12-Day Norway Travel Itinerary

Chasing Northern LIghts

12-Day Norway Travel Itinerary

Ready to explore Norway?

Follow our 12-Day Norway Travel Itinerary

 
 
Days 1 & 2 – Tromso
Days 3 – Senja
Days 4 & 5 – Lofoten Islands
Day 6 – Trondheim
Day 7 – Alesund
Day 8 – Bergen
Day 9 – Flam
Day 10 – Stavanger
Day 11 & 12 Oslo 
Tromso to Oslo road Map

Welcome to Norway

This was our first time visiting Scandinavia, and we had the most fantastic time exploring this wonderful country. Norway is such a big country with so much to see and do that we have only scratched the surface. We fell in love with the country and hope to see it again to explore more.

On this trip, we spent two weeks here travelling around Norway with a combination of a rental car, trains, buses, flights,  ferries and many tunnels in the mountains. There is an abundance of wonderful, awe-inspiring things to do and see in Norway, and we hope to give you an insight into this wonderful country, Norway.

Introduction

In northern Europe, Norway, or the Kingdom of Norway, shares the Scandinavian Peninsula with Sweden and Finland. It is a Nordic country known as one of the most mountainous countries in Europe, while the coastline is known for its stunning fjords, sea inlets between cliffs, and stunning landscapes with natural beauty.

As we researched Norway, we wanted to see in person the country’s breathtaking photogenic landscapes, a land of pristine fjords and inlets between cliffs, quaint coastal towns, the Northern Lights, Vikings trolls, rugged hiking opportunities and the Arctic Circle. However, as we drove around, we found that most of Norway’s charms lie on the smaller roadways and quaint little towns.

~ Days 1&2 ~ Tromso

We flew into Tromso with Lufthansa (LH) via Frankfurt. It is April, so its Spring time in Norway and as you fly into Tromso, we are greeted by a fantastic snowy white landscape and a majestic glow of pure white, and honestly, we think this Arctic wonderland is the perfect place to begin your journey. After disembarking, we proceeded to pick up our luggage and then to the Hertz rental car depot to pick up our rental car for the next seven days.

Upon arriving in Tromso, we were immediately captivated by the city’s unique blend of Norwegian and Sami cultures. We decided to do a walking tour of Tromso to get our bearings and get a good feel of what Tromso offers.

Places Of Interest

Tromsø is a vibrant and beautiful northern Norway city known for its stunning natural scenery, fascinating cultural heritage, and exciting outdoor activities

Arctic Cathedral: This iconic cathedral, with its distinctive triangular shape and stunning stained-glass windows, is a must-visit attraction in Tromsø.

Tromsø Cable Car: Take a ride on the Tromsø Cable Car to the top of Mount Storsteinen for breathtaking views of the city and the surrounding fjords.

Tromsø Museum: This fascinating museum showcases the natural and cultural history of the region, including exhibits on Sami culture, Arctic wildlife, and the Northern Lights.

Polaria: This aquarium and Arctic-themed science centre feature interactive exhibits on the Arctic environment and its inhabitants, including seals and other marine life.

Fjellheisen: For an even more spectacular view of Tromsø and the surrounding area, ride the Fjellheisen cable car up to Mount Fløya.

Tromsø Botanic Garden: This beautiful garden, located on the grounds of the University of Tromsø, features a wide variety of plants and flowers from northern Norway and other Arctic regions.

The Northern Lights: Tromsø is one of the best places in the world to see the Northern Lights. Many guided tours and other activities are available to help you experience this incredible natural phenomenon.

Tromsø Bridge: The Tromsø Bridge is a stunning feat of engineering that spans the Tromsøysundet strait, connecting the mainland with the island of Tromsøya.

The Polar Museum: This fascinating museum tells the story of Norway’s polar explorers and their expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic regions.

The Arctic-Alpine Botanic Garden: Located in the nearby town of Tromsø, this garden showcases a wide variety of plants and flowers from the Arctic and alpine regions of the world.

Snowy Tromso Norway

~ Day 2 ~ Senja

Senja is a stunning island in northern Norway, an absolute paradise for nature lovers dominated by rugged mountains, fjords, and crystal-clear lakes. The island’s terrain is perfect for hiking, and you can spend many hours exploring the numerous trails that wind through the majestic mountains and forests.
One of the highlights of our trip to Senja was witnessing the midnight sun. Senja is located above the Arctic Circle, and if you travel during the summer months, you will see the sun never set, and the sky remains lit up for almost 24 hours a day. It’s a surreal experience to hike in the mountains at midnight and still see the sun shining brightly in the sky.
However, if you travel during the winter, you can experience the breathtaking views of the Aurora Borealis, also known as the Northern Lights.

Places Of Interest

Here are some popular attractions on Senja Island:

Okshornan: Known as the “Devil’s Teeth,” Okshornan is a row of pointed peaks that rise from the surrounding fjords. It’s a popular spot for hiking and offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape.

Bergsbotn: This picturesque village is located on the eastern coast of Senja and offers stunning views of the nearby mountains and fjords, a great spot to enjoy nature and picnic.

Senja National Tourist Route: This scenic drive takes you through some of the most amazing landscapes on Senja Island, including cliffs, fjords, and beaches. It’s a great way to explore the island and enjoy the stunning scenery.

Tungeneset: This scenic viewpoint offers panoramic views of the ocean and surrounding mountains. It’s a popular spot for watching the northern lights in winter.

Mefjordvær: This charming fishing village is located on the northern coast of Senja and gives you a glimpse into the traditional way of life on the island. There is a harbour where you can watch the local fishermen bring in their array of catches of the day.

Ånderdalen National Park: Located in the interior of Senja Island, this national park offers a range of hiking trails through pristine wilderness, with opportunities to spot wildlife such as reindeer and moose.

~ Days 4 & 5 ~ Lofoten Islands

The Lofoten Islands are a stunning archipelago in northern Norway, above the Arctic Circle, known for its dramatic landscapes, pristine beaches, charming fishing villages, and the Northern Lights. The Lofoten Islands are made up of several islands, including Moskenesøya, Vestvågøy, and Flakstadøya. Today, we took a ferry across the Vestfjorden into the heart of the Lofoten Islands.

Located above the Arctic Circle, Lofoten Islands offer a unique experience to see the Northern Lights. The islands’ northern location and low light pollution make it a prime spot for viewing Northern Lights aurora. Seeing the Northern Lights dance across the sky is a truly magical experience that shouldn’t be missed.

The sheer beauty of the Lofoten Islands is breathtaking, making it a bucket list destination for many nature enthusiasts.

Places Of Interest

Reine: This picturesque fishing village is often called the most beautiful village in Norway. With its red and white fisherman’s huts, the village is a photographer’s dream come true.

Kvalvika Beach: This secluded beach is one of the most beautiful in the Lofoten Islands. Towering mountains surround it and are only accessible on foot.

Trollfjord: This narrow fjord is a popular destination for boat tours, as towering cliffs surround it, and it is home to a colony of sea eagles.

Henningsvær: This charming village is known for its scenic harbour, art galleries, and the iconic Henningsvær football pitch, surrounded by water.

Nusfjord: This well-preserved fishing village is a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its traditional architecture and cultural significance.

Reinebringen: This mountain peak offers breathtaking views of the surrounding islands and is a popular hiking destination.

Å: This tiny fishing village is located at the southern tip of the Lofoten Islands and is known for its traditional architecture and cultural heritage.

Svolvær: This bustling town is the largest settlement in the Lofoten Islands and is a hub for outdoor activities, including fishing, hiking, and kayaking.

The Lofotr Viking Museum: This museum offers a glimpse into the Viking Age and is home to a reconstructed Viking longhouse.

The Northern Lights: The Lofoten Islands are a prime location to view the Northern Lights, a natural phenomenon that occurs in the Arctic regions during the winter months.

~ Day 6 ~ Trondheim

Trondheim is a vibrant city in central Norway, known for its rich history, lively culture, and stunning architecture. The town is situated on the banks of the Nidelva River, the third-largest city in Norway. One of the highlights of Trondheim is its historic architecture. The city is home to numerous medieval buildings, including the iconic Nidaros Cathedral, which dates back to the 11th century. The city is a great place to experience Norwegian cuisine, home to some of Norway’s best restaurants, focusing on fresh, local ingredients and traditional dishes like reindeer and seafood. Forests, hills, and rivers surround Trondheim; it is an excellent base for outdoor activities like hiking and kayaking.
In conclusion, Trondheim is a charming and historic city with a lot to offer visitors. The stunning architecture, rich culture, delicious food, and access to nature make it a must-visit destination in Norway.

Places Of Interest

Trondheim, Norway, is a beautiful city with many historical and cultural attractions. Here are some places of interest you may want to visit:

Nidaros Cathedral: This stunning cathedral is a must-visit attraction in Trondheim. It’s one of the largest churches in Northern Europe and the burial place of St. Olav, the patron saint of Norway.

Gamle Bybro (Old Town Bridge): This iconic bridge is one of the oldest in Trondheim and offers beautiful views of the Nidelva River and the colourful houses in the Bakklandet neighbourhood.

Ringve Museum: This music museum is located in a beautiful 19th-century manor house and features a collection of musical instruments from around the world. Lovely gardens also surround it and have excellent views of the fjord.

Kristiansten Fortress: This 17th-century fortress sits on a hill overlooking the city and offers excellent views of Trondheim and the surrounding countryside. It’s also a popular spot for picnics and outdoor concerts.

Trondheim Science Center: This interactive museum is great for families and offers hands-on exhibits and demonstrations on energy, robotics, and space exploration.

Stiftsgården: This grand palace is the official residence of the Norwegian royal family in Trondheim and is generally open for tours during the summer months.

Rockheim: This modern museum is dedicated to the history of Norwegian popular music and features exhibits on everything from black metal to hip hop.

Bakklandet: This charming neighbourhood is known for its colourful wooden houses, narrow streets, and cosy cafes.  

~ Day 7 ~ Ålesund

Alesund is a picturesque coastal town on the west coast of Norway, known for its stunning Art Nouveau architecture, built after a devastating fire in 1904. The colourful buildings are adorned with intricate details, and walking around the town is like stepping into a fairy tale. The Art Nouveau Center is a great place to learn more about the town’s history and architecture. The fishing industry has played an essential role in Alesund’s history, and the museum provides a fascinating insight into the town’s fishing traditions. The Aksla viewpoint offers stunning panoramic views of the town and the surrounding islands, and it’s a great place to watch the sunset.

Places Of Interest

Ålesund Town Center: With its charming cobblestone streets, historic buildings, and picturesque harbour, you will be awe-inspired by this town. Stroll along the waterfront, browse the shops and cafes, and admire the stunning architecture of the Art Nouveau buildings.

Aksla Viewpoint: For panoramic views of Ålesund and the surrounding islands and mountains, head to the Aksla Viewpoint. You can reach the viewpoint by climbing the 418 steps of the famous Fjellstua stairs or taking the city train. Enjoy the breathtaking views, one of the most photographed spots in Norway.

Atlanterhavsparken: Norway’s largest saltwater aquarium, Atlanterhavsparken, is far from the town centre. The aquarium houses over 60 fish and marine animals, including sharks, seals, and otters.  

Alnes Lighthouse: Located on the island of Godøya, just a short drive from Ålesund, Alnes Lighthouse is a charming historic lighthouse that dates back to 1852. Tour and learn about its history, or enjoy stunning views of the coastline and the Atlantic Ocean.

Runde Island: Known as the “bird island,” Runde Island is a nature reserve about an hour’s drive from Ålesund. The island has over 500,000 seabirds, including puffins, razorbills, and guillemots. Visitors can take a boat tour around the island or hike the scenic trails to see the birds up close.

~ Day 8 ~ Bergen

Bergen is a beautiful coastal city located on the west coast of Norway. The city is known for its colourful wooden houses, the historic wharf, and stunning natural scenery. One of the highlights of Bergen is the UNESCO-listed Bryggen Wharf, which dates back to the 14th century. The waterfront is a beautiful collection of historic buildings home to shops, restaurants, and museums. Enjoy the Fløibanen funicular that takes you to the top of Mount Fløyen, where you can marvel at the stunning views of the city and surrounding fjords. The journey up is an experience as the funicular passes through the beautiful forested hillside. The city is home to several museums, including the Bergen Museum, which showcases the history and culture of the city and the surrounding region. The Fish Market is also a popular destination, where visitors can try traditional Norwegian seafood dishes like smoked salmon and fish soup.
In conclusion, Bergen is a beautiful city with a rich history, culture, and natural scenery. Its colourful architecture, lively atmosphere, and access to nature make it a must-visit destination in Norway.

Places Of Interest

Bergen is a beautiful coastal city in Norway, surrounded by seven mountains and fjords. Here are some areas of interest to visit while in Bergen:

Bryggen Hanseatic Wharf: This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a must-visit attraction in Bergen. The colourful wooden buildings date back to the 14th century and offer a glimpse into Bergen’s Hanseatic past.

Mount Fløyen: Take the funicular to the top of Mount Fløyen for panoramic views of Bergen and the surrounding fjords. There are also hiking trails and a restaurant at the top.

Bergenhus Fortress: This medieval fortress dates back to the 13th century and includes a castle, museum, and grounds to explore.

Fish Market: Located on the waterfront, Bergen’s Fish Market is a lively and colourful place to sample fresh seafood and local cuisine.

Bergen Art Museum: This museum houses a collection of Norwegian and international art, including works by Edvard Munch and Pablo Picasso.

KODE Art Museums: KODE is a group of four art museums in Bergen that showcase Norwegian and international art, design, and crafts.

Hanseatic Museum and Schøtstuene: This museum offers a fascinating look into the daily lives of the Hanseatic merchants who once lived in Bergen.

Nordnes Park: This park is located on a peninsula and offers scenic views of Bergen’s harbour, walking paths, a playground, and picnic areas.

Bergen Aquarium: Located near the city centre, Bergen Aquarium is home to various marine life, including penguins, seals, and fish from the fjords.

~ Day 9 ~ Flåm

Flåm is a small village located in the heart of the Norwegian fjords. It’s a popular tourist destination for its stunning natural scenery, including mountains, waterfalls, and fjords. One of the highlights of Flåm is the Flåm Railway, one of the steepest train rides in the world. The train takes passengers through the stunning mountain scenery, passing by waterfalls and offering breathtaking views of the fjords. Experience the Nærøyfjord, one of the world’s narrowest fjords. Take a boat tour of the fjord to enjoy stunning views of the surrounding mountains and waterfalls.

Places Of Interest

Flam Railway: The Flam Railway is one of Norway’s most popular tourist attractions, offering breathtaking views of the fjords and mountains. The train ride takes you through tunnels, bridges, and past waterfalls, making for an unforgettable experience.

Aurlandsfjord: Aurlandsfjord is a branch of the larger Sognefjord, one of Norway’s most beautiful fjords. Take a boat tour or rent a kayak to explore the fjord and its stunning scenery.

Aurlandsdalen Valley: Known as the “Norwegian Grand Canyon,” Aurlandsdalen Valley is a must-visit destination for hikers. The valley offers some of the most spectacular scenery in Norway, with steep mountains, waterfalls, and lush greenery.

Stegastein viewpoint

The Stegastein viewpoint is famous for its panoramic views of the fjord and mountains. The outlook is situated on a platform extending over the edge of a cliff, giving you an unobstructed view of the stunning scenery.

Flam Church: Flam Church is a charming wooden church built in 1667 in the heart of the village.

Flam Railway Museum: If you’re interested in the history and engineering behind the Flam Railway, make sure to visit the Flam Railway Museum. The museum has exhibits on the construction and operation of the railway, as well as historical artefacts and photos.

Aurlandskoen Shoe Factory Museum: The Aurlandskoen Shoe Factory Museum showcases the traditional craftsmanship of shoemaking in the region. The museum displays historical shoes, tools, and interactive exhibits where visitors can learn about the shoemaking process.

~ Day 10 ~ Stavanger

Stavanger is a coastal city on the southwestern coast of Norway, surrounded by stunning natural landscapes and rich cultural heritage. This charming city is the fourth largest in Norway and attracts visitors worldwide with its vibrant cultural scene, historical landmarks, and outdoor adventures. Visit the Old Stavanger neighbourhood, that features charming cobblestone streets, white wooden houses, and picturesque gardens. This well-preserved historic district is a great place to wander and take in the local culture and architecture. Visit the famous Stavanger Cathedral, a beautiful medieval church from the 12th century.

Stavanger is the perfect destination for nature lovers, with many outdoor activities available. Beautiful natural landscapes surround the city, including the Lysefjord and Preikestolen, a stunning cliff with panoramic views of the mountains and fjords.

Places Of Interest

Gamle Stavanger: This charming old town is a must-visit for anyone travelling to Stavanger. It features beautifully preserved wooden buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries, cobbled streets, and quaint cafes and shops.

Norwegian Petroleum Museum: This museum offers a fascinating history of Norway’s oil and gas industry. Visitors can learn about the science behind oil extraction, see real oil platforms and equipment, and even simulate drilling for oil themselves.

Pulpit Rock: One of Norway’s most iconic natural attractions, Pulpit Rock is a cliff offering breathtaking views of the Lysefjord below. Hiking to the top is a challenging but rewarding experience that will leave a lasting impression.

Stavanger Cathedral: This impressive cathedral dates back to the 12th century, one of Norway’s best-preserved medieval churches. Visitors can admire its beautiful stained glass windows, ancient stone carvings, and intricate architecture.

Flor og Fjaere: This stunning island garden is located just outside Stavanger and is home to over 5,000 exotic plants worldwide.  

~ Days 11 & 12 ~ Oslo

Oslo is Norway’s capital and a must-visit destination for anyone interested in Scandinavian culture, history, and natural beauty. This vibrant city is situated on the banks of the Oslofjord, surrounded by hills and forests. It is the largest city in Norway, home to a diverse population, with people from all over the world living and working there. It is known for its strong economy, high standard of living, and stunning natural beauty. The city has a temperate maritime climate, with cool summers and mild winters. The city is well-connected, with a modern transportation system that includes buses, trams, subways, and ferries. Oslo also has a well-developed bike-sharing system.

Norway is known for its high standard of living, and Oslo is no exception. The city has a well-developed healthcare system, excellent schools, and a strong social welfare system that supports those in need. The city is also known for its commitment to sustainability, focusing on renewable energy, waste reduction, and green spaces. With excellent museums, stunning architecture, and delicious food, this city is a must-visit destination in Norway.

Places Of Interest

The Vigeland Sculpture Park 

A fascinating park to view bronze, granite, and cast iron sculptures by Norwegian artist Gustav Vigeland. It’s a must-visit for art lovers and a great place to take a relaxing stroll.

The Oslo Opera House: This stunning building is a must-visit for architecture enthusiasts, with its unique design and beautiful views of the city and the fjord.

The Viking Ship Museum houses three 9th-century Viking ships and other artefacts and exhibits related to Viking history and culture.

The Munch Museum: This museum is dedicated to the life and work of Norwegian artist Edvard Munch, famous for his painting “The Scream”.

Akershus Fortress: This medieval castle and fortress offer amazing views of Oslo and the harbour and a glimpse into Norway’s rich history.

The Royal Palace: The official residence of the Norwegian monarch, this palace is a beautiful example of neoclassical architecture and offers tours of the state rooms during the summer months.

The Holmenkollen Ski Jump: This iconic ski jump symbolises Norwegian winter sports and offers stunning city views and surrounding mountains.

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