Bergen to Oslo, Norway
Best for seeing nature in the raw
Norway, with its towering mountains, bluer-than-blue fjords, roaring waterfalls, evergreen-covered mountains and pretty little villages complete with old-fashioned wooden stave churches, demands both the close attention and the seize-the-moment freedom that can only be had by driving (though the trip can also be done by rail and boat). Start this 350-mile drive in coastal Bergen. Explore the old wharf area, lined with brightly colored medieval Hanseatic League houses, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Then head across the country, toward snow-capped mountains, oceans of evergreens, and one dazzling blue fjord that is more spectacular than the next (you will ferry across some of these). Keep your eye out for Norway’s medieval stave churches along the way, some complete with scary masks to help stave off demons. Once in Oslo, check out local artist Edvard Munch’s paintings, including several versions of "The Scream," which were stolen and recovered. If you choose, drive back to Bergen along the coast, for panoramic ocean views, stopping in Stavanger (lots of oil rigs there), with its pretty old city.