- Take a car ferry between charming villages known for Scandinavian wooden architecture
- Explore the Norwegian Booktown with second-hand bookshops and cafés
- Take outdoorsy detours like a trip to Jostedalsbreen National Park for glacier hikes
- Bike along Oslo's new five-and-a-half-mile waterfront park
|Day 1||Arrive to Oslo - Drive to Ringebu||Ringebu|
|Day 2||Drive to Øye from Ringebu via Trollstigen||Øye|
|Day 3||Fjordcruise on Geirangerfjord - Drive to Fjærland||Fjærland|
|Day 4||Explore Fjærland||Fjærland|
|Day 5||Fjærland - Drive to Solvorn||Solvorn|
|Day 6||Solvorn - Drive to Oslo||Oslo|
|Day 7||Oslo City Tour||Oslo|
|Day 8||Depart Oslo|
Day 1: Arrive to Oslo - Drive to Ringebu
Welcome to Oslo! Norway's rapidly growing capital is still considered a small city, helped by the fact that it's surrounded by mountains and sea. The city center and outlying neighborhoods -- filled with charm and character—are easily accessible by public transport, so jump on a tram, train, or bus and explore all of what Oslo has to offer.
Oslo is known for its museums, some of which celebrate the famous works of Edvard Munch or the stunning ships of the Viking era, while others celebrate niche interests such as music and ski history.
The city also has a popular café culture, with locals and visitors enjoying some of the best coffee in the world. In warmer weather, there's nothing like sitting outside on the patio with coffee and a pastry or sandwich on freshly baked Norwegian bread. On chilly days, stepping into one of Oslo's local cafés will make you feel cozy and warm.
During summer months, the city comes alive to celebrate extended daylight hours, with various festivals and celebrations happening each week.
Spend the day exploring the city, then pick up your rental car and take a three-hour drive for 150 miles (240 km) to Ringebu.
Day 2: Drive to Øye from Ringebu via Trollstigen
Enjoy a long and relaxing breakfast before you get ready for a day of stunning views. Today's four-hour drive is 200 miles (322 km) and includes the steep and narrow turns of Trollstigen, the Troll's Ladder. Be sure to stop at the viewpoint to appreciate the jagged climb and the long view of the valley below.
From here, you're headed through peaceful countryside to the eye-popping Norangsfjord, an arm of the Hjørundfjord towered over on all sides by the Sunnmørsalpene mountains.
It's possible to explore this beautiful area either by car, fjord cruise, fjord boat charters (express or high-speed boats), or simply on foot.
You'll savor panoramic views and the changing colors of the fjord at sunset over dinner or an evening cocktail.
Day 3: Fjordcruise on Geirangerfjord - Drive to Fjærland
Use the morning to get deeper into nature on foot, by fjord cruise, or even by kayak.
The landscapes on your drive to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Geirangerfjord are stunning in any weather, and your pictures today will be among the best of your entire trip.
Drive down to Hellesylt, where you'll join an hour-long fjordcruise through this breathtaking fjord. The Geirangerfjord is the world’s most famous fjord, and the cruise's spacious external deck is ideal for those interested in landscape photography. While Geirangerfjord's sheer mountain cliffs and many waterfalls are dramatic, it's the evidence of people who once lived and worked here -- some until the 1960s -- but who have now abandoned their farms and shoreline smallholdings that will leave a lasting impression. The cruise acquaints you with stories and local legends of these remote dwellers.
In the late afternoon, continue your drive to Fjærland; be sure to leave at least four hours for this 110-mile (177 km) stretch.
Day 4: Explore Fjærland
This is your chance to take in the views of Norway's longest and deepest fjord, called Sognefjord. While here, you can head for Fjærland's village center, called Mundal, and visit the Norwegian Booktown, which consists of several second-hand bookshops, some combined with cafés, art galleries, and souvenir shops located in farmhouses and sheds.
Also not to miss is the Norwegian Glacier Museum, an award-winning architectural marvel situated at the head of the Fjærlandsfjord. This hands-on museum is the leading center in Norway for knowledge regarding glaciers and climate change.
If you're feeling more active, there is a connecting bus to Jostedalsbreen National Park where you can take part in one of several glacier hikes.
Day 5: Fjærland - Drive to Solvorn
Your short drive today ensures you'll have the freedom to spend the morning in nature as you please, perhaps either hiking or kayaking around the Sognefjord as the mood strikes.
From Fjærland, you'll head eastward toward the idyllic village of Solvorn. From here, a scenic 35-minute ferry across the Lusterfjord delivers you to Urnes and its wooden church built in the 12th century. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this Romanesque structure (and Norway's oldest place of worship) is an outstanding example of traditional Scandinavian wooden architecture, bringing together traces of Celtic art and Viking traditions. Your ticket will include a fascinating 45-minute guided tour.
Stop for a refreshing coffee break in Urnes, then return to Solvorn on the ferry for dinner. Stay overnight in Solvorn.
Day 6: Solvorn - Drive to Oslo
Your final drive brings you back to Oslo. You'll want to hit the road early this morning in order to enjoy as much of the afternoon and long evening exploring Norway's thriving capital city as possible.
Suggested activities include:
- Walk along the Havnepromenaden (harbor promenade)—a new five-and-a-half-mile waterfront park, which combines sightseeing, history, art, architecture, and a little bit of adventure.
- Get your history on at the Viking Ship Museum or your art fix at the Munch Museum.
- Enjoy a late afternoon stroll through the Vigeland Sculpture Park where you can see 200 larger than life sculptures depicting the ups and downs of life and the raw emotions of human beings. Bring your camera!
- For dinner and drinks, head to Aker Brygge, an area on the Oslofjord full of beautiful, modern buildings where you can find bars and abundant nightlife. It acts as a sort of courtyard for the city of Oslo and brings together both tourists and locals alike to enjoy the great food, atmosphere, and entertainment.
Day 7: Oslo City Tour
The opportunities for experiencing culture in this amazing Scandinavian city are endless. Oslo is located in the heart of Norway between the water and evergreen forests—and though it's the capital of Norway, it only takes 30 minutes to travel from one end to the other on its metro system.
If you really want to feel like a local and experience all that Oslo has to offer, hook up with a private guide and get an exclusive tour around town. Here are a few ideas that past travelers have enjoyed:
- Akerselva River Walk (4-5 hours): On this tour, you'll take the tram to the Akerselva River, an important waterway which offers an abundance of local history. You will start with the Norwegian Museum of Science and Technology (on the north side of the river) and then head south to the Labour Museum (part of the Oslo City Museum) while your guide shares stories about the heart of Oslo's history. The river is five miles (8 km) long and passes waterfalls, swimming areas, forested areas, and wildlife, so bring your camera!
- From Fjord to Forest (full day): This outdoorsy tour takes you to a beautiful island just outside Oslo's harbor, reached by tram in about 30 minutes from the city center. No cars are allowed here, so the island is full of recreation options. Choose an activity depending on the season, or simply walk around one of the lakes while your guide shares local history.
- Holmenkollen Ski Jump (2-3 hours): If you have less time to spare, this tour heads for a popular area called Holmenkollen, where a wooded range of hills can be reached by light rail from the city center in about 35 minutes. Open year-round, the Holmenkollen Ski Museum & Tower presents over 4,000 years of snow sports, polar exploration, and an exhibition on snowboarding and modern skiing. Head for the observation deck offering panoramic views of Oslo, and then walk down to the ski jump while your guide shares stories about local trolls, legends, and castles.
For dinner, if you're looking for Oslo's trendiest local scene, head east for 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.
Day 8: Depart Oslo
It's time to say farewell to Norway! Enjoy your last few hours walking around Oslo's neighborhoods, relaxing in a café, or visiting local boutiques for one-of-a-kind souvenirs.