Norway is #Vanlife nirvana. I’m sorry every other country you just don’t quite have what Norway has.
Towering mountains, fjords, beaches, forests. There is something for everyone when looking for a place to explore, adventure and get utterly lost in.
We spent 3 weeks driving around the entirety of southern Norway starting at Oslo. We’ve experienced the highs and the lows, debunked and validated lots of advice and want to share all of this with you, to make your Norweigian adventure as good as it can be!
We drove into Norway with absolutely zero plans.
We knew we wanted to do a lot of hiking, see the best the country had to offer and had ambitions to make our way up to the arctic circle. Sadly the later didn’t happen as our van build was delayed two months and the Norwegian summer is a short one…
What to expect travelling in Norway
You don’t need to leave your car/van in order to experience some amazing views. We captured some rather basic footage of the roads you’ll be taking as you go place to place. If you’re less interested in hiking or unable to do so you won’t miss out too much!
Single lane roads
There are very few dual carriage ways once you’re into the Fjords which can cause issues during peak times on around the more popular locations. Coaches are hated far more than campervans so don’t worry about being an issue, loads of Norwegians have campers!
The Norwegian tourist board has created designated tourist routes that travel through some of Norways most picturesque locations. There are 18 in total, we did the Atlantic road, Geiranger to Trollstigen and Aurlandsfjellet. All of which blew our minds, we thoroughly recommend doing these and I’m sure the others are just as good!
Low speed limits
Speed limits on the majority of Norweigan roads if 80kmph, it means that it takes a little longer to get from place to place.
Camping spots everywhere
If you’re travelling in Europe in a camper you have to download the park4night app. There are plenty of amazing spots marked on there but you’ll find so many when on your travels which are unmarked. Because of the abundance of space and the freedom to roam great spots to find and are less of a coveted secret. We found some great unmarked spots on one of Norway’s biggest tourist attraction the Atlantic road. You can see our spot in the video above!
Plenty of free water
You may not have heard about Norways tap water, it’s the tastiest I’ve ever experienced. It’s always ice cold and tastes way better than the bottled water you’ll buy in the shops and the best part there is loads of it! We had no trouble finding adequate spots to fill up our boots and get set for the road.
Plenty of places to dump your waste water (grey/black)
Local communes across the country are all well aware of peoples travel habits and have set up dump stations all over the place. You’ll often find these at petrol stations, most are free but we came across a couple paid ones. Unlike southern Europe where public toilets are few and far between it’s also really easy to find a restroom. If you have a cassette toilet like us you’ll be able to dump there too.
Best things about van life in Norway
You’ll meet a lot of fellow van lifers
Thanks to the Vanlife movement and social media you won’t be alone on your Norway adventure. That’s not to say you’ll be competing for camp spots. Yes around the really popular hikes it can get busy but there is so much space most of the time you’ll have your choice.
You have a right to roam
Follow this link to the official visit Norway page and have a read about the right to roam. Essentially you can stay in loads of spots for short stays if you’re more than 150m from the nearest property and you don’t need permission from the landowner.
Mobile phone service is amazing
Norway has one of the best 4G networks around. You’ll lose service when you’re out in the wilderness but around major roads, towns you’ll have great service
Worst things about Van Life In Norway
Norway has more waterfalls than I’ve seen anywhere else in the world. While we were really lucky with the weather we met people who’d travelled the month before us and had only 4 days without rain! Be warned it’s pot luck as to what you’re going to get but at least with a van you can really chase the sun!
Cost of alcohol
If you enjoy a few drinks we recommend to bring as much as you’re allowed into the country. Beer and wine is very very expensive and the choice was pretty limited. We tried some Norwegian beers and there were not the best.
Ferrys & Tolls are expensive
A bit of a common theme is the cost of things in Norway it can be pretty nuts. We crossed a 200m bridge which cost £30, made us wince a bit. I’d recommend avoiding toll roads via Google maps, sadly ferrys can be an essential part of getting around Norway and avoiding l
Norway Van Life Myths
Fuel in Norway is really expensive
This is incorrect fuel in Norway is similar priced to the rest of Europe. In the south around the Major cities prices are slightly higher but on average we paid 1.55 euros per litre.
We hope this has given you a little bit of insight into what travelling in Norway is like. Check out our Instagram for more pictures!