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Norway Fjord Driving Itinerary Review

I'll be visiting Norway starting mid-August and have basically 10 days with the goal to see fjord country, stave churches, amazing roads/views, and general beauty of the country. I will be driving because I like being able to stop when I want to stop, go where I want to go, and adjust my itinerary if so desired. Below is what I've created so far for my days in Norway and would welcome comments/suggestions and answers to questions noted.

  • Days 0-2: Arrive and visit Bergen.
  • Days 3-4: Pick up car in Bergen and drive to Flam (2 nights stay at Flam Hostel). Questions: A) I'm considering driving down along *Hardangerfjord** for scenery and to visit cider farms. Is this route worth the extra 1.5-2 hours or so for getting to Flam? B) Would like to do boat trip on Sogndal fjord and maybe Flamsbana train during time in Flam. Would I have time for both if I drive to Hardangerfjord first?*
  • Day 5: Drive to Olden. Question: I want to first drive the Stegastein viewpoint and then to see Borgund Stave Church. Is Olden too far to consider for this day? (Look at Days 6-7 to help me make a decision on Day 5 destination).
  • Day 6: Drive to Geiranger. First, do Loen Skylift and then drive to Dalsnibba viewpoint (weather permitting). Then arrive to stay 1 night in Geiranger.
  • Day 7: Drive to Molde via Trollstinga. Question: Is Molde a reasonable destination expectation for this day (after driving Trollstinga)?
  • Days 8-9: Drive the Atlantic Road, then head to Alesund (2 nights in Alesund). I know this road is out of the way/detour from Molde to Alesund.
  • Day 10: Catch flight from Alesund to Kristiansand (for work).

General Question: I love to drive and don’t mind twisty mountain roads (lived in Colorado for years driving mountain roads, drove Beartooth pass - yes, wider than Norway roads but similar type of experience, and I also drove single tracks in Scotland). My must-do/see are Stave Churches, Trollstinga, and Fjords from up above and from the water! Knowing I have a car and like to stop and take photos, what are alternate route suggestions/stops you recommend? I have my flights booked arriving in Bergen and departing from Alesund and also my car rental. Thanks for reviewing and offering ideas.

Posted by
24856 posts

Which boat trip on the Sogndalfjord? I believe the most scenic route in that area is Flam-Gudvangen or vice versa. The link for schedule/booking is here: NorwaysBest represents the Fjord1 boats, which I believe are the most modern. There is a second company running ferries on the same route: Look for an "English" button at the lower right if you don't read Norwegian. I don't know how critical it is to buy a ferry ticket ahead of time; I have purchased mine for late June.

I would not want to miss the Myrdal-Flam train, either. You can see the schedule and book it here: I have read round-trip tickets (which it appears you would need) can be purchased in advance in Flam (probably at the tourist office), but I'd be reluctant to do that. I think you might end up at the back of a line of cruise-ship passengers wanting to do the same thing. You don't get a reserved seat on the Flamsbana when you buy a ticket online; I don't know whether they sell a limited number of tickets, but I decided it wasn't something I wanted to risk, so I have already purchased mine.

If you want to avoid just going back and forth on the (expensive) Flamsbana, you could do the fjord-loop section of the Nutshell route: Flamsbana up to Myrdal, regular train (the Oslo-Bergen line--buy ticket from VY website) to Voss, scenic bus 950 from Voss down to Gudvangen, then the previously-mentioned Gudvangen-Flam ferry.

Sorry that I have no answers to your specific questions. I envy you your willingness to drive in rural Norway.

Posted by
116 posts

Thanks, acraven, for the links for the cruises from Flam. It does look like I can do both a cruise and the Flamsbana in one day which helps me decide that I probably will drive from Bergen down along Hardangerfjord and then up to Flam. The next day I will have a full day at Flam (and it'll be my birthday), so I can treat myself to both excursions! I'm still hoping to find information about driving from Flam towards Geiranger and a good stop between. I found a place to stay in Olden that appeals to me - just worried that may be too far with all my photo stops along the way! But, with such a scenic place to drive through - there is no rush, I'll get there when I get there. I will definitely book the Flam excursions ahead - but I did look at the cruise ship calendar and appears there won't be one arriving in Flam until the day I leave (if that calendar is accurate). Hoping that helps a bit with crowds. I'll be anxious to hear your thoughts since you'll be there a couple months before me.

Posted by
24856 posts

I recall seeing at least one (probably two or three) reports here about driving in the fjord area. You might have luck with the Search function if you used carefully chosen geographical names--maybe try Geiranger first. Alternatively, you could simply scroll backward through the Norway forum, opening threads with pertinent-sounding titles. There really aren't all that many posts about Norway. It wouldn't take terribly long to scan all the titles. I did that back in 2019. I guess you'd need to check the Trip Reports forum too, just to be safe.

Posted by
5285 posts

I will be driving because I like being able to stop when I want to

Just keep in mind that being able to stop when you want to is not possible in Norway. Even the main roads are narrow and rarely straight. Even if you see a nice view, it might be a while until you can actually stop. Also, it is a slow way to get around, the speed limit rarely exceeds 80 km/h.

And as always, make sure you know the rules of the road and what the road signs mean.

Posted by
5191 posts

I'm still hoping to find information about driving from Flam towards Geiranger and a good stop between.

We drove this route years ago (although in the reverse direction) and we stayed in Stryn. We had no reservations and just stopped at a place with a room to let sign. There wasn’t anything remarkable about this town but it was relatively close to the Briksdalsbreen glacier. We visited the glacier after spending the night in Stryn.

Posted by
34 posts

We are going in June (!) and are driving from Lom to Aurland and staying here along the way. We are also Coloradans, renting a car, etc., and are looking forward to this leg of the journey. Have never been so no experience to share yet, but excited about it!