A thousand of posts wouldn’t be enough to answer the question “what to see in Norway”, but here I’d like to give some information and suggestion to help you plan a journey and decide the route, above all if it’s the first time you opt for this wonderful destination.
What to see in Norway: route
I want to say first this is not a route making you see whole of Norway, it’s not cheap (unfortunately Norway isn’t a cheap destination) and it is not a touch and go short route.
It’s a way to see a bit all, above all if it’s the first time you visit Norway.
A way for not miss the most beautiful and interesting parts and you can use it as a cue, maybe for a part, according to the days at your disposal and the area you chose.
When go to Norway
It’s useless to say that to grasp at the best this journey discovering Norway…you must repeat it both in summer and in winter.
Summer will allow you to savour unique landscapes, the sun, high visibility and lots of animals (whales into the sea and puffins on the cliffs); winter…well, you know I always support that: I love the extreme seasons and what cold can give.
Winter is northern lights admired from the panoramic room of the Hurtigruten during navigation or from the windswept cold outer deck.
Speaking of which: remember to shout in front of the northern lights since, according to an ancient Norwegian legend, they are for driving away the evil spirits and greeting the good ones.
Tour in Norway
Let’s start from the flight above Oslo.
The town is wonderful in every season.
Lively in summer with its Aker Brygge district along the harbour and crowded in winter.
Here you’ll find a lot of restaurants and cafés, then the night clubs for the movida moving towards the town centre.
What to see in Oslo
Tour of the town with its wonderful museums: they are really many. If you have to choose necessarily, opt for the ones on Bigdov peninsula that you have to reach by ferry leaving from the harbour (you buy the ticket online, also at the moment, and pass the Qrcode directly on controller’s small machine).
Here in the north people are too ahead!!!!
The museums are one more beautiful than the other. Everyone deserves a visit. If you have to choose, Oslo official guide will help you.
To me the top is the Fram Museum with its arctic explorations, but the Viking ships will bewitch you, too. Then, what about the Kon-Tiki? Or, if the weather is fine, the Vigeland with its sculptures? If you are in winter you cannot not take the bus as all Norwegians do every afternoon after their working day. They get on with the skis in their hands and go to the lighted track just outside the town!
As I already told you, Norway has to be seen from the sea. There are lots of activities you can do on boat: all leave from the harbour. From catamarans to the mini-cruises, getting out for fishing and navigation by sailing vessel.
From Oslo to Bergen by train
It’s time to move to Bergen.
The best way is the line Oslo-Bergen by train, by day strictly.
It’s a wonderful line in every season.
In Bergen you spend two days on boat with Weller.
One day to see the typical Norway of fjords and navigate among deep waters and waterfalls.
The other one for a route among the thousands of islands of Bergen’s archipelago discovering salmon’s farming…
…the most deserted islands and the rich fishing, also for the less experts, that you can cook directly on board.
Inge, the owner, maybe will make you experience his kayak…an experience it really worth in these waters.
Bergen offers also other more.
Explore it calmly: the rack to climb and admire the town from the top in a sunny day, the old district, the very famous fishing market (remember it’s distinctive but very expensive, so for the purchases go away from there!), the aquarium…
If you have followed my tips, you have arrived in Bergen by train and you have been on Weller, so you can avoid the excursion Norway in a nutshell since it’s similar.
Also it deserves the trips during the day leaving from the harbour by quick catamarans towards Stavanger, but stay two days is better.
Hurtigruten the postal boat of fjords
At this point go on the Hurtigruten website, the postal boat of fjords, but don’t be deceived by the name “postal”: they are cruise ships in every respect and the most beautiful journey of the world is ahead of you, as their website stated some years ago.
Hurtigruten: tips to save
Pay good attention to what I’m going to explain. Don’t enter the English section but surf and explore the Norwegian one. You’ll realize immediately that’s not the same thing and above all it’s not necessarily to buy complete expensive packages.
Every day at 10.30 pm in winter (8 pm in summer) a different ship of the fleet leaves from Bergen. Choose it according to your days and explore the ship to take: it’s possible to do this only in the Norwegian version. Install a plug-in for the translation.
I suggest you the most modern ships (even if the tickets cost a bit more). Can you compare the emotion to admire the northern lights from a very warm hydro massage???
If you want to save still a bit you have to run the risk. Go to the harbour a few hours before the leaving (the ship has already arrived since several hours) and buy the route northwards from Bergen directly at the ship’s desk. This is the way to save more in absolute, obviously in the peak season ships are full. If you are not so daring, refer to some agency in Bergen and try to make you some estimates.
Don’t exchange the way of this route, make it from Bergen to Kirkenes.
Now for you it’s going to start one of the most beautiful journey of the world. Really!
Useful tips to choose the mean of transport
People will suggest you certainly to explore Norway by other thousands way: car, campervan, train, plane…All these are cheaper way without any doubt but who will suggest you these ones has never been on the Hurtigruten!
People who has been in Norway like me and has visited it by many other ways will only suggest you the Postal of Fjords. Trust me. Doesn’t exist any more beautiful way in the world. If you have to renounce it necessarily, make it only for economic reasons!
Let’s go! The ideal would be to get off in almost all harbours it arrives and stay there at least a day to take again the ship the following day at the same time, following the same route. The destinations are one more beautiful than the other, the big cities as the smaller and more distinctive villages. Certainly you’ll have to choose and it won’t be easy.
The harbours where to get off
Hjørundfjorden is the most beautiful fjord. Trondheim cannot be missed to admire its old centre built on restored piles, then Tromso, the door of the Arctic with the Polar Museum and the Arctic Cathedral.
It will be a real shame be satisfied of the few hours at your disposal for the landing.
Then reaching Lofoten Island and Vesteralen Islands it will be a journey within a journey. In the evening when the few tourists go away, you will maybe sleep in a rorbu on the beach of a small island which has nothing and the only little supermarket will have just closed. These islands alone worth the journey.
Lofoten and Vesteralen Islands
But let’s get back to the Lofoten Islands. Hire a car, explore the islands one by one. Out of season, without tourists: the fishermen go to the sea at dead of night and the cliffs are dedicated to the bird watching in summer among really many puffins. Then trekking, white beaches which will be like Caribbean beaches (apart from temperature), unpolluted nature and breathtaking landscapes.
In Andenes don’t forget to look towards the sea. What you see in front of you it’s not certainly a mountain.
The trolls cannot go out by day with the light because they risk to be petrified. In the mists of times, a huge curious troll got closer to the beach to wet his foot and play but it forget about the rising of the dawn because of it was spellbound by the sky’s colours. The first rays arrive and it is turned into stone. So it begins to fall down with its weight and today it has stayed outside the sea only with its hat, the tip of the mountain.
Whether you decide to stay here three days or a month you won’t have time to get bored. If you listen to me, avoid the excursion to the sighting of whales or eagles from Andenes. They are really expensive and you will sight them certainly on board Hurtigruten.
Break at Svalbard
The same money can be spent for the excursions to Svalbard for a whole day. We weren’t able to count how many whales and puffins we sight!
Here a break is de rigueur. The Svalbard, too, belong to Norway…and they deserve whole your holiday! Then if you want to explore them on board Hurtigurten, even better. You won’t miss anything: polar bears, whales, puffins and even walrus.
Tromso is a very good point to fly to Svalbard but you can do it from Oslo, too.
Don’t forget to set the alarm clock for each little harbour where the Hurtigruten berths even at night, even only for half an hour, even in the smallest places. They are the most beautiful and distinctive ones, and you will bring home very wonderful photos.
On the other hand…to sleep you stay at home, travelling you have to explore! Rig yourselves out well because of cold, above all in winter and go out walking. Explore the harbours while the pallets’ loading and unloading take place (don’t forget the postal is just this, it isn’t born as cruise ship and it’s used still today also as the freighting of goods).
Some little villages are practically reachable only by this way in winter. Take photos non-stop and go up in a hurry without making you wait for!
The excursion to Cape North is certainly a must. Probably at least once in life you have to do it. You’ll realize that is disappointing. There’s nothing so distinctive (do you know that it’s not even the northernmost point but the peninsula next to it is about 200 metres northwards, don’t you?) and admittance is very expensive in summer (in winter is deserted and free). It’s a goal more in the imaginary than in reality.
But maybe you can do this, too, saving. The postal boat ends its route in Kirkenes before starting again its route southwards.
It’s a town that doesn’t offer much to tourist but the savour of the extreme and a bit of desolation. Once it was a Russian town, today it belongs to Norway and still keep its character. Into the sea you still can see some whole rusty Russian fleet ships.
Once arrived here and you have got off the Hurtigruten you can hire a car and go towards Cape North from here before complete your route southwards, going down from Finland.
It’s true, it’s over 500 kilometres but it will allow you to admire wonderful landscapes and you will save a lot of money of the excursion purchased on board.
If you hire the car then you can use it to keep going with the second part of the journey throughout Finland. Or give it back and take a domestic flight towards Oslo and come back.
Fly to Norway spending little
If you choose the flight, refers to Wideroe, a Norwegian domestic company that will make you experience the thrill of the propeller flight and in fine days it will make you admire wonderful landscapes.
Also here the flights have endless floating prices and discounts and rising aren’t advertised in newsletter. The only way is to monitor regularly the route.
Discover the multiple tickets, too, that allow you to explore Norway and take wonderful photos from the top!
There is nothing left to do but say to you “Have a good journey” to this wonderful destination!