Northern Norway with motorhome or caravan – 15 places you need to visit
Experiencing Northern Norway with a motorhome or caravan is a dream for many. Northern Norway offers dramatic nature with high, mighty mountains, deep beautiful fjords, and magical experiences with everything from northern lights and midnight sun to glacier hikes and whale watching. The picturesque landscape is perfect for discovering during a trip with a motorhome or caravan.
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Visiting Northern Norway with a motorhome or caravan
If you are dreaming of visiting Northern Norway with a motorhome or caravan – why not give it a shot? The northern parts of Norway are excellent for exploring with a camping vehicle. There are plenty of both campsites and stopover sites, but it can be good to be aware that the pressure can be high during the high season. If you plan to travel when many people are on vacation, it can be good to book a place well in advance, at least in popular sites.
In general wild camping is allowed in Norway, as lons as you stay 150 meters from inhabited houses. Please note, however, that there may be local regulations and prohibitions, especially in tourist areas, which means that you’ll sometimes have to stay at a campsite or organised stopover site. Another good thing to know is that there are road tolls, called “bompengar” and that ferries are subject to a fee. You can read more about this in this article about traveling to Norway with a motorhome or caravan.
Nice places in Northern Norway
Northern Norway stretches from the coast of Helgeland in the south up to the North Cape in the north. The roads bend and twist through a magically beautiful landscape and you will most likely find your own favourite spots along the route. Here we also list a number of great travel destinations that you don’t want to miss. The sites are listed starting in the southernmost part of Northern Norway, and then continuing north, until you are standing at the most northern point of Europe.
Kystriksveien is a stretch of road for you who love to drive on wild and beautiful roads. If you start from the south, the road goes from Steinkjer, which is in Trøndelag, to Bodø in Nordland. The total distance is 650 kilometers and the winding journey passes along white sandy beaches, dramatic mountains and charming fishing villages. You also pass the mighty Svartisen glacier. Don’t miss stopping at the Ureddplassen rest area, which wave-shaped toilet has been described as the most beautiful in the world.
In the southern part of Northern Norway you will find the region of Helgeland. The area offers thousands of islands, but also high and dramatic mountains. Here, there is for example the rock formation “De syv søstre” (The seven sisters) and the rock Torghatten, which is pierced by a large hole in the middle. Helgeland is considered one of Norway’s very best places for kayaking. In addition, you will find here a group of islands called Vega Islands, which is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Bodø is a fine town on the Norwegian coast. It’s nice to stroll in the harbour or check out all the exciting street art. If you want to get active, there is also a lot to choose from. You can visit the Norwegian Aviation Museum or try a flight simulator at the Newton Flight Academy. You can also go on a fishing trip or take a boat to one of the surrounding islands. If you want a slightly more action-packed adventure, you can go on a trip in a rib boat in the Saltströmmen, which can boast of being the world’s strongest tidal current.
Kjerringøy is not really an island, but to get there by car you still have to take a ferry, as the only road passes over the water. Once there, you are met by beautiful roads that wind along the coast, high dramatic mountains and countless sheep, which like to walk out in the middle of the road. You can visit Kjerringøy Handelssted, which showcases charming old buildings from the 18th century. Here you can have coffee in the café or join a guided tour of the mansion, where the highlight is a well-preserved old shop, filled with goods from the past. If you want, you can also make a stop at Kjerringøy Bryggehotell, for both a tasty dinner and a lovely view.
5. Hamsunsenteret in Hamarøy
In Hamarøy, you can learn all about the writer and Nobel laureate Knut Hamsun, who once grew up here in a poor home. In 1890 he published the novel Sult (Famine), which became his big breakthrough. His carrier was at its peak when in 1917 he received the Nobel Prize, but later his luck turned when he allied himself with Nazism, and finally he was locked up in a psychiatric clinic and lost most of his possessions. At the Hamsunsenteret, which also has an exciting architecture, you can step into different novel worlds on your own, or go on a guided tour. You can also visit Hamsun’s childhood home, which is very close by.
Not far from Hamarøy is beautiful Tranøy, where you will find the fine Tranøy lighthouse. Today the lighthouse functions as a hotel, and you can also visit the restaurant for a bite to eat. If you want to complement the beautiful nature with art, you can take a look at Tranøy gallery.
Lofoten is perhaps one of the most popular destinations in Norway, and it is not difficult to understand why. This island realm offers stunning views that can take anyone’s breath away. The area is known for its small charming fishing villages and you can take the opportunity to try the local specialities skrei and tørrfisk. There are also plenty of art galleries, such as Kaviar Factory in Henningsvær. If you are interested in Viking history, you should not miss the Lofotr Viking Museum in Bøstad.
Vesterålen is an island group in the county of Nordland, which lies just north of Lofoten. Here you are greeted by white sandy beaches and dramatic mountains that rise straight out of the sea. There are also plenty of picturesque fishing villages with colourful little cottages, so called “rorbuer”, which have been used by fishermen for centuries. You can, for example, visit charming Nyksund, where you will find galleries, museums and restaurants in the small cottages. What is most special in Vesterålen are the whales. Here you can experience whale watching at any time of the year.
Narvik offers mighty nature, with high mountains towering over the beautiful Ofotfjord. The nature is perfect for hiking and other nature experiences. In Narvik you will also find the Polar Park, which is the world’s northernmost zoo. In the park, you can see wild animals from the Nordics, such as wolves, lynxes, bears, elks and arctic foxes.
Tromsø is Northern Norway’s largest city, and attracts tourists both to nature experiences and cultural activities. Here, the northern lights can be seen between September and March, while the midnight sun can be experienced between 20th of May and 20th of June. Some sights that you don’t want to miss are the Arctic Cathedral, the Polaria experience center and the Polar Museum, which tells about game farming, arctic science and polar expeditions. If you’re here at the right time, you can also experience the Tromsø International Film Festival or the Northern Lights Festival, both of which attract an international audience.
Lyngsfjord offers steep mountains, green valleys and mighty glaciers. Here you can go on everything from short and easy day hikes to peak tours and glacier hikes. In the area you will find, among other things, Reisa National Park, Treriksröset (Three-County Cairn) and the islands around Skjervøy. You can also take the opportunity to try locally produced delicacies such as Lyngen lamb and Lyngen prawns. The area also has the “Senter for nordlige folk” (“Center for northern folk”), which promotes the Coast Sami culture, and the music and culture festival Riddu Riđđu is arranged annually.
Alta lies deep in the Altafjord and is the largest city in Norway’s northernmost county, Troms og Finnmark. The city in known, amongst other things, for its spectacular northern lights, and between May and August you can also experience the midnight sun here. In summer, you can also visit the petroglyphs in Hjemmeluft, which are on the UNESCO World Heritage List. If you want to learn even more about petroglyphs and their history, you shouldn’t miss the Alta Museum.
Hammerfest is the world’s northernmost city with more than 10 000 inhabitants. The city is surrounded by fantastic nature, and the area offers great opportunities for hiking. If you want, you can take a look at Struve’s meridian arc, which was once part of the project to measure the shape and size of the globe, and which today is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. If you want to do something unusual, there is the option of an arctic camel safari.
If you want to see Europe’s northernmost point, you have to go to the North Cape. The cliff, which plunges straight into the sea, is 307 meters high and when you stand here, there is only Svalbard between you and North Pole. Coming here is an experience of a lifetime! The place attracts many tourists, but also birds, such as puffins, soles and cormorants. Nearby you can also visit charming fishing villages, try king crab fishing or go on hikes to ,for example, Kirkeporten in Skarsvåg or Knivskjellodden.
If you want to experience a truly exotic destination, you can continue to Kirkenes, which is located in the far north-eastern corner of Norway, on the border with Russia. Here you will find the Kirkenes Snowhotel, which is open for overnight stays all year round. You can also visit Oscar II’s chapel in Grense Jakobselv, which was inaugurated in 1869 and had the purpose of marking the border between Norway and Russia.
Camping sites in Northern Norway
There are plenty of campsites in Northern Norway, many of which are located in stunning natural beauty. Here you will find tips on some nice Northern Norwegian campsites to visit with a motorhome or caravan.
Pluscamp Saltstraumen Camping
Pluscamp Saltstraumen Camping is next to the Saltströmmen, near Bodö. There is a restaurant at the campsite, and you can fish nearby.
Address: Knaplund, Saltstraumen
Ramberg Gjestegård is a smaller campsite on Lofoten, at an incredibly beautiful location. There is also a restaurant here, with cooking based on local ingredients.
Address: Flakstadveien 361, Ramberg
Skibotn Camping is nicely located by Lyngsfjord with a lovely view of the Lyngsalpan mountain range. Here you will find all the services you need, and a grocery store is nearby.
Address: Skibotsveien 350, Skibotn
Alta Strand Camping & Apartment AS
Alta Strand Camping & Apartment AS has a good location for visiting Alta, while the campsite is nicely located by the river Altaälven.
Address: Steinfossveien 29, Alta/Øvre Alta
BaseCamp North Cape
Basecamp North Cape has an excellent location when you want to visit the North Cape Rock. There are around 40 spaces for motorhomes and caravans
Address: Storvannsveien 2, Skarsvåg
Stopover sites in Northern Norway
There are also stopover sites in Northern Norway, with or without service, where you can stay overnight with a motorhome or campervan. Here you will find tips on some nice places.
Parking Løpsvika is nicely located by the water, a bit outside Bodø. Electricity and other services for motorhomes are available, such as emptying gray and black water.
Address: Arnoldas Vei 5, Bodø
Laukvik Bobilcamp is located in the fishing village of Laukvik on Lofoten. There are places with electricity and other services here, for both motorhomes and caravans.
Address: Moloveien 25, Laukvika
Koppangen Parking is a parking lot by Lyngsfjord, where a small number of motorhomes can park nicely by the water. There is no electricity and no other services either.
Address: Lyngsalpeveien 1540, Lyngseidet
The stopover site at Alta boat club offers a beautiful view of the sea. There is no electricity, but some other services such as toilets and showers are available.
Address: Malmveien 18, Alta
Bobilparkering Kirkenes offers stopover sites with electricity and other services, such as emptying gray and black water.
Address: Smieveien 14, Kirkenes