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An Introduction to Traveling Western Norway

If you are ever to stay in one region when you visit the pearl of Scandinavia, Western Norway will be your best bet. Here, you can experience everything this country is proud of, packaged in a region with more hidden gems than an amateur magician.

This article introduces all the big and small things that make Western Norway the go-to area to explore on a holiday.

Where is Western Norway?

If you have ever seen a map of Norway, you probably noticed that the country is pretty much just a long coastline above Trondheim. This shape might make it hard for some to distinguish between the regions in Norway.

Western Norway is made up of a massive archipelago and an intricate system of fjords that lacerate the coast. It begins just south of Stavanger and continues up the coastline to Kristiansund. It comprises the counties Vestland, Rogaland, and Møre og Romsdal.

Bergen is at the heart of Western Norway and is chosen as the region's capital. It’s an excellent place to start your journey and will have everything you need for your adventure.

What Makes Western Norway Special?

At first glance, you’ll notice that there is an amazing abundance of rugged fjords, islands, and large mountains in Western Norway. Amongst the islands and fjords, there are a myriad of small and picturesque villages that make it worth the drive around an extra fjord.

If you want a good blend of all things Norwegian, Western Norway is the region to visit.

The Pinnacle of Norwegian Fjords

Nothing is more Norwegian than the majestic fjords. The second largest fjord in the world is in Western Norway – the Sognefjord. It goes a full 204 kilometers inland and is a staggering 1,308 meters deep at its deepest point.

Other majestic fjords are Hardangerfjorden and Boknafjorden. Both provide stunning scenery and are amazing to visit from both land and water.

Fjords in western Norway

Islands in Abundance

The entire coast of Western Norway is a large archipelago sporting islands of all shapes and sizes. You will find that the infrastructure to reach most of these islands is well-developed, so touring the islands in the region won’t require much planning.

Stunning Norwegian Waterfalls

Along the sides of the high mountains in Western Norway, you will find some of the most

stunning waterfalls one can imagine. Just like Western Norway houses the longest and deepest fjord in the country, it also houses the tallest waterfall! Vinnufallet (or Vinnufossen) is in the northern part of Western Norway and has a staggering 845m long drop.

Mountains – the Soul of Norway

Another good reason why Western Norway is the ultimate destination for nature lovers is the vast number of stunning mountains in the region. All fjords are enveloped in the rough mountains, and every peak is unique in its scenery. Climbing these has been a tradition amongst Norwegians for several centuries. 

Roads in Western Norway

Norway is the promised land for scenic road trips. When you’ve driven the roads with these stunning views, any other road will seem dull. See below for some of the different types of roads you will come across on your trip:

Main Roads, or E-roads – Your Main Means of Transport

The most dominant roads in Western Norway are the different European Main roads, or E-roads as they are also called. In general, these are the roads that tie Europe together, and in this area, they pretty much tie the region together. These are the practical roads that will get you from one town to another. They are always in good condition, and you can trust them to be the fastest way from point A to point B.

Minor Roads – Where the Scenery is Hidden

The E-roads tie the region together, but the scenic roads are where the memories are made. Even though you might come across the odd gravel road in this region, most roads in Western Norway will be paved. When you know where to go but are not in a hurry, you want to take the roads wrapped around the fjords or winding along the mountains. Trust us, you won’t be disappointed.

Some of the E-roads can also be scenic, we are not claiming anything else, but the real treasure lies along the hidden roads in between the E-roads.

The Lærdal Tunnel

Holding the record for the longest road tunnel in the world, cruising along this 24.5-kilometer-long experience is something that needs to be done. There are plenty of fjords to marvel at on your holiday, but only one tunnel is truly world-class. 

Lærdal Tunnel

What to Do in Western Norway

Seeing Western Norway and all its wonders is an amazing way to spend a holiday, but the fun doesn’t have to stop there. There are plenty of fun things to do in Western Norway that will drastically enhance your Norwegian holiday experience.

Go Hiking Like a True Norwegian

If there is one thing you need to do in Norway during your holiday, it is to hike. Western Norway has some of the best hiking trails and areas in the country, and it is one of the regions with an abundance of camping spots, too. This means you can set up your base camp, plug in your motorhome, and start exploring the nearby mountains with the luxury of coming back to a well-functioning campground.

Explore the Fishing Options

As part of the right to roam in Norway, you are allowed to fish for free. This only applies to saltwater fish, which there is an abundance of in Western Norway. If you want to catch any freshwater fish, you need to check what the regulations in that area are. Most rivers and lakes will allow you to buy a fishing card that allows a set number of fish to catch.

Just remember that you can’t bring a lot of fish with you after the holiday, so it’s probably best to catch and eat in Norway to avoid any mishaps at customs. If you want to go deep sea fishing, there will also be plenty of tours to do that in Western Norway.

Ride Along Hurtigruten

An incredibly loved and amazing experience is to go with Hurtigruten along the coastline of Western Norway. These tours take you between Bergen and Kristiansund, showing you the northern half of Western Norway. If you do this in the winter, it’s an excellent way to see the Northern Lights in Norway.

Stand on Pulpit Rock

A thrilling experience is to stand on Pulpit Rock, a plateau in the southern parts of Western Norway. It looks like a large stone balcony without a railing, shooting out of the side of the mountain and providing a stunning view of the nearby fjord, Lysefjorden. Just remember to try to pick a day with good weather, as rain, wind, or snow make for poor memories of this attraction.  

Pulpit Rock

Where to Stay in Western Norway

Regardless of what you prefer as accommodation on your holiday, Western Norway has you covered. From fancy hotels in Bergen to rustic campgrounds next to the national parks. Here are some examples of places to stay in Western Norway:

Start Your Journey Around Western Norway

Western Norway is a large region with so much to offer that it’s almost impossible to fit into one single holiday. With everything from long and dwindling roads in the fjords to calm and serene fishing spots in the mountain lakes – this place has it all.

The best way to experience this stunning region is to rent a motorhome in Norway and get behind the wheels of your adventure. With the information from this article, there is nothing holding you back!

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