Facts to consider whilst self-catering in Norway

Norway is an incredible country with many comforting familiarties to our own, but also with many differences, so you might want to keep the following facts in mind when spending a holiday self-catering in Norway, including geographical information, tips for driving in Norway and the best time of year to visit. Norway's striking and varied mainland landscape is 323,758 square kilometres in area with a population of 4.5 million. Natives speak Norwegian as their mother tongue, but as with most Scandinavian countries, the level of English is generally very good. The currency is Norwegian Kroner and Visa, Mastercard (Eurocard) and Diners Club credit cards can be used in nearly all shops and restaurants. Traveller’s cheques must be changed in a bank, post office or bureau de change. Cash machines can be found near your holiday lettings in towns and villages with a bank.

Opening Hours - Norway self-catering

You might especially want to keep the shop opening hours in mind when staying in one of our over 2,000 holiday homes in Norway. It is also worth mentioning that when renting a holiday home in Norway's rural areas, the Post Office is often part of the local grocery store. Opening hours for banks and shops may vary, but the main ones throughout the year go by the following:

Climate and self-catering in Norway

Despite the fact that Norway is part of Northern Europe, temperatures are not as low as one might fear, so don't be too worried when Norway accommodation. Thanks to the warm water of the Gulf Stream, which flows along the Norwegian coast, temperatures here are almost 20C higher compared to places at the same latitude in Russia and Canada. Temperatures along the Norwegian coastline are almost constant throughout the year, i.e. mild winters and cool summers, meaning weather should be quite consistant regardless of when you book your cottages in Norway. The coastal area is characterised by relatively heavy rainfalls and a high humidity. The south-eastern part of Norway has less rainfall, cooler winters and warmer summers compared to the rest of the nation. Generally, most rainfall takes place in autumn, whereas there are hardly any rain is your vivist for winter or summer holidays.

Public Holidays

Traditonal celebrations are a much-loved part of Norwegian culture, the biggest perhaps being Norway's National Day on May 17th, which marks the establishment of the Norwegian constitution in 1814? This day is a big national event for the entire family, but especially children enjoy this event. Girls usually wear red, white and blue ribbons and bows (the colours of the Norwegian flag) and people dress up in the national Norwegian costume (known as the bunad), which has many regional variations. Other public holidays that you could enjoy whilst self-catering in Norway also include: 1st January, Easter Thursday to Monday, 1st May, Ascension Day, Whit Monday, 25th and 26th December.

Reaching Norway holiday homes by ferry

Most of NOVASOL’s Norwegian holiday rentals are situated in rural areas. As a result, it is preferable to bring your own car, or hire one during your stay. Norway is characterised by a great number of bridges, tunnels and ferries due to the many islands and fjords. The local ferries run all year with frequent departures in the summer and this is an excellent way to see a number of the Norwegian fjords as you rent local holiday homes in Norway.

Ferries from England

·Newcastle - Bergen, Haugesund and Stavanger

·Newcastle - Kristiansand

Ferries from Denmark

·Hirtshals - Oslo, Kristiansand, Stavanger and Bergen.

·Fredrikshavn - Oslo and Larvik

·Hanstholm (Jylland) - Egersund, Stavanger and Haugesund

·Copenhagen - Oslo

Ferries from Germany

·Kiel - Oslo

Ferries from Sweden

·Strømstad - Sandefjord

·Gøteborg - Kristiansand

Reaching your holiday lettings by road, train or bus

You can now travel by car to your accommodation in Norway without using a ferry, by crossing the Øresund bridge from Denmark to Sweden. There is a very good network of express buses which serves the whole of Norway and can provide reliable routes for reaching events and attractions in Norway. It is organised under the name of NOR-WAY BUSSEKSPRESS. They also have international routes. It is not necessary to book seats in advance unless you are travelling in a group of more than 12 people. There are also train services from Europe to Norway via Sweden and Denmark. The Norwegian landscape and the relatively small population means that the rail network is not very extensive. Oslo is the main hub of the rail system, and the main services are as follows:

·Soerlandsbanen: Oslo – Kristiansand – Stavanger

·Vestfoldbanen: Oslo – Larvik – Skien

·Bergensbanen: Oslo – Bergen

·Dovrebanen: Oslo – Hamar – Trondheim

·Roerosbanen: Oslo – Roeros - Trondheim

·Nordlandsbanen: Trondheim - Bodoe

Travel to your holiday lettings by air

Oslo has Norway's main airport (Oslo Gardermoen) with daily direct flights to most countries in north western Europe, and so with connections to the rest of the world. So you may like to rent your Norwegian holiday homes in Oslo. There are also airports in Sandefjord (Torp), Kristiansand, Stavanger, Haugesund, Bergen and Trondheim with direct flights to other countries. There is also an extensive network of internal flights serving numerous regional airports. Of particular relevance to popular ares for self-catering cottages in Norway are Bodø, with onward connections to Lofoten.

·Evenes (Harstad/Narvik) is also a good starting point for Lofoten and Vesterålen if you hire a car.

·Tromsø for the Troms area of northern Norway.

·Ålesund and Molde for the northern part of the western fjord area.

·Sandane, Sogndal and Førde for the central part of the fjord area (Nordfjord and Sognefjord).

General notes about transport in Norway

Traffic and timetables in Norway are affected by the seasons of the year. In densely populated areas, it is often possible to choose between different means of transportation and several departures. If you are staying in a holiday home in Norway in a rural area there may be only one bus service with infrequent departures. Heavy snowfall and bad weather mean that remote areas along the coast or in the mountains risk to be cut off for short periods of time in late autumn and winter. Whilst renting holiday cottages in Norway, for up-to-the-minute weather, road, and traffic reports in both Norwegian and English you can ring 175.

Road regulations whilst self-catering in Norway

Please note whilst travelling to and from your holiday rental in Norway that speed limits are fairly low, with a maximum of 100km/h on motorways, 60-80km/h on main roads outside of built up areas, and 30 – 50km/h in towns and cities. It is compulsory to use seat belts, and to drive always with dipped headlights, even during daylight. It is forbidden to use a mobile phone while driving unless you have a hands-free system and the alcohol limit is 0.1 per millilitre. Road tolls may be incurred for certain bridges, tunnels and cities so carry change. In winter, it is also important to remember you may need equipment like snow chains, a shovel and winter clothes - particularly if you are renting in especially snowy or mountainous areas, like self-catering in the Norwegian highlands for example.