That we live in an elongated country may be a cliché, but it is also a truth. Reaching all over the country by car is therefore not realistic for everyone if you start from home.
Rent a car
If you instead choose to start and end your holiday with a flight, the possibilities become much greater. By planning your holiday early, you can also get good prices on rental cars, and choose from a wide selection of car types.
Start by making a list of what you want to see and experience, and then make a route from the nearest airport.
At the airports you can easily rent a car and return it when the holiday is over. On the website GoAutos.no you can get tips on rental cars in Norway. There you can search and compare rental cars throughout the country from well-known companies such as Sixt and Avis, and get good prices on good terms. All cars there are rented with necessary insurance included, and with unlimited mileage.
National tourist roads
Visit Norway is among those who recommend using a car to explore all the scenic places in Norway. On their website visitnorway.no you can read many tour tips and suggestions for driving routes to experience beautiful nature at your own pace.
The so-called National Tourist Roads are stretches that are especially highlighted as beautiful, due to beautiful scenery, you get to see award-winning architecture, and that the stretches are tourist-friendly in the sense that there are plenty of picnic areas and adapted viewpoints along the road.
In total, there are 2136 kilometers of National Tourist Routes in the country, spread over 18 different routes. You can find an overview of all on the website Nasjonaleturistveger.no. There are also maps and descriptions, so you can easily set up your own route.
In addition to beautiful nature, the tourist roads take you past opportunities for accommodation in everything from beautiful hotels to camping in the mountains and wilderness.
The routes take you to Varanger, Havøysund, Senja, Andøya, Lofoten and the Helgeland coast in the north. On to Atlanterhavsvegen, Ryfylke and Jæren along the coast. There are also routes in Geiranger and Trollstigen, old Strynefjellsvegen, Rondane, Sognefjellet, Valdresflya, Gaularfjellet, Aurlandsfjellet and Hardanger and Hardangervidda.
World Heritage List
Another starting point for finding exciting places is the eight places in Norway that are listed UNESCO World Heritage List. Some of these places are also along the tourist roads, such as the Geirangerfjord. In addition, Bryggen in Bergen has the old Hanseatic wooden buildings on the list, together with Urnes stave church from 1140, the town of Røros, the petroglyphs in Alta, Nærøyfjorden in Sogn og Fjordane, the Vega islands in Nordland and Struvnes Meridian arch in Hammerfest.
Tips for parents of young children
When creating a route, it is important not to plan too long distances. The most important thing is not to see as much as possible, but to have it fun along the way. Remember to stop the car before everyone is tired and grumpy. Adding a couple of marathon stages is fine, but they should be followed by a day or two at rest.
When you have to drive a long way, books and tablets are good friends. But if you get car sickness, they must be put away. Then toys like "my ship is loaded with" can be fun. When it gets too easy, you can replace it with the "rule game". It means that a person decides a secret rule, and says "my ship is loaded with…" based on its own rule. Then the others must follow up in the same way, and try to guess what the rule is. Whoever finds out the rule wins. A rule can e.g. be "my ship is loaded with food beginning with the letter O" or "my ship is loaded with summer vacation activities".
Let the kids plan
Also include the kids in the planning before the trip. Then everyone feels ownership and expectation of what is going to happen, and of the memories that are created during the summer holidays. For example, kids can look up pictures and facts on the internet and make their own book about what to visit. Print it out and take it with you on the trip, so they can check off and fill in more information along the way.
And set aside plenty of time for detours and whims you get along the way. After all, it is the flexibility that is the biggest advantage of being on a road trip!
(Photo is from Varanger, by NataGolubnycha, iStockphoto)