Julie Norway 13 Comments

In 2013, on our first trip to Norway, we spent twelve days touring the country, visiting Oslo, Bergen, Stavanger, and Alesund. Hiking was our favorite activity here. Norway is an amazing (and very expensive!!) country to visit, and the perfect place to rent a car for sightseeing.

Our tour of Norway started in Stavanger. We stayed here for several nights in order to hike to Pulpit Rock and Kjeragbolten. Stavanger is a charming, coastal town located on the southwestern tip of Norway.


From Stavanger it is just a combination ferry and bus ride to the famous Pulpit Rock hike. This is Norway’s most popular hike and it was extremely crowded on the day we hiked here. The views of the fjords were beautiful but as a family we all enjoyed the other three hikes we did in Norway much more.

Pulpit Rock Norway

The hike to Kjeragbolten was Tyler and Kara’s favorite. It is a fairly challenging hike involving rock scrambling and the use of chains to ascend the mountains. Tim and I both stood on the boulder (yikes!).

Standing on Kjerag

Norway Photos

Driving back to Stavanger from the hike to Kjeragbolten these sheep posed perfectly for the camera.

As we drove through Norway we saw all kinds of livestock…


Kara with the Goats


Cows in the Road

Strange street signs…

Move Over

But we never saw any elk or reindeer…or any trolls, for that matter. But I did find some ferocious Vikings in Bergen!


From Stavanger we took a super quick flight north to the wonderful town of Bergen. Bergen is one of Norway’s rainiest cities but luck was on our side…we had a picture perfect day.

Bergen Norway

This is Bryggen, a row of Hanseatic houses in the harbor of Bergen. This was a German port used for the export of cod to the rest of Europe.

Bryggen, Bergen Norway

In Bergen we rented our second car (we rented a car for one day in Stavanger to drive to the Kjeragbolten hike). From here we would take a one week trip winding through the fjords of Norway, ending at Alesund. Driving these roads were a highlight of our time in Norway. For the most part all of the roads are one lane roads with frequent pull-offs for passing cars. If the road was too narrow for two cars to pass, one car would have to reverse until they reached one of these pull-offs, allowing the other car to go by.

Norwegian Road

We frequently made use of the car ferries to cross the fjords, sometimes using as many as 3 or 4 ferries a day. There were also numerous tunnels cut through the mountains, and we drove through the longest tunnel in world, measuring 15 miles long.

Norwegian Houses

We spent the night in Eidfjord, and then had a amazingly scenic hour ride south to the hike to Trolltunga.



Seeing Norway by car is great, but hiking Norway is awesome. We had our best views of Norway on the hike to Trolltunga.

Hiking to Trolltunga

Julie on Trolltunga

Eventually our good weather luck had to come to an end. As we drove north from Eidfjord clouds and rain moved in and would not clear up until more than three days later.

Norwegian Fjords on a Rainy Day

There is a popular tour in Norway called “Norway in a Nutshell.”  This is a one day tour that takes tourists on a ferry ride through one of Norway’s most beautiful fjords, Naeroyfjord, and then on a train from Flam through spectacular mountain scenery. Since it was raining our views did not live up to all of the hype we read about while planning the trip.

And this is what happens when you take two kids on a “long, boring ferry ride” in the rain:

Excited Kids

We never did the iconic Flam railway because of the rainy weather. None of us were terribly disappointed. How could it beat what we saw so far?

We spent another day driving north through the rain and fog, arriving at Geirangerfjord. This fjord is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is supposed to be one of Norway’s most spectacular fjords. When we arrived it was so foggy we couldn’t even see it. Tim had paid extra for a hotel room with views of the fjord. So much for our good views.

The next day the weather cleared up a tiny bit.


We took advantage of a break in the rain to go kayaking which turned out to be a lot of fun.

Kara Kayaking

Kayaking Geirangerfjord

Geirangerfjord in the Rain

From Geiranger we drove north to Andalsnes.  Here we hiked Romsdalseggen, and still the weather was drizzly and foggy. But by the end of the day conditions began to clear up.

Hiking Romsdalseggen

In fact, as we drove the famous Trollstigen road, sunlight was just beginning to peak through the clouds.


We had one more day of driving out to the coastal town of Alesund. We spent a few hours wandering here before flying to Oslo.

Alesund Norway

We had one day to tour Oslo…in the rain. We heard the views from the Holmenkollen Ski Jump out to Oslo are supposed to be phenomenal but we will just have to take their word for it…we couldn’t see ten feet in front of us while we were there. We did go to the Viking Museum, and since everything was indoors, it was a pleasant experience. Walking around the old viking ships was pretty cool but Tyler and Kara were getting tired of sightseeing at this point.

Viking Museum Oslo

From Oslo we flew home, ending our tour of Norway.

We hope you enjoyed our best Norway photos!

Note: This article was written after our trip to Norway in 2013.

More Information for Your Trip to Norway:

10 DAYS IN THE FJORD REGION: On this 10 day itinerary through the fjord region,visit southern Norway: Bergen, Geirangerfjord, and Stavanger and hike Trolltunga, Pulpit Rock and Kjeragbolten.

NORWAY IN PHOTOS: For more beautiful photos of Norway, check out our article Northern Norway in Photos.

PLACES TO GO IN NORWAY: For a list of top experiences in Norway, don’t miss our Norway Bucket List. If you are a hiker, we also have a hiking guide with 14 epic day hikes to do in Norway.

BEST OF THE LOFOTEN ISLANDS: For an overview of the best things to do, read our Lofoten Islands Top Ten List. Great hikes in the Lofoten Islands include Ryten, Reinebringen, Festvagtind, and Svolvaer Floya. For a big adventure, climb Svolvaergeita for one of the most unique experiences in the Lofoten Islands.

SVALBARD, NORWAY: Plan the perfect visit to Svalbard with our Svalbard Travel Guide. We also have articles about the best things to do in Longyearbyen, what to pack for Svalbard in the summer, and how much does it cost to visit Svalbard?


Planning a trip to Norway? Read all of our articles in our Norway Travel Guide.



All rights reserved © Earth Trekkers. Republishing this article and/or any of its contents (text, photography, etc.), in whole or in part, is strictly prohibited.

Comments 13

  1. Avatar for Lukas P.
    Lukas P.

    Seems like you and your familiy had a great time in Norway. I’ve been to Norway the first time this year, a wonderful country! Still, I was not able to explore as much as you (I stayed at Lofoten Islands). Maybe I will come back next year to visit all the other spectacular places you mentioned 🙂


    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Yes, Norway is amazing. Very photogenic…I think you would love it (beautiful photos on your website, by the way!). Cheers, Julie

  2. Avatar for Angela

    Hi Julie,

    Was wondering if you had any advice for taking DSLR pictures in not so perfect weather conditions (cloudy, rainy, misty…)? Assuming you took these with a DSLR. I’m going to Trolltunga and Bergen in mid July and i’m super nervous about the weather as i know it’s pretty rainy there…


    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Hello Angela. Yes, 99% of the photos on this site are taken with a DSLR camera. In Scotland, we dealt with quite a bit of wet weather. Bring an umbrella, that helps keep the rain off of you and the camera. Have a dry towel or rag to wipe the rain drops off of the front of your lens if it gets wet. Obviously, try to keep the camera as dry as possible. If there are puddles, sometimes you can capture interesting reflections that you normally wouldn’t be able to get in dry conditions. Later, I use Lightroom for editing the photos. Having a good editing software can help brighten up your photos a little bit, so they don’t look so dreary. Cloudy days are great for photography since they soften the sunlight and the clouds make the sky dramatic. Here’s hoping for good weather in Norway! Cheers, Julie

  3. Avatar for sue riedhammer
    sue riedhammer

    I will be in Norway the first week of September flying in/out of Bergen. Here is my plan, let me know if it feasible considering roads, etc. (only have 7 nights/8 days)
    Overnight in Bergen, drive to Stavanger, stay there 2 nights, on to Flam for 1 night, drive up to Geiranger, stay there 2 nights and drive back to Bergen, overnight stay and fly out.
    Any advice would be great!

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Yes, this is feasible, but it is a lot of driving, especially from Bergen to Stavanger and Stavanger to Flam. What is it you want to do in Stavanger? You will have to decide if it is worth the driving to go here. Once you get to Stavanger, it looks like you will only have one full day there. In my opinion, you will have a better time if you eliminate Stavanger and see Bergen, Flam, Geiranger. Are your flights already booked? If not, you could fly into Bergen and out of Stavanger (or vice versa), saving a lot of driving time and giving yourself more sightseeing time. Let me know what you think and I can give you some more suggestions. – Julie

  4. Avatar for Katie

    I just discovered your blog while searching for Norway itineraries and it’s exactly what I was looking for! I’m planning to go in August as a solo female traveller and it sounds like Norway is very safe, which is reassuring. Hiking is right up my alley and I love that you posted individual blogs from each hike to give more detail. Thanks for all the information and beautiful photos – can’t wait to experience it myself!

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Hello Katie! Enjoy Norway…it’s awesome. Yes, its very safe and hiking is the best way to see it. Still one of our fave places in the world! Cheers, Julie

  5. Avatar for Kurt Rubio
    Kurt Rubio

    Stumbled upon your site while researching Norway for our upcoming trip. We are going this August.

    Great pictures and very informative information!

    Hoping you can lend a hand with a couple of questions related to driving:
    1. Which car rental company did you use? We are thinking of using Europcar.
    2. Would you recommend renting a standalone GPS unit with the car or would the usual “use my smartphone navigation app” work as well?
    3. How long are the waits at the ferries?
    4. Any car/driving tips? =)

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Hello Kurt,

      We used Hertz rental car just because they had the cheapest rates. Cost is usually our main criteria in picking a rental car company and it can vary from country to country. For GPS, we use Google maps on my iPhone, and for short trips we buy a little international data just to have for emergencies. Driving in Norway is safe and very easy. The roads are not very crowded and we always felt safe, even on the windiest of roads. It can take longer than you may expect getting to point A to point B because the roads do curve a lot and occasionally you may get stuck behind a large, slower truck. Each ferry will have an operating schedule and there will be posted times on the internet. Google search the towns that the ferry is traveling between and you should be able to learn these times. If the ferry is posted to leave at 2:18 pm, it will leave exactly at 2:18 pm. These ferries are so punctual that you can set your watch to them. Hope this helps! -Julie

  6. Avatar for Kevin Templin
    1. Avatar for Julie Post


      Going solo should be fine. Norway is such a safe, easy country to get around in…and so beautiful. If you are going in the summer months there are plenty of other hikers on the trails, just in case something should go wrong. If you are hiking, just make sure someone knows where you are (such as your hotel), so you have somebody making sure you get back safely. On some of these hikes, such as kjeragbolten, the weather can change quickly, and we have heard horror stories. Have a great time and enjoy Norway…it’s one of the most beautiful places we have been.


  7. Avatar for CLAUDIA BELME

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *