Norway Road Trip Itinerary in Summer – 7 Days of Adventure and Exploration

Are you looking for a unique and adventurous road trip experience? We were, and Norway turned out to be a great choice, with its incredible natural beauty, stunning fjords, amazing wildlife, and vibrant cities. On this seven-day road trip itinerary through Norway, we explored and experienced some of the best that Norway has to offer. And if you do it in summer, like us, you’ll escape the summer heat in the southern parts of Europe and replace it with a refreshing summer experience.

Trollstigen, Norway

Day 1: Oslo to Heddal Stave Church to Rjukan

On our first day in Norway, we started our journey in Oslo. We suggest that you take in all the sights of this wonderful city and take your time – maybe even stay a day or two. We spent half a day finding a place to eat our supermarket lunch in between rains, walking too many times the Aker Brygge promenade and its beautiful landmarks and views towards the harbor, discovering parking is not free in Oslo, and admiring the modern architecture and open-air saunas.

Oslo, Norway

We continued our journey north towards Heddal Stave Church. This 12th-century church is one of the most well-preserved and largest stave churches in the country and an important historical site. As we missed the last tour for the day led by a charming Viking, we explored around on our own – the green fields and even the graveyards around contribute to such a magical atmosphere.

Heddal Stave Church, Norway

After exploring Heddal Stave Church, we continued to Rjukan – our final destination for the day. This town offers many cultural and natural sights such as Vemork Hydroelectric Power Plant which was used during World War II by Germany for their nuclear program or Gaustatoppen Mountain which offers breathtaking views from its peak at 1883 meters above sea level. We chose to walk around town, stumbling upon an open-air summer festival consisting of a stage where a band was warming up and a beer hut. 

Rjukan, Norway

A remarkable place in town is the market square which used to stay in the dark 6 months a year (like the whole town) before they installed a system of three large, solar-powered, computer-controlled mirrors 450 meters high in the opposite mountain. The system of mirrors tracks the movement of the sun across the sky, reflecting its rays down onto the square and bathing it in bright sunlight so even in winter, citizens and visitors of Rjukan can enjoy some sunshine and hope.

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Stay in Rjukan: Rjukan Gjestegaard

Day 2: Rauland and the Scenic Route to Odda and Hardanger

On our second day, we took a drive through the Telemark area, which gave the name of the Telemark ski discipline, stopping first to admire the Rauland church right on the shore of Totak Lake. As the weather was not exactly inviting for beach time, we walked around to admire the flowers and the lake waves and continued on our way.

Then we drove along the Dyrskar scenic route to Odda, where we were rewarded with spectacular views of snow-capped mountains, waterfalls, glaciers, green fields, and more. We passed through all 4 seasons driving the scenic road. Next time, we would plan a longer stop to do some hiking or skiing depending on what time of year it is when we visit Norway again!

Dyrskar scenic route, Norway

Låtefossen Waterfall is a nice place to stop and admire the water crushing the rocks. You can also grab a cup of tea or a souvenir. Odda welcomed us with quiet sunny streets nestled amidst majestic mountains and views of the fjord. We decided that we’ll leave the hike to the breathtaking natural wonder of the Trolltunga cliff for next time.

We arrived just in time to Hardanger to enjoy playing in the yard of the hostel, the magical views of the mountain and the fjord, and the refreshing summer vibes, followed by a dinner we cooked at the hostel and our favorite series.

Stay in Hardanger: Hardanger Guesthouse

Hardanger Guesthouse, Norway

Day 3: Voss to Bergen and things to do in Bergen

Is it just us, or are the tunnels in Norway taken out from the future or a space station? We just passed the fanciest and most modern-looking tunnel and saw a gondola station up in the mountain, so we decided to stop by this town called Voss. We didn’t ride the gondola to grasp the views from up there, but the views downtown didn’t disappoint as well! Voss is a green oasis at the shore of Vangsvatnet Lake, and not only can you stroll or bike around, but you can also sail or fly. After too many mirror photos in the water and selfies with the Voss sign, we knew it was time to move on.

Voss, Norway

We headed towards Bergen, known as the gateway to the fjords of Norway and the second biggest city. During your time here, there are many things to do such as taking a stroll around Bryggen Wharf which is a UNESCO World Heritage and home to many colorful wooden houses dating back hundreds of years ago or just walking around the city observing its vibrant life. Other attractions include taking a ride on The Floibanen Funicular up Mt Fløyen or exploring Troldhaugen Edvard Grieg’s home, which now stands as a museum dedicated to his life and works!

We couldn’t be happier to stay at Bergen Hostel Montana, which had the best views over the town and provided us with a super long sunset so we could enjoy the picturesque surroundings!

Stay in Bergen: Bergen Hostel Montana

Bergen, Norway

Day 4: Fjord Safari in Flam and driving to Sognefjord

On day four, we headed south from Bergen towards Flam, and this day turned out to be unforgettable for two reasons. First was the Fjord Safari experience. We explored the famous Aurlandsfjord arm of Sognefjord, packed up in extra water- and windproof jackets and pants on a RIB boat stopping at several villages and viewpoints along the way where we learned about local history and exciting folklore stories as well! By the way, you can also take the train from Bergen to get to Flam. After this idyllic yet adventurous cruise, we continued onwards towards Sognefjord (the longest fjord in Norway and the second longest fjord in the world). The fjords in Norway are truly magnificent, with craggy peaks, lush hillsides, and waterfalls in every crevice.

Fjord Safari from Flam, Norway

We had chosen Lyngmo Hytter to stay at the shore of a lake and have some peaceful time, even have a swim in the refreshing waters. We ate our home-cooked dinner in our lovely wooden hut, explored the area a bit, and then went to bed to watch an episode before going to sleep. And then we heard a noise…it turned out that this idyllic hut was invested with bedbugs so we had to escape to a nearby hotel which was 3 times more expensive but offered a rich breakfast and Friday evening disco – so definitely the second experience for the day was unforgettable in a bit negative way although now we laugh about it. 

Stay in Sognefjord: Quality Hotel Sogndal

Sognefjord, Norway

Day 5: Driving to Ålesund and things to do in Ålesund

On day 5, we traveled northwards towards Alesund, where an abundance of art nouveau architecture awaits! As one of Norway’s most popular tourist attractions, Alesund offers plenty to do during your stay here. Make sure not to miss out on touring Aksla Mountain viewpoint (Akslatrappa endepunkt trinn 418) offering some incredible 360-degree views across the Alesund city center followed by going inside Sukkertoppen Viewpoint Tower located atop the nearby hilltop offering even more amazing panoramas! The views from the above reminded us a bit of the view of Muxia on the Camino de Santiago.

For those interested in art nouveau architecture, make sure to visit Jugendstilsenteret – Art Nouveau Museum – showcasing some beautiful examples from around Norway! Don’t forget to walk around Alesundet in the city center and admire the architecture, the boats, and the magnificent vibe of the city.

Unfortunately we lost all the photos from that day.

Stay in Alesund: Aalesund Airport Hotel

Day 6: Atlantic Ocean Road and Trollstigen

It wouldn’t be a complete Norwegian adventure without driving along the Atlantic Ocean Road connecting several islands and islets over the Norwegian Sea between Bud village and Kristiansund town. We got so excited that we drove it 4 times, and we stopped at all possible places to take in different viewpoints and do short hikes. 

Atlantic Ocean Road, Norway

Then you might want to continue to Trollstigen Mountain Road (87-kilometer-road) featuring eight hairpin bends rising nearly one kilometer above sea level topped off with fantastic viewpoints overlooking steep cliffs cascading down into deep valleys below! Stop off at The Trolls Path Viewpoint for unique photo opportunities and a refreshing hike. One of the other highlights of the day was the Geirangerfjord – considered one of Norway’s most beautiful fjords (it’s a tough competition though). We highly recommend the Djupvatnet Lake viewing spot for some frozen summer out-of-this-world views. 

We booked our stay at Reinheimen Lodge and we had a blissful stay near the lake and the forest, in a sustainable bungalow. We also had our first and only dinner out for this trip in Norway – at the lodge restaurant. It was delicious!

Stay in Skjåk: Reinheimen Lodge

Trollstigen, Norway

Day 7: To Lom and Hadeland

The final day of our Norway road trip began at the beautiful Reinheimen Lodge. Located in the middle of the wilderness, it was a great spot to spend the night before continuing on our journey. From here, we drove up north towards Lom, where we found majestic mountains and glacial valleys.

Reinheimen Lodge, Norway

Lom is home to many beautiful attractions such as the Fossheim Hotel, The Fossheim Stone Center geological museum, and the Lom Stave Church (we completed the circle by visiting stave churches on day 1 and day 7). It’s such a nice place to walk around and enjoy the Norwegian summer, maybe even stay for a night.

Finally, we chose to end our road trip with a stop at Hadeland in Norway’s southeast corner. It was a lovely town where we could stay at a local house and still experience being surrounded by nature.

Stay in Harestua (not far from Oslo and Oslo Airport): Bed and Breakfast Hadeland

Lom Stave Church, Norway

Practical info for your road trip in Norway

Although many spots along the route will lure you to stop and explore them, it’s nice to have at least a rough plan ahead with 2-3 major stops and overnight stops. This will save you a ton of money as accommodation in Norway in summer books out fast and tends to be more expensive.

We are happy that we packed snacks and drinks for ourselves and had our picnic lunches at scenic spots and were able to cook the majority of our dinners. Supermarkets are plenty and available in most of the cities and towns.

You should rent a car if you want to explore the country on your own. Driving in Norway is pleasant, and although it is expensive compared to other countries, the conditions on the road and the kind local drivers make it an enjoyable experience. 

It’s a good idea to check gas stations on your route before you start driving a certain leg, as well as ferry timings, tunnels, parking options, and prices. We had AutoPass installed in our car so the majority of ferry and tunnel fees (as well as the fine for not paying the parking in Oslo) were charged automatically. The money was withdrawn from our card by the rental company after the end of the trip.

You can check all the forecasts you want but the weather in Norway can always surprise you so pack warm and waterproof clothes and shoes and consider options for unexpected stops!

Lunch along Dyrskar scenic route, Norway

Budget for a 7-day road trip in Norway

We prepared our full budget with all the expenses we had for our 7-day road trip in Norway in the summer.

Driving through Norway is a great way to see the country’s incredible scenery. While it can take hours to travel from one city to another, the views are well worth the time and effort. Norway’s summer months are prime for hiking, paddling, and fjord sailing and swimming, so you can include your favorite outdoor activities in the road trip itinerary.

This was our 7-day road trip itinerary in Norway in summer. We hope you get inspired and start planning your next (or first) adventure in Norway!

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