From UK to Norway by car and ferry – this is how we travel to Scandinavia

by Scandinavian mum

No wrestling with limiting baggage allowance or going through the stress of airport security and passport controls. Instead you could travel from the UK to Norway in comfort by car, with the help of a few ferries.

London to Oslo is about 20 hours by car. Although the thought of being trapped in a car for many hours can seem daunting, especially when travelling with young children, going by car certainly has it advantages. Firstly, as soon as you are getting in the car the holiday can begin. You can make as many stops and detours you’d like. You can bring much more than what you can when flying. And by passing through the changing scenery and landscape you’ll get a better sense of Scandinavia and what the region has to offer.

First you need to cross the channel, either by catching a ferry from Dover to Calais. Prices starts from £31 each way. Day sailings takes 1 hour an 30 minutes and night sailings are 2 hours. We tend to travel to France via the Eurotunnel from Folkstone to Calais, crossing the channel in only 35 minutes. Prices starts from £23 each way.

Then, from there you drive up through France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany and Denmark all the way up to Hirtshals in northern Denmark. Altogether the drive from Calais to Hirtshals is about 12 hours, without stops. When travelling with children you might want to consider stopping in North of Germany or South of Denmark for the night before continuing.

You can go by boat from Kiel to Oslo. The kids will love this minicruise with lots on board activities on offer but it will ad an extra cost as well as 20 hours more to your travel time. Another option is to drive the Öresundbridge from Denmark to Sweden and continue up along the Swedish coast until you’ve reached Norway.


However this will ad a good amount of miles to your journey, so not recommended unless you’d like to see more of Denmark and Sweden along your way. I must admit – the bridge is beautiful, but it’s down to how much time you have on your way to Norway.

From Hirtshals in Denmark ferries run to Kristiansand in Norway, which is great if you are travelling on to the West coast and the Fjords of Norway. However, if you are travelling to Oslo, there’s a speed ferry to Larvik, which is only 3 hours and 45 minutes. Prices from €89. Then all that is remaining of your journey is a 1 hour and 30 minutes drive from Larvik – before you’ve reached your destination, Oslo.

When travelling by car we recommend checking fuel prices in advance. Prices may vary a lot from country to country. Norway is expensive and so is its petrol, so tank up before you leave Denmark (or Sweden). Also, book the Eurotunnel and ferries in advance, to get the best possible deal. If you decide to travel through the Öresundbridge, consider a ‘Bropas’ if you will be crossing the bridge more than once in a year.

To find out more about Oslo or how to get there, go to Visit Oslo

To book your channel crossing, go to Eurotunnel or DFDS Book ferry to Norway via Color Line

  1. Dear Toby. That’s super exciting! Is it for work or adventure – or both? Best, Bianca aka The Scandinavian Mum.

  2. I’m hoping to visit Norway also, it looks mesmerizing. Not sure where to visit yet but I’d like to drive I’m certain of that!

  3. I been thinking to drive to myre norway to visit my auntie who lives there. since we are a family of 5. 2 adults and 3 kids. i just wondered if that be possible for a budget holiday.

  4. I’m eventually moving to Norway (I have friends in Stavanger and Oslo). I’ll be living in a campervan so I wish they’d restore the direct route too. It’s gonna be such a long journey to get there X_X

    Still, I suppose that’s all part of the experience!

  5. TODAY…DFDS response to my tweet “Hi Carolyn, unfortunately we have no future plans to reinstate this crossing, apologies we do not have better news.^AC”

    In my naive knowledge of monopolising companies, I don’t understand why DFDS would buy the Colorline route only to cancel it. Why buy something they are not interested in. The Newcastle Bergen route was idyllic…fond memories of floating into Bergen via the islands. My husbands family live in Ulsteinvik and Gurskoy. To reach them it means a torturous/expensive journey via ferry from Harwich to The Hook, drive from The Hook to Hirtshals, Ferry from Hirtshals to Bergen, overnight in Bergen, five hour drive and fjord ferries up to the islands.

    The return journey alone takes 6 days out of an annual 14 day holiday…tired just thinking about it.

  6. Hi I am considering driving from the Uk in the summer with my 4 children. Can anyone recommend places to stop / stay overnight on the way to break up the journey please. Also looking to book a house when we get to Norway, so any beautiful places that can be recommended would be much appreciated. Thanks for your help!

  7. Hi Lou. Norway is a large country. Would be happy to recommend, but let me first know what part you are looking to visit. Best, Bianca x

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