Norway is a very stretched country. You need to go some miles if you want to reach the far North of it. The more time you have the more you will be able to get absorbed by nature and the experience. I was lucky to have multiple weeks to roam around. I decided to focus on the North because the South is easier to reach and I could go there even if I only have 2 or 3 weeks available.

You will therefore notice that I am kind of rushing through Germany, Sweden and Finland to reach Norway and go a lot slower from there.

(c) OpenStreetMap; you need to scroll far in to see the correct location, the pins start to wander off a little when zooming out

Day #1: Passau – Schwandorf (176 km)

This was just to get started and go north. Nothing special along the route, therefore no square covered.

Day #2: Schwandorf – Laage (814 km, + 638 km)

Again, make miles towards Scandinavia and no stop for anything along the route. I found the place I stayed at night interesting in the sense that nature was on its way back (square R 89 7).

Day #3: Laage – Jasmund National Park (978 km, + 164 km)

This was the first stop on the tour to take a look around (square R 92 10).

  • The chalk cliffs of Rügen
  • The “Schwanenstein” (“swan rock”)
  • Großsteingrab Nipmerow
  • Sunset over Cape Arkona

Day #4: Jasmund National Park – Ystad (1,008 km, +30 km, and a ferry)

I take the ferry to get to Sweden. I didn’t count that distance into the numbers I am tracking as those are only for the driving part.

Day #5: Ystad – Karlskrona (1,237 km, + 229 km)

Even though I am heading towards Norway I still didn’t want to leave out Sweden completely.

Day #6: Karlskrona – Söderhamn (1,968 km, +731 km)

A day of driving and no sightseeing (but at the end some monkeys in my head at square R 121 16)

Day #7: Söderhamn – Nordmaling (2,337 km, + 369 km)

  • Bridge Högakustenbron (square R 129 17)
  • Naturum Höga Kusten and mountain Skuleberget (square R 130 18)

Day #8: Nordmaling – Gammelstad/Luleå (2,673 km, + 336 km)

  • Gammelstad Church Town (square R 142 23)

Day #9: Gammelstad – Rovaniemi (2,938 km, + 265 km)

I reach Finland. I deliberately didn’t take the tour at the time of the midnight sun assuming that it would be more crowded during that time. But still the difference in light at night is already incredible.

  • Crossing the Arctic Circle (square R 146 29)
  • Santa Claus Village (square R 146 29)

Day #10: Rovaniemi – Kakslauttanen (3,227 km, + 289 km)

Day #11: Kakslauttanen – Neiden (3,562 km, + 335 km)

I reach Norway.

Day #12: Neiden – Hamningberg (3,818, + 256 km)

A day packed with impressions.

  • St. Georg Chapel (square R 160 31)
  • Sokltefossen Waterfall (square R 160 31)
  • Neiden church (square R 160 31)
  • Færdesmyra (square R 160 31)
  • John Savio monument (square R 161 30)
  • Varanger Sami Museum (square R 162 29)
  • Nesseby church and bird watching (square R 162 29)
  • Vadsø / Airship mast (square R 161 31)
  • National Scenic Route Varanger

Day #13: Hamningberg – Vardø (3,866, + 48 km)

  • Hamningberg batteri (square R 164 31)
  • Cleaning the beach of Barents Sea (square R 164 31)
  • Vardøhus Fortress
  • Steilneset Minnested monument
  • Drakkar sculpture
  • Street Art in Vardø

Day #14: Vardø – Berlevåg (4,165 km, + 298 km)

  • Cultural Heritage Site Ceavccageađge/Mortensnes
  • First time seeing the fell landscape
  • Hike Tanahorn mountain

Day #15: Berlevåg – Børselv (4,456 km, + 291 km)

I like the place I stayed overnight. Therefore I roam around a little more before I start driving towards the North Cape and stay in the middle of nowhere.

  • Berlevåg trail with information about the harbor/creation of tetrapods
  • Store Molvik
  • Put the feet into the Barents Sea at Sandfjord

Day #16: Børselv – North Cape (4,719 km, + 263 km)

  • Hiking along the historic lines of the shore plus additional geological information
  • Trollholmen
  • North Cape

Day #17: North Cape – Havøysund (4,992 km, + 273 km)

  • Kirkeporten
  • National Scenic Route Havøysund
  • Waterfall Lillefjord
  • Wind park at Havøysund

Day #18: Havøysund – Hammerfest (5,108 km, + 116 km)

  • Museum of Reconstruction for Finnmark and Northern Troms
  • Hike around the local mountain

Day #19: Hammerfest – Kvenvik (5,271 km, + 163 km)

  • Inside an old typical building of the reconstruction era
  • Monument for the northernmost station of the Struve Geodetic Arc 
  • World Heritage Rock Art Center – Alta Museum
  • Half hike to an area with some artifacts from WWII

Day #20: Kvenvik – Storsandnes (5,532 km, + 261 km)

  • Hike to see the glacier Øksfjordjøkelen

Day #21: Storsandnes – Tromsø (5,670 km, + 138 km)

This ist the biggest town during my trip at that point of time and I plan to take some time to be able to visit multiple sites plus take a little rest from driving.

  • Artic Cathedral
  • Polar Museum

Day #22: Tromsø (5,670 km, +0 km)

  • Tromsø Museum
  • Taking a long walk through the city
  • Hike up to Fjellheisen via the “Sherpa Steps”

Day #23: Tromsø – Senja island (5,890 km, + 220 km)

I finish my visit to Tromsø and start towards the Senja, an island.

  • Blue Vision – just to find out it is closed due to Covid (could have been mentioned on their website)
  • Rock Carvings at Tennes

Day #24: Senja island (5,966 km, + 76 km)

  • Scenic route with “Wow-Moments”
  • Creative parking spots on the route (including a golden toilet)
  • Hike up Hesten to get a good view on Segla mountain

Day #25: Senja island – Andenes (6,066 km, + 100 km, and a ferry)

I take the ferry from Senja to the archipelago of Versterålen. This area is supposed to be as beautiful as the Lofoten but less crowded.

  • Polar museum Andenes
  • Lighthouse Andenes

Day #26: Andenes – Versbygd (6,337 km, + 271 km)

I am driving around the Langøy and Hadseløya island just to see where it takes me.

  • Street ends where I didn’t expect it – but seeing the first moose as if they were just waiting for me there
  • Jennestad Handelssted  (old trading center)
  • Hurtigruten museum Stokmarknes (at least from the outside, as it is closed due to renovations and going to reopen after the main season…)
  • Hadsel kirke
  • Getting the legs into the water of the Norwegian Sea
  • Walking along the “Path of Love”

Day #27: Versbygd – Svolvær (6,454 km, +117 km)

Moving over to the Lofoten.

  • Watching the crazy athletes of the Arctic Triple Triathlon
  • Lofoten War Memorial Museum
  • Vågan Church

Day #28: Svolvær – Sund i Lofoten (6,541 km, + 87 km)

On of those days where you think you would take a quick look into a museum and then you stay there the whole day as long as they have open.

  • Viking Museum

Day #29: Sund i Lofoten – Bodø (6,581 km, + 40 km, and a ferry)

  • Hiking at Reinebringen with the next Sherpa steps
  • Looking around the city with the shortest name in Norway: Å
  • Lofoten Tørrfiskmuseum (stockfish museum)
  • Having fun with others waiting long hours for the ferry to Bodø in Moskenes (yes, should have reserved to get on the ferry I initially waited for, but then wouldn’t have had the fun with the others)

Day #30: Bodø – Reipå (6,701 km, + 120 km)

  • Norsk Luftfartsmuseum (aviation museum)
  • Saltstraumen (small strait with one of the strongest tidal currents in the world)
  • Åselistraumen geology trail

Day #31: Reipå (+ 0 km)

The weather forecast predicted a whole day of rain. A lot of things I wanted to do next would be outside and doing this during hours of pouring rain would not be fun. Therefore, I decided to just have a full day of doing nothing. Just stay at my spot and do nothing besides some trip planning, eating, reading, watching downloaded Netflix movies, and listening to the rain on the car roof (as the forecast had been completely correct).

Day #32: Reipå – Flostrand (6,842 km, +141 km, and two ferries)

I drive along the RV 17 and enjoy the landscape. I see my second glacier but decide not to go for a hike as it would involve a boat tour.

  • Svartisen glacier
  • Jetvik Kindergarten hiking trail
  • Grønsvik Coastal Fort
  • Crossing the Arctic Circle (again)

Day #33: Flostrand – Skonseng (6,952 km, + 110 km)

  • Tortenkøta hiking
  • Marmorslottet – The castle of marble

Day #34: Skoseng – Mosjøen (7,095 km, + 143 km)

  • Havenmann, Mo i Rana
  • Sjøgata in Mosjøen
  • Øyfjellvarden via Helgelandstrappa (3000 steps)
  • Northern Lights

Day #35: Mosjøen – Tosbotn (7,377 km, + 282 km)

  • Laksforsen waterfall
  • Skarsåsen fort
  • Hikes to Torghatten and a memorial site for the victims of a plane crash

Day #36: Tosbotn – Grong (7,530 km, + 153 km)

  • Hike to the Steinbua (and a little further) at the Tosenfjellet
  • Memorial for the “Majavass tragedy”
  • Nordlandsporten
  • Not succeeding with Trongfossen and Fiskumfossen waterfalls

Day #37: Grong – Munkeby (7,699 km, +169 km)

  • Short hike to Roaldstein
  • Husmannsplassen Sandmoen (small farm around 160 years old)
  • Jørstadelva war memorial
  • Bøla rock carvings
  • Grave field at Helge
  • Bardal rock carvings
  • Stiklestad
  • Ruins of the Munkeby monastery

Day #38: Munkeby – Tautra (7,750 km, + 51 km)

  • Falstad Prison Camp Museum and Memorial
  • Frostatinget (place of the yearly “thing” = assembly) and Logtun church
  • Ruins of the church of the Tautra abbey

Day 39: Tautra

Doing exactly nothing as it is raining cats and dogs.

Day 40: Tautra – Trondheim (7,829 km, + 79 km)

  • Walk through the city (e.g., old storehouses, Old Town Bridge, Nidaros Cathedral)
  • The Armory Museum
  • Kristiansten Fortress

Day 41: Trondheim – Vågland (7,984 km, + 155 km)

I go for a second round into the city as some of the places I wanted to visit already yesterday are now open. They close very early outside of high season

  • Nidaros Cathedral
  • Museum of the Archbishop’s Palace
  • Sverresborg Trøndelag Folkemuseum

Day 42: Vågland – Farstad (8,126 km, + 142 km, and a ferry)

  • Walking through Kristiansund (tower, harbor)
  • Hiking at Bremsneshatten (including Bremsneshola)
  • Kvernes stave church
  • National Scenic Route Atlanterhavsvegen (Atlantic road)
  • Small hike at Farstadsanden along the coast

Day 43: Farstad – Hellesylt (8,306 km, + 180 km, and three ferries)

This is a packed day because the weather is supposed to get worse again and the things I have on my list are better when it is not raining.

  • Hike to Trollkirka (first time going into a cave with the nead of a head light)
  • Driving the Trollstigen
  • Geiranger Fjord including a cruise

Day 44: Hellesylt – Fjærland (8,453 km, + 147 km, and a ferry)

  • Sagastad Viking Museum
  • Bøyabreen glacier

Day 45: Fjærland – Undredal (8,627 km, + 174 km, and a ferry)

  • Glacier Museum
  • Borgund stave church
  • Lærdalstunnelen – the world’s longest road tunnel (24.5 km)
  • Undredal stave church

Day 46: Undredal – Bergen (8,801 km, + 174 km, and a train)

  • Flåmsbana – a train ride
  • Hiking up the local hill of Bergen Ulriken on again Sherpa steps (1333 of them)

Day 47: Bergen – Norheimsund (8,871 km, + 70 km)

  • Tyske Bryggen
  • Hanseatic museum and Schøtstuene (hanseatic history and buildings of Bryggen)
  • Bryggens Museum (Archaeology and history of Bergen)
  • Bergenhus fortress with Military Museum

Day 48: Norheimsund – Røldal (9,073 km, + 202 km, and a ferry)

The weather forecast is bad. Therefore, I decide to skip Stavanger and move towards the east of Norway. This leads me to next to another famous spot in Norway – the Trolltunga. But this is an all-day hike, the weather is not good, and the main idea is to stand on a cliff to take a picture how you are standing on that cliff. I don’t want to push my luck and decide to let this one pass.

  • National Scenic Route Hardangervidda
  • Steinsdalsfossen waterfall
  • Norwegian Museum of Hydropower and Industry
  • A short walk through Odda with its former factories using the power generated by the Tyssedal power plan
  • Waterfall Latefossen (“twin” waterfall)
  • Waterfall Langfoss (5th highest waterfall in Norway)
  • Røldal stave church

Day 49: Røldal – Dalen (9,198 km, + 125 km)

Now it gets a little complicated as the region around Oslo and the city itself are declared high risk areas due to the Covid numbers. This means I will not drive towards that area but continue my trip in Telemark a little more and then go south. Navigating between the weather and Covid is a challenge.

  • Eidsborg stave church
  • Storehouse – Europe’s eldest secular wooden structure
  • Vest-Telemark Museum (history/information about the area of Telemark)

Day 50: Dalen – Rauland (9,281 km, + 83 km)

  • Hiking at Urdalen
  • Ski Museum Morgedal
  • The old houses of the farm Øverbø, birthplace of Sondre Norheim, the father of modern skiing

Day 51: Rauland – Notodden (9,349 km, + 68 km)

  • Vemork Power Plant/Norwegian Industrial Workers Museum, venue of the heavy water sabotage during WWII
  • Hiking up to Vermorktoppen

Day 52: Notodden – Lunde (9,452 km, + 103 km)

  • Heddal stave church (largest stave church)
  • Vrangfoss lock/Telemark Canal
  • Enjoying a quiet afternoon/evening at a lake

Day 53: Lunde – Larvik (9,519 km, + 67 km)

  • Walking around Larvik
  • Larvik beech forest protected landscape (part of Gea Norvegica Geopark)

Day 54: Larvik – Lübeck (10,044 km, 525 km, and a ferry)

Heading back I just plan to do one stop. I want to visit a good colleague who I couldn’t meet in person even after one year of working together. Plus Lübeck seemed to be a good counterpart to Bergen. Therefore, that day was all about getting from Norway to Denmark and driving through Denmark.

Day 55: Lübeck

Ok, there is definitely a difference between off season Norway and off season touristic towns in Germany. So many people, everything so full. I couldn’t get into the European Hansemuseum because there were no more tickets available for that day. There was a waiting line to get into the well known coffee shops. A church tower had no free capacity for visits left. What a change.

  • Walking around the old part of Lübeck
  • St. Jacob’s Church
  • St. Mary’s Church
  • Holsten Gate/Holsten Gate Museum
  • Willy-Brandt-Haus

Day 56: Lübeck – Solingen (10,519 km, + 475 km)

That’s it. The trip is over. Tonight I am going to sleep in a normal bed in a normal house for the first time since 56 days. A strange feeling. I am happy to see my parents and talk, a lot. On the other hand moving stuff out of the van is a difficult good bye to a wonderful time and not easy to do.