My husband and I spent an absolutely wonderful 10 days in Norway from September 20-29 this year. I thought we'd picked a time of year that would have a good balance between attractions still being open but not many crowds. The crowds were definitely gone by the time we got there - we had Maihaugen, the Norsk Folkemuseum, stave churches, the fjord cruises, etc. practically to ourselves. I hate crowds so this was really great for us. But a lot of the buildings at the folk museums were locked up for the season and we missed seeing any performers there; we almost had to skip the Setesdal Valley entirely - which we had planned two nights for - because all the camping cabins seemed to be closed for the season (we eventually found the Sølvgarden Hotel in Rysstad, which was lovely and had a perfect little cabin for us); a lot of the TIs in the countryside were closed; some stave churches were closed for the season so we were only able to visit the exteriors.
My mom has fallen in love with the photos of our trip, so I'd love to take her on a trip to Norway but I was wondering if we'd have better luck finding that balance between attractions being open and low crowds if we went a little earlier. Rick says in his Norway book that August is still high season - what about late August or early September? Or maybe sometime in early summer? I'd be willing to deal with a few more tourists if we could have better luck with things being open, but we'd still want to avoid the big crowds.
Any thoughts would be appreciated!