From the stunning Lysefjord, home to the iconic Pulpit Rock, across the orchards and waterfalls of the Hardangerfjord to UNESCO enlisted Næroyfjord. Follow along the 7-day road trip from Stavanger to Bergen in Norway.
Norway road trip the logistics
When planning a road trip from Stavanger to Bergen, there are a few things you should focus on first: the length of stay, the transportation you will use, and the accommodation you will stay in along the way. You will find plenty of tips in this article to organize the perfect itinerary.
Best time of the year for a road trip from Stavanger to Bergen
You can follow this itinerary as early as mid-May until approximately mid-October. However, if you would like to access all the hikes I have presented in this article, then the ideal time to visit is between the end of June and the end of September.
Road trip outline and map
Above you can view the interactive map I created for this road trip. It consists of driving directions, top sights, trailheads for hikes, and campsites along the way.
You can click on the arrow button in the top left corner of the map to uncover the layers. You can switch different layers on and off to make the map more readable. If you click on individual hikes you will also be shown links to my separate hiking guides for each trail.
Getting to Stavanger
Stavanger is the fourth largest city in Norway, with a population of ca. 150 thousand. For World standards, it’s a rather large town than a city. Nevertheless, Stavanger has an international airport and an international ferry terminal.
If you are coming from mainland Europe you can book an overnight ferry with a sleeping cabin from Hirtsthals in Denmark. The trip takes around 10-12 hours.
If you are coming from overseas you can book a flight to Stavanger or first fly to Oslo and take an internal flight to Stavanger.
The best way to travel around Norway
Rent a campervan with Motorhome Republic
Norway is meant to be road-tripped in a campervan. The whole infrastructure is perfectly set up for van life enthusiasts. If you want the freedom of travel that a campervan offers then check out Motorhome Republic, for the best rental deals.
If you would like to know the ins and out of traveling Norway in a campervan from finding campsites to cost to the realities of freedom camping follow the above link.
TIP: The total kilometer count for this road trip is ca. 900 (560 mi). You will need to give this information when booking a campervan.
Rent a compact car with Discover Cars
If you prefer the comfort of a hotel room, a normal bed, and a daily shower then renting a compact car will be the smarter choice for you. The regular-sized cars will also be a lot more economical in fuel consumption. Check your car rental options with Discover Cars.
TIP: If you are budget conscious, even though this is a 7-day itinerary you can easily rent a car just for 5 days. Having a car on the first and last day of this road trip isn’t essential.
Suggested Stavanger to Bergen itinerary: day-by-day breakdown
If you were wondering what famous locations and national parks you will visit on this road trip here is the summary:
- Stavanger and Lysefjord
- Odda and Hardangerfjord
- Folgefonna National Park
- Næroyfjord World Heritage Park
TIP: If you want to extend this road trip by another 7-10 days you can connect it with my Bergen to Bergen itinerary which focuses on Jostedalsbreen and Jotunheimen National Parks.
Day 1: Stavanger & Preikestolen
- Distance from Stavanger to Preikestolen: 39 km / 24 mi
- Driving time: 40 mins
We are kicking the first day of the Stavanger to Bergen road trip with a true icon – the hike to Preikestolen.
Preikestolen, also known as the Pulpit Rock, is a jaw-dropping cliff formation in Norway that makes you question gravity. The only way to see its full glory is by hiking the 8 kilometers roundtrip hike to Preikestolen.
Daily buses leave from Stavanger at regular intervals and bring keen hikers to the trailhead. The roundtrip hike takes around 4 hours and it has a moderate grade.
TIP: If you arrive in Stavanger in the afternoon of day 1 then it’s safer to plan your hike to Preikestolen for the morning of day 2.
Preikestolen Guided Hike
If you prefer to hike accompanied by a local and knowledgeable guide you can book a guided excursion to Preikestolen. The advantage of going on a guided hike is that you will be taken on an off-the-beaten trail, hardly used by the rest of the tourists.
Other things to do in Stavanger
Best accommodation options around Stavanger (Night 1)
Day 2. Ryfylke Scenic Road & Hardanger Scenic Route to Odda
- Distance from Stavanger to Odda: 212 km / 132 mi
- Driving time: 3 hours
Day 2 is a true road trip day. You will be following the Ryfylke Scenic Route then the Hardanger Scenic Route to the little town of Odda stopping at some of the popular tourist attractions along the way.
A few of the most notable viewpoints are Låtefossen and Langfoss. The latter requires a small detour. I have marked on the map many of the scenic points worth stopping for.
Things to do in Odda
The town of Odda is the gateway to Hardangervidda National Park – the largest in Norway. The most iconic spot of the park is the famous Trolltunga viewpoint. If you haven’t heard of it yet, you must have been living under a rock.
TIP: If you have an extra day and don’t mind hiking in crowds, you can go to the famous Trolltunga. I personally skipped the experience and opted for other exciting (and less crowded) hikes during my road trip to Norway.
Best accommodation options around Odda (Night 2)
Day 3 (morning): Hike to Bondhusvatnet
- Distance from Odda to Bondhusvatnet trailhead: 20 km / 12.5 mi
- Driving time: 20 min
It’s time for stretching your legs again. We are kicking off the morning of day 3 with an enjoyable stroll to the beautiful Lake Bondhusvatnet.
Bondhusvatnet is a picturesque glacial lake nestled amidst the stunning landscapes of the Folgefonna National Park.
The hike to Bondhusvatnet is one of the most popular attractions in the Hardanger region of Norway and for a good reason. It’s neither demanding nor long, but the views-to-effort ratio is hard to beat. If you are a beginner hiker you should not skip this one.
Day 3 (afternoon): drive to Eidfjord along the Hardanger Scenic Route
- Distance from Bondhusvatnet to Eidfjord: 92 km / 57 mi
- Driving time: 1 h 45 min
After hiking to Bondhusvatnet it is time to continue your road trip up North along the Hardanger Scenic Route.
You will continue the drive along the famous Hardanger Fjord to your next destination – Eidfjord village.
Eidfjord is a popular docking destination for the many cruise ships that sail across the Fjords. Every day for a few hours the sleepy town turns into a vivid destination full of tourists.
Once you make it to Eidfjord I highly recommend heading up for a walk to the Hodna viewpoint or swinging on the swing in the Ostangen Park right on the shoreline of the fjord.
Best accommodation options around Eidfjord (night 3)
Day 4: Vøringfossen& Kjeåsen
- Distance from Eidfjord to Voringfossen: 17 km / 10.5 mi
- Driving time: 17 min
Vøringsfossen a waterfall located atop the Måbødalen Valley, is one of the most popular attractions. It entices cruise trip attendees docking in the nearby Eidfjord village for a day, offering breathtaking views from above on the newly built platforms.
For a more immersive adventure, venture through the bottom of Måbødalen Valley and hike your way to the foot of Vøringsfossen, getting up close and personal with the cascaded. Just make sure to wear your waterproof jacket and pants.
If you prefer guided tours you can join one that leaves from Eidfjord. Check for availability below.
- Distance from Eidfjord to Kjeåsen: 14 km / 8.7 mi
- Driving time: 22 min
Kjeåsen is one of Norway’s many high-alpine farms. It stands as a reminder of the country’s rich rural heritage. Although no longer operational its owners still enjoy envy-inducing views overlooking Eidfjord.
Kjeåsen is accessible by car for the less daring. To reach the farm, the journey begins in Simadal, approximately 8 km away from Eidfjord/Rv7. The road leading up to Kjeåsen spans 5 km, with 2.5 km of winding road followed by a passage through a narrow tunnel.
It’s worth noting that walking or biking through the tunnel is not permitted, and due to the road’s narrowness, an hourly driving system has been implemented. Traffic ascends to Kjeåsen on the hour and descends from Kjeåsen on the half-hour, ensuring a steady flow of vehicles (source).
For those of you who seek adventure, a steep hike with chains and ladders replicates the school route once taken by the farm kids who lived on the farm.
In the afternoon/evening of day 4 head to your next destination – Flåm.
Day 5 (morning): Flåm & Næroyfjord World Heritage Park Attractions
- Distance from Eidfjord to Flåm: 114 km / 71 mi
- Driving time: 1 h 45 min
Flåm is renowned for two awesome attractions. The first is the breathtaking journey aboard the Flåmsbana railway, which meanders from the village center up the mountains to Myrdal, covering a distance of only 20 kilometers. Traveling at a leisurely pace, this scenic train ride allows you to immerse yourself in the stunning vistas of the surrounding mountains.
Cruise on the Aurland and Næroyfjord
The second highlight is the cruise along Næroyfjord, Southern Norway’s narrowest and most dramatic fjord. What sets this cruise apart is its use of a cutting-edge, zero-emission boat powered by renewable energy sources. When it comes down to sustainable tourism Norway definitely takes the lead.
Visit Bakka and Undredal villages
See true Norway and its slow-paced life by visiting the two villages near Flåm. Bakka, which means ‘on the bank’ was built right on the shoreline of Næroyfjord. You can rent a kayak here and go kayaking right on the Fjord.
Undredal lies right on Aurlandsfjord and is known for its brown cheese production. For hundreds of years, cheese production remains unchanged and contributes greatly to the local economy of Undredal and its tiny population of only 100 people.
Day 5 (afternoon): Hike to Prest
- Distance from Flåm to Prest trailhead: 19 km / 11.8
- Driving time: 30 min
Make the most of the extended daylight hours during the Scandinavian summer and embark on an afternoon trek to Prest. The hike to Prest, owing to its location and the interplay of sunlight with the majestic mountains, is particularly enchanting during the afternoon hours.
Upon reaching the summit, you will be rewarded with breathtaking panoramas of the Aurlandsfjord, Flåm, and the neighboring town of Aurland. The hike itself typically takes around 3-4 hours to accomplish.
Sunset at Stegastein Viewpoint
Conclude the 5th day of your Stavanger to Bergen road trip with a beautiful sunset at the Stegastein viewpoint. This exquisitely crafted platform stretches out from the mountainside, soaring 600 meters above the Aurlandsfjord.
Conveniently situated along the road leading to the Prest trailhead, the Stegastein viewpoint presents the perfect opportunity to maximize your time and accomplish two experiences in one. After completing the hike, make a mandatory stop at the viewpoint and bask in the golden sunlight.
Day 6: Hike in the Næroyfjord World Heritage Park
Option 1: Aurlandsdalen
- Distance from Flåm to Aurlandsdalen trailhead: 40 km / 25 mi
- Driving time: 40 min
Aurlandsdalen is a renowned multi-day trek in Norway. The most popular section between the alpine mountain station Østerbo and the charming valley settlement of Vassbygdi can be done in a single day.
The hike through Aurlandsdalen is like a journey into prehistoric times. With deep gorges, green vegetation, and waterfalls flowing down the mountain cliffs I was half expecting a dinosaur to emerge from around the corner.
I stumbled upon the Aurlandsdalen hike while searching for a suitable trail to enjoy with my parents who were visiting me. Although it turned out to be more challenging than anticipated, it provided a less strenuous alternative to Bakkanosi.
Option 2: Bakkanosi
- Distance from Flåm to Bakkanosi trailhead: 32 km / 20 mi
- Driving time: 30 min
For an unparalleled vantage point of Næroyfjord, look no further than the hike to the summit of Bakkanosi. Gaining popularity, this trail has earned its place as one of the most sought-after hikes in the Fjord region of Norway.
With a roundtrip distance of 17.5 kilometers (11 miles) and a steady elevation gain of 940 meters (3000 ft), the journey to the summit isn’t overly demanding. This was my first solo hiking experience in Norway (with my dog in tow). We stayed alone in a tent right near the summit and had the perfect sunrise the next morning.
Best accommodation options around Flåm (nights 4 & 5)
Day 7: Bergen
- Distance from Flåm to Bergen: 167 km / 104 mi
- Driving time: 2 h 30 min
You made it to the end of your road trip. You can leave Flåm on the afternoon of day 6 and stay the night in Bergen, then spend the whole next day exploring the city.
Bergen is the second largest city in Norway. Thanks to its rainy weather raincoats are considered formal attire.
The two most popular places in the city are the Bryggen – a series of colorful buildings lining up the Vågen harbor (pictured above) and the Ulriken Cable Car which takes you high above the city and offers some nice views over Bergen.
My favorite way to explore cities is by joining a walking tour run by a local. You can do that in Bergen too.
Other activities in Bergen
Best accommodation options around Bergen (night 6)
How to shorten this Stavanger to Bergen itinerary to 5 days?
You don’t have a whole week to spend in Norway? That’s ok. Here are a couple of options to shorten your trip:
- Option 1: Stay 1 day shorter in Flåm and don’t spend the day in Bergen. This will save you 2 days.
- Option 2: Skip Eidfjord and drive from Odda straight to Flåm. This will save you a couple of nights.
Other road trip itineraries around Norway
- Oslo to Oslo in 10-14 days across the mountains and fjords
- Bergen to Bergen in 7-10 days for hiking enthusiasts
- Ålesund to Ålesund in 7-10 days for adventure seekers
- Ålesund to Trondheim in 5-7 days off-the-beaten-path (coming soon)
- Lofoten Islands 5-day hiking road trip itinerary (coming soon)
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