Norway is a land of rugged landscapes, towering peaks, crystal-clear lakes, and an abundance of wildlife.
For those seeking an unforgettable outdoor adventure, wild camping in Norway is a must-try experience. With its vast expanses of untouched wilderness, Norway offers an unparalleled opportunity to connect with nature and escape the hustle and bustle of city life.
In this blog post, I’ll take you on a journey through our 10-day camping trip in Norway, sharing our tips and insights along the way. From finding the perfect campsite to hiking to hidden waterfalls, we’ll help you plan an unforgettable adventure in this stunning country. So grab your tent, pack your bags, and join us on an epic journey through the wilderness of Norway.
Camping in Norway: Things to know
Before we begin, it’s worth delving into the ins and outs of wild camping. Throughout our trip we were met with some adverse weather conditions which meant in the end we did a mixture of wild camping, staying in campsites and staying in hostels.
Wild camping in Norway is a fantastic way to experience the country’s stunning natural beauty and rugged wilderness. However, it’s important to note that there are specific rules and regulations that must be followed to protect the environment and ensure everyone’s safety.
In Norway, the “allemannsretten” or the “right to roam,” allows for:
- Camping on uncultivated land for up to two nights in the same place
- You need to be at least 150 meters away from the nearest inhabited house or cabin
- Don’t damage the environment or disturb other people.
- Campfires are only allowed in designated areas or with the landowner’s permission
- Take all your rubbish with you and leave no trace
Following these guidelines will help ensure that the natural environment remains pristine for future generations to enjoy.
Here’s a handy summary of useful links to all the places we stayed, gear we used and any recommended tours or activities for the trip!
Tours, activities & guided hikes (if you don’t fancy going it alone!):
- Pulpit Rock Guided Hike
- Kayaking in Geirganger
- Flåm Railway & Fjord Cruise Combo Ticket
- Kayaking in Alesund
Day One: Stavanger and Pulpit Rock
We began our adventure by exploring the charming coastal city of Stavanger, where we’ll spend half a day before heading up to Pulpit rock in the afternoon (I’ll explain why later!).
Some of the things I’d recommend exploring while in Stavanger include:
- Explore the charming old town, Gamle Stavanger, with its colourful wooden houses and cobblestone streets.
- Visit Stavanger Cathedral, one of the oldest churches in Norway, with its Gothic architecture and stunning stained-glass windows.
- Walk along the harbour promenade, which offers beautiful views of the water and boats.
- Enjoy a coffee or pastry at one of the city’s cozy cafes, like Kaffehuset Friele or Bøker og Børst.
Pulpit Rock, also known as Preikestolen in Norwegian, is a massive cliff plateau that towers over the Lysefjord in southwestern Norway. The plateau sits 604 meters (1,982 feet) above sea level and offers breathtaking panoramic views of the fjord and surrounding landscape.
The rock is probably one of the most popular destinations for hikers, which is why we highly recommend starting the hike to Pulpit Rock later in the afternoon. By starting later, you can avoid the large crowds and have a more peaceful experience on the trail. Additionally, you’ll almost have the whole place to yourselves, making it an ideal spot for a quiet and undisturbed night of camping under the stars. As the sun sets and the stars come out, you’ll be treated to an unforgettable view of the fjord and surrounding landscape. It’s a truly unique experience that we highly recommend to anyone looking for a more authentic and immersive adventure in Norway.
The hike to Pulpit Rock is well-marked and takes about 2-4 hours round trip, depending on your level of fitness.
Day Two: Driving to Odda
The morning after our wild camping adventure at Pulpit Rock, we woke up early to pack up our tent and gear. As the sun began to rise, we took one last look at the stunning view from our campsite before beginning the descent back down to the trailhead. We were able to catch one of the first buses back into town, which gave us plenty of time to collect our rental car and hit the road to our next stop.
Now here’s where the aforementioned adverse weather conditions come into play. We had originally planned to hike the famous Trolltunga over a period of an afternoon and a morning with a wild camp in-between. Unfortunately, this just wouldn’t have been safe so we had to skip the hike entirely and improvise (oh well, we’ll just need to go back!).
Fortunately, the road from Stavanger towards Odda (our new planned place to sleep for the night, about halfway to Flam) had us driving along the scenic tourist route Norwegian National Road 13, along the Gronsdalslona river. We spent the day stopping off at a variety of waterfalls before exploring Odda and checking into a very budget hotel we found for the night to get some rest.
Day Three: Heading towards Flåm & Flåm Railway
Following our night in Odda, we continued our journey towards the picturesque town of Flam where we’ll stay for the next two nights at Flam Camping & Hostel.
The site is surrounded by breathtaking natural scenery, including towering mountains and sparkling fjords, making it the perfect base from which to explore the local area. The site itself is spacious, with plenty of room for tents and campers, and a range of amenities to make your stay as comfortable as possible. These include modern bathroom facilities, laundry facilities, and even a small shop where you can stock up on essentials.
Once we’d set up our tent we walked just a few minutes to Flåm Railway Station to take what is described as one of the most beautiful train journeys in the world!
The railway runs to the mountain station of Myrdal, winding its way through breathtaking mountain scenery, past cascading waterfalls and deep gorges. The journey takes around an hour, with the train travelling at a leisurely pace, allowing passengers to take in the stunning views. Along the way, the train passes through a series of tunnels and across dozens of bridges, including the famous Kjosfossen waterfall bridge, where passengers can stop and watch a mesmerising waterfall show based on the mythical forest creature ‘Huldra’.
Now you’ve got a couple of options here when it comes to tickets, you can either do a roundtrip for around 500NOK or you can opt to travel one way and hike back down into Flåm. We chose the latter option which led to a 4 hour gentle sloping walk all the way back into the town, passing lots of waterfalls, charming houses and forests on the way.
Day Four: Fjord Cruise to Gudvangen
On day two we decided to take a fjord cruise to Gudvangen, a small village nestled at the end of the UNESCO-listed Nærøyfjord.
The fjord cruise costs 550NOK and takes passengers through some of the most stunning scenery in the region, with towering mountains, cascading waterfalls, and crystal clear waters. The journey takes around two hours, with plenty of opportunities to take photos and soak up the beautiful surroundings.
Once in Gudvangen I’ll admit there’s not loads to do! We decided to explore the Viking Village, an open-air museum that offers a glimpse into life in Viking times. Here you can see traditional Viking houses, watch demonstrations of Viking crafts such as weaving and blacksmithing, and even try your hand at archery or axe-throwing (which to be honest I was terrible at). Entry tickets cost around 200NOK and can be bought at the entrance.
Once we were finished in Gudvangen we took the bus back to our campsite in Flåm, if you really wanted to splash the cash you could of course take the boat back the way you came!
Day Five: Start the drive towards Geiranger
Now this day is a bit of a mash-up of activities, with our next main port of call being Geiranger which is a 6 hour drive away.
As the route also included a ferry crossing over a fjord (with mildly inconvenient timings) we decided to split the drive into two parts with a wild camp in between as close to the ferry terminal in Hellesylt as we could manage.
We settled on a camping location by Hornindal Bridge as it was nice and flat with lovely views and not too much else around.
I’d made note of a few stop off’s I wanted to do on the way which I’ll detail below:
The Stegastein Lookout is a stunning viewpoint that offers panoramic views of the surrounding fjords and mountains. Located just a short drive from the town of Flam, the lookout is perched high above the Aurlandsfjord, offering breathtaking views of the landscape below. The lookout itself is a modern, architectural marvel, with a sleek design that blends seamlessly into the surrounding natural environment. Visitors can walk out onto a glass platform that extends over the edge of the cliff, providing a thrilling and unforgettable experience.
Borgund Stave Church
Also nearby to Flåm is the Borgund Stave Church, one of Norway’s most well-preserved stave churches. The church was built around 1180 AD, and is made entirely of wood, with intricate carvings and ornate decorations adorning its exterior. Inside, visitors can see original features such as the altar, pulpit, and baptismal font, as well as a collection of medieval artifacts and artworks. While you can visit the surroundings of the church for free, there is a small entry fee of 110NOK if you’d like to get up close or visit inside – we did this and to be honest I’m not sure it’s worth it but it’s obviously up to you!
The glacier is part of the Jostedalsbreen National Park, and is known for its towering walls of ice and brilliant blue colour. While you can pay and do guided hikes along the glacier (which I’m sure is very cool) we just wanted to have a bit of a nosey before continuing our drive. We learned that a small plane that crashed on the Boyabreen Glacier in 1996, as the glacier is constantly shifting and changing there’s a chance that one day it’ll become visible!
Day Six: Geirangerfjord
The ferry ride from Hellesylt to Geiranger is considered one of the most scenic in Norway, offering breathtaking views of the towering mountains and stunning fjords that make the country famous.
The ferry winds its way through the fjord before arriving at Geiranger in about one hour, and allows you to experience the beauty of Norway’s natural landscape from a unique perspective. Passing popular sights such as the ‘Seven Sisters’ named after the seven separate streams of water that cascade down the mountain.
Once in Geiranger there are a few different small hikes to various viewpoints you can do, as well as visit the town itself. We did the following two hikes:
Starting at Westerås Farm you can park your rental car for a small fee that’ll cover you for the day before making your way along a high edge of the fjord (through the llamas and sheep!). The trail climbs steadily until it reaches Løsta at approximately 500 meters above sea level which offers a stunning vantage point over the fjord. More information can be found here!
From the same starting point, you can also head in the other direction to Storseterfossen Waterfall. The enjoyable trek combined with the experience of walking behind the waterfall makes for a memorable trip. The hike is fairly short, about an hour each way, but has a steady climb. More information can be found here!
Upon leaving Geiranger to make our way to our next campsite we had great plans to wild camp somewhere near the famous Trollstigen road.
Now as I’m sure you’ve learned, great plans don’t often lead to great realities on this trip! As we made our way to the spot I’d found on maps we noticed snow start piling up all around us and the temperature plummet. Obviously with the gear we had on us we couldn’t camp in the snow and so last minute booked a hostel in Åndalsnes, which was cheap and cheerful but came with a free sauna to use!
Day Seven: Rømsdalseggen
Today is reserved the most beautiful hike in Norway (and most definitely the most beautiful hike I’ve ever done), Rømsdalseggen.
The Rømsdalseggen hike is a challenging but incredibly rewarding trek that offers stunning views of the Romsdal Alps in western Norway. The trail begins in the town of Andalsnes and winds its way up steep switchbacks, across rocky terrain, and along narrow ridges with breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. Along the way, you’ll pass by several peaks, including Vengetind, Store Trolltind, and the iconic Romsdalshornet.
The trail is approximately 11 kilometers long and takes 6-8 hours to complete, depending on how much you want to stop and take pics (which trust me will be a lot!).
During the summer season (from June to September) there’s a bus service that will shuttle you from the finishing point of the hike back to the start. However we were just a bit too early and so took a taxi instead – it still worked out great and the conditions on the hike itself were lovely.
Day Eight: Trollstigen Road
The Trollstigen road is a world-renowned scenic drive that winds its way up the rugged mountainside of western Norway.
The road features 11 hairpin bends, each offering stunning views of the surrounding landscape, including waterfalls, steep cliffs, and lush valleys.
The road’s name, which means “Troll’s Path,” comes from the belief that trolls once lived in the area, and the winding road was created to confuse and deter them. Today, the Trollstigen road is a popular tourist attraction, and visitors can stop at several viewpoints along the way to take in the breathtaking scenery. One of the road’s highlights is the Stigfossen waterfall, which cascades down the mountainside and can be viewed from a specially built viewing platform. The Trollstigen road is open from May to October, and during the winter months, the road is closed due to heavy snowfall.
While it’s famous as a road for driving, there’s a lesser-known hike up Trollstigen road is a hidden gem for those looking to explore the area on foot. The hike follows a path that winds up the mountainside and offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape, including the winding road and the Stigfossen waterfall.
We decided to hike which took approximately 2-3 hours, with several viewpoints along the way that offer stunning photo opportunities. For those seeking a unique way to experience the beauty of the Trollstigen road, this lesser-known hike is definitely worth adding to the itinerary.
Day 9: Heading Towards Alesund
After spending a few days exploring the stunning landscape of Trollveggan campsite and the surrounding area, it was time to hit the road and head to the coastal city of Alesund.
The drive from Trollveggan to Alesund is approximately 2 hours and offers spectacular views of the Norwegian countryside.
We’d booked to stay at the Scandic Parken hotel which felt like absolute LUXURY after our 10 days of camping and hostels.
For our first day in Alesund we had a small wander around the city and picked up some food from a food truck called ‘The Greedy Box’ which just so happened to be one of the best burgers we’ve ever had. We got chatting to the owner who told us our visit actually coincided with Slinningsbålet – what’s that you might ask? Well…
Slinningsbålet, also known as the “Alesund bonfire,” is a traditional event that takes place annually. This massive bonfire is built on a small island just off the coast of Alesund and is set ablaze on the night of June 23rd, marking the beginning of the Midsummer celebrations. The bonfire is a symbol of the city’s rebirth after the devastating fire of 1904 that destroyed much of the town’s wooden buildings. The tradition of Slinningsbålet dates back over 150 years, and it’s a beloved event that draws crowds from all over Norway and beyond.
The rest of the day (and some of the next) was reserved for exploring, here’s just a few things to do in Alesund:
- Visit the Alesund Aquarium: This aquarium is home to a variety of marine life, including seals, otters, and fish species that are native to the Norwegian coast.
- Climb to the top of Aksla Mountain: Aksla offers stunning panoramic views of the city and the surrounding fjords. You can either hike up the 418 steps to the top or take the scenic road that winds its way up the mountain.
- Stroll around the Art Nouveau district: Alesund is known for its unique Art Nouveau architecture, and a leisurely walk around the district will allow you to admire the intricate details of the buildings.
- Visit the Jugendstilsenteret Museum: This museum showcases the history and evolution of Art Nouveau architecture in Alesund.
- Explore the islands of Giske and Godøy: These islands are a short ferry ride away from Alesund and offer picturesque landscapes and hiking trails.
- Take a boat tour of the fjords: Alesund is surrounded by stunning fjords, and taking a boat tour is a great way to appreciate their natural beauty.
- Visit the Alnes Lighthouse: This picturesque lighthouse is located on the island of Godøy and offers panoramic views of the surrounding islands and fjords.
Day 10: Explore Alesund
On our final day in Norway we felt that we had one hike left in us, and so decided to head to nearby Sukkertoppen.
Sukkertoppen, also known as Sugar Top, is a mountain located on the island of Hessa, just a short distance from the city and easily reachable by bus. The hike to the summit of Sukkertoppen offers stunning views of the surrounding fjords, islands, and mountains. The trail is well-marked and relatively easy, taking approximately 1-2 hours, depending on your pace, and offers breathtaking panoramic views of Alesund and its surroundings.
As the aquarium is nearby, we added that in to this day – definitely well worth it in my opinion!
And finally… Head home!
Safe to say that our 10-day adventure in Norway was truly a trip of a lifetime. We explored some of the country’s most iconic natural wonders, discovered hidden gems, and experienced the rugged beauty of this incredible country.
Norway is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and adventurers, offering endless opportunities for hiking, camping, and exploring the great outdoors.
From the towering mountains and glaciers to the tranquil fjords and valleys, Norway is a destination that will leave you breathless and inspired.
I hope our journey through this stunning country has given you a taste of what’s possible and inspired you to plan your own adventure!