Reading material for those who love the camping life

Text and photo: Sven Furuly
Motorhome and Caravan magazine, No. 5 October

A journey across: Norway at its most beautiful…

Where is Norway at its most beautiful, and when is it that our country turns out from its very best? Opinions can be many, but precisely this gives the owner of a motorhome or caravan a unique opportunity to decide this for himself.

The freedom to choose, to travel, and to stop just where you want is what makes a journey in a motorhome or caravan a truly unique holiday form. Daily stages and mileage you can easily determine based on the travel companion's composition or which experiences are the target of the trip. With children in the car, it is important to create engagement and activities along the way, making the trip a pleasant memory, and not just endless hours in the back seat.

Eco-friendly holiday

Studies show that vacationing in a caravan or motorhome is one of the most environmentally friendly ways to vacation - and when the trip also goes in Norway, the environmental footprint becomes low. This knowledge has led to a new era for the previously derelict motorhomes. There is a great deal of research on the differences between people who buy a motorhome and those who choose a caravan. Many people have the illusion that the advantage of motorhomes is to be able to drive, stop and provide accommodation anywhere. However, this is not the case, and motorhomes are practically as dependent on a good infrastructure - just as the caravans. Thus, good campsites are at least as relevant now, as they were twenty years ago.

Sharing great experiences

Inspiration and information are important. As a club member, there is a lot to be gained from publications, books and websites. People who have had good experiences would like to share these with others, and at the same time there are countless brochures, travel books and not least internet sites to get inspiration from. When someone asks, I tend to say that everything from DNT hiking routes, to road maps, hotel guides and municipal internet sites, is used to create an exciting journey in Norway. You should not stay in a hotel when you are on a camping trip, and there is a lot of information you do not need on a municipality's website, but both give important local information. About sights, culture and maybe even the program of events that can be exciting to experience. 

Travel across

You can find a shortcut to such good experiences - if you start somewhere south of Trondheim and want to experience southern Norway - on the website where eight participating campsites can be exactly the places you want to visit on a round trip between east and west. They themselves have called the offer "Camping Norway East - West" and these campsites are located in suitable day stages apart - and the family also gets plenty of time for experiences along the way. With Oslo or Bergen as a starting point, plenty of information is given about different route choices and sights on the trip. Whether it is a cultural experience such as Maihaugen in Lillehammer, a visit to Hunderfossen family park, the dream of driving the Trollstigen or experiencing a glacier up close, the website and brochures provide valuable inspiration and an overview of driving times and distances.

Eight campsites

The eight campsites all have their completely unique character and charm. Oslo has two campsites, Bogstad and Ekeberg, both of which are well located in relation to experiencing everything the capital has to offer. In scenic surroundings on the border between the city and the countryside to the west, you will find Bogstad Camping. A modern tourist center that offers all facilities, and local bus to Oslo center just outside the entrance. Ekeberg Camping is located in the east, high above Oslo downtown, but still just a walk away for the fit. Most people will probably prefer the return by bus. Both campsites are an excellent starting point for experiencing everything Oslo has to offer of sights and cultural experiences.

Beneath the seven mountains

To the west, Bratland Camping, sixteen kilometers outside Bergen city center, is the starting point for experiencing the city under the seven mountains. The campsite is scenic and peaceful along the highway 580, but good public transport to the city center gives you easy access to everything Bergen has to offer. With a motorhome or caravan safely located, all the city's offerings are ahead of you - whether it is walking the Bryggen, visiting Troldhaugen, taking the track to the top of Ulrikens or attending a concert in the Grieg Hall. Not only Bratland Camping, but each campsite has its own website where there are links to good experiences and local attractions.

cultural Treasures

Maihaugen in Lillehammer also belongs to one of our great cultural treasures, and this town at the mouth of Gudbrandsdalen is a favorite tourist destination all year round. The sights are close, from the beautiful ski jumps from the Winter Olympics in 1994 to Aulestad, and there is always a vibrant life in the city center. Just a few minutes walk from the city's famous pedestrian street, we find Lillehammer Camping - down by the shores of Lake Mjøsa. A nice swimming area is included, and whether you come by with a motorhome or caravan, this is a nice place to spend a few days. And then maybe the trip goes north, in the direction of Hunderfossen? Here we find a family park with appeal to children of all ages. Fairy tale characters, domesticated pets and a variety of toys are enough to wish for several days stay at Dogsfossen Camping. And with the Norwegian Road Museum in a completely new building and the opportunity for a ride on the bobsled track from 1994, there is no shortage of activities in this hospitable area.

To the mountains

For many it is the many fjords and the wild Vestlands-nature which is among the most attractive nature Norway has to offer. It is hardly a coincidence that among the eighteen National Tourist Routes we find as many as eight of these in this part of the country. Mountains, waterfalls and gorges offer exciting experiences, and it is not difficult to find your favorite places. Whether you drive over the Hardangervidda and take in the Øen Tourist Center, or choose a northern route over Filefjell, there is a short distance between cultural and nature experiences. For those who take the journey over Sognefjell or Strynefjell, the road can lead to Loen and Olden. The former offers a new "Skylift" that lifts you from sea level to the mountain Hovden which is 1100 meters above sea level, while inside the end of Oldenvatnet you can take you up to Briksdalsbreen.

Close contact with nature

The glacier is part of the Jostedalsbreen National Park, and from Oldedalen you can get to the top of Briksdalsbreen on foot or be driven by open cars. Just 10 kilometers from this natural phenomenon, Gryta Camping is idyllically located right down at Oldenvatnet - with plenty of space for both motorhomes and caravans, as well as boats for lending to anyone who wants to exercise or try if the fish bite. Family-run campsites like this offer a warm atmosphere, close contact with nature and reasonable prices for the setting up of both motorhome and caravan.

The troll wall

A more spectacular location than the Trollveggen Camping offers, look for a long time. The name says it most, and just before the Raumadalen expands and ends in Åndalsnes we find this beautiful place. Among steep mountain walls and with views directly towards Romsdalshorn. Here you will find an excellent starting point for exploring this area - whether it is a hike over the Romsdalseggen or a car ride up the Trollstigen trail. In this part of Norway, there is really a short distance between unforgettable experiences.

Unforgettable experiences

Precisely the contact between the visitors and local drivers is important for the eight who are behind the collaboration Norway East West. Advice and hints about good experiences and hiking opportunities that give the holiday trip "the little extra" belong. At the same time, it is important to be responsive to the wishes of motorhome and camping tourists - in order to meet changing needs and wishes - whether they come from Norway or abroad. Therefore, this group of cooperative campsites also meet regularly, and is also on study trips abroad every single year. The goal is not only to offer Norway its most beautiful, but also unforgettable experiences at well-run and pleasant campsites.  

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