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Help on Norway please - too much to cover too little time.

Help on Norway please - too much to cover too little time.

Apr 26th, 2015, 09:57 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 195
Help on Norway please - too much to cover too little time.

Planning a 21-day family trip in July to Norway, Denmark and Sweden of which longest is Norway! We land in CPH and plan to take the overnight ferry to Oslo and spend 2 nights there. Thinking of doing NIN till Stavanger one-way with 2N in Bergen and 2N in Stavanger. Should I book the NIN and hence cover the Flam railway, Myrdal or do it on our own? The other option is to do the night train from Oslo to Stavanger and then do the NIN from Stavanger?

Now it gets even worse! I want to go to Geiranger/Jostalsbreen and Sognefjord. DH wants to catch the midnight sun across the arctic circle and actually wants to drive all the way to Bodo or Narvik, spend 2 days and then fly out to Stockholm! I am not sure how feasible this is over a 6/8 day period and also that the one-way charges for cars to Tromso or the like are prohibitive. So should we take a car from Stavanger or Bergen drive through the western fjords/trolls way and ending up at Alesund or Trondheim (not too keen on Alesund though), drop the car there rather than back track and fly to Bodo or Narvik or Tromso. Spend 2 days around there and then fly out. Please advise.

Budgeting 4 days for Stockholm and making our way down via Goteburg and may be Helsingbor to CPH (2/3N) on public transport. But its open at this stage.

Any advice is welcome!
tongsa is offline  
Apr 26th, 2015, 11:28 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
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We took five or six days to go from Bergen to Trondheim. Distances are misleading in that a great deal of time is lost with ferry crossings; and the speed limit is about 50mph and often that is not a realistic speed because of the mountainous terrain. You might want to take a look at my trip report; click on my name to find it.
Michael is offline  
Apr 27th, 2015, 01:06 AM
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 464
In your time you are trying to cover too much. Why Stavanger? NiN is between Oslo and Bergen not Stavanger. You don't need to cover everything Norway has to offer and you can't in a week. My suggestion: arrival day and night in Oslo, next day NiN Oslo-Bergen. Book the rail journey Oslo-Flåm yourself to save money - https://www.nsb.no/en/ - rest you can pay as you go. That covers Sognefjord.
Spend a day in Bergen, next day do the Hardangerfjord Nutshell - http://www.norwaynutshell.com Nothing to save here - buy the pass from FjordTours (alternatively hire a car and drive). Fly to Harstad/Narvik from Bergen and rent a car for 2-3 days to explore Lofoten. That's about all you can accomplish in a week. If you want to see midnight sun then you need to be there in first half of July. Fly from there to Stockholm.
dyoll is online now  
Apr 27th, 2015, 01:12 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
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Given your time scale you can probably fit in 3 or 4 fjords leading to Bergen, loads of driving and you will get so bored of "look another waterfall" it will be enough. Go walking on the Fjell don't just drive by, your days will be long, after supper go walking and get up early.

Going further north, nah, but if you really must try and fit in the Troll road and that is enough.
bilboburgler is online now  
Apr 27th, 2015, 07:14 AM
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Posts: 195
Thanks for the advice - sensible and realistic. I have 10-11 days in all for Norway starting the first week of July. As for Stavanger, we are keen to do the Pulpit Walk and so I thought we could throw it in from Bergen!

New twist: am thinking that we could do the cruise from Bergen to Tromso or Bodo (5/6 days) and so cover a few more spots plus the arctic circle that way. End by flying out from Tromso to Stockholm. What do you think?

Alternatively drop this Tromso obsession and fly to Svalbard instead from Oslo. As you can tell, I am confused!
tongsa is offline  
Apr 27th, 2015, 07:28 AM
Join Date: Apr 2008
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Don't worry I am confused too. But having done the Pulpit Rock two years ago I would like to say something. Why not fly from Copenhagen to Stavanger and work your way north? Though you might miss Oslo.
colduphere is offline  
Apr 27th, 2015, 07:44 AM
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I for one want to drop this whole getting to the arctic circle totally. Then with 9/10 days I can do justice to Western/Southern Norway and return some day to do the Northern Lights. I am told that we will have light till 10.30/11 pm quite comfortably and would have a "taste of the midnight sun" so to speak. Have friends in Oslo plus Mr. Munch's works to visit!
tongsa is offline  
Apr 27th, 2015, 07:49 AM
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That's funny. We liked Oslo but what we all loved was "The Scream". Highlight of the trip.
colduphere is offline  
Apr 27th, 2015, 08:23 AM
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I, too, would consider dropping Tromso and the far north...fron Bodo you could take the car ferry to The Lofotens...if there's one thing not to miss it would be the Lofotens. That, with NIN and some time in Oslo, Bergen and Trondheim, maybe Alesund, would be the most practical thing to do IMO. Stockholm and Copenhagen and vicinities are worth 4 nights apiece...no need of a car there, use public trasportation...see pix.
tower is offline  
Apr 27th, 2015, 09:56 AM
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Many people here post about NIN, we haven't done it.

We have been to the North twice, covering Tromso to Trondheim.

The Lofotens are simply stunning at any time of year and most who have covered the whole coast from Bergen to the North Cape seem to think they are the highlight of the coast.

I'd say Tromso is definitely a winter destination.
BritishCaicos is offline  
Apr 27th, 2015, 12:44 PM
Join Date: Jun 2013
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Forget Svalbard - definitely off-season.
Doing Pulpit from Bergen will take 2 -3 days minimum, but you could replace my suggestion of doing Hardangerfjord in a Nutshell by hiring a car and driving the inland route around Hardangerfjord to Stavanger. Return by coastal route to return car to save one-way charges and it's a scenic route too with a couple of ferries and only around 5 hrs from Stavanger. That would be comfortable in 4 days.
Lofoten will be worth it - take a few days there - rent a fishermans cabin, Rorbu, and hire a car to drive around and enjoy the magnificent scenery - mountains and coast.
dyoll is online now  
Apr 28th, 2015, 03:17 AM
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Thanks for the advice... am looking to do just that. Planning to circle back to Bergen,fly to Bodo and then onto Stockholm after Lofoten though no direct flight. While friends who have done the cruise highly recommend it, its quite expensive for hop on/hop offs. Always knew I could count on the forum for guidance!

Until more questions for accommodation etc... tusen takk!
tongsa is offline  
Apr 28th, 2015, 08:57 AM
Join Date: Sep 2005
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we did the hop-on, hop-off Hurtigruten...worked out well for us..actually only did three nights and drove the rest of the time except for the NIN from Oslo to Bergen.

We were able to shave off quite a chunk by only having breakfast in the super-expensive dining hall, and the rest of our meals in the deli-cafe, a delicious selection at stateside prices. We did two nights from Bergen to Trondheim, got off for two days and boarded another Hurtigruten for one night including a very reasonably priced tour of the remarkable Svartisen (Black Ice Glacier)...see my pix above. An arranged bus returned us to Bodo where we stayed a few nights, rented a car and took the auto ferry across to the Lofotens. Spent a week there...majestical and gorgeous scenery at every turn.

Drove onto the mainland after two more ferries, drove leisurely through Narvik and into Tromso where we took some day driving trips locally. Did not drive all the way to Nordkapp. Returned car back in Narvik to board the overnight train to Stockholm.

All in all, a magical month in Norway..highlight reels every day. Highly recommend. Hope everything works out as well for you!
tower is offline  
May 19th, 2015, 10:33 PM
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Ok, Am back - have now allocated 10-11 days to Norway.

After much debate, decided to give the Lofotens a miss and do justice to Western Norway.

2 nights in Oslo (1.5 days of sightseeing) and then the train to Bergen. Booked 1 night at the Grand Terminus given proximity to station and the funicular - any thoughts on that?

Plan is to take a car from Bergen and drive to Stavanger, looking to book 2 nights at the Mountain Lodge (Pulpit Rock)and drive up back to Jotunheim - Nigardsbreen, cruise on Naerfjord (I believe that's the vicinity of Stalheim/Lusterfjord) and Borgund. Is that doable? Can I also throw in Geiranger or is that too ambitious? Please critique.

Dyoll, based on your comments, it seems I should do Stavanger towards the end of the trip before returning to Bergen? So should I flip the dates?

Return the car at Bergen and fly out to Stockholm.
tongsa is offline  
May 19th, 2015, 11:10 PM
Join Date: May 2007
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If you do actually stay in Bergen I can recommend a wonderful B&B. It's called To Sostre (Two Sisters). It's wonderful, but contact them early for reservations. We are currently staying here (for 1 1/2 weeks while we visit family). So far our favorite restaurant has been Litteraturhuset (Literature House). Also recommend you take the Floybannen up to the top to see the panoramic view of the city. The prices here in Bergen are very high so be prepared for "sticker" shock.
nanabee is offline  
May 20th, 2015, 06:04 AM
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Doesn't really matter which end you do Stavanger. Spend at least 2 nights in Bergen, then hire car. One night at Pulpit rock lodge would be enough - there is nothing else there and Pulpit rock is just ½ day tour. Spend some time in Hardangerfjord area between Bergen and Stavanger, then pass through Voss rather than Bergen on your way to Jotunheim - Nigardsbreen. Return car in Bergen and fly out to Stockholm.
Do the Norway in a Nutshell route from Oslo to Bergen then you can include the Flåm rail and Nærøyfjord. With a car you would have to backtrack back to the car on both these.
Geiranger is getting ambitious and a lot of driving - you will see so many fjords and scenics anyway - why tire yourselves out with long drives when you could take it easy and actually spend some time on the way.
Plenty of suggestions for good drives here http://www.nasjonaleturistveger.no/en
Use the map and journey planner here http://www.visitnorway.com/uk/VN/Map/ but don't forget that journey planners are optimistic net driving times, you need to add time for ferries (waiting and crossing) for stops and meals etc. Around 3 - 4 hrs is a comfortable day's journey unless you plan to spend most of your time in a car.
dyoll is online now  
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