In September, days get shorter, the air becomes crisper, and golden hues begin to appear making it a dazzling time to visit Norway's fjords. Temperatures in the southern portion of the coast fall in the low 60s Fahrenheit during the day, and 50s in the evening.
If visiting fjords above the Arctic Circle, cooler weather, and shorter days arrive earlier than in the rest of the country—and depending on where you travel, you could experience sudden weather changes in just a few hours. You will need to pack warm layers for chilly mornings and evenings, a waterproof jacket, and comfortable walking shoes with a solid grip for all sorts of terrain.
For more on September weather in Norway, see this article.
Crowds & Costs
With the start of the fall shoulder season, September provides a great respite to the peak summer months if you want to skip the peak prices and have more peaceful environs. You can often find lowered rates for flights and hotels, more availability for top-notch accommodations, and enough daylight hours for enjoying plenty of outdoor activities and sightseeing. Be aware that certain seasonal areas, hotels, and restaurants might actually close down until spring.
Where to Go
This is perhaps the last month of the year to take advantage of good weather and clear road conditions with a self-guided road trip through the fjords, and there are many options to choose from. For instance, you can drive through the jaw-dropping fishing villages of the Lofoten Islands while stopping for hiking trails and beaches. By September, nights are dark enough for a chance to see the Northern Lights, yet the weather during the day still feels like summer. Here's a guide to the Top Road Trips in Norway.
For a classic journey from Oslo, ride the Flåm Railway to the Sognefjord, the country's longest and deepest fjord at 120 miles. The so-called 'King of the Fjords' offers options for visiting Jostedalsbreen, the biggest glacier in all of Europe, as well as Jotunheimen National Park for tons of hiking options, as well as iconic villages like Balestrand and Solvorn. From here it's a ferry ride to Bergen where you can explore its UNESCO World Heritage site, chic boutiques, and cobblestoned streets—especially during the annual food fest (more below).
While on the west coast, consider a Hurtigruten cruise to Ålesund. This beautiful city received an art nouveau makeover after a devastating fire a century ago. From here, you can take a ferry through the UNESCO-listed Geirangerfjord and stop in the village of Hellesylt for picnic supplies or enjoy lunch at a brewery in Geiranger. Here's the Ultimate Guide to Norway's Fjords.
What to Do
With the mild September weather, all of the summer activities in Norway's fjords are still available. Explore coastal cities like Trondheim, Stavanger, and Tromsø for great museums, restaurants, and historic attractions. Or head into the countryside on a more relaxed road trip, where you can explore smaller fjord-side villages and their attractions before they hibernate for the winter, as well as UNESCO-listed wooden churches and farmhouses selling late-summer produce.
Popular trails and many national parks are still welcoming to trekkers before the snow kicks in (though remember to bring layers and wet weather gear just in case of inclement weather). This is also a great time to accomplish popular day hikes like Pulpit Rock and Troll's Tongue after the summer tourists are long gone. For more off-the-beaten-path trails, head to Vesterålen, a remote archipelago to the far north, for whale watching and hidden beaches.
Events in September
Bergen Food Festival. This festival attracts the area's best food producers to Bergen where you can meet locals and buy high-quality products and souvenirs in early September.
Nordic Light Photo Festival. Each year Kristiansund attracts big names and tens of thousands of visitors to its exhibitions and workshops in September.
Oslo Marathon. This annual race in September draws some of Norway's best long-distance runners.
Traveling to Norway in September? Check out these great itineraries.
Multi-Fjord Adventure in Norway. This week-long adventure checks off several fjords and two cities using a variety of travel modes. Start with a day in Bergen on the Sognefjord before driving to the heart of the Hardangerfjord.
Norway Outdoor Adventure: Oslo to Trondheim. Hiking enthusiasts will love this 10-day summer adventure in Central Norway's great outdoors. You'll climb several of the best summits with a guide, and take memorable drives through mountains, fjord-side villages, and working farms.