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Travel with Squared.one: Norway

Norway is a country filled with fjords, breathtaking views, waterfalls, glaciers, and wild camping is allowed just about anywhere. When visiting Norway, sticking to the cities is not enough. The best way to explore all the natural beauty the country has to offer is to go by car. That's exactly what Squared.one’s own Kristyna did when she traveled around Norway in early August. We asked her for some tips on which places you can’t miss.

Why did you choose Norway?

My boyfriend and I have wanted to go to Norway for a long time. Scandinavia is probably our favorite part of Europe, which is why we studied in Denmark for six months. But what attracted us to Norway most were the beautiful fjords and amazing views. That's why when two of our friends asked us if we wanted to travel around Norway with them, we immediately agreed.

How long were you in Norway and how did you get around the country?

We were in Norway for 10 days and I would say that was just enough for what we had planned. We traveled around the southern and western parts of Norway, but if we wanted to go further north, we would’ve had to have stayed much longer. It doesn't seem like it, but Norway is huge. You'll find yourself on narrow mountain roads, so it always takes a few hours to travel from place to place.

We traveled around Norway in a car we rented in Oslo using the Getaround app and returned it to the same place ten days later. As for accommodation, we brought tents and camped most nights. In fact, in Norway, you can camp anywhere as long as it's not private land and you camp at least 150m from the nearest building. Sometimes finding such places was a bit of a challenge, so we ended up at paid campsites a couple of times and one night we had to rent a cabin because our tent got soaked. Cabins in particular are very popular in Norway and definitely have their own charm. That's why if you’re not a fan of camping, I recommend booking accommodation in cabins instead of traditional hotels.

What places did you visit?

From Oslo, we headed south to the towns of Grimstad and Kristiansand, where we met up with some friends. Grimstad is called the Spain of Norway because it's where the sun shines the most and for us, it was the last sunny day we had for a long time. It basically rained for the rest of our trip. After that, we drove west, where most of the popular places are. We visited the famous towns of Stavanger and Bergen, the famous Trolls Path Viewpoint, and went on a beautiful hike to a glacial lake and Buarbreen Glacier. We also saw many famous waterfalls like the Kleivafossen waterfall, but also plenty of lesser-known ones that we simply found along the way. We got an amazing view of the most famous fjord, Geirangerfjord, and drove the famous Atlantic Ocean Road.

We purposely avoided the most popular spots such as Trolltunga (Troll's Tongue), which at this time of year is crowded with tourists and you have to hike in a line. However, we wanted to try at least one of the popular hikes. We chose Preikestolen, a rock block that offers a beautiful view of the fjord. But in the end, we decided not to go as the fog was very thick that day and we wouldn't have been able to see anything from the viewpoint anyway.

What did you like the most and what disappointed you?

Probably the things we liked the most were the Trolls Path viewpoint, Geirangerfjord (especially its view), and the city of Bergen. We were also pleasantly surprised by the south of Norway, where we had the opportunity to go boating on a fjord and swim in it, which was a great experience. What disappointed me a bit was the very famous Briksdalsbreen glacier and the hike to it. The view was nice, but it was basically comparable to the not-so-famous view of the Bøyabreen glacier, which we could reach by car. This is a great option if it's raining and there was a glacier museum a short distance away, also worth a visit. Another minor disappointment was the Atlantic Ocean Road, a road that runs right along the ocean. It's really beautiful, but on the other hand, it's quite a long ride and only 8 km long, so feel free to skip it.

What surprised you the most?

Definitely the weather. We knew it rains a lot, but we didn't expect it to rain most of our trip and to be so cold (especially at night). So definitely be prepared for that. The prices will probably surprise many people. We lived in Denmark for six months so we were used to it, but the prices are really high. And even though there is an abundance of oil in Norway, expect high petrol prices too. Still, a trip to Norway is definitely worth it.

Where did you look for inspiration for places to visit?

I used all sorts of articles from the internet and Google maps. We also got a few recommendations from the locals and since you can experience Norway even while driving, we often came across beautiful places along the way.

What advice would you give to those who are planning to visit Norway?

I would definitely recommend Norway to anyone, it's a really beautiful country with a unique nature landscape. As I said before, you definitely need to be prepared for unpredictable weather. One minute it's sunny, the next it's raining. Waterproof clothing and boots are a must and if you plan to camp, a good quality tent that can handle wind and rain. And a warm sleeping bag.

I would advise making a list of places you want to visit, but don't have a strict itinerary. We had our plans change a few times due to weather or not being able to find a good place to camp, so it was nice to be able to make decisions from day to day.

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