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Discover the best Norway Travel Guide and detailed itinerary that gets you to the best destinations. By sea or by land, we have explored Norway and found hidden gems that are a must see. Norway is the perfect destination for adventure travelers and outdoor enthusiasts. I recently took a road trip from Oslo to Bergen and around other southern tip of Norway back to Oslo. Along the way I learned about secret waterfall hikes from locals and found hidden coastal hikes. While my plan to ride mountain bikes was spoiled by endless heavy rain and blizzards, I found plenty of other outdoor activities to fuel my passion for adventure.

Best Norway Cruise Routes

For international travelers, cruises that depart from Oslo are the easiest and require the least amount of additional travel. I flew into Oslo on a direct flight from Newark, NJ and was impressed with how smooth and relatively quick the flight way.

Norway is the ultimate destination for adventure cruises. The variety of ports and stunning landscapes along the water is why cruise ships are the best way to travel through Norway.

hurtigruten cruises
Image Credit: Hurtigruten.com

Best Cruise Company in Norway

The best cruise ship to take in Norway is Hurtigruten. For over 100 years Hurtigruten has navigated the Norweigan waterways. Today, their ultra-modern adventure cruise ships take active travelers to top destinations along the Norwegian coastline.

If you are like me and prefer being on the water over anything else, taking a cruise ship is an obvious choice. For those a bit more skeptical, talk to me after you drive the narrow roads along sheer cliffs and tell me you wouldn’t rather be on an adventure cruise ship enjoying the view. I have just driven through Norway in November 2023 and can tell you that cruise ships are the best way to see the most sights in Norway. And, if you think that you won’t be able to access everything, think again. The buses and rail systems in Norway are incredible.

Traveling Through Norway by Car

Because of my overly ambitious itinerary, I decided to rent a car to maximize my time in Norway. When I landed, there were nearly white out conditions it was snowing so hard. Not what I expected and honestly a bit under prepared. To my surprise, the rental car company had a brand new Audi eTron ready for me with snow tires on it – a feature I quickly learned is a must have in Norway.

Having a car was nice about 15% of the trip, the rest of the time it was a hassle and somewhat of a burden. For one, parking is expensive. Parking is exponentially more expensive when you don’t read Norwegian, pay incorrectly, and get a parking ticket for $65 USD for not paying $3 USD parking fee.

I quickly realized that the bus and train systems in Norway are the best way to travel on land. The buses go just about everywhere and are a fraction of what a rental car costs. Plus, the drivers are experienced in driving the tight roads which lets you soak in all of the views.

Norway Travel Guide – Must See Destinations

From my recent trip to Norway, I’ve put down a list of must see destinations in Norway.

Odda Norway

Home to the Trolltunga hike and some of the most amazing fjords that I have seen. Odda will look familiar to Netflix fans who have watched Ragnarok as it is the town of Edda as featured in the show. When it comes to accommodations there are two locations that I recommend (1) Trolltunga Hotel and (2) Woodnest.

Woodnest Odda Norway

WOODNEST – Odda, Norway

I stayed at Trolltunga Hotel while on a road trip around the southern tip of Norway.

Trolltunga hotel

The town of Odda is well known for its close proximity to the Trolltunga hike. If you are hiking with Trolltunga Active, the day before meeting is at Trolltunga Hotel as well as the pickup the morning of the hike.

While I never ended up doing the Trolltunga Hike because of Red Flag wind conditions, I did get to do a shorter hike nearby that one of the guides recommended to me.

Hikes near Odda Norway

How to get to Odda from Bergen

The best way to get to Odda from Bergen is by bus. You can book through skyss.no and find timetables to help plan your trip. It is 3 hours by bus or car from Bergen to Odda.

If you are starting or ending a cruise in Bergen, take a couple days to visit Odda. Once in Odda you can walk pretty much everywhere. In the summer months there is kayaking and paddle boarding. Odda is also the best place for stunning hikes that are easily accessible.

Driving from Oslo to Bergen

On Apple Maps the route looked easy enough. A roughly 7.5 hour drive with plenty of small cities along the way to refuel [recharge] and grab snacks. Freshly off the redeye from New York to Oslo, I got a large coffee from the airport and started my journey.

With Apple Maps plugged into my car, I was 8 hours from the destination – or so I thought. Leaving Oslo I meandered through small towns and navigated the snowy conditions. And while the towns became more spread out, the snow storm became more intense. I eventually reached Haugastøl where the high alpine lake of Sløddfjorden is surrounded by desolate plains of snow.

Standing at the edge of the lake felt like being at the very top of the world… This was like no place I’ve visited before. Over the next 6 days traveling through Norway I had many more of these experiences of awe. Many times I would have to pull the car over because of how dramatic the scenery is. While I enjoyed the drive, I am still convinced that the best way to see Norway is by cruise ship.