited hiking trails, Norway is a great destination for nature lovers. We traveled to the Bergen, Oslo, and Møre og Romsdal regions to do some driving, hiking, and sightseeing.
After a short flight from Stockholm we arrived in Bergen, and from there we drove four hours east to Odda. Immediately, we were met with isolated red cottages surrounded by vast green valleys and mountain backdrops. During our drive, it was raining non-stop, causing countless waterfalls along the mountain walls.
Odda is the starting point for the infamous Trolltunga trail, which ends at Trolltunga: a piece of rock hanging horizontally from the mountain, like a tongue. As it was still the winter hiking season, only the first three kilometers of the 11-kilometer track was snow free. This, in addition to the snow melting, made the hike difficult. In short, we recommend waiting until July before attempting the hike. But, if you must, skip the organized tour unless you feel comfortable with following a group pace. To do it yourself, rent some snowshoes the night before, and start your hike as early as 7am so you will have plenty of time to reach Trolltunga. We decided it would be more enjoyable to do the hike in summer when the trail is mostly snow free.
The following day we drove back to Bergen: a picturesque, but small town. The waterfront is a nice area to explore, dominated by the Market Square, selling anything from whale steak, reindeer hot dogs, and fish-based dishes. About a 10-minute walk the Leisure Park near Smalungeren is worth a visit, which was quite lively on a Norwegian summer day.
From Bergen, we embarked on a seven-hour train ride to Oslo, passing through some of Europe’s highest mountain plateaus, before arriving in the capital. At first glance, Oslo seemed more modern and spacious compared to Bergen. Near the Central Station, we visited the Opera House, which had a unique architecture and great views over the city.
On Thursdays, a couple of museums are free to enter. We visited the National Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art, and National Gallery. We liked the latter the most, as it displayed the famous “The Scream” painting by Edvard Munch, a prominent Norwegian painter. We also quite liked “Brudeferden i Hardanger” by Adolph Tidemand and Hans Gude.
After visiting the Royal Palace and Parliament House, we took the tram to the Vigeland Park. Here, you can see sculptures situated in the middle of the enormous park. As it was yet another unusually sunny day, the park was filled with Norwegians sunbathing. Our final stop of the day was Holmenkollbakken, a large ski jumping hill north of Oslo. The short 15-minute hike uphill from the tram stop was not our favorite, but it rewarded us with great views of the city.
From Oslo we continued our trip by taking a 45-minute flight to Kristiansund, in the Møre og Romsdal region. After making a quick stop in this small town, we made our way towards Molde via the Atlantic Road. The Atlantic Road spans eight kilometer and consists of eight bridges connecting various small islands. Although the road is rather short, it is definitely worth seeing, especially the Storseisundet Bridge. After making a quick stop at Bud, a fishing village, we arrived in Molde. As most towns in this area of Norway, it is rather small, but has great scenery. A short drive up to the Varden viewpoint provided us with great views over Molde and the mountains.
The next day we made our way to Geiranger via the breathtaking Trollstigen mountain road. First, we made a quick stop at Trollveggen, the highest vertical rock face in Europe at 1,100 meters. A few kilometers later, we entered the Trollstigen road, just re-opened after being covered in snow during the winter season. The drive was very scenic, with countless great lookout points, hook turns, and snowy landscapes.
We settled down in Geiranger, known for its dramatic fjord, so we could take a ferry across the fjord the following day. The ferry crossing took only an hour, but came at a hefty price ($90 for two people and a car), but was well worth the money. The Geirangerfjord is one of a kind: its dramatic cliffs, waterfalls, and abandoned farms made it a spectacular ride. After disembarking, we completed our three-day road trip in Ålesund, voted Norway’s most beautiful city. We went on a nice stroll around its cobblestone streets, enjoying yet another sunny day in Norway.
We, Mark & Herta, are currently backpacking through Europe, and eventually planning to settle in London. Beyond that? The possibilities are endless.Read Mark & Herta’s full story.