After having been so kind to read all our previous posts on Norway and Denmark, we now present to you our itinerary for 1 week in (southwest) Norway & Denmark. It’s enough time for some highlights and many Scandinavian clichés. We were on the road with a Volkswagen minibus (borrowed from my brother, thank you!). That’s how you can travel in expensive Norway on a budget.
Scenic Routes in Norway (Nasjonale Turistveger)
This time our focus is on the routes and the nights. There are wonderful scenic routes (more on that here). With our itinerary you can expect to pay around €30 for toll fees and €10 for two short ferry rides each. Gasoline is only slightly more expensive than in Germany, by the way. In expensive Norway this suddenly appears cheap.
Staying overnight in Norway: Camping sites or parking along the road
For some nights we decided spontaneously and slept on parking grounds along the road. Camping sites in Denmark and Norway are in general clean and well preserved but quite expensive though. And at most places Wifi and hot showers are not even included! One exception from the rule was Preikestolen Camping: neat and clean with a small restaurant and wifi and showers were included in the price of less than €30 for two persons and our minibus.
1&7: The beginning and the end of our roadtrip: North Jutland
We spent the first night in Aalborg and discovered the city. Next morning we started to see North Jutland’s highlights: Skagen, Råbjerg Mile Dune and the Sandy Church. And of course Denmark’s northernmost tip in Grenen, where North Sea and Baltic Sea meet. The atmosphere and the light are amazing here.
Back from Norway we tried to visit Rubjerg Knude Dune and Løkken’s beaches. Unfortunately it was too windy to enjoy it. Too bad because we really liked it here.
One more hint: when going there or returning home you can perfectly make a short break at Vejle with its beautiful port area and the amazing buildings in wave form. The city is close to the highway – perfect for a coffee break or lunch.
2. Ferry from Hirtshals to Bergen, one night at sea
We enjoyed our time on the ferry. Obviously it’s more expensive than the shortest ride from Hirtshals to Kristiansand, but we intentionally chose this option. We wanted to make the longest ride on the ship and then go south by car.
Our ship, the MS Stavangerfjord by FjordLine is kind of a cruise ship, with some luxury, sun decks and duty free shop. Our cabins were the cheapest but still neat and cozy and we had a comfortable night at sea.
We would definitely do it again this way, because we saved lots of time with the night cruise. And of course you also save toll fees and short ferry rides and lots of gasoline.
In the evening we enjoyed a wonderful sunset over the Skagerrak. Before reaching Bergen, you pass an amazingly picturesque archipelago landscape. The cruise itself was worth a journey.
3. Hardanger Scenic Route
After Bergen had welcomed us with rain, we explored the beautiful city before heading east to the Hardangerfjord (turn right in direction of Norheimsund from the E16 to the Fv7 road!). Weather became better and better and Hardanger Scenic Route has several highlights: among others the Steindalsfossen waterfall, Norheimsund and the Hardangerfjord itself.
In the end we took the E13 road again to cross the Hardangerfjord on the Hardanger Bridge, an architectural masterpiece: you drive for miles in a tunnel including a blueish illuminated roundabout before you are suddenly on the bridge. In the end you enter a tunnel once again and are at the beginning of Ryfylke Scenic Route. It’s by far the least boring tunnel ever.
4. Ryfylke Scenic Route
Before heading south on the Ryfylke Scenic Route, we made a detour along the Eidfjord (Norway clichés at its best) to the Vøringsfossen waterfall (take the E7 in direction of Oslo).
After that we made a hike to Husedalen (4 waterfalls) and took the E13 again along the Sørfjord and its idyllic landscapes full of fruit trees and finally Låtefossen waterfall. If you’re interested, you should plan one more day here for Trolltunga. We didn’t have the time and to be honest, we were also a bit intimidated by the long (1 to 2 days) and exhausting hike.
One of our highlights was the part between Røldal and Sauda. A mountain landscape full of rocks, lakes, waterfalls and snow in July! To get here you take the E13 south to the E134. Before going down into the valley, you turn right and take the Road 520 in direction of Sauda. Svandalsfossen is waiting here for you. This detour is definitely worth it!
Along Saudafjord you get back to the E13 road heading south. At the end of the Ryfylke Route, mighty Preikestolen was waiting for us.
5. North Sea Scenic Route (Jaeren Touristveien)
The Road 44 from Stavanger to Flekkefjord consists of two different parts. In the north there are hills and views over the North Sea, while south of Egersund fjords are awaiting you, again. It’s more impressing but, of course, will take you more time. Too bad it was rainy and foggy in this part.
6. Ferry back from Kristiansand to Hirtshals in Denmark
After having enjoyed the Nordic Riviera and beautiful Kristiansand on our last day in Norway, we took the FjordCat by FjordLine back to Denmark. Not at all as comfortable as our trip to Bergen. But you are back in Denmark in just a bit over two hours. Better take the evening ride and a magnificient sunset over the sea is included.
What do you think of this itinerary? What would you do differently?