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Norway Itinerary

Old Jan 12th, 2017, 11:45 AM
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Norway Itinerary

Hello my fellow travel masters...

I always seek advice from you whenever I am planning trips abroad. Needless to say, the advice is generally really good.

So, this is the most vague I have ever asked for advice on though. Planning stages of a trip to Norway.

I am most interested in the scenery and quaint towns. Not really too keen on large, urban cities. So, with that being said, I have a few places on my list but really need some direction on how (drive/fly/train/boat).

Fly into Oslo. Spend 1.5 days there.
Bergen
Troltunga
Geiranger Fjord
Naerofjord
Alesund

I really would like to go to Tromso but I don't think that I can swing that on this trip. I would really rather drive than to take a boat or train, unless they are day trips.

Can you give me some great advice on this trip? Believe me that anything will help at this point. As long as there are mountains and scenery, I will be good. Oh, and the trip is roughly 15 days (13 days in country due to travel).

Thank you!!!
Catherine
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Old Jan 12th, 2017, 02:17 PM
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(drive/fly/train/boat).>

Well the train Oslo-Bergen is one of the most scenic in Europe!

https://www.google.com/search?q=oslo...HY6kAy8QsAQIGw

From Bergen you can do the Norway in a Nutshell excursion as a day trip or break it up -by train, mountain bus and boats) but you may want to rent a car there though buses and boats go many places:

https://www.google.com/search?q=norw...HeDADy0QsAQIJg

For lots on Norwegian trains check www.seat61.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com.
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Old Jan 12th, 2017, 07:50 PM
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You might want to take a look at my trip report; click on my name to find it. We drove from Bergen to Trondheim in 5 or 6 days.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/mksfca...070576316/show
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Old Jan 13th, 2017, 01:36 AM
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It's been a while since our trip to Norway, but we flew into Oslo, did the Norway in a Nutshell excursion (which includes Naerofjord) from Oslo to Bergen, then took the northward Hurtigruten (which included Geiranger Fjord and Alesund stops). We missed the Troltunga. Alternatively, you could rent a car and drive - thbe prepared for this to be expensive.
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Old Jan 13th, 2017, 05:21 AM
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We did a lovely five day trip through Norway in May 2007 (ten years ago!) Like you, we wanted to see nature and quaint towns. Our trip was really magical.


We flew into Copenhagen and then head out to Oslo on the ferry. With a ScanRail discount, we got a cabin for two for a total of $112. Great deal.

We spent the day and night in Oslo and then headed to the train station to take the Norway in a Nutshell train. We took the train to Flaam with all the Nutshellers, but then got off and hung out in Balestrand on the Sognefjord.
We did -stayed at a small hotel run by a friendly US-based Norwegian - I think it's the Balestrand Hotel - she has a great website) - then you can continue on to Bergen.

We actually skipped Bergen and instead took a ferry from Balestrand to Maaloy - amazing, amazing scenery, at Maaloy, we were picked up by a woman named Solvi Hopland, who runs a lighthouse B&B, and we spent the day, night and the next day in a lighthouse. Solvi and her partner were active in restoring lighthouses and building fishing boats and they showed us around the area. Solvi's dad caught the fish she cooked us for dinner. I don't know if she still runs the lighthouse as a B&B but you can try googling her. That's how I found her.

The next day we took a bus and then a boat from Maaloy to Alesund and hung out there for a while - gorgeous gorgeous city.

From Alesund, we took some transport (forget now) then to the train on the wonderful Raumabanen line, which, in my humble opinion, was much more interesting that Norway in a Nutshell. we ended up in Oslo and then took the night train to Stockholm.

The Rough Guide to Scandinavia was great. The ferries are a fun way to get around but sort of complicated to figure out - there's a great webpage that sorts them out for you. Like everything else in Scandinavia, they are not cheap but quality is Great.

We had a ScanRail pass and it was a great bargain - especially sleeper cars, which were very reasonable and great quality.

Not sure how much has changed since 2007, but we loved Norway.
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Old Jan 13th, 2017, 05:28 AM
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Krakenes Fir was another lighthouse back in 2007 that took guests. They were booked, so we stayed elsewhere, but we visited it. https://krakenesfyr.com/english/
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Old Jan 13th, 2017, 06:17 AM
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Thank you everyone for your feedback. I am going to read your trip report Michael.

Is it better to take a boat? Hurtigruten, I have heard is more like a cargo ship with passenger births rather than a cruise ship that carries cargo. I have no issue taking a boat if that will afford me the best views; however, I am NOT one for planned or group activities. Is this "cruise" a hop on / hop off option if I am interested in spending more time in a particular city?

I have heard SO much about the Oslo/Bergen train and I am trying to figure out how to do that and still have a car (if needed). I have a car rented for a week for $350 USD. Might be the size of a matchbox but hey, it's wheels.
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Old Jan 13th, 2017, 11:20 AM
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Roads can't take you over the exact course of the Oslo to Bergen Railway but you can generally follow it - or just pick up the car in Bergen.
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Old Jan 13th, 2017, 08:50 PM
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catherinehaas, you're very much mistaken about Hurtigruten. One look at their website should have cleared that up.

If you take Hurtigruten, you're tied to their schedule: lots of short stops in small ports, some larger ones with excursion options in larger ports. You can book individual stretches, and interrupt your journey somewhere interesting, but you'd have to do your own booking, instead of buying the whole package (northbound, or southbound or both ways) as a cruise.

I'd do the train Oslo - Bergen and pick up a car there. However, long distance buses are very good in Norway, and will get you almost anywhere, especially in summer.

Norway has no "large urban cities". Even Oslo is modestly sized and is quite famous for its "nature areas" (Holmenkollen and environment, Oslofjord etc) Bergen too is town-sized in its central area and also has nice nature areas. Ålesund is even smaller.

Also, I think, there's a choice. Knowing what I know now, I would fly to Tromsø from Oslo, rent a car and tour Lofoten. You could even fly out to Tromsø, tour, bring back car, book Hurtigruten Tromsø - Trondheim, Stay in Trondheim, take train from there to Bergen. Equally stunning as the fjords will be.
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Old Jan 16th, 2017, 08:45 AM
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Menachem - Thank you for the information. I did look at the website for Hurtigruten but saw reviews that stated it was like a "cargo" ship that carries passengers. Maybe they were on one of the older boats. However, that is EXACTLY why I come to this forum rather than trust reviews only.

The thoughts you offer could work... I have to rethink things a little. Fly from Oslo to Tromso, cruise southward, and then in Bergen get a car to tour some points south (Troltunga). Then take the train from Bergen to Oslo. That might actually solve all my transportation problems...
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Old Jan 16th, 2017, 09:14 AM
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Yes, or indeed, get off in Ålesund. That way you can work your way back to Bergen, by way of Geiranger for instance.

This is Hurtigruten's Nordnorge: a typical ship. There is one "old" ship, the Lofoten, and I've always wanted to sail on it. That's not "a cargoship" either.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-yo9JQAHCqE

Hurtigruten is also meant for passenger transport, inter-island, especially in North Norway.
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Old Jan 16th, 2017, 11:19 AM
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We did a five day car trip to Norway two summer ago and it was awesome! If I were you I would take the train from Oslo to Bergen and spend a few nights there (it is a beautiful small city). We drove from Bergen to Balestrand and stayed at the Balestrand Hotel (very nice owners, spectacular views). We then drove towards Luster and stayed at Nes Gard, a small inn which I can not say enough nice things about. Make sure you eat dinner there each night you stay as it is fantastic (and there is no where else to go for dinner. We stayed there a few days, hiked to a glacier (did not hike on it due to lack of time). Drove and hiked up to the dam near there (quite steep but beautiful view and very cold in August). When we left there we took the "snow road" over to Flam (which was our least favorite place due to all the people. We were going to continue the drive from there but were forced to take the ferry due to a fire in the tunnel (which closed it for a while). In my opinion we saw much more beautiful scenery driving than we did on the ferry. Stop at the Stalheim Hotel for a drink or lunch. The view is unbelievable. We stopped somewhere else on the way back to Bergen to return the rental car but I can't remember where it was! I will have to look it up.

The driving was pretty easy for the most part. We took some interesting side roads that were very narrow but there are always places to wait for a car to go by. There were waterfalls everywhere. Can't wait to go back and explore some more. You have more time so you could definitely explore a few more areas than we did. I found planning pretty easy.
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Old Jan 16th, 2017, 12:39 PM
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I've taken trains all thru Norway from Bodo and Tromso to south of Oslo -the coast, fjords and mountainous areas are awesome but much of the interior to me is rather boring -rather be relaxing on a train or bus than driving thru to me such tedious landscapes - but I am from Michigan where we have vast forests- someone from elsewhere may love the scrub brush and trees with towns far apart.
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Old Jan 17th, 2017, 10:44 PM
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Need to know when you are planning on visiting - most of the information so far is suitable for a summer visit - not necessarily for a spring/winter/autumn one.
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