Itinerary help for Finland, Sweden & Norway

We are planning to travel to Scandinavia the last two weeks of July, 14 days. We plan to visit Helsinki; Stockholm; Oslo and fjords in Norway, Tallin?

I have looked at the 2 itineraries in Scandinavia book: 3-weeks by car or train/boat. We visited Denmark 5 years ago so we could skip the Denmark sights. Plan A: fly into Cophenhagen, overnight in Cophenhagen and go directly to Kalmar to and ending in Bergen per either itinerary. Plan B: fly to Helsinki; Tallin; Stockholm; Oslo and fjords. We can rent a car and drive but the cost of gas is 2x that of US. We have traveled solely by train or boat in Croatia and it was enjoyable. Which is better?

Should we include a trip to Tallin, Estonia while in Helsinki or save that for a trip to the Baltic states?

In Norway, we plan to visit Oslo and see the fjords using the suggested itinerary. How can Norway in a Nutshell be expanded from a one day dash? I have read posts on Hurtigren line and it sounds interesting. I have never been on a huge cruise ship and don't care for them. We have been on the Alaska Marine Ferry on overnight trip in Alaska. How far in advance do we have to book for Hurtigren?

Posted by Douglas
Oak Park, Illinois
3584 posts

Yes to Tallinn. It's a 45 minute ferry ride and an easy daytrip at the very least.

Try and take the ferry from Stockholm to Helsinki as the views of the archipelago are outstanding leaving Stockholm.

Posted by Laura
Virginia, USA
3413 posts

I'd suggest that you skip Kalmar on this trip. With two weeks, you have plenty to see and Kalmar is really en route. I think your plan B is better. Here is what I would the itinerary that I'd suggest:
1) Start in either Helsinki or Tallinn. You could either stay in one of the two cities, visiting the other as a day trip or you could spend a couple of nights in each. It is about 2 hours between the two cities on the ferry.
2) Take the overnight ferry to Stockholm and spend at least 3 days there.
3) Train (or flight) to Oslo
4) From Oslo, make your way to Bergen and fly home from Bergen. If you are considering a car, Norway is the , place to get it. You could take a route through the fjords (either heading north towards Andalsnes and back down by the Trollstigen and Gerangerfjord or driving to Bergen and visiting Sognefjord).

I haven't taken the Hurtigruten, so don't know the timing there. Another possibility might be to fly from Oslo to a city in the north (e.g., Ă…lesund or Trondheim, or even further north) and taking the Hurtigruten south to Bergen.

Posted by Carroll
Pittsburgh, PA, USA
1607 posts

I think Laura's plan is pretty good, but I would fly from Stockholm to Bergen and then do the Norway in a Nutshell from Bergen to Oslo and fly home from there. You will probably have more choices in flights to the US from Oslo. You can break up the trip between Bergen and Oslo by staying overnight in Balestrand, which is quite nice. Make sure to spend at least a couple of nights in Bergen - I liked it much better than Oslo. Oslo has some nice things to see, so two or three nights there makes sense. I don't think you're going to have time for the Hurtigren line or places north unless you give up time in Stockholm, Helsinki, Tallinn, Oslo, etc. I think they are all worth while, so I would not short change them. Of course your priorities may be different.

There is no need to rent a car unless you want to see some of the countryside in Norway and Sweden, but I don't see how you have time for that with just two weeks.

Posted by Sheron
Plymouth, MN, USA
14 posts

A belated thanks for all your suggestions for this itinerary - been busy & haven't looked at my post till today.

We fly from US on Friday evening, arriving on Saturday afternoon and leave for US on Saturday morning - we have 13-1/2 days.
I have checked itineraries and found that returning from Bergen had less flight options. Recently I did think of returning out of Oslo as suggested by Carroll.

Yes, to overnight ferry to Stockholm to see the views. Excellent idea to fly Stockholm-Bergen - will save travel time!
Now there's extra time for Bergen - Oslo with the suggested stop plus Norway in a Nutshell.

Very helpful as it's April 1 and time to make more definite plans. Thanks again!