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A 15-Day Nature Trip in Norway: From Southern Andalsnes to Stavanger and Kristiansand

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Norway, with its dramatic mountains and abundant water, unspoiled wilderness and extraordinary natural wonders, is one of the world’s most beautiful places – and a paradise for nature lovers. The optimal way to fully experience Norway’s splendor is by taking a road trip. Navigate the winding roads, traverse numerous fjords with ferries, and take the time to pause and relish the breathtaking views. Explore the charm of small, welcoming towns, embark on hikes through stunning mountains, waterfalls, or along river trails, and delve into the local culture and history.

Popular itinerary for a Nature Trip in Norway:

This 15-day trip starts and ends at Oslo International Airport.

Day 1: Oslo

Oslo, Norway’s capital and largest city, is the country’s political and economic center and the seat of the royal family. The city’s main attractions are concentrated in the city center. Begin with a stroll along the renowned Karl Johans Street, starting from the Norwegian Parliament (Stortinget) to the Royal Palace. En route, you’ll pass the Oslo City Hall (Rådhuset) where the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony takes place. The national theater and Oslo University’s main building, built in neo-classical style, are located in close proximity to the palace.

Continue your walk to Aker Brygge, the old port now bustling with restaurants and eateries. From here, consider taking a boat trip to Bygdøy, the island museum, to explore some of Norway’s most outstanding museums:

The Kon-Tiki Museum narrates the adventures of Thor Heyerdahl and his Pacific Ocean explorations aboard the Kon-Tiki raft.

The Fram Museum is dedicated to Polar expeditions.

The Norwegian Folk Museum showcases daily life and living conditions in Norway from the 16th century to the present.

Spend the night in Oslo.

Day 2: Oslo, continued

Be sure not to miss Oslo’s Vigeland Park dedicated to the sculptures and works of Norway’s most famous sculptor, Gustav Vigeland. Housing over 200 sculptures crafted from bronze, granite, and iron, the park is a captivating display of artistic mastery.

Continue on to the Holmenkollen Ski jump. The ski jump was built over a century ago and hosted the winter Olympics and many international ski championships. It offers visitors a range of activities such as a ski simulator, a zip line, and the ski museum as well as great views over the city of Oslo and the Oslo Fjord. The ski jump is surrounded by many walking trails, making it a great starting point for hiking in the area.

Holmenkollen Ski jump, Oslo

In the evening, visit the modern opera house on the shores of Oslo Fjord, stroll along the shore, and dine in one of the city’s many restaurants.

Spend the night in Oslo.

Day 3: Lillehammer

Today’s journey takes you northward to Lillehammer. Nestled in the heart of Norway, Lillehammer is a charming ski resort town surrounded by the untamed beauty of lakes, rivers, and mountains covered with forests. The main attraction in Lillehammer is Maihaugen, an open-air museum providing a glimpse into Norwegian town life dating back to 1900. It features displays of houses and structures from diverse regions across Norway, along with traditional crafts and cultural landscapes of mountain farms.

Garmo Stave Church at Maihaugen Open-Air Museum, Lillehammer

Around Lillehammer, adventure awaits with opportunities for kayaking, hiking, and cycling. For details on trails and rental points, visit the Lillehammer Tourist Office.

Spend the night in Lillehammer.

Day 4: Heading to Andalsnes

Take a scenic drive to Åndalsnes via Dombas, stopping for a coffee break in Dombas Senter where you’ll find a supermarket, restaurant, coffee shop, and a few souvenir shops.

Åndalsnes, known as the mountain capital, is located in western Norway at the point where the Rauma River meets the Romsdalsfjord.

One of the town’s attractions is the Rampestreken, a viewing platform situated 1762 feet above sea level, offering a panoramic view of the fjord and the surrounding mountains. A hiking trail from the center of Åndalsnes leads to the viewpoint, or you can opt to take the Romsdals gondola and hike downhill to the viewing ramp.

Spend the night in Åndalsnes.

Day 5: Hiking along the Romsdalseggen Ridge

If you enjoy hiking and are in good shape, consider a rewarding long hike along the Romsdalseggen Ridge. From the summit, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of Åndalsnes, the Trollveggen cliff, the Trolltinder peaks, and an expansive panorama stretching to Molde and the western ocean beyond Åndalsnes.

Spend the night in Åndalsnes.

Day 6: Heading South along the Fjord Region

Today’s route will start heading south along the Fjord Region. Drive the renowned Trollstigen, a winding road with 11 hairpin bends that ascend the mountainside. As you reach the end of the road, discover the Trollstigen Visitor Center, complete with a coffee shop and various viewing platforms.

Continue driving towards Geiranger, descending along the Eagle Road, another road with 11 hairpin turns, located at 2034 feet above sea level. Pause at the viewing platform to marvel at the stunning panoramic view of Geiranger village and Geiranger Fjord, often considered the most beautiful of all Fjords.

From Geiranger, you have two options to reach the hotel in Stryn: take a ferry to Hellesylt and drive to Stryn, or drive directly from Geiranger to Stryn. Although the ferry is the faster route, the road from Geiranger offers breathtaking views of mountains and fjords. Stop at the Flydalsjuvet viewpoint for a magnificent view of the village and fjord, then ascend to the Dalsnibba viewpoint at 4921 feet above sea level. The remainder of the journey takes you past beautiful mountain lakes, with several parking spaces providing tables and benches for a scenic picnic. As you approach the end of the tunnel, make a short detour, turning left onto the old military road, Gamle Strynefjellsvegen, and drive to the Videfossen viewpoint.

Spend the night in Stryn.

Day 7: Stryn

Stryn is nestled at the foot of Jostedalsbreen National Park, home to Jostedalsbreen, the last remaining ice cap in northern Europe. The national park features three gateways and visitor centers, offering a range of hiking trails and guided tours to explore the glacier. For a more accessible walk, consider visiting the Briksdal Glacier, a section of the larger Jostedal Glacier.

The Briksdal Glacier descends into the Briksdal Valley through a small lake and a series of waterfalls. You can easily reach the lake and view the glacier on foot or by a troll car from the parking lot. The 1.5 mile road provides an easy hike along waterfalls and unspoiled nature.

Spend the night in Flåm.

Day 8: Flåm

Flåm, a quaint village situated on the Nærøyfjord, a branch of the longest Sognefjord, is an ideal base for various activities in the area. The most popular among them is the Flåm Railway, renowned as the most scenic train trip. This 2-hour round trip takes you from Flåm to the Myrdal mountain station, perched at 2845 feet above sea level.

Flam, Norway

A short drive from Flåm brings you to Njardarheimr, a reconstructed Viking village offering an immersive experience of Viking life and history.

For those craving more awe-inspiring views, drive to the Stegastein viewpoint in Aurlandsvangen. Stegastein is a 98-foot platform extending from the mountainside at a height of 2133 feet above Nærøyfjord. In Flåm, there are also numerous opportunities for hiking, cycling, and kayaking along the fjord.

Spend the night in Flåm.

Day 9: Heading towards Bergen

Today’s route will be toward Bergen. Drive up to the Stalheim Hotel, situated at a historic point that served as an inn for countless travelers throughout Norway’s history. The hotel terrace offers a magnificent view, and there are also several hiking trails. An easily accessible trail leads to the Stalheim Fossen waterfall, beginning at the junction of the scenic Stalheimskleiva Road and the main Road E16.

En route to Bergen, make a stop at the Tvindefossen Waterfall and enjoy a lunch break in Voss.

Spend the night in Bergen.

Day 10: Bergen

Bergen, Norway’s second-largest city and the capital of the fjord region, blends culture, nature, and cuisine. Dedicate at least one full day to experience the city’s offerings. In Bergen, where frequent rainfall is characteristic, a sunny day is a stroke of luck!

Start the day with a ride on the Fløibanen funicular, ascending from the city center to Fløyen, where a panoramic platform provides stunning views of the city and fjord. Enjoy coffee and snacks on the panoramic terrace or choose a hiking trail of varying lengths and difficulty levels.

In the afternoon, savor lunch at the fish market and explore the galleries housed in the wooden buildings of Bryggen – the historic trade hub of the Hanseatic League’s trading empire, which linked Bergen with Europe during the Middle Ages.

Spend the night in Bergen.

Day 11: Trolltunga and Preikestolen

In South Norway, two of the most popular mountain hikes await: Trolltunga (the Troll’s Tongue) near Odda and Preikestolen (the Pulpit Rock) near Stavanger. The Trolltunga hike, which covers a challenging 14 miles and takes between 10 to 12 hours, requires a two-night stay in Odda. The hike to Preikestolen covers 5 miles and takes approximately 4 hours, with the starting point in Stavanger.

Trolltunga (the Troll’s Tongue), Norway

If you choose the Preikestolen hike, drive from Bergen to Stavanger along the coastal road, passing through small villages and farms, with two ferry crossings on the way. Upon arriving in Stavanger, explore Gamle Stavanger, the historic city center with its charming white-washed houses. Once a fishing village and later a center for canned preserved fish, Stavanger has evolved into a service hub for the petroleum industry. The Norwegian Petroleum Museum delves into Norway’s most critical industry today, offering insights into the nature of gas and oil and the operations required to extract them from the seabed in the North Sea.

Spend the night in Stavanger.

Day 12: Hiking in Preikestolen

Drive to the Preikestolen parking area and embark on the Preikestolen hike. On the way back to Stavanger, make a stop at the Sverd i Fjell monument (Swords in Rock) that commemorates King Harald Fairhair’s unification of Norway’s tribes under one crown in the 9th century.

Spend the night in Stavanger.

Day 13: Heading East, Back to Oslo

The return journey eastward towards Oslo will take you along the southern coast of Norway. Given the considerable distance, we recommend spending the night in Kristiansand. Along the way, visit the Flekkefjord railway line, an historic rail track that was closed a couple of decades ago. Today, you can cycle special rail bikes along the line, enjoying the surrounding nature and scenery.

Kristiansand, Norway

Another notable stop is Vennesla, where you can enjoy the scenic nature along the popular Tømmerrenna log slide, a 2.5-mile hike. The former paper factory at Hunsfos has been transformed into a trendy area with shops and restaurants, and the village is renowned for its cozy Christmas market.

Kristiansand, the southern capital, is a lively city with a historic center. The city beach, Bystranda, boasts white sands and palm trees, attracting many visitors on sunny days.

Spend the night in Kristiansand.

Day 14: Back to Oslo

A great way to leisurely spend some time is by taking a boat trip on the Telemark Canal. Carved into the rock over a century ago, the canal stretches over 65 miles. There are several options for boat trips, but if time is limited, consider a half-day trip along the canal, passing through a few locks. For those coming from Kristiansand, Ulefoss is the optimal starting point for the cruise.

Spend the night in Oslo.

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