Norway in the rainy season

Bergen, Norway averages around 80 inches of rain per year. September and October are the rainiest months with more than 9 inches on average. When I booked my Norway trip last March, I had no idea September meant touring Norway in the rainy season.

As I have put in place tentative plans for two weeks in Norway next month, my mind keeps contemplating Bergen. Round trip airfare has been $80 from Oslo to Bergen. Oslo is Norway’s largest city and capital in the southeast of the country. Bergen is Norway’s second largest metropolitan area in the western fjord mountain region of the country.

Then I recall the California winter of 1982-83, the wettest year on record in California when I lived in Humboldt County, the wettest region of California. I walked hundreds of miles back and forth to Humboldt State University in the 80 inches of rain that season. I remember rainstorms that hurt my head as big droplets pounded me.

Tourists rave about Bergen, Norway being one of the prettiest locations on the planet.

I chose Norway for September since I figured that would still be summer and warm. There is a quick decline in temperature from August to September from the 60s and 70s to the 40s and 50s.

The other idea I had for this trip was traveling north of the Arctic Circle to a place like the Lofoten Islands. The average annual rainfall there is less than 40 inches, but September is still one of the rainiest months averaging 3 to 4 inches. And those high 50s and low 60s of August drop to the 40s in September.

Am I being a travel wimp?

I have booked hotels on the Oslo fjord about 50 to 80 miles south of Oslo for my stay. They are high value hotel reward nights using my Choice Privileges points. I have booked several $500 per night suites for the equivalent of $64 per night in points. I read this area of Norway has the most sun of any place in the country.

A hotel suite in a spa resort sounds like a pleasurable alternative to cruising fjords with loads of other tourists in heavy rain or tramping around Arctic islands in the rain and cold.

All my hotel reservations allow day-of-arrival cancellation. I can still adjust my itinerary to travel to Bergen or north of the Arctic Circle.

Hiking north of the Arctic Circle has always been on my bucket list. Now that the opportunity is there for me next month, I wonder if this is the trip to take advantage of my proximity to an Arctic region airport in Norway like Harstad EVE or Tromso TOS for less than $250 round trip. On the flip side, the hotel rooms I have booked south of Oslo sound like great relaxing places to hang out by the sea and hike through forests.

I have been telling myself I can return to Norway another time in late May/early June for better weather and another opportunity to travel to the fjords and north to the Arctic.

Planning travel is all about making decisions.

Am I being a travel wimp? map of current temperatures around Norway


Ric Garrido of Monterey, California is writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler.

Loyalty Traveler shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests. Check out current hotel loyalty program offers across all the major chains in Loyalty Traveler’s monthly hotel promotions guide.

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About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined in 2008.

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  1. Thinking of travelling from Oslo to Bergen? Do not fly! Take the train, you will not be sorry.

  2. I’ll second the train option. I was there in March and went from Bergen to Oslo via train. Bergen was indeed rainy (and it was snowy in the mountains and fjords), but it was still beautiful. I think anything you choose can’t be a bad choice though! You can always go back!

  3. If you are getting north see if you can squeeze Lofoten in. Magnificant! i took the ferry from Bodo,

  4. We just got back 2 days ago from Norway and the Lofoten Islands were outstanding with beautiful weather. We got fabulous value out of Choice Privileges (per your suggestion) in the north of Norway. The Clarion Collection hotels also offer complimentary dinner buffet, which saved us tons of money. Unfortunately, no Choice Hotels on the Lofotens.

  5. I say hold off on Bergen until next spring / early summer. Bergen is a city that is best appreciated outdoors. If it’s pouring buckets of rain, you’ll miss out on part of Bergen’s charm. Also, at least when I lived there 2005-06, there were some touristy places (i.e. The Leprosy Museum) that were only open during the summer tourist season.

  6. Ikke dårlig vær, bare dårlig klær 😉

    I would not recommend Harstad by plane. The airport is just too far from the city. Tromsø is nice, and you can take the hurtigbåt to harstad if you really feel like you need to go. The boat takes like 3-4 hours, and you can enjoy overpriced ferry waffles – a true cultural experience!

  7. Was in Bergen last September and while it’s true fall starts Sept 1 in Scandinavia, we had fine weather the first two weeks. Bergen is quite charming and very historic and hard to get to II would go if you have the chance and just go with it.

  8. Yes, do take the train between Oslo and Bergen. AND, take a gorgeous side trip – the Flam Line between Myrdal and Flam. One of the most gorgeous rail trips in the world. (Optional – hike part or all the way down; take the train back up.)

  9. After feeling weak the last two days from some type of illness I think, today I feel good again and thinking about train travel. There are some low mini-pris train tickets at 249NOK which is $40USD for travel from Oslo to Bergen or Alesund.

    Today I will look at structuring a trip to the coast.

    Mini-pris tickets seem to be available for as low as 249NOK whether going 50 miles or 200 miles in Norway.

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