Planning an Epic Norwegian Road Trip: The Complete Guide

Norway is a BIG country, and if you are going to see a lot of it in a relatively short time, you should do it by car. I love getting out on the open road whenever possible and living in Trondheim means we can go in any direction and have an amazing adventure.

If you don’t believe me about how beautiful this place is, check out my list of the 21 most beautiful places in Norway. And that’s only 21…

But if it’s your first time, planning the ultimate road trip in Norway can be daunting. There are several key steps to take to ensure a memorable and smooth experience, and this guide will help you get going.

 

Best Time to Visit

The best time for a road trip in Norway is from late spring to early autumn, specifically from May to August when the weather is favourable, and the days are long. This period offers the best conditions for driving and sightseeing, with most tourist routes and attractions open. However, July can be busy with domestic travellers, so advance bookings are recommended.

Planning the ultimate road trip in Norway: The route

A well-planned itinerary is crucial for a successful Norwegian road trip. The more time you have the better, of course, but I’ll be giving you ideas for shorter trips too later in the post.

Scenic Routes

The country is famous for its 18 Norwegian Scenic Routes, which are selected roads running through landscapes with unique natural qualities, offering breathtaking views of coasts, fjords, mountains, and waterfalls. These routes are a must-include in your road trip. Some of the most scenic routes to consider are the Atlantic Ocean Road, Trollstigen to Geiranger, and Route 13 from Stavanger to Odda.

These routes are designed to provide an enjoyable driving experience, with rest stops, viewpoints, and artworks along the way. Here are the 18 routes:

  1. Varanger
  2. Havøysund
  3. Senja
  4. Andøya
  5. Lofoten
  6. Helgelandskysten
  7. Atlanterhavsvegen (Atlantic Ocean Road)
  8. Geiranger-Trollstigen
  9. Gamle Strynefjellsvegen
  10. Rondane
  11. Sognefjellet
  12. Valdresflye
  13. Gaularfjellet
  14. Aurlandsfjellet
  15. Hardanger
  16. Ryfylke
  17. Jæren
  18. Hardangervidda

Each route offers a unique driving experience, with varying landscapes and attractions.

For example, the Atlantic Ocean Road (above) is renowned worldwide for its engineering masterpiece that elegantly connects the island of Averøy, while the Varanger route offers a taste of the far north with rich birdlife, history, and long summer nights lit by the midnight sun.

Packing and Preparation

Norway’s weather can be unpredictable, even in summer, so pack accordingly with layers and waterproof clothing. Ensure your vehicle is equipped for the journey, including necessary safety equipment. It’s also a good idea to familiarize yourself with local driving laws and regulations. A comprehensive guide to Norwegian road signs can be found later in this article.

Before You Start

  • Age and License Requirements: You must be at least 18 years old and possess a full valid driving license to drive in Norway.
  • International Driving Permit (IDP): If your license is not in English or you have a license from Gibraltar, Guernsey, Jersey, or the Isle of Man, you’ll need an IDP.
  • Vehicle Readiness: Ensure your vehicle is serviced, especially if you’re planning to drive through rural or mountainous areas. Carry a spare tyre and familiarize yourself with changing it.

Rules of the Road

  • Right-Hand Driving: Norway drives on the right-hand side of the road.
  • Seat Belts and Car Seats: Seat belts are mandatory for all occupants. Children under 36kg or 135cm must use a car seat.
  • Headlights and Visibility: It’s compulsory to have your headlights on at all times, regardless of the time of day. Carry a red warning triangle and at least one yellow fluorescent vest.
  • Speed Limits: Typically, speed limits are 80km/h on country roads, 50km/h in urban areas, and 110km/h on motorways. Be mindful of local signage for specific limits.
  • Alcohol Limit: The legal blood alcohol limit is 0.02%. Avoid driving under the influence as penalties are severe.
  • Winter Driving: Use winter tyres from November to the first Sunday after Easter. In snowy or icy conditions, vehicles with summer tyres must use snow chains.
  • Toll Roads: Norway has many automatic toll stations. All drivers, regardless of nationality, must pay Norwegian road tolls.
  • Navigation: Underestimate distances and driving times due to Norway’s length and terrain. Use reliable GPS navigation and always have a physical map as a backup.

Parking and Fuel

  • Parking: Pay attention to parking regulations and always purchase a parking ticket from the nearest machine to avoid fines.
  • Fuel Stations: The distance between petrol stations can be significant, especially in remote areas. Plan your refuelling stops accordingly.

Safety and Etiquette

  • Driving Style: Norwegian drivers are known for being disciplined and calm. Adopt a restrained driving style, especially in winter when roads can be slippery.
  • Emergency Preparedness: Always carry enough clothes and food, and be prepared to adjust your plans based on weather conditions, especially during winter.

Driving Tips

When driving in Norway, be prepared for narrow roads, frequent tolls, and unique tunnels. The legal blood alcohol limit is low, and you should be cautious of sheep on the roads. Use Google Maps for navigation but add extra time for slower driving and viewpoints.

Road works can cause delays, so factor this into your planning. Always have a contingency for unexpected detours or road closures.

Most Common Road Signs in Norway

When driving in Norway for the first time, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the common road signs to navigate safely and legally. Here’s a guide to the most frequently encountered types of road signs in Norway:

Warning Signs

Warning signs in Norway are designed to alert drivers of potential dangers ahead. They are often red or yellow and include signs for:

  • Accidents
  • Low-flying aircraft
  • Animals on the road (e.g., cattle, deer, moose)
  • Roundabouts
  • Bad road surfaces
  • Children
  • Uncontrolled crossroads
  • Curves
  • Falling rocks
  • Slippery road surfaces
  • Steep ascents or descents
  • Traffic lights
  • Traffic jams
  • Railroad crossings
  • Tunnels.

Priority Signs

Priority signs clarify who has priority at junctions or roads ahead. Understanding these signs is crucial, especially at roundabouts and intersections.

Prohibitory Signs

Prohibitory signs are mostly circular with a red border and indicate restrictions, such as:

  • No parking
  • No stopping
  • No passing
  • Speed limits These signs are used to restrict certain types of vehicles and manoeuvres, like prohibiting U-turns.

Mandatory Signs

Mandatory signs indicate required actions for drivers. They are not merely suggestions but must be followed. These signs can dictate directions or actions that must be taken, such as turning or proceeding in a specific language.

Information Signs

Information signs are the most frequently used road signs in Norway. They provide valuable information about road conditions, directions, and facilities.

Service Signs

Service signs indicate the availability of services like fuel stations, which are particularly important to note in remote areas where they may be sparse.

Direction Signs

Direction signs help drivers navigate towards destinations, indicating routes and directions to follow.

Supplementary Signs

Supplementary signs provide additional information about the primary sign they accompany, such as distance to an upcoming feature or specific conditions of a warning or prohibition.

Reflective and Illuminated Signs

In Norway, all signs are either partly or fully reflectorized or have their own night-time illumination to ensure visibility under all conditions.

Language and Symbols

Signs in Norway follow European conventions and are mostly pictorial. Any text included on supplementary signs will normally be in Norwegian, but in some areas, signs may also be in Sami, Finnish, or even include the Cyrillic script near the Russian border.

Sign Placement

No more than three signs (excluding road number indications) may be mounted on any one pole, with the most important sign appearing at the top.

By understanding these common road signs and their meanings, you can ensure a safer and more compliant driving experience in Norway. Remember to always pay attention to local signage as it may include specific instructions or warnings pertinent to the road conditions or traffic laws in the area.

Here’s some more, in case you haven’t had enough road signs:

 

Accommodation and Stops

Book accommodations in advance, especially during the peak summer months. Plan your stops to include not only natural attractions but also heritage-listed Norwegian towns and cities.

Take time to relax and enjoy the atmosphere in places like Bergen, Ålesund, and Tromsø – and especially my hometown of Trondheim. Hey, why not buy me a beer when you get here?

Sample Routes:

5-Day Itinerary

Day 1: Oslo

Begin your Norwegian adventure in Oslo, a city where modern architecture blends seamlessly with natural beauty. Start your day with a peaceful stroll through the Oslo Botanical Garden, a green oasis in the heart of the city, showcasing an impressive variety of native and exotic plants. Delve into Norway’s rich seafaring history at the Viking Ship Museum, home to well-preserved Viking ships and artefacts that tell tales of exploration and conquest. Continue your cultural exploration at the Norwegian Folk Museum, an open-air museum offering insight into Norway’s cultural heritage and daily life through the ages. Culminate your day by indulging in traditional Norwegian cuisine at a local restaurant, where dishes like kjøttkaker (Norwegian meatballs) provide a comforting end to your first day.

Day 2: Oslo to Flåm

Embark on a drive to Flåm, taking in the breathtaking landscapes that define Norway’s countryside. The journey itself is a highlight, with panoramic views of mountains, waterfalls, and valleys inviting frequent stops to admire the scenery. Upon arrival in Flåm, a visit to the Flåm Railway Museum offers insights into the construction of one of the steepest railways in the world. After soaking in the culture, head to Ægir BrewPub, a Viking-inspired establishment where you can sample local dishes accompanied by craft beers brewed on-site, providing a unique gastronomic experience in a setting that feels plucked from Norse mythology.

Day 3: Flåm to Bergen

Continue your journey to Bergen, starting with a ferry ride through the Sognefjord, Norway’s longest and deepest fjord. This natural marvel offers stunning views of sheer cliffs and serene waters, a memorable introduction to the fjord’s majestic beauty. In Bergen, immerse yourself in the city’s Hanseatic legacy at the Hanseatic Museum, located in one of the old trade houses on Bryggen. The museum provides a glimpse into the lives of medieval merchants. Seafood enthusiasts will relish the opportunity to visit the Bergen Fish Market, a bustling hub where you can enjoy fresh seafood, from king crab to salmon, in a lively waterfront setting.

Day 4: Bergen

Dedicate your fourth day to exploring Bergen, starting with a ride on the Fløibanen funicular to Mount Fløyen. The summit offers panoramic views of Bergen and is the perfect spot for a leisurely hike or simply enjoying the scenery. Descend to explore Bryggen, the city’s historic harbour district and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This area is famed for its colourful wooden houses and narrow alleyways, reflecting Bergen’s importance in the Hanseatic League. Culinary adventurers should try raspeballer, traditional potato dumplings, at a local eatery, offering a taste of authentic Norwegian comfort food.

Day 5: Bergen

On your final day, visit the Bergen Aquarium, where you can meet local marine life and exotic species, making it an enjoyable outing for all ages. Continue your exploration at the Bergenhus Fortress, one of Norway’s oldest and best-preserved fortifications, offering a dive into the country’s military history. For your farewell dinner, choose a local restaurant to enjoy dishes that encapsulate the spirit of Bergen, reflecting on your journey through Norway’s stunning landscapes, rich culture, and culinary delights.

7-Day Itinerary

Day 1: Oslo

Begin your Norwegian odyssey in Oslo, the country’s vibrant capital, where urban sophistication meets natural beauty. A visit to the Vigeland Sculpture Park, the world’s largest sculpture park by a single artist, offers an immersive experience in the world of Gustav Vigeland, amidst the tranquility of over 200 bronze and granite sculptures. Cultivate your appreciation for Norwegian art at the National Gallery, home to Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” among other national treasures. Culinary exploration starts with traditional Norwegian dishes at a local restaurant, where the likes of rakfisk (fermented fish) and pinnekjøtt (dried lamb ribs) introduce you to the authentic flavours of Norway.

Day 2: Oslo to Bergen

The journey from Oslo to Bergen unfolds through some of Norway’s most picturesque landscapes. En route, a stop in Flåm allows for a detour into the Aurlandsfjord, a branch of the majestic Sognefjord, showcasing the awe-inspiring beauty of Norwegian fjords. Upon arrival in Bergen, explore the historic Bryggen, a UNESCO World Heritage Site renowned for its colourful wooden houses and a testament to the city’s Hanseatic past. The day’s journey culminates at the Bergen Fish Market, where the bounty of the sea is on full display, offering a chance to savour fresh seafood in a vibrant, market atmosphere.

Day 3: Bergen to Ålesund

The drive from Bergen to Ålesund reveals the rugged coast of Norway, dotted with fjords and islands that epitomise the country’s wild, natural beauty. Ålesund, known for its distinctive Art Nouveau architecture, rises from the sea like a storybook illustration, its buildings adorned with ornate facades and turrets. The town’s affinity with the sea is celebrated in its culinary scene, with the local fish soup standing out as a must-try dish, blending the freshness of the catch with the warmth of traditional Norwegian cuisine.

Day 4: Atlantic Ocean Road and Åndalsnes

Embark on a drive along the Atlantic Ocean Road, an engineering marvel that hops from island to island, strung together by bridges over the North Atlantic. The road offers breathtaking views and an adrenaline-pumping proximity to the ocean. Continue to Åndalsnes, nestled at the foot of the Romsdal Alps. A visit to the Norwegian Scenic Route Geiranger-Trollstigen offers another perspective on Norway’s dramatic landscapes. The town of Åndalsnes, often referred to as the “Alpebyen ved fjorden” (the alpine town by the fjord), provides a cosy backdrop for enjoying local dishes, where fresh ingredients from the mountains and fjords meet.

Day 5: Trollstigen and Geiranger

The journey through Trollstigen presents one of Norway’s most dramatic and visited attractions, with a steep, winding road offering stunning views of mountainous terrain and waterfalls. The road leads to Geirangerfjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its profound natural beauty, deep blue waters, and towering cliffs. The Norwegian Fjord Centre in Geiranger offers insights into the natural and cultural history of this majestic fjord. Culinary pursuits in Geiranger focus on local dishes that are as breathtaking as the views, with ingredients sourced from the surrounding landscapes.

Day 6: Oppstrynsvatnet, Loen, Lovatnet

Explore the serene beauty of Oppstrynsvatnet and Lovatnet, two lakes known for their crystal-clear waters and stunning mountain backdrops. The area around these lakes offers peaceful nature experiences, from kayaking to simply soaking in the views. The village of Loen serves as a gateway to these natural wonders, with a strong sense of local culture and hospitality. Dining in Loen, or around the lakes, promises a continuation of the journey through Norway’s culinary landscape, where local dishes are prepared with a simplicity that belies their depth of flavour.

Day 7: Hemsedal and back to Oslo

Conclude your road trip with a visit to Hemsedal, a premier mountain destination known for its alpine beauty and outdoor activities. Hemsedal offers a chance to immerse in the mountain culture of Norway, with opportunities for hiking and fishing in the summer. The return to Oslo for a farewell dinner allows for reflection on the journey, celebrating the end of an incredible road trip with a meal that encapsulates the best of Norwegian cuisine, setting the scene for future adventures in this beautiful country.

10-Day Itinerary

Days 1-2: Bergen

Begin your journey in Bergen, nestled among seven hills and seven fjords, offering an enchanting blend of nature, culture, and cuisine. The surrounding mountains, such as Fløyen or Ulriken, provide easily accessible trails leading to panoramic views of the city and beyond. A stroll through Bryggen, the vibrant historic harbor district, reveals colorful wooden houses and narrow alleyways that speak of Bergen’s Hanseatic legacy, now protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Culinary exploration starts with local delights, where Norwegian cinnamon buns or raspeballer offer a taste of traditional comfort food, perfectly capturing the essence of Bergen’s hospitality.

Days 3-4: Odda and Trolltunga

Next, venture to Odda, the gateway to the awe-inspiring Trolltunga, one of Norway’s most iconic natural landmarks. The hike to Trolltunga is a challenging yet rewarding journey, unveiling breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and the clear blue waters of Ringedalsvatnet below. This adventure offers not only a communion with nature but also an insight into the region’s geological and cultural significance. After the hike, reward yourself with a picnic featuring local cheeses and cured meats, celebrating the triumph with a feast amidst the unparalleled beauty of the Norwegian wilderness.

Days 5-6: Geiranger

Continue to Geiranger, home to the majestic Geirangerfjord, another jewel in Norway’s crown of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The fjord’s dramatic cliffs, cascading waterfalls, and deep blue waters epitomize the unparalleled beauty of Norway’s natural landscape. Delve into the area’s fascinating geology and history at the Norwegian Fjord Centre, enhancing your appreciation for this natural wonder. Dining in Geiranger means indulging in fresh seafood dishes at local restaurants, where the breathtaking views of the fjord add an unforgettable backdrop to every meal.

Days 7-8: Trollstigen and Ålesund

The journey leads you to Trollstigen, a marvel of engineering with its 11 hairpin turns snaking through steep mountains, offering awe-inspiring vistas at every turn. This route is an adventure in itself, connecting you with the raw beauty of Norway’s landscape. Arriving in Ålesund, you’re greeted by an architectural wonderland, with the town’s Art Nouveau buildings telling the story of its reconstruction following a devastating fire in 1904. Ålesund’s culinary scene is highlighted by its famous fish soup, a must-try delicacy that reflects the town’s rich maritime heritage.

Day 9: Atlantic Ocean Road

Experience the Atlantic Ocean Road, a breathtaking drive that stretches across archipelagos, linking islands with bridges that arc over the North Atlantic. This road is not just a feat of modern engineering but a journey through stunning coastal scenery, with numerous spots to learn about the road’s construction and the local marine life. The day’s exploration is complemented by dining on fresh fish dishes, embodying the fresh flavors of the Atlantic, a testament to Norway’s bountiful seas.

Day 10: Trondheim

Conclude your journey in Trondheim, a city where past and present converge amidst parks, rivers, and historic architecture. Walking around the city, the Nidarosdomen Cathedral stands as a monumental link to Trondheim’s Viking past, while the old town bridge offers picturesque views of the river. Culinary adventures in Trondheim find a perfect ending at Bakklandet Skydsstation, where traditional Norwegian cuisine provides a warm farewell to your 10-day exploration of Norway’s unforgettable landscapes, rich history, and delectable food.

14-Day Itinerary

Days 1-2: Oslo

Begin your Norwegian adventure in Oslo, the dynamic capital where history and modernity coexist harmoniously. The city is a treasure trove of cultural highlights, including the Viking Ship Museum, showcasing impeccably preserved Viking ships, and the Norwegian Open-Air Folk Museum, offering a glimpse into Norway’s past with over 150 historic buildings. Architectural enthusiasts will enjoy the Havnepromenaden, a sprawling waterfront park that presents a modern face of Oslo with its innovative design. Culinary exploration in Oslo introduces you to New Nordic cuisine, a celebration of local, seasonal ingredients presented with contemporary flair.

Days 3-4: Oslo to Balestrand via Road

Leaving Oslo behind, embark on a captivating drive to Balestrand, navigating the heart of Norway’s scenic wonders. This leg of the journey takes you through a series of landscapes that showcase the country’s diverse natural beauty. The drive includes passing through the charming villages and majestic mountains that Norway is famed for, offering ample opportunities for stops along the way to appreciate the breathtaking views and perhaps enjoy a short hike or a picnic in one of the many scenic spots.

As you approach the Sognefjord, prepare for the awe-inspiring sight of Norway’s longest and deepest fjord. The route to Balestrand, situated on the northern shore of the Sognefjord, offers a direct interaction with the fjord’s grandeur, presenting panoramic views that are both serene and dramatic. Upon reaching Balestrand, you’ll find yourself in a picturesque village that embodies the tranquility and beauty of the Sognefjord area. Balestrand serves as an excellent base for further exploration or a peaceful retreat to relax and take in the views.

Day 5: Balestrand to Bergen

Embark on a fjord cruise to Fjærland, where glaciers and fjords meet, before catching a ferry to Bergen. This leg of the journey provides a spectacular introduction to Norway’s dramatic landscapes, from towering cliffs to deep, blue waters. Bergen, known as the gateway to the fjords, welcomes travelers with its historic charm, vibrant waterfront, and bustling fish market.

Days 6-7: Bergen to Tromsø

After exploring Bergen’s cobblestone streets and historic Bryggen district, catch a flight to Tromsø, the gateway to the Arctic. This northern city offers unique experiences, from the midnight sun in summer to the northern lights in winter. Tromsø’s cultural scene is vibrant, with museums, galleries, and the iconic Arctic Cathedral offering insights into life above the Arctic Circle.

Days 8-9: Tromsø to Senja

Drive from Tromsø to Senja, Norway’s second-largest island, known for its stunning natural diversity, from jagged peaks to serene beaches. Spend two days exploring Senja’s landscapes, hiking its trails, or simply enjoying the tranquility of this less-traveled destination. Senja encapsulates the wild beauty of Norway’s northern reaches, making it a highlight of any itinerary.

Day 10: Senja to Andenes

Take a ferry from Senja to Andenes on the island of Andøya. Known for its historic lighthouse and as a premier location for whale watching, Andenes offers visitors the chance to encounter marine life up close, with several tours operating in the area. The village’s coastal setting and natural beauty make it a memorable stop on your journey through Norway.

Day 11: Andenes to Tromsø

Return to Tromsø to delve deeper into the city’s offerings. Spend the day exploring more of Tromsø’s attractions, including the Polaria aquarium and the Fjellheisen cable car, which provides stunning views of the city and surrounding landscapes. Tromsø’s vibrant culinary scene, with a focus on Arctic ingredients, offers a fitting farewell to the northern part of your journey.

Days 12-13: Tromsø to Oslo

Fly back to Oslo for the final leg of your trip, spending two days with a local guide to uncover the city’s hidden gems. From contemporary art installations to cozy cafes tucked away in quiet neighborhoods, these days allow for a deeper connection with Oslo’s unique character and culture.

Day 14: Departure

Depart from Oslo, carrying with you memories of fjords and mountains, historic sites, and modern wonders, a rich tapestry of experiences that define Norway’s allure.

Places to try local specialities on your road trip – without the tourists (well, maybe)

Here are some off-the-beaten-track places to stop on your road trip in Norway for local food and drinks:

  1. Stadtlandet and Vågsøy, Fjord Norway: This area is a paradise for surfers and also offers opportunities for kayaking. The local cuisine has improved a lot in recent years, benefiting from fresh, natural ingredients.
  2. Rjukan: This town is part of a cultural heritage itinerary. While there, you might want to explore local food options.
  3. Stalheim Hotel, Naeroydalen Valley: On your way to Flam, consider stopping at Stalheim Hotel for views of Naeroydalen Valley from the rear patio. You can order a drink from the restaurant here and soak in the views.
  4. Trondheim: Embark on a week-long road trip in and around Trondheim – the European City of Gastronomy and the heart of Norway’s food region. Experience daily culinary experiences; tastings and lectures on biodynamic farming, microbrews, high-quality local food, food foraging, sustainable food production, and the history of Norwegian food heritage.
  5. Oslo: Hitchhiker has been voted the best street food in Oslo for the past 3 years and offers an eclectic 7-course tasting menu. Grünerløkka, a charming former working-class area in Oslo, is now a trendy neighbourhood with coffee shops, restaurants, and shops along the Akerselva River.
  6. Ett Bord, Oslo: Enjoy sharing-sized plates of delicious, organic, locally sourced Norwegian specialities at Ett Bord. The menu changes constantly based on whatever’s available that week from local farms and hunters.
  7. Himkok, Oslo: Toast your last night in Norway by visiting one of the best bars in the world, Himkok. Try the house-distilled aquavit, honey mead, or any of their amazing cocktails.
  8. Lofoten: This area is considered one of the most beautiful drives in Norway. While there, you can alternate between grocery store meals and local restaurants to experience a variety of Norwegian cuisine.
  9. Røros area: One of the first places in Norway to embrace the power of local food, the Røros area now has nearly 30 food producers offering a variety of local delicacies.
  10. Kalvåg: You can visit Kalvåg, along with Florø – the westernmost town in Norway – using Bergen as your base. This area is known for its local cuisine and beautiful views.

When visiting Norway, you have the opportunity to explore a rich culinary landscape that reflects the country’s geography, climate, and culture. Here are some traditional Norwegian foods and drinks you should consider trying:

Norwegian delights you have to try (at least once)

  1. Røkelaks (Smoked Salmon): Norway is renowned for its high-quality salmon. Røkelaks is delicately smoked and often served thinly sliced, making it a must-try for seafood enthusiasts.
  2. Tørrfisk (Dried Cod): A staple of Norwegian cuisine, dried cod has a unique flavour and texture. It’s traditionally prepared in many ways, including as part of the dish bacalao.
  3. Brunost (Brown Cheese): This uniquely Norwegian cheese has a sweet, caramel-like taste due to the way it’s made from the whey of goat’s milk, then boiled until it caramelizes. It’s often sliced thin and eaten on bread.
  4. Fårikål (Mutton and Cabbage): Considered Norway’s national dish, Fårikål is a simple, hearty stew made with mutton, cabbage, whole black peppercorns, and a little flour for thickening.
  5. Lapskaus: A traditional Norwegian stew that can be found in several variations, including brown (brun) and thick (tykk). It’s made with meat (often beef or lamb), potatoes, and various vegetables.
  6. Reindeer Meat: Reindeer is a common ingredient in the northern parts of Norway and is served in various forms, including steaks, sausages, and dried meat. It’s known for its lean, gamey flavour.
  7. Kjøttkaker: Norwegian meatballs, often served with potatoes, peas, and gravy. They are similar to Swedish meatballs but usually larger and less spiced.

Drinks

  1. Aquavit: A distilled spirit that is a staple of Norwegian drinking culture. It’s flavoured with herbs such as caraway or dill and is often consumed during festive occasions like Christmas and weddings.
  2. Cider: Norway has a growing cider production, particularly in the Hardanger region. Norwegian ciders can range from sweet to very dry and are made using local apple varieties.
  3. Coffee: Norwegians are among the world’s top coffee consumers. Coffee in Norway is typically served black and enjoyed throughout the day. Visiting a local café to experience the coffee culture is highly recommended.

Desserts and Snacks

  1. Vafler (Waffles): Norwegian waffles are heart-shaped, soft, and often served with sour cream and jam or brunost. They’re a common treat at cafes and home gatherings.
  2. Lefse: A traditional Norwegian flatbread, usually made from potatoes. It’s rolled thin and often spread with butter, sugar, and cinnamon, or filled with savoury ingredients.
  3. Rakfisk: Fermented fish, traditionally trout or char, which has been salted and left to ferment for several months. It’s a delicacy with a strong flavour, often served with flatbread, sour cream, and onions.

Exploring Norway’s culinary traditions offers a window into the country’s culture and history. From the seafood-rich dishes that reflect Norway’s extensive coastline to the hearty meals designed to warm you during the cold winters, there’s a wide range of flavours and ingredients to discover.

Local beer! (When you have finished driving for the day, obviously)

Norway has a vibrant beer scene with a variety of breweries producing a wide range of beer styles. Here are some popular Norwegian beers you might want to try:

  1. Ringnes Pilsner: Ringnes is one of the largest and oldest beer brands in Norway, known for its pilsner.
  2. Austmann Bryggeri Classic IPA: This is a classic IPA with piney notes, floral, tropical fruits, and citrus hints.
  3. Hansa Pilsner: Another popular pilsner from Norway, produced by Hansa Bryggeri.
  4. Nøgne Ø Porter: This is a well-regarded porter from Nøgne Ø, a leading craft brewery in Norway.
  5. Berentsens Brygghus Rogalandspils: A popular beer from Berentsens Brygghus, a brewery located in Egersund.
  6. Lervig Aktiebryggeri’s beers: Lervig Aktiebryggeri is a well-known microbrewery in Norway. Some of their top-rated beers include “Paragon 2019”, an English Barleywine, and “Sippin’ Into Darkness (Barrel Aged)”, a stout.
  7. Amundsen Bryggeri’s beers: Amundsen Bryggeri is another notable microbrewery. Their “Dessert In A Can” series, which includes flavours like “Chocolate Peanut Butter Caramel Brownie” and “Coconut Choc Chip Cookie”, are highly rated.
  8. Geiranger Bryggeri’s beers: Geiranger Bryggeri offers a small selection of beers distributed throughout the country. The Sølfest brown ale and Helvetesjølet Belgian dark beer are popular choices.
  9. Aass Bock: A traditional bock beer from Aass Brewery, one of the oldest breweries in Norway.

Remember, the best beer is often a matter of personal preference, so don’t be afraid to try a variety and find your own favourite on your road trip in Norway.

Enjoying the Journey

Remember, driving in Norway is as much about the journey as the destination. The country’s natural beauty is best experienced at a leisurely pace, with frequent stops to admire the views and explore the surroundings. Be flexible and allow for spontaneous detours to fully embrace the Norwegian driving experience.

By adhering to these guidelines and preparing adequately, your first road trip in Norway can be both safe and immensely rewarding. Enjoy the stunning landscapes and unique driving conditions that make Norway a fantastic country to explore by car.

Off you go then!

By following these guidelines, you can plan the ultimate road trip in Norway that balances sightseeing, driving, and relaxation. With careful preparation and an adventurous spirit, your first visit to Norway will be an unforgettable adventure. See you when you get here!

Andy Higgs
Andy Higgs

I know what it's like to go from being a crazy backpacker without a care in the world, via being a vaguely sensible parent to being an adventurer once more. In other words, evolving into a Grown-up Traveller.

Like everyone else, I love to travel, have visited a lot of countries and all that but my big thing is Africa.

I also own and run The Grown-up Travel Company as a travel designer creating personalised African itineraries for experienced adventurers

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