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Summer in Norway: Vegan Norway Travel



View from the flight while landing in Bergen, Norway

After spending a week in Norway I have fallen in love with this place - it's like heaven on earth - literally!! The sheer beauty of this country is breathtaking. 

We explored Norway at our own pace in a rental car making our way through the beautiful mountains, forests and across fjords taking roads and ferries, being blown away by the most beautiful sights and places on our journey. You can easily spend months exploring this gorgeous country surrounded by most breathtaking landscapes your eyes have ever seen topped with never ending beauty. Plus it is relatively untapped by tourists making it an amazing place for a relaxing reliving holiday.

After travelling to many beautiful destinations in Western and Southern Norway, taking uncharted roads, steering away from the map to take unplanned impromptu journeys, and exploring them at leisure, I created this guide to travelling Norway to help you plan your own trip!



WHAT TO EXPECT?
Norwegian summers are not your regular sunny summers, as I learned only after landing in Bergen {the super busy schedule before the holiday didn't allow me to check the temperature and learn about Norway before landing}. The temperature can be as low as 1-2 degrees even on a summer day and it can shower just about any moment. Make sure to take your winter clothes.

Norwegians are really friendly and helpful people, with most young population speaking English. In the interiors of Norway you may once in a while face language problems, but that's where translator app will come to the rescue!

Don't be alarmed at the prices of nearly everything. Norway is one of the most expensive countries in the world and as we were informed by locals, even the Norwegians living near the borders of Sweden make weekly visit to their nearest Swedish towns to fill up their monthly supply of essentials. So make sure to arm yourself with groceries at superstores and rent a house instead of a hotel, take up public transport as much as possible before your wallets weep. Read more in stay and food section.

The best way to explore Norway is to rent a car. Driving is the best way to experience this marvelous country and is also very convenient esp when travelling in a group of 4 or more. The planned tours restrict interaction with the locals, takes you through only the most popular but crowded tourist destinations hence cutting down your true Norwegian experience and denying you the sights of this amazing country. In fact after doing several road trips I can say that Norway has been one of the most beautiful drives in the world I experienced so far. If you are in the mood for a road trip then look no further than Norway!
Helpful Tip: Make sure to book your car in advance to get a better price and your preferred choice, as summer is peak travel season and you may run out of luck.
Some parts of Norway have a much strong tourist culture like Flam city, in fact this city is actually built for tourists and you will not even find any locals here, while other unexplored places are perhaps even more beautiful but are not listed in your common tourist guides. Another reason why you should hire a car.
Helpful tip: Ditching your car for a day to take the Bergen to Flam tour is a good idea as you can enjoy the most scenic train routes of the world and learn a little more about the country during the tour. This tour takes you through train-bus-ferry-train experience with almost 2 hours at-your-own in Flam where you can rent a bike and ride through this scenic town.



Places to visit in Norway: Best Norwegian Fjords

We left the North Norway for witnessing the Northern lights in winters and explored the Western and Southern side of Norway ending the trip in Oslo. Here are my recommended places to visit in Norway.

Bergen
The second largest city of Norway is also a favorite tourist spot being easily accessible and centrally located from the mountains and fjords. Booking your stay in Bergen and doing day trips from here is the most convenient option. Make sure to leave a day to explore Bergen itself, this charming city has a lot of scenic spots and great shopping options. Nordics are pretty famous for their interior design and it is a great place to pick treasures for your house. It is not behind in fashion too - from high street chains to designer store option like ACNE and of course amazing local designers Bergen has a lot to offer.  

Norwegian Fjords
It's really hard to pick one fjord so you don't really have to worry about not seeing the best, as they are equally amazing and aplenty. The ones I highly recommend are:

- Sognefjord & Nærøyfjord: On our first day we took the 4.5 hours drive to reach Norway's longest fjord Sognefjord {one way} stopping by in quaint charming villages and ports, making sandwiches {from the vegan bread we scoured in Stockholm} and grabbing coffee on the way. Do make a stop at lovely village of Balestrand.

On our way back we de-routed to Gudvangen, a charming village located on the banks of UNESCO listed Nærøyfjord. Gudvangen is also a good place to get the Viking experience as it is also home to a Viking camp.  It was quite a drive but the long summer days with daylight until way past midnight gave us a boost.

- Hardangerfjord: From flushed green mountains alternated with snow glazed ones to breathtaking waterfalls this is a must visit region in Norway, and requires one whole day. With by bubbling excitement to ski, we first headed to the glaciers in the Folgefonna region, stopping en-route in a lovely quaint cafe, which was also a tourist info point. After long driving hours and a few hops on ferries you definitely need a shot of vegan coffee {image below}. We also made a visit to the magnificent Vøringsfossen waterfall and I must say it was spectacular (and a must go).

The best thing about having a car is you can stop wherever and whenever you want to take pictures or make your own little picnic in the middle of nowhere. We stopped by wherever we found these pleasant set of benches beside lakes setting up the summer picnic mood!
Wearing Topshop vegan leather jacket, Zara boots, River Island jeans and Bag from Sweden 

Fortunately I packed a vegan leather jacket and boots, which I teamed with plenty of layers to keep me warm in Norwegian summer. Considering we had a car I had extra pair of shoes for wet areas.





Where to stay in Norway?

Being a vegan traveler in Norway can be challenging and it is best to rent a house. Airbnb is a blessing for vegan travelers in places where finding vegan or even vegetarian food is difficult. We rented a lovely house right in the center of Bergen with easy access to supermarket,the famous fish market and shops.
Helpful tip for booking on Airbnb: Make sure to only book a house that has received atleast 4-5 good reviews from past travelers. Ensure that either the house is on the ground floor or has an elevator if you are travelling with luggage and also that there is a free parking space. Inform the owner your time of arrival and tell them about your vegan preferences so they don't leave any meat or milk in the refrigerator for you.
Best airline to travel to Europe?
We booked our Norwegian holiday through KLM and we must say it is one of the best airlines to fly Europe. KLM's service is the most amazing, staff is super friendly and they go out of the way to make sure you're comfortable, a trait which is very hard to find in the most airlines. I've flown in everything from British Airways, Emirates, Swiss Air, Singapore Airlines, Qatar, Lufthansa and several others but I loved KLM the most. Plus the Amsterdam airport has plenty of options for vegan travelers to bite on something delicious while transiting!

Traveling as a vegan in Norway

Being a vegan in Norway is tough. Most people don't understand what vegan is and except Oslo we did not find a single vegan restaurant even in the second largest and touristy city of Norway - Bergen.

But despite that finding vegan coffee was quite easy as most places had soy milk option even in the remotest part of Norway. Our survival during the road trip was on Raw Bites and other organic nutrition bars {plenty vegan options}, which were easy to find at most supermarkets, nachos chips, vegan coffees and a some cooking we managed at the house {thank God we swapped our hotel booking with a house we booked through Airbnb, it made life so much easier}. The supermarkets have plenty of fresh fruits and veggie options and also Bergen and Oslo have fresh juice bars with many smoothie and juice options to fuel yourself.



Oslo

Our last destination was Oslo where we gorged on delicious vegan food at the amazing Loving Hut vegan restaurant near city center. The food was out of the world, especially the pizza. I wouldn't be exaggerating if I saw that it was the best {vegan pizza} I ever had in my life. The service at the joint was also excellent. Lovely and super patient owner Hannah ensured to make us something with our very restrictive diet. She made us an amazing Jain dinner {aka food without any root vegetables like onion, garlic, potato and even without mushroom, aubergine and cauliflower}.
Travel Tip: With the cabs being super-expensive the best way to explore Oslo is by metro and tram. 
Vegan Oslo Guide coming up soon!



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10 comments:

  1. I was going to send you an email very soon asking about your travelogues and how can I go about planning mine, and this came just in time. Norway is breathtaking, all the Scandinavian countries are. I would love to visit there someday.

    Thank you so much for this post, bookmarking it for the future. :)

    Debasree // All She Needs

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Deba! How are you doing? Yes indeed Scandinavia is amazing, we visited Finland, Norway and Sweden and had a great time. You must plan Norway and Stockholm for sure!

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  2. Beautifully narrated and wonderful photographs

    ReplyDelete
  3. Its such a lovely place... hope to get there soon :-) thanks for sharing the info.. :-)
    Cheers, Archana - www.drishti,co

    ReplyDelete
  4. OMG.. what a detailed post.. too good..

    ReplyDelete
  5. A very neat and detailed account and amazing pictures.... Thanks a lot for sharing this wonderful post... :-)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks for the info. We are planning a trip soon to Norway, your post helped us a lot. Great pictures :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks for the information - very stylishly presented.

    ReplyDelete

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