Fjords, mountains, and some of the most scenic landscapes I’ve ever witnessed.
Here are some highlights from my 2014 trip and recommendations for visiting Norway:
The beautiful Lofoten Islands- full of cute fishing villages and amazing scenery, the Lofoten Islands is a must see when visiting Norway. Friends and I rented a car in Svolvær and headed to Reine to stay at a cozy red cabin on the water. If you are going during off-season, restaurants outside of the major towns are closed so make sure to stay somewhere with a kitchen and be prepared to cook. Apparently the Islands are a great place to see the Northern Lights but it was cloudy during our time there.
Norway in a Nutshell- this is one of the most popular tours that includes a trip to Flåm via rail, from/to Oslo and Bergen. A portion of the trip takes you on the picturesque Flåm Railway, where you’ll see waterfalls and amazing fjord landscape. You can actually DIY this tour and book all the train and ferry tickets, lodging, on your own and save some money. Travel blog Taking to the Open Road breaks down the specifics and costs for DIY’ing the trip.
Bergen- located on the western coast, this was where we said goodbye to the Hurtigruten Lofoten cruise ship. Read more on that below. I enjoyed wandering around Old Town, the views from Mount Floyen, and participating in a local pub trivia game. Norway did not disappoint on the coffee shop front and I fell in love with a tucked away cafe – Krok og Krinkel Bokcafe.
The Nobel Peace Center- this is the neatest museum I’ve ever visited and they have a pretty awesome gift shop. It has a lot of great info on the Nobel Peace Prize and innovative, interactive displays that keep you engaged. You can check out their site here.
My all-time favorite coffee shop- in Henningsvær on the Lofoten Islands there is a candle shop and cafe called Cafe Lysstoperi decorated with pink and purple (my favorite colors) candles and a mish mash of vintage furniture. I wanted to take this cafe home with me. We were extremely excited to find something open!
See the Fjords on a Hurtigruten cruise- the Hurtigruten was a neat experience but probably not for everyone due to the small cabin space. We spent 3 nights on the MS Lofoten from the Lofoten Islands to Bergen. As for food on the ship, the full meal plan can be pricey, so we decided to eat at the cafe and I hate to admit this, even had instant ramen. I was pleasantly surprised at the options and quality of food at the cafe. I tried the bangers and mash made from reindeer sausage and it was great.
I love checking out local grocery stores while traveling- I didn’t find any LING. 🙂
Viking food in Flam at Aegir Brewery– I usually like try something local so I went with the Viking burger, a venison burger with roasted potatoes. Not sure if that’s typical Viking food, but it sure was tasty!
Delicious seafood bisque in Bergen
Brown cheese- after reading about this being a Norwegian staple, I added it to my list of foods to try. It had a nutty flavor to it and I was only able to eat one piece, so I’m thinking it’s an acquired taste, which I completely understand. I’m pretty sure most visitors to the U.S. would not be able stomach Cheez Whiz.