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2 Weeks Mid May to June...Itinerary advice

Hi folks...We are 2 couples in our 60's-70's planning a two week itinerary and could use your advice. First, we want to RELAX on this trip, and not try to cram in too much. Also, we'd like to use public transport as much as possible and perhaps only rent a car to do a couple days venturing into where public transport is not convenient. Our 2 thoughts are: Fly into Copenhagen spend 3 nights, Ferry from CPH to Oslo OR Hirstals to Kristiansund. The next 11 days in Norway could include (depending on the ferry) Oslo/Stavanger, Bergen/Alesund. Fly home from Oslo. We are also open to the possiblity of eliminating CPH and just flying in and out of Oslo. That would allow us a few extra days in Norway and perhaps add Trondheim to the list. We enjoy culture and looking forward to seeing the Norwegian scenery and fjords...but only one of us is an avid hiker. Would 3 or 4 nights in Bergen allow us to do some out and back days? What are your suggestions for how many nights to spend in each city? Thank you!

Posted by
27349 posts

Oslo and Bergen are both interesting destinations, but Oslo, as the capital, has a much wider variety of museums and other sights. Bergen, on the other hand, is closer to the fjords and the beautiful west coast. There are walking opportunities accessible via public transportation in or just outside both cities. I don't know much about day trips to out-of-town destinations.

Norway's geography is challenging. That makes hub-and-spoke travel more difficult than it is in most other parts of Europe. Use ViaMichelin.com to check estimated driving times from place to place; buses will be somewhat slower. Use vy.no to check rail schedules.

The easiest fast way to see some fabulous Norwegian scenery is to take the Norway in a Nutshell route between Oslo and Bergen; it works in either direction. You can buy the transportation segments individually yourself, or you can pay more for the simplicity of buying a package deal. NiN is manageable in one day. It's not physically difficult--only incredibly short walks as you change transportation segments (mainline rail, Flamsbana train, fjord ferry, scenic bus, mainline rail). Some people like to spend a night or more in the fjord area, often renting a car to explore a wider area. This is trickier than you might imagine, because there's not much lodging in the area around the Sognefjord. Both price and availability can be a problem.

I haven't been to Stavanger. I believe the Sognefjord between the Oslo and Bergen and the Geirangerfjord east of Alesund are considered more scenic than the fjords around Stavanger.

Hurtigruten and Havila are two companies operating ferries up the west coast of Norway from Bergen. There's an overnight trip from Bergen to Alesund (arriving about 8 AM, I believe) that goes on to make a detour into the Geirangerfjord before stopping again in Alesund and then heading north to Trondheim, etc. As of 2022 the ferries weren't running every day of the week; that may have changed. I was able to take the overnight trip to Alesund with the Geirangerfjord detour, spend the next night in Alesund (giving me a day to see the Art Nouveau architecture in Alesund), then take another overnight trip up to Trondheim. Trondheim is another worthwhile stop. There's rail service from Trondheim back down to Oslo.

For a lightly populated country, Norway has a lot of domestic flights, probably because ground transportation is so difficult.

When I started planning my 2022 trip to Norway, I began by reading every thread in the Norway forum here. It didn't take all that long, and I found it helpful. I ended up with about 3 weeks in the country (of which 8 nights were in Oslo), but I went to a lot more museums than most travelers would. I walk a lot in cities but don't do country hikes.

Three nights right after an overnight flight seems like a short stay in Copenhagen. That would give you only two full days after some possibly-jetlagged and sleep-deprived hours on your arrival day. I can't be more specific than that because I haven't been to that city since 1972. Norway is definitely worth all the time you have available.

You'll probably have to connect somewhere going and coming, and it's possible it will be as easy to travel into or out of Bergen as Oslo; Bergen has connections to quite a few European cities. I don't know about Trondheim, but it's worth checking to see whether it works as an international gateway. Skyscanner is a good website for checking schedules for intra-European flights. Buy airline tickets from the airline website.

Posted by
149 posts

I visited this exact time of the year and it was perfect weather for sightseeing and outdoor activities.

Copenhagen and surrounding area was enjoyable for me, but Norway’s fjords were the #1 highlight of my trip. If you’re interested in doing both I wouldn’t be deterred by the travel between them. After full day in Copenhagen I took a 7pm flight to OSL and reached my hotel in central Oslo before it got dark.

You can see the Nærofjord as a fairly long day trip from Bergen, and Bergen itself is worth a day. Alesund looks amazing but I’ve not been.

Posted by
642 posts

If you are going to be in Stavanger, take a look at Lysefjord activities. I hadn't read a lot of things about Stavanger here, but we found Gamle Stavanger lovely. Because we had a car, we stayed at Jorpeland, and took the bus into the city. Every night we walked over the bridge to this unique park to enjoy the sunsets. It was a popular place for locals.

Visit both the overlooks in Alesund. We only stayed there two nights, because we had a car and didn't have to take tours out of there, Bergen, or Stavanger.

We spent time at all of Trollstigen's overlooks. That road is amazing.

Check when cruise ships are going to be in port for the smaller locations you might want to visit. We were lucky to find one day at Geiranger where there were no cruise ships, so the town wasn't as busy as usual.

We went up to Farstad right on the North Sea for one night. I liked the quietness of this area.

There are a lot of day tour options for all locations at Visit Norway.

Posted by
6419 posts

By the way you would be taking the ferry to Kristiansand from Hirsthals- Kristiansund is a very long way further north and is on the Hurtigruten/Havila coastal route.

I came across this thread by accident while looking for inspiration on Kristiansund (although I have been there before) and finding almost nothing on the forum.

There is a fast coastal ferry from Trondheim to Kristiansund but it isn't the one you want.