Best Norway Fjords Road Trip. Norwegian Itinerary
Fjords of Norway is the main attraction of the country. Hundreds of thousands of tourists come here to make a road trip through Norway, so did we.
We spent a great time in fjords and mountains and will definitely come there again!
If you’ve been dreaming of exploring Norwegian nature and hike in its mountains, you will find all necessary information on it. You will be surprised to know that the prices in Norway are not as high as everybody says, and it is possible to have a great time in the country on a budget. Find out, how!
Also, check these 50 tips to travel the world cheap!
What is a “fjord”?
Norwegian fjords is an incredible beauty of the water, surrounded by mountains. “Fjord” in Norwegian means «bay», and they are deep and long bays from the sea or ocean. In Norway, there is the longest and second deepest fjord in the world. It is called Sognefjord.
Video from our Norway Fjords Road Trip
Watch this cool video with great views of Norwegian fjords, mountains and waterfalls from our road trip, and then read fun stories from it!
Planning our Road Trip
Fjords of Norway, as well as the huge mountains and waterfalls, were the reason for us to fly to Haugesund. We planned to make this Norwegian experience the best hiking experience in our lives of the year.
On this trip, I did not do any planning at all. Everything was organized by my friends, while I was traveling to Stockholm, Warsaw and went to Minsk. I did not even know exactly, what awaits us and was even more pleasantly surprised by what we saw. All I wanted to do was sit back, relax, and enjoy the uncertainties of an unprepared traveler.
Also, check this road trip to Iceland
What is special about Norway
Norway is a country stretching for almost 2,000 kilometers, it is larger than Poland by area, but the population here is 5 million people, 8 times less. Most of the population lives in cities in the south and west of the country, but during our road trip through the central part of the country, we saw many houses near fjords and lakes.
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Most of the settlements that we passed were absolutely empty. These houses are probably country houses of people living in cities. We can relate to such a living setting as many people are transferring from rural to urban areas for greener pasture.
Useful information before making a road trip to Norway
Before making a road trip in Norway, you need to know some details. My friends spent a lot of time on forums, something we found out on the way.
General useful information about Norway:
- The currency is NOK, 1 Euro = about 10 NOK in May 2017.
- You will hardly find a currency exchange, as all the people in Norway use credit cards.
- You will hardly find a place to pay cash, as all the people in Norway use credit cards.
- Everybody in Norway speaks English, some also speak German.
- You can take a fishing rod at the tourist center for free and go fishing.
- You can legally put a tent at any place in Norway for 1 day.
- General prices are relatively high, but there are some really cheap products (probably financed by the government)
- Alcohol is very expensive, cheapest 0,3 beer in the supermarket is about 3 Euros, but there are lot’s of tasty non-alcoholic beers for below 1 Euro.
- You can drink tap water in Norway, it is very clean.
Check the list of road trip essentials not to forget anything.
It’s advisable to have careful planning to avoid surprises like we had experienced. While backpacking is fun, it can be challenging and uncomfortable when you’re unprepared.
Here is the information you need to know before a road trip in Norway:
- Renting cars is pretty expensive. We spent 250 Euros just for the 3-day rental of a VW Golf-class car.
- All along the way, you have ferries that are also expensive. Depending on the width of a fjord and the number of people in the car, a ferry can cost from 15 to 50 Euros. While transportation services are expensive, we still managed through and found ways to maximize our investment.
- The speed limit is very low almost everywhere, as many roads run along the fjords, so mostly you can ride just 50-60 km/h.
- Gasoline prices in Norway are also pretty high. In May 2017, they varied from 1.4 to 1.6 Euros per liter depending on the day and time. The cheapest gas station that we found was Uno with no employees at all.
- There are also toll roads in Norway. At the moment you exit the city borders, you usually have to pay a small fee of 2-3 Euros. When travelling in Norwegian fjords and mountains, you don’t pay too often for the roads.
Renting a car for our Norwegian road trip
In Norway, it is difficult to move without a car. There are buses between small towns, passing near the majestic Norwegian fjords, but they run very rarely. So, the first thing on arrival we rented a car. We had reserved 2 cars in 2 car rental companies so that knowing the final price we could decide which car to choose. Naturally, as it is usual in the car rental industry, the final price was higher than we were initially told. We were given a brand new Hyundai i30, with was fully equipped with a bunch of sensors, cameras and cool functions.
First point in our Norwegian road trip itinerary
Our first point was the town of Bergen. There we drove by car for almost 4 hours, although from Haugesund Airport the distance is quite small.
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On the way, we had to take a ferry through a very beautiful fjord, which for the Norwegians is nothing special, and we, open-mouthed, photographed this beauty.
Bergen is a former fishing town, which has preserved colorful wooden houses. In general, the town is very nice and fabulous. I’d love to come there to my granny for a vacation ? .
On the waterfront, there are people selling a variety of good-looking cooked seafood, though not the Norwegians, but the Spaniards and Asians. We had very little time, so these two hours only teased me. I will definitely return to this beautiful small town (although, second largest in Norway).
Gudvangen village and the largest fjord in Norway
Next, we went by car to the place of our overnight stay, the village of Gudvangen. In that place , there were more campings than houses where local people live. We stayed in one of the campsites.
It cost just 11 euros per person, but it was a small house with beds with wooden planks underneath, which constantly fell out, the toilet and shower were outside. We also had to pay for bed linen and shower, so the price of our stay increased to 17 euros, still mere pennies by Norwegian standards. The bed on the floor was, of course, assigned to me, the man who will sleep perfectly even on the floor.
Nearby was a beautiful fjord, one of the tributaries of the huge Sognefjord that I have already mentioned. Near it, there was a tourist center with a restaurant, a souvenir shop, a rental point for kayaks, as well as a pier where huge boats moored.
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In this picturesque place, we rented kayaks in the morning and swam for an hour between in the fjord between huge Norwegian mountains and waterfalls — an unforgettable impression.
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Picturesque view of a Norwegian fjord
Not far from our overnight stay, there was a panoramic point with an excellent view, where we went in the morning. Next to it was a toilet with a large panoramic window. You just want to go there even without a particular need. In what another toilet in the world can you make a picture with Norwegian mountains and a fjord on the background?
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Our next point was the Waterfalls Valley, at least it was called so by tourists. We knew very little about this place except for the name that the tourists gave it. We stopped at a parking lot near a waterfall, had a snack with a picturesque view, and went upstairs. It was a beautiful place that brings back childhood memories of the countryside life we used to love.
The first 15 minutes we walked along a sharp incline up along the pipe from the power plant. At the top, there was a small creek where you can swim, which is bounded by buoys, because a couple of meters away is a high waterfall.
Next, we found signs of a hiking trail and went along it. It turned out that we were in a national park. On the way, we had excellent views of the waterfalls from a huge height. Nature from the actual hiking experience is closer than you can imagine, giving us a rush of adrenaline as we get higher on top.
To our surprise, on the height it was very warm, about 18 degrees, only at the very top it was windy, and we had to put on our rain jackets. Unforgettable beauty that no photo will convey. You can always take selfie or group photos with the breathtaking background from the top of the snowy Norwegian mountains.
Next overnight stay
The next accommodation for the two of us was an Airbnb home (use this link to get 24 euros on Airbnb) at a Norwegian guy, but Yan and I were going to sleep in the car. As a result, the owner offered us a night’s lodging for only 10 euros per person, as it was already late, and there was a place for us. We gladly agreed. At our disposal was a whole house of 3 floors, where we managed to wash clothes and dry mountain boots in special dryers.
Early morning and back to our road trip
The next day, as well as during the whole trip, we woke up around six in the morning, when the orange sun was still rising. We watched the sun slowly rising from the sky while breathing fresh air, calming our bodies and minds as well as allow us to experience nature’s beauty. After a quick breakfast, we drove to the next stop of our road trip, Prekestolen, steep cliff above the Lysefjorden fjord.
Spectacular views of Norway fjords
During the whole road trip through Norway fjords, we were not in a hurry driving from point to point. Actually, it just wouldn’t work out, because for the entire trip we only once saw a limit of 90 km/h. All the rest of the time, we were driving at a speed of 50-60 km/h. We made sure we’re capturing every view and enjoying every moment watching the spectacular views.
But, we did not want to hurry, because the main beauty is not just individual points, but all of Norway, its numerous fjords, mountains, lakes and waterfalls. Therefore, we often stopped to better admire these unforgettable views. We took photos and savour the magnificent beauty of nature right in front of us.
Arriving at the Last Point of the Itinerary
Having passed a couple more Norway fjords on ferries, and once without paying? , we arrived at our last point of the road trip itinerary, the Prekestolen. There were much more tourists than in yesterday’s waterfalls valley, and the climbing was easier.
Along the way, there was also a lake where you can swim. It was hot, and we decided to jump into it on the way back. Climbing to the top, you just do not want to go back, it’s impossible to look away from this beauty of the Norwegian fjords from the height of the mountain.
There we stayed quite a while, and some people even pitched their tents near the top of the mountain.
We went down much faster to be on time at the place of stay of our friends. Along the way, there was also a ferry across the fjord, and we did not know how long it was running.
Cozy bed on the supermarket parking
Fortunately, we got there without any problems, dropped off the guys who stayed at a Chinese guy, and went to look for a place to sleep in the form of parking at a gas station or a supermarket. We found one quite quickly, and just as quickly went asleep. After a busy day with nature, it was a rejuvenating sleep indeed, living our lives to the fullest and balancing our positive and negative energies.
Unexpected Last Road Trip Stop
Not knowing exactly, how long it takes to get to the airport, as well as another ferry through the fjord, we left the town early, so we had more free time. We decided to spend this time visiting the town of Haugesund situated near the airport.
Haugesund on Sunday morning
Our departure was on Sunday morning so that there were almost no people in the city, Haugesund was absolutely empty, not a single store was open. Sometimes, in large and popular crowded touristic places you just want fewer people to enjoy your stay, but there was simply no one in Haugesund. It is even scary to walk in such an extinct city.
After that, we went to the gas station to return the car to the rental with a full tank, and after handing over the car, they just threw the keys to a special window, because there was not a single person there, and then went onboarding.
Ending of the Norway Road Trip
We were very lucky with the weather during the trip. But on the day of departure, it was very foggy at the airport, so our flight was almost cancelled. Hopefully, everything finished with a mere 1.5-hour delay.
That is how our Norway fjords road trip has passed. This, of course, was one of my best trips. I really liked the Norwegian fjords and nature in general, so I’ll definitely go back there to explore the country even better. Find out, how to spend 3 days in Stockholm on a budget!