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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

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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Drive from Bergen to Geiranger, Norway

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.

 
Llamas in Norway

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
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.
 
Colorful stilt houses in Trondheim, Norway
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
 
Drive from Bergen to Geiranger, 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
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.

Look for accommodation in Oslo.

 
Norway in a Nutshell Train Station

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 accommodation in Alesund.

Day 7: Drop off your rental car in Alesund. Embark on an overnight Hurtigruten ferry to Trondheim in the evening.

Day 8: Arrive in Trondheim in the 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.

 
Europe Travel Resources
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External Resources
@moonhoneytravelers
  • One of the most common mistakes travelers make on their first trip to the Dolomites is visiting Alpe di Siusi (Seiser Alm, Mont Sëuc) without a plan. 🇮🇹⤵️

Measuring 56 km2, the Alpe di Siusi plateau is the largest mountain pasture in Europe. 

So many travelers wrongly assume that it will be obvious knowing where to go. 

There are many ways to explore Alpe di Siusi: hiking, cycling, wining and dining in gourmet alpine pasture huts…

The most adventurous hike starting in Alpe di Siusi is the Compaccio (Compatsch) - Rifugio Bolzano (Schlernhaus) - Rifugio Alpe di Tires (Tierser Alpl) circuit trail. 

If you’re staying in Ortisei, we highly recommend following our Alpe di Siusi Meadow Trail. This path links together the most scenic paths and alpine pasture huts on the plateau.

For the exact route head to our blog:
moonhoneytravel.com 

👉Follow @moonhoneytravelers for more Dolomites tips. 

#hiking #dolomites #dolomitesunesco #italiandolomites #dolomitestrip #italianalps #dolomitestravel #summertravel #visititaly #northernitaly #dolomitesblog #dolomiteshikes #dolomiteshiking #northernitaly #alpedisiusi #seiseralm
  • Avoid this mistake, so you’re not completely confused when you get to the Dolomites 🇮🇹⤵️

Don’t just learn the Italian names of Dolomites destinations. 

The Dolomites are located in 5 different provinces within 3 regions in Northeastern Italy. One province, South Tyrol (Südtirol in German, Alto Adige in Italian), was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire prior to World War I.

German continues to be the primary language spoken in this region. When traveling and hiking through South Tyrol, every street, advertisement, natural area, mountain hut, etc… is written in both German and Italian. Generally, South Tyroleans are culturally Tyrolean (Austrian) rather than Italian.

Another language that you will encounter is Ladin, a romance language spoken in the provinces of South Tyrol, Trentino, and Belluno, by the Ladin people. The Ladin people are the oldest inhabitants of the Dolomites valleys. 

Around Val Gardena, Val Badia, Val di Fassa, and Ampezzo Valley, you will see signage and names (e.g. towns, mountain huts) in three languages: Ladin, German, and Italian. 

For example: Alpe di Siusi (Italian), Seiser Alm (German), and Mont Sëuc (Ladin)

While English speakers tend to use Italian names, it’s important to be familiar with the German and Ladin names as well.

👉Follow @moonhoneytravelers for more Dolomites tips. 

#hiking #dolomites #dolomitesunesco #italiandolomites #dolomitestrip #italianalps #dolomitestravel #summertravel #visititaly #northernitaly #dolomitesblog
  • Trail Stats ⤵️

9 Amazing Hikes around Cortina d’Ampezzo, Dolomites

1. Tofana di Rozes Circuit Trail (Moderately Difficult)
Where | Dolomiti D’Ampezzo Natural Park, Belluno
Trailhead | Rifugio Dibona
Distance | 11.9 km circuit
Time Needed | 5:30 hours

2. Lago di Sorapis Circuit Trail (Difficult) 
Where | Ampezzo Dolomites, Belluno
Trailhead | Passo Tre Croci, halfway between Cortina d’Ampezzo and Lake Misurina
Distance | 13.2 km circuit
Time Needed | 5:10 hours

3. Passo Giau to Monte Mondeval (Moderate)
Where | Ampezzo Dolomites, Belluno
Trailhead | Passo Giau
Distance | 12.8 km lollipop-circuit
Time Needed | 5 hours

4. Croda da Lago Circuit Trail and Lago Federa (Moderately Difficult)
Where | Ampezzo Dolomites, Belluno
Trailhead | Ponte di Rocurto
Distance | 13.1 km circuit
Time Needed | 5 hours

5. Tre Cime di Lavaredo Circuit Trail (Easy – Moderate)
Where | Tre Cime Nature Park, South Tyrol, and Belluno
Trailhead | Rifugio Auronzo 
Distance | 9.7 km circuit 
Time Needed | 4 hours

6. Sentiero Bonacossa North Trail Circuit (Demanding)
Where | Cadini di Misurina Group, Belluno
Trailhead | Rifugio Auronzo or Lago d’Antorno
Distance | 12.5 km circuit
Time Needed | 6 hours

7. Crepe de Zumèles (Moderately Difficult)
Where | Cristallo Group, Belluno
Trailhead | Rio Gere
Distance | 10.6 km circuit
Time Needed | 4 hours

8.  Alpe di Sennes Circuit (Moderate)
Where | Ampezzo Dolomites Nature Park and Fanes-Sennes-Braies Nature Park
Trailhead | Malga Ra Stua
Distance | 17.1 km circuit
Time Needed | 5:30 hours

9. Rifugio Nuvolau and Cinque Torri (Moderate)
Where | Nuvlau-Averau Group, Belluno
Trailhead | Col Gallina
Distance | 9.6 km circuit
Time Needed | 4 hours

👉Follow @moonhoneytravelers for more Dolomites tips. 

#hiking #dolomites #dolomitesunesco #italiandolomites #dolomitestrip #italianalps #dolomitestravel #summertravel #visititaly #northernitaly #dolomitesblog #dolomiteshikes #dolomiteshiking #northernitaly #cortinadampezzo #cortinadolomiti #visitcortina
  • Call us old-fashioned, but nothing beats a regular paper trail map. 

❤️ Double tap if you agree! 

#hiking #hikingculture #hikingmap #hikingnavigation #hikingapp #hikinglife #hikingaddict #hikingadventure #hikingpreparation #responsiblehiking #hikinggear #hikingvibes #hikingblog #hikingblogger
  • 10 Easy Hikes in the Dolomites👇

1. Seceda Ridgeline to Regensburger Hütte Circuit Hike
Trailhead | Seceda Cableway Mountain Station
Cableway Ascent/Descent | Ortisei-Furnes-Seceda Cableways, Ortisei, Val Gardena
Distance | 8.9 km circuit
Time Needed | 3:00 – 3:30 hours 
Difficulty | Easy – Moderate

2. Adolf Munkel Trail
Trailhead | Zannes/Zans Car Park, Val di Funes
Distance | 9.2 km circuit 
Time Needed | 3:00 – 3:30 hours
Difficulty | Easy – Moderate

3. Tre Cime di Lavaredo Circuit Trail (Drei Zinnen Rundweg)
Trailhead | Rifugio Auronzo, Auronzo di Cadore
Distance | 9.7 km circuit 
Time Needed | 4 hours
Difficulty | Easy – Moderate 

4. Armentara Meadows
Trailhead | La Crusc Church 
Cableway Ascent | Santa Croce Chairlift followed by the La Crusc Chairlift, Badia, Alta Badia
Distance | 9 km point-to-point 
Time Needed | 3 hours 
Difficulty | Easy 

5. Baita Segantini Hike
Trailhead | Passo Rolle
Distance | 9.2 km circuit
Time Needed | 3:00 – 3:30 hours 
Difficulty | Easy

6. Sentiero Viel del Pan
Trailhead | Passo Pordoi
Distance | 6.4 km out-and-back
Time Needed | 2:10 hours
Difficulty | Easy (Moderate difficulty if you add the Alta Via Della Cresta circular route).

7. Sesto to Val Fiscalina (Sexten to Fischleintal)
Trailhead | Sesto/Sexten
Distance | 12.2 km circuit
Time Needed | 3:15 hours
Difficulty | Easy

8. Santa Maddalena Panorama Trail
Trailhead | Santa Maddalena Village, Val di Funes
Distance | 9.5 km circuit
Time Needed | 3:30 hours
Difficulty | Easy

9. Monte Specie (Strudelkopf)
Trailhead | Prato Piazza Car Park
Distance | 8.8 km circuit
Time Needed | 2:50 hours
Difficulty | Easy

10. Alpe di Siusi Meadows Circuit Trail (Seiser Alm Rundwanderweg)
Trailhead | Oritisei-Alpe di Siusi gondola mountain station
Distance | 14.4 km circuit
Time Needed | 4:25 hours
Difficulty | Easy

👉Follow @moonhoneytravelers for more Dolomites tips. 

ℹ️ We have trail guides for all these hikes on our blog. 

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  • Save this for trip planning ⤵️

Where to Stay in the Dolomites for Hiking 👇🇮🇹

⛰️Val Gardena, South Tyrol 
Pros: Very transit friendly, long summer season (end of May - end of October) 
Cons: Very busy during high season

⛰️Cortina d’Ampezzo, Belluno
Pros: No cableways needed for most hiking trails, gorgeous and dramatic setting, especially stunning in mid-late October
Cons: transit is difficult to navigate

⛰️Alta Badia, South Tyrol
Pros: Excellent wellness hotels, dreamy scenery, reliable easy-to-navigate public transit 
Cons: Difficult to find budget-friendly accommodations 

⛰️Alta Pusteria, South Tyrol
Pros: Many Dolomites attractions are concentrated in this region. Ideal between mid-September - late October.
Cons: Traffic restrictions in high season (mid July - mid September), which means either driving to trailheads early, or pre-booking parking, or pre-booking transit. 

⛰️San Martino di Castrozza, Trentino
Pros: Dramatic mountain landscapes and thrilling trails
Cons: Short summer season (July - mid-September). The hotels aren’t as nice as those in other regions. Not transit friendly.

⛰️Val di Funes, South Tyrol
Pros: The most beautiful valley in the Dolomites, picturesque views, fantasy-like scenery
Cons: Though the hiking in Val di Funes is excellent, it’s limited. 3 nights in Val di Funes is sufficient. 

⛰️San Vigilio, South Tyrol
Pros: San Vigilio is tucked away in a side valley of Val Badia and is thus often overlooked. There are many quiet trails around San Vigilio.
Cons: Further away from iconic Dolomites sights 

👉Follow @moonhoneytravelers for more Dolomites tips. 

👩‍💻 Read the full guide to where to stay in the Dolomites on our blog. 

#hiking #dolomites #dolomitesunesco #italiandolomites #dolomitestrip #italianalps #dolomitestravel #summertravel #visititaly #northernitaly #dolomitesblog #dolomitesitaly #dolomitesvalgardena