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Alesund/Geiranger/Andalsnes just returned, posting some thoughts

I know this is not the trip report section but the Norway pages are not frequented much so thought the main Norway forum is a better spot for others to see.

Big thanks to Bobm185 a fellow poster that did a similar trip this summer and Anita on this board who offered advise to both of us.

Just made a quick trip (5 nights in Hotels) to the western Fjord area of Norway. I focused on a small area of the country as the focus for this trip since we didn't have much time.
We flew into and out of Alesund which is a great little airport.
I actually had the first ever positive lost bag situation.
Flew with my wife and our 4 year old daughter.
When the luggage came out our 2 checked bags with clothes came but our boxed car seat did not. Flight in was from Rome and then AMS so not sure when something got messed but it happened.
Anyway only reason I had the car seat is because I found Hertz rates for Norway car seat rental to be absolutely outrageous (approx. 40 USD per day with no cap) so decided to just buy one before our trip since we had no extra charge to have it check through on our flights.
Anyway, the car seat was lost so the operator of the Alesund airport loaned us a car seat (probably taken from Hertz or another companies inventory) which was new. They recovered our box a day later but we made arrangements to just borrow theirs and return it and exchange for ours when taking our flight home from Alesund.
So I still have a new unused car seat in the box and didn't have to pay to rent one.

Car rental was easy, everything was easy with the Alesund airport experience since it is a small and still friendly option to fly into or out of. Such a different experience than an airport like AMS, FCO or BOS which we also used on this trip.

Alesund: a pretty town, inviting to walk around the old downtown area though shops close very early and are not open 7 days a week. Food is limited. Aksla is breathtaking and well worth a stop if you time it right when no cruise ships are docked.
I went up there for sunset and it was amazing, just incredible and there were maybe 40 people max up there over what is a large area to spread out, looked to be about 5 cars in the parking lot. I stayed for the city lights to come on and by then about 10 remained.
The next morning I really wanted my wife to see it so went up there after we checked out and what a different experience. 2 cruise ships were docked in town and I guess this location is there main excursion, we discovered a parking lot filled of buses, no room to even move at the viewpoint area. The busses parked moved out in unison as a new set of a dozen busses moved in. A truly horrible experience and we go stuck trying to leave for at least 30 minutes as they orchestrated the departing and arriving busses. Keep in mind the road is steep and narrow so not fun for a car and a bus to meet, but 2 busses meeting causes issues.
That was our first but not our last bad taste of the cruise ship effect on this region.

Next we drove the scenic way to Hellesylt ; we took a route involving 2 car ferries and passing by the Hotel Oye and Queen's Highway. Queen's Highway drive was wonderfully scenic and feels very secluded.
The entire region of Norway we visited very much has a feel of being inside a US national park like Yellowstone. Very few residents, great scenery, streams or bodies of water beside the road, remote feeling, good roads, etc...
Took a little detour to head north from Hellesylt to the overlook of the Geiranger Fjord after a tunnel before returning to the dock area.
Pulled up to the 2 PM ferry at about 1:50 PM and had no issues getting a car spot on the ferry to Geiranger without a reservation. Was prepared to wait for the 3:30 PM ferry and check out Hellesylt waterfall and shops if we had. Ferry was about half full for cars and less than half for non-car passengers.
PART II ; next post

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PART II
The ferry ride itself into Geiranger was I expected to be a highlight of the trip ended up being fairly disappointing.
Maybe it was the anticipation but my impression was the best views of Geiranger and it's fjord are to be had from the viewpoints in or above town not from the water at all.
Maybe another time of year when the waterfalls are more impressive could change that but the views from the water were not as impressive as I had hoped. Part of it is also that the town approach has all of the potential in the world but is marred by the an unsightly large building or two plus a camper area given waterfront property right in front of town; the town should have done a better job zoning to keep a prettier look.
There were no cruise ships in town when we got there and very little crowds about anywhere around,

I had planned on being out of the fjord the next day but discovered I was better off seeing the fjord from above than being on the water,

The natural beauty of the fjord is easy to see and enjoy. In some odd ways it can photograph better than it actually is but overall still a beautiful area worth visiting. Each of the viewpoints offered a different prospective and would rate each very highly.
The next morning 2 huge ships came into town, I didn't mind the view of them since it changed the scene so much and they were gone by 6 PM that same evening.

Dalsnibba was really a great experience, at least for us on a clear day. Our daughter even had a chance to play in some snow in August, which is crazy. The top was crowded with cruise shippers but large enough to spread out unlike the viewpoint spot in Alesund.
Flysdalsjuvet has a few interesting viewpoints so although very crowed when the cruise ships are around also offered some good views and went there also at sunset and it was empty.
Hiked to Westerasjuvet which was a great view and off the radar for most cruise travelers. A bit of a hike though mostly flat easy path but filled with spots of mud and manure. Cool animals are near the path but their left behinds made the walk much less enjoyable. My wife and daughter came with me on that hike but my wife didn't enjoy it much.
The Eagle's Nest viewpoint is also great and was not crowded the 2 times I went, once for sunset when I was all alone and another time the morning after we checked out and only had a handful of people there.
As I drove up that windy road a bus came the other direction right at a turn, leaving me no option other than to reverse down the hill to a wider spot where the bus could pass me, no fun at all!
We enjoyed Geiranger a good deal though found the options for food extremely limiting. Basically have a couple of cafes by the water which are probably good for breakfast and offering burgers, hotdogs but none offering much in the way of appetizing food and then hotel fancy restaurants which were all high end, pricey and too gourmet for us.
In general I did not care much for the food in Norway, could not get over the costs and disliked that a children's menu really doesn't exist in our experience.
Also, oddly getting anything on the side or without sauce doesn't seem possible. Had 3 occasions like this.
Once mayo which I hate on a chicken sandwich could not be ordered without from an expensive restaurant Lyst in Alesund, another at the hotel restaurant in Geirnager I wanted Ceaser Dressing on the side, not possible. Another we wanted something without mushrooms which could not be done. Each place said something along the lines of it is already premixed or premade which didn't make sense.
As a general rule of thumb be prepared for all food and drink to cost double what it costs in most of the rest of the world for similar quality (my opinion). There are low cost and high cost options for food but no matter the cost this 2x the price for same quality.
Filling up on the including hotel breakfasts which each were good and varied was key.

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PART III
From Geiranger we drove to Andalsnes via the Trollstigen road which was really cool.
Driving through Valdall we had bought some fresh rasberries from a local farm.
Made a stop at Gudbradsjuvet and that was underwhelming but the entire drive from Geiranger to Andalsnes was nice and scenic.
Just before reaching Trollstigen is probably the best part.
The stop at Trollstigen was very crowded as was the road with bus traffic probably from cruise shippers.
The lookout point is cool at the café though and enjoyed the waffles with the local strawberry jam there.

I returned there late night and was a much different experience. Though insanely twisty even in total darkness the road was not bad to drive on since there is a cement guardrail and the coming turns are obvious. At night traffic is very light to non-existent which makes a big difference as well. I got to drive down Trollstigen twice and up it once overall. From one night's experience in late August:
After 9 PM, a car comes by once every few minutes
After 10 PM ; a car comes by once every 15 minutes
After 11 PM until morning very few cars if any are driving this road.

Andalsnes feels more like a town in the mountains than the other fjord towns. It is touristed but by more the hiking and mountaineering crowd. Here we actually did find more varied food options and more reasonable costs for food as well, it seemed more like a town where locals lived especially compared to Geiranger which is completely a town build around tourism.
Went on 2 of the best hikes of my life while staying in Andalsnes and got the best pictures of the trip from this area on those hikes.
It is odd, there are hidden gem type places that the town knows about, plenty of locals go to but are off all of the GPS maps. Roads that don't exist according to your car's GPS and Google Maps but are scenic toll roads that feel like you are inside a national park and the Norwegians visit and camp in these areas often.
Vengedalen is such a place and an amazingly scenic drive through the mountains with streams and waterfalls even if hiking is not of interest.

We went on a long drive from Andalsnes to see some other areas in the same region driving from Andalsnes to Sunndalasora and then to Molde before returning back to Andalsnes.
That took up most of a full day, wanted to drive some more roads next to fjords though fjord scenery gets a little repetitive so no real advantage to driving to see more and more of it.
Sunndalasora was disappointing, kind of industrial town, the fjord is pretty and found a nice viewpoint the locals go to on the old road now replaced by a tunnel but overall could have skipped it.
Molde we went just for the overlook, we had a totally clear (no clouds / blue sky / sunny) day which is bad for photos in my opinion but could for the Molde overlook from which we could see countless peaks. This overlook is uncrowded and a nice stop. Would have rather we went to Molde and back and skipped Sunndalasora.

Had an early morning drive from Andalsnes to the Alesund airport but beat the GPS time by a good amount and got to the airport in time to fly home and had a great trip overall.

Amazingly we had not one drop of rain in Norway. Weeks ago the advance forecast called for 75% or higher chance of rain every single day so proved wildly inaccurate.
Never needed NOK cash, credit was accepted everywhere.
Car ferries are needed for driving point A to point B and are expensive. Only other toll was leaving Molde on a bridge and assume I will get charged on my credit card from Hertz for that. Saw a couple of automatic speed traps in Molde but no where else ; hopefully there we were not there or will have an unpleasant surprise in my future.
At first I drove slowly but after a couple of days driving was comfortable and sped as most of the locals do. Roads were constantly excellent and driving enjoyable though can be narrow and twisty.

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We stayed 1 night Alesund, 2 nights Geiranger, 2 nights Andalsnes for our 5 nights ; I really debated pretrip how to break up the 5 nights and despite the unenjoyable early morning long drive to the airport from Andalsnes left very happy with my decision and would not change anything about that mix or order in which we traveled.
All 3 hotels were good, but none exceptional. Each was overpriced for what they offered in my opinion but if you go to Norway expecting to pay 2x for food and lodging compared to comparable options elsewhere you will not be disappointed and with the scenery you will have a fantastic time!
If I paid half price of what I did pay for all 3 of the hotels I would thought them each a good value. We had "view" rooms at each place and they did each have nice views.
Service everywhere was good, never outstanding but the level I expected so no complaints and forget about needing to know even one word of Norwegian. English is spoken by every one you will encounter.
Think I came across one person working in a gas station in Sunndalasora that did not speak English well and that was it.
Overall a very easy country to travel to and get around in.

Posted by
48 posts

Thanks for writing out your experience! I really enjoyed it.

Posted by
1700 posts

Glad you enjoyed it Sara.
Starting the thread thinking it would be a short post and got very long winded, spreading out my short summary onto 4 posts, lol.
Happy to answer any questions if anyone has them.

I am a photographer so at times went solo to a location or on a hike without the family, while often my wife and daughter would stroll through the town and look at the shops, get some ice cream, etc...

Posted by
2701 posts

Thanks, I'm in the same area next June.

I'm making a map labeling cruise ship docking dates so I can plan for a better experience.

Do you think it works to rent a cabin for 1 location and make day trips? In the Andalsnes area?

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1700 posts

Hi Tom,

I am not sure you can truly avoid the cruise ships.
If one could figure out their excursion plans and times you could avoid the exact spots at the times their buses may be there though, not sure how to do that.
The good thing is they depart the towns they are in around 6 PM and the passengers are at the docks around 4 PM.

I do think a single location Cabin could work for the same number of nights if you wanted to avoid the constant checking in and out is a good plan. If cooking your own meals which will save greatly on the food expense it is much easier to do with one base for 5 nights as well.
There are supermarkets in the main towns and if staying in a small town, your restaurant options will really be limited.
Unless hiking is the primary goal, for a single location I would look south of Andalsnes.
Not much of what you will be doing will be north or east of Andalsnes so somewhere in between Andalsnes and Geiranger would be a better area for a single spot. Valdall maybe Stranda?

If you had more time than I the area south of Geiranger is also worth exploring (Loen, Stryn, etc...)
I would have rather have explored that area than the drive we made north of Andalsnes to Sunndalasora and Molde

For our situation I wanted to not have a long drive after the flight so that was the reason for the 1st night in Alesund and then I wanted to be at certain locations at sunset so wanted to avoid long after dark drives and ferry closures needed the 2 bases as we had. Being at the Trollstigen café lookout after dark was also a goal for me for 1 night and I got a truly amazing picture there with my first ever Northern Lights glimpse as well which was an unexpected bonus.
This latitude does not normally get them but there was a KP5 storm one night last week so I got lucky and stuck around hoping to catch it, due to cloud cover I could not see it with my eyes but my camera picked it up in between cloud breaks to the north. The car ferry required to go from Geiranger to Trollstigen would have made being at Trollstigen late at night and still sleep in Geiranger that same night impossible.

Oh, I forgot to mention it but there is a very pretty lake just north of Geiranger on the main road, Rt. 63
Eidsvatnet ; perfectly still lake had mirror like reflections as good or better than anything I have ever seen.
Not more than a 15 minute stop but something to jot down as worth it to see when driving through.

The drive to the top of Dalsbinna from Geiranger before you reach the actual toll area is another drive where a few spots will catch your eye and warrant a stop. That is a very pretty drive so even if no interest in going to the summit you can drive a good ways through nice scenery before the actual toll booth.

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2701 posts

Thanks, there was a good cabin at a good value in Andalsnes so that's what triggered that idea. Andalsnes is within striking distance of Alesund which we would want to see (flying into Trondheim) and also the Atlantic Road, and Runde Island. But yes forays down into the fjord area would be time consuming.

Hotels and eating out are the major "overpriced" expenses in Norway so yes a cabin would trim that.

Just a note that those of us in the Upper Midwest see northern lights, not daily but once in a while. Other parts of the USA don't seem to know that and fly to arctic Norway or Iceland to see them (?). http://www.aurora-service.org/

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1700 posts

I like Andalsnes so not a bad choice, especially if you like mountain scenery ; just getting south to those Fjords becomes a longish drive and back and means you likely wouldn't go further south of Geiranger with an Andalsnes base.
For a June timeframe, I would definitely go to Runde, I wanted to see puffins but suspected they were gone by late August so did not make the trip there. In June they would definitely be there. Everywhere I imagine waterfalls will be flowing more, more hours of daylight and more snow visible on the mountain tops so a better time for scenery I suspect though some hiking may be limited or be more dangerous.

The Atlantic Road I debated over, in the end we skipped it. The day we could have done it was a clear blue sky day and I didn't think it would look impressive in such conditions. I think a stormy day is when that we would be at it's best.

Yes, I did know that about the NL, North America is lucky in the way the Aurora belt is curved we don't need to be at the same latitude as Europe to see them. Once a year or so in the dark sky areas in new England they can actually be seen. I have tried a couple of times but been unsuccessful locally. In MN I imagine your odds of seeing them are better them in the middle area of Western Norway that we are talking about despite it being a higher latitude than MN.

Someday I hope to visit Lofoten, Norway or Iceland during the season to see them in their glory BUT would not be a trip centered around seeing them like others do to more remote Artic locations. Those places are on the bucket list because of their natural beauty with the NL just being a bonus, time of year dependent.

Posted by
48 posts

Is there anywhere online we can see your photos? I'm especially interested in the nighttime one from Trollstigen! :)

If anyone does want to stay in/near Andalsnes, I can highly recommend the Trollstigen Resort cabins. Amazingly beautiful location, lovely cabins, and plenty of open space in between them so you don't feel like you're packed in like sardines next to other travelers' cabins. I got one of my favorite photos of the trip as the sunrise peeked over the mountains toward Trollstigen.

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1700 posts

Not sure if the board will let me post a link, but below is my website.
I am regrettably months behind in editing/posting photos from different trips and shoots so my Norway trip photos are still on SD cards only and not sure how quickly I will get to them.

The nighttime Trollstigen is one I hope to edit and upload to the site this weekend though, as I saw a road photo contest I want to enter with it.
www.MattReynoldsPhotography.com
If the link is blocked, it is without spaces Matt Reynolds Photography and then dot com.

Posted by
48 posts

Matt, you are unbelievably talented! Now I'm really dying to see your Norway photos. I'll keep checking back in. :)

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2701 posts

Some more planning ideas for me.

I read somewhere online about the Clarion Hotels in Norway offering the standard free breakfast buffet, but also offering a free "light" dinner buffet and also free afternoon pancake or waffle machine use. So that chain could really work out esp for a family.

Now thinking after 1-2 Trondheim nights then 5 nights near Åndalsnes then a couple nights near Loen, then down toward Oslo. I'm playing with 11 days or so.

Also note that one way Avis returns that end in Oslo have a much smaller drop fee then many other pairs.

Like the photos but looking for more if possible, like a photo blog.

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1700 posts

Hi Tom,
That sounds good.
I am not sure if I mentioned in my report but we found food in Andalsnes noticeably cheaper. It is clearly less of a tourist town so had mid range options which looked like good choices and the grocery store was larger and less expensive than the smaller town markets.

You must try the Valldal strawberries and any other berries in season from this region. They are sold in Valldal obviously but also in Andalsnes and nearby towns. We took a jar of the Valldal strawberry jam home and it is incredible! We also bought the strawberries at the grocery store and freshly picked raspberries from a farm stand.

Also, very bizarrely ; the hotel we stayed at in Andalsnes (Grand Bellevue Hotel) had at the breakfast buffet to go bags.
I have never seen this before in my life, for no extra cost you could pack a plastic bag with food from the breakfast buffet for your lunch.
The hotel was big with the hiking community and everyone was making sandwiches for the day's hike ahead.
Definitely a way to save money on meals since breakfast was included in the room rate and quite good.
We didn't have a good way to keep the food for the day so didn't take any with us as we didn't want it to go to waste.

Unfortunately we witnessed quite a few guests taking advantage of this.
Saw a few tables with 3-4 bags per person ; I assumed the policy is one bag per room.
And my wife wanted bread with her breakfast (not to go) but had to wait while another guest carved up an entire loaf into slices for their to go sandwiches before she could get one piece.

As far as pictures, I just don't have much free time to edit them and still enjoy it, combined with the fact I have a backlog from other trips or places I have photographed. I take my sweet time with them otherwise I would have stopped photographing some time ago, when it feels like a job and no longer fun which at times for me it does I make myself take a step back.
I just posted my first 3 Norway pics and hope to have another couple up by next week but realistically it will probably be 6 months before I have posted all of the photos I plan on and even then probably no more than 12 from Norway will make it on my website. Have thought about blog posts with more photos from locations but know I will never have the time to keep up with it. Anyway there is now a Norway page in the gallery / website.

Posted by
24 posts

Matt - just got a Rick Steve's site email notifying me of your long post. I was looking for one in our original post area - so I was glad to hear you had this post.

If you think the hotels were expensive - Alesund was our cheapest! We stayed in Aurland for $300 a night - nothing else on any of the web booking sites was available - and I made the reservation way in advance.

Cruise ships are totally messing up tourist sites. Dropping off 2,000 people per ship - can be up to 6,000 if 3 ships are in port - even in "small" town ports. We had 5 ships in one port - and our 2,400 passenger ship appeared to be the smallest! With a limited amount of time the site-seeing was very difficult - little opportunity to do what you want to do. See my post at our original series.

Recently read where Dubrovnik will be limiting cruise tourists. Once 4,000 enter the city they will simply not let any more in. That's their plan under discussion.

Even Rick Steve's newsletter is addressing the same issue. He says if you traveling on your own - go early or late to what you want to see and avoid cruisers.

And the companies keep building more!

I totally agree with your comment on the fjord ferry excursion. Like you we were expecting something super terrific - and we were underwhelmed. Same with the Sognefjord ferry trip. Don't get me wrong - Norway in general is one of the most beautiful countries we've traveled in. But it's a general, all around everywhere natural beauty - and that's a good thing. But specific sites that we read about caused me too to build up an expectation that wasn't met. Not Norway's fault - it's the hype writers!

Bob

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24 posts

Matt - just looked at your web site. Great pictures - really! As a photography enthusiast myself I really appreciate them - and the "work" you put into them - the effort to being there at the right time. I take my pics as we're traveling - not always having the opportunity to make specific pics at the best times - golden hour, etc. My wife is great about putting up with me, but when we travel with friends I'm always lagging behind taking my pictures as it is, and I do not want to take advantage of their understanding.

Also enjoyed your photos because we have been to all the areas you've posted - tho maybe not the specific location you shot the picture. Brings back some great memories.

Bob

Posted by
1700 posts

Thanks Bob!
Appreciate the kind words. It is my expression/feeling of places I have been that I am trying to leave behind with my photos.

Trips previous I had always taken pictures but never anything that was really planned out so now I make it a point of the trip which can be a challenge for our family trips and my sleep as well.
I really hope I can get to the point within the next couple of months where I can say my site is finished, being a little bit of a perfectionist about it so most locations currently only have a couple of photos where I planned/still anticipate having 10 or so for each ; just been slow to make it happen.

I cannot imagine 5 ships all in the same small port! We saw 2 I Geiranger which was 2 too many but they only stayed for I would guess 12 hours. One was in Alesund for a couple of days it seemed when we there and then we had 1 in Andalsnes while we stayed there though it also left in the evening so seemed to only be there for 12 hours.
During the day at Trollstigen the busses there were mostly all from this same cruise ship.
It definitely felt like they were following us and after our big bus run-in at Aksla in Alesund made it a mission to try and go to a different site than the cruise ship busses the rest of the time when possible.

You would have to go really early to beat them since I think the excursions start early but don't have to wait late to beat them in the afternoon, they seem to be away from any sites by 3 PM since they are usually boarding by 5 PM nightly it seemed and boarding looked like an hour long chaotic process.
Another reason why I have less desire to go on one was watching the nightly lineup and boarding process back onto the boats, looked like the last thing I would want to be doing on vacation!

Alseund was also the least expensive of the hotels we stayed in and probably the one with the "best" value. I am very happy we went to Norway and for only the 5 nights we stayed didn't stress about the nightly cost ; just caution others to make sure you budget properly, in some ways the new low airfares can kind of lull you in and then you don't really estimate that overall trip costs due to higher food, lodging, transport will end up costing more than most other European travel destinations in the end.
I know I started researching this trip ONLY after I saw a really cheap flight offer.
Once I invested much time into research and saw how incredible some areas looked I was hooked and even adjusting my airfare to something not as cheap in the end.
The beauty of Norway is worth a visit so try to make it work or look into the many cabin rental options and supermarket/picnic eating as ways to save costs.

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3 posts

.mreynolds. Your posts are so helpful for the trip we are taking in May to see my grandfather’s family area. Will you share the name of the great value hotel in Alesund, please.

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3 posts

Oops. It was bobm185 who had the Alesund hotel recommendation. Please share!

Posted by
1700 posts

Glad to help!
Bob and I actually stayed in the same hotel

Scandic Parken in Alesund
Bargain is a relative term, for both of us it was the lowest cost hotel we stayed in while in Norway
Good location, great breakfast included
I paid a little extra for a water view room which at that hotel I think is worth it, had a really nice floor to ceiling window view over the fjord
All in all a solid choice for Alesund that I would recommend, rooms are not very large and it will not blow you away.

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342 posts

Matt, thanks for a great report. Great photos. Can you tell us about "a really cheap flight offer"? From Boston?

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1700 posts

Norwegian flies direct from Boston to Oslo for $99 one way.
return ticket usually higher but it is possible for $300 - $350 R/T to buy tickets for this direct route!

They also fly from Providence, RI airport (not far from Boston) direct to Bergen for the same $99 one way and those are usually easier to find at the $99 rate and the return ticket is often cheaper than above, so realistically $250-$300 R/T is possible.

Hard to get cheaper flights than that.
Norwegian is actually a great flight. Good seats, new planes, seatback entertainment.
They do charge extra for hold luggage and meals though, so you may need to budget another $100 per ticket each way for their medium package which includes a seat reserved, meals and hold luggage.

My original plan was to fly R/T to Bergen via Providence, I ended up changing that in the end.

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342 posts

Thanks, Matt. Those are indeed good fares. Were your domestic flights also on Norwegian?

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1700 posts

In the end I didn't end up using Norwegian for this trip at all.
I used them in 2016 on a trip to Italy though which had a stop in Oslo and have a trip booked with them in 2018 to France, a direct flight from Boston to Paris. ; so I do like them!

After going back and forth on various plans ; I waited too long and the cost of the Providence to Bergen jumped considerably for my dates, so I cashed in all of my saved frequent flyer points and flew this trip with KLM. Sorry if that is confusing, my trip would have definitely been different if I flew into and out of Bergen rather than Alesund. KLM stops in Amsterdam to reach Alesund, nothing flies to Alesund from the US direct.

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660 posts

Hi Matt, We were in Norway on part of your route in July. I am envious of your good weather from the Varden Overlook in Molde. We were lucky to go to Mt. Aksla in Alesund in the late afternoon when tour buses and traffic was down. But the light was only ok. I removed the haze via PS and that made a difference. We stayed in a wonderful AirBnB there that I will highly recommend to others. I also agree with your review of the Geirangerfjord and views from Dalsnibba. The date we took the ferry into Geiranger, a ship was in harbor belching exhaust and the haze, it created was crummy from the Eagle's view. We also ate plenty of strawberries from Valhall. Bought a pint at the beginning, gobbled it down and bought another before leaving town. And we bought strawberries everywhere we could in the grocery stores. We live in the Pacific NW and our seasonal strawberries are delicious (not like the California crunchy ones that look like they should be sweet), but Norway berries have even ours beat. Thank you for taking time to write your trip report! My bad for not doing mine but I still haven't written my journal as I normally do following trips.

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Thank you so much for your valuable posting. If Kay is reading this, I would love to have the name of the airbnb you stayed at in Alesund, as I will be looking for accommodation there soon. Many thanks, Susan