From September to November, there are fewer visitors and you can have some hidden gems almost all to yourself. When the weather allows, the locals go hiking on their favorite trails in the crisp, fresh mountain air. Cozy cafés and museums in the cities are hotspots when rain or snow sets in. This is also the time to experience another side of fruit farming along the Sognefjord and in Hardanger, when the harvest season brings fresh juices, ciders and jellies to the dinner table. The weather can vary a lot in autumn and the sun sets at a later hour each day, leaving fewer hours of daylight for outdoor adventures. If you plan carefully according to the weather, you can experience mild autumn sun and vibrant colors in a wild landscape.
Weather and climate
The temperatures during autumn vary from below 10 ºC to around 20 ºC in early autumn. One minute, the sun may be shining, and the next it starts raining. It is a spectacular sight when the sun peers out from behind dark skies, or when strong winds play in the forests and heathers. Many of the Norwegian Scenic Routes close during autumn, when snow falls heavy in the mountains. Most importantly for outdoor adventures is to check the weather forecast and how much daylight you will have to complete the trip in good time. The difference from early September to late November is quite big, with much shorter days in the late fall. Luckily, local guide companies offer adventures in the mountains and fjords, complete with equipment such as skis or snowshoes where needed. The cities along the coast tend to have a milder, wetter climate, while mountain regions such as Voss will get earlier and heavier snowfalls.
Average low-high temperatures: 3-15 ºC.
Harvesting fruit along the fjords
In early autumn, the slopes and mountainsides alongside the fjords are covered by lush plum, apple and pear trees. The branches are weighed down by colorful fruit - ripe and ready to be harvested by the farmers and tasted by you. If you take a trip to the fruit districts in autumn, you can walk along fruit trails and see it all up close, or join a cider tasting event and learn more about traditional fruit production. Taste a slice of freshly baked apple cake with whipped cream or buy a jar of jam to take home from the small farm shops. You will also come across small stalls along the road, where you can buy apples, pears or plums.
Discover fjord cities and villages
If you would rather experience the cities and the most famous villages and towns, you will find there are fewer tourists at this time of the year. Peak season is over and it is now easier to find accommodation and book sightseeing tours in the world-famous villages of Flåm and Geiranger. The Flåm Railway is a spectacular experience in autumn, when the valley goes through a transformation from green, lush hillsides to red and yellow hues. The queues are shorter and it's easier to get tickets for fjord cruises that take you to UNESCO fjords, the Nærøyfjord and the Geirangerfjord.
In the cities, you will find a completely different atmosphere than in summer. There are many concerts and cultural happenings. Bergen and Stavanger have their own symphony orchestras, which perform regular concerts from August to May with different themes, ranging from classical to modern pieces. An international street art festival is held in Stavanger every year in September called NuArt. It is considered the world’s leading celebration of Street Art, and it is worth seeing if you are going to Stavanger. You can even go on a guided street art tour. Go out on the town, mingle with the locals, and experience what the cities are like for the people who live there, outside peak season. If you feel like a bit of shopping, local designers in Bergen have been inspired by nature and the ever-changing climate to create stylish, durable rainwear and even waterproof sneakers!
Hiking in the mountains
If you are a sporty type, you will no doubt appreciate a hike in the mountains. They are at their most beautiful in autumn, with colourful scenery everywhere you look, open landscapes and fresh, clean air. Bring along a fishing rod and let the line ensnare a mountain trout or go hunting for ripe blueberries or the 'gold' of the mountains – cloudberries.
But don't forget that the weather can turn quickly in the mountains. Fog can creep up on you at any moment and cloud your visibility. A downpour or snow high up in the mountains can suddenly appear, so remember to bring clothes for all kinds of weather. Check out our guide on how to dress, leave word of your route, and lastly: enjoy your trip!