driving Norway

Though I’d booked the least expensive vehicle available, Hertz gave me a free upgrade to a Rav4 Hybrid. They suggested it would be cheaper in fuel costs overall.

One of many historic Stave Churches I visited

Loved that vehicle. But the electric hatchback was already broken when I picked it up. Modern vehicles have too many automatic features.

Rentals are expensive in Norway. Fuel expensive. There are many toll stations, and almost all of them are automatic. Fees keep racking up. I paid about $80 in tolls over 2000km driving.

Fast, efficient ferries whisk you across fjords with minimal delay — at cost.

Still — like the USA — having your own wheels is definitely the best way to see this gorgeous scenery.

I drove up the mountain to visit one of the Lillehammer Olympic venues.

Norway has generous freedom to roam laws so travelers can set up a tent or sleep in their own vehicle in almost any public or wilderness area. I tented like this several times from highway rest areas. Many have toilet and picnic table. It’s very common in Norway though not actually allowed at some.

For driving enthusiasts, Norway is ideal. They ride official most scenic roads.

I drove Lysebotn road, for example, through a 1,100 metre tunnel before continuing up to the mountain round a series of 27 hairpin bends. At the top of the ascent (640 metres) lies the Øygardstøl trailhead for the Kjerag hike.

Highest point is by Andersvatn lake, 950m above sea level.

The road is open May to October/November (depending on snow conditions). The Lysevegen is part of the well-known Suleskarroad from Telemark via Setesdal and Sirdal to Stavanger.

Norway’s roads have many tunnels, some very long. I expected to do the 24.51-kilometre-long (15.23 mi) Lærdal Tunnel … but somehow missed it. Google maps must have decided an alternate route was better.

It’s nice to be able to pull over and find a restaurant that offers free wifi.

Peppes Pizza

There are great dedicated cycling routes, but stay off the smaller highways as much as possible. Many are one lane only!

I’d planned an ambitious 7 day circuit … but ran out of time. You average far less than 60km / hour on all roads aside from major freeways.

If you plan traveling Norway, research rental vehicles. In general Sixt offers the best prices though I ended up with Hertz.

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Rick Mc

Career gymnastics coach who loves the outdoors, and the internet.

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