A historic tourist route has paved the way for Norway’s most sustainable journey.
Visitors to Norway’s southwestern fjordlands have enjoyed the scenery along the so-called Discovery Route since the 1880s, when British tour agency Thomas Cook began organizing package holidays between Bergen and Stavanger via horse-drawn carriage. And while little of the landscape has changed since those times — or indeed since the days of the Vikings — this storied old route through the glacier-chiseled Vestlandet region is now on course to offer a completely new and forward-looking travel experience.
In what it bills as the country’s most sustainable journey, Oslo-based travel curator Up Norway has devised a 12-night, self-drive Discovery Route tour that promises meaningful encounters with local hosts, chefs, farmers, and guides who in turn are fully invested in their communities. The objective, says Up Norway founder Torunn Tronsvang, is “for our guests to experience authentic culture, hear stories from yesterday, and to return home with healthy inspiration.” It’s also designed to be fun. Highlights along the way include artisanal cider tastings, climbing a via ferrata to the Trolltunga Plateau, a boat ride to the foot of a 612-meter waterfall, a snorkeling safari in a salmon-filled river, and a session in a floating sauna — all complemented by eco-lodgings, hearty Nordic cuisine, and the use of a Tesla Model 3 sedan.
Whether or not travel to Norway will be feasible during the tour’s initial April–September season in 2021, this is definitely one for your bucket list.
Up Norway’s Discovery Route tour is priced from US$4,779 per person, including ferry tickets for the return leg to Bergen.
This article originally appeared in the December 2020/February 2021 print issue of DestinAsian magazine (“Fjords, Falls, and Salmon Safaris”).