With 12 days in Norway, travelers can mix and match multiple major cities and regions. Activity options will depend largely on the season: In summer you can explore verdant mountains and dramatic fjords with various scenic modes of transport (rental car, fjordcruise, and train), while winter visitors can cruise above the Arctic Circle, go dogsledding, spot Northern Lights, and enjoy fewer crowds. And every trip below includes plenty of cultural exploration in one of Norway's vibrant urban centers: Oslo, Bergen, and Tromsø.

Itinerary #1: Best of Summer in Norway Tour 

Check off a number of stunning summer gems in both southern and northern Norway during long summer days with this seasonal adventure

Rent a car and drive around beaches in the Lofoten Islands
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Oslo - City Tour Oslo
Day 2 Train to Flåm - Ferry to Balestrand Balestrand
Day 3 Kayaking in Balestrand - Ferry to Bergen Bergen
Day 4 Explore Bergen with a Local Bergen
Day 5 Fjordcruise to Rosendal - Guided Hike & Glacier Tour Rosendal
Day 6 Return to Bergen - Board Hurtigruten Onboard Hurtigruten
Day 7 Hurtigruten: Nordford - Ålesund - Geirangerfjord Onboard Hurtigruten
Day 8 Hurtigruten: Trondheim - Rørvik Onboard Hurtigruten
Day 9 Hurtigruten: Brønnøysund - Lofoten Islands Svolvær
Day 10 Explore the Lofoten Islands - Drive to Reine Reine
Day 11 Beaches & Hiking Trails - Drive to Svolvær Svolvær
Day 12 Ferry to Bodø - Depart Norway  

This is an exciting option for those who want to see Norway's coast (mostly) by sea during peak season months when the weather is ideal. Before you head west, though, spend a few days in Oslo, Norway's rapidly growing capital surrounded by mountains and sea. A good place to start is Aker Brygge located an area on the Oslofjord made up of beautiful, modern buildings with great restaurants and atmosphere (keep an eye out for summer festivals).

You’ll then take a train and ferry to Balestrand to kayak in the Sognefjord, Norway’s longest and deepest fjord, before ferrying to Bergen. Spend a few days exploring the historic streets and taking a relaxing overnight trip to Rosendal (by ferry, again) surrounded by steep mountains and dotted with farms.

About halfway through the trip, you'll board a multi-day cruise on the Hurtigruten stopping in Ålesund, a beautiful west coast city known for fjord views and art nouveau architecture. Make sure to grab a window seat as you continue towards the spectacular UNESCO-listed Geirangerfjord passing sheer cliffs and impressive waterfalls while making your way to Trondheim

The Hurtigruten then sails north across the Arctic Circle where—if traveling from May through July—you'll experience 24 hours of daylight, often referred to as the ‘midnight sun.' After some possible excursions including Svartisen, Norway’s second-largest glacier, you'll eventually deboard in the Lofoten Islands where you'll rent a car and travel across the archipelago at your own pace. Many beaches here are accessible by car, but there are also some that can only be found by hiking. On your last day, take the ferry to Bodø to catch your flight back to Oslo where it all began. Learn more

Itinerary #2: Tromsø to Kirkenes Winter Adventure

This seasonal trip takes you deep into Norway's boreal territory for spectacular snowcapped scenery. Travelers in search of an 'off-the-beaten-track' adventure will surely gravitate towards this option in the northern reaches of Norway. 

Snowy landscapes and the Northern Lights
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Tromsø Tromsø
Day 2 Explore Tromsø & Chase the Northern Lights Tromsø
Day 3 Transfer to Trapper's Farm - Overnight Excursion Tromsø
Day 4 Breakfast at Trapper's Farm - Return to Tromsø Tromsø
Day 5 Breakfast in Tromsø - Bus to Alta Alta
Day 6 Winter Activities in Alta Alta
Day 7 Igloo Hotel Experience Alta
Day 8 Bus from Alta to Karasjok Karasjok
Day 9 Free Day in Karasjok Karasjok
Day 10 Snowmobile & Reindeer Excursion in Karasjok Karasjok
Day 11 Bus from Karasjok to Kirkenes Kirkenes
Day 12 Explore Kirkenes - Depart Norway  

You'll first land in Tromsø, the ‘Gateway to the Arctic’ surrounded by snowcapped mountains. In addition to its lovely scenery, it also has a rich history as well as great cultural activities and restaurants. Get your bearings by riding on the year-round cable car, where you can enjoy spectacular panoramic views of the city and surrounding islands, mountains, and fjords. At night, take a Northern Lights tour where a guide will pick you and find the best locations for viewing and photographing this spectacular natural occurrence followed by a campfire with hot chocolate and marshmallows.

From Tromsø, you'll also take an overnight trip to Trapper's Farm for a unique all-inclusive excursion in the great outdoors where you will take part in a range of day-time trapping and fishing trips as you travel through the countryside by  dogsled. Then, it’s time to travel by bus to the town of Alta. Bus journeys in this part of Norway are helmed by friendly and skilled drivers for types of weather and terrain.

You'll likely want to start at the Alta Museum featuring Northern Europe’s largest concentration of rock art made by hunter-gatherers, followed by a visit to the Northern Lights Cathedral, a modern architectural icon. The itinerary also offers a free day to enjoy some outdoor activities including skiing and snowshoeing.

From Alta, you’ll be picked up and transferred to your overnight in the world's northernmost ice hotel, Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel, which uses sustainable materials like natural snow and ice to create a new theme each season with the help of a local team of builders. After dinner and drinks in the lounge and restaurant, you'll experience the contrast between staying in the cold igloo environment, while a cozy sleeping bag keeps you nice and warm.

The bus journey continues east—this time to Karasjok, the unofficial Sami capital. Here, you'll travel by snowmobile to arrive at a winter settlement for Sámi reindeer herders who pursue their livelihood on winter pasture. The adventure culminates with one more bus ride from Karasjok to Kirkenes, a small town in northeastern Norway, close to the Finnish and Russian borders. Learn more

Itinerary #3: Western Norway Summer Road Trip 

This road-trip itinerary combines some of Norway's best fjords, mountains, villages, and cities, not to mention hiking trails overlooking iconic fjords and famous mountain ranges. 

Spend a day hitting the trails in Jotunheimen National Park
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Oslo Oslo
Day 2 Explore Oslo with a Local Oslo
Day 3 Train to Flåm - Ferry to Leikanger - Drive to Gaupne Gaupne
Day 4 Visit Urnes Stave Church - Hike to Molden Gaupne
Day 5 Drive to Fjærland - Mundal Valley Hike Fjærland
Day 6 Drive from Fjærland to Hjelle Hjelle
Day 7 Explore Hjelle Hjelle
Day 8 Drive from Hjelle to Lom, via Gamle Strynefjellsvegen Lom
Day 9 Hiking in Lom & Jotunheimen National Park Lom
Day 10 Drive from Lom to Leikanger, via Sognefjellet Bergen
Day 11 Explore Bergen with a Local Bergen
Day 12 Depart Bergen  

Start with two days in Oslo where you’ll tour the rapidly growing city on your own and with a local guide. Make sure to walk along the Havnepromenaden (harbor promenade)—a new five-and-a-half-mile waterfront park with a sleek opera house and modern art museum. Then ride the famous Flåm Railway to Flåm and catch a ferry to Leikanger. This is where you’ll grab your rental car and head to the fjord-side villages of Solvorn and Fjærland.

Next, drive to Hjelle, an idyllic village beautifully situated on the east side of Strynsvatnet Lake at the end of Hjelledalen Valley. Lesser-known by tourists, this peaceful spot surrounded by spectacular scenery, which has retained the atmosphere of Norwegian rural districts from days gone by. Next, it is time to drive to Lom along the Gamle Strynefjellsvegen, a historic route from the 19th century that was built by Swedes and Norwegians. Look for old stone masonry and long rows of guard stones that provide a sense of journeying backward in time. 

While staying in Lom, you’ll have time to explore some of the Jotunheimen National Park's scenic hikes ranging from short strolls to difficult treks led by a private guide (optional). You’ll then return to Leikanger along a National Scenic Route called Sognefjellet with views of the Hurrungane massif towering up to the sky. Once you return your car in Leikanger, head to the pier for your afternoon fjordcruise to Bergen. Bergen boasts a vast selection of cultural and outdoor activities, as well as great restaurants and nightlife, making it a great place to finish the trip. Learn more

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Itinerary #4: Winter Adventure in Norway's Arctic

This epic trip through Norway's wintry north includes a mix of travel modes and activities unique to the Arctic. Stay warm and on the move with walkable cities and unique activities in the great outdoors.

Snow-covered landscapes above the Arctic Circle
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Oslo Oslo
Day 2 Oslo City Tour Oslo
Day 3 Oslo - Train to Røros Røros
Day 4 Dogsledding in Røros - Train to Trondheim Trondheim
Day 5 Trondheim - Flight to Tromsø - Transfer to Trapper's Farm Tromsø
Day 6 Return to Tromsø & Explore Tromsø
Day 7 Hurtigruten - Explore Svolvær Svolvær
Day 8 Explore Lofoten Islands - Drive to Andenes Andenes
Day 9 Whale Watching & Snorkeling Safari - Drive to Svolvær Svolvær
Day 10 Explore Lofoten - Northern Lights Horseback Riding Svolvær
Day 11 Ferry to Bodø - Flight to Oslo Oslo
Day 12 Depart Oslo  

Start in Oslo and take advantage of the city’s museums, like the Holmenkollen Ski Museum & Tower for snow sports, polar exploration, and exhibits on snowboarding and modern skiing. Your next leg is a train north to the village of Røros—where you can walk around one of Norway's most beautiful villages, with narrow streets with about 80 wonderfully preserved (and UNESCO-listed) 17th- and 18th-century wooden houses. While here, you'll also join a dogsledding trip in the nearby Norwegian mountains, which includes a prepared hot lunch in the countryside.

Next on the itinerary is a train and flight to two more walkable cities: Trondheim and Tromsø, respectively. Following a night at Trapper's Farm, you'll board a Hurtigruten for an overnight cruise to the Lofoten Islands arriving at the village of Svolvær in the early evening—just in time to have dinner in one of the charming restaurants. Get a good night's sleep because the next day you'll pick up a rental car and head north along the coast to the town of Andenes on an even more remote archipelago: the Vesterålen. There are beautiful sights along the way include Bukkekjerka (an old Sami sacrificial site), Kleivodden (a beautiful ocean view and bird cliff view), and Bleik (a charming fishing village).

While in Andenes, you'll be picked up for your snorkeling adventure with whales—an extraordinary experience that begins with being suited up from head-to-toe in a dry suit so that you stay warm. To be in the water with the orcas while they're communicating is a powerful experience and an unforgettable meeting with nature.

You’ll then drive back to the Lofoten Islands for more time to appreciate the stunning natural scenery along E10 road, which runs along the archipelago allowing you to stop and admire the dramatic landscape along the way. Finally, return to Svolvær and have a hearty dinner before you meet up with a guide for an evening horseback adventure in search of the Northern Lights as you ride along ridges, sandy beaches, and ancient remnants from the Viking Age. Learn more 

Itinerary #5: Discover Norway's Cities

Check off Norway's three biggest cities while traveling by train, ferry, and fjordcruise on this exciting summer or autumn adventure

Ålesund's Art Nouveau architecture
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Oslo Oslo
Day 2 Explore Oslo with a Local Oslo
Day 3 Oslo - Train to Flåm Flåm
Day 4 Fjordcruise from Flåm to Bergen - City Tour Bergen
Day 5 Fjordcruise to Hardangerfjord Bergen
Day 6 Free Day in Bergen - Board Hurtigruten Onboard Hurtigruten
Day 7 Hurtigruten - Arrive in Ålesund Ålesund
Day 8 Ålesund - Hurtigruten - Geirangerfjord Onboard Hurtigruten
Day 9 Hurtigruten - Arrive in Trondheim Trondheim
Day 10 Free Day in Trondheim Trondheim
Day 11 Trondheim - Return to Oslo by Train Oslo
Day 12 Depart Oslo  

The first metropolis on this urban itinerary is Oslo—the common gateway for visitors arriving in Norway—home of  Vigeland Sculpture Park with 200 larger than life sculptures. Another must-see is Grünerløkka, which many inhabitants refer to affectionately as "Løkka." This once-run-down sector of Oslo is now the site of refurbished apartments, fashionable cafés, and hip restaurants. From here, you'll travel to Aurland on the scenic railway with a photo stop at Kjosfossen waterfall. Stay the night in peaceful surroundings where you'll have time to visit the Stegastein Viewpoint for beautiful views of the Aurlansdfjord ((a branch of the Sognefjord) before ferrying off to your next city: Bergen, surrounded by seven mountains.

Once you're settled, spend time wandering around the Bryggen area of downtown to view waterfront wooden houses that characterize the city, dating back to the 1700s (a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site). Also, make sure to take the Fløibanen funicular (or hike the trail on foot) to the top of Mount Fløyen—one of Bergen's peaks—for the best views of the city. You can also join a fun zip line adventure through the hilly forests near Bergen at a place called Mt. Ulriken Zip Line (seasonal/weekend activity) while enjoying Bergen's great restaurants and bars in the evening. 

Next is a cruise to the pretty city of Ålesund with photogenic streets to explore and numerous activities such as hiking, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding. The cruise then continues to your fourth city of the trip: Trondheim. Here you can walk or bike to popular museums including the National Museum of Decorative Arts, the Trondheim Museum of Art, the Archbishop’s Palace Museum, and the Rockheim, Norway’s national museum of popular music. The intimate city center is also great for shopping with independent boutiques, along with local dining establishments, including pubs, cafés, and restaurants—many that serve locally-brewed beer. For instance, there's a place called Antikvariatet that offers craft beers on tap and beautiful waterfront views. During summer months, you'll often find live bands drawing in students and hipsters. Learn more 

Itinerary #6: Arctic Norway Summer Road Trip

This summer road trip starts from Tromsø, Norway's 'Gateway to the Arctic', where—in May, June, and July—the sun never sets on these gorgeous views. 

Hiking on Senja island
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Tromsø Tromsø
Day 2 Explore Tromsø in Summer Tromsø
Day 3 Tromsø - Drive to Senja Senja
Day 4 Hiking Free Day in Senja Senja
Day 5 Ferry to Andenes - Explore Andøya Island Andenes
Day 6 Hike the Queen's Route Andenes
Day 7 Drive from Andenes to Bø
Day 8 Explore Vesterålen
Day 9 Drive to Finnsnes, via Sortland, Setermoen & Bardufoss Finnsnes
Day 10 Ferry from Finnsnes to Tromsø Tromsø
Day 11 Explore Tromsø Like a Local Tromsø
Day 12 Depart Tromsø  

This road trip meanders along the western coast above the Arctic Circle. Before you hit the road, though, enjoy a few days in Tromsø with summer activities like kayaking under a never-setting sun with a local guide. This full-day activity passes small picturesque villages, mountainous fjords, and small islands with opportunities to encounter jellyfish, sea stars, otters, sea eagles, puffins, and bottlenose dolphins. Then begin a three-hour drive to Senja, Norway's second-largest island, with a staggering diversity of landscapes like ocean views, mountains, beaches, lakes, forests, and fields within short distances of each other. Staying here allows you to partake in a wide variety of adventures all on the same day: hiking, kayaking, fishing, cycling, or just lying on the beach. 

The road trip continues to Andenes as a year-round whale watching destination and the northernmost point in the world where you can observe sperm whales. Even short trips offer a very high chance of spotting a whale, so take the afternoon to enjoy a 2- to 4-hour boat trip with a local whale-watching operation, where you can get a glimpse of the mighty sperm whales as well as other aquatic life and seabirds. You can also hike along Dronningruta, the Queen’s Route, a moderate, 9-mile (15 km) round trip takes you along the shoreline and over the mountain between Stø and the old fishing village of Nyksund, in the far north of Langøya, Norway's third-largest island. Sign up for a fishing trip with a local fisherman or visit a lighthouse with a guide. If you want a relaxing day, drive along the west coast visiting hamlets along the way.

At the end of the trip, you'll return to Tromsø where you can rent bikes and pedal over to Telegrafbukta Beach for some relaxation and views. Cap off the afternoon by cycling to the Mack Ølbryggeri (brewery), the northernmost brewery in the world. While here, sample more of the local proteins found in Tromsø, especially in restaurants serving stockfish, cod, and Atlantic Wolffish. If you prefer meat, there are plenty of options like reindeer, moose, and lamb. Learn more

Itinerary #7: Hiking & Relaxing in Western Norway

Active types who like to move at a meaningful pace will love this seasonal trip that explores beautiful trails across Western Norway. 

Join a guided hike in the Aurland Valley
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Oslo Oslo
Day 2 Explore Oslo with a Local Oslo
Day 3 Train to Geilo - Hiking Geilo
Day 4 Explore Geilo with a Local Geilo
Day 5 Geilo - Flåm Railway - Transfer to Aurland Aurland
Days 6-7 Free Day in Aurland Aurland
Day 8 Guided Hike - Fjordcruise to Bergen - Transfer to Solstrand Solstrand
Day 9 Free Day at Solstrand Hotel Solstrand
Day 10 Transfer to Bergen - Fjordcruise to Rosendal - Guided Hike & Glacier Tour Bergen
Day 11 Explore Bergen's Trails with a Local Bergen
Day 12 Depart Bergen  

This trip moves slowly between Oslo to Bergen with multi-day stops for hiking in lush valleys, dramatic fjords, and glaciers while staying in peaceful accommodations—many that offer spas and wellness activities. Warm-up your hiking legs in the Nordmarka forest, reached by tram in about 30 minutes from the Oslo city center.

On day three, you'll take a train to the beautiful mountain village of Geilo, which enjoys close proximity to two of the country's best national parks: Hallingskarvet and Hardangervidda. Hiking season starts at the end of June and lasts until October. There are several trails for every age and fitness level—some that are very easy (less than two miles) and some that are more difficult (up to 10 miles and more). You can also take a day-trip by train to the otherworldly mountain village of Finse, which sits at an elevation of 4,009 feet (1,222 m) above sea level, making it the highest station on the entire Norwegian railway system. There is no road access to Finse—you can only get here by train, foot, or bicycle.

Then you’re off to the eco-friendly Riverside Farm Lodge, a restored farm from the 19th century that feels a world away from the tourist scene in nearby Flåm. Staying here is a comfortable, yet high-end experience allowing you access to stunning natural surroundings and unique activities as well as quality cuisine using local, organic ingredients. Here, you can hike, fly-fish, visit local artists, bakeries, and centuries-old historical sites, or simply read a book overlooking the view. 

Then it’s time to catch your cruise to Bergen where you'll be picked up and transferred to Solstrand Hotel. This hideaway is situated directly on the shore of Bjørnefjorden—18 miles (30 km) from downtown Bergen. Hikers will be spoiled for choice with a range of wonderful inland and coastal opportunities. Before dinner, consider an afternoon visit to the hotel spa where you can enjoy the heated outdoor pool or take a dip in the fjord at the bathing pier (year-round).  During your last few days of the trip, you'll enjoy more hiking in both Rosendal and Bergen including Stoltzekliven—a local favorite consisting of 900 steps built by sherpas from Nepal. Learn more

Itinerary #8: Oslo, Bergen & Alta Winter Tour

This snow-themed itinerary is a nice option for travelers who want to see popular areas of Western Norway without the crowds, followed by some unique activities above the Arctic Circle.

Bergen's pretty waterfront
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Oslo Oslo
Day 2 Explore Oslo with a Local Oslo
Day 3 Train to Flåm - Transfer to Aurland Aurland
Day 4 Explore Aurland Aurland
Day 5 Fjordcruise - Transfer to Bergen Bergen
Day 6 Bergen Free Day Bergen
Day 7 Explore Winter in Bergen with a Local Bergen
Day 8 Day-Trip to Mostraumen Bergen
Day 9 Fly to Alta & Explore Alta
Day 10 Winter Activities in Alta Alta
Day 11 Dogsledding & Northern Lights Excursion Alta
Day 12 Depart Alta  

While most winter trips in Norway focus on the north, this one starts in the south. Bundle up in Oslo and get your kicks with the capital’s impressive museums and restaurants. This is also the home of the Mathallen Food Hall, where you can savor the flavors of Norway and abroad at its more than 30 eateries. You won't have too long in Oslo before you take the train west to Aurland, where you can go snowshoeing, visit local shops and cultural sites, or just relax with a good book.

Tansfer to Flåm and catch a ferry through the UNESCO-listed Nærøyfjord and some of the most beautiful scenery in the country to Gudvangen. When you arrive, take a local bus to Voss and finish with a train to Bergen. Like Oslo, Bergen offers plenty of options for those visiting in winter months. There's the Bergen Christmas Market and gingerbread town in December, and the Magic Ice Bar: a gallery of ice sculptures inspired by the famous works of Norwegian and international artists. While staying in Bergen, you’ll also take a fjordcruise day-trip into a deep fjord to get to Modalen as you pass steep mountains and spectacular waterfalls.

Then it’s time to fly north to the small city of Alta at the head of Altafjord. This gorgeous area offers forests, mountain plateaus, and dramatic coastal landscapes, as well as numerous opportunities to stop for photos or short hikes along the route—just be sure to wear warm layers and plan accordingly. Alta is also Europe's dogsledding capital and you'll spend your last day doing just that. Once it's dark enough, your guides will also help you hunt for the Northern Lights. Learn more

More Great 12-Day Norway Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your Norway trip? Check out these other 12-day Norway itineraries, ranging from active, to cultural, to luxury, or family-friendly trips.

Or, describe your ideal trip and we will connect you with a local specialist to make it happen.


Map of 12 Days in Norway - 8 Unique Itinerary Ideas
Map of 12 Days in Norway - 8 Unique Itinerary Ideas