Third time Choose Leisure customers Mike and Kim (along with adorable Harry -the Border Terrier), have just returned from Norway in their motorhome 'Brian' and are excited to recount their adventures. Their passion for Norway is evident as they eagerly share their experiences, hoping to inspire others who have toyed with the idea of motorhome travel in Norway but haven't taken the leap just yet. The following article has been provided by Mike, who provides his thoughts and insights along with some helpful sources at the end. We hope you enjoy this account from a fellow motorhomers perspective - Please let us know if you've enjoyed reading this.

The Life of Brian - Norway

"Like many people we too christened our MoHo, calling it Brian after the snail in the Magic Roundabout, hence the title of the blog; which came about following Kim’s FaceBook posts highlighting our travels. One trip we received a considerable number of comments about was to Scandinavia, in particular Norway, as well as Denmark and Sweden.

For many motor-homers the default route when leaving Calais is to turn right then head south into the tranquillity of France, or beyond, seeking the warmth of the Mediterranean. Whilst we too love those areas we are also scenery addicts so this time we decided to turn left and go north instead.

This was our first trip in our new Dethleffs Mercedes MoHo, our third van from Choose Leisure. A comfortable, seven metre two-berther that just hums effortlessly along and has stacks of storage room for our longer trips.  As always we were accompanied by Harry, our young Border Terrier, who has grown up on the road, he loves the life and has recently enjoyed his 100th campsite.

Our route took us from France, across Belgium, into Holland, Germany, Denmark, then across the Øresund Bridge, the second longest in Europe, to Sweden. We arrived in Norway in blazing sunshine, five days after leaving Calais.

 Having entered Norway we passed under Oslo. Yes under, a labyrinthine but well signposted tunnel complex carries through-traffic right under the city. The good news is satnavs work perfectly all the way through and  soon we were enjoying stunning scenery at just about every turn. The high Hardangervidde plateau delivered a winter wonderland of frozen lakes under clear blue skies. Then it was on to the Fjords, where mile high vertical rock walls drop into dark brooding waters and spectacular waterfalls plunge into the depths.

 In Hellesylt, while we queued for the ferry along Geirangerfjord, a British cruise ship docked. The first Brits we had met on the trip were surprised to learn we had driven there from the UK. Soon we had attracted quite a crowd, asking questions about our journey and making a fuss of Harry. After a short time our new friends checked their watches and hurried off to join the five and a half thousand other passengers being herded onto their waiting tour buses. Kim and I stared up at the massive ship and offered up our thanks to the goddess of motorhomes, that we had chosen a different mode of travel. Two hours later we were enjoying brunch, with spectacular views, in a deserted picnic area at the summit of the Eagle Road.

Apart from places like Oslo and Trondheim there is little traffic on the roads but progress can be slow, mainly because of countless photo stops but also the speed limits are much lower than the rest of Europe. In addition there are lots of ferry crossings which take anything between ten minutes to an hour. It’s actually quite relaxing standing on the quayside, having a coffee and watching the ferry approach. Far better than slapping down an Autoroute for hour after endless hour.

After the fjords the Atlantic Road, was the next highlight, a twisting coastal route which leap-frogs over a series of islands via several graceful bridges. Here we stumbled across a great night stop, right on the edge of the ocean, from where we were treated to a memorable display of sea eagles hunting for fish. Something that would be repeated several times during our journey. 


By the time we reached our first major goal, the Arctic Circle, the temperature had climbed to a surprising 26 degrees!  We had travelled along some of the world’s most impressive roads and through some of its longest road tunnels, one a staggering 24.5 kms long. In another, the road actually spirals up inside a mountain. Others even revealed roundabouts, traffic light junctions and even parking areas hidden within their depths. Bridges that stride across the sea and carry the traffic across wide bays and fjords are equally amazing, Norwegian engineering is to say the least, very impressive.

The further north we ventured, the more spectacular the scenery became and more plentiful the wildlife. Reindeer herds crossed our path and moose were often seen munching grass within touching distance. Our second big goal was the Lofoton and Vesterålen islands, where soaring spires of black granite loom over tiny fishing villages and inlets of crystal clear water. Scenically, it looks like Middle Earth and was certainly the icing on the cake,  you could easily be forgiven for thinking it was somewhere Tolkien had invented.

Visiting Norway in a motorhome feels like a real adventure and each night we stopped in places where the views just went on and on. We were now so far north the sun never went down but instead floated serenely above the horizon, a sunset that lasted three hours. In Andenes, we spent a day whale watching and saw several pods of Killer Whales that came right alongside. Apparently, the day before a large group of Sperm Whales had been sighted. The luck of the draw.

 Of course we sampled the local food, some good, some a bit strange, still not sure about sour yogurt on my cereals.  We stayed on a mix of campsites and wild camped, pitching up in tranquil places surrounded by mountains or overlooking empty beaches of white sand. Finally, we had to turn for home and headed south, back across the top of Sweden and down the Baltic coast. A ferry took us from Denmark to Lubeck in Germany from where we dawdled towards Calais via some more historic towns in Germany and Holland. With just under 6000 miles on the clock we arrived back in the UK and joined that well known rutted cart track called the M20.

Norway is without doubt a most beautiful country, and ideally suited to motorhoming. Scenically, think Scotland on a massive dose of steroids and you will get some idea. It’s spotlessly clean, the roads are excellent with very few pot-holes. Fuel is readily available. The people are polite, friendly and nearly everyone speaks good English.  Sadly, the only thing that seemed to be missing were the Brits. Despite coming across hundreds of European MoHo’s we only ever saw two Brit vehicles the entire time we were there. Can’t help but wonder why but if you have ever thought about going there, do it, you will certainly not be disappointed.


Now, whenever we mentioned visiting Norway, we’ve often heard the same thing, ‘love to go but I’ve been told it’s so expensive.’ So, let me dispel a few urban myths. First fuel, it’s roughly the same price as the UK, in fact on this trip it was actually a bit cheaper. Campsites are around £25 per night, there are lots of cheaper ‘aires’ too. Most have good facilities, chemical disposal and electric hook-ups.

As in parts of Scotland the Norwegians permit wild camping. It’s called allemannsretten, which means every man’s right. You may stay anywhere unless specifically prohibited and it’s further than 50 metres from a dwelling. The maximum stay is 48 hours. A quick point, Norway, is a very safe place and camping off grid is widely practiced.

Food and alcohol does come in a bit dearer than the rest of Europe so we stocked up with wine in France and laid in a good supply of food at various stops en-route in Holland and Germany. There are few large supermarkets in Norway but lots of small ones, a chain called Joker is one of the most popular. There is a Norwegian government app that provides all the information about tourist limits on alcohol and tobacco. In essence, as a tourist you may import a fair amount of alcohol on which you will be charged duty but at the time of travelling it only brought the cost of a bottle of French purchased wine up to what you might expect to pay in the UK. The officials we dealt with at the border seemed to have a laissez-faire attitude and when we attempted to declare our wine we were simply waved through. As regards eating and drinking out, think London/West-end prices.

Norway is in the Schengen area, although they are not members of the EU.


You will need a completed animal health certificate from a UK vet. You MUST get page 8 signed and stamped by an EU Customs officer at the point of entry to the EU. At Eurotunnel in Folkestone this needs to be done on the UK side, at the second building on the left after you pass through the French passport control. Without page 8 completed you will not be allowed to enter Norway with your pet. Other ports in the UK may have different procedures so some forward planning is necessary.  Five days or less before you enter Norway you will also need to visit a vet for worming (just like returning to UK). We took Harry to a vet in Denmark.

We crossed into Norway from Sweden on the E6 at Statensvegvesen. Here you need to go through the red channel (follow the lorries). Get a numbered ANIMAL queue ticket from the machine and when your number appears on the screen outside enter the office, without the pet. There are two ticket machines, one for lorries and one for pets. Watch which one the lorry drivers use and take a ticket from the other. Other crossing points, such as the ferry routes from Hirtshals in Denmark, may have different procedures so once again check in advance.


We opened a Flytpass account, an invoiced system with a smart windscreen tag that debits bridge and road tolls as you pass (most are very cheap, we paid a total of £40 in tolls). Once you have an account you can register with autopassferje where you will receive 50% discount on ferry fares. You will need to deposit around £200 but each time you use a ferry a number plate reader debits the amount from the account and applies the discount. At the end of the trip you will get any balance refunded. We had £100 returned. If you  haven’t subscribed to a payment system you risk being stopped by the police and fined. They also use ANPR which records all plates passing unpaid through tolls so the chances of coming to notice are quite high".


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