Please sign in to post.

Non-driver traveling to Norway and Scandinavia - best ways to see the countryside and fjords?

I'm just beginning to do my trip research for a trip from August 3 - Sept 11. Yes, it's a long trip and I have to admit that it's a bit spontaneous! I'm planning to visit Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, and Estonia.

I'd love to spend about 7-10 days in Norway, with a majority of time concentrated exploring fjords and the countryside. A few notes:

  • I don't have a driver's license.
  • I'd like to avoid extremely touristy attractions like Norway in a Nutshell, though I'd still love to visit some of the fjords on that route if possible.
  • I'd love to do a hike or two, but I have some knee problems that limit my ability to do steep descents. So, easier hikes are preferable. I don't think Troll's Tongue would be within my abilities unless I had a guide who would be willing to help me with the descent (for example, I was able to do the hike between villages in Cinque Terre, Italy, but it took me an extra hour because I had to take it very slowly.)

Do any seasoned Norway travelers have advice on the best countryside spots to visit, how to get around between them without a car, and whether I can accomplish this without Norway in a Nutshell? Especially given my short timeframe, I'm also noticing that many of the hotels on the NiN route are booked anyway.

Posted by
279 posts

Hi Kimberly,

Between the trains, buses, and ferries it is very easy to get around Norway without a car. The buses are very comfortable and go just about everywhere. The train between Oslo and Bergen has lots of stops in the high country of the Hardanger Vida. There are ferries running between the West Coast islands and up the fjords.

An interesting trip is to take the train from Oslo to Skien. Spend the night in Skien and then take the Telemark Canal to Dalen in Telemark. Stay in the historic Dalen Hotel and then take the bus on to Bergen.

I have found the Norwegians very helpful to travelers. Once on a local bus in a small town on one the islands I asked the driver location of the B&B that I was looking for. He "We've passed that stop. But I will go around the block and let you off." Another time in downtown Oslo I asked the bus driver about a stop and he said "That's not really on this route. But I can drop you off there."

Mike T.

Posted by
308 posts

We flew into Helsinki in May 2016 and started a three week trip. We spent three nights in Helsinki, then took the ferry to Tallinn and spent two nights there. Then we took the overnight ferry to Stockholm, where we joined the Rick Steves Best of Scandinavia Tour (14 days). We had the independence of being on our own for a week and then had the convenience of joining a tour where everything was planned out for the next two weeks.