Camping in Norway – the Lofoten Islands are calling
Thomas and Alex have hired the Surfer Suite and kicked off a camping trip to Norway. With the destination of the Lofoten Islands, they experienced a great deal on their trip.
Authors: Thomas and Alex
Does everything fit in?
Rather than being excited about camping in Norway, we were already worried about the storage space in our camper. “Does everything fit in?” The satisfaction that the VW camper fits wherever a normal car can, gave way to concerns about the storage space. And one thing was certain: Everything needed to be packed! Our two mountain bikes, the complete downhill protective equipment including spare tubes, XL hiking equipment, climbing equipment, two SUPS, a camera … After all, it’s not a proper holiday without the necessary equipment. To our amazement, everything fitted into our VW T6 California and we could look forward to camping in Norway. We then headed north relaxed and relieved. During the first few kilometres we experienced a bit of bad luck because we were stuck in traffic and later we couldn’t find a suitable parking space. So we ended up at the motorway services. Even if the view was not the most beautiful and we lacked a bit of the countryside, we had already fallen in love with our roadsurfer
Dress rehearsal in Denmark
On day 3, the first highlight of the trip took place. We left the VW camper, got on two wheels and went sightseeing in Copenhagen. As we returned to our camper a few hours later, we’d been issued a parking fine on the window. On closer inspection, we found that our parking ticket had slid to the bottom of the windscreen. The traffic warden could of course not have seen that and there was a hefty fine. Our tip: Find a suitable position for your parking ticket, or your day will get pricey! Our trip led us further to Sweden, just in time to experience the shortest night of the year. We sadly missed the famous Swedish midsummer party, but instead we spent a great night on the south Swedish beach that certainly met our expectations. The temperature was 12 degrees colder than expected, so the air heater came in very handy. The next morning the cold didn’t stop us from testing the camper’s shower. We are still pleased with it, and showering in warmer surroundings is certainly also fun. ?
Next stop: Oslo! Much to our surprise, the parking was free here on a weekend. Oslo is definitely worth a visit and we will certainly return. Nevertheless, this road trip was all about nature. And that’s what we discovered at our next stop to the north of Oslo. The Tesla petrol station hardly indicated that a secluded parking bay with a lake view was waiting for us just a few kilometres away. At the latest after our refreshing swim in the morning, we felt like we were in paradise. Pure freedom and away from the rest of the world!
From Lillehammer to Geiranger via central Norway
Passing huge mountains, landscapes covered in snow and ice, the journey led us to the fjord, which makes Hurtigruten the sought-after destination for so many people. We were happy when we parked up our camper at 11 pm at the viewing platform. Other than another camper, there was nobody here. Thanks to Freedom to roam, there was nothing to prevent us staying here. We parked right at the viewing platform, set up our table and started cooking. Stress, obligations, everyday chores were all so far away. The next morning we were able to experience Hurtigruten up close. The tranquil spot had been transformed into a tourist trap. Crowds pushed past each other and buses were queuing up. It was about time we made tracks. Our route headed to the Eagle Road, the Trolligsten Pass and the town of Ålesund. All three were well worth a visit. Ålesund was a beautiful town with Norwegian charm. On the town’s own mountain, our stop was rounded off by a three-hour sunset.
Weather that needs some getting used to
Unfortunately the weather put a dampener on our mood. It was cold, windy and the fog lingered in the mountains. Even the famous Atlantic road didn’t impress us in the rain. We also opted against exploring the lake there on standup paddle boards due to the cold. So we continued our journey. After non-stop nature, we were looking for a bit of a change in Trondheim. The weather was on our side and we were able to discover the former capital of Norway in glorious sunshine. We fell in love with the city right away. We were impressed by the first bicycle lift in the world, the most famous cathedral in Scandinavia and the largest wooden house in the country. Our tip: Sit in the sunshine with a cup of coffee and watch the hustle and bustle go by, it’s worth it. Incidentally, coffee in Norway is not only delicious, it is also not that expensive. Here we finally found what to us was typically Norwegian: a quaint fishmonger. As we didn’t see any fishmongers of this kind on the rest of the trip, it must have been one of a kind. Our camping trip in Norway continued, we crossed the Arctic Circle, past the local mountain of Stetind towards Narvik. Although the weather left a lot to be desired, we were taken away by the magical mountain landscape. We slowly acclimatised to the cold weather and settled more and more in our roadsurfer. It confidently rolled along the streets of Norway with us and proved to be a trusty companion.
And all of a sudden, we had reached our destination. Hard to believe, but everything here was even more impressive than before. The landscape really impressed us and we had arrived at our own personal paradise. This was to be our home for the next eight days. At 1 am we lay in our roof bed with a view of the beautiful beach. We even got used to the fact that it no longer got dark and enjoyed the midnight sun and camping vibes in Norway. The charm of Lofoten had us under its spell. Finally it was time for cycling, paddling and mountaineering. In addition to a speedboat tour and the world’s best cinnamon buns in Henningsvaer, we visited a Viking museum. Even if the weather wasn’t always pleasant, we felt increasingly comfortable and relaxed. After a few days we hopped in the camper and visited Moskenesøy. However, in the meantime we had completely lost our rhythm. We ate lunch at 5 pm, then shortly after midnight we had dinner. But that was fine this way, we had left everyday life behind. Needless to say, we were rather sad when we had to head home. Although there were still stunning places waiting for us, we were a little emotional. The further south we drove, the warmer it became. We were excited about the central Swedish forests and the reindeer living in them, they made us miss the Lofoten Islands a little less.
Back to the south – via Sweden
In Arvidsjaur we visited another dog sled company with 70 dogs. This was a really special experience which we won’t forget. We continued our journey back via Stockholm and the Southern Swedish beach. We tended to spend the rest of the nights on the beach and enjoyed pure at is best. The Öresund Bridge led us south for the last part of the journey. From here, we booked the ferry back to Germany and before we knew it, three and a half weeks had sailed by.
Bye, bye VW camper!
We arrived in Munich slightly melancholic three and a half weeks after our departure. We didn’t want to give the keys back – to our VW camper. It had made our trip unforgettable. It had given us an unbelievable feeling of being free and had shown us Scandinavia. We wistfully cleaned it, silent and almost sad we brought it back to the rental station the next morning. We still miss having the camper, it was such a fabulous time. Indeed, camping in Norway showed us how easy life can be and that you really don’t need much to be happy. Thanks VW camper We’ll be back!