The best of Western Norway’s Fjords: a 10-day Itinerary

This meticulously planned itinerary will take you through a mesmerizing expedition across the enchanting fjords, captivating fairytale landscapes, and an Art Nouveau city, unveiling the remarkable beauty of the southwestern part of Norway.

Starting in Oslo, the vibrant capital city, to Flam, and other small villages, my adventure will lead me through a series of awe-inspiring fjords, where nature’s grandeur reigns supreme. With each passing fjord, I will witness the majesty of towering cliffs, cascading waterfalls, and pristine turquoise waters, a feast for the eyes and a dream come true.

Impressions

Norway truly lives up to its reputation as a breathtakingly beautiful country, even surpassing what is shown in videos and pictures. Every road seems to offer panoramic views, and every few hundred meters, you’re compelled to stop and capture the beauty of waterfalls, hills, rivers, and landscapes. It’s a journey that should be savored at a leisurely pace, perhaps slower than I initially intended. Despite my eagerness to see as much as possible in the span of 10 days, the itinerary was jam-packed. Nonetheless, it turned out to be an incredible experience.

One important note is that Norway is vast, much larger than it appears on the map. What may seem close by can be challenging to reach due to the country’s terrain, which is punctuated by rivers, mountains, and fjords. It’s advisable to thoroughly research the routes before planning long-distance travels as they may take longer than anticipated. Nevertheless, these natural obstacles contribute to the charm and uniqueness of Norway’s landscapes.

How to Move

As mentioned before, Norway is a vast country, and if you wish to explore multiple places within a limited time, renting a car or van is the ideal option. In my personal experience, I opted to rent a car in Oslo since I preferred staying in apartments and campsites along the way. This choice worked out well for me, and I found it to be a cost-effective solution.

Itinerary

Overview of the Trip

As it was my inaugural trip to Norway, my primary objective was to witness and explore as many captivating aspects as possible. I had a strong desire to immerse myself in the charming villages, majestic fjords, towering mountains, and the fascinating wildlife that the Norway has to offer.

I cannot deny that this trip was incredibly intense, requiring long car journeys to reach each destination marked on the itinerary. However, the effort invested in this adventure always pays off! Along the road, numerous viewpoints await, providing the perfect opportunity to take a break, soak in the breathtaking landscapes, and let the beauty of the surroundings make you forget all the hours spent driving.

From Oslo to Dovrefjell National Park

The road from Oslo to Dovrefjell is very long, it takes more of 4 hours. If you want to take a break and eat/ drink something, you can stop on Lillehammer

Lillehammer is a charming town located in Norway, known for its picturesque setting, rich history, and hosting the 1994 Winter Olympics. Situated in the county of Innlandet, Lillehammer is nestled in the Gudbrandsdalen valley, surrounded by stunning mountains and beautiful landscapes.

One of the highlights of Lillehammer is its well-preserved wooden architecture, with many traditional buildings that add to its unique atmosphere. The town’s pedestrian-friendly streets are lined with shops, cafes, and restaurants, offering a delightful experience for visitors.

In addition to its Olympic legacy, Lillehammer offers a range of cultural attractions. The Maihaugen Open-Air Museum is a must-visit, displaying more than 200 historic buildings from different periods of Norwegian history. It provides insight into traditional Norwegian life and offers a glimpse into the past.

To fully enjoy hiking in the area, it is recommended to spend at least a night in the surrounding region of the park. Therefore, I have decided to rent a bungalow located within a camping site in Dombås, a small village situated in the valley of the mountain. This arrangement allows for convenient access to the park’s hiking trails and ensures a comfortable and convenient base for exploration.

One of the most notable features of Dovrefjell is its impressive peaks, with Snøhetta being the highest at 2,286 meters (7,500 feet) above sea level. These majestic mountains are a haven for hikers and mountaineers, providing a range of trails and routes to explore. As you ascend to higher altitudes, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes, including rolling hills, deep valleys, and crystal-clear lakes.

The region’s diverse flora and fauna are another highlight of Dovrefjell. The mountain range is home to several unique and rare plant species, adapted to the challenging environment. Dovrefjell is also known for its reindeer population, with the wild and semi-domesticated herds roaming freely throughout the area. Spotting these majestic creatures in their natural habitat is a truly unforgettable experience.

In addition to its natural wonders, Dovrefjell holds great historical and cultural significance. The area has a rich Sami heritage, and visitors can learn about the indigenous Sami people’s traditional way of life, their reindeer herding practices, and their deep connection to the land. Dovre National Park, which encompasses a significant portion of Dovrefjell, is also home to historic sites such as old mountain farms and remnants of ancient human settlements, providing a glimpse into the region’s past.

Dovrefjell is a paradise for outdoor activities, offering opportunities for hiking, skiing, wildlife observation, and photography. The trails range from easy strolls to challenging treks, catering to all levels of fitness and experience. Whether you prefer to explore independently or join guided tours, Dovrefjell offers endless possibilities for adventure and exploration.

But why did I choose to travel such a distance? The answer is simple: Dovrefjell is one of the few unique locations where the elusive musk ox can be spotted!

Dovrefjell is famous for being the natural habitat of the muskox, an iconic Arctic mammal that has found its home in the rugged landscapes of the mountain range. The muskox, also known as “moskus” in Norwegian, is a magnificent and resilient creature that has captured the fascination of both locals and visitors alike.

Muskoxen were reintroduced to Dovrefjell in the 20th century as part of conservation efforts. Today, the Dovrefjell population is one of the largest and most accessible muskox populations in Norway, making it a prime destination for observing and experiencing these majestic animals in their natural habitat.

Several guided tours and wildlife safaris are available in the Dovrefjell area, providing visitors with the opportunity to get up close to muskoxen while respecting their natural behavior and habitat. These excursions are led by experienced guides who share their knowledge about the muskoxen’s biology, behavior, and conservation efforts. It’s important to remember that muskoxen are wild animals and should be observed from a safe distance to ensure their well-being and your own safety.

Musk Ox Safari

To enhance the chances of spotting Musk ox and ensure a memorable experience, book a tour with an expert guide

viewpoint Snøhetta

The viewpoint Snøhetta , also known as the Snohetta Pavilion, is a renowned architectural masterpiece and a popular attraction in Norway. Located near the Dovrefjell National Park, specifically in Hjerkinn, the Snøhetta viewpoint offers breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

The viewpoint is easily accessible, and a short hike (about 10 minutes) from the nearby parking area takes you to the structure itself. Once there, you can admire the panoramic views, take memorable photographs, and simply immerse yourself in the serene beauty of the Norwegian landscape.

Designed by the renowned Norwegian architecture firm Snøhetta, the viewpoint blends seamlessly into the natural environment. The structure itself is a striking combination of glass and steel, with a sleek and modern design that harmonizes with the rugged mountainous surroundings.

The Snøhetta viewpoint has received international acclaim for its innovative design and its ability to enhance the visitor’s connection with the natural surroundings. It serves as a gateway to the remarkable wilderness of Dovrefjell and offers a unique perspective on Norway’s remarkable natural beauty.

Visitors to the Snøhetta viewpoint can enjoy stunning vistas of the Dovrefjell mountain range and the vast Norwegian wilderness.

Andalsnes

Andalsnes, often referred to as the “Alp town by the fjord,” is a picturesque town located in the Rauma Municipality of Møre og Romsdal county in western Norway. Nestled at the mouth of the Rauma River, Andalsnes is renowned for its stunning natural surroundings, including towering mountains, captivating fjords, and breathtaking landscapes.

One of the town’s most prominent features is the majestic Trollveggen (Troll Wall), which is Europe’s highest vertical rock face, standing at an impressive height of over 1,100 meters (3,600 feet). This awe-inspiring natural wonder attracts climbers and outdoor enthusiasts from around the world who are drawn to its challenging routes and unparalleled beauty.

Rampestreken viewpoint

Rampestreken, which translates to “The Ram’s Horn” in English, is a popular viewpoint that offers a breathtaking panoramic vista of Andalsnes and its surrounding landscapes.

Situated high above the town, Rampestreken is accessed via a hiking trail that winds its way up the mountainside. The trail itself is a part of the popular Romsdalseggen Ridge hike, which is considered one of Norway’s most spectacular hikes. The hike takes around 3 hours. As hikers ascend the trail, they are treated to mesmerizing views of the fjords, mountains, and valleys that characterize the region’s dramatic scenery.

Reaching the Rampestreken viewpoint, visitors are rewarded with a stunning vista that stretches out over Andalsnes and the Rauma River, with the majestic Romsdal Alps forming a majestic backdrop. The hike to Rampestreken is relatively moderate in difficulty, but it does require some physical exertion. The viewpoint consists of a cantilevered platform jutting out from the mountainside, creating a thrilling sensation of being suspended in the air above the town.

Alesund

Ålesund is a picturesque coastal city located on the west coast of Norway. Known for its stunning architecture, scenic surroundings, and vibrant cultural scene, Ålesund is a popular destination for tourists.

One of the city’s distinctive features is its Art Nouveau architecture. After a devastating fire in 1904, Ålesund was rebuilt in the Art Nouveau style, resulting in a unique and visually striking cityscape. Walking through the streets, you’ll encounter beautifully decorated facades, intricate details, and ornate motifs, showcasing the city’s artistic heritage.

Ålesund is situated on several islands and is surrounded by the majestic Sunnmøre Alps and fjords. This natural setting provides a plethora of outdoor activities for visitors. You can embark on hiking adventures, enjoy scenic boat tours to discover the local fauna. The nearby Hjørundfjord and Geirangerfjord particularly renowned for their breathtaking beauty are perfect for day trip!

To learn more about the beauty of Runde and its natural treasures read the article:

For those interested in maritime history and culture, Ålesund offers fascinating attractions. The Jugendstilsenteret museum provides insight into the city’s architectural history and showcases Art Nouveau exhibits. The Ålesund Aquarium is another popular spot, allowing visitors to explore the rich marine life of the region.

Climbing the 418 steps to the top of Mount Aksla rewards you with a panoramic view of Ålesund and its surrounding islands. This vantage point is especially captivating during sunset, when the city’s colorful buildings are bathed in golden light.

Geirangerfjord

Geirangerfjord is a stunning fjord located in western Norway, specifically in the Sunnmøre region of Møre og Romsdal county. It is considered one of the most beautiful fjords in the world and is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Geirangerfjord stretches for approximately 15 kilometers and is surrounded by towering mountains, lush green forests, and cascading waterfalls.

To fully appreciate the beauty of Geirangerfjord, I decided to purchase a ticket for a fjord cruise from Ålesund to Geiranger village. This full-day excursion allowed me to embark on a scenic journey, spending approximately 1.5 hours on the boat itself, cruising through the magnificent fjord.

During boat cruises is possible observe one of the most iconic features of Geirangerfjord: the Seven Sisters Waterfall (De Syv Søstrene) and the Suitor Waterfall (Friaren), which flow directly into the fjord.

The small village of Geiranger, located at the innermost part of the fjord, serves as a popular base for tourists. It offers accommodations, restaurants, and shops, providing a comfortable and convenient starting point for exploring the area.

Geirangerfjiord cruise

Join to a cruise across Unesco Geirangerfjord. Discover spectacular landscapes along the way, including The Seven Sister and The Suitor waterfalls.

Upon arrival in Geiranger, I had around 3 hours of free time to explore the village and its surroundings. Eager to immerse myself in the natural wonders, I opted for a brisk hiking adventure to a nearby viewpoint. The hike provided an exhilarating experience, allowing me to witness breathtaking vistas of Geirangerfjord.

For those with more time at their disposal, I highly recommend taking advantage of the opportunity to embark on two additional hiking trails in the vicinity. These trails are renowned for their remarkable beauty and offer unparalleled views of Geirangerfjord, allowing visitors to fully appreciate its grandeur and serenity.

In addition to the fjord itself, the surrounding area of Geiranger offers numerous hiking trails that lead to breathtaking viewpoints. One such viewpoint is the famous Flydalsjuvet, which provides a panoramic vista of the fjord and its surroundings.

Runde island trip

Runde is a small island located on the western coast of Norway, specifically in Herøy Municipality in Møre og Romsdal county. It is known for its rich birdlife. One of the main attractions of Runde is its bird cliffs, which are home to a vast number of seabirds. The island serves as an important nesting site for over 500,000 birds, including puffins, gannets, guillemots, and razorbills.

Wildlife sea Safari

Join a sea safari to explore seals, puffins, eagles, and a variety of other fascinating wildlife

Kaupanger

Kaupanger is a small village located in the Sogn og Fjordane county of Norway. Situated on the shores of the Sognefjord, the country’s longest and deepest fjord, Kaupanger is renowned for its breathtaking natural beauty and charming rural atmosphere.

Stegaistein viewpoint

One of the main attractions in Kaupanger is the stave church, known as Kaupanger stavkyrkje. This medieval wooden church, dating back to the 12th century, is a remarkable example of Norwegian architectural heritage.

Stegaistein viewpoint


The Stegastein viewpoint is a remarkable attraction located in Aurland, Norway. It offers an awe-inspiring panoramic view of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Nærøyfjord, one of the narrowest and most picturesque fjords in the country.

Stegaistein viewpoint

The viewpoint is situated on a scenic mountain road known as the Aurlandsvegen, which winds its way up from Aurland village. Stegastein is a cantilevered platform that juts out from the mountainside, providing visitors with an extraordinary vantage point to admire the fjord and surrounding landscapes.

The design of Stegastein is striking, with a minimalistic and elegant structure that seamlessly blends into the natural surroundings. The platform extends 30 meters out from the mountainside, suspended 650 meters above the fjord, creating a breathtaking sensation of floating above the stunning scenery. The Aurlandsvangen viewpoint. The Aurlandsvangen viewpoint, located just a 5-minute drive before Stegastein, offers an equally beautiful view and is less crowded.

If you are interested in exploring the forests of Norway in the surrounding area, I recommend checking out the Kaupangerholten trail. It provides an opportunity to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the region and experience the serene atmosphere of the Norwegian forest.

Flamsbana

I can’t miss the opportunity to embark on the most beautiful train journeys in the world, the Flamsbana. This scenic railway route takes you on a breathtaking 20-kilometer journey from Flam to Myrdal, passing through steep mountains, cascading waterfalls, and deep valleys. The train ride offers panoramic views of the surrounding fjords and snow-capped peaks, providing an unforgettable experience.

Stegaistein viewpoint

The same route can also be explored by bike, and there are services available that allow you to rent a bike from Flåm and ride to Myrdal, or vice versa. If the weather is sunny, this can be a fantastic alternative to taking the Flåm Railway (Flåmsbana), offering a unique and active way to experience the scenic journey between the two destinations.

Flåm, a small village nestled in the fjord region of Norway within the Aurland municipality. Situated at the innermost part of the Aurlandsfjord, a branch of the majestic Sognefjord, known as the “King of the Fjords,” Flåm is a picturesque destination.

Beyond the railway, Flåm serves as a popular starting point for exploring the Aurlandsfjord and the nearby Nærøyfjord, both of which have been designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Many visitors choose to embark on fjord cruises from Flåm, or explore fjord’s calm waters by kayak, providing an opportunity to experience landscapes from a different perspective.

The last adventure

Being situated between two of the most beautiful fjords in Norway, I decided to bid farewell to this magnificent land with an iconic adventure. I traversed the Nærøyfjord by hydrobike, and it turned out to be a beautiful and exhilarating experience. I highly recommend everyone to give it a try.

Travel Tip!

Visit the Viking Village in Gudvangen. Perfect activity for children, you will learn more about the Viking’s travels, their boats, and the Viking age. Open 10.00 til 18.00 daily all year.
The price includes a guided tour in English. Children under 4 yrs enter for free.

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