I am thrilled to tell my story of self-driven road trips in Norway last summer. So please hold tight and enjoy the post.
Norway‘s topography is extensive and diverse, spanning over 1,000 kilometers from north to south. Its longitude lines are also peppered with cultural outposts, such as the trendy Oslo, beautiful Bergen, and Tromso (the “Paris of the North”), which are followed by wildlife-rich islands and Arctic snowfields. To put it another way, it’s the ideal location for a road trip.
Start in Bergen and explore the traditional fjord loop, stopping along the way for outdoor activities like hiking, summer skiing, and kayaking. Travel to Jotunheimen National Park to complete the experience along Norway’s longest and deepest fjord.
Self-driven road trips in Norway through the Arctic Circle will be especially enjoyable for tourists in the summer. Fly to the Arctic Circle from southern Norway (including Oslo, Bergen, and the Sognefjord), travel to the wild island of Senja for two days of cycling and kayaking, and then take a ferry to the tiny Andenes Island for whale viewing.
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Planning Your Norway Road Trip
Being patient and sharing the road are two things you should be ready for when driving in Norway. The continual turns need driving slowly and carefully because one-lane roads are not uncommon (you’ll need to use turnouts). Always plan for more time than you think it will take to complete the drive, especially since you’ll probably stop your car to enjoy the scenery nevertheless.
We selected five of the most scenic routes for our readers to use in our article on self-driven road trips in Norway. We sincerely hope that you’ll include these routes in your upcoming Norway bucket list vacation.
Anyone who is unable to make a decision should use the Norwegian Scenic Route Ryfylke. You will pass through breathtaking landscapes and beautiful hillsides throughout its hundred or so miles. You’ll be able to see far into fjords, up waterfalls, and over cliffs.
Self-driven road trips in Norway are a great opportunity to discover the breathtaking scenery and undiscovered wonders of this beautiful country. If you’re up for an adventure, you’re in for a treat because my journey began at Oanes, which is close to Stavanger.
A little distance distant is the renownedly epic Preikestolen. Take some time to enjoy the beautiful landscapes of the Lysefjorden, with Preikestolen and the Kjerag boulder towering majestically above, even if you have no plans to scale its heights.
I found myself weaving through a captivating landscape of water and land as I continued my journey north. You will have to make your choice at Lovra in Suldal, a crucial junction in this looped adventure. As you travel directly along the fjord in a westerly direction, the majestic Svandalfossen waterfall will be waiting to fascinate you.
However, be prepared for a little exercise because the 540 steps of the staircase will guarantee that you get a few cool splashes. In contrast, traveling east will take you over high, desolate mountains, with Saudafjellet Mountain serving as the most well-known summit.
This journey’s turning point is Håra, a lovely fishing village encircled by snow-capped mountains. Don’t be afraid to look into this region’s history if you have some free time. Small towns like Sand and Nesvik are excellent places to stop and immerse yourself in this lovely area’s former way of life.
The Lofoten section of the Norwegian Scenic Route was a breathtaking adventure on my self-drive road trips in Norway. Raftsundet served as the starting point, and I immediately traveled there to Svolvær, a beautiful traditional fishing village. Additionally, it’s a great location to see the captivating northern lights at night.
Before arriving in the town of Reine, I stopped to take in the incredible views at Gimsøy, Unstad (famous for having some of the best surfing in Europe), and Eggum. Most likely, here is where an aerial photograph of Lofoten was shot if you’ve ever seen one. You can’t help but be in awe of the scenery as you stroll through the village streets, with the ocean below and the peaks above, and the small islands barely poking the surface.
When I had completely appreciated Reine’s splendor, I moved on to Å, which is not only the name of the entire town but also the final letter of the Norwegian alphabet. Because Å is at the very tip of the Lofoten archipelago, it makes sense.
I went to the Norwegian Fishing Village Museum while I was there, but in all honesty, the whole community feels like a living museum. My road trip in Norway through the enthralling Lofoten archipelago was now officially over after I had thoroughly immersed myself in the history.
Oslo will be my first stop on self-driven road trips in Norway. I’m eager to get to Geilo right now, but there will be time to explore this bustling city later. Geilo is a ski resort town, so if hitting skiing is your thing, you already know what to do there. It’s not just any average spot. Hallingskarvet National Park and Hardangervidda National Park are both accessible from Geilo.
Our next stop is the town of Flåm, known for the illustrious Flåm Railway. As Flåm can get very crowded, I decided to bypass the town itself in favor of the nearby waters for a more personal experience. I parked the car, got some exercise, and rented a kayak to explore the magnificent fjords up close.
I was in awe of the magnificent view as I paddled through the calm waters. It was a wonderful way for me to become fully immersed in Norway’s natural beauty. It was also a wonderful diversion from driving! I drove to Solvorn as dusk fell in search of a spot to spend the night. After a day of exploration, the cozy lodgings offered the ideal refuge.
I could visit the Glacier Museum, travel by ferry to Urnes to see the country’s oldest stave church, or go to Fjaerland. I was able to choose my adventure thanks to the freedom of self-driven road trips in Norway, and I was eager to find out what the day would bring.
The following day is a significant one for me since I’m starting a road trip by myself to see some of Norway’s most breathtaking attractions, including the Geirangerfjord, one of the nation’s most beautiful and UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Afterward, I visited Jostedalsbreen National Park and continued to the next destination, Trollstigen, which is one of Norway’s most well-known highways and is frequently called the “Troll’s Road.”
Senja Island and the Norwegian Arctic
Senja, the second-largest island in Norway, is paradoxical in that it appears to have Caribbean-like white sand beaches and clear seas. But if you dip your toes in, it won’t take you long to understand that you’re well inside the Arctic Circle. There is a lot to do in this virtually unexplored region of Fjord Norway, especially if you enjoy road trips and self-driven adventures.
You’ll begin in Gryllefjord and wind your way to Botnhamn, with brief detours to the sea in Mefjordvaer and Husøy along the way. The Tungeneset and Bergsbotn vistas can be found along the road as you drive. A wooden walkway leads you across the rocks to Tungeneset, where you may get breathtaking views of the Okshornan peaks sticking out of the lake. In contrast, Bergsbotn is a 44-meter-long platform that carries you over the edge of the Bergsfjord and allows you to see the fjord and the settlement below.
Senja’s stunning scenery and the promise of an adventure off the beaten route drew me in. Solo Travelers like me who yearn for both the beauty of nature and adventure are drawn to hobbies like hiking, paddling, diving, and photography.
My trip’s highlights included taking road trips across the island. Well-maintained roads in Senja meander through attractive settlements, rocky slopes, and stunning fjords. I was able to stop anytime I wanted to take in the amazing views and take pictures of them thanks to the independence of self-driving.
And let’s not forget the northern lights. Senja is ideally situated to view this captivating celestial show because of its location within the Arctic Circle. I dressed warmly and went outside to see the aurora borealis decorate the night sky with its twirling colors. I was in amazement at the wonders of our world at the time.
So, if you, like me, crave adventure, peace, and the pleasure of self-driven road trips in Norway, Senja is the ideal place. Its unique splendor, where Arctic nature meets tropical-like beaches, will leave you with memories to last a lifetime.
Stay tuned for more updates from my road trips as I continue to uncover the beauty and wonder of Norway and don’t forget to read my latest post on SOLO HIKING & WILD CAMPING AT PULPIT ROCK
My Final Thoughts about Self-Driven Road Trips in Norway
Setting out on self-driven road trips in Norway is a magical experience that enables you to fully appreciate the nation’s stunning natural surroundings and dynamic culture. Solo travelers can experience a wide variety of activities in Norway, from the breathtaking fjords to the charming cities. Prepare yourself, make a strategy, and get ready to go to Norway and have lifelong experiences.
Are road trips in Norway safe?
Absolutely. Norway is proud of its well-kept roads and high level of safety. However, use caution throughout the winter and frequently check the state of the roads.
Do I need an international driver’s license?
It’s advisable to have both your national driver’s license and an international one with you if you’re from a non-European Union nation.
Are there toll roads in Norway?
Yes, there are toll roads in Norway. They are typically clearly labeled, and you have a choice of payment options, such as an electronic tag or an online transaction.
How much time should I allocate for road trips in Norway?
The duration of your road trips in Norway depends on your chosen route and the attractions you plan to visit. Typically, a two-week itinerary covers the major highlights.