Discover the best of southern Norway's treasures as you and the kids embark on an epic adventure that takes you from the shores of laid-back Kristiansand to cosmopolitan Oslo. Kayak across fjords, ride the whitewater rapids at Voss, and zipline through treetops as you explore the stunning scenery around Bergen. Along the way, you'll unearth 1,000-year-old history as you experience Viking life up close through VR technology and step back in time at Viking Valley.


  • Hang out with the monkeys and wolves at Kristiansand Zoo
  • Discover the famous Pulpit Rock on the Lysefjorden
  • Float down river rapids on a whitewater raft 
  • Zipline through the trees at Høyt og Lavt Climbing Park

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Kristiansand Kristiansand
Day 2 Visit Kristiansand Zoo & Waterpark  Kristiansand
Day 3 Drive to Stavanger, Visit Lindesnes Lighthouse Stavanger
Day 4 Lysefjord Cruise & Pulpit Rock Stavanger
Day 5 Drive to Bergen via Avaldsnes, Nordvegen History Center Bergen
Day 6 Mostraumen Cruise, Fløibanen Funicular, Hike Mount Ulriken Bergen
Day 7 Family Kayak Adventure Bergen
Day 8 Whitewater Rafting in Voss, Drive to Gudvangen Gudvangen
Day 9 Visit Viking Valley, Drive to Hemesdal via Borgund Hemsedal
Day 10 Zipline Adventure, Høyt og Lavt Climbing Park, Drive to Oslo Oslo
Day 11 Explore Oslo, Vigeland Sculpture Park, Open-Air Folk Museum Oslo
Day 12 Visit TusenFryd Amusement Park & BadeFryd Water Park Oslo
Day 13 Explore Oslo, Visit The Viking Planet Oslo
Day 14 Depart Oslo  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Kristiansand

Welcome to Kristiansand
Welcome to Kristiansand, southern Norway's largest city

Velkommen til Norway, (welcome to Norway)! Arrive in Kristiansand, pick up your rental car, and head to your accommodation. The largest city in southern Norway, Kristiansand boasts an enchanting mix of popular seaside resorts ( Norwegians flock here in the summer months), plenty of culture, a burgeoning dining scene, and some of Norway's best family-friendly attractions. Its location on the southern coast also makes it an excellent gateway to the nearby coastal villages and the inland region of Setesdalen

Settle in at your accommodation and then head out to explore. Stroll around the old town of Posebyen, where the mix of historic wooden houses, a beautiful cathedral, and plenty of great cafés and restaurants make it a good spot to grab a drink and relax after your flight. Afterward, continue exploring and discover the Kilden (Concert Hall), Fiskebrygga (Fish Quay), and the scenic viewpoints of Ravendalen and Baneheia, which overlook the city. 

Take the kids for a walk along Bystranda, the city's Blue Flag beach, check out the 17th-century Christiansholm fortress, and wander the historic main street of Markensgata, where you'll be spoiled for choice with excellent family-friendly dining spots. If there are seafood lovers in the family, you've come to the right place—this is as fresh as it gets! Toast the start of your family adventures and spend the rest of the evening as you choose. 

Day 2: Visit Kristiansand Zoo & Waterpark 

Take your little monkeys to meet the other little monkeys at Norway's famous zoo

Watch the kids' faces light up this morning when you reveal your plans for the day—a trip to Norway's best-loved family attraction, the Kristiansand Zoo and Amusement Park. Perfect for kids of all ages, the Dyreparken combines a zoo, a water park (Badelandet), and a whole host of other attractions, including Captain Sabertooth's World. Start with the Scandanavian animal enclosure and introduce the little ones to some of Norway's native creatures, including wolves, lynxes, elk, and foxes.

Afterward, head to the theme park, where kids will love the swashbuckling fun aboard the pirate cruise, where they can meet a whole host of marauders and even visit an enchanted house. Lastly, enjoy as relaxed or energetic an afternoon as you wish at the water park. Brave the whirlpool, ride the waves, enjoy the numerous slides, or simply relax as the kids have a whale of a time splashing around. In the summer months, there are shows and activities late into the evening, so either make a whole day of it or head back to Kristiansand for dinner.

Day 3: Drive to Stavanger, Visit Lindesnes Lighthouse

Lindesnes Lighthouse
Explore the centuries-old Lindesnes Lighthouse

After breakfast, prepare for the next leg of your adventure as you journey northwest to the lovely city of Stavanger, known commercially for its oil industry and locally for its architectural beauty, cozy cafés, and charming historic center with some of the country's best preserved 18th-century wooden buildings. It's a four-hour drive, so stop for a stretch of the legs at Lindesnes Lighthouse, first lit almost four hundred years ago in 1656. Admire the views before learning about the lighthouse's history at the visitor center and grabbing a bite to eat at the on-site café. 

Arrive in Stavanger, and after a quick refresh at your accommodation, rally the kids and head out to explore. Stroll to the historic waterfront that comes alive in the summer months and wander the colorful cobbled streets of Øvre Holmegate, where brightly colored wooden buildings jostle with bunting-clad cafés and boutiques. The picturesque setting and family-friendly vibe make it the ideal place to indulge in tebrødstenger (a delicious jam-filled pastry) and people-watch before taking in some of Stavanger's architectural highlights, including the 12th-century Cathedral.


Day 4: Lysefjord Cruise & Pulpit Rock

Pulpit Rock
It's a fine view from Pulpit Rock down to the Lysefjord

Beautiful in its own right, Stavanger is also the gateway to the breathtaking Lysefjord and the famous Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock). Today you'll experience both up close as you head to the waterfront and board your boat, ready for a cruise through the fjords. Enter Fantahålå (Vagabond's Cave), a secret cove, and regale the kids with tales of the outlaws who sought shelter in the cavernous shores as they ran from the authorities. As the mountains come into view, make sure the kids keep their eyes peeled for the curious mountain goats often found lining the water's edge.


Pass through the dramatic scenery of Lysefjord before reaching the epic Pulpit Rock (as featured in "Mission Impossible 6"), whose sheer mountain walls plunge from a flat top 1,981 feet (600 m) into the water. As you cruise back to Stavanger, sail past the cascades of the Hengjanefossen waterfall, and either stay in the comfy indoor lounge area or join the kids on deck for an impromptu shower! Return to the harbor and check out the local museums to learn more about the area's history before settling somewhere cozy for dinner.

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Day 5: Drive to Bergen via Avaldsnes, Nordvegen History Center

Welcome to Bergen
Take a stroll around family-friendly Bergen

After a delicious Norweigan breakfast, wave goodbye to Stavanger this morning and drive north toward Bergen's mountainous landscape, your destination for the next few nights. Kids of all ages will be fascinated to see the historic Viking town of Avaldsnes. Capture the little ones' imaginations with tales of Viking King Harald Fairhair and the princes and kings that ruled this landmark Viking settlement for 3,000 years.

Explore the Nordvegen History Center, hear the exciting story of how Avaldsnes became Norway's oldest royal seat, and participate in one of the many family-friendly activities at the Viking Farm. Youngsters can play with replicas of the games and toys used by Viking children, dress up as their own Viking character, or even spend a few hours as an archaeologist. Older kids will be fascinated to hear how the excavators are still digging up artifacts from over a thousand years ago. 

When you're ready, gather the kids, hop back in the car, and continue to Bergen. One of Europe's oldest ports, the city has an unrivaled position, surrounded by mountains, oceans, and fjords. Settle into your hotel and then head out to explore. Wander over to downtown Bryggen a UNESCO World Heritage Site whose brightly colored houses date back to the 1700s. If the kids are peckish, treat the family to some of the freshest fish and chips you'll ever eat as you relax and discover the city's historic harbor district.

Day 6: Mostraumen Cruise, Fløibanen Funicular, Hike Mount Ulriken

Fjordcruise to Mostraumen
Relax on a fjord cruise to Mostraumen

Enjoy a leisurely wake-up after yesterday's day of traveling but don't dally too long, as you have an adventure-packed day ahead. Start with a fjord cruise that sails through the magnificent scenery of the Osterfjord. Admire the steep mountains, thundering waterfalls, and brightly-painted villages as you sail through the Mostraumen Strait, and help the little ones spot the goats as they graze nearby and the cheeky seals that sunbathe atop the rocks. You might even spot one of the famous sea eagles as they soar overhead if you're lucky. 

No trip to Bergen is complete without a ride on the Fløibanen funicular to the top of Mount Fløyen, and the view from the top provides the perfect backdrop for a memorable family selfie. Then, depending on the kids' ages, you have several options; make your way along one of the nearby family-friendly hiking trails, descend on the well-marked path to the town center, spot the hidden troll cultures along the way, or scale one of Bergen's famous seven peaks. Families with older children who fancy a challenge should opt for the 1,300-step Sherpa stair climb to the top of Mount Ulriken.

Regale the kids with stories of the specially trained Sherpas from Nepal who laid the giant rocky steps over three summer seasons before marveling at the panoramic views from Bergen's highest point. Afterward, dine at one of the city's many excellent eateries before calling it a night and resting up for tomorrow's epic adventure.

Day 7: Family Kayak Adventure

Family kayak adventure
Take to the water for a family kayaking excursion

After breakfast, take to the waters again as you and the kids explore the fjords around Bergen with a guided kayak tour. The next three hours are yours to paddle between reefs and islands, discover ruins from World War II and keep a beady eye out for the local porpoises and sea eagles. Stop for a delicious picnic prepared by your guide before passing sheer cliffs and the tiny farms that cling to the mountainside as you return to Bergen. 

Afterward, the rest of the afternoon is yours to spend at leisure. Head to the fun and interactive VilVite Science Center, or for nature-obsessed kids, don't miss the Bergen Aquarium and Urban Zoo. Art lovers should head to the four KODE Museums with collections from old masters to modernists, while kids will love the interactive art space. The Maritime Museum includes many artifacts and boats from the city's seafaring history. For a cooler experience, take the kids to the Magic Ice Bar—an ice-art gallery with ice sculptures inspired by famous works from various artists.

Day 8: Whitewater Rafting in Voss, Drive to Gudvangen

Experience the thrill of whitewater rafting in Voss!
Enjoy a thrilling morning rafting the rapids at Voss

Rally the troops and head out early this morning, as you won't want to miss today's excursion. Your destination is the mountain village of Voss, perched between Sognefjord and Hardangerfjord. It's the perfect spot to experience the thrill of whitewater rafting in the most scenic of settings. After a full safety briefing, you and the kids will join an epic family-friendly rafting trip as you cruise along the easy-going rapids of the Vosso River. There'll be plenty of opportunity to capture the kids' excited faces as you ride the waves and whirlpools along the way.

If the kids are decent swimmers, there will also be plenty of opportunities to stop and jump straight into the river, where the flow is at its gentlest. Enjoy refreshments on the riverbank after your adventure, and when you're ready, drive to your overnight stop in Gudvangen

Day 9: Visit Viking Valley, Drive to Hemesdal via Borgund

Visit the Viking Valley
Step back in time at Viking Valley

Enjoy breakfast with the kids this morning before stepping back in time as you explore the nearby Njardarheimr Viking Valley, nestled in the heart of the UNESCO-listed fjord landscape. Let the kids' imaginations run wild as you immerse yourselves in all aspects of Viking life and wander the streets, populated not by actors but by a community of international Viking enthusiasts. Children of all ages will jump at the chance to play traditional Viking games, hear exciting battle stories, attend a banquet, and even learn how to use a longbow.

If you manage to tear the kids away, hop back in the car and continue to Borgund, a perfect stop to stretch your legs en route to Hemsedal. Visit its historic stave church that dates back to 1180, the best preserved in Norway, before exploring Vindhellavegen, a spectacular historic hiking trail crowned "Norway's most beautiful road" in 2014. Back in the car, it's just under an hour's drive to your overnight destination of Hemsedal. Check in to your accommodation, and the rest of the evening is yours to spend as you wish. 

Day 10: Zipline Adventure, Høyt og Lavt Climbing Park, Drive to Oslo

Surprise the kids with a ziplining adventure
Surprise the kids with a zipline adventure!

You won't have trouble rousing the kids this morning as you set off for a family adventure in the Høyt og Lavt Climbing Park. Join the kids and take to the treetops as you and your family soar across a vast array of ziplines and obstacles suited to all abilities. There are also plenty of options for smaller ones, with treehouses, mazes, slides, and ladders to discover. 

Break for lunch at one of the on-site cafés before returning to the car and driving southeast to Oslo. The country's rapidly growing capital is compact and walkable, making it perfect for families. Check in to your accommodation and head out to explore. Get your bearings at Karl Johan's Gate, the main thoroughfare that takes you from the city center to Palace Park, home of the Norweigan royal family. Wander the waterfront area known as Aker Brygge and stroll the museums and boutiques before settling on a spot to dine in and watch the sunset over the harbor. 

Day 11: Explore Oslo, Vigeland Sculpture Park, Open-Air Folk Museum

Vigeland Sculpture Park
Don't worry; climbing the statues is allowed at Vigeland Sculpture Park!

Enjoy a leisurely morning with the family today as you explore Oslo's many parks and museums at your own pace. Start with the fascinating Vigeland Sculpture Park, home to 200 larger-than-life bronze, granite, and cast iron sculptures by artist Gustav Vigeland.

Continue the cultural theme with a visit to Oslo's Open-Air Folk Museum, where kids will have a blast wandering through centuries of traditional Norweigan life. Discover over 160 historic buildings from the 13th century until the present day, including the Gol Stave Church, built in the 1200s. Stroll through the nearby pastures and wander the labyrinth of cobbled streets as you encounter storytelling, folk dancing, and an array of historical workshops in which the kids can participate.

Day 12: Visit TusenFryd Amusement Park & BadeFryd Water Park

Thrilling Fun at TusenFryd Amusement Park & BadeFryd Water Park
Thrilling fun at TusenFryd Amusement Park and BadeFryd Water Park

Earn major parental brownie points today with an action-packed adventure the whole family will adore. After breakfast, head to the TusenFryd Amusement Park and the BadeFryd Water Park, an easy 12-mile (20 km) drive from Oslo. Younger ones can enjoy the carousels and mini rides while older kids can embrace speed levels set from sedate to hair-raising as you fly along the park's classic rollercoasters and experience the thrill of the gravity-defying Spin Spider

Lunch at one of the many on-site eateries before turning your attention to the water park. Relax in the balmy pool, heated to a perfect 77°F (25°C), have fun with kids on the numerous water slides and rides, or watch the fun from the comfort of your sun lounger. When you're ready, head back to Oslo and, after dinner, tuck the sleepy but happy little ones in after a day well spent. 

Day 13: Explore Oslo, Visit The Viking Planet

Oslo's waterfront
Spend your final evening enjoying Oslo's laidback waterfront

It's your last day in Oslo, and today you and the kids will once more discover Viking history and legends, this time through the lens of groundbreaking virtual reality technology at the city's Viking Planet. Step back a thousand years and board a Viking ship as you and the family prepare for a thrilling adventure in the ultimate immersive cinema experience. Kids will love playing a part in a Viking ambush on Norway's west coast as you explore the rich legacy the Vikings have left.

Afterward, treat yourselves to cinnamon buns at one of the cafés along the promenade before squeezing in a visit to the Natural History Museum at the University of Oslo. Kids will love seeing the life-size dinosaur fossils, meteorites, and the "stories from space" gallery dedicated to the wonders of the solar system. Afterward, stroll among the 5,000 plant species at the nearby Botanical Gardens before spending your last night at one of Oslo's many fine restaurants and recount the highlights of your family adventure. 

Day 14: Depart Oslo

Depart Oslo
Until the next time, Norway!

As your family adventure draws to a close, make your way to the airport, drop off your rental car, and prepare to board your flight. Trygge reiser (safe travels)!

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Map of Southern Norway Family Road Trip - 14 Days
Map of Southern Norway Family Road Trip - 14 Days