Norway is HUGE! It is a lot bigger and grander than we expected.
The fjords were magnificent and the mountains cliff faces were glorious!
It is really good fun to drive a motorbike in Norway because the landscape changes constantly and there is something new to see just around the next corner. I guess a lot of other motorbike riders thought so too, because we met the most fellow riders in Norway than any other place we have to as of yet.
If I were to have to describe Norway in 3 words it would be: Tunnels, waterfalls and hiking!
Check out our video compilation HERE:
Tunnels: There are over 900 tunnels in Norway! The longest one we drove through was 11km long and I was thanking my lucky stars that we were driving through it during the day when we were alert and not drowsy. Driving through a tunnel that long is monotonous and the endless conformity can put you to sleep.
Some of the tunnels were huge and even had a complete round about in them. Watch our video and you will see some of our footage of the cool Blue Tunnel.
Waterfalls: Norway has SO MANY waterfalls. Some are “real” waterfalls, while others are made when the snow melts.
The Latefossen waterfall was this really cool waterfall that cascaded over the road. Actually, it didn’t quite end on the road, it fell under it and they built tunnels under the road so the effect it gives is that the road is floating in the middle of the waterfall. Watch our video above to see it in it’s full glory…
Hiking: I think everyone in Norway is a professional hiker! Seriously, that was THE most often stated activity in almost every place we passed through. Some of the popular hikes are crazy long like 10-12 hours and cover 23km!
We chose to do the less demanding Preikestolen hike (aka the Pulpit Rock) which is only about 6km up and down but it takes about 4-5 hours to complete when you add in taking all the pictures and rest stops. https://www.visitnorway.com/listings/preikestolen/185743/
For us, we ended up hiking for about 8 hours because we went “off-trail” and tried to go to the Kjeragbolten rock which is wedged between 2 cliffs. We thought it was in the Preikestolen area but after 3 additional hours of hiking one mountain after the other, and NOT finding it (we even put our drone up to see if we could find it that way) we decided to turn back as we had no food or water with us.
After a grueling hike back, we realized we were trying to hike to a site that wasn’t even in that town! When our GPS finally loaded, it said it would take 2-3 days to get to Kjeragbolten to see the rock formation below
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So the lesson was check your map properly before you head off on hikes, even though we had our phones with us, the signal wasn’t so good so it “looked” like we were getting closer to our destination.
Also, always bring 2-3 liters of water and some energy bars or nuts when out hiking. The hike always seems easy when you are hydrated and full of energy in the beginning but after 3-4 hours of no water or food you will find yourself making mistakes, tripping and the hike will get exponentially harder. The way down is also much harder for your knees so we learned that we needed to pace ourselves.
Actually, we weren’t complete noobs, we did bring 1.5 litres of water with us but because we thought the hike was “only” 6km we drank it all up without realizing that we didn’t save any for our “off-trail” adventures or our trip back.
Once back to civilization we drank like elephants in the restroom and devoured a 40-inch pizza!
Another thing you need to be ready for when visiting Norway is RAIN!
We had 3 sunny or “dry” days in Norway. The rest of the time it was quite cold and rainy. So if you travel by motorbike it’s just easier to keep your rain suits on. The rain would come and go pretty much all day long so it’s a hassle to keep putting them off and on.
The rain suits also keep you warm so it’s just better to keep them on. You might not look the most fashionable, but it will save you the trouble of drying out your riding gear. Ok, we actually got “waterproof” protective gear but even though you don’t feel wet because of the waterproof inner liners, the outer layer still gets wet, heavy and uncomfortable—and it takes ages to dry out!
Camping in Norway is exciting. There are so many beautiful campsites and wild camping is legal! https://www.visitnorway.com/plan-your-trip/travel-tips-a-z/right-of-access/
We went wild camping only one time in Norway (check out our video) due to rain and cold. Actually, we chose the worse night to “wild camp” we found this beautiful waterfall and we decided that we’d try our hand at surviving in the wild (plus we didn’t mind a FREE campsite) and I think it was the worse night possible!
It rained and poured the entire time and we put up our tent wet and took it down wet. Fortunately our sleeping area stayed dry…but it was so cold and wet that we barely were able to sleep that night. The rain and the waterfall spray was just too much!
Check out the different campsites we stayed at:
The first campsite we stay at in Norway was Landa Camping a beautiful site right near the majestic Lysefjord. There is an old viking house in the campsite that date over 2000 years old that have been restored using original tools and methods. The land is the oldest township found in Norway.
Camping at The Grande Hytteutleige campsite which is right next to the Geiranger Fjord. We were lucky that one of our good days in Norway was when we set up camp at this beautiful place. The Geiranger Fjord is a spectacular UNESCO protected areas teeming with many things to do.
You can camp with your own tent right beside fjord like we did, or you rent on of the many cabins and enjoy the wonderful view.
It was still a bit cold when we were there last week, but when it is warm and sunny, I bet swimming in the crystal clear waters would be heavenly.
You can also explore the Geirangerfjord all on your own by renting a motor boat, canoe or kayak. Fishing is allowed, but sadly our time there was short so we were not able to do this while were there.
CampingPlass in Undredal which is a quaint and friendly town. The highlight for us is their local brown goat cheese. This town used to be only accessible by ferry so they learned to make use of all their resources.
Their brown goat cheese is made from the whey that is usually thrown out when making regular cheese.
They specialize in goat cheese as their town is quite hilly and goats thrive better in their environment than cows or sheep.
I was also able to try out a delicious craft beer from a nearby town’s (Flam) microbrewery. It was called Aegir, I think, and this is their website. http://flamsbrygga.no/en/aegir-brewpub/ Sadly, we didn’t pass by this town so we didn’t get to visit.
Our last campsite was in a small town called Tingvoll. We thought we could drive directly from Geiranger to the border of Sweden in one day but because the fastest speed limit we had up in the mountains was 80km we ended up staying overnight at this campsite.
Imagine our surprise when we saw that they offered Thai massages and Thai food take away! The super friendly owner was married to a Thai and she had opened up a taste of Thailand and we were so happy to have some Thai food.
Our last sight seeing stop in Norway was at this beautiful Stave church about 50km from the border of Sweden.
Amazing how they preserved this centuries year old church…