Coastal, Rural and Urban Norway
How the locals live in this region could inspire anyone to reassess what they want in life, and chase that dream.
Best suited for
Families and small groups of friends who like to travel slow
There are so many good reasons to venture to the remote island community Veiholmen. The magical light. The ever-changing weather. The raw, unspoilt archipelago. We would go there just for the exceptionally friendly people. Combine these remote islands with rural Trøndelag and urban Trondheim, and you have the recipe for a perfect week-long pilgrimage.
'-These days, Trondheim's flourishing food scene – which is fast becoming a blueprint for sustainable dining – is the main reason to visit. To really sink your teeth into the scene, you need to venture to the source'. Learn more about the female farmers green-fueling Trondheim's sustainable food scene in Nicola William's Lonely Planet article.
Itineraries are designed by our travel curators in collaboration with our partners to give you the most rewarding experience possible.
Please note that itineraries can be tailored to your specific wishes, when you make an inquiry.
Arrive in Trondheim and head North to rural Inderøy
On arrival in Trondheim we’ll have a Polestar electric car ready for you to explore the area of the Trøndelag region referred to as The Golden Road. In Fodor journalist Nikka Vargas’s words: ‘To drive through this region in central Norway is to find yourself gliding past bucolic settings and forest-lined coasts, plunging into the shimmery blue-grey waters of the fjords.’ Cruising these roads in a state of the art electric vehicle will also introduce you to Norway’s leading position on an electric vehicle future.
The Golden Road offers activities and attractions themed around food, beer, spirits and handicrafts. Over the next two days, we will guide you to the ones we believe you’ll find most interesting. One of these is the stunning Øyna Kulturlandskapshotel with its own restaurant and bar offering panoramic views of the idyllic rural countryside and the Trondheimsfjord. Check in for 2 nights, sit back and let owner Frode and his team showcase the region’s very best local food and beverage producers in their eco-friendly place where one can live a truly harmonic rural life.
Tonight you’re invited for ‘Ost & Most’ (meaning Cheese & Juice). As home to the World Cheese Awards in October 2023, indulging in local award-winning cheeses in Trøndelag is a great way to get to know the region as well as gain insights into Norway’s gastronomic evolution over the last ten years. The local cheeses will be paired with locally grown apples, pressed and produced at Inderøy Mosteri.
Explore the Golden Road
We can’t imagine a better place to spend a day doing nothing than right here! Chill out at Øyna Kulturlandskapshotel, or follow our personal recommendations on how to best explore the attractions and activities along The Golden Road.
With a luxurious electric car, just driving these rural country roads is an experience on its own. Our partner, Polestar, is working to accelerate the shift to sustainable mobility. They also share our logo symbol, the North Star, which has guided travellers on the Northern Hemisphere throughout history.
Tonight, a 5-course dinner will be served in Litjstua. The menu is based on the best local ingredients from Trøndelag. An important part of the dining experience at Øyna, is the story behind what is served on plates and in glasses.
From Rural to Coast
You can’t get any closer to nature than Veiholmen on the island of Smøla, 30 kilometers north of the Atlantic Road. The weather and light alone are unforgettable attractions. The locals who have moved back here after years in the city say ‘Veiholmen is great in good weather, but fantastic when the weather is bad’.
To get a sense of how far away and remote Veiholmen actually is, we recommend getting there the way the locals do. From Trondheim, we’ll get you on board the express boat to Edøy island, and then by bus or car to Veiholmen. Your very own paradise island for the next few days.
The whole journey takes just under 4 hours and is an experience on its own - the bridges across the islets are just spectacular!
A local host will escort you to your village house, beautifully renovated for the discerning modern traveler, yet with authentic charm. Feel the seabreeze and fresh ozone filling your lungs while admiring the views over the Atlantic. Out here, on the threshold of the tumultuous Atlantic Sea, resides a community of just under 100 people, and everyone and everything has a name. A local guide will introduce you to the community on a ‘værvandring’ (ramble), giving you a feel for the village’s history and its local people through ‘småtta’, or short cuts through private gardens (fences are illegal here!). You never have to walk far to take a stunning photo.
Dinner tonight will be served in your private villa.
Tune into the rhythm of village life
Smøla’s multiple tiny islets and patches of calm water make for perfect kayaking conditions. In the company of another lovely local, go paddling the ocean waves. This is mostly calm kayaking among the many islets, cottages, harbours and skerries, with the occasional supervised tilt at the open sea for those with experience. You can get an invigorating feel for choppier seas when you brush up against the less protected edge of the archipelago. And in case paddling in the magical light, changing winds and beautiful nature isn’t enough, there are also the eagles…
Spend the afternoon tuning into the slow rhythm of village life, or – if you’re Up for it – row or sail in a traditional Viking-style boat together with a local skipper out to the Molo (the local name for the Atlantic breakwater protecting the village).
This evening’s dinner will be served at ‘Naustet’ (The Boathouse), where you will be introduced not only to traditional food and customs. This is the oldest of Veiholmen’s boathouses, dating back to the 1700s and brought into the 21st century through sympathetic renovation. With floor-to-ceiling windows, you can find yourself begging for a storm to start up outside. Our friends Stian and Olav will make sure you don’t leave hungry. Local specialties range from pickled herring to saltfish dumplings and fishcakes, and the thick timber walls tell as many good stories as the hosts.
A Home Away From Home
By now, we are quite certain you have attained that lovely feeling of being in a home away from home. Smøla might be small, and Veiholmen even smaller, but it’s got its very own song. The chorus translates as: ‘Hardly drawn on any map because the islets are so small. But leaves a mark on the heart of any person with eyes to see’.
Don’t leave without a visit to the local coffee shop or grocery store as these are ideal spots to engage in conversation with the friendly locals. And what makes Veiholmen so special is certainly its people. There’s no unemployment here, and folks are shaped by the wind, rain and sun to be rough and direct, not to mention cooperative and community-minded. As the last source of freshwater between here and Iceland, this remote village has welcomed seafaring visitors for centuries, so the locals are very hospitable to guests. There are more wild sheep living here than humans, and the sea is teeming with cod, herring and pollock.
Smøla is a brilliant place for nature enthusiasts and birdwatchers: it has the world’s densest population of white-tailed eagles. This afternoon you’ll be invited on a trip around the archipelago in a boat, spotting seabirds, seals and the giant fishing pens. Seeing these old settlements provides the perfect opportunity to learn more about this island’s history, alongside stories of the rugged people who lived fascinating lives before they abandoned many of the smaller inhabited islands.
A Pilgrimage from Coastal to Urban
Even at the edge of the world, all things must come to an end. Fortunately, the Smøla island experience doesn’t end when you wave goodbye to Veiholmen.
Before you board the express boat back to Trondheim, you’ll stop off at two attractions worthy of attention. One is Edøy Gamle Kirke, a picturesque stone church dating back to 1190 but still in use. The other is Kulisteinen. This runic stone serves as one of the earliest signs of Christianity in the land, and documents the first time the name Norway was used on Norwegian soil. Whereas this piece of our national heritage was relocated to Trondheim in 1969, a copy has now replaced the original where the stone is believed to have stood.
‘The destination has endured for a thousand years, but the journey there is your own to discover’ is how the various pilgrimage paths to Trondheim are described. The shrine of St. Olav in Nidaros Cathedral has been an important object of pilgrimage since the Viking king Olav Haraldsson was ordained as a saint in 1031, and today’s Trondheim - Norway’s gastronomic hub - certainly makes the journey here well worth it.
Prepare for being pampered during your last two nights at The Britannia, one of Norway’s two Leading Hotels of the World members.
Trondheim tailored to you
With our insider recommendations based on your very unique interests available in your pocket, set out to explore the city. Our favorite picks include strolling through Bakklandet - the city’s iconic colorful wooden buildings housing small specialty shops, trending bars and cozy restaurants. Start out on a private tour in a wooden boat floating through the heart of the city down the Nidelven river, then continue on foot at your own pace.
We believe the Nidaros cathedral is best explored on one of our tailored tours with special access to areas of the cathedral closed to the general public. Extend this guided experience with a visit to K-U-K, an acronym for Kjøpmannsgata Ung Kunst (meaning literally ‘Merchant Street Youth Art’. This is an art space gifted to the city by artist Kjell-Erik Killi Olsen and has quickly become a cultural institution among promising artists.
A trip to Trondheim is not complete without exploring its food scene. On your final night, we’ll make reservations at Speilsalen, one of the city’s Michelin-starred restaurants, where the food creations served truly represent pieces of art. Conveniently, Speilsalen is located within The Britannia Hotel. Sip a nightcap in the Britannia Bar; the Signature cocktails tell stories of the city’s dramatic history. After a full day of exploration, it feels good to know you don’t have to walk far to get back to your bed, which by the way is Hästens equipped with Britannia’s own high thread count linen.
Departure from Trondheim
Due to the increasing interest for Trondheim and the Trøndelag region, several airlines have set up direct routes to several cities within Europe. Norwegian flies directly between Trondheim and Manchester / London and KLM to Amsterdam, to mention a couple.
Personalize and book the Coastal, Rural and Urban Norway journey
This journey has been curated to offer a journey from the coast to the rural and Urban parts of Norway. It can be booked as proposed or further personalized to you.
With our flexible terms, we hope to provide you with all the certainty and adaptibility you need when booking your well-deseved escape.
The indicated price is based on per person when a group of six travel together. Read more about our pricing here.
- "When I arrive at Veiholmen at the end of the skipping-stone bridges, it's already night, but the spring sky has a luminous half-light and the clapboard houses have a milk-white glow. There's not a soul in sight. It feels exhilaratingly remote, yet I'm in the safest hands of Up Norway, a luxury travel company that connects tourists with local experts".
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You might have questions about our journeys? Here are some of the most common ones.
The word curator comes from the Latin word curare which means to take care of, and refers to someone who specialises in looking after another's interests. In the context of travel, this is a professional who is specialised in understanding the traveller's interests and preferences, mapping out opportunities, recommending, choosing and putting together personalised and comprehensive travel proposals. As travel curators, we specialise in choosing and putting together experiences in a journey that suits you.
Our most frequent travellers are quality conscious leisure travellers who want a meaningful holiday designed for their unique interests and preferences. Among these are couples, families, groups of friends and solo travellers, sometimes even four-legged friends. We cater to travellers with disabilities who we know from experience often have special needs. Many of our travellers are part of the LGBTQI community and we aim to demonstrate why Norway ranks high on equality.
We also cater to small group themed tours, for example foodies travelling with their own guide, and corporate travellers who travel for incentive trips, workations or bleisure purposes.
Danny DoddTravel Curator