Aerial view of Geiranger fjord, along the norwegian coastline

The Norwegian coastline is a treasure trove of breath-taking landscapes, charming towns and thrilling adventures. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie seeking your next heard-pounding activity or a nature lover looking to soak in the stunning fjord views, Norway's coastal towns have something for everyone. 

Upon arriving in Norway's’ capital, Oslo, I was informed we are entering the land of the midnight sun, fjords and trolls. While I can’t speak much about trolls – have never encountered any real ones (I was looking) - I can definitely share the awe-inspiring beauty of the fjords and the midnight sun experiences. 

Each town highlighted in this blog offers its own unique charm and experiences. Along with a brief description of each town's highlights, you’ll find a blend of outdoor activities ranging from gentle to exhilarating. I also share my two unique experiences that shouldn’t be missed – crossing the Arctic Circle and witnessing the midnight sun in North Cape. 

This guide will help discover the best places to visit, the top activities to try and hidden gems along the way to create an unforgettable holiday. Start planning your Norwegian coastline adventure now. 

Oslo – the starting point  

The easiest place to kickstart your Norwegian adventure is in the capital Oslo. This city is like a large, sprawling port town. For me, it had an industrial vibe, so it doesn't really require an extended stay here. 

However, if you are spending a day here, I would recommend taking the hop on/hop off bus tour to gain a quick insight into the city and history. This convenient option allows you to visit notable places to visit are Vigeland Park, the Viking Ships Museum and the Kon Tiki Museum. Or enjoy a cruise through the scenic bays. 

Some tours you may be interested in:

For a unique perspective over Oslo, I recommend visiting the Holmenkollen Ski Museum & Tower. Soak in the panoramic views over the city. While you’re there, test your skills skiing downhill at 130km/hour. Don't worry, it's in a ski simulator. 

Holmenkollen is about 10km from Oslo city centre. You have two main options: 

  1. 1
    Uber: a 22-minute drive. 
  2. 2
    Metro: For a budget friendly option, take Line 1 (light blue line) towards Frognerseteren. Get off at Holmenkollen. Then it's a 10-minute walk following the signs to the ski jump & museum. The metro costs NOK42 each way or NOK127 for a day pass 

TG Tip:  Remember to buy your metro ticket before boarding as it's not possible to purchase tickets on trams or metro carriages anymore. The Ruter website can help plan your journey and buy tickets via the Ruter app. Or buy tickets from kiosks around the city. 

After enjoying the highlights of Oslo, it’s time to head up the fjords and explore the beauty and adventures of the Norwegian coastline. 

Hotel recommendations:

As the name suggests, it is perfectly centrally located in the city centre. Plus breakfast is included, which all guests seem to rave about.

Stavanger 

white wooden houses along a cobblestone road

Stavanger is a delight with a blend of old historical charm, modern attractions and colourful neighbourhoods. As one of the country’s oldest cities, it offers a rich tapestry of cultural heritage and a lively urban atmosphere. 

Town highlights include: 

  • Old Town (Gamle Stavanger) - I like to call the white neighbourhood. These 18th and 19th century wooden buildings are beautifully preserved and painted in white. 
  • Ovre Homegate – a street painted in all colours of the rainbow. Take time to browse in the boutiques and galleries or take a break in a cafe. 
  • Norwegian Petroleum Museum – for those that are interested in the oil industry. Stavanger is dubbed as the ‘oil capital of Norway’. Learn how the discovery of oil changed Norway forever. 
  • Stavanger Cathedral (Stavanger Domkirke) - an impressive 12th century cathedral that's still in use today. 
  • Fish market (Fisketorget) - if you are craving some fresh seafood, don't miss trying the freshly caught salmon or shellfish. 

Adventure activities

The biggest highlight of course is the unique and striking natural beauty of the surrounding coastline. You definitely must visit at least these two places: 

  • Pulpit Rock (Preikestolen) - hike up to a dramatic cliff that rises 604m above Lysefjord and juts out over the water for the most breath-taking natural viewing platform. 
  • Kjerag – another awe-inspiring hike, to a 1084m high plateau. Again, the views are breath-taking. Everyone likes to make the famous photo stop at the suspended boulder wedged between two cliffs. 
people standing on top of a cliff, overlooking a fjord on norwegians coastline

Pulpit Rock

a person standing on a suspended rock inbetween two cliffs

Kjerag

Adventure activities abound in this area. Many other hiking trails to choose from, for example Dalsnuten hike. Or you can explore by kayak and view the dramatic cliffs and waterfalls from below. There’s rock climbing for the thrill seekers. And if you prefer something a little more sedate, cruising along Lysefjord on a boat tour is a fantastic way to marvel at the sheer cliffs, cascading waterfalls and picturesque coastal villages. 

Here are some popular adventure tours in Stavanger:

Some boat tours you may be interested in:

Hotel recommendations:
gabled roof hotel room overlooking a harbour

Great location, overlooking the harbourside. It includes breakfast and free evening buffet from 8.00 - 10.00pm.

hotel bedroom in scandanavian design

A modern hotel in the centre of Stavanger, beautifully designed in bright scandanavian colours. Breakfast included.

Bergen 

colourful wooden houses along bergen wharf, part of norwegian coastline

This metropolitan coastal town with small town charm, is often referred to as the ‘capital of the fjords’. Also called the gateway to the fjords, as it's situated between the two biggest fjords in Norway, the Hardangerfjord and the Sognefjord. A great introduction for fjord excursions and adventure activities. 

The city of Bergen is also brimming with rich history, vibrant culture and stunning natural beauty. Some key city highlights include: 

  • Bryggen – a UNESCO world heritage site, consisting of colourful wooden houses along the harbour. It dates back from medieval Hanseatic League. Wander through narrow cobblestone alleyways to explore quaint shops, galleries and museums. 
  • Floibanen Funicular – take a ride to the top of Mount Floyen for panoramic views of Bergen and its surrounds, follow hiking trails or relax at the cafe.  
  • Ulriken cable car – journey to the highest peak in the area. Ulriken is 643m high, with commanding views over the sea, islands, mountains and fjords. Or wander through more hiking trails. 
  • Fish market – a lively fish market located in the heart of the city. Enjoy eating freshly caught fish and shellfish or sample smoked salmon, fish soup and fish cakes. It also offe3rs fresh fruit and vegetables plus handicrafts and souveniers. 

Adventure activities

With Bergen surrounded by 7 mountains and nestled between the two largest fjords, there are many adventure activities to choose from.  

  • Select from fjord boat excursions along Hardangerfjord and Sognefjord for dramatic landscapes and waterfalls. 
  • Or explore by kayaks. 
  • In addition to the hiking trails mentioned above, you can hike the Vidden Trail. It connects Mount Ulriken and Mount Floyen, with stunning views along the way.
  • Or rent a bike and explore the scenic routes by road. The Rallavegen route, starting in Myrdal, is considered one of the most beautiful cycling routes in Norway. 
  • And for something different, take a ride on the Bergen Railway. Voted as one of the world's most beautiful train journeys. 

Here are some popular adventure tours in Bergen:

TG Tip:  Bergen is also known as one of the rainiest cities in Europe, with 200 days of rain per year. So, remember to add your rain jackets and umbrellas to your travel packing list.

Bergen hotel recommendations:
main hotel foyer with gothic stylel ceiling

If you can afford it, stay in a historical building, the old stock exchange building. Love the gothic style ceiling in the main hall. Wonderful food and service.

hotel bedroom with wooden walls and ceilings

Treat yourself to old world charm in a 16th century building - part of the UNESCO World Heritage Bryggen district. 

Tyssedal

If you can afford the time, I would recommend the 3-hour journey heading inland from Bergen to Tyssedal for some 'out-of-the-box' outdoor adventures. Do the following three activities tempt you?

two people sitting on a green tent suspended down a cliff

Enjoy the thrill of having a picnic while suspended down the side of the cliff.

a female laying on a tent that is suspended off the ground amongst trees

After a hike through this beautiful wilderness, spend the night in a tent suspended 2m off the ground. Includes dinner and breakfast.

two females inside a luxury dome styled tent overlooking a fjord

Enjoy the vast landscape as you hike to Trolls Tongue, then retreat back for an overnight stay in an Arctic dome tent.

Geiranger 

Aerial view of Geiranger fjord, along the norwegian coastline

My first introduction to fjords was on a Top Deck tour, when we travelled from Lillehammer to Geiranger. As we drove, the hills transformed into towering mountains. Even in the summer month June, snow-capped peaks began to appear. 

Our excitement peaked as we descended the hairpin turns and caught our first glimpse of stunning Geiranger Fjord. Halfway down, the breath-taking view of the fjord and surrounding mountains demanded a photo stop.  

Adventure activities

At the base, the road ends at the water's edge in the quaint town of Geiranger. You can stay here for a night or two to engage in some activities or take in the serenity. 

  • You can kayak the serene waters to view the waterfalls and high cliffs and mountains. It was like a fairy-tale for us.  
  • Highly recommend the hiking trail that passes behind the Storsaeter waterfall.  
  • For the adrenaline seekers, you can whizz through the air on a zip line. Or feel your heart pounding on a canyoning trip with a difference – clinging to the cliff wall. 

Here are some popular adventure tours in Geiranger:

Geiranger hotel recommendations:
white mountain lodge perched on a hill overlooking geiranger fjord

A beautiful mountain lodge. Most rooms have private balcony overlooking the stunning fjord views. Can request free transfer to the village centre, only 2km away.

TG Tip:  Another option is to stay in the village of Hellesylt instead. It’s an hour ferry ride up the deep blue fjord. It would take you twice as long if you drove, as it needs to meander around a mountain. 

TG Tip:  if driving from inland instead, I recommend visiting Lillehammer. Known for its 1994 Winter Olympics bobsleigh venue, it's still operational today. Experience the thrill of racing down the track at over 100km/hour, feeling intense G-forces and the excitement of navigating sharp bends. I kept straining my neck upwards so I could look down the track. An awesome experience. Exhilaration to the max. 

Andalsnes   

two people standing on a metal ramp overlooking the fjord along norwegian coastline


Andalsnes is located at the end of a valley, surrounded by snow-capped mountains and Romsdalsfjord. Although the town itself may seem unassuming, it does serve as a gateway to some of the best hiking and climbing opportunities in the country. Hence the reason why it's known as the mountaineering capital. 

Some town highlights include: 

  • Norsk Tindesenter mountaineering centre – where you can learn about the regions mountaineering history and test your skills at Norway's tallest indoor climbing wall. 
  • Rampestreken viewpoint – a 20m long steel ramp extending out into the air (550m high), offering a soaring view over the town and mountains. From the centre of town, you can either hike up the steep trail via Romsdalstrappa (1.5hrs) or take the Romsdalen gondola (15min). 
  • Nesaksla – extend your adventure by walking another 15-30min further up from Rampestreken, to reach a higher viewpoint at Nesaksla (708m). If you don't feel like walking back down, there’s always the Romsdalen gondola! 
  • Trollveggen Visitor Center – to view Europe’s tallest vertical rock face.  

Adventure activities

The other highlights are basically outside of the town. A paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. 

  • Romsdalseggen Ridge trail – hailed as one of the most picturesque hikes in the country, it's not for the faint hearted. The hike is challenging but rewarding, providing great instagrammable photos. You do traverse along a narrow ridge in one section. This 7-8 hour hike from Vengedalen to Nesaksla/Rampestreken will take your breath away. 
  • Litlefjellet hike – a more leisurely route without compromising on the breathtaking views. It’s only a 30min walk from the carpark.  
  • Trollstigen (Trolls Path) plateau is a viewing platform to witness below the traffic navigate down the world famous 11 hairpin bends. It took us one hour to drive down it because a large coach got stuck at one of the tight bends! 
  • Climbing - With numerous peaks and cliffs, Andalsnes is a haven for climbers. The most popular is Trollveggen (Troll Wall), the tallest vertical rock face in Europe. For a safer option, try the Via Ferrata routes, which combine climbing with the safety of fixed steel cables. They do offer beginner climbs. The town also hosts various climbing events during the year, including the Norwegian Mountain Festival. 
  • Canyoning and rafting - The rivers around Andalsnes provide thrilling canyoning and rafting opportunities. 

After all the adventures, you may want to relax as a passenger onboard Rauma Railway – named one of Europe’s most beautiful train journeys by Lonely Planet. The route runs between Andalsnes and Dombas, passing through spectacular landscapes, including towering peaks, cascading waterfalls and lush valleys.  

Try these popular tours: 

Here are some popular adventure tours in Andalsnes:

Andalsnes hotel recommendations:
small white mountain retreat set amongst the forest

Feel you are in the country but only be 5km from the city centre. Wonderful food and service. With a sauna and bar on site.

a multi story hotel towering over the mountain town

A large hotel that is centrally located but still offers panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. Standard rooms with large breakfast selection.

Trondheim 

small bridge with colourful homes on either side

The third largest city and religious capital of Norway. And now a popular pilgrimage, due to its largest medieval building in Scandinavia. 

The Nidaros Cathedral is built on top of a Viking king burial site, St Olav. It’s gothic in style, with lots of colourful stained windows. And the front facade is adorned with statues of past kings, queens and religious figures. 

Other things to do: 

  • Sample some Nordic flavours - this will interest the foodies. It’s also gaining a reputation as one of the top food destinations to visit in Europe. Therefore, don't miss trying local specialties such as reindeer, fresh seafood and the famous Trondheim waffles. 
  • Bakklandet historical area – stroll around the colourful, cobble stoned streets. Famous for its charming wooden houses, soak up the old-world charm of Trondheim. Quite hip and charming. 
  • Old Town Bridge (Gamle Bybro) – walk or cycle over this cute red historic bridge. Perfect spot to view the colourful wooden houses along Nidelva River.  

Adventure activities include: 

  • Rent a bike and cycle around the city’s cycling paths. It has the world's first bicycle lift, called Trampe. Helps cyclists up the steep Brubakken hill. 
  • Bymarka forest – offers excellent day hikes and cross-country skiing in winter. 
  • Gentle kayaking along the Nidelva River. Or for the more adventurous, venture out into Trondheim Fjord.  
  • Fishing tours available for enthusiasts, as it's a great spot for fishing cod and mackerel. 

Here are some popular adventure tours in Trondheim:

TG Tip:  

Visit the tiny village of Hell for the obligatory photo in front of the most photographed train station in Norway. Only 30 minutes' drive east of Trondheim. 

The only time you can tell someone to go to Hell and not get in trouble  🙂

Trondheim hotel suggestions:
hotel room interior

Located right in the heart of Trondheim, only a 2 minute walk to the square. Shops and restaurants right on your doorstep. Friendly and helpful staff.

hotel outdoor decking overlooking harbour

Enjoy staying in a modern hotel overlooking the harbour. Views of Trondheim Fjord from rooftop bar. Get discounts to Pirbadet (Norway's largest indoor water park).

Mo I Rana 

a retreating glacier along the norwegian coastline

This is a good base to access the nearby Svartisen Glacier. 

It’s about a 50-minute drive to the lake where you’ll need to catch a ferry. Upon arrival at the other side, embark on a 3km rocky hike to the glacier lookout. The glacier’s stunning hues of white and light blue create a picturesque scene, as if it were painted.  

Periodically, large chunks of ice fall into the lake, producing loud crashing noises. But you won't hear it these days as the glacier has retreated somewhat! 

If you have the time and are more adventurous, consider hiking up and around the glacier itself to fully appreciate its grandeur and natural beauty. 

 

The Arctic Circle 

Crossing the Arctic Circle is a memorable achievement for any traveler. I was so happy to cross it off my bucket list. Located at latitude 66 degrees 33 minutes north, the journey is marked by dramatic changes in scenery. As you approach the Arctic Circle, the lush vegetation gives way to sparse grass and grey-barked trees, eventually leading to a barren landscape.  

By road, the Arctic Circle doesn't greet you with grand signs or flashing lights. Instead, the Arctic Circle Center marks this significant latitude with a simple, informative presence. A stone path running through the centre of the building once depicted the Arctic Circle line in 1990. However, due to the continual shift of the magnetic north pole by approximately 14 meters each year, it will take another 40,000 years for the line to return to the middle of the visitor center. 

If you’re crossing the Arctic Circle by train, the conductor will make an announcement over the PA system. On a ship, the crew often put on a light-hearted show to celebrate the crossing. 

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Lofoten Islands 

small fishing village surrounded by mountains

Reine

The Lofoten Islands is a long but magical archipelago which definitely is a must-see in Norway. Think of steep, tall mountains shooting upwards from blue and turquoise coloured seas. 

Where to stay: 

There are many places you can choose to stay to explore this stunning region. Here are few suggestions: 

  • Svolvaer – one of the region's largest towns and the capital of this region. It is known as the cultural and administrative hub, with great shopping and restaurants. But also known for easy access to the majestic fjords and pristine waters. 
    Most of the modern type hotels are located here. But you can still find traditional fishing cottages known as rorbu. And its a major ferry point, linking to Skutvik on the mainland. 
    Many organised tours depart from this city – see the tour box below. 
  • Henningsvaer – best of both worlds as the trendiest fishing village and close to hiking trails. This vibrant town is busy during the day with daytrippers but quiet in the evenings. Perfect place to explore in cool shops and dine in hip restaurants/cafes. Henningsvaer Guesthouse can help guests wanting to rent a car.
  • Ballstad – an active cosy fishing village located centrally along the archipelago. A convenient location to use as a base if you dont want to change hotel locations. 
    It's also located centrally between the two ferry ports:
    - Ballstad to Svolvar ferry port in the north is 1 hour 15min 
    - Ballstad to Moskenes Ferry Port in the south is 1 hour 20min. 
    Take the opportunity to stay in a rorbu – the red coloured fishermen’s cottages which are now renovated for tourists. 
    Plus you’re only 10 minutes away from Leknes city, where you will find supermarkets, petrol stations, shopping malls and restaurants/cafes. 
  • Nusfjord – if you would like to stay in a town to get a feel for how life was in a fishing village. It has now been turned into an open-air musuem.  
    Stay in a cosy cabin at the Nusfjord Arctic Resort. Old vibe but with modern touch. 
  • Reine – Lofoten’s most famous and visited place. It truly is the most picturesque place in the archipelago. Located a 10 minute drive from Moskenes ferry port, its the perfect base to explore the southern region of Lofoten Islands. Especially the small islands of Hamnoy and Sakrisoy for the classic fishing village with peaky mountains as a backdrop scenes. 
    TG Tip – if you only do one hike on your trip, make the spectacular Reinebringen Mountain your first choice. 

Or you can island hop. This option works well for a minimum stay of 5 days, which is what I recommend. 

Reine rorbu recommendations:
wooden interior of a fishermans cottage

Traditional fisherman cottages and guest rooms. Feature wooden floors & private bathroom. Best feature, the fjord views.

red cottages sitting on rocky outcrop with mountains in background

For complete quiet, stay in a fishermans cottage on the nearby island of Hamnoy. Enjoy the amazing views from your own rustic accommodation.

Adventure activities

Lofoten Islands is the perfect backdrop for the following popular activities: 

Here are some popular adventure tours around Lofoten Islands:

Other activities include hiking, skiing, climbing, diving, surfing and photo safari’s. 

Getting there: 

The easiest way to get there is to fly. But if you’re looking for a more exciting or scenic way, then consider taking a ferry: 

  • Bodo to Moskenes, to the southern part of the islands. Direct journey 3-4 hours. 
    Operated by Torghatten Nord. Up to 9 departures per day during the summer months. Seas can be rough. 
  • Skutvik to Svolvaer, to the northern part of the islands. Two hour journey. 
    Operated by Torghatten Nordduring the summer months only (1 June – 31Aug) 
    This ferry is free, but only has 2 daily departures. Calmer waters.
     
  • Bognes to Lodingen, operated by Torghatten, is not technically in Lofoten. But its a perfect route if you plan to drive the whole length of the archipelago along the E10 highway, known as “King Olav’s Road”. 

If you don't have a car, there is a Hop On/Hop Off Arctic bus route that extends the whole length of the archipelago, from Narvik to A I Lofoten. With daily fixed departures and photo stops along the way, makes this travel pass quite flexible for independent travellers.

The above Hop On/Hop Off Arctic Route travel pass also offers a second route, from Kabelvag in central Lofoten Islands to Tromso. It follows the outer islands of the northern Norwegian Coastline.

Tromso 

evening photo of a coastal town with lights reflecting on the water

They like to call Tromso as the gateway to the arctic. The hub of arctic adventures. It certainly is spectacular in summer where the city is lit up by the midnight sun. And during the winter with snow activities. 

Tromso is dynamic and lively. The town hosts numerous festivals through the year, such as the Tromso International Festival and the Northern Lights Festival. 

The town highlights include: 

  • Arctic Cathedral (Ishavskatedralen) - Inspired by Arctic nature and iceburgs, this impressive triangular building is hard to miss. Inside, view the beautiful stained-glass windows too. During the summer, it hosts midnight sun concerts. 
  • Delve into the restaurant scene to refuel. Try traditional dishes such reindeer stew, Arctic char, grilled stockfish and king crab. 
  • Fejellheisen Cable Car – takes you to the top of Mount Storsteinen, for panoramic views over the city and access to hiking trails. For the adventurous, climb to the top via the 1200 steps Sherpa Staircase. 
  • Polaria (polar museum)- a unique Arctic experience centre where you can learn about the polar regions through interactive exhibits. It also has a panoramic cinema and an Arctic aquarium featuring bearded seals. 

Adventure activities

Tromso, however is renowned for a wide range of outdoor adventure activities and tis unique natural phenomena. 

a group sitting in snow admiring the green northern lights display in the sky

It’s a prime destination for those seeking to experience the magic of the Northern Lights during summer – from September to April. Or to experience the Midnight Sun during winter - a 24 hour playground as the sun never sets. I remember one night we were still playing volleyball at 2am, that's how light it was outside. 

Time your visit to include your preferred adventure: 

  • Northern Lights tour – from September to April, join a guided tour that takes you to the best spots by either bus, boat or snowmobile.
  • Dog sledding – a traditional and exciting way to explore the snowy landscapes around Tromso. 
  • Whale watching – from late October to mid January, you can see humpback whales, orcs and other marine life in the fjords. 
  • Snowshoeing and cross-country skiing – during winter follow trails for all skill levels to enjoy the stunning winter landscapes. 

Here are some popular adventure tours in Tromso:

Tromso hotel recommendations:
standard hotel room with a large window overlooking the fjord

Ask for a room with the large windows so you can wake up to stunning panoramic views over the harbour and city. Great views of Arctic Cathedral from the bar.

panoramic views from a rooftop bar

Live on the edge! Contemporary furnishings but the main feature is the rooftop bar and terrace with views overlooking Tromso Sound and Arctic Cathedral.

Alta 

a convoy of snow mobiles ploughing through the snow

Alta is a little further north than Tromso and consequently is known as the ‘City of the Northern Lights’. Due to Alta’s clear skies, it’s one the best places in the world to witness the Northern Lights from September to April.  

Alta is also known for its rich Sami culture and stunning natural landscapes. So you could consider Alta another gateway to Arctic adventures. Add this to your itinerary if you’re wanting something more off the beaten track. 

The town highlights include: 

  • Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel – situated on the banks of Alta River, this luxury hotel made of ice and melts away every year in spring. Stay for the night or have an ice drink at the bar. 
  • Northern Lights Cathedral – the most modern cathedral I’ve ever seen. The unique spiral design is meant to echo the auroras. Therefore, inside you can enjoy exhibitions on the Northern Lights or attend concerts. 
  • Alta Museum – is the home to the UNESCO World Heritage listed rock carvings, that date back as far as 4200 BC. These petroglyphs provide fascinating insights into the lives of early humans in the region. 

Adventure activities

A wide range of outdoor activities are available, similar to what's available at Tromso. 

  • Northern Lights tours - from September to April
  • Dog sledding – local operators offer a variety of tours, from short rides to multi-day expeditions that feel like an authentic Arctic adventure. 
  • Snowmobiling – guided tours allow you to explore the Arctic wilderness ona snowmobile. Giving you an adrenaline rush while taking in the breathtaking views. 
  • Hiking – in the summer months, there a many hiking trails to traverse. 
  • Fishing – fishing opportunities exist in the summer time. The Alta River is known for its salmon fishing.  

Here are some popular adventure tours in Alta:

Alta hotel recommendations:
white canvas dome tent with a skylight

For something a little different, almost like an igloo but without the ice. It is located a little out of town but still have pleasures of daily breakfast and sauna.

hotel room with wooden floors and bright green wall paper

Centrally located and conveniently connected to the AMFI Alta Shopping Centre. Shops and restaurants are just outside your door.

Hammerfest & the midnight sun 

The most northerly town in the world, so they say! Hammerfest's charm lies in its colourful houses and unique subarctic landscape. 

Driving to Hammerfest was not as exciting as the journey to Geiranger, but it has its own allure. The route is flanked by fjords on the left and mountains on the right most of the way. Then transitions to a rugged, subarctic terrain. The barren landscape is dotted with rocks and pockets of snow, a stark contrast to the lush fjords of southern Norway. 

Despite the icy cold air and wind, we still embraced the midnight sun with a fishing trip at midnight. Cod and salmon seems to be in abundance here. The constant daylight keeps your body awake and energy up, making it hard to believe its night time. 

hotel room with colourful furniture and harbour views from large windows

A great centrally located hotel. Book a superior room for sweeping views over the harbour and fjord. Only a 2 minute walk to catch the ferry to Alta.

North Cape 

The main adventure from Hammerfest is to witness the midnight sun from North Cape, Europe’s northernmost point. The perfect place to watch the midnight sun dip just above the horizon at midnight before rising again is at North Cape. 

Getting there: 

It's a 3 - 3.5 hour drive from either Hammerfest or Alta. If you don't have a car, an alternative way from Hammerfest is, 

  • Ferry: a two-hour luxurious catamaran journey from Hammerfest to Honningsvag or a direct ferry. If it’s not operating, then there is the regular ferry but its a 5-hour journey. 
    (Alternatively, its a 3 hour bus journey) 
  • Bus: continue on a 30-minute bus journey across the rugged island to North Cape. 

We were bitterly disappointed when we arrived. Our visit was shrouded with mist, with visibility down to 50m. We couldn't see that we were standing on a 307m high cliff overlooking the sea. 

at the top of norwegian coastline is a steel globe structure with the midnight sun in background on the horizon

What we should have seen at midnight.

3 people standing with steel globe structure amongst mist

What we actually saw!!

Although we didn't see the midnight sun, the North Cape Hall (Nordkapphallen) is a visitor centre offering plenty of activities: souvenir shops (overpriced), post office (with its own postmark), restaurant, cafe and a brief model history on the discovery of North Cape. A 225 degree video screen showcased the area’s spectacular landscape across all seasons. 

And the bar that makes a dramatic opening of the screens at midnight. Would have been nice to get that Instagram shot of standing at the North Cape Globe with the midnight sun in the background. 

We learned that the last sighting of the midnight sun was two weeks earlier. With the midnight sun from North Cape only visible 30% of the time, you need luck on your side, or an extended stay is necessary to guarantee catching a glimpse. Don’t worry though, you still get to experience 24-hour daylight from Alta or Hammerfest. 

The best time to view this phenomena at North Cape is from mid-May to 31 July.  It’s still on my bucket list, ensuring I’ll be visiting Norway again. 

Below are some tours to North Cape from Honningsvag.

Organised tours along the Norwegian Coastline

Now you might be thinking you're not too keen on a self drive holiday through Norway. Especially due to the winding roads and hopping on/off several ferries.

That's easily fixed by booking onto an organised tour with a guide. TourRadar is a great source to check out what's available. 

Their website lists all the multi-day coach tours available by the most reputable tour companies. For example;  G Adventures, Intrepid Travel, Trafalgar, Globus, Cosmos and more. Plus Contiki and Top Deck for the under 35's.

No need to jump from website to website to compare tours and prices. Type 'Norway' in the destination box and scroll down the list of tours - 139 as I look today. Filter the length of time you have. Then view the maps to check if you like the itinerary and book.


Unforgettable adventures along the Norwegian coastline – what's your choice! 

Exploring Norway’s coastline is a journey through a land of unparalleled natural beauty and thrilling adventures. From vibrant city/town life and cultural experiences to serene fjords and rugged landscapes. Each destination does offer something unique and different. 

This guide aimed to help you plan your Norwegian coastline holiday by discovering the best places to visit, the top activities to try and hidden gems to add a special touch to your trip.  

What places or activities are first on your list? If you have any questions, pop them in the comments below.

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About the author

Lisa is a travel gypsy by heart, having already been to over 70 countries and still counting. Founder of Travel Groove, to share travel tips, tricks and knowledge with other travellers.

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