If I had one piece of travel advice, it would be to rent a car whenever you can. Sure a group tour can save you a few pennies, but the freedom that comes with your own set of wheels is worth the extra splurge! We recently travelled to Norway for a long weekend with our friends. The main reason for our trip was to hike the incredible Trolltunga, but to be honest driving around the rest of the Hardangerfjord was just as special! We rented our car through the company Sixt, which cost us £362 for 4 days. So between the four of us this didn’t work out too expensive, and even though we drove over 400km we only spent £30 on fuel – good old efficient Volvo. I would really recommend taking out the extra windscreen insurance – although Norway’s roads were extremely well maintained, we did pass through some roadworks (where a digger literally swung out it’s excavator [yep, I did just google ‘what is the name for a digger’s scoop-ey bit’] out into the middle of the road in front of us *gulp*), and the more rural roads and driveways are generally gravel.
One of the coolest things about driving around the Hardangerfjord was that most of the roads were underground- or, more specifically, undermountain – in tunnels! The roads are so well hidden – from across the water you would have no idea they were even there. There were even ROUNDABOUTS in these tunnels. IN THE TUNNELS. I’ve never seen that before. They’re also lit up blue so you feel like you’re in the future. I’m going to insert a video clip that Aled filmed below so that you can see for yourself. The downside to the tunnels was that our radio kept cutting out. So if you’re really want to get your road trip jam on, maybe make a playlist on your phone! Our satnav was generally okay – at least at the roundabouts when they mattered.
Norway is insanely beautiful. It’s one of those places where you don’t really mind driving because there is just SO much to see. In fact, you deliberately take the long way round. Renting our own car meant that we could pull over whenever we saw a pretty viewpoint and take the scenic route when we wanted. For example, our Airbnb was in Odda but we flew into Bergen. The most direct route would have included a ferry and taken us around 3 hours. But we wanted to see the waterfall Steindalsfossen, so we drove around the fjord instead and our overall journey was more like 4-4.5 hours. It’s funny because there are certain named waterfalls in Norway (like Steindalsfossen) that are considered viewpoints, but there are actually so many waterfalls scattered all over the fjords, delicately decorating them, with no name at all. We chased ’em all. TLC styleee.
You can watch my video diary from our Norway trip (including our hike to Trolltunga!) here:
Other posts in my Norway Blog Series (coming up!):