Norway Travel Guide | Moon & Honey Travel

Norway

Norway Travel Guide

Last Updated: February 2018 

There are not enough adjectives in the dictionary to describe the unimaginable beauty that is Norway. Perhaps, it’s the fjord scenery. Perhaps, it’s the abundance of water that cascades and flows across the country’s untouched landscapes. Or perhaps, it’s the colorful timber houses. Whatever it is, Norway will take your breath away.

 

When to Go

Mid-May to early October. Norway’s high season is in the summer from late June to early August. We visited during the shoulder season (early October). Scenically, it was unforgettable to see the changing colors. If you plan a trip in early October, know that many accommodations shut down early for winter (especially around Geiranger). Some ferries don’t operate as well. All in all, it was wonderful to experience Norway in low season.

 

This Guide Includes:

  • Norway Basics
  • Where to Go (Interactive Map)
  • What to Experience in Norway
  • Our 10 Day Norway Itinerary 
Norway Travel Guide | Moon & Honey Travel

Norway Basics

Official Name: Kingdom of Norway

Capital: Oslo

Government: Parliamentary representative democratic constitutional monarchy

Regions: Norway is divided into five regions: Northern Norway, Trøndelag, Western Norway, Southern Norway and Eastern Norway. 

Population: 5.3 million

Language: Norwegian, Sami

Currency: Norwegian Krone (NOK)

Tipping Etiquette: Not expected. It’s common to round up the bill.

Water Quality: Excellent

Something Interesting: You can only purchase alcoholic beverages from Vinmonopolet stores, which are government-owned alcoholic beverage retailers.

Norway Travel Guide | Moon & Honey Travel

Where to Go in Norway

Click the dots to explore specific destinations.
Destinations
  • Oslo
  • Bergen
  • Geiranger
  • Alesund
  • Trondheim
Routes
  • Norway in a Nutshell
  • Bergen to Alesund
background

Å få blod på tannen

 

 

 

 

Norwegian Saying

To get blood on your tooth (to be inspired)

What to Experience in Norway

Our favorite things to see and do
Norway in a Nutshell Fjord Cruise, Norway Travel Guide | Moon & Honey Travel
Norway in a Nutshell Fjord Cruise

Norway in a Nutshell: Oslo to Bergen

Norway in a Nutshell is an organized transit package from Oslo to Bergen. It’s a great way to experience Norway’s scenic beauty, especially when you have limited time. The package includes three train rides, one bus ride, and one fjord cruise. We traveled from Oslo to Bergen in one day, though it is possible to stretch the package over the course of two days.

Here are the transit steps:

  • Train: Oslo to Myrdal – The Bergen Railway
  • Train: Myrdal to Flåm – The Flam Railway
  • Fjord Cruise: Flåm to Gudvangen
  • Bus: Gudvangen to Voss
  • Train: Voss to Bergen – The Bergen Railway

Additional Info:

  • Book your ticket in advance with fjordtours.com. We had to pick up our tickets from the NSB ticket office at the Oslo Central Railway station the day before departure. 
  • Price: 1440 NOK
  • Seasonality: available all year round. We went in early October.
  • The trip is available as a day tour, or as an overnight.
Trondheim, Norway | Moon & Honey Travel
Trondheim

Cruising with Hurtigruten 

Hurtigruten is a ferry and cruise line that operates up and down the Norwegian coast. The company was originally established in 1893 to improve communication along the country’s lengthy coastline. More recently, Hurtigruten has expanded to appeal to the tourist market. So, it’s entirely possible to embark on a multi-day cruise with Hurtigruten with a “traditional” cruise style package. However, it’s also possible to board a Hurtigruten vessel for a day, or an overnight trip, anywhere between Bergen and Kirkenes. You can customize your own voyage along the coast, either northbound or southbound, at anytime in the year. 

We took an overnight cruise (ferry) from Alesund to Trondheim. As an overnight passenger, it’s your choice whether you’d like to book a cabin or not. We opted for a cabin, because our trip was short and we wanted to sleep through the night. A lot of Norwegians use the Hurtigruten ferries to commute to work, so there will be locals embarking and disembarking the ship all throughout the day and night.

Note: Hurtigruten isn’t a “traditional” cruise line. Because it caters to both locals and tourists, it’s quite mellow. There’s no gambling, discos or karaoke.

If you’re interesting in booking a port to port voyage like we did:

  • Here are the 34 Ports that Hurtigruten services.
  • You can arrange a booking by phone or email. Email: book@hurtigruten.com; Phone: +44 2039363191

Driving from Bergen to Alesund 

This spellbinding drive convinced us that Norway is the most beautiful country on earth. During the course of 2-3 days, you’ll wrap around fjords, drive along rivers and waterfalls, steer through and over mountains, and pinch yourself to confirm that you haven’t ascended to heaven.

We recommend following this route and spending at least one night in Geiranger. During the course of the drive, you’ll take at least two car ferries to cross the fjords.

Day 1: Bergen to Geiranger

  • Highway E39
  • Road 15
  • Dalsnibba Mountain & Road 63
  • Geiranger Skywalk – a viewing platform of Geirangerfjord from atop Dalsnibba. This wasn’t open when we visited.
  • Stay the Night in Geiranger. We stayed at Hotel Union, which has arguably the best view of Geirangerfjord. The dinner buffet was also very memorable.

Day 2: Geiranger to Alesund

  • Ørnesvingen-eagle Road & Road 63
  • Trollstigen, or Troll’s Path, is a narrow, serpentine road on County Road 63 that traverses down a mountain and over the magnificent 1,000 ft Stigfossen waterfall.  Due to safety and weather conditions, the road is only open from mid-May to October, about 5 months of the year.
  • Highways E136 & E39
Vigeland Sculpture Park, Oslo, Norway Travel Guide | Moon & Honey Travel
Vigeland Sculpture Park, Oslo

The Vigeland Sculpture Park in Oslo

The Vigeland Sculpture Park is a visual feast. Each statue is unique in its expression, communicating all facets of human relationships. Vigeland does not shy away from the ugly and depraved. He is drawn to it. Scenes of couples embracing are sitting adjacent to those in physical combat. From a distance, the tower of bodies that reaches to the sky seems like a shrine to a deity, however upon closer study, the mangled figures twisting and smashing each other with their weight is more like an ode to the human-societal condition.

His body of work evokes the full spectrum of life and emotion. Whether we are shocked, enchanted, or amused, we can undoubtedly agree that these statues are full of life.

Norway Travel Guide | Moon & Honey Travel

Norway Itinerary

Our 10 Day Norway Itinerary: Trains, ferries, and automobiles

Here’s our skeleton Norway itinerary. To avoid redundancy, read our experiences (in the above section) to fill in the blanks.

Day 1: Arrive in Oslo

Day 2: Explore Oslo

Day 3: Norway in a Nutshell: Oslo to Bergen (Train, Ferry, Bus Transit Package)

Day 4: Explore Bergen

Day 5: Rent a Car in Bergen (book in advance). Drive from Bergen to Geiranger. We stayed at Hotel Union.

Day 6: Drive from Geiranger to Alesund via Trollstigen

Day 7: Drop off Rental Car. Explore Alesund. Embark on an overnight Hurtigruten ferry to Trondheim (evening).

Day 8: Arrive in Trondheim (morning). We stayed at Nidaros Pilegrimsgård.

Day 9: Explore Trondheim

Day 10: Depart Norway. Fly from Trondheim to Oslo, or other destination.

Note: In Oslo, Bergen and Alesund, we stayed in AirBnBs. If you don’t have an AirBnB account, use this link to get a discount on your first booking.

Norway Resources

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External Resources

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@moonhoneytravelers
  • In the Bay of Petrovac, there are two rocky islands called Katic and Holy Sunday. According to legend, the chapel was built on the island by shipwrecked sailors who survived a devastating storm and took refuge on the island. Next time we visit, we‘ll definitely rent a boat and explore these islands.
  • The coastal village Rose in Lustica Peninsula. Settled as early as the 4th century, this seaside village is one of the oldest in the region. We stopped here for lunch at Adriatic, before continuing our drive around the peninsula.
  • After a week in the mountains, we’re now exploring Montenegro’s coastline. From delicious seafood, crystal-clear water and idyllic coves, there’s so much to fall in love with.
  • Can’t get enough of these Karanfili Peaks in the Accursed Mountains of Montenegro. We‘ll be writing a Prokletije hiking guide soon - stay tuned.
  • We were hiking to the glacial cirque Krosnja and upon arriving we saw a promising footpath (but no markings) leading across high sloping meadows. We took the path, knowing that it would bring us in a full circuit back to Grebaje Valley, but not sure how. We were pleasantly surprised when we saw this natural arch called Kissing Cats. The trail goes right through the arch. Luckily, there are some ropes to aid the ascent. #hikemontenegro
  • Looking at the Albanian Alps from the Montenegro border. From the summit of Popadija, we saw a few trails leading into Albanian villages. It‘s easy to cross the border on foot, but hikers have to secure border permits from both countries prior to crossing.

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