Discover with Odyssey
Small group tour to key cultural and historic places of interest in Norway. Tours for mature & senior travellers.
Odyssey travels by coach and occasionally uses local transport, including trains and ferries. Specifics are always outlined in your tour itinerary. NSB, the Norwegian State Railways, operates an extensive and well-developed rail network, while the country is well-served by domestic flight coverage. Nearly every town and city has a bus service, while passenger ferries can be an excellent way to not only get around, but also take in some wonderful scenery.
In major cities, Odyssey stays in centrally located 3-4 star hotels, with easy access to public transport. In smaller towns or rural areas, we usually stay in family-run hotels or guesthouses. On our longstay tours, during which you spend the length of the tour in a single location, we use serviced apartments.
Odyssey always engages local guides with regional knowledge to ensure an authentic experience during which you can learn as much as possible about the history and culture of places you visit.
Geography, Environment, & Weather
Norway is the northernmost country of the Scandinavian peninsula, and faces the North Sea, North Atlantic Ocean and Barents Sea. Norway is dominated by mountains, with the country having an average elevation of 460 metres, while the country’s famous fjords punctuate the landscape. Norway has a long and rugged coastline, and has some 50,000 islands across the length of its coast.
Norway has a milder climate than other areas of the world at a similar latitude due to the moderating effects of the North Atlantic Current. However, temperatures can drop below freezing over much of the country during winter, so pack some warm clothing if travelling between November and March.
World Heritage sites
Norway has 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. You can view the official list of the sites here (https://whc.unesco.org/en/statesparties/no). While every site is worth a look, here are a few highlights:
Bryggen, the historic harbour district of the city of Bergen
Vegaøyan, a archipelago just south of the Arctic Circle which still features the distinctive way of life based on fishing and hunting
Rock Art of Alta, featuring engravings and paintings that date back thousands of years.
Festivals & Events
Norway has a vibrant cultural scene, and has numerous festivals and events throughout the year. The Nordlysfestivalen (Northern Lights Festival) is a music festival that has been running in the city of Tromsø for 30 years, and features and ecletic range of musicians and musical groups. Gladmat is Norway’s biggest food festival and plays host to over 200,000 foodies, travellers and chefs to the city of Stavanger for a taste of the southern Norway food scene. The Riddu Riddu Festival is held in July and celebrates the unique culture and traditions of the Sami people through music, literature and live performances.
Moon Norway, by David Nikel
Growth of the Soil, by Knut Hamsun
Frommer’s Norway, by Roger Norum
Sophie’s World, by Jostein Gaarder
Eating & Drinking
Seafood features prominently in Norwegian cuisine, with rakfisk (preserved trout), lutefisk (preserved cod), and pickled herring all being amongst the country’s most famous dishes. Bergensk fiskesuppe (a fish soup) is another example of Norway’s seafood fare, and is often served with fish balls made from haddock, cod and pollock. Lefse, a traditional soft flatbread sweetened with butter, cinnamon and sugar, makes for a popular accompaniment to meals and is often a popular snack in its own right. If you’re in the mood for a coffee while in Norway, you’ll have come to the right place – Norwegians are the second highest consumers of coffee in the world. If you’re looking for something stronger though, akevitt might be worth a try, as might glogg or mjød (mead).
Health & Safety
Generally Norway is very safe to travel around in, though always exercise common sense while travelling.
Whenever you travel overseas, it’s always wise to take an appropriate travel adapter. The standard voltage in Norway is 230V, while the standard frequency is 50Hz. Norway uses both the Type C and Type F plug, so be sure you have an adapter handy as needed.
Urnes Stave Church
Norway has a single time zone, Central European Time (UTC+1). Norway observes daylight saving time from the last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October.
If you’re on an Odyssey tour, we take care of tipping so you don’t need to give it a second thought. However, in your free time, or if travelling independently, it’s essential that you tip an appropriate amount for services. Tipping is not compulsory in Norway, though tips in restaurants and bars for good service are welcomed. A 10-20% tip is expected if one is pleased with the service.
Internet access is easily accessible, and most hotels, cafes and airports will offer it.
Check with your cell phone provider to see whether you’re able to make calls and use data while in Norway. Many providers will allow you to pay a daily fee that allows you to make calls and check the internet while only being charged your regular rates. However, be certain to inform your provider that you’re heading overseas, because just like a bank they can turn off your service as a result of unusual activity.
Responsible travel tips for Norway
- Learn at least the local greetings to break the ice. Although many locals speak English, the more you know of the native language, the greater your experience of the country will be.
- Carry a business card in your wallet or purse from your local hotel, to assist you with the return journey if you do become lost.
- Always ensure that you are covered by travel insurance. If you need advice on this feel free to contact Odyssey and we’ll be able to help.
- When travelling independently, make sure you check the opening hours of shops and museums so that you don’t miss out! Also be certain to check whether your trip coincides with any public holidays, so you can plan accordingly.
- Before departing on your trip, contact your bank to inform them that you may be making purchases overseas. Otherwise, they may flag any activity on your account as suspicious. Also, check which ATMs and banks are compatible with your cards, to ensure you can withdraw cash with minimal fees.
- Before departing, make sure you have a number of kroner in a range of denominations. You don’t want to be carrying around enormous amounts of cash, but take enough to make it easy to pay in locations that might not accept credit card. It will also help you avoid card transaction fees, and it makes tipping a breeze.