Travel in Norway
AFTER HIKING
Finse on the Oslo-Bergen train line

Travel in Norway: Trains, buses and suggestions

In this guide we explain Norway's travel routes, based on our research trips at Alpine Exploratory. Our small company Alpine Exploratory was founded in 2005 and began exploring in Norway in 2016. We offer multi-day self-guided hiking trips in Norway's mountains and more widely in Scandinavia, the Alps and the UK. Our most popular Norwegian trail is the Jotunheimen Tour in 6 days and we also love our shorter Rondane Tour, which is a great introduction to hiking in Norway.

We will not try to be exhaustive, except for Norway's rail lines of which there are only 6, but rather to describe travel that we have enjoyed. This is a personal view of Norway's possibilities, while thinking about walkers setting off into Norway to travel.


Train and bus lines
The 2 big Norwegian scenic rail lines
The other Norwegian rail lines
Rail into Sweden
Scenic long-distance bus lines
Selected ferries, fjord or sea

Further highlights
Norwegian travel: 2 key considerations
Suggested Norwegian itineraries

The terrain near the Arctic Circle as we head South from Bodo
  The terrain near the Arctic Circle as we head South from Bodo    Jotunheimen Tour
Beginnings in Oslo

My first trip to Norway was in September 2016. (A personal view by Simon Stevens.) I had been exploring Sweden since 2007. I leapt at the chance to see Olso, Norway's capitol, over three days. It was everything that I expected based on Sweden's Stockholm and Gothenburg, plus a special independent edge. Oslo's site on Oslofjord is a micro version of the country as a whole. Ferries ply across the water, waving the red, blue and white flag - a special red and blue that are immediately Norway - and we hired bikes to explore the wooded shore. It was immensely Scandinavian.

Ahead of what I knew would be two Summers of hut-to-hut walking in Norway, I took the chance to see the country in Winter. I made a point of linking both of Oslo's airports, Trondheim's airport, the main train line up and down the Southern half of Norway (the Dovre line) and the Norwegian institutions of the cross-country ski lodge and the small downhill ski resort. It was a trip without purpose that nevertheless I look back on as my essential Norwegian introduction. Towns were dark and yet a single lamp in a window gave a glow of humanity; train stations were dark and yet the train carriage brought warmth and company.

Since those Autumn and Winter visits, Alpine Exploratory team members and I have made several trips to Norway, primarily to hike our routes in the Jotunheimen and Rondane national parks but also to travel as widely as possible. Norway is a country that repays extended time after the trail, but that needs some planning.

A simple approach

To hire a car or to stick to trains, buses and ferries? Norway has one of the world's great coastlines, 3,000 km of it and intricate almost throughout. What is a coast and what is merely an inlet into a fjord and the worlds beyond? When is the coast even the attraction when small islands obscure the route North to South?

The result is that Norway is enormous as a country to explore. This means that it can be sampled at so many points. This takes the pressure off having to see the one special point; there are a thousand. It follows that a train line can take you to a good sample of this scenery and that we do not need to hire a car. (Undoubtedly some fjords and towns are easier to reach with a car.)

I'm on the first ferry of the Summer to arrive at Eidsburagden; the Fondsbu hostel team wave flag
  I'm on the first ferry of the Summer to arrive at Eidsburagden; the Fondsbu hostel team wave flags.    Jotunheimen Tour
The 2 big Norwegian scenic rail lines

Norway has one famous rail line (Oslo-Bergen) and another that is just as spectacular despite being off the tourist trail (Trondheim-Bodo). Each of these lines is worth spending the day on and is worth bending your itinerary to travel back from the end, especially as both Bergen and Bodo are so enjoyable in their own ways:

Trondheim to Bodo
5/5 stars 10 hours
Mountainous through-route
From Trondheim to Bodo
On my first visit to Trondheim I saw the night train to Bodo being prepared. I just had to travel this route! Ten hours straight North.. which country has a single line that heads so squarely in one direction? When it came to it, I took the train South from Bodo and it is a stupendous experience. It is about 3 hours of travel before we cross out of the Arctic Circle. This comes during a mountainous stretch on the way to Mo i Rana, like Mostrana one of the few towns of any size that the line passes. Generally the scenery is coastal, a little inland too, and at good speed. The buffet car is delightful as we expect in Norway. So, if I was asked I would say take this one line, even over the Bergen line, because it gives you scenic variety and a sense of Norway's huge scale.

Oslo to Bergen
5/5 stars 6 hours 30 minutes
Mountainous through-route
From Oslo to Bergen
The famous Oslo-Bergen line and justifiably so, a mountain crossing with a coastal destination. It is superb. Perhaps the first third of the journey is lowlands, passing normal Drammen and crossing country. Then we build up height past Geilo's ski resort and scattered huts on the moorland. The arrival at Finse, Norway's highest station and a cross-country skiing base with hostel, brings cool air and snow patches. There is a 2-minute halt and no-one will venture far with their train waiting! Now for the plunge downhill, through avalanche shelters, the very blue and very broiling river in a gorge below (South side of the carriage essential). The adventure town of Voss comes as we reach the valley - disappointing all round - and after that a pleasant river- and fjordside run into Bergen. Try the buffet car for a break and for views both sides.

The 2 big Norwegian scenic rail lines (Map 1 of 5): Oslo-Bergen and Trondheim-Bodo.
  The 2 big Norwegian scenic rail lines (Map 1 of 5): Oslo-Bergen and Trondheim-Bodo.
The other Norwegian rail lines

Norway as an enormously long but mountainous country has few rail lines, really 5 plus a branch line, but each is fabulous. We've just described 2 of them, and here are the other 4:

Oslo to Trondheim (Dovre branch)
4/5 stars 7 hours 30 minutes
Mountainous through-route
From Oslo to Trondheim
Fast, direct, but not immediate in terms of views, this is a blast through the heart of Southern Norway that manages not to show much of the best scenery. To one side is the Jotunheimen and to the other is the Rondane, perhaps the two best-known national parks, but they appear as far-off mounds. The line passes Lillehammer, sweet as a town, then passes stops useful for the national parks: Ringebu and Otta. After Otta the line climbs, more mountains in view now. Later Oppdal is one of Norway's bigger downhill ski bases, and then we run into Trondheim.

Oslo to Trondheim (Roros branch)
4/5 stars 8 hours
Mountainous through-route
From Oslo to Trondheim
The Roros branch is scenically very different to the main Dovre branch. The Roros line leaves at Hamar (a lovely example of a small Norwegian town) on its own small trains. It is a lot of woods! I saw 4 separate moose leaping beside the line. Roros, the draw, is an old mining village but do not budget much time here; Trondheim will always have a bigger claim.

Oslo to Stavanger
4/5 stars 8 hours
Lowland and coastal through-route
From Oslo to Stavanger
This is the long line on Norway's Southern coast, linking Kristiansand and Stavanger to Oslo - plus many small towns that are popular holiday spots in Summer. It is largely coastal. Recently the line has seen bus replacements during works. (We do not know the line in its major part between Sandefjord and Stavanger. Our plan is a trip all the way from Stavanger, through Oslo, to Stockholm.)

Dombas to Andalsnes
4/5 stars 1 hour 20 minutes
Mountainous branch line
From Dombas to Andalsnes
A rare branch line in the hills and a route to the coast.. largely downhill from Dombas, and what is Andalsnes? Not anything to justify the train, except to move on by bus. It is a fine series of views, in this valley, with hairpins to lose height. (We have not traveled on this line, but we have driven the road which runs roughly beside it.)

The other Norwegian rail lines (Map 2 of 5): Oslo-Trondheim (Dovre branch), Oslo-Trondheim (Dovre branch), Oslo-Stavanger and Dombas-Andalsnes
  The other Norwegian rail lines (Map 2 of 5): Oslo-Trondheim (Dovre branch), Oslo-Trondheim (Dovre branch), Oslo-Stavanger and Dombas-Andalsnes.
Rail into Sweden

Norway has three rail lines that head East into Sweden, from Oslo, from Trondheim and from Narvik. The Narvik line's stretch within Norway is the scenic equal of any Norwegian rail line; it goes to Abisko (for our Swedish Kungsleden hike):

Narvik towards Abisko, Kiruna, Gallivare and Stockholm
5/5 stars 1 hour within Norway
Mountainous through-route
From Narvik to Abisko
This is the line from Stockholm, the length of Sweden, to Narvik on the Norwegian coast. The line was built to take iron ore from the mines at Kiruna to the Atlantic. The stretch from Narvik to the Swedish border compares with any other line in Norway, fabulously high above the Rombaken fjord then onto the moor at the border. The first station inside Sweden is Riksgransen. Take this train on finishing our Kungsleden at Kiruna.

Trondheim towards Are and Ostersund
5/5 stars Roughly 2 hours within Norway
Mountainous through-route
From Trondheim to Are
This line crosses from Trondheim into Sweden, passing the big Swedish ski town Are towards Ostersund and ultimately Stockholm. A bus runs on the road and is quicker. (We don't yet know this line; we plan a Winter visit.)

Oslo towards Gothenburg and Stockholm
3/5 stars Roughly 2 hours within Norway
Lowland and coastal through-route
From Oslo to Gothenburg or Stockholm
Trains set off South from Oslo along Oslofjord towards Gothenburg. Alternatively on a separate line they head East inland towards Stockholm.

Rail into Sweden (Map 3 of 5): Narvik-Abisko, Trondheim-Are and Oslo-Gothenburg.
  Rail into Sweden (Map 3 of 5): Narvik-Abisko, Trondheim-Are and Oslo-Gothenburg.
Scenic long-distance bus routes

Norway comes into reach when we join the bus network. With only 6 train lines such a large country relies on long-distance bus routes, and the service is refined with toilets, charging points and wifi throughout. Buses take ferries to cross fjords and this phenomenon barely merits a mention in Norwegian timetables. We find it magical.

Lom to Sognedal
5/5 stars 3 hours
Mountainous bus route
From Lom to Sognedal
If there is a hidden gem for lovers of mountain scenery, this is it. In 3 hours we cross from the valleys north of the Jotunheimen national park over a wild and craggy pass - brief stop for coffee at the Krossbu hut - and drop in hairpins to charge through the valley to Sogndal. It is a thrill. The link is enticing because it brings us within one further hop (boat or further bus) of Bergen and the coast. What a way to travel on from the hills.

Oslo to Leirvassbu
5/5 stars 5 hours
Mountainous bus route
From Oslo to Leirvassbu
For our Jotunheimen Tour this is the key bus route, leaving Oslo and reaching Gjendesheim (start of the hike) then Lom (main town of the Jotunheimen) and then in a unique finish, driving up a long single-track road to the Leirvassbu hut. It is called the Valdresekspressen. The bus arrives at Leirvassbu each evening and departs in the morning, the driver has dinner and stays the night, and the sight of a huge white coach with OSLO on its sign is quite arresting in the wilds. Leirvassbu is also on our circuit and we have used this bus link to good effect to get in and out of the hills.

Bodo to Narvik
5/5 stars 4 hours 30 minutes
Mountainous and coastal bus route
From Bodo to Narvik
An enticing link between two rail terminals, and obvious, yet less of a feature on the ground than might be expected. Look for a change of buses at Fauske; if heading South on the night train and not going into Bodo, you can join the rail network here. It's a spectacular bus ride, sweeping past improbable peaks. There is one long ferry crossing, of the Tysfjorden, where beyond the mouth of this large fjord the Lofoten islands are visible.

Narvik to A i Lofoten
5/5 stars 7 hours 20 minutes
Mountainous and coastal bus route
From Narvik to A i Lofoten
This bus route goes the length of the Lofoten islands. (We plan it for Summer 2021.) Starting in Narvik, pass Evenes airport.. serving both Narvik and the islands.. and link the island chain as it stretches out into the Atlantic.

Narvik to Kirkenes via Tromso
4/5 stars 27 hours
Mountainous and coastal bus route
From Narvik to Kirkenes
(We don't know these Northerly routes via Tromso, also to Hammerfest and Alta, but we can't wait. There are no trains North of Narvik and so it's all buses and internal flights.)

Bergen to Lillehammer
4/5 stars 6 hours
Mountainous bus route
From Bergen to Lillehammer
This bold West-East crossing takes to high ground; a local bus goes up to Eidsbugarden (link possible with the ferry). This is one of the key links with the Jotunheimen if coming from Bergen.

Sogndal to Voss
4/5 stars 4 hours
Mountainous bus route
From Sogndal to Voss
Cross the Sognefjord by ferry in this useful cross-country route, that stops at Flam and Voss too. At Voss you can join the train to Bergen.

Bergen to Stavanger
3/5 stars 6 hours
Coastal bus route
From Bergen to Stavanger
Coastal with 2 ferries, this is a slice of Norway quite different from the mountains. Stavanger comes as a smaller version of Bergen, less colourful and immediate, but sweet.

Scenic long-distance bus routes (Map 4 of 5): Lom-Sognedal, Oslo-Leirvassbu, Bodo-Narvik, Narvik-A i Lofoten, Narvik-Tromso-Kirkenes, Bergen-Lillehammer, Sogndal-Bergen and Bergen-Stavanger.
  Scenic long-distance bus routes (Map 4 of 5): Lom-Sognedal, Oslo-Leirvassbu, Bodo-Narvik, Narvik-A i Lofoten, Narvik-Tromso-Kirkenes, Bergen-Lillehammer, Sogndal-Bergen and Bergen-Stavanger.
Selected ferries, fjord or sea

A special feature of Norwegian travel is the fjord, the sea loch, deep green slopes either side. Reaching the right fjord by public transport and seeing it from a useful angle, needs some advance planning, and even more so if the aim is to avoid Summer crowds. As well as fjords at the coast, there are ferries slightly inland and ferries along inland lakes (very spectacular). We will not cover the town ferries, particualry good at Oslo and Trondheim; these also give a taste of Norwegian life on the water and are easily navigated once in those cities.

Sogndal and Flam to Bergen
5/5 stars 4 hours
From Sogndal to Bergen
The Sognefjord is the longest fjord in Norway. It can be crossed by buses, which of course in Norway take the ferries, indeed are timed accordingly. It can also be sailed from almost its upper limit, the pleasant town of Sogndal (bus link from Lom in the Jotunheimen). This ferry has sparse timings but is an all-day journey, reaching the coast and dropping down to Bergen. (We have not yet taken this one.) On route is the tourist stop of Flam with its branch line to the Oslo-Bergen line, and this is a potential circuit popularised by VisitNorway and by Bergen.

Bodo to Svolvaer in Lofoten
5/5 stars 3 hours 30 minutes
From Bodo to Svolvaer
Reportedly the island peaks of Lofoten loom out of the sea as you cross from Bodo, the ferry port at the end of the train network. The villages of Moskenes, A i Lofoten (or just A) and Svolvaer are possible destinations, and A is the end of the bus line from Narvik along the length of the Lofoten islands. (We will be in Lofoten for the first time in Summer 2021).

Gjendesheim to Gjendebu
5/5 stars 1 hour
From Gjendesheim to Gjendebu
The better-known of two fabulous lakes in the Jotunheimen, not fjords but lakes, this is Lake Gjende with 3 stops along its length. Each stop is a point on our Jotunheimen Tour. The sense of shipping out from a remote point in the hills is palpable, as we wait for the ferry at Gjendebu. Mountain walls crowd each side.

Bygdin to Eidsbugarden
5/5 stars 1 hour
From Bygdin to Eidsbugarden
Quieter and even more remote in feel, the Bygdin ferry is a charming old launch, the Bitihorn, and finishes at the welcoming Fondsbu hut with all-day food. This is another way, like Gjende, to leave the bus and reach the wilds of the Jotunheimen thanks to the water.

Rondvassbu along the Rondvatnet
5/5 stars 1 hour
From Rondvassbu to Head of the Rondvatnet
The Rondane national park has its own lake, equivalent to those in the Jotunheimen. This one has a boat service run by the Rondvassbu hut in Norway's DNT network and useful on our Rondane Tour. The trip is a treat, a wilderness link operated with a small cruiser. The skipper will store your bag on the deck. Mountain walls are close in here.

Selected ferries, fjord or sea (Map 5 of 5): Sogndal-Bergen, Bodo-A i Lofoten, Bergen-Flam, Gjendesheim-Gjendebu and Bygdin to Eidsbugarden.
  Selected ferries, fjord or sea (Map 5 of 5): Sogndal-Bergen, Bodo-A i Lofoten, Bergen-Flam, Gjendesheim-Gjendebu and Bygdin to Eidsbugarden.
Norwegian travel: 2 key considerations

It is apparent that Norwegian travel presents two considerations.

Consideration one: Few daily departures
Coming from the Alpine countries and much of Europe where if there's a 3:20 train then there is also a 4:20 and a 5:20 and so on, Norway can be a suprise because there might only be 1, 2 or 3 daily departures on a given route. For example, the practically timed bus from Olso to Gjendesheim for our Jotunheimen Tour is around 5pm and so, if we are not to need another day in our itinerary, we have to be on that bus! The upshot is that some careful planning can be needed to reach our hike the day after our flight.

Consideration two: Book ahead
It is hard for a traveler on UK trains to imagine, but Norwegian trains can simply book up, and in that case you cannot take that train. Norwegian trains don't let people keep packing themselves on. In practice you are unlikely to be caught by this, and in order to remove the risk we suggest to our clients to book ahead online.

The bus to Stavanger waits at Bergen's bus station. This coastal route takes 4 hours and uses 2 ferries.
  The bus to Stavanger waits at Bergen's bus station. This coastal route takes 4 hours and uses 2 ferries.    Jotunheimen Tour
Fjords and ferries by car

Let us note the sights possible by car, that are not easily seen by public transport. We mean those bold cross-country routes, those smaller promontories and islands, and those towns by the coast. Here is an example: the Trollstigen road/path, the Geirangerfjord, the Norangdal valley in the Sunnmøre region, and the town of Alesund. A workable itinerary can be put together. The Geirangerfjord in particular is a fjord that bends twice to reach quite far inland at the village of Geiranger; some Hurtigruten ferries come in here, plus the local ferry, and there is no doubt it's the stuff of Norwegian travel dreams. The region of Sunnmøre is particularly coastal and charming, hosting unusually spectacular peaks that are known within Norway. The town of Alesund is small and attractive; like Bergen, a walk up to the lookout point reveals the action around the bay, and these scenes are typically Norwegian.

We would suggest that while an itinerary taking in these sights would be spectacular, no one point or even a collection of them is essential, within Norway, given that the landscape is entertaining over such a wide area.

The famous jutting rock of Preikestolen is an attraction in Southern Norway, with a base of Stavanger and a clever linking ferry on the Lysefjord. It is well publicised once in Stavanger. Another of the famous Norwegian sights is the Trolltunga on the edge of the Hardangervida national park, which would be approached from the Bergen side. Again our suggestion is that single sights are not what Norway is about, spectacular as they are, and further that the overall scenery in a national park like the Jotunheimen is the best approach to Norway for hikers.

The ferry along Geirangerfjord passes steep walls and waterfalls.
  The ferry along Geirangerfjord passes steep walls and waterfalls.    Jotunheimen Tour
The Hurtigruten ferry

A note on the famous Hurtigruten ferry is in order, being the multi-day service up Norway's immense coast from Stavanger to Kirkenes. This would be a fine travel experience in its own right, and hopping on and off as day passengers staying on deck (or more accurately with no cabin) is possible if you plan how to travel onwards. We would suggest that it is a distinct experience from Norway itself, being the mountains, hinterland and coast, plus the train, buses and internal (including fjord) ferries.

Two trains wait at Bergen's rail terminus: the long-distance one to Oslo and a local train to Voss.
  Two trains wait at Bergen's rail terminus: the long-distance one to Oslo and a local train to Voss.    Jotunheimen Tour
Suggested Norwegian itineraries

Suppose you will be in Otta after the Jotunheimen Tour. This little town is quite everyday, with good shops, and you will want to zoom to Oslo or Trondheim. A quick trip home goes down the train line to Oslo Lufthavn, which has its own station on the way to Oslo. Or you could explore as follows:

In 3 nights from Otta:
Day 1 Train from Otta to Trondheim (Stay in Trondheim)
Day 2 Train from Trondheim to Bodo (Stay in Bodo)
Day 3 Bus from Bodo to Narvik (Stay in Narvik)
Day 4 Train from Narvik to Kiruna and fly.

Or, to head West you might like to start from Lom, the smaller but more outdoors-focused town to the North of the Jotunheimen national park:

In 3 nights from Lom:
Day 1 Bus from Lom to Sogndal (Stay in Sogndal)
Day 2 Bus from Sogndal to Bergen (or train at Voss) (Stay in Bergen)
Day 3 Bus from Bergen to Stavanger (Stay in Stavanger)
Day 4 Morning in Stavanger and fly.

In 3 nights from Lom:
Day 1 Bus from Lom to Sogndal (Stay in Sogndal)
Day 2 Ferry from Sogndal to Bergen (Stay in Bergen)
Day 3 Train from Bergen to Oslo (Stay in Oslo)
Day 4 Morning in Oslo and fly.

Heading to the West?
Which direction to take in Norway, say after the Jotunheimen Tour which sits in the middle of the bulbous Southern part of Norway? To the West is a span of inletted coast of several hundred miles, containing deep and long fjords of which Gierangerfjord and Sognafjord are two of the better-known. Trains do not reach the West coast except the branch line to Andalsnes which is not in itself an enormous destination, and the Bergen line over the mountains which is quite far South. The Lom-Sogndal bus is a key link from the Jotunheimen, a beautiful journey in its own right. Bergen is fabulous fun.

Heading to the North?
North of Trondheim, Norway narrows and becomes less populous. It is nearly 10 hours by train from Trondheim to Bodo, the extent of the rail network. From Bodo upwards to Narvik, Tromso, Hammerfest and Kirkenes it's all about the buses. (The exception is the Swedish train line into Narvik, and so the Bodo-Narvik bus is the key link between these railheads.) The difference comes down to scenery: heading North, we are concerned with the coast and smaller towns, whereas heading West we see grand fjords.

Flying within Norway
Such a long and mountainous country as Norway calls for flying and we can choose between Norway's airline Wideroe (all Norwegian airports including the tiny) and SAS and Norwegian airlines (the larger Norwegian airports). For Norway's smaller airports, Wideroe has the comprehensive service. Flights from a given airport are usually once or twice a day and many connect to Oslo's main airport Gardermoen.

At Lillehammer, the train to Ringebu, Otta and Trondheim pulls in.
  At Lillehammer, the train to Ringebu, Otta and Trondheim pulls in.    Rondane Tour
Which Norwegian cities are worth a stay?

It is worth a quick note on the big three Norwegian cities. Oslo is essential to understanding Norway and is relaxed and in places bohemian. Of Bergen and Trondheim, Bergen has the tourist draw and is delightful around the water and on the hilly streets, but Trondheim has as much interest in its own painted houses and water and is where we have found ourselves most enchanted in urban Norway. Please see our longer opinions of each of these cities:

Travel in Scandinavia: Cities

Oslo, Bergen and Trondheim airports

Cleverly, Oslo's new airport Gardermoen is a stop on the main line North from Oslo. Arriving, you drop down escalators to the train station (called Oslo Lufthavn) where trains go in one direction into Oslo, and in the other direction North to Hamar and the split of the Dovre and Roros lines to Trondheim. On the Dovre line are key walking stops Lillehammer, Ringebu and Otta.

Bergen and Trondheim airports are to the side of things, as is the norm of course, and the airport buses are easiest. Bergen has a slow tram. Trondheim airport is on the train line towards Bodo, but trains are infrequent compared to the airport buses, and heading South we don't imagine anyone would travel from Bodo without going all the way into town.

A Norwegian long-distance bus takes the ferry, just like that, here between Haugesund and Stavanger.
  A Norwegian long-distance bus takes the ferry, just like that, here between Haugesund and Stavanger.    Jotunheimen Tour
Norwegian trains themselves

Norwegian State Railways (NSB, since 2019 named Vy) has a modern fleet of carriages for its long-distance loco-hauled trains, plus modern sprinter trains with the driver in the front carriage. Some of these sprinters are older in style, on local lines and even on the long-distance Roros line between Hamar and Trondheim.

Trains generally have plug sockets and wifi. This is in keeping with the long distances of Norway and the calm, practical approach. The general feel of the trains could be Swiss or Austrian.

Trains are punctual, but also on our Norwegian travels we have been delayed quite substantially. Distances can be huge and the Winter can be severe. Really it is a fabulous train network.

A Norwegian train headrest as the train passes a field and a barn. This is the old NSB logo, now Vy.
  A Norwegian train headrest as the train passes a field and a barn. This is the old NSB logo, now Vy.    Rondane Tour
Confusing places?

Trains
It is hard to think of any confusing points on Norway's rail network. Trains, changes and stations go as you would expect. Heading North on the Roros line, the small train starts from Hamar (the pleasant town where the track splits) but runs all the way into Trondheim. It looks unlikely at first!

Buses
On the buses, some care is needed where buses stop and passengers change to a waiting bus. Heading South from Narvik to Bodo, this change happens at Fauske where the bus first meets the Bodo-Trondheim railway (which first heads inland to Fauske). The usual tips apply as with any foreign travel, to keep an eye on what your fellow passengers are doing and if they suddenly alight en masse, start asking questions!

It is common to see established Norwegian ways of traveling long distances, in particular strategically placed and enormous hotels (and here the two big chains are Scandic and Thon). If a bus seems to stop at a small town - and Fagernes and Bietostolen are examples in our times of traveling to the Jotunheimen - then this might mean that people stay at the hotel and pick up the bus timed to leave in the morning.

  Alpine Exploratory in Scandinavia    Holidays
Why Norwegian travel is so enjoyable

Norway has a comprehensive coverage across a topography that is often tricky and inhospitable. Where there isn't a train there is a solid long-distance bus route. To cross the country by these means gives a sense of taming the wilderness. More often than not we really are out in the wilds, and the occasional house or Summer cabin does little to lighten our reliance on these travel links. Punctuality, standards and humanity are all top notch and make it a pleasure to travel in such a magnificent landscape.

The Norwegian character and pride in landscape
We make a special note about Norwegian attitudes to the land, because this seems to apply as much in Norway as in any of the countries that Alpine Exploratory visits. It does not take long to uncover an intense pride in the land, mountains, water and territory of Norway. This pride is manifested in despite ongoing urbanisation.. witness the Norwegian family cabin, basic, perhaps without water, in a forest and with grandma's knitted rugs as decoration. I have benefited from generously-given tips by Norwegians about their favourite mountains and while I knew that I was a guest I felt welcomed.

I would like to record one episode, in descent from Galdhopiggen, where I fell into step with a teacher from Trondheim and we chatted for 3 hours about Norway and its landscape. He set out the lie of the land and pointed me to lesser-known areas to explore. It was entirely charming.

Please chat with us

At Alpine Exploratory we are thrilled when clients ask us to advise on further travel. After our hikes we can achieve much in the days available and we find this period to be an exhilarating time to explore. We have just spent a week at walking pace, seeing things close-up, so what a thrill to travel quickly and cover ground. At Alpine Exploratory we make it our business to know the countries of our hikes and so please ask us about your Norwegian ideas. Thank you

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