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5 Unforgettably Scenic Road Trips In Norway

Written By:
Bradley Williams
/
Last Updated:
December 21, 2019
Travel stories
In 3 weeks, we travelled more than 3,000km across Norway, and along the way discovered 5 truly unforgettable Norway road trips that you can take as well!
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our norway road trip
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When you think of Norway, what is it that first comes to mind?

Breathtaking fjords ...

Glorious mountains ...

Rolling fields of green ...

Well, yes Norway has all of these things and much … MUCH … more!

We spent a total of 3 weeks driving all throughout Norway, Starting in Kirkenes in the far northeast, to Vardo in the even more far northeast; then across to the North Cape, down to Tromso, the very end of the Lofoten Islands and the whole way down to Fredrikstad, first circling the southwest coast and then stopping into Oslo.

So it’s safe to say that we saw a LOT of Norway!

How much?

About 3,000 kilometres worth!

And after all of this time spent driving and exploring the best things to see and do in Norway, I narrowed down my 5 personal favourite Norway road trips.

So, if you’re planning your own Norway road trip itinerary, hopefully these can help you!

But first up, here’s a few other bits of info to help you plan your trip to Norway ...

Hiring a car in Norway

If you’re looking to hire a car in Norway, then it’s best to pick one up from a major town or city.

As you’ll quickly see, the 5 road trips below are located all across the country, so if you want to do them all then you’ll need to have a car for at least a few weeks.

However, they are also perfectly situated so that you can fly into a specific city and do just one or two, and then drop your car back off where you began.

Regardless of where you start from, I recommend finding a car using Rentalcars.com.

Whenever we need to hire a car, this is always where we begin our search as they compare the best prices from the major car hire firms all around the world in order to find you the best deals.

You can do a quick search by clicking here.

hiring a car in norway

Common Questions when planning a Norway road trip

No doubt you’ve got tonnes of questions racing around your head, so before we dig into my favourite Norway road trips, here are some answers to the most common questions.

How expensive is fuel in Norway?

As you are probably already well aware, Norway is pretty darn expensive.

And when it comes to fuel, this is no exception.

That being said, we found that there could be very big swings in fuel prices, as much as 2 or 4 Kroner per litre.

So, if you are patient in where you fuel up, you can usually get it at a rate not far above what it is in average European countries.

For reference, when we visited Norway in October/November 2019, fuel prices per litre for diesel were between 13 and 17 Krone per litre.

beautiful drives i norway

What daily budget will I need?

On average, Cazzy and I spent about 600NOK per day each.

A fair chunk of this went on fuel everyday; however, the reason for this is because our campervan was also our home for the trip, so was heavier and required more fuel to get around.

The rest of our daily budget went towards food, attractions and a 500NOK fine for carrying an extra litre of tequila over the border than what we were supposed to!

In the grand scheme of things, this really isn’t a very high daily budget.

If you need to rent a car, pay for hotels and plan on eating out, then you can expect to spend as much as 4 or 5 times this every day!

Also, Norway has toll roads across the south, and these can be quite expensive when you add it up.

To get an idea of how much tolls should cost you, and how to pay them, here’s a really useful tool.

Eating out is stupidly expensive in Norway and hotels seemed to cost at least 50% more than they do compared to the European average.

To find the cheapest deals on hotels, I recommend using Booking.com and Airbnb.

Read more: Our Guide to Visiting Norway On A Budget

When is the best time of year to visit Norway?

It seems like most people visit Norway in the summer months (June to August), unsurprising really as this tends to coincide with school and work holidays.

I would love to return in the summer, as apparently it’s a very different country!

That being said, if you have the chance, then I would 100% recommend visiting in the off peak months of October and November.

During these months, there are hardly any cars on the road, especially in northern Norway.

Meaning, you can coast along the roads, stopping at any laybys and attractions you like, knowing they won’t be full of other tourists.

In fact, when in the north, we didn’t once share a wild campsite or paid campsite with a single other camper.

Also, you get the benefit of there being snow everywhere, which makes Norway all the more beautiful!

That being said, if you are nervous about driving Norway in winter in heavy snow and icy conditions, then the summer months might be better for you.

lofoten islands roadtrip

How do I sort accommodation in Norway?

If you do need to book any hotels in Norway, then I recommend checking out Booking.com.

They have the biggest range of hotels in almost all countries, as well as the most competitive rates.

If you are looking for the cheapest accommodation possible, then it’s worth also using Airbnb, as you might be able to bag somewhere much cheaper by staying with locals.

If you are road tripping in your own campervan (which you should), then there are tonnes of free places to stay in Norway!

They have the Right To Roam in Norway which means you can wild camp all across the country (as long as you obey a few basic rules).

For us, this then saved a lot of money as you only need a campsite every few days to then have a proper shower and recharge the camper.

Also, wild camping in Norway is so cool, as there are epic spots almost everywhere, especially in Northern Norway.

5 incredibly scenic road trips in Norway

1. Kirkenes to Hamningberg

Just a heads up, not only is this one of the best road trips to take in Norway, it is also one of the most rugged and exciting

Why?

Because the final stretch towards Hamningberg is epic!

That being said, the whole journey there is pretty wild and includes no typical European motorways at all.

Kirkenes is probably the most built up stop, and is a great starting point if you are flying into Kirkenes and only planning on visiting the area for a week or so.

From there, you first begin your journey with a 5 hour drive around the fjord towards Vardo.

This drive is unbelievable, as most of the day you are driving on either side of the ocean, with snowy cliffs in the distance (at least, as long as you visit in winter time).

I recommend visiting Vardo and, in particular, Vardøhus Fortress which is the northernmost stone fortress in the world.

The truly unforgettable part of this road trip begins once you leave Vardo and head towards Hamningberg.

Hamningberg is a small, isolated fishing village with just one road in and one road out.

All the way, you have swirling ocean on your right hand side and mountainous, ominous cliffs on your left which border the Varangerhalvøya National Park.

We did this drive in late October, at which time it was incredibly snowy and most of the inhabitants had already left the village for winter.

Fortunately, they were still clearing the road once a day, so we were able to make it the whole way there and even camp.

That being said, the only reason I felt comfortable doing so was because of our epic 4 wheel drive Toyota Hilux which seemed capable of taking on the world!

What I loved most about this drive was just how isolated and cut off you feel, it’s almost as if you enter a whole nother world on that road.

A true adventure.

hamningberg roadtrip

2. Tromso to The North Cape

We actually did this journey in reverse, as we arrived from the East and went up to The North Cape and then down to Tromso.

However, I imagine most people do it this way round, as Tromso is a popular city to fly into.

Once again, the drive between these two spots is absolutely unforgettable.

A series of long winding bridges connect the North Cape to mainland Norway, and you get to spend all day driving right alongside the coast, passing through dozens of small fishing villages and towns.

The other great thing is that there’s only one way to the North Cape, so you actually get to enjoy this epic Norwegian road trip twice!

The North Cape itself is situated on a small island that you drive over to, and up here the landscape is almost entirely barren.

It’s the northernmost part of mainland Europe, and up here you have epic views stretching out over the vast ocean beyond.

It’s also a great sense of accomplishment to reach this point, and there is a visitor centre and restaurant to visit.

As well as a, now iconic, globe monument marking the location.

Up here is also possibly the best part of Norway to see the Northern Lights.

It is so isolated with so little light pollution that, when it’s dark, the Aurora Borealis come out in full force.

It is spectacular.

In fact, after spending more than a month in the Arctic Circle, driving through Finnish Lapland, Swedish Lapland and Northern Norway, I can say that our night spent on the North Cape was the best display of Northern Lights we saw … and by a long way!

north cape

3. Narvik to Å (The Lofoten Islands)

One of the most famous Northern norway road trips road can be found on the Lofoten Islands.

Back in the late 20th century, they finished construction on a number of bridges that connected these string of islands together, making for an epic drive, the whole way from Narvik to Å.

There is a lot to love about this drive, with the bridges themselves being one of the main highlights.

Perhaps the most photogenic bridges we’ve seen anywhere in the world!

You’ll also discover a number for traditional fishing villages all through the Lofoten Islands with Reine, situated near the end, the most popular.

In fact, many people don’t even need to road trip to get here, but instead get a ferry over.

When we visited in late October, this drive was amazing, and there were hardly any cars until we reach Reine.

But in the summer months, we’ve been told that the roads are now increasingly crowded, so the ability to head their off-peak if you can.

The Lofoten Islands are so spectacular that they claimed three of the spots in my 20 best places to visit in Norway!

roadtripping norway

4. Trondheim to Bud (The Atlantic Ocean Road)

The southern Norway road trip between Trondheim and Bud, though not long, is filled with many of Norway’s nicest spots.

It gives you the chance to see some of the Norwegain coast and fjords, and getting there isn’t too challenging from Oslo.

Trondheim itself was actually one of our favourite places to visit in Norway; a small yet historic city with plenty to see and do.

However, by far the main highlight of this drive is a small stretch of road known as the Atlantic Ocean Road.

It is a series of bridges connecting small parcels of land and it really does look awesome!

The bridges seemingly rise and twist between the islands, making for almost too many opportunities to pull in and get the camera out.

atlantic road trip

5. Flam to Pulpit Rock

Located deep within the fjords on the southwesetern coast of Norway, Flam is one of the most charming and exciting spots to visit in this part of Norway.

Though it’s only a small town, it is located right amidst the fjords, where you can take electric boat cruises and a ride on the famous Flam Railway.

This 2 hour round trip journey takes you higher up into the mountains, teaching you about the history of the region and offering you the chance to discover the gorgeous valleys and waterfalls along the way.

Hiking to Pulpit Rock is also now one of our favourite things to do in Norway, with the views at the end being truly memorable.

The drive between these two spots actually ended up being one of my favorites from our whole time in Norway, though there’s no one set road to take.

Instead, you can make the trip twice as long as needs be by making it a Norway west coast road trip and visiting the cities of Bergen and Stavanger.

Either way, the journey requires you to cross Norwegian fjords by bridge, ferry and tunnel, and offers endless chances to stop over to capture some remarkable Instagram shots.

Well, there you have it!

My 5 favourite scenic road trips in Norway.

But as you can probably tell, almost all of Norway is beautiful and a pleasure to drive; just be sure to try and incorporate one or more of these journeys into your own Norway road trip itinerary.

Do you have any more questions or recommendations for places to visit in Norway?

Great, just let me know in the comments below ...

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