Norway Travel Guide | Moon & Honey Travel

Norway

Norway Travel Guide

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 Visit Norway

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. Winter can also be a magical time to visit Norway, provided that you’re properly prepared. Use this helpful Norway winter itinerary and photo journal to inspire your trip.

 
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Norway Travel Guide - Top Experiences

Norway Travel Guide Overview

  • Norway Basics
  • Where to Go (Interactive Map)
  • What to Experience in Norway
  • Our 10 Day Norway Itinerary 
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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 any time 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 interested in booking a port to port voyage:

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

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 renting a car and following this route. Spend 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. Stay in Oslo. Look for accommodation in Oslo.

Day 2: Explore Oslo. Stay in Oslo.

Day 3: Norway in a Nutshell: Oslo to Bergen (Train, Ferry, Bus Transit Package). Stay in Bergen. Look for accommodation in Bergen.

Day 4: Explore Bergen. Stay in Bergen.

Day 5: Rent a Car in Bergen (book in advance). Drive from Bergen to Geiranger.  Stay in Geiranger. We stayed at Hotel Union and enjoyed an epic lunch, dinner and fjord-view room.

Day 6: Drive from Geiranger to Alesund via Trollstigen. Stay in Alesund. Find a place to stay in Alesund.

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

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

Day 9: Explore Trondheim. Stay in Trondheim.

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

 

Norway Travel Resources

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Norway Travel Guide

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@moonhoneytravelers
  • Alta Via 1.  We just finished hiking the Alta Via 1 - a multi-day trek in the Italian Dolomites. And, it was an adventure we’ll never forget.  The first two days of the trek, we hiked in pouring rain. With no mountain views and poor weather conditions, we tried our best to keep our spirits up.  On Day 3, we set off once again in rain. After a few hours on the trail, it started to snow. The smart thing would have been to turn back and secure a taxi to the next rifugio. But, we kept going. As we progressed, it became increasingly more difficult to find the trail. The snow was covering up the trail markers and the wind swept away the footprints of other hikers. We lost the trail several times.  The snow that was floating down ever so gently as first turned into a no-bullshit blizzard. We were soaking wet, increasingly numb, and at a complete loss of where to go. I started crying. With no one in site and no idea where the hut was, we started to freak out.  At this point, we were physically shaking. We took a few me minutes to regroup in a WWI cave. Sheltered from the blowing snow, we could locate where we were on Maps.me.  We found the trail and willed our frozen bodies into motion. When we saw Lagazuoi hut, we felt a tidal wave of relief.  After ringing out everything from our shirts to our underwear and changing into warm clothes, we drank 2 liters of hot tea and then met the most amazing group of women! Thank you Chris, Sigi, Jo and Susie for the wonderful company, conversations, and shared meals.  @susielambie @jored7  Photo: 2 days after the storm.
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Some days were extraordinary. Other days were quite good. And one day was utterly miserable. That’s life in a nutshell, right? Cheers to living the good days, the okay days and the bad ones too.
  • I want to share with you one of my favorite German words.  Genießer/Genießerin is a person who delights and takes pleasure in living. It’s someone who enjoys and relishes the present moment completely. It can be applied broadly, whether someone enjoys reading, drinking a cappuccino, hiking, or cycling. The connotation of this type of pleasure is wholly positive.  There is no direct translation in the English language. In English, too much pleasure is perceived as a negative. We use words like glutton, hedonist, libertine to describe people who take (too much) pleasure in certain things. In English, pleasure must be restrained. Without such restraint, pleasure isn’t “good,” but marred with sin.  Would you define yourself as a Genießer/Genießerin?

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