1 Week in Norway: My Full Blown Itinerary

One week in norway itinerary

 

If you only have 1 week in Norway, you’re going to be kicking yourself when that week’s up. But 1 week in Norway is better than none at all.

The landscape is shockingly dramatic: enormous mountainous cliffs smothered with bright green moss, plunging into dark endless fjords. Roads that twist and turn over steep hill sides and through waterfall valleys. Something so beautiful of course comes with a price, as Norway is one of the most expensive countries in the world. However, I assure you that it’s worth every penny. Here is my itinerary for 1 week in Norway, suitable for any adventure lover, hiking junkie or just anyone that can see.

Stops included in this itinerary  for 1 week in Norway are: Trollstigen, Geiranger, Odda (Trolltunga), Stavanger, and Kjeragbolten

 

1 week in norway itinerary

 

We rented a car for our 1 week in Norway, which I highly recommend doing in order to see the best spots.

 

Day 1: Drive from Oslo to Andalsnes

Driving Time: ~6 hours

If you’re looking to save money, you should fly into Oslo (which is what we did). However, if you want to save time (especially since you only have 1 week in Norway), flying into an airport more North may be better. On the first day, we picked up the rental car in Oslo and immediately headed Northwest towards Trollstigen. I found an Airbnb (get $30 off your next Airbnb here) in Åndalsnes for this night. We made sure to stop at the grocery store on the way there to pick up some food for the rest of the week. When you’re road tripping through Norway, you will want some food on hand. Plus, Norway is pretty expensive, so have snacks readily available will save you money. We also made one additional stop in Otta for traditional Norwegian meatballs, some cabbage “stew” and a Norwegian Beer.

1 week in norway itinerary

1 week in norway itinerary

 

Airbnb: Åndalsnes Guest House (get $30 off your Airbnb by using this link)

Cost: $58/night

 

Day 2

Driving Time: ~10 hours

Wake up and drive to Trollstigen, an extremely scenic byway that brings you around 11 steep turns up to the top of a mountain (and beside an enormous waterfall). Take time to get picture on the way up, and at the top there is a lookout point on the other side of the tourist center. The waterfall near Trollstigen is one of the coolest things I saw during my 1 week in Norway (and maybe one of the coolest things I’ve seen ever). Check it out below!

1 week in norway itinerary

1 week in norway itinerary 1 week in norway itinerary 1 week in norway itinerary 1 week in norway itinerary 1 week in norway itinerary

 

Continue on the Trollstigen-Geiranger route until you reach Geiranger Fjord. There are a few scenic stop offs on the way, and Geiranger is a cute town on the edge of the Fjord surrounded by mountain peaks and impressive waterfalls. Depending on the season, it could be completely packed or empty. We visited in September so there was barely anyone in town but one of the tour guides told me that cruise ships stop there in the summer.  I’m not sure how this small town holds that many people but I don’t plan on finding out (i.e. plan your 1 week trip for September).

 

1 week in norway itinerary 1 week in norway itinerary 1 week in norway itinerary

 

Geiranger offers a ton of tours, we opted for the speed boat tour which allows you to throw on an awesome jumpsuit (that kind of looks like you may be cleaning up toxic waste for the day). The speedboat ride gives you close of views of many of the waterfalls (Seven Sisters, Friaren etc.) and a brief history of Geiranger. Most importantly, it provides a lot of excitement while you’re twisting and turning throughout the Fjord.

1 week in norway itinerary 1 week in norway itinerary

1 week in norway itinerary

After your time on the water, warm up with some hot chocolate at Geiranger Sjokolade. You can also try different samples of some interesting flavored chocolate here. Norway’s speciality is blue cheese chocolate, which as you guess tastes like blue cheese. There is also a grocery store in Geiranger if you want to pick up more groceries before heading to Trolltunga. You may want to carboload before hiking Trolltunga the next day.

1 week in norway itinerary

 

Head towards Odda, we stayed in Hardanger which was close to Odda so we wouldn’t have long to drive in the morning to Trolltunga.

 

WARNING: There are a ton of ferries that you will have to take throughout Norway during your road trip. For this reason, don’t plan on reaching your destination late at night because the ferries may be closed. This happened to us this night and the only hotel that was open was $300/night so we slept in our tiny little rental car…. in a vineyard… the night before a 22 km hike.

Where we woke:

1 week in norway itinerary

 

Airbnb we were supposed to stay at: Spacious apartment in beautiful Hardanger (get $30 off your Airbnb by using this link)

Where we actually stayed: A car on the side of a vineyard

Cost: $104/night

 

To see if your route includes a ferry, zoom in on the route on Google maps and see if there are any lines across rivers or fjords.  These lines usually mean your car will be driving onto a ferry, not a bridge. No one told me about the ferry situation (nor did I read about it on any blogs) so we were a little blindsided. Whatever, bad times make good stories (and you can read a little about our experience sleeping in the car here).

 

 

Day 3 – Trolltunga

 

I centered my 1 week in Norway around Trolltunga, this was the number one thing I knew I wanted to do.

Wake up around 7 and plan to start hiking Trolltunga around 8. It will take around 12 hours to complete and you definitely DO NOT want to be coming down in the dark because the last 2 kilometers are the hardest. Also, account for about 2 hours at the summit for picture taking. Depending on the weather and what day of the week you plan to hike, the line could be more than an hour long for pictures. I would recommend going on a weekday.

 

hiking trolltunga 1 week in norway itinerary 1 week in norway itinerary

 

Read more about my experience hiking Trolltunga here. You can also see the video of hiking Trolltunga here.

Airbnb: Hardanger (get $30 off your Airbnb by using this link)

Cost: $104/night

 

Day 4 – Bergen

Driving time: 2 hours

Leave Hardanger for Bergen, where you can visit the old harbor or reward yourself for the hike with a few cocktails. Verkeriet and No Stress were two of our favorite bars in Bergen, both specializing in craft cocktails. Order the Lemon Meringue cocktail at No Stress and jump into a game of MarioKart with strangers.

 

Get a good nights sleep, or stay up until 7am with the local bartenders. You’re old enough to make your own decisions. Guess which one I made.

 

1 week in norway

1 week in norway

 

Airbnb: Roof top terrace in Bergen (get $30 off your Airbnb by using this link)

Cost: $104/night

 

Day 5 – Stavanger

 

Head to Stavanger for the day/night, which is a small eccentric town near the water in Southern Norway. It was one of my favorite towns during our 1 week in Norway. Although Stavanger is small, it’s packed with colorful cafes and artsy restaurants. We also stayed on a sailboat Airbnb (which was fun, but a little technically challenging).

 

1 week in norway 1 week in norway

 

If you get to Stavanger early and don’t want to hang out in the city, you can drive 2 hours to hike Pulpit Rock or Kjerag. Pulpit Rock was originally my plan for this day but unfortunately we were up until 7 the night before (super unplanned but these things happen).

Airbnb: Sailboat in the middle of Stavanger (get $30 off your Airbnb by using this link)

Cost: $73

 

Day 6 – Kjerag

Driving time: 2 hours to Kjerag

Although Trolltunga may be the longer and more famous hike, Kjerag was actually my favorite hike we did in Norway (and maybe my favorite hike I’ve done anywhere). You may recognize Kjerag as the hike where people stand on the boulder between two insanely high cliffs. Plan to spend at least 4-6 hours on this hike.

1 week in norway 1 week in norway 1 week in norway 1 week in norway 1 week in norway

 

Standing on that rock was as scary as it looks. It was the first time in my life that my legs were actually shaking. You can view video footage of hiking Kjerag here.

 

Summary of Tips for 1 Week in Norway:

– Be aware of the ferry schedules

– Grocery Shop

– Make sure to bring hiking shoes, the trails will be pretty muddy and it will be nearly impossible to go in sneakers. These are the shoes I wore.  However, I also bought these hiking boots recently and I’m so in love with them that I wear them around the house 🙂

– For the hikes, dress in layers.  You will be cold at the beginning, but after that first hill, things really heat up. I actually bought most of my hiking clothes from Amazon, like these thermal leggings and this hiking long sleeve. You will also need a raincoat (like this one) and a fleece (like this one here). But, the most important thing of all…. comfortable hiking socks! Bring multiple pairs in your bag in case your feet get wet during the hikes.

– Avoid going in mid summer, which will be high season for tourists.

– Watch for animals in the road when driving, especially late at night when it’s hard to see. We came across plenty of sheep and cows in the road (I’m assuming they like the warmth of the asphalt? )

– If you don’t want to wait in a large line for pictures at Trolltunga and Kjerag, show up to start the hike really early. For Trolltunga, we waited over an hour. For Kjerag, we were the only ones on the trail.

Our Itinerary for 1 week in Norway in a nutshell:

1st day: Drive from Oslo to Andalsnes, Norway

2nd day: See Trollstigen and Geiranger Fjord, Drive to Hardanger

3rd day: Wake up, hike Trolltunga, Sleep in Hardanger

4th day: Hardanger to Bergen, Go out in Bergen

5th day: Bergen to Stavanger, option to do Pulpit Rock Hike

6th day:  Do Kjerag Hike

7th day: Fly Out

 

Have any questions about our itinerary for 1 week in Norway? Please comment below!

 

norway itinerary 1 week in norway

 

 

30 Comments

  • Aleksandra says:

    Hello! I will be solo in Norway for 1 week in early June. I love to hike and your itinerary sounds wonderful! Do you think it is possible to get the same out of this by taking trains?

    • Hi Aleksandra,

      Thanks for commenting! If I were you I would rent a car. I’m not sure if the places I went hiking are reachable by train, and if they are you would also need to get an Uber or Taxi to wherever you are staying and to the trailhead. Besides Bergen and Stavanger, everything was pretty rural. Also, if you don’t get a car, you won’t be able to see Trollstigen, unless you join a tour. Let me know if I can help with anything else, Norway is beautiful and you will have a blast!

      Marteen

  • Laurie Traficante says:

    Hello! Thank you for your post, its been the most helpful one I have found in the last 3 days. We are traveling in May for 10 days and will probably do a similar route to what you have shared. My biggest concern is having to be on a schedule in order to find lodging. Were you able to book your accommodations on the go or did you have it mapped out ahead of time? Also did you happen to see motorhomes along the way? We are thinking about renting one in stead of a car that way we don’t have to worry about finding a place to stay after a long day of hiking. I assume a motorhome on the road in Trollstigen is not possible? Appreciate your feedback and loved your post. Thanks again!

    • Hi Laurie,

      Thanks for reading, I’m glad the itinerary helped! This was honestly one of my favorite trips, so I’m sure you’ll have a blast. I planned all of our lodging before I left (I stayed in all Airbnbs). I did this because I knew a lot of the hiking areas we were visiting were fairly scarce and didn’t want to be stuck. I also didn’t want to have to worry about it while I was on vacation. I don’t recall seeing any motorhomes, probably because gas is fairly expensive. I’d recommend Airbnb, some of them are really cute so I enjoyed staying there. Also, it’s a great way to meet some of the locals. For Trolltunga, we stayed in Odda and for Kjerag we stayed in Stavanger. I imagine that Trollstigen would be pretty hard to maneuver with an RV, but good luck! Let me know if you have any other questions and have a great trip!

      Marteen

  • Cristina says:

    Hello, your post is very useful for me since I am visiting Norway at the end of May with my cousin. My question is if you are pro at hiking? Because we are in shape but we are not hiking pros.

    • Hi Cristina,

      I wouldn’t say I’m a hiking pro. Trolltunga was the longest hike I’ve ever done, and before that I trained a little by hiking mountains around where I live (in California) and using the stair stepper at the gym. Make sure to bring a good pair of hiking shoes and enough water/food and you should be fine! Trolltunga definitely isn’t the easiest trail, but if you’re in shape you’ll be able to do it.

      Thanks!
      Marteen

  • I’m bookmarking this! I’m planning to end a 14 day Scandinavian cruise with a week in Norway. I would love to see the Northern Lights. It will be end of September. Were you able to view them on your trip?

    • Hi Denise,

      I didn’t see the Northern lights on my trip, but I also didn’t try to. You may be able to take a tour to see them, they are probably visible in more Northern parts of Norway. Good luck! Hopefully you’ll have clear skys!

      Thanks,
      Marteen

  • Kenzie says:

    Hello!
    Thank you for posting- it is one of the more detailed and helpful blogs I have found.

    How did you get from Bergen to Stavanger? Was there a ferry involved with that drive or did you fly from Bergen there?

    Thanks!

    • Hi Kenzie,

      You’re welcome, I’m glad this post was able to help with your planning! I rented a car for my week in Norway, so I drove from Bergen to Stavanger. However, I think there may be a bus that runs between the two. I’d recommend renting a car, some of the scenery while driving in incredible.

      thanks for reading!
      Marteen

  • BB says:

    Hey! thanks for the overview of your trip.

    I am curious, did you drive back to Oslo to return the car or where did you fly out from at the end of your trip?

    Thanks again!

    • Hi BB,

      Thanks for commenting, I’m glad the itinerary helped you out. We did drive back to Oslo after Stavanger to return the car. It’s not the most efficient way to do the trip since it adds driving time, but it’s the cheapest way by far.

      Have a great trip,
      Marteen

  • Charli Sinnaeve says:

    What system did you use to make your routes and to know where you have to get on ferries?

    • Hi Charli,

      I just used a GPS (we rented one online to use in our car). You can also use your phones GPS if you have a data plan, but this uses a ton of data. If you look up the route ahead of time on your phone using GoogleMaps and zoom in, you can see the ferry routes on the map. They are the light blue lines crossing the water along the route. They look like bridges on the map but are most likely ferries.

      Thanks
      Marteen

  • Charli Sinnaeve says:

    This may sound crazy but myself and my 5 kids (ranging from 21-13) will be coming to Norway in September and are doing the trolltunga hike and the Kjerang hikes, but what we’d like to do on these longer hikes is hike to the top and then camp and hang out for the night. Then the next day hike down and move on. Is that crazy? And also are there many trees for slinging up hammocks as well? Thanks so much for your insight and opinion.

    • Hi Charli,

      People definitely camp at the top of Trolltunga. This will make the hike a lot easier for those not too experienced in hiking, since it will split it into two days. There’s no trees at the top of the mountain, but there are trees on the way up. You can see what it looks like at the top in my pictures and the video. For Kjerag, I’m not sure if it’s necessary to camp. The hike is only around 5 miles. The terrain at the top of both hikes is mostly rocky with some grass. I don’t think it’s crazy, it sounds like a good adventure and something your kids will never forget!

      Thanks for reading
      Marteen

  • Charli Sinnaeve says:

    Marteen, Recently I was talking to someone here in America who has been to Norway many times and she said we are crazy for renting a car and driving from Oslo to Bergen. She said roads are snowcovered and mountainous. Would you agree? In our group, we will have two moms, and then 8 kids ranging from 21 down to 13. Our plan is to drive from Oslo to Trolltunga, camp the night, hike it the next day, then camp again. Next am, drive to Bergen and explore and spend in the night in Airbnb hopefully. Then next day drive down to Stravanger and over to the suspended rock hike, camp and then next day hike pulpit rock and drive back to Oslo. Then we will be heading to Scotland for a little over a week. Any input would be greatly appreciated! We are camping to save money and plan on buying food mostly at grocery stores….

    • Hi Charli,

      What month are you visiting? Our trip was in mid September and there was no ice or snow on the roads. I would 100% recommend renting a car, it’s the best way to see the country! Some of the roads were a little narrow and windy, but just take your time. Your itinerary seems very similar to ours.

      Thanks for reading!
      Marteen

      • Charli Sinnaeve says:

        We will be traveling the week of Sept 13-19th. Thanks so much for answering all my random questions! You have been a huge source of help. Did you just rent your car from the airport then?

        • Hi Charli,

          No prob! Glad this post was able to help you out 🙂 Yes, we rented the car from the Oslo airport. We brought a GPS that we rented online too.

          Thanks for reading!
          Marteen

  • Flick says:

    Hey, this is an amazing itinerary! Thank you so much, it lit the little travel fire I have in my belly!! Just wondering, I’ve heard that Norway is extremely expensive, how much did you budget for this trip? We’re planning on renting a car as well and not eating out as much as possible, unless we pass an incredible hot chocolate place we cant resist!

    • Hi Flick,

      Thanks for reading, I’m glad you enjoyed my itinerary 🙂 I saved money by grocery shopping and staying in Airbnb’s. I didn’t end up spending that much money, but you will if you end up eating in restaurants and going out for cocktails. We did have one night in Bergen where we splurged. We also were hiking a lot (which is free!) and we rented a car to avoid paying for trains. We went to a really cute hot chocolate place in Geiranger 😉 Let me know if you have any questions!

      Thanks
      Marteen

  • Charli Sinnaeve says:

    hey Marteen, So I’ve been researching the hikes we are planning on doing and VisitNorway’s page about Trolltunga has me worried…. We are planning on hiking it Sept 15-16…. do you think we need a guide? Also, is it extremely hard? We will be hiking it with kids ranging from 13-21 and then us two moms who are fit, but not hikers….

    • Hi Charli,

      You won’t need a guide for Trolltunga,there are plenty of people that do the hike every day. The trial is clearly marked with red Ts and you can follow the crowds. It’s a hard hike, pretty long and gets muddy. However, if you are in shape, it shouldn’t be a problem. There are streams on the way up to grab more water and make sure to pack enough food. You will need good hiking shoes for all the mud as well. Have fun!

      Thanks,
      Marteen

  • Charli Sinnaeve says:

    also, do you think we will encounter a lot of other hikers at that time? things I read online say it’s crazy, but doesn’t clarify when they are hiking.

    • Hi Charli,

      Yes, we did the hike around the same time and there were a lot of hikers. I recommend starting early (around 8), as there will be a line at the top for taking pictures.

      Thanks!
      Marteen

  • Ryan says:

    We will be in Norway in September. Did you find it hard to do all the driving and then long hikes at Trolltunga and Kjerag?

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