Full roadmap in Norway
Stavanger Road Trip to Bergen
The Norwegian fjord region is made up of narrow U-shaped valleys that cut high mountains, where waterfalls cut the slope walls and glaciers never melt.
Spectacular architecture and food prepared with local ingredients enrich the experience in the region.
The incredible landscapes of this region were created with the succession of the ice ages and have not changed much since the first records of human presence in this territory. There, seals reign, eagles, whales and fish patrol the waters of the fjords.
In Norway of the Fjords you will find everything from inhospitable rocks to big cities. A short trip takes you from the limits of urban life to the calm of the countryside and wild nature.
On the banks, mouths and ends of each fjord you will find small communities and villages, each with its specialty and features, which reflect traditions.
( Source )
It was for this beautiful setting that we made one of the most cinematic and charming trips.
So, let’s go to our 8-day itinerary where we pass through: Stavanger, Odda, Flam, Fjaerland, Forde, Bergen and dozens of villages and towns that passed our way.
And to make the reading of the script even clearer, I decided to put the places where we can go first, and then I explain place by place and the routes we follow.
Norway Tour – 11 Sep 2016 to 18 Sep 2016
11 to 12/09 – Stavanger and Pulpit Rock
12 to 14/09 – Odda and Trolltunga
14 to 16/09 – Flam, Norway in a Nutshell and Fjærland
16 to 17/09 – Fjærland to Forde
17 to 18/09 – Travel to Bergen and City tour in Bergen
Important information for this tour:
- Flight Berlin – Stavanger (9:10 am – 10:45 am) made with Norwegian Airlines (after a backpacking trip through Eastern Europe I went to Norway)
- Accommodation in Stavanger: Stavanger Pop Up Hostel (1 night): 2 stars *
- Odda: Anne’s Guesthouse ( Airbnb – 2 night): 4 stars *
- Flam: Brekke Gard Hostel (1 night): 4 stars *
- Fjarland – Bøyum Camping (1 night): 4 stars *
- Forde: Førde Pensjonat (1 night): 4 stars *
- Bergen: Marken Guesthouse (1 night): 4 stars *
There were 6 hostel / hotels with an average: 260 reais per location for a double room (5 hostels with 1 night only and 1 hostel with 2 nights). We booked 5 places through Booking and 1 place through Airbnb .
* My personal classification of the hostels / hotels we stayed:
1 star: terrible / 2 stars: regular / 3 stars: good / 4 stars: very good / 5 stars: great
1st day: Arrival in Norway and walk through Stavanger
I left Berlin at 9:10 am on a Norwegian Airlines flight (airline considered lowcost, but with great airline service quality). With the right to free wifi on the plane, snacks and a lot of comfort, I went to Stavanger, the third largest urban area in Norway (obviously big by Norwegian standards). Located on the Stavanger Peninsula in southwestern Norway, the city was officially founded in 1125.
The Stavanger Region stands out for its many scenic attractions, including the Lysefjord, Sola beach and the world famous Preikestolen (“the Rock from the Pulpit”). Preikestolen is located 604 meters above sea level, making it the most visited attraction in Rogaland County. The publication Lonely Planet recognized the attraction as the best panoramic visual world.
Stavanger is a university city and is home to many higher education and research institutions. This quality is reflected in the lively urban atmosphere of the city and in the wide variety of opportunities for shopping and gastronomic experiences. In 2008, the Stavanger and Sandnes Region was recognized as the European Capital of Culture, confirming its variety of cultural events and activities.
Currently, Stavanger is the European capital of oil and energy and most of the dividends of the local population come from activities related to the oil sector.
Stavanger’s city center is very compact, making it easy to access most attractions on foot. The historic center has one of the best preserved wooden houses in Europe, with more than 170 white wooden houses.
How to get to Stavanger:
By plane: Stavanger has the second largest airport in Norway in terms of international air traffic. From / to Stavanger Sola International Airport there are direct flights from over 60 destinations in Norway. A bus service transfers between the airport and Stavanger city center. The buses leave every 20 minutes and the journey time is about 30 minutes.
By bus: there are several daily bus departures from Oslo, Bergen and Kristiansand to Stavanger. Departing from Oslo, the journey takes approximately 10 hours, Bergen takes five hours and Kristiansand takes four hours.
By train: NSB offer regular shipments to Stavanger from Oslo via Kristiansand. The trip takes about eight hours. The local train that covers the route between Stavanger and Egersund leaves every hour, allowing easy access to the Jæren area.
By boat: if you plan to bring your car from another country, you can take a ferry from Hirtshals in Denmark to Kristiansand, with a four-hour drive to Stavanger, or to Tananger, about 20 minutes from Stavanger. From the Stavanger boat terminal, you can choose from a variety of passenger boat options for the Ryfylke areas, as well as all the islands in the vicinity of Stavanger.
My arrival in Stavanger was in the morning, and at 1 pm I already had the rental car in my hand heading towards the hostel.
For the traveler who is not going to rent a car, the best option is to take the Flybussen bus , at the airport, which takes about 20 to 30 minutes to the center, or take bus number 9, which takes around 1 hour.
I did my check in , left the bags and after a short rest I was already walking on the streets of the small town and making local recognition.
As I arrived on a Sunday, a lot was closed and the streets were deserted. It was just to feel a little of the weather, take some pictures of the city, which has a lot of graffiti, and stop to eat a fast food in the center.
After that short walk (my hostel was about 15 minutes walk from the center) I returned and ended my day.
It was not a day of many wanderings and visits, exactly, because everything was closed.
2nd day: Stavanger and Pulpit Rock
For the second day we did a small and quick city tour in the morning in the city of Stavanger, and then we went on to the first track in Norway: Pulpit Rock .
In the city of approximately 130 thousand inhabitants the options of attractions are:
- Stavanger Cathedral
- Ovre Holmegate
- Valberg Tower
- Gamle Stavanger
- Monument to the 3 Swords
- Petroleum Museum
- Port Region
We went through some of the options, took pictures and went on our first adventure in Norwegian lands.
We drive to Pulpit Rock . The trip lasts, more or less, 1 hour and a half and has a part that must be made by ferry.
If you are not driving, the best option is to take a bus that takes you to the park entrance. The traveler purchased the bus tickets through the company Tide . You can check the times by accessing this link and to buy the ticket access this link .
Pulpit Rock park parking: 150 NOK
Bus from Stavanger to Pulpit Rock ( Tide company ): 320 NOK
Stavanger tourist information:
Domkirkeplassen 3 – 4006 Stavanger – Tel.: +47 51 85 92 00
1 June – 31 August: Monday – Sunday: 9am to 8pm
Rest of the year: Monday – Friday: 9am to 4pm
Saturday: 9am to 2pm
Closed on holidays
(You can rent a bike at the tourist information center – take a document and 200 NOK for deposit)
There are 3,800 m of walking in a quiet and structured trekking. We took a sunny and relatively hot day. We started our hike at 11 am and ended around 6 pm (3 hours walk to go and 3 hours walk back).
Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock) is one of the most visited attractions in Norway, and one of the most photographed places. In 2011 it was named one of the most spectacular views in the world by CNN GO and Lonely Planet . Visiting this popular fjord, located 604 meters above the Lyssefjord, is a fantastic experience with nature.
After getting to know one of the most stunning viewing platforms in the world, we follow our road trip for another adventure in Norway. Our destination now was the city of Odda.
Important Tip : always be aware of the time you will be traveling to Norway, if you go in the autumn / winter in Europe you probably will not have all trails cleared or you will have to hire a guide for the routes. The ideal is to visit the country in the summer (June to September) if the idea is to go hiking and outdoor sports and if you want to see the northern lights it is better to go in the winter and look for the best months through information from the country and specialized agencies.
It took us about 4 hours to leave the Stavanger region for the Hardangerfjord region , where Odda is located.
Check the official magazine of this region at the link .
We climbed the map of Norway, we passed beautiful landscapes, narrow roads and very complicated routes to drive (when we do not know the country the attention has to be doubled and the roads there oscillated between very narrow or wide roads).
We arrived in Odda very late, around 9pm / 10pm and our goal was just one, rest because the next day we would face another trail and that would be a total hard level!
3rd day: Odda and Trolltunga
For the third day a lot of adventure awaited us!
We woke up very early, around 6:30 am, and drove to the entrance to Trolltunga. Until then it was about 30 minutes.
At 8:30 am we were already climbing the trail and beginning to feel the hard level of this trekking.
The first 4.3 km is uphill and a lot of effort, so, in my opinion, the most difficult route on this trail. Right away you already find a climb full of obstacles and a lot of difficulty.
At first you will feel very tired and tired, as the first part is very tense. But hold on, because the end of this story has a spectacular view of the fjord!
The steepest part of the first stage is up to 1.7 km, then until the 4.3 km stretch also continues to rise, but with “more ease”.
In each section you will find signs with the mileage you traveled and stones with markings (the letter T in red) so that you do not leave the trail.
Along the way, there are various sensations, thoughts and landscapes. It oscillates from the initial excitement, goes through permanent tiredness, migrates all the time to the desire to get to the destination right away and relies all the time on contemplating the thousands of WONDERFUL points that exist on this path.
There are 11 km going to the stone that looks like a tongue, that’s why the name Trolltunga (troll language – trolls are legendary beings from Norse mythology), and obviously, 11 km to go back. The average for this total route is 10 to 12 hours. We did the whole journey in 12 hours (as I said we left at 8:30 am and 8:00 pm, more or less, we were in the parking lot at the entrance to the park).
Information about the trail to Trolltunga :
Season / Seasons
Depending on the snow and weather conditions it will vary from year to year.
06/15 – 09/15: recommended season
09/16 – 10/15: recommended with guide
10/16 – 3/18: NOT recommended, high danger
03/19 – 06/14: recommended with guide (snow shoes / skis)
On the Trolltunga Trail
- The trail starts at Skjeggedal, 7km from Tyssedal;
- This is a demanding hike, 23 km in total, minimum 10 to 12 hours. Approximate height of 900 meters;
- The start is 400 meters high (steep section);
- Start early in the morning;
- The weather in the highest mountains can change quickly, so check the weather forecast before you start. Do not do the trail on days with a lot of rain or fog;
- It is always colder in the mountains than under the fjord;
- There is no internet network on most of the trail;
- Take a tent if you want to stay overnight;
- An alternative trail to Trolltunga: a guided bike, a walk and a climb via via ferrata to Trolltunga ( trolltunga-active.com ).
Take it with you on the trail
- Sturdy mountain boots, warm and rain clothes, lots of food and drink, a torch and a simple first aid kit;
- Take away all the garbage you produce.
Every year there are many searches and rescue operations for hikers in serious trouble. Prepare well, be responsible and be a safe hiker!
Stavanger: Nor-way bussekspress or The Trolltunga-Preikestolen express (see more in the image below)
Preikestolen: the Trolltunga-Preikestolen express (see more in the image below) ( www.tide.no )
Bergen: bus route 930 ( www.skyss.no )
Voss: route 990 bus ( www.skyss.no )
With private car: parking in Skjeggdal (200 NOK daily rate) and in Tyssohallen (100 NOK / day);
By bus: bus route 990 to Tyssedal from the north and local buses from Odda to Tyssohallen and route 995 (see more in the image below)
By Trolltunga Shuttle (maxi taxi or taxi): Odda taxi tel (+47) 53 64 14 44
It was undoubtedly one of the most tiring and rewarding tourism activities I have ever done. And it was all worth it!
When we finished the journey, we went back to the car, washed our sneakers, which were filthy with mud (in fact, a nice tip, go with dark clothes so you don’t have problems after washing) and then we went for a nice bath and rest.
During the whole trip we ate the sandwiches we took, drank the water we took and when it was over we used the natural sources of the place and the whole day we hydrated and until continuously.
4th day: Odda to Flam
On the fourth day of Norway we woke up exhausted, with our legs hurting until the last little toe (due to the trek from the previous day), but firm and strong to continue exploring this beautiful country.
We left Odda around lunchtime, because that day we rested a little more in the morning.
We follow the roads until we reach our destination. We identified the hostel and soon checked in.
The city is very small and getting lost there is practically impossible!
Flam is located in the heart of the Aurlandsfjord fjord, an isolated branch of the deepest and second longest fjord in the world, the Sognefjord, which stands out for 204 km in length and a depth that reaches 1,308 meters. The spectacular scenery of Flam is made up of imposing mountains, huge waterfalls and narrow valleys. During the spring and summer months, you will find large cruise ships gliding through the fjord waters to Flam’s anchorage.
The Flam Railway was recognized as the most amazing train journey in the world by Lonely Planet in 2014. The journey takes you through the top of the mountains and, during the 20 km journey, the view gathers rivers cutting deep gorges, snowy peaks and farms at the foot of the mountains.
How to get and move:
- The nearest airport is Haukåsen Sogndeal Airport, about 70 kilometers away;
- Flam is 166 kilometers from Bergen by car, or 354 kilometers from Oslo via E16 and Rv7;
- There are several bus connections connecting Flam to Oslo or Bergen;
- Flåm is the final coastal station on the famous Flåmsbana Railway, which is one of Norway’s steepest and most scenic lines;
- Many trains that cover the route between Oslo and Bergen connect to the Flåmsbana Railway in Myrdal;
- The Flåmsbana Railway operates between eight and ten times a day during the summer from May to October, and four times a day during the winter;
- Passenger ferries sail through the UNESCO-listed Nærøyfjorden fjord, connecting Flam / Aurland and Gudvangen throughout the year;
- During the summer, passenger vessels operate lines between Flam and Balestrand, and from these locations to Bergen;
Right after check in we went to the center and looked for the Flåmsbana office to buy the sections that we had decided to do. Before leaving Brazil, we had already researched Norway in a Nutshell (this is the most famous tour in Norway). And since we were not going to do this the complete journey (boat, train and bus), we went straight to the official office and bought only the train sections between Flam – Mirdal and the boat section between Flam and Gudvangen.
Norway in a Nutshell
Norway’s most famous tour is a journey that goes through Unesco protected fjords and mountains, giant waterfalls, snowy peaks and winding roads.
The entire route includes train, bus and boat.
In this tour you can make the way to or from. You can also buy the ticket with a stop in the middle to get to know the cities.
The route is from Oslo to Bergen or the opposite route from Bergen to Oslo.
Just enter the official website .
There are also intermediate options, which we did (buy specific sections).
After purchasing the tickets we went for a “little walk” through the center, and small because the city is tiny, and when the night started to arrive we returned to the hostel for our well-deserved rest.
5th day: Norway in a Nutshell and drive along scenic routes to Fjærland
The fifth day was reserved for the famous train ride with Flåmsbana and by ferry across the Sognefjord.
We bought tickets for the departure at 8:30 am and we were there on time for the train ride.
The journey lasts 2 hours and passes through beautiful places, a film set right before our eyes.
At the end of the round trip by train, at 10:30 am we were already back at Flam station for the other part of the tour, the fjord ferry.
In the meantime, we still had time to visit the city museum that tells the story of the Flam railway and enjoy the local climate a little.
After that visit, at about 11:45 am we proceeded to the ferry. Our second tour started at 12pm and passed through some villages until reaching Gudvangen. In this section we were not very lucky, because we caught a day with a lot of fog. Even so, the tour and interaction with the place was worth it.
From Gudvangen to Flam (our return) we used an executive bus, an option that was included in the package we bought. The ferry ride also took about 2 hours.
This concludes the short section of the Norway in a Nutshell tour.
After morning and early afternoon complete with Norway’s most famous tour, we took our car again to get back on the roads of this scenic country.
Our journey to the city of Fjarland began there.
In this section there is a peculiarity that needs to be mentioned: the Laerdalstunnelen tunnel.
The Lærdal Tunnel is a road tunnel, 24.5 km long, connecting Lærdal and Aurland, in Sogn og Fjordane, Norway. Construction started in 1995 and was opened in 2000. This tunnel is part of the E16, the main highway that connects Oslo and Bergen. It became the longest road tunnel in the world surpassing the São Gotardo road tunnel in Switzerland, with 16.92 km.
The tunnel design took into account the driver’s stress and the tunnel was divided into four sections separated by three large caves where the driver can stop to rest and enjoy the trip.
Yes, there is the biggest tunnel in the world, but, no, we didn’t go through it!
We decided to move along the scenic routes that exist in Norway and went on another route. Nature and its beauties interest us more. And it was very worth it!
See more about these routes at this link.
On this route, outside the largest tunnel in the world, we passed the Aurlandsfjellet – National Tourist Route .
To locate them on your board map, just look for the symbol below:
A super tip is : if you are driving in Norway, as we did, whenever you have the opportunity to go through a scenic route, choose them. These places are a separate show.
We follow the scenic route and delight in stunning landscapes. Only us and the nature of Norway! What a beautiful spectacle I experienced at that moment.
When we arrived in Fjarland, another micro city in this country, the day was already falling and it was just time to check in , pack our bags on the spot, eat something and the day was over.
6th day: Fjærland to Forde
At that stage we had already covered many landscapes, but the one that was yet to come we had not yet found in this country: a beautiful glacier.
We visited Norway at the end of the European summer (September / 2016) and for that reason the snowy landscapes were melted and the green prevailed.
But we went after the Nordic ice and found it near Fjærland: the Boyarbreen glacier .
You can see Boyabreen very close to the main road in Fjærland. This is one of the most spectacular glacier arms in the country. In this small town you will also find the Norwegian Glacier Museum , the Norwegian glacier museum.
We woke up early, had coffee in the cottage we rented for just 1 night and went out to see this glacier. From there we continued our road trip.
Our destination that day, after seeing the glacier, was the city of Forde.
We took the road towards Sogndal (a small return on the route) and from there, following the main routes. We passed by: Slinde, Leikanger, Hella, Dragsvik, Farnes, Svaeraskaret, and in this section, we again managed to cross a scenic route, the Gaularfjellet .
Anyway, after about 3 to 4 hours driving we arrived in Forde .
In the city, we look for our hostel, leave our bags and go out to know a little. We drove a little bit by car and didn’t find many attractions. In this city we feel a more industrial and urban air.
We went to a mall to buy food, took it to our room and ended our day’s activities.
7th day: Go to Bergen
In this section our road trip through beautiful Norway came to an end. We wake up early and head towards Norway’s second largest city, Bergen.
We had to leave our warrior car at the rental store, and from Forde until then we would have to face, more or less, 3 hours of road.
We covered our last kilometers and arrived in the city of Bergen around noon.
We left our bags at the hostel and went to deliver the car. At this moment, the itineraries on foot of this trip began.
By Norwegian standards, Bergen is a large urban center, while preserving all the charm and atmosphere typical of small towns.
Around 10% of the population of Bergen is made up of students, which adds to the youthful vibe and gives the city a relaxed atmosphere. In addition to the many options of museums, art galleries, cultural events and gastronomic attractions, the city has unique scenic qualities. The sea and mountains contribute to making Bergen a lively and vibrant place.
Founded more than 900 years ago, Bergen has its roots in the remote times of the Viking Age. As one of the main Hanseatic League warehouses, Bergen was a thriving commercial center between Norway and the rest of Europe for several centuries.
Bergen is known for the famous seven mountains that surround the central area of the city, the Hanseatic Wharf, the fish market and one of the biggest cultural events in the country, the Bergen International Festival, which takes place every year in the city .
How to get and move:
- The main landing place is Bergen Flesland Airport, which is about 17 kilometers from the city center.
- The airport bus offers several departments to the city center and covers the journey in about 30 to 40 minutes.
- Bergen is a regional hub for the road transport network.
- Many express buses, originating in various parts of Norway, offer lines to Bergen.
- The train journey between Bergen and Oslo was recognized by many as the most beautiful train journey in the world.
- The train to Oslo has several daily departments and the journey, which crosses the mountains, takes approximately 7-8 hours.
- The company Fjord Line operates ferries from Hirtshals, Denmark.
- Fast and modern boats cross the coast and enter the fjords.
- Bergen is the final anchorage of the Hurtigruten ship, The Norwegian Coastal Voyage, and the ship embarks every night on its 11-day journey heading north.
Check out the official city guide by accessing the link .
On this first day we went through the center, visiting Lille Lungegårdsvann (the main lake in the city center) and its surrounding attractions. In this square are some art museums.
We follow Torgallmenningen , a wide street of shops, towards the city’s port area.
As we arrived on a Saturday, this street was full of people, with several recreation events and a lot of music.
A few minutes walk and we were already in the Fish Market (Fisketorget) and the port.
In this perimeter we find the tourist office. There you can get maps, guides and book tours. It was obviously a strategic stop for me!
We continued walking and a few more steps we were in one of the most famous and photographed spots in Bergen: Bryggen . This place known as “The Hanseatic Wharf” is the most important remaining historical complex from this period, and today it houses many of the restaurants, bars, craft shops and historic museums. Bryggen has been a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site since 1979.
We stayed in that perimeter running and knowing everything.
We also passed the Haakon’s Hall , a royal ceremonial hall from the 13th century, the Hanseatic Museum , St. Mary’s Church , the Bergenhus Fortress Museum and the entire downtown circuit around the harbor.
Almost at dusk we returned to the hostel, rested a little and gathered the energy for the night to go out again for a snack or dinner.
We ended our day with a pad thai, at a Thai restaurant on the edge of the port.
8th day: Exploring Bergen and Night Train to Oslo
For the second day of Bergen we booked a walking tour and visit to the upper part of the city.
In the morning we go again to the lake region, Lille Lungegårdsvann , a few more photos and continue to Johanneskirken (St. John’s Church), from there we leave for the Bergen Aquarium area . A little “lost” in the city and we walked through neighborhoods that were not in the plans.
After we met, we proceeded to the port area. We enjoyed a local pub, a beer and a football match.
After the technical stop, we continued the day’s visits. We went to the Funicular that leads to Mount Floyen . This place is one of the most popular for hiking and picnicking during the summer, and for sledding and skiing during the winter.
From the top it is possible to have a privileged view of the city and the fjord where it is located.
There is a complex with a bar, restaurant and leisure area at the top of this mountain.
We went up by funicular, but at the time of descent we went on the trail where a large part of the local population uses for walking and running.
When we arrived at the base of the mountain, that is, in the city again, the day was closing. The light going down and the sky getting that beautiful orange.
It was time to go back to the hostel and try to take a rest so that we could take our night train to Oslo, the last stop in Norway.
And that is exactly what we did.
We stayed at the hostel’s reception, since we had already checked out at 12pm, waiting until the time to go to the train station.
At around 10 pm we went to catch the train ( Bergen Station ) and follow our route.
At this point, we end the adventure on the roads and cities in the interior of Norway.
Check also the other posts about our routes in Norway:
- Official Norwegian Tourism Website in Portuguese
- Our driving route (google maps)
- Norway apps
- Official Site of the Sunnhordland Region
- Bergen Sightseeing (Hop on Hop off)
- Norway Active Tourism
- Voss Active Tourism
- Voss Region Official Site
- National Transport Service Info
- Weather and road conditions (weather and road conditions)
- Official Bus Site
- Bergen Transport System
- Bergen Official Tourism Website
- OS Region Official Site
- Eco-friendly tour operator
- Ice Bar in Norway
- Bergen Science Center
- Hop on Hop off Bergen
- Segway in Bergen
- Comune (prefecture) of Forde
- Fjaerland Official Site
- Fjordkysten Official Website
- Trolltunga Active website
- Hardangerfjord Official Tourism Website
- Tide – Transport in Norway
- Hardangerfjordv Region Official Website
- Official Odda Tourism Website
- Official Flam Tourism Website
- Norway Travel Agency
- Car routes through Norway
- Norway Tours
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