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Help needed with Norway itinerary

Hi everyone

I am planning a 2-week couple’s trip to Norway in the first week of June. The key intent is to see as much of Norway’s amazing landscapes as possible within this timeframe, and to include hikes only if they enable us to see a different panorama that we cannot otherwise.
I prefer to do a combination of train, car and cruise – again with the intent that I use the best transport system to view that particular section of Norway, while also getting to experience a cruise (never done before) and not over-exert oneself on driving as it’s a leisure trip.

With the above in mind, I have designed the below itinerary and I would love your suggestions on (1) if the overall itinerary makes sense, (2) if the point to point travel choices are the most optimal, (3) and where to stay during each part.

2-Jun/ Land in Oslo, train from Oslo airport to Sognefjord, overnight at Sognefjord
Need recommendations on where and which hotel to stay in this area in a , some place easily accessible by public transport as we will have two suitcases, has amazing views, is a convenient base to do the cruise from on the next day, and just chill and see the views for a while (Flam seems to be too mainstream)

3-Jun/ Fjord cruise and ambling around, evening to Bergen, overnight at Bergen

4-Jun/ Bergen sightseeing full day, overnight travel to Alesund
Need recommendations on if I should spend less/more time in Bergen city, on how to go to Alesund from Bergen, cheapest and most scenic mode of travel

5-Jun/ Hire car in Alesund, drive to Geiranger, overnight at Geiranger

6-Jun/ Drive to Atlantic road, drive back to Alesund, drop car, overnight at Alesund
need recommendation on other must-do day trips from Alesund

7-Jun/ sight-seeing in Alesund, flight from Alesund to Hammerfest, overnight in Hammerfest

8-Jun/ Hammerfest to Svolvaer cruise by Hurtigruten, overnight at Hurtigruten (12 pm boarding)
Need recco on the most scenic section of the Hurtigruten in the summer, as I will tweak my itinerary just to do that. So far, I have read Hammerfest to Svolvaer is the most scenic stretch.

9-Jun/ Reach Svolvaer, overnight at Svolvaer (6:30 pm landing)
Also need advice on where to stay as base in Lofoten, how to go from the Hurtigruten drop point to there, and contacts to hire cars

10-Jun to 12-Jun/ Hire car in Lofoten, drive around and do hikes for 3 days

13-Jun/ return car in Lofoten, public transport to Bodo, overnight from Bodo to Trondheim by white night train (9:10 pm to 7:47 am)

14-Jun/ Day train - Trondheim to Andalsnes to Oslo by Dover and Raume train lines, to see the views (8:18 am to 3:03 pm)
Do the trains get delayed? If Bodo to Trondheim runs late, I might miss my Trondheim to Oslo train! Also, pls advise what is the best way to enjoy this train ride, should we get off in the middle and spend a few hours somewhere?

15-Jun/ spend 1.5 days in Oslo

16-Jun / flight back home

Posted by
1743 posts

Wow! I'm out of breath just reading your itinerary.

If you can make this work, I'm sure it will be the trip of a lifetime. But you are spending so much time getting from place to place, I wonder how you will actually find time to see anything! If I'm reading this correctly, you have all one-night stays with the exception of three nights at Lofoten.

But it's your trip, not mine.

I can't really advise you on anything other than the first day. You say Flam is too mainstream. It's also probably one of the most scenic places in the Sognefjord region that you can get to easily by public transportation, and the train ride to get there is also magnificent. (It's crowded with tourists, though, as it is a major transportation hub -- train, bus, ferries, and cruise ships all converge there. But it's also the most convenient place to get the fjord cruise you're looking for.)

You could potentially take the train to Flam and then board a ferry toward Bergen, disembarking somewhere along the way. Balestrand is a good option. However, depending on what time you land in Oslo, this might not be possible to do all in one day. When I went from Oslo to Balestrand, I started on a train that left at 6:30 a.m. and arrived in Balestrand around 4:00 or 5:00 p.m. I had about 3 hours to spend in Flam. It was easy to walk away from the main transportation center and get away from the crowds. So in spite of being mainstream, that might be your best option.

Posted by
3391 posts

Day #6...Geiranger - Atlantic Ocean Road - Alesund...this is an EXTREMELY long, difficult day of driving that will involve multiple ferry rides, which can slow you down quite a bit. The bigger ferry across to Molde runs every 20 mins or so but some of the smaller crossings are less frequent. You could drive it entirely by land but it's about 6 hours up and the same, if not longer, back to Alesund. Plus you'll be missing the most beautiful drive in Norway - the Trollstigen Pass, just north of Geiranger.
The Atlantic Ocean Road is nice but it's not exactly as dramatic as the pictures you see make it seem. I've driven it several times and, yes, it is an engineering marvel but most of the pictures are quite distorted and make the bridges look quite a bit more dramatic than they actually are. In June you most likely won't get the kind of weather that will cause the dramatic waves and sea-spray shown in many pictures. It takes quite a bit of effort to get up there. If you do go, try to stop at Kvernes to see the beautiful old stave church...worth seeing!
Besides the Trollstigen Pass another thing worth seeing as a day trip from Alesund is Runde Island - if you enjoy birds and walking this place is a MUST. 700,000+ birds nest here and a boat tour will allow you to see most of them! Puffins, gannets, etc...really cool! I recommend the boat Aquila - it's run by a teacher on the island who knows every bird name in most languages! Really nice guy with a cute little boat that gets up close to the cliffs for great views.

Posted by
1829 posts

Agree with Anita on both counts.
Trollstigen is a far better option if you want to see a cool road than the Atlantic Road

And end of June timing should be ideal for Runde Island. I wanted to go there but when I was there it was not the season for the Puffins so didn't ; end of June would be