Hello everyone! After a lot back and forth, it’s decided Norway fjords in May for our honeymoon. We would start off at Bergen due to convenience of flights then start our way. Suggestions of where to go and where to stay, which towns, would be so appreciated. We are planning on renting a car to do this. A cruise is an option too which would be simpler but we prefer a road trip. I am a finicky person for when it comes to hotel says, a bit of a germaphobe so recommendations on a clean, nice hotel is soooo appreciated. Thank you so much.
I don't think we have many posters who've driven in Norway, but I recall seeing a few posts containing what would probably be useful details for you. I'm concerned that some of the (few, I fear) people who could be most helpful to you may not see your inquiry. Therefore, I suggest that, while awaiting responses to this thread, you review earlier posts in the Norway forum whose titles suggest they are relevant: https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/norway.
Can you be a more specific than "Norway fjords"? What to you want to see and do?
A small note regarding driving: Don't expect any modern wide motorways. Even the main roads in Norway (outside the major cities) are narrow and winding so driving will take time. Expect to average around 60 km/h without stops.
Thanks. I am aware of the roads and are ok with that. I’ve driven in many places in Europe where the roads are not only winding, but the conditions of the road and other drivers aren’t ideal. We are photographers by hobby so viewpoints, scenery, landscape are our biggest interest. Of course, the people, the food, the culture etc.
There is certainly no lack of scenery in Norway! Are the tickets to Bergen booked? If they are, my suggestion would be to head north from Bergen, basically follow the E39 to Trondheim where you can return the car. But do a lot of detours along the way, i.e. start by following the shores of Sognefjord for a while. And while the fjords are amazing, don't overlook the coastal area as well. You don't mention where you are from, so I don't know how used you are to driving in bad weather, but I suggest you stay low in the valleys. In May, the weather can still be bad in the mountains.
I toured the area by car three times.
As a basic recommendation have a look at the National Scenic Routes. For more specific tips I need to know what you look for.
Be aware that depending on which time in May you want to travel that some streets via fjells (passes) can be closed due to snow. End of May no issue.
Another recommendation: Take the most comprehensive car insurance you can get. Streets are sometimes very narrow, animals are walking on the street and some other surprises can appear. Some impressions of and tips for driving in Norway (German language, use DeepL for translation) and how to use ferries.
Hotel: Avoid stays directly in Geiranger or Flam - they are so well booked that they do not have to care about bad entries on the Internet. I am not saying that I have only bad experiences there.
A precious hotel diamond was a few years ago the Store Ringheim Hotell in Voss. You can stay there for two nights after Bergen or before return for a) exploring Hardangerfjord and / or b) checking out Flam and Aurlandfjord including the full program.
More touristy (with busses) but still a good choice to me was Myrkdalen Hotel. From there do not miss to tour the fjell on street 13 to North and the stave church Hopperstad in Vik i Sogn.
Building on Badger: 1 way Bergen to Ålesund might make more sense than to Trondheim which is a bit removed from the fjords, although an interesting city to visit. Pre-covid KLM had nonstops from Amsterdam to Bergen, Ålesund, and Trondheim, so easy international connections on KLM or Delta to fjord land.
I’ve driven in Norway and it is slow. The speed limits throughout Norway are low, traffic is light, so the feeling is one of great safety. We didn’t get any insurance (used credit card insurance).
We did a June "drive through the fjords" trip a few years ago. We had planned to do it again in 2020 but got Covid cancelled, now rescheduled for June, 2022. this was the agenda for the previous trip: fly to Bergen, get car, drive to Voss, overnight Fleischer's Hotel for 2 nights. Day 2 - drove SE to see other fjords and Vorringfossen. Days 3, drove to Flam, took the tourist train RT, then stopped at a stave church near the ferry to Balestrand. Spent two nights at Kvikne's Hotel - if staying there book in the historic hotel with view of the fjord Day 4 - drove a loop NW of Balestrand. Day 5 - drove to Geiranger, stayed at the Grand Fjord Hotel. Day 6 took the ferry RT on the Geiranger Fjord. Day 7 - took the ferry west on the Geiranger fjord, then drove to Bergen. Stayed at the Admiral Clarion Hotel which has rooms with views of the Bryggen. Had an excellent dinner at the unicorn restaurant on the Bryggen - I don't remember the name of the restaurant but it is in the RS guidebook.
Other comments: planning the driving route was complicated until I realized that the ferries are basically movable bridges which cross the fjords frequently. Driving in Norway was very easy except for one stretch near Geiranger where we ran into whiteout conditions.
We stayed at old historic hotels in Voss and Balestrand because we like them. Food offerings were buffet and rather boring. We had a good a la carte dinner one night at Kvikne's.
There's not much to do in Geiranger itself except enjoy the ferry trip on the fjord.
If you have more questions, PM me - I don't check this forum very often.
Trondheim is built on the southern shore of the Trondheim fjord, so it is not removed from the fjords. And as mentioned an interesting city to visit. With a pretty well connected airport. Although my recommendation is to take the train to Oslo to get a view of the inland as well before flying home.