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How does May 17 affect travel in Norway?

Our family of 4 will pick up a car in Oslo and spend the week of May 15-21 driving around southern Norway. We've already spent time in Oslo and Bergen so we'll focus mainly on the rural areas. Our plan is to drive to Flam/Gudvangen to do a quick version of Norway in a Nutshell, then head down to Hardanger Fjord to hike and visit places related to family history (Ulvik, Eidfjord, Sundal, and Rosendal).

My questions: Has anyone been in Norway for May 17 (Syttende Mai) celebrations before?
Does highway traffic increase noticeably?
Will Flam be crowded? Will we need to get ferry tickets far ahead?
And which rural towns might have enjoyable parades? Gudvangen? Rosendal? Other suggestions?

Thank you so much for ideas!

Posted by
7795 posts

We did a cruise up the coast of Norway in 2019 and our first port was Geiranger (it was amazing).

The cruise was in mid June and we did an excursion that visited the mountains south of the city as well as other places.

Our guide told us that a week earlier that a snow storm had closed the highways into Geiranger for some days.