Norway Itineraries

These three itineraries will give you a taste of Norway's astounding variety. Our Grand Tour mixes urban charm with stunning scenery while The Western Fjords will help you plan a route through these majestic lands. Real adventure junkies, however, will want to head north to the Arctic wilds for some of the most exhilarating thrills anywhere on Earth.

If you are planning your travel to Norway yourself, use these itineraries created by our travel writers as a starting point for inspiration.


Geiranger fjord, Norway

Norway Itinerary 1 - Grand tour

Spend two weeks – though three would be ideal – following the country's invigorating, surf-battered coast, experiencing its laidback cities and wild landscapes en route.

1. Oslo

Allow yourself a few days in the Norwegian capital, taking in its parks, museums, seafood restaurants and bars.

2. Stavanger

Stroll the atmospheric old town, visit the canning museum, boat out to an 1800-era lighthouse, then climb up to Pulpit Rock.

3. Bergen

This lovely old port is celebrated for its handsome coastal setting and fine wooden architecture. Time your stay to coincide with a festival – Nattjazz, for instance.

4. Bergen to Trondheim by boat

No Norwegian holiday would be complete without a sea cruise – sit back and enjoy the views from the Hurtigruten.

5. Trondheim

Trondheim features a magnificent cathedral, a charming old district and is a great springboard for points north.

6. Lofoten

With its rearing peaks and turbulent ocean, this archipelago is Norway at its most beautiful.

7. Tromsø

Home to lively restaurants and simmering bars, this "Paris of the north" is the perfect spot to spend a few days gearing up for an excursion into the Arctic hinterlands.

8. Nordkapp

The northern end of mainland Europe, this jagged promontory pokes a knobbly finger out into the Arctic Sea.

Norway Itinerary 2 - The Western Fjords

Starting from Bergen, this fjord itinerary will take about ten days – fourteen if you add a hike or two – at a comfortable pace by car, and a little longer by public transport.

1. Lofthus

Snuggling the Sørfjord, this lovely little village sits amid fruit orchards – and is within a day's hike of the Hardangervidda mountain plateau.

2. Trolltunga

Hike up to this remarkable overhang – the "Troll's Tongue" – for a truly incredible view.

3. Balestrand

Loveable village with an exquisite setting, its huddle of houses pressing up against the mountains.

4. Solvorn

From this quaint hamlet, which ambles up from the Lustrafjord, you can visit the remarkable Urnes stave church.

5. Mundal, Fjærlandsfjord

Isolated until the 1980s, the Fjærlandsfjord is gloriously wild. From Mundal you can hike up into the hills to long-abandoned mountain farms.

6. Jostedalsbreen glacier

A guided walk on this groaning, creaking glacier, one of the largest in Europe, is a must.

7. Cruise the Geirangerfjord

Hemmed in by mountains, this fjord is truly spectacular, and the boat cruise along it a real treat.

8. Ålesund

Draped around its pretty, little harbour, this delightful town boasts a confetti of Art Nouveau buildings.

Norway Itinerary 3 - Arctic Norway

The more northerly stretches of Norway's beguiling coast beckon with gorgeous indigo light, a distinctly warm camaradarie and limitless outdoor activities – perfect for a couple of weeks' heart-pounding adventure.

1. Maelstrom in Saltstraumen

Experience the world's strongest tidal whirlpool, which sends some 400 million tonnes of water through the coastline's narrow fjords, producing an uncanny yelping sound.

2. Cross-country skiing in Kabelvåg

Spend a day or two skiing across the powdered marshes and soaring mountains of this up-and-coming destination.

3. Polar Light Center in Laukvik

This specially designed centre gets you closest to the elusive northern lights – bright, fiery tapestries of light that flicker across the heavens.

4. Whale-watching in Vesterålen

Pilots, minkes and humpbacks seek out Vesterålen's nutrient-rich waters, turning the region into a hub for scouting excursions.

5. Dog-sledding outside Karasjok

Harness, rig, and prep your pack of snow-white Siberian huskies and head off on the Arctic's Formula 1 – a day-long sledging safari.

6. Sleep in an igloo, Kirkenes

Jump into an expedition-strength sleeping bag and drift off to sleep in a room made out of blocks of snow and ice.

7. Explore the ends of the earth on Svalbard

Ride the fjords in a rugged Zodiac or snowmobile out to an abandoned satellite station-turned-guesthouse, the perfect base for snowy wilderness exploration.

Ready to explore Norway? Start preparing by finding out how to get there.

Rough Guides Editors

written by
Rough Guides Editors

updated 07.06.2024

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