This is the story of a fantastic journey in the southern part of this long country far to the north. The road trip takes us around all of southern Norway.
Overview of the journey and the articles in this series
A round trip has no obvious starting point, but our journey starts where we live – in Stavanger. We will be heading north on the Western Norway coast of Vestlandet and around the Trondheim fjord through the counties of Trøndelag. We are going southeast to the Østlandet region before we turn our noses homewards along the easy-going, southern coast of Sørlandet. The trip includes four out of five regions in Norway.
This article was first published in Norwegian, on Sandalsand på norsk.
Part 1, Stavanger to Molde
The first part takes us across the string of fjords on the west coast, roughly on the main road (E39). We will pass Bergen, make a detour out to Florø in the northwest and meet up with friends in Nordfjord. Then we break off from the main road along the coast, for we shall move inland, seek out the famous Briksdalen glacier, climb over the mountains to Geiranger – before we head back towards the sea in Sunnmøre. The last stage involves the valley of Romsdal.
This article stops in Molde, as not to include too much in one article. The stretch which is plotted on the map further down in the text shows that we will then have travelled 1,073 km (644 miles). There are naturally any number of nights and places to stay along the way, if you plan to follow suit.
Fjord horses with cart, ready to take tourists up to the Briksdalbreen glacier
Part 2, Molde to Oslo
The next part, at least in this account of the trip, takes us from Molde north to Nordmøre before crossing the Trondheim fjord. Here we embark on a really long stage through forests and across moors around the Trondheim fjord down to Trøndelag’s old capital, Trondheim. From here the journey continues on to the World Heritage Site of Røros and along the Swedish border through the forested, long valleys to the nation’s capital – Oslo.
Anyone wishing to take the same route as us, should realise that it will leave us with 1,266 km (786 miles) on the road.
Old Town Bridge across Nidelva in Trondheim
Part 3, Oslo – Stavanger
The third part describes the journey from Oslo to the whole range of beautiful small and medium sized cities along the mellow coastal region of southern Norway. When we head north to Stavanger again, we will have spent something like three weeks and be reasonably full of impressions.
On returning home we will on this leg have driven about 644 km (400) miles.
Lovely maritime environment at Lyngør, on the southern coast of Sørlandet
More about the journey and the itinerary
Overall, we will be covering some 2,983 km (1,853 miles) along the roads in southern Norway. By comparison, those who drive the entire main road called E6 from Halden to Kirkenes (south to north of Norway) still have about 350 km left before beating our road trip.
It was never my intention to write this travelogue. The reason is simply that it took place over 20 years ago. I have no diary entries as my old travelogues were based on. I therefore rely partly on my memory. However I have scanned my images and they are quite good even today. I am also convinced that this journey has not lost its charm since 1993, but will on the contrary be alluring also to present-day road travellers.
Here is the map of our itinerary. You can click it and follow the route in fairly great detail. The map can also be opened in new tab. (Part 1 covers letters J to J to the west on the map; Part 2 covers J to H north and east on the map; Part 3 the rest from H to J around the southern coast.)
There have been road developments in Norway in the last 20 years, albeit less than many would have liked. Distances have been shortened and some ferry crossings have been replaced by bridges or underwater tunnels. The map shows roads and intersections as they are today and with Google’s calculated distances. That is good enough.
It is also clear that a trip of up to three weeks is a long time to be on the road. There is a lot to experience, and the excellent NAF Veibok (guidebook in Norwegian) gave us detailed descriptions as the days went by. We wanted to see much, and we had to skip a lot. There had to be some long stages between the places we wanted to prioritize.
Please have a look at my other road trips in Norway to get more ideas. Start with this page.
Let’s go. The first part of the itinerary follows in the next chapter.
Here are the chapters in this series:
(2) Stavanger to Molde
(3) Molde to Oslo
(4) Oslo to Stavanger