Ahhh Norway, one of my favorite places on earth! This was my 4th visit to Norway, and my second in 6 months. I think it’s safe to safe I am absolutely obsessed with Norway. The natural beauty and outdoor activities on offer are hard to beat. The reason I’ve been back so many times is because everything I wanted to see and do is very spread out. Norway is a long, skinny country and everything is very far away away from each other.
So I decided to rent a car and do an epic 10 day Norway road trip. The one place that didn’t really make sense itinerary-wise was Trolltunga. But hell, it was at the top of my Norway bucket list and I was gonna do it in even if it required a ton of driving!
During my 10 day road trip, there were 2 days that required about 8-9 hours of driving. However, the scenery on the way was half the fun. Renting a car is the best way to explore this beautiful country and saves a lot of time and stress trying to use public transportation.
Driving in Norway
Driving in Norway was so much fun because I could stop anywhere I wanted and take in the view. I didn’t notice any aggressive driving there so it was pretty stress free overall. The only thing you need to keep an eye out is the one-way tunnels. There were only a few of them on my trip and they weren’t too bad (probably because I was used to them after all the one way tunnels in Lofoten islands and Faroe islands).
I rented a car from Sixt in Bergen and returned it to Trondheim. When booking your car, make sure you check the one-way fees because I saw some companies that charged $800 for the one way fee! Sixt charged $250 which was the cheapest I found.
I had also used Sixt before a few times and absolutely loved them. Their customer service is great and I never have to wait in any line when picking up the car. This was a godsend at LAX airport!
Also, I’ve gotten upgrades for free 3 out of the 5 times I’ve rented with them. They really are no hassle and the cars are always shiny and new. And no this is NOT sponsored and I’m not getting paid to say this! I just really like the company.
TIP: Get the smallest car possible for those single-lane roads and narrow driveways. You won’t be able to pass some places with a big car
VERY IMPORTANT TIP: A lot of the drives in Norway require a ferry crossing at some point. For this reason, you can’t plan to drive in the middle of the night because you might get stranded and never make it to your final destination until the next day. All the ferry times are different depending on the route, but when I was looking at the schedules it appeared that the last one was usually around 10pm or 10:30pm. You definitely need to keep this in mind when driving in Norway.
If you use Google Maps and put the address is, you will see if there is a ferry crossing or not on the route. Just look for the little ship symbol (below).
Extra Transport Costs
There are a bunch of automatic tolls (mostly when you go into a tunnel) that you will pass while driving in Norway. Check with your car company because I was told not to stop and pay and that they would be automatically added to my bill in the end (way easier). Otherwise, there is a pay station before or right after the tunnel.
I ended up paying $108 in tolls for my long 10 day journey (ouch). The good news is I got upgraded to a Hybrid car and the total for gas was just $105 for 10 days. And that’s with 2 days of 8+ hours of driving.
I also paid a total of $50 in ferry crossings as well (4 ferries total).
National Scenic Routes in Norway
There are 18 national scenic routes in Norway offering stunning scenery with several viewpoints to stop at and have photo shoot or a picnic. You will see glaciers, fjords, coastlines, stunning architecture, waterfalls, and more. These are some of the most gorgeous drives in all of Norway, so make sure to drive at least a few of them on your Norway road trip!
I drove on a few of them throughout my 10 day Norway road trip including Atlanterhavsvegan (the Atlantic Ocean Road),Sognefjellet (on the way to Geiranger), and Geiranger-Trollstigen.
The Sognefjellet passes through Jotunheimen National Park, with towering mountains and some glaciers as well, it was spectacular.
Norway 10 Day Itinerary
Day 1-2: Bergen
Day 3-4: Odda + Trolltunga hike
Day 5-6: Geiranger
Day 7-8: Trollstigen + Ålesund
Day 9-10: Atlantic Ocean Road +Trondheim
For all the best things to do in Bergen, I will redirect you to an article I wrote for Eurail HERE.
Where to stay in Bergen
More affordable: I stayed in an Airbnb that was a 15 minute walk to town. It was on top of a hill so the walk had beautiful views most of the way. It was a 2 bedroom apartment on the bottom of the host’s house. It doesn’t have a kitchen or stove but it does have a fridge so you can make sandwiches and such. It was super cute and the host was super warm and welcoming. She even leaves a mug of hot coffee outside your door in the morning. It was only $48/night and for the price, it can’t be beat in Norway! It can sleep 3 people. You can check the listing HERE.
*PS: I was supposed to be on this trip with 2 other friends but they cancelled last minute so I had 2 bedroom places the whole trip because of this…not because I’m ballin’ or anything haha.
More luxurious: on my first trip to Bergen I stayed at Hotel Oleana and LOVED it. You can read my review of the hotel HERE.
Drive from Bergen to Odda
Driving time: about 3 hours
Ferry crossing: there is a ferry crossing from Tørvikbygd to Jondal to get to Odda . It costs 53 NOK ($6) and takes about 20 minutes. (The ferry leaves about every hour). You can pay by credit card. They will come to your car with a card machine while you’re in line and it’s a super easy process. FYI: I didn’t need cash at all on this entire trip!
Odda is a gorgeous little town set in a fjord and is sort of like the gateway to Trolltunga. This is where you will want to look for accommodations if you plan on doing the Trolltunga hike.
Where to Stay in Odda
Airbnb: I stayed in a 2 bedroom apartment on the top of my host’s house that had the BEST views of the whole city in my opinion! The stairs to get up there were brutal and extra steep, but that’s the small price to pay for incredible views like that. There were sweet views from the main bedroom, the living room, and the kitchen.
The host was just incredible and like your mother greeting you with a big hug like you know each other. She even came and helped me with all my bags up those evil steps. She also brings up a basket of hiking gear that you can borrow like wool sweaters, hats, gloves and gives great tips about the hike and where to park/when to go, etc.
It was also one of the most affordable place to stay in all of Norway at $78/night for an entire 2 bedroom apartment. You can check out the listing HERE. You can also use my $40 OFF coupon here if you’re new to Airbnb.
Trolltunga is definitely one of the best hikes in Norway and the longest hike I have ever completed. My body was sore for days afterwards and I could barely even walk, but it was definitely worth it!
Tips for Hiking Trolltunga
- Parking costs are RIDICULOUS so the more people in your car the cheaper it will be
- Trolltunga upper parking only holds 30 cars and opens at 6am. Get there by 5:30am. I arrived at 5:33am on September 4th (end of peak season) and was number 14 in line. It cost is 600 NOK ($72). The cost to park at the bottom lot is 500NOK ($58) so not much difference.
- Parking at the upper lot will takes off 3 KM each way of your hike so it’s totally worth it. It turns a 28km hike into a 22km hike.
- The entire hike is on uneven rocks the whole time. There are no bathrooms or trash cans. There are also no bushes or trees to hide behind so if your bladder is weak, you’re going to have to get creative for your privacy. (I held mine for 12 hours like a champ).
- The hike will take you 8-12 hours round trip, including a break for lunch and waiting in line for pictures. (I heard some people who completed it in 6 hours total, but they must be VERY fast hikers…it took me 11 hours, but I am on the slower side as I had a partially torn ACL on the hike!).
- Start the hike as early as possible so you won’t have to wait in the LONG line for pictures on the Troll’s Tongue (Trolltunga). You also don’t want to be hiking back in the dark.
- If you get in line for the picture before noon you won’t have to wait long for your picture. I heard that in the peak summer months it can take up to 3 hours to wait for your picture (Sucky!)
- Just below Trolltunga on the left is a mini Trolltunga with a spectacular view. You won’t have to wait long for your picture there. You do have to climb down on some slippery rocks so just go slow.
- The hike is super safe and can be done solo with no problem. There are many people on the trail so you’re never alone. There is no dangerous wildlife either.
Sunrise on the start of the Trolltunga hike.
Drive from Odda to Geiranger
Driving Time: 8-9 hours. This is the longest drive of this whole trip but you can stop at many places for a picnic or for photo ops. You will pass though a windy road through Icelandic landscape and even a glacier.
Drive through Jotunheimen National Park via Sognefjellet, home to Norway’s highest mountains (see National Tourist Routes above) to get to Geiranger. This road was absolutely breathtaking and the time passed so quickly driving through here. Although, in reality it took me forever since I kept stopping every 2 feet for photos.
There was a small fee for driving this road but it was SO worth it. It cost 80 NOK($10).
Stop at Lom Stave Church on the way to admire the beautiful traditional Norwegian architecture (and also to stretch your legs).
Geiranger is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and I think it’s one of the most beautiful places in all of Norway.
What to Do in Geiranger
Flydalsjuvet viewpoint and rock-to get to the rock you have to step over a 1 foot mini fence behind the men’s bathroom. Then walk straight down the path that curves to the right. It takes 1 minute from the bathroom. It’s roped off because it’s dangerous so please don’t bring your children or dogs out there. Also, make sure you’re not wearing sandals or unsturdy shoes. There are no rails or anything and the drop is several hundred feet. BE CAREFUL!
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Norway leaving me speechless again 🇳🇴. I might like this view more than Trolltunga and it only requires a one minute hike 😋. It’s hard to find though and the tourism board doesn’t tell you where it is because apparently there have been some accidents here. So they built a little one foot fence to “block” off the area 😂. So yeah, that didn’t stop me from seeing it for myself. But in all seriousness, there are no barriers to this few hundred foot drop so please be careful and wear sturdy shoes. Your life is not worth a photo ✌🏼#flydalsjuvet #geiranger #geirangerfjord #visitnorway #adventuregirls #choosemountains #natureonly #norwaynature
Fjordsetet (the Fjord Seat)-be the queen of the fjord and admire the vast beauty of Norway from this epic seat at the top of the lookout point.
Hike-there are many hikes around Geiranger ranging from 30 minutes to multiple hours. I didn’t attempt any hiking as it was raining most the time, and also because I could barely move from Trolltunga.
There are fjord cruises on offer that will take you around the fjords for 90 minutes. The cost is 350NOK ($41) and it leaves 3 times a day.
Fjordnaer Geiranger Sjokolade-this place is heaven for chocolate lovers. This cozy little cafe does chocolate tastings with unique flavors such as blue cheese chocolate and fresh berry chocolates (It sounds weird, but it’s so good).
They also offer a famous hot chocolate with white, dark, milk, or chili chocolate flavors. Oh, and maybe my favorite, coffee chocolate! My mouth is watering just reminiscing about this place.
Ørnesvingen Eagle road-on your way out of Geiranger, take the Eagle Road up the mountain to a gorgeous viewpoint over the fjord and valley. It’s on the 63 road on the way to Trollstigen.
Where to Stay in Geiranger
I stayed in a cute little 2 bedroom cabin apartment at the top of the hill with a magnificent view of the valley below. The views form the restaurant were mind blowing (pictured below).
A lot of the hikes start right from the accommodation so it’s an excellent place to base yourself. It’s so peaceful and quiet up there and I would definitely recommend it.
Drive from Geiranger to Trollstigen
It takes 2 hours to get from Geiranger to Trollstigen on Road 63. The drive from Geiranger to Trollstigen is a national tourist route, as mentioned above.
Ferry Crossing: there is a ferry crossing from Geirangervegen to Trollstigen at Eidsal. It takes 10 minutes and costs 98 NOK ($12).
Trollstigen is known as “The Trolls Road” and is probably the most famous National Tourist Route that you can drive in Norway.
Trollstigen is a famous windy road carved into the mountain that consists of 11 hairpin turns going steeply up the mountain with the gorgeous Romsdal Valley below.
The turns are so sharp at some points that I had to honk because I couldn’t see around the corner. It sounds scary, but if you drive slow, it’s more fun than anything. You’ll also pass some beautiful cascading waterfalls on your way down as well.
NOTE: Trollstigen is usually closed from October/November to mid May due to snow so make sure you plan accordingly (the dates may vary, but you can check the status here on the official page of the Norwegian Scenic Routes.
Drive from Trollstigen to Ålesund
It takes 2 hours to drive from Trollstigen to Ålesund.
A fire in the early 1900s basically burned Ålesund to the ground and they rebuilt it in the art nouveau style. That’s why it looks different than any other city in Norway. It looks like the old town of a Central European city.
What to Do in Ålesund
Hike up to Aksla viewpoint (Aka Fjellstua), a mere 418 steps to the top. There is a cafe with an awesome view at the top where I sipped cappuccino and had a lovely GF pastry.
The Ålesund harbor is a nice place to grab a drink and people watch.
Kayak-there are kayaks available to rent to take around the harbor if it’s a nice sunny day.
Ålesund can easily be done in one day (or even a day trip from somewhere else), but it was a nice place to relax and unwind after all the driving I had been doing.
Where to Stay in Ålesund
I stayed in a 2 bedroom penthouse apartment with the most amazing views of the city throughout the whole penthouse. It was right in the center of town so it was nice to just walk outside and be around all the restaurants, attractions, and shops. It was also only a few minutes from the walk up to the viewpoint.
Where to book: My 2 bedroom Airbnb was $200/night and could fit 4 people. This was in September so it might be a little more during peak season. You can check the listing HERE.
Drive from Ålesund to Atlantic Ocean Road
It takes a little less than 3 hours to get from Ålesund to the Atlantic Ocean Road.
Ferry Crossing: You must take a ferry from Vestnes to Molde. It costs 152 NOK ($18) and takes about 40 minutes. (The ferry runs about every 45 minutes).
Atlantic Ocean Road
The Atlantic Ocean Road is an epic windy road connected by peninsulas in northern Norway. The road goes over the powerful ocean and on stormy days the waves come crashing onto the road. Google pictures of it, it’s quite scary looking!
The Atlantic Ocean Toad takes less than 10 minutes to drive and has many stop-off places to park and take pictures. There is a little visitor center with a cafe and toilets. They also built a 360 degree walkway that you can walk full around and see both sides of the road.
Ferry Crossing: from the Atlantic Ocean road to Trondheim takes about 3.5-4 hours and requires a ferry crossing from Halsa to Kanestraum. It costs 106 NOK ($12.50) and takes about 20 minutes. (The ferry runs about every 20 minutes).
Trondheim was founded by the Vikings in 997 and used to be the Viking capital of Norway until 1217. Trondheim is a super colorful town that has lots of things to do so don’t overlook this awesome city. It really surprised me!
What to Do in Trondheim
Go to the old town bridge for the best views of the colorful buildings against the water. The old wooden buildings used to be housing for the working class. They have been beautifully preserved and now house cute cafes, shops, and restaurants.
Walk through Bakklandet area for the cutest little neighborhood and cafes. This was my favorite area of the city and I could have gone cafe hopping all day.
Walk up to the Kristiansten Fortress for great views over the city. There were many picnic tables and people jogging and working out up there.
Go to the famous Bakklandet Skydsstation for fish soup (and GF bread). This is a traditional little restaurant with a homey feel inside.
Where to Stay in Trondheim
I stayed in a 2-bedroom apartment that was about a 15 minute walk to the main part of town. The tram was also right outside so it was very convenient to get around. It was super spacious and cost $120/night and fit 4 people. You can check the listing HERE.
Travel Insurance for Your Norway Road Trip
My go to travel insurance is World Nomads. I’ve been using them for 4.5 years now and I love them. I have had to file 3 claims so far and I got fully reimbursed for all of them with no hassle. It’s not the cheapest on the market, but they have some of the highest coverage of any travel insurance. For this reason, I will continue to use them!
How to Get World Nomads for Your Next Trip
If you want an idea of how much travel insurance is going to cost, you can get a quick quote below:
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