First of all, I never thought I’d travel to the north and especially to Norway but as it turns out, I loved it. What impressed me the most on this trip was the never-ending days with the most amazing northern sunlight until midnight. It really is an experience on its own. And of course the impressive nature, especially the feeling of remoteness, which makes you really calm down and relax from your busy everyday life. Although some places are touristy and busy it’s easy to find trails and things to do where you’ll feel very secluded. If you’re looking for a vacation to relax, calm down and get back to nature then Norway is the perfect destination. I never felt so calm after a holiday.
If you plan a trip to Norway yourself, let me give you some recommendations and a possible travel itinerary below. Be informed that it is quite a pricey destination but still so worth it.
Starting off in BERGEN
The first thing you notice when landing in Bergen is the modern and clean airport. Heading to town by taxi will take about 20 minutes. Bergen is the second-largest city on the west coast of Norway. A charming city to start your adventure in the western part of Norway.
Clarion Admiral Hotel
Centrally located directly at the port of Bergen. Loved the breakfast and breakfast room vibe.
Get your day kicked off with a walk up to Mount Floyen, where you’ll have a great view over the city of Bergen. It will take you about 1 hour to walk up. There’s a coffee shop on top for a snack before you head back down. More hikes around floyen.no. After having refueled you may have a stroll through the fish market and a look at the famous buildings in the Bryggen quarter.
If you’re going to this restaurant you won’t just simply have dinner but rather have a dinner experience. If you’re a food and wine lover, this is something for you. From the moment you enter this place, you’re welcomed warmly and are hosted through the entire evening with lots of passionate cooks and hosts. You’ll have to dive in without knowing what to expect as there’s a surprise menu. You may choose between a vegetarian, fish or meat menu in 5 courses. Of course, you can tell the staff if you have any particular food you don’t like or can’t eat. They’ll happily offer you an alternative. As good things come at its price, this restaurant experience has its rather high price. Worth to try for a special occasion, but isn’t holiday special occasion enough?
Rucola Cafe & Restaurant
Cozy little Italian place situated in the center of Bergen with very tasty Italian pasta and pizza. Went there twice, which says it all already. The place is quite small and popular, therefore a reservation is recommended.
If you’re in for an easy going lunch or dinner Egon might be just the right place. The menu offers plenty of choices, the setting is relaxed and most importantly the food is good.
If you’re a coffee lover just like me then you’ll have no other choice but to visit Kaffeemisjonen for your coffee fix. Trust me your cappuccino, flat white or filter coffee will be prepared by a most passionate barista with award-winning coffee beans. Not only the coffee, also the sweet treats are impeccable. That’s why you’ll go back there a few times when in Bergen.
2. Stop: LOFTHUS, HARDANGERFJORD
You’ll enjoy a beautiful view on Hardangerfjord and the Folgefonna Glacier from most of the rooms at the Ullensvang hotel.
Very friendly owners, which prepared all of the meals freshly themselves.
Well, this was the part of the trip where heavy rainfalls came pouring down and the hiking plans had to wait. Therefore the spa at the hotel came in handy, where you can spend the day relaxing and reading a book next to the fireplace. If the weather allows it, the hotel is perfectly located as a starting point for one-day hikes to Trolltunga, which is a world-famous rock formation.
3. Stop: KAUPANGER, SOGNDAL
Basic accommodation in rooms or cabins, which are very clean. They serve buffet breakfast and the location is great for many outdoor activities in the area.
There are so many hiking and walking trails just when you step out of the door. I can highly recommend the Husedalen Waterfall Hike, where you’ll pass and see four beautiful waterfalls and the Molden Hike with breathtaking views from the top. I’d say this one is a must-do and was one of the highlights on this trip.
Vagal Burger, La Pergola, Bakery Lustrabui serves amazing coffee and sweets (cinnamon buns obviously…)
4. Stop: SKEI I JOLSTER
Thon Hotel Jolster
Good hotel, but nothing out of the usual. It is convenient for an overnight stay.
As there are not any other restaurants anywhere close. We ended up having the dinner buffet style at this hotel, but I must say that everything I had was very tasty, therefore I’d recommend to stay in and enjoy dinner right where you are. At Kaffeebar & Vertshus Stryn you’ll get your coffee fix on the way to the next location.
Quite popular and touristy but would still recommend the Briksdal Glacier Hike on the way to Geiranger.
5. Stop: GEIRANGERFJORD
The view doesn’t get better, you’ll have an amazing view over Geirangerfjord. The hotel is cozy and we had a charming room with a view of the Geirangerfjord. Quite a pricey accommodation but I guess you’ll pay for the view, I’d say it’s worth it for an overnight stay, but not any longer.
Brasserie Posten probably got 9 out of 10 points. I’d add this place to my “all-time favorite restaurants list”. I guess because you don’t expect a lot and get even more surprised when you taste the food and are hosted in such a friendly and relaxed way. This small restaurant has a laid back atmosphere, very friendly staff and the most delicious food. Everything very fresh from local produce and just beautifully arranged. Make sure to book a table!
If you’re looking for a snack after your morning hike go to Utleigehytter Restaurant Westeras. Also here very friendly staff and simple but very tasty food. You can also rent cute little cabins for an overnight stay.
Plenty of hikes and walks in the area for all fitness levels. Again a waterfall hike in the vicinity of the hotel, also very recommendable a trip to the city Alesund with its harbour. Walk up to Aksla for a 360 view of the port and the beautiful town. Afterwards have a coffee break at the cozy Lyspunktet Café, with yummy sweets and treats.
6. Stop: ULSTEINVIK
Quality Hotel Ulstein
The hotel certainly offers a comfortable stay, but not that charming as it has more of a conference and business hotel feel to it. Breakfast was quite basic. Next time I wouldn’t stay here anymore but nevertheless an okay overnight stay.
You have to visit the island Runde and do the big round hike. The views, nature and bird life are simply breathtaking, this was another highlight of the entire trip. Definitely a must-do!
7. Stop and the last one: FLORO (just an overnight stay on the way back to Bergen to catch our flight)
Cute little town which is worth a visit. You can have a little stroll around and eat fresh fish at the harbour.
Cute little hotel next to the water. Very nice staff, clean rooms, and good breakfast.
Thai Isaan offers great Thai food. Naustdal Dampbakeri AS is a beautiful coffee place in town.
I’ll definitely plan another trip to the northern part of Norway, which should be even more impressive. If you have any recommendations I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.