Stepping out of your comfort zone really makes you see the beauty of Norway
I am a guy that usually never sets for less than 4 stars. I like comfortable rooms and I have never slept in a hostel or a camping, but earlier this year I made bold move. I bought a tent! My family didn’t know how to react. Was I joking? Had I gone crazy?
Using allemannsretten – the freedom to roam
Sometimes you need to step out of your comfort zone and this was my way of doing it. Together with the tent, me and my girlfriend would take our own car and go on a 2-week trip around Norway. Every two nights, we slept in Clarion Collection which definitely is our favorite Scandinavian hotel brand, but the nights inbetween, we promised ourselves to put up the tent by the most amazing sights we could find along the way. What could stop us? Nothing. Putting up a tent in Scandinavia is called allemannsretten – every man’s privilege and your constitutional right, as long as you don’t litter or destroy anything that grows. Just keep out of sight for the land owners and respect their privacy. This phenomenal law allowed us to camp by waterfalls, lakes and with 360 degree views.
So what’s the itinerary? 14 days seemed enough for us but for someone who wants to feel like they’re on a holiday as well, I’d suggest at least 20 days. Make sure to pack warm clothing as there might be vast temperature drops. Our best travel accessory was our Sudio Sweden headphones. Sleeping by a waterfall is romantic and amazing, but there will come a time when you want to shut the noise out and listen to something else. Perfect sound quality for hiking and roadtripping.
Driving east to west – Moss to Lysebotn
Starting off in Moss, Norway, a beautiful summer town with a nice climate, we drove west to Stavanger and nearby hiking attractions Preikestolen and Kjeragbolten, the latter which is a rock that is stuck between two other rocks. We spent our first tent night somewhere along the route without any cellphone reception whatsoever. Getting from east to west really reminded us what Norwegian climate is like. While the east side treated us with sunshine and amazing autumn temperatures around 20C, the west only offered 7 C and heavy rain, sometimes mixed with snow. As a result of the never-ending rain-and snowfalls in west Norway for the entire two weeks, we had to abort any attempts of climbing Trolltunga, Preikestolen and Kjeragbolten, but luckily there were plenty of other picturesque sights to conquer. The roads are narrow and definitely a challenge for your patience, but every bit of it is simply gorgeous.
The fjords between Stavanger and Bergen
We loved exploring the cities of Stavanger and Bergen, but stumbled upon true magic in Gudvangen and Flåm. Quiet, mystic and simply gorgeous. Both towns lie by Nærøyfjorden, which is the most narrow fjord in the world. As a result of this, the place is packed with tourists almost any time of year. But as almost everyone comes in with cruise ships, it still gives you a lot of freedom to explore the sights if you go by yourself, not with the tour buses. Don’t miss the views from Aurlandsfjellet and Stalheim Hotell.
Geiranger and Trollstigen
Another impressive sight is Geiranger, where you will experience driving Trollstigen, the troll’s path! The serpentine roads, the waterfalls and the often very moody skies makes this a mystic paradise to explore. Geiranger is also one of the towns that are totally dependent of cruise ship tourists, so make sure to take a camping spot if you see one. The overflow of tourists makes even the every man’s privilege a hustle.
Ålesund – the Venice of the North
Lovers of Art Nouveau will remember Ålesund as the highlight of the trip. They don’t call it the Venice of the North for nothing. Our Clarion Collection hotel offered us a complimentary fishing rod upon check-in, if we would ever crave to catch our own fish for dinner through our window. That’s so Ålesund!
From west to East Atlantic Highway – Trondheim – Oslo
Through the Atlantic Highway, Atlanterhavsveien, we connected to Trondheim. The route is a fascinating drive and a must when in the area. Trondheim, a lovely and colorful town was also our last stop before heading back to Oslo.
The weather was so much more pleasant, with 25 degrees in september! After having spent 2 weeks in rain and an average temperature of 6 degrees, we thought getting a tan would be impossible, but we were so wrong. We enjoyed beach life on Bygdøy and chilled by Aker Brygge.
Even though we prioritized tanning this time, Oslo is a magnificent city with many impressive museums and cultural sights – a perfect way to round up a Norway visit if you fly out of Gardemoen. This time we didn’t have to take a flight. We just hit the evening traffic and were home in Sweden by sunset.