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Norway and the North Cape

From Oslo to Bergen, Trolltunga, the most beautiful fjords, Tromsø and the legendary North Kapp.. ending with 2 days in Copenhagen for a swim with the little mermaid.



It would take many pages to describe this tour in detail, but we try to summarize the most evocative places we have visited in the best possible way. Point 1 as soon as you arrive in Norway, breathe.. even at the airport it will seem like you are breathing the good air of the high mountains.


Oslo

Karl Johans gate, Vigeland Park, Royal Palace, Akershus Fortress, Aker Brygge

Our trip to Norway starts from the capital, which welcomes us with the sun and a mild climate. From the airport we take the train that takes us directly to the city center where we stay in a modern hotel. We walk along the main road Karl Johans gate full of life but at the same time peaceful and quiet, it would not seem like a capital. We descend towards the bay where on the left the Akershus fortress stands out on the mountain (excellent place to relax on the lawns) and on the right the modern neighborhood full of small restaurants of Aker Brygge teems: the area that has remained most impressed on us. It goes all the way to the beach and the piers of Tjuvholmen, where people arrive and dive into the sea.

We return to the Royal Palace and its beautiful gardens, then we continue to Vigeland Park, an open-air museum among flowers, fountains and the dreamlike sculptures of the famous Norwegian artist Gustav Vigeland.


Bergen and Hardangerfjord

Scenic train, Finse, Bergen, Steinsdalsfossen, Vøringfossen waterfalls

From Oslo we decided to take one of the most beautiful panoramic trains in Europe which reaches Bergen, it takes about 7 hours but you can truly admire unique and rare landscapes such as Finse. Scenes from the Star Wars planet Hoth were filmed here: covered in snow and ice, this lunar landscape can only be reached by train.


Once in Bergen we go to put down our backpacks in a small apartment in the historic center and we go into the narrow streets until we get to the famous wooden houses of Bryggen. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the picturesque pointed houses overlooking the bay were the headquarters of the traders of the Hanseatic League (especially of stockfish and cereals) while today they are inhabited by typical shops where you can also find furs. Skirting the marina, we go to the famous fish market: smaller than we expected, but we are surprised by the species of fish we have never seen before, whose name we don't even know. It is not the typical market, it is well cared for and with beautiful little restaurants attached.



From Bergen we take the rental car and set off towards the Hardangerfjord and its waterfalls: the first Steinsdalsfossen and then Vøringfossen, the most majestic waterfalls in Norway. It can be observed from below, in the middle and from above. We first walked the path to see the waterfall plunging into the water: a landscape that looked prehistoric with water droplets covering us very fast. From the middle you can walk the famous suspension bridge of 99 steps. Finally, from above you can admire the majesty of the jump, with the 3 waterfalls that come together and conquer the valley. The height is impressive and there are viewing terraces to see the breathtaking panorama. As an Italian it is particular to see how the path is open in potentially dangerous points and people know how to manage themselves.


Trolltunga

Trolltunga

We spend the night in a school that hosts pupils in the winter and tourists and like us during the summer. From here we are close to Trolltunga so we left early in the morning and started the long 8-hour journey, we also took advantage of parking by buying the place online at Mågelitopp (the highest point, which allows you to avoid shuttles and saves you several km in case the shuttles are full or the rides are terminated).

Trolltunga is the most exciting experience of our whole trip, unforgettable. This tongue of rock is 1,100 meters above sea level and hangs 700 meters above the Ringedalsvatnet lake.

From Mågelitopp the round trip is 20 kilometers with an altitude difference of about 320 meters. We spent about 8 hours, often stopping to admire the views and take tons of photos. The path begins among small trees, small rivers, rocks and shelters; then you find yourself in front of a steep drop of rocks that seems easy but pulls a lot. Arrived at the top, however it becomes flat and this is a peculiarity of the Norwegian mountains around the fjords .. they are not sheer but they are flat. Along the way there are streams of pure water where you can often fill up your water bottle, but you need to bring food and sunscreen instead. In fact, the sun beats down high up and you get burned easily even if there is snow at times. Finally arriving at the rock, there is a good queue to take pictures and we see crazy things like handstands at the edge, puppies and babies being carried high like Simba and other craziness. We are unprepared, but you can bring a tent and sleep up there enjoying the sunset and the sunrise… there are several who do it. We go back and enjoy the early sunset with the last sandwiches a short way from the car. We are exhausted but happy to have the car and not make the other kilometers down to the valley, on the way we give a ride to two girls who have gone climbing on the outward journey…legendary.

Here the interesting story of the rediscovery of the place. Useful practical information here.

We end the day in a historic fairytale hotel, where an excellent home-cooked dinner and a dream bed awaits us. but during the night something in the unconscious takes off for the thrilling heights and we both have many nightmares.


Nærøyfjord and Sognefjord - Norway in a nutshell®

Crocera sui fjordi Nærøyfjord, Sognefjord and Aurlandsfjorden, Flam, Stegastein

Along the way to the famous fjords we stop to see the Skjervefossen waterfall and arrive at Stalheim Hotel, from where one of the steepest roads in Northern Europe - the Stalheimskleiva - starts, but unfortunately it is closed and we can only admire it from above.

We arrive in Gudvangen, where you can choose 2 options to navigate the fjords:

  • the normal ferry is noisier, arriving at Sognefjord which with its deep waters is a destination for whales and dolphins; we made Gudvangen-Kaupanger-Flam and along the way you see a historical villa of a national artist.

  • the catamaran on the other hand is silent and focuses on Nærøyfjord and Aurlandsfjorden, which are the most picturesque to see, with small waterfalls and incredible greenery.

In Flam there is a beach for picnics and sunbathing, the desire to jump into the water is great and we try to wet our feet first, but 30 seconds are already freezing and hello courage.

From Flam there is also a small panorama train up to Myrdal. We eat and spend the evening admiring the beauty of the Aurlandsfjorden from our bungalow.


From Tromsø to Capo Nord

Lyngenfjord, border with Finlandia, Alta, Honningsvåg, Skarsvåg and Kirkeporten, Nordkapp 71°10′21″N25°47′04″E

We return to Bergen for the second part of the journey and take the plane to Tromsø, beyond the Arctic Circle. At the airport the rental car is waiting for us and we begin our journey towards the great North!

The landscape is very different than before, reminiscent of our Alps with snowy peaks.

The houses have particular roofs with rock slabs on top and a kind of moss that protects the house. You are completely immersed in an endless nature made up of lakes, flowers, tundra, snow, sheep, reindeer and the light never leaves us. The midnight sun ended a few days ago and there is still a twilight light up here at one o'clock.


We travel along the Lyngenfjord, we arrive at the border with Finland, we see a glacier in the distance and we experience the road like all those who undertake this journey: we see people on bikes, mopeds with carts, motorcycles, cars, all with the same destination. The settlements along the way are tiny and even Alta, the largest village before Nordkapp, has only 20,000 inhabitants and little to offer.

Continuing north the weather changes suddenly and it gets colder and colder. After the very long tunnel (which must be terrible by motorbike and by bike) which today allows you to get to Nordkapp without ferries, we arrive in Honningsvåg with its charm of a seaside village and its fishing boats. We go to rest a little in our bungalow and our neighbors are local gentlemen who now live in Tromsø, they tell us how these places used to be and how as children, their grandparents dressed them in white and made them go out at night to make the light reflect on the snow and the trails of the aurora borealis. At 10 pm we go on a patrol to Skarsvåg, a romantic and glittering little jewel on the North Sea. After various attempts we find the path on the hill and we reach the Kirkeporten, an arched cliff that frames the North Cape.


We are at the last kilometers and we are enthusiastic..finally NordKapp! At the entrance there is paid parking and for those with campers or tents they can camp there and watch the sunrise or sunset. We go to admire the horizon and the arctic world in front of us, we take the ritual photos of the statue of the world and we meet motorcyclists who come from Naples, Budapest and other distant places. The museum inside is worth it: it tells the story, the illustrious characters and conveys the importance of this place for the people. We leave the promontory to try the trek up to the true northernmost point, the adjacent promontory called Knivskjellodden where there should be a small box and a register of all those who have reached it. We are tired and trekking under the sun puts us to the test; we almost reach the tip, but we give up and stop on the beach to photograph the beautiful promontory of Capo Nord. Towards evening we leave, the road to go back is a lot and we only have 1 day before the flight.

Before leaving we visit Tromsø under a downpour, it has a nice center and seems very livable, it is certainly the perfect base for winter excursions.


Budget

In total, with all expenses included, we spent €1,600 each for 21 days.

The cost of living is very high, so we have often cooked or opted for low-cost solutions. Accommodation prices were average and only at Trolltunga were they higher. Gasoline was not expensive, below average compared to Italy at the time.


Overnight stays

For sleeping we have chosen solutions immersed in nature with bungalows equipped with kitchens, beds, tables inside and out. The bathrooms were often shared but always large and impeccable.

Worth noting: in the area Hardangerfjord http://www.jaunsen.no/ - Winjum Apartments Aurland Stegastein for the view fjordo and Nordkapp Camping for the location.

In Norway you can camp freely anywhere.


Useful tips:

  • For flights, the companies are SaS and Norwegian which have continuous internal flights at good prices.

  • App Visit Norway is convenient to get information.

  • At Oslo Torp airport you can take the train to Oslo, buy the ticket online and take the shuttle to the stop: a platform in the middle of the greenery. Obviously punctual.

  • Sand you have enough days, go to Lofoten..we will come back and visit them!


Must places:

Trolltunga, waterfall Vøringfossen, Nærøyfjord, Sognefjord and Aurlandsfjorden, Nordkapp


Itinerary:











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