Driving loop in Norway from Bergen

Old Feb 21st, 2019, 11:28 AM
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Driving loop in Norway from Bergen

While I have a few hours today I thought I would finally put up some trip reports (can you tell I retired recently). I know there is not a lot posted for Norway so I thought I would put this up. Norway is the most spectacular country. On this trip we went from Iceland (which was awesome) to Norway which is indescribable! When we left there we went to Sweden which we loved to for different reasons (we have family there).

We flew into and out of Bergen. We only had 5 days but we made the most of it. Driving in Norway was very easy. There is little traffic and the roads are easy to navigate. At points you drive up to a ferry, pay the fare and drive on. Very simple. We landed in Bergen and stayed a few nights. We enjoyed the fish market, walking around the town and taking the funicular up to the top of Bergen for an amazing view and wonderful lunch. We then drove to Balestrand and stayed at the Balestrand Hotel (with a view of the fjord). Make sure you stay on the fjord side. It was gorgeous! We had dinner in the large hotel there which was very good.
We then drove up to Luster and stayed at a place called Nes Gard. It it one of my most favorite memories in all my travels. I actually had found this hotel while I was searching and planned my route so that we could stay there. It was a very smart move. While we were there we hiked out to a glacier. We also hiked up to a dam which was gorgeous (and very cold and it was August). The scenery is gorgeous and around every bend you say "It can't get more beautiful than this!" but then it does! You can have dinner right at Nes Gardl (which is a good thing as there is really nothing else around there and the food was excellent).
We then drove over the snow road into Flam. The snow road is only open in the summer and it is a fun road to drive. There was still quite a bit of snow in August. What a gorgeous drive! We had planned on driving over to the Hardangerfjord from Flam but there had been a fire in the tunnel and it was closed. We were forced to take the ferry and I must say that I enjoyed the scenery more when driving than I did on the ferry (this is part of NIN) and the crowds were pretty large both on the ferry and in Flam. If this is the impression of Norway the the Norway in a Nutshell gives I would not do that trip. This was not my favorite part of Norway. We stopped at the Stalheim Hotel to see the view and it was well worth the stop. We stayed in the Hardangerfjord area for one night and then returned to Bergen where we flew to Stockholm. I think Norway is a very special place in the world and has the most stunning scenery that you will find anywhere. I will return someday and see more of the northern part of the country (and hopefully the northern lights). This is the route we took.


Bergen

View from Nes Gard

Snow road in August. https://www.visitnorway.com/listings...t-route/12186/

Sberg is offline  
Old Feb 21st, 2019, 11:45 AM
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Very interesting to hear about some spots other than Flam! Thanks for the report.
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Old Feb 21st, 2019, 02:21 PM
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We did not like Flam. That is not what Norway is all about. I know people are hesitant to drive in foreign countries but I would not want to be herded around with all the people who do NIN. It is a beautiful country but you need to enjoy it with a bit of solitude.
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Old Feb 21st, 2019, 07:50 PM
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We stayed at Nes Gard this past August and loved it too. We did the glacier hike, went on a RIB boat ride and drove to the stave church from the ferry in Solvorn. Agree with you that driving was easy in Norway. We didn’t go to Flam but would like to go back and see more of Norway for sure. Thanks for posting your trip report.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2019, 01:24 PM
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thank you for the details, Norway is on my next to go list. it looks very spectacular.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2019, 04:22 PM
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Sberg, thanks for this wonderful report! The photos are spectacular - but it is even prettier in real life isn't it!
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Old Feb 22nd, 2019, 06:01 PM
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Nanabee you are correct, pictures do not do it justice and I took hundreds of them! It is one of the most beautiful countries I have been to. Between the fjords, the mountains, the glaciers, the flowers, the beautiful buildings it’s hard to know where to look.
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Old Apr 17th, 2019, 11:14 AM
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Thanks for posting this great trip report! We have 8 nights in Norway in July (first two nights in Oslo then 6 nights unscheduled so far - on the final day we need to fly to Stockholm).

A few questions about your itinerary - my husband has some mobility issues (uses a cane) so hiking isn't an option. Driving is great for us though and your route looks very interesting. We could pick up the rental car in Oslo Day 1 and drive to Flam (or area), picking up a similar itinerary as yours. Did you take the rail trip?

Nes Gard and Balestrand sound lovely - could you comment on how they might be for someone with mobility challenges? (no might be the answer!) The hotels?

Thanks!
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Old Apr 17th, 2019, 11:21 AM
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The train ride from Oslo to Bergen, over the spine of Norway, is very scenic. It was great to relax and not drive.
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Old Apr 17th, 2019, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Marija View Post
The train ride from Oslo to Bergen, over the spine of Norway, is very scenic. It was great to relax and not drive.
Thanks Marija - I'm looking at the train as well but my husband's mobility issues are new and we find driving ourselves easier. But having a look.
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Old Apr 18th, 2019, 02:46 AM
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Marija,

I think taking a driving vacation through Norway would be an excellent way to see that lovely country. As I said driving was very easy. Every road we took was beautiful and the ferries were spectacular. Can your husband do any stairs? As far as the hotels went the Balestrand hotel is a two story hotel. I believe they had an elevator. The breakfast room is on the first floor right off the lobby. Nes Gard has a variety of rooms. The room we had had 3or 4 steps up to our small deck (which was lovely) and then one step into the room. There were 1 or 2 steps up into the lobby and restaurant area. You can't park up near the room but you can drive up there to drop him off and pick him up. The owners were lovely. I emailed them a few times before I went. I would email them and ask. I would do the same at the Balestrand. Explain his condition and see what they recommend. Our last stop was at the Thon Hotel Sandven in Norheimsund. Again, be sure to contact them directly. They had two parts, an old and a new. We were in the old and were on the third floor with no elevator. They do have a new large part with elevators. If you happen to go there be sure to ask for a room on the water. They had a lovely breakfast.

We did not take the train we just enjoyed driving. You can access so many more places. I don't know if you have seen this but this is the link to the snow road. https://www.nasjonaleturistveger.no/...urlandsfjellet There are also 17 other drives on there you may want to look into. One of them was near Balestrand. but we didn't have time.

People there were very nice. I typically look at booking.com and pick an area then use the map view to look at lodging around where I want to stay. I then usually try to find their own website and contact them directly if I have any questions.

Happy planning!
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Old Apr 19th, 2019, 06:13 AM
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Thanks SBerg! Yes he can do stairs however I prefer an elevator so as not to "use up" his energy unnecessarily. I'm going to proceed and borrow large parts of your itinerary. The snow road looks fantastic!

I'm sure I'll post again - thanks!
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