Perfect for summertime, this epic Norway adventure is ideal for adults and families with little ones aged five and up. It starts in Oslo, where you can hit cultural attractions in the nation's capital. From here, pick up a rental car and meander along the Oslofjord to get to a national park with swimming beaches. Then take the crew and head to Voss, a mountain town known for adrenaline sports (and a new gondola), before finishing in Balestrand with hiking, deep-sea fishing, and ferry trips through the longest fjord in Norway.


  • Stay in a remote treetop hut overlooking the Oslofjord and cook over a campfire
  • Spend two days canoeing and rafting in a mountain town with a new gondola 
  • Go hiking and deep-sea fishing in Balestrand, situated on a spectacular fjord
  • Learn about Viking history in a settlement surrounded by UNESCO-listed scenery

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Oslo, Explore Oslo
Day 2 Explore Holmenkollen Oslo
Day 3 Drive to Tønsberg, Overnight in a Treetop Hut Tønsberg
Day 4 Explore Tønsberg, Visit the World's End Tønsberg
Day 5 Drive to Voss, Explore Voss
Day 6 Raundalselva River Canoeing Excursion Voss
Day 7 Family Whitewater Rafting Excursion Voss
Day 8 Visit the Zipline & Climbing Park Voss
Day 9 Viking Day in Gudvangen Voss
Day 10 Drive to Balestrand, Explore Balestrand
Day 11 Deep Sea Fishing Excursion Balestrand
Day 12 Hiking in Balestrand Balestrand
Day 13 Day Trip to Flåm via Ferry Balestrand
Day 14 Drive to Oslo, Explore Oslo
Day 15 Depart Norway  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Oslo, Explore

Oslo's modern Aker Brygge area is directly on the waterfront

Welcome to Oslo! Upon arrival, you and your family will enjoy a comfortable and scenic train ride between Oslo Airport and the city center that takes about 20 minutes. Get settled in your hotel and then head outside and explore.

Norway's rapidly growing capital is still considered a small city, helped by the fact that mountains and sea surround it. A good place to start is walking along Karl Johans gate, the main thoroughfare, from the city center to Palace Park, where the Norwegian monarchy resides. You can also spend the afternoon visiting the Munch Museum and Oslo Opera House—two of the city's top architectural marvels. You can also head to the Natural History Museum at the University of Oslo and see the life-size European dinosaur fossils—sure to delight the little ones—and a 150-acre botanic garden. 

For dinner, return to the buzzing core around Karl Johans gate with a wide range of restaurants and charming cafés, including several options that offer outdoor seating during the summer. Another option is to walk to Aker Brygge, an area on the Oslofjord made up of beautiful, modern buildings where you can find dozens of restaurants drawing locals and visitors alike.

Day 2: Explore Holmenkollen

This ski jump also has great views over Oslo
This ski jump is worth the visit, and it has great views over Oslo

Today you'll take a day trip to Holmenkollen, a hilly neighborhood on the northwestern side of Oslo, which is also a gateway to Nordmarka, one of the most popular recreational areas in the city. This is a great starting point for hiking trips in the summer for all ages and abilities. In addition to beautiful scenery, one of Oslo's top attractions is located up here: Holmenkollen Ski Museum & Ski Jump, with a capacity for 70,000 viewers.

With the kids in tow, you'll first take a tram from Oslo and then walk the last section to the top. It takes about 20 to 30 minutes to get here from the city center—and the view on the way up the hill is worth the trip alone. Once you arrive in Holmenkollen, you can explore the streets and hiking trails or simply have lunch and visit the ski tower and museum. Whichever way you choose, you'll get amazing photo opportunities overlooking Oslo. 

Day 3: Drive to Tønsberg, Overnight in a Treetop Hut

Trønsberg is Norway's oldest city and offers exciting Viking history

Today it's time to pick up your rental car and drive one hour to reach Tønsberg, the oldest city in Norway, for a fun and educational experience. Tønsberg was founded by Vikings and is the spot where a famous ship, called the Oseberg, was originally found in 1904. A full replica can be toured in the harbor where the Oseberg Viking Inheritance Foundation is working on a reconstruction of another ship called the Klåstad. These vessels are made only using the methods and tools available to Vikings at the time they were originally constructed.

As for your accommodations, you'll stay in a treetop hut near Tønsberg within a forest overlooking the Oslofjord. To make the most of your stay, you can drop by a store to buy groceries and provisions for dinner that you and the family can enjoy while overlooking the fjord. The cabin has an outdoor fireplace and firewood, so you can create a true Norwegian experience and grill your dinner over an open fire. 

Day 4: Explore Tønsberg, Visit the World's End 

Explore Tønsberg
Tønsberg's Oslofjord location is the gateway to the World's End

Today you have more time to explore Tønsberg's attractions, like the Vestfold Viking Trail—a historic route featuring Viking-age burial sites and former settlements. The area is a popular summer vacation spot for both Norwegians and international tourists, especially Færder National Park, home of the picturesque Verdens Ende (World's End). Here the family can kick back and enjoy a relaxing beach day surrounded by interesting rock formations and fjord views. There are excellent bathing conditions, especially for young ones, with a child-friendly swimming area.

You can also visit a free mini-zoo at the small animal park located at Stall Verdens Ende next to the parking lot—open every day during the peak summer season. There are various animal species like rabbits, pigs, sheep, chickens, and horses. Horseback riding tours are also offered year-round for all age groups. 

Day 5: Drive to Voss, Explore

The Voss area has many recreation opportunities
The Voss area has many recreation opportunities for all ages

Today you'll pack up the car and drive from Tønsberg to Voss—a route that takes about six hours. When you arrive, take some time to check out this fantastic year-round destination surrounded by magnificent landscapes like high mountains, wooded valleys, and cascading rivers and waterfalls.

Both children and adults can take part in adrenaline-inducing activities thanks to an active extreme sports community in the Voss area, which also ensures that experiences are safe and enjoyable. There is a wide range of summer activities to choose from, such as tandem parachuting, paragliding, whitewater rafting, rock climbing, cycling, hiking, and kayaking.

Or simply explore your surroundings, perhaps with a visit to one of the waterfalls surrounding Voss, like Tvindefossen or Skjervsfossen. Meanwhile, the Bordalsgjelet Gorge is also a beautiful natural attraction within walking distance from the town center, where you can see how ice and water have shaped the landscape over thousands of years. A drive down the hairpin road of Stalheimskleiva in the summertime is also recommended.

You can also take a spin on the new cable car that opened in 2019, rising 2690 feet (820 m), making it the biggest and most modern cable car in Northern Europe. At the top, you will find Hangurstoppen Restaurant and panoramic views of the mountains around Voss. In summer, this is a great place for walking, biking, and paragliding.

Day 6: Raundalselva River Canoeing Excursion

Canoeing in the Raundalselva river
Canoeing in the Raundalselva river

The whole family can get out on the water today as you join a leisurely 2.5-hour canoeing excursion along a beautiful stretch of the Raundalselva river. It starts with a tutorial on dry land where you'll learn the canoeing basics before you set off on a 3.2-mile (5 km) "fun-flow" experience, led by friendly, experienced guides in kayaks who will stay close to your canoe while you paddle down the picturesque river.

The tour will finish at Palma Fossen—a 49-foot (15 m) high waterfall on the river where you can see a salmon ladder that helps salmon swim all the way upstream. Here, a shuttle awaits you to return to Voss. Keep in mind that participants must be at least five years of age and need to know how to swim.

Day 7: Whitewater Rafting Excursion

River rafting in Voss with a professional guide
River rafting in Voss with a professional guide
Plan your trip to Norway
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Today is your chance to join an epic family-friendly rafting trip on a different section of the Raundalselva river. This is a safe and fun adventure for groups of adults and young kids aged five and up who know how to swim.

During the three-hour adventure, you'll be able to paddle the easy-going rapids in one of the most scenic environments in the world. Everyone must paddle and work as a team to navigate down the river, but there will be opportunities to relax and enjoy the beautiful pools and waterfalls along the trip.

The trip is led by qualified international guides that are certified in river rafting. Only the best guides in the area get to do this job who have years of experience for your safety. They will provide you with instructions before and during the tour (on land and water) and will also teach you some skills you can apply to future paddle adventures.

Day 8: Visit a Zipline & Climbing Park

Zip through the verdant forests of the Voss area

Today's family adventure is located on dry land, where you will have the chance to test if you are afraid of the heights at Voss's High Rope & Zip-Line Park. There are a total of 60 different elements in the park, and the highest point is more than 46 feet (14 m) above ground level. There is also a separate zip line trail that runs 492 feet (150 m) across a river.

The park also offers exciting and challenging activities in which you go from tree to tree using various climbing and balancing elements. If you or the kids are a little anxious about heights, the main course is an excellent way to overcome your fear—and if any of the more difficult elements are too challenging, you can always take a shortcut. There are even micro- and mini-courses that are suitable for children who are taller than 3.3 feet (100 cm).

Day 9: Viking Day in Gudvangen

Visit an authentic Viking village
Visit an authentic Viking village

Go back in time today and explore the Viking Village Njardarheimr in Gudvangen. Surrounded by UNESCO-listed scenery, your family will experience an authentic village showing how Vikings lived 1,000 years ago when Gudvangen received its name. There are no dressed-up actors here, but real-life Vikings of all ages who have chosen this lifestyle in today's modern world. They have unique knowledge about Viking life and would love to share it with you and the kids.

You can also add an optional tour where you can hear the stories of the Vikings and understand who they were and where they came from. Experience the lifestyle for yourself, including what it was like in a Viking community, as well as their travels, their boats, and how the Viking Age and its teachings have left a deep mark in history, which still affects the world today. There's also a chance to taste real Viking cuisine.

Day 10: Drive to Balestrand, Explore

Arrive in Balestrand, Explore
Balestrand is a charming town on the north shore of the Sognefjord

Today you will drive from Voss to Balestrand and stay a few days along the Sognefjord, Norway's longest and deepest fjord. Upon arrival in the charming fjord-side town, you'll have the rest of the day to explore on your own. There are several hiking trails in the immediate area, including easy-to-moderate options. You can also walk around town visiting St. Olav's Church, as well as art galleries, local museums, and even a small aquarium that is perfect for little ones.

If you arrive early enough, you can also catch a ferry from Balestrand to the glacier village of Fjærland. Here you can explore the town center, known as Mundal, famous for its many second-hand bookshops made from converted farmhouses and sheds. Visit the charming cafés, art galleries, and shops, or stop in at the award-winning Norwegian Glacier Museum nearby. 

Day 11: Deep Sea Fishing Excursion

Learn how to fish with your guide
Learn how to fish in Norway's deepest fjord with experienced fishermen

Today is your chance to get out on the water again—this time for an exciting three-hour deep-sea fishing excursion with local fishermen. The team has years of experience fishing off the coast of Balestrand in the deepest section of the world's deepest fjord, so you and your family are in safe hands.

After meeting the fishermen and getting settled on the boat, you will head to a spot that is rich with mackerel, which is used as bait. Children will delight in learning how to use a tandem tackle baited with fresh mackerel and letting the line run out—between 656 feet to 1640 feet (200 to 500 m) below the surface. Deep in the sea, the only light comes from your flashing bait, illuminating a fresh, bleeding mackerel. It's irresistible to the bulging, light-hungry eyes of the fish down here. If one takes the bait, you'll have to do some real work to get it to the surface (of course, the fishermen are happy to help). 

Day 12: Hiking in Balestrand

You might run into some local residents on the trails in Balestrand

Summer in Balestrand is a spectacular time and place for hiking in the Sognefjord region. Here you can enjoy beautiful summit walks for all ages with views that will take your breath away. Balestrand offers a well-marked network of walking paths so that almost everyone can find something for their level. Some of the paths have information points along the way to tell you about the natural surroundings and the animals that live here. The paths also offer viewpoints, benches, and picnic sites—and many are accessible from the center of Balestrand.

One option for kids who are a little older is the Orrabenken trail, where you can discover beautiful views of the fjord and surrounding mountains. The trail curves up modest slopes as you gain about 1,200 feet (370 m) of elevation. Some parts are more demanding than others, but overall, this is a moderate hike. After about 2 miles (3 km), you'll reach the first viewpoint. Enjoy the scenery and breathe in the fresh air before continuing to Balabu, a small hut with another viewpoint sweeping across the fjord.

Day 13: Day Trip to Flåm via Ferry

Ferry through the Aurlandsfjord to get to Flåm

On today's schedule is a family-friendly day trip to Flåm, a charming railway village in the Aurlandsfjord, a narrow branch of the Sognefjord. After breakfast at 11:55 am, you will board a ferry from Balestrand that sails for about 90 minutes through the beautiful Sognefjord to your destination: Flåm. Sit back and relax as you enjoy the scenery along this stunning route.

Upon arrival, there are approximately two hours to look around the small village, where you can have lunch, visit the Railway Museum, and tour the Flåm church, which was constructed from wood in 1667. The ferry back leaves at 3:30 pm, and you will need to be there at least 15 minutes before departure. 

Day 14: Return to Oslo, Explore

A lively sidewalk in Oslo's city center
Relax at a sidewalk cafe in Oslo's city center

It's time to make the return drive to Oslo for one more night before your departure. Upon arrival, return your rental car and check into your hotel.

Now is your chance to take advantage of any family attractions you may have missed at the beginning of the trip, like Vigeland Sculpture Park, a veritable open-air museum within the larger Frogner Park. If the kids are up for it, it can be a healthy walk to get here on foot from the city center, or you can jump on public transportation. Either way, you'll be rewarded with 212 sculptures from Gustav Vigeland made from bronze, cast iron, and granite installed in the 1940s. There's also a museum in the artist's former residence that is worth a look.

You can also take a walk along Karl Johans gate for some last-minute shopping or sit at a café and relax before your journey.

Day 15: Depart Norway

Until next time, Norway!
Until next time, Norway
It's time to say goodbye to Norway! At the appointed time, you will take the express train to the airport and catch your departing flight. Safe travels!

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Map of Family Active Adventure in Southern Norway - 15 Days
Map of Family Active Adventure in Southern Norway - 15 Days