Category Archives: Norway

List of articles with tips on things to do in Norway and the best attractions in Norway.

Visiting the Norwegian Fjords

The Norwegian fjords, featured in the VisitNorway.com video below, look so majestic and pristine. I haven’t been to Norway, but it’s on my ‘would love to visit’ list. The fjord region is ideal for hiking, cycling and kayaking.

The Hardangerfjord, the second largest in Norway, stretches north-east from the Atlantic close to Bergen, up to the Hardingervidda Mountains.  The glacier on the Folgefonn Peninsula, on the southern bank of Hardaner Fjord, is a national park. There’s Summer skiing and guided trips up the glacier, where participants are roped together for the ascent to see the blue ice at the summit.

There are two waterfalls in the Hardangerfjord region. The impressive Voringsfossen Waterfall has a sheer drop of 145 metres. You can walk under the Steindalsfossen Waterfall.

If you visit in May, you’ll see lots of flowering fruit trees in the area; you should sample some of the local cider made in Jastad and Ulvik.

At the Hardanger Folk Museum, there are traditional costumes and a collection of old fiddles. I’d try to visit on a Tuesday afternoon in July, in order to watch the baking demonstration and hopefully sample some of the produce. The Hardanger Ships Preservation Centre offers practical rope- and toy-boat making sessions.

Climbing Slogen, one of the Sunnmøre Alps, offers fantastic views of Hjorundfjord. But don’t despair, if like me, you’d struggle with the 1,564 metre ascent; there are also several flat walks in the surrounding valleys

Slogen Hjorundfjord Norway

 Hjorundfjord by Havard Myklebust courtesy of VisitNorway.com

The city of Bergen is often referred to as the gateway to the fjords. You can read our tips for things to do in Bergen, including a tour of Bryggen, the wharf area dating from the 14th century, the former home of the Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg (now a museum) and hiking (or taking the cable car) up Mount Ulriken. The Bergen International Festival takes place during the last week in May and the first week in June.

If you fly in or out of Stavanger, futher south on Norway’s western coast, you could have a two centre break. The famous Pulpit Rock (Preikestolen), standing at 604 metres, is situated in the Ryfylke district, east of Stavanager. If you’re in the city in late June, you’ll catch the Stavanger Grand Slam of the Beach Volleyball World Tour.

Another twin centre alternative would be to fly into Oslo, the Norwegian capital, then take the train west to Bergen.  The 500km route is one of the highest railways in northern Europe.

Brought to you in association with Visit Norway.

10 Fun Things to Do in Norway

Here are our travel tips on what to do in Norway outside the capital city of Oslo.

Take the Scenic Norwegian Mountain Train to Flam

Taking a train in Norway is always a sight worth-seeing as it is full of nature. But one train route beats the others’ views, and that is the carriage train called Flamsbana. Your Flamsbana journey starts from Mydrals mountain station. You get to ride through a gorgeous valley to the Flam village. Along this 20km journey, you should get off at the one possible spot- the Kjoss waterfall.

what to do Norway

Mountain train to Flam by neha

Catch the Beach Volleyball Festival in Stavanger

So June has arrived, and you don’t want scorching heat. But you are not willing to compromise beach volleyball and sand either. Then Norway’s fourth biggest city Stavanger is the right choice for you.

The weather mostly ranges from warm to cool. At the end of June comes the annual beach volleyball festival, taking place along the harbor VÃ¥gen where games start early in the morning and end late at night. However remember that playing beach volley barefoot in Stavanger might feel cold, even in the summer. I tried doing it for 10 minutes and then I had to put my sneakers back on. Of course there’s more to Stavanger than volleyball, so more attraction ideas you might want to check out Britt’s post.

what to do Norway

Photo by Britt-Arnhild

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Things to Do in Oslo, Norway

The city of Oslo is sometimes overshadowed by the popularity of travelling through the countryside of beautiful Norway, or cruising along the fjords, but visiting the Norwegian capital is very much worthwhile, too. It is home to a number of interesting museums as well as being close to some stunning scenery. Our ideas on what to do in Oslo gives some tips for some of the most interesting landmarks, museums and outdoor experiences in the city.

what to do Oslo

Oslo by ed and eddie

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Summer = beach volleyball in Stavanger, Norway

By the end of June the city of Stavanger,in the south west in Norway, fills up with sand. It is time for the annual beach volleyball festival. Sand fields are made along VÃ¥gen, the harbour which lies almost in the middle of the old city. Here, games are played for early morning till late at night.

Stavanger, the 4th biggest city of Norway, after Oslo, Bergen and Trondheim, is best known as the oil capital of Norway. Stavanger attractions worth visiting include the oil museum, as are the many modern and traditional museums. However my Europe travel tip and what Ilove to do when I visit Stavanger, at least once every summer, is to walk along the small  streets in the old part of the city. Here the atmosphere hasn’t changed much during the last few decades. Although Norway’s biggest shopping mall, Kvadrat,  is located on the  outskirts of Stavanger, here in the old town you can lose yourself among small original shops, buy a coffee, some homemade pastries, the bookshops florishes and here and there, between clothing stores, there are a lovely variety of arts and crafts galleries.

After a long day walking around, don’t forget to visit the old stone cathedral and to feed the ducks and the swans at the small lake, Breiavannet, it is time for dinner. Let me recommend the Italian Allegro where the atmosphere is charming, the food exellent and the service very good.

Then, do like we did, end your night watching the sunset around 10pm at VÃ¥gen.

Enjoy your day.

Next week I plan to take you to the only Palm Island in Norway, Flor og Fjære, 20 minutes by boat from Stavanger.

Historic route of Monte Carlo Rally, Tronåsen, Norway

I only discovered a  couple of days ago that Monte Carlo Rally had, in the past, started in Norway. Now I know :-). From 1931 and for several years after, the rally started in Stavanger, in south west in Norway. After some 120 kilometers the rally reached the hill of Tronåsen, which soon became a dreaded part of the race.

The road up Tronåsen is narrow and steep, creeping up in one hairpin bend after another. When it was built it used to be part of the main road between Stavanger and Oslo. Today it is open only in summer, mostly used by tourists.

We visited TronÃ¥sen the other day, in two cars as there were too many of us to fit in one. My husband drove one of the cars, I drove the other. The roads up are the steepest slopes that I’ve ever  driven up, and my husband didn’t feel sure that I would make it. Of course, as soon as I knew that, nothing could stop me :-) So while I drove, my heart beating fast, I had two teenage girls hanging out of the car windows with their cameras, dividing their time between cheering the mother chauffeur and shooting scenic photos.

To reach Tronåsen today, you can fly to Stavanger, take the train to Flekkefjord and there rent a car. Or drive from Stavanger in the southwest or Kristiansand in the south. Along the way there are a lot of possibilities for scenic detours.

More photos here, quite amazing (Norwegian text)

The Norwegian Coastal Cruise Line

Are you planning a visit to Norway in the near future? If so, let me suggest a few days on the Coastal Line along the western coast of Norway. The line goes all the way from Bergen up to Kirkenes and then down south again, but you can of course board the ship where you want, for so long as you want. Trondheim is a popular stop along the line, but today I am taking you to the small village of Rørvik, north of Trondheim.

The coastal line only stops for a short time in Rørvik, but long enough to take a walk to enjoy the old wooden houses, the sea houses, or may be the church is open and a concert is given for the tourists.

You can read more about Rørvik here.

Old wooden hotels in Norway – Røisheim

 

All along western Norway you find quite a few old, old treasures, the old wooden hotels. Many of then are originally from a period long forgotten (or almost forgotten?) when British and other European travellers came to Norway to climb in the mountains, to hike in the nature.  These travellers were used to a certain style, and it didn’t take the owners of the guesthouses along their road long to adapt to the style required.

The old farm Røisheim is one of these places, filled to the brim with an old fashioned charm from days gone, at the same time all the needs of a modern traveller are catered for.  Staying at such an establishment is my Europe travel tip if you’re visiting Norway.

Every night the huge matklokke at Røisheim chimes when dinner is served. Dinner at Røisheim, a 5 course meal which must have been prepared by the elves, the main elf being Fru Ingrid, who reigns in the kitchen today.

Every course served is a pure piece of art, in appearance, in taste, in an atmosphere which is found in very few places. If the old plates could tell their stories, if the walls could show glimpses from days way back in time…….. Well, when you eat your meal at Røisheim the rooms do tell their stories. Open your eyes and your ears, see, listen, and you will be surprised what you’ll learn.

Every bedroom at the old farm is different. The one we were given had this lovely bed, and it had a wooden bath tub inside the bedroom. Make sure you have time to fill the tub, before dinner, before breakfast the next morning. And enjoy your time!

Here are links to my posts Romance at Røisheim and Dinner at Røisheim.

Eurovision Song Contest 2010 in Oslo, Norway

Quick – book your tickets now!  It’s time for the Eurovision Song Contest 2010, one of fun cultural events in Europe, this year being held in Oslo, Norway.  (If you’re unfamiliar with Eurovision, you’re missing out on one of Europe’s cult classics – check out the Wikipedia page for all the grotesque details.)

Oslo is a top European destination – it was recently announced as a Top 20 City of 2020.  Eurovision is being held at Telenor Arena, a new venue opened last year.  It’s about 15 minutes outside of town, but you can bet lots of fun will be happening across the city during the three days of the event, which will be on the 25th, 27th, and 29th of May.

Other must-see Oslo attractions:

  • The Opera House – with its award winning architecture, it will be interesting to compare this modern architecture with the new Telenor Arena.
  • The Munch Museum – come and see the artwork everybody wants to steal.
  • Park St.Hanshaugen – where you’ll find one of the best views in the city.
  • Oslomarka  – this is a huge forest outside the city, and the perfect place to nurse the post-Eurovision hangover.
  • Frogner Park – which contains over 200 sculptures.

If you have the time, my Europe travel tip is a train trip cross-country to the coastal town of Bergen; it’s a gateway town to the fjords and plenty of ferry boat rides, museums and walking trails are enough to keep you busy for several days.

Are you headed to Oslo for Eurovision 2010?

Photo by Proteusbcn

Why you should visit Norway in May

Make sure that you come to Norway, at least once, in May. May 17th is Norway’s Constitution Day. Schools are off, offices and shops are closed. Everybody is out to celebrate. The photos today are from Trondheim, the third biggest city of Norway.

Here the day starts with a parade for school children and brass bands at 10 am, it continues with a parade for organisations and groups at 1pm, and has its last parade at 4pm for High School last year students. People dress in their best clothes, thousands of men, women and children wear their “bunads”, regional costumes, flags can be seen everywhere and the air is filled with cheers and the music from bands playing.

Many schools have their own brass bands, and they have practised for weeks now to manage the marching while playing.

Mid-May can be cold in Trondheim. Luckily the bunads are mostly made of warm wool, many children are lucky to have knitting grand mothers, like this young charmer.

If you are looking for a place to stay in Trondheim let me recommend one of the city’s nicest hotel, Rica Nidelven. While you are there make sure you have time enough to enjoy the breakfast for at least a couple of hours. The hotel has the best breakfast in the country.

You can read more about May 17th in Trondheim here and here. And about bunads  here.