Road trippers will cover a great deal of scenic ground between southern Norway and the tip of the Arctic Circle with this 10-day itinerary. Start the adventure in Bergen's colorful wharf city before you make your way to Fjærland on Norway's biggest fjord. From here, continue towards the mighty Geirangerfjord and city of Trondheim, and finally, the Helgeland Coast—named one of the world’s top undiscovered island gems. This Norwegian Scenic Route (the longest in the country) runs from Holm to Godøystraumen with detours in Svartisen glacier and the Seven Sisters mountain range, to name a few. In other words, outdoor opportunities aplenty!

Highlights

  • Walk the hilly, cobblestoned streets of Bergen, loaded with cozy cafés
  • Visit Fjærland's historic Hotel Mundal and Norwegian Booktown
  • Get up close to Norway's UNESCO listed Geirangerfjord
  • Explore Norway's third largest city by renting one of the red-painted bicycles
  • Partake in hiking, biking & kayaking in the undiscovered Vega Islands

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Bergen Bergen
Day 2 Bergen - Drive to Fjærland Fjærland
Day 3 Drive from Fjærland to Norddal Norddal
Day 4 Drive from Norddal to Trondheim Trondheim
Day 5 Drive from Trondheim to Brønnøysund Brønnøysund
Day 6 Explore the Vega Islands Brønnøysund
Day 7 Drive from Brønnøysund to Sandnessjøen Brønnøysund
Day 8 Drive from Sandnessjøen to Jektvik Jektvik
Day 9 Drive from Jetvik to Bodo Bodø
Day 10 Depart Norway  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Bergen

Walk to Bergen's historic waterfront
Walk to Bergen's historic waterfront

Welcome to Bergen! Situated on Norway's west coast, this wharf city of about 300,000 residents (one of the oldest port cities in Europe) is surrounded by ocean, mountains, and fjords, including Sognefjord, the country’s longest and deepest. Rich in culture and seafaring history, Bergen boasts a vast selection of cultural and outdoorsy activities.

A few suggestions for your first day:

  • Be sure to take the Fløibanen funicular (or hike the trail on foot) to the top of Mount Fløyen—one of Bergen's seven peaks—for the best views of the city, and take a leisurely stroll back down the path while discovering hidden troll sculptures along the way.
  • Check out the Bryggen area of downtown to view old wooden houses dating back to the 1700s (a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site), along with Bergen's best historical sites and museums. For a rest, stop in one of the charming local cafés and bakeries.

The cobblestoned streets are compact and walkable, so get out and explore Bergen's lively restaurants and nightlife, thanks in part to a young student population.

Day 2: Bergen - Drive to Fjærland

A branch of the Sognefjord leading to Fjærland
A branch of the Sognefjord leading to Fjærland

This morning you'll have time to enjoy more of Bergen before picking up your rental car. From here, you'll make your way to Fjærland—a drive that takes 170 miles (274 km), or about 4.5 hours. Keep in mind that this route includes a pay-on the-spot ferry between Oppedal and Lavik (35 minutes).

Once you arrive in the Fjærland area, get out and explore your surroundings. The small village is situated along the Sognefjord and has the glacier Jostedalsbreen, the largest mainland glacier in Europe, as its nearest neighbor. To give you a sense of the coziness here, there are only 300 residents in Fjærland.

A good place to start is heading to the town's waterfront where you can take in views of the Fjærlandsfjord. You can also 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. It's also worth visiting Hotel Mundal—an elegant wooden hotel from 1891.

Also not to miss (either today or tomorrow) 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.

Day 3: Drive from Fjærland to Norddal

Norddal's vantage point
Norddal's vantage point

After breakfast in Fjærland, you'll drive past beautiful scenery as you make your way along the UNESCO-listed Geirangerfjord to Norddal. The drive without takes about 3.5 hours, though you'll likely stop frequently for photos. 

If you want a fun excursion, stop in Hellesylt along the route and join an hour-long fjordcruise. 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 Norddal and have dinner in town.

Day 4: Drive from Norddal to Trondheim

Trondheim's cathedral and leafy streets
Trondheim's cathedral and leafy streets

Today, you'll make your way from Norddal to Trondheim along the Atlantic road where you can stop in Kristiansund—the city famous for dry, salted cod—before you arrive in Trondheim. The drive takes 5.5 hours. 

Once you get to Trondheim, you'll have time to explore Norway's third largest city by foot, or by renting one of the red-painted bicycles at bike racks scattered around the city.

Trondheim is scenic with beautiful parks and cultural sights, including the slightly out-of-kilter antique wooden houses. Walk across the historic Old Town Bridge—a 17th-century iron structure—for photographs. Visit the impressive Nidarosdomen Cathedral, built over the grave of St. Olav, the King of Norway in the 11th century. Head 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.

Day 5: Drive from Trondheim to Brønnøysund

Brønnoyson
Brønnoyson

Enjoy breakfast in Trondheim before driving onward to the town of Steinkjer. From there, you will follow the coastal road (No. 17) until you reach Brønnøysund—the southernmost city along the Helgeland Coast. There will be a 20-minute ferry ride from Holm to Vennesund with a beautiful view of Holmshatten. 

The total drive today will take about 5 hours between Trondheim to Brønnøysund. Take your time on the drive and stop for photos as you please. Also, consider a stop for lunch at Sømna Kro along the route.

Stay overnight in Brønnøysund and have dinner. The town consists of less than 5,000 residents with spectacular areas surrounding the city.

Day 6: Explore the Vega Islands

Participate in outdoor activities like hiking, biking, and kayaking
Participate in outdoor activities like hiking, biking, and kayaking

Today, you'll have the entire day to enjoy the area's beautiful surroundings. The UNESCO-protected islands of Vega, just south of the Arctic Circle, have been named one of the world’s top undiscovered island gems. If you come during summer months, expect long days of sunlight for a range of activities.

For instance, there is hiking in the surrounding mountains like the famous Seven Sisters and Trollhatten. You can also explore thousands of islands and white sandy beaches, and experience a coastline that is also regarded as one of Norway’s best areas for sea kayaking, cycling, and puffin spotting. In fact, the National Tourist Route Helgelandskysten is one of the most popular road trips in Norway.

Other ideas include visiting Svartisen, Norway’s second largest glacier for a guided tour. In addition, the national parks Børgefjell, Saltfjellet-Svartisen, and Lomsdal-Visten have plenty of hiking and skiing opportunities. 

Day 7: Drive from Brønnøysund to Sandnessjøen

Seven Sisters mountain range
Seven Sisters mountain range

After breakfast in Brønnøysun, get ready for a fun road trip that includes two ferry crossings. First, you'll drive to a ferry that lands at Anddalsvåg. From here, continue driving towards Forvik for your ferry to Tjøtta. From Tjøtta, it takes about 40 minutes to drive to Sandnessjøen where you will spend the night (the total route takes just under 3 hours).

Sandnessjøen is the gateway to the Helgeland coast, located on the island of Alsta, just west of the De syv søstre (the Seven Sisters) mountain range. Once you've checked into your hotel, spend the afternoon taking part in an outdoor activity like island-hopping by bicycle, kayaking, scuba diving, or hiking while looking for elk. 

Day 8: Drive from Sandnessjøen to Jektvik

Jektvik
Jektvik

After breakfast in Sandnessjøen, you'll take another ferry from Levang to Nesna. Once you reach Levang you will take the ferry to Nesna. This route will take you over the Sjonfjellet Mountain, offering one of Kystriksveien's most impressive viewpoints. The landscape north of Sjonfjellet Mountain is characterized by fjords, mountains and scattered settlements.

From there, you will have a magnificent drive to the next ferry to Jektvik. A recommended stop for a break is at Hellåga. Another possible detour along the route is a stop at Grønsvik Fortress. Here you can stroll around the German fortress from the Second World War and enjoy the view. Driving further north will take you through Aldersundet and a fabulous landscape.

Day 9: Drive from Jetvik to Bodo

Bodø will be your last stop of the tour
Bodø will be your last stop of the tour

Today is the last part of your road trip! You'll make your way to Bodø where you will pass Saltstraumen, a place famous for its abundance of fish, including cod, saithe, wolf fish and halibut and are the world’s strongest maelstrom. Visit when the tide is at its highest and marvel at the forces of nature!

This drive will take about 3 to 4 hours with several beautiful places to stop for photographs. When you get settled in your hotel, walk around and explore Bodø, the gateway to the Lofoten Islands. This is a big town hub with lots of tourists conveniences and restaurants, so get out and enjoy your last night of the trip!

Day 10: Depart Norway

Vow to return soon!
Vow to return soon!

After breakfast, head to the airport and catch your departing flight. Although it's time to say goodbye to Norway, the memories from your trip will surely stay with you forever!