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Is adding Norway to a Europe trip doable?


I am in the very very early stages of planning a trip to Europe in 2022, but have no specific times of year in mind, other than to miss the crowds as much as possible. There are so many areas that I want to see, to include Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, that I am having a hard time narrowing it down. I would also like to add Norway to the trip, as my husband has always wanted to go there. Is this something that is doable in 3-4 weeks? If so, does anyone have any idea which part of Europe/Scandinavia I should concentrate on?

We do a tiny bit of hiking, but nothing strenuous, but lots of walking is fine. We are mainly interested in beautiful scenery and old interesting architecture.

Thanks for any help you can give me.

Posted by
7786 posts

With the advent of budget European airlines, it's rather easy to tour one region and catch another completely different place for a couple of days on the way home.
We were in Copenhagen, and flew over to Oslo (1 hr. flight) to tour the town and spend the night. Then we took a Norway in a Nutshell day trip by train to Flam, another train down into the fjords. Then we took a fast ferry that ended in Bergen. We flew home from Bergen on Norwegian Air Shuttle.

Posted by
14917 posts

Is this trip between May and September? Outside of that late-spring to early autumn time frame, Norway can be cold and bleak ( it can be cold in summer as well; I have been snowed on in August there, but that is probably unusual).

I suggest you limit it to four countries. Germany, Austria, and Switzerland can be included in a fairly compact trip. Add either Norway or Italy but not both. ( And if your trip is July or August it would be Italy I would omit). Fly open jaw to limit backtracking: for Norway fly into Oslo and home from Vienna or Zurich; if Italy is the choice fly into Berlin and home from a city in Italy ( Rome and MIlan usually offer the best options in terms of price and schedule).

And do consider the realities of budget: Norway is very expensive ( even more so than Switzerland). Germany and Italy are more budget-friendly.

Posted by
6113 posts

A 3 week trip is very different to a 4 week trip. You are already planning on 4 countries, so you aren’t going to see much of any country, particularly in 3 weeks, much less adding another country. If you are just planning on seeing large cities and taking planes or trains between them, then if you don’t mind long transit journeys, then, yes, your itinerary is possible, but you suggest that you want to be more rural for scenery, so I would suggest that you reduce the number of countries that you are visiting.

You can obviously spend 4 weeks in each of the countries that you have listed and barely scratch the surface.

What time of year will the trip be?

Posted by
5255 posts

Of course it is possible to add Norway to a trip around Europe. But, don't try to see too much. Italy, Germany, Switzerland and Austria is certainly doable in 3-4 weeks, but adding Norway might make it a bit rushed, so you might want to drop one of the alpine countries. Or maybe focus on Scandinavia? What parts of Norway is your husband interested in?

Posted by
2 posts

Thanks for all the replies everyone. My husband has not given me specifics for which part of Norway (and I am trying to make it a surprise), but I think we will definitely be seeing the fjords and at least 1 of the fishing villages with all the beautiful houses.

Posted by
5827 posts

Yes, adding Norway to is possible but a 4 week trip would be better than 3 to avoid an "its Tuesday This Must Be Belgium" type of vacation. Tours like the RS Best of Europe in 21 Days are just sampler with well choreographed transportation.

The Norway in a Nutshell would be an example of a sampling tour covering two cities (Oslo and Bergen), mountains (Hardangervidda train rout) and fjords in a day or two. But to enjoy the mountains, hiking is slow travel and best programed with several days in the mountains. The VisitNorway offers numerous hiking ideas:

Posted by
6995 posts

Norway is very scenic and amazing. We chose to see the country on an 11 night cruise from Copenhagen that visited several ports and it went all the way to the North Cape (farthest point north in Europe). The cruise was amazing and I would highly recommend this as a way to see Norway.

Norway is very mountainous and if you do it on your own, you will need to rent a car or take trains. Some of the southern most ports like Bergen, Flam and Alesund are accessible by train or car, but don't try to do this unless it is the Summer.

Our cruise was in mid-June and our first port was in Geiranger. We took a great tour up to the mountains and were told that a few days prior that the roads were closed due to heavy snow.

So some research and find out what you might enjoy, a cruise or on the train. Just getting to the North Cape by car from southern Norway requires leaving Norway and going through Sweden (flatter terrain) then back into Norway.

Posted by
5255 posts

Then go for it, pick an area and spend some time there. A bit of general advice though: Travelling in Norway takes time due to all the mountains and fjords. And the fact that even the main roads tend to be narrow and curvy. And, it really doesn't matter where you go, it is beautiful everywhere. But you should decide if you want to focus on coast or the mountains or a bit of both.

Posted by
1720 posts

Fjords of Norway are really beautiful places and unique in Europe. Town of Bergen is a good entry point. Bergen needs 1-2 days plus a NiN train / bus trip to Nærøyfjord or a rental car roundtrip around Hardangerfjord (Norway's scenic routes) need some days on top. Best travel time is between May and September.

Bergen airport lists European airports which can be reached by direct flight