A perfect blend of natural and urban gems, Norway offers a wide variety of holiday destinations ranging from spectacular peaks, awe-inspiring fiords, and dense woodlands to the cosmopolitan flair of the country’s capital, Oslo.
It comes as no surprise that Norway is the second happiest nation in the world as there is so much to do and see in this stunning country. Active spending of free time has become an integral part of its inhabitant’s life and something that is shared with the tourists who choose Norway as their holiday destination.
The country’s latitude allows for extremely long days during the summer period and the dark skies at night are a perfect background for the well-known northern lights. Diving into the Norwegian adventure will be even more exciting and pleasant as the country enjoys one of the best transit systems in Europe.
Oslo, which is considered one of the greatest Norway’s attractions, definitely can’t be missed, yet there exist plenty of other highlights that should be seen in the region. These include such places as Risør, Kristiansand, and Lillehammer.
Other smaller settlements in the eastern part of the country that are worth visiting are Røros, one of the oldest European towns built almost entirely out of wooden constructions, and Dombås, an ideal gateway to the Dovrefjell National Park with the awe-inspiring Snøhetta.
The western part of Norway is a true treasure trove of tourist attractions. Stavager, Lysebotn, Eidfjord, and Bergen are all about the stunning landscape of fiords, mountains, and sandy beaches that run along the coast. Each of the cities can boast a number of popular museums, entertainment venues, and cultural events.
Even though Bergen is considered a true gateway to the world of fiords, you shouldn’t miss such places as Norheimsund, Kaupanger, Ulvik, or Gudvangen while in the region. A visit at one of them will bring tourists closer to nature and allow them for a deeper contemplation of Norway’s natural gems.
Alesund and Geiranger both offer attractive town centres surrounded by clear water and large rocky outcrops dotting the horizon. The region is especially known for the abundance of waterfalls, stunning mountain trails, and picturesque green plains. Hellesylt, a UNESCO Heritage Site, welcomes tourists with a range of hiking opportunities, Åndalsnes will become a great starting point for the exploration of the Romsdal Valley and Romsdalfjord, and Rauma will enchant you with its atmosphere and local wooden churches.
Trollstigen, also known as Trolls’ Path, is among one of the most popular Norwegian tourist attractions. This must-see highlight has more than 100 km and offers intense visual experiences with a great insight into Norwegian nature at its best. Arid valleys, deep fiords, and mountain crags create a stunning blend of pristine landscapes.
Trondheim, along with Steinkjer, will be ideal both for fans of outdoor activities as well as those who fancy long sightseeing tours. Apart from a wide selection of museums, churches, and urban monuments, the cities also offer excellent accommodation options and bike trails.
If you are searching for some solitude and rest from the most popular urban highlights, you should direct your steps to Foldereid or Vennesund. Both offer tranquillity and plenty of local specialties that you just can’t miss while in Norway.
The charm of small Norwegian towns can be best experienced when arriving in Mosjøen, Mo i Rana, Fauske, or Bodo. Beautiful views of the surrounding nature, pristine forests, and plenty ideas for trekking and hillwalking are what you can expect from these settlements.
The northern part of Norway is characterised by intriguing old fishing villages, untouched natural wonders, and the Norwegian tundra. The quintessence of these features can be felt at every corner of such places as Narvik, Svolvær, or Moskenes.
You can delve a little deeper into the northern experience and pay a visit at such popular highlights as Tromsø, Skibotn, Alta, or Honningsvåg, Norway’s northernmost city. However, your trip around the northern region won’t be full without a visit at the North Cape, the jewel of Finnmark. The attraction is located above the barren Arctic Circle and the sun doesn’t set here for almost three months. Additionally, the cape is also home for thousands of charming puffins and cormorants.
One of the numerous opportunities to travel around Norway is to hire a car. It is possible in most of the major cities as well as at the international airports. The wide variety of interesting rental vehicles and insurance offers will surely cater to the needs of even the most demanding motorists. Even though in Norway you have to be 18 years old to have a driver’s licence, most of the car hire companies will require the motorists to be at least 21 years of age.
The state of Norwegian roads is pretty impeccable; however, due to the country’s topography, most of the roads are very winding and run uphill. This isn’t only an obstacle for the driver, but also for the vehicle itself. Try to remain cautious and vigilant at all times to avoid any dangerous road situations.
Toll roads in Norway are part of the road environment. The tolls are gathered through a special electronic system called Auto Pass. In order to avoid stopping at each toll gate, you can use a simple pre-paid system that will make everything easier. Sometimes you’ll be also asked to pay for entering certain cities, including Oslo, Trondheim, or Bergen. Toll gates are also located on the so-called “private roads” which often lead to valleys or mountain ranges. In such cases, it’s best to have some spare cash because you won’t be able to pay with your credit card.
Penalties for breaking traffic rules in Norway are very strict. Lack of hands-free set is a traffic offence and you can’t touch the screen of your mobile phone even when it is located in a special holder. Wearing seatbelts is compulsory for all passengers of the vehicle. What’s more, don’t even think about drinking and driving. The enforced limit of alcohol is 20 mg per 100 ml of blood. This means that even a larger drink can take you over the designated limit. The penalties when caught include an extremely large fine, removal of licence, and the possibility of imprisonment.
Documents that you’ll need while driving on Norwegian roads are: driver’s licence, liability insurance, ID or passport, registration document, and vehicle technical inspection certificate.
What’s more, due to the Norwegian approach to ecology, fuel is pretty expensive at all petrol stations.
You are allowed to drive at a speed of 100 km/h on motorways. In built-up areas, you have to drive at a speed of up to 50 km/h or sometimes even 30 km/h (for example, near schools or shops). In rural areas, the speed limit is 80 km/h and on expressways it is 90 km/h. So if you want to spare yourself any additional costs during your trip, it’s best to drive below the designated limits.
While driving around Norway, you need to carry at least one reflective vest and a warning triangle. It is also advisable to remember about a fire extinguisher, a first aid kit, a set of spare bulbs, a spare tyre, and a towline.