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Norway Itinerary Feedback

My husband and I are taking our 18 year old daughter to Norway for 13 days in June in celebration of her high school graduation. Our daughter has been actively involved in planning the trip, and wants to try and see everything, so accommodating her travel plans has proven rather challenging. We have a tentative itinerary, which I know will be very busy, but I am curious to hear feedback from the forum about the viability of the plan.

June 13 - 16: Oslo
June 17: Fly to Harstad, drive to Svolvær, flight departs 8:55 a.m., arrives 10:35 a.m.)
June 18 & 19: All day in Svolvær
June 20: Early morning flight to Bergen (depart 6:35 a.m., arrive 11:35)
June 21: Take 4:30 p.m. express ferry from Bergen to Balestrand arrive 8:30 p.m.
June 22 - 23 Exploring the Sognefjord region
June 24 - Drive from Balestrand to Lom
June 25 - Catch late flight from Sogndal Airport back to Oslo (depart 9:10 p.m., arrive 10:00 p.m.)
June 26 - Return home

I appreciate any feedback or suggestions you can offer. Thank you!

Posted by
215 posts

Wow. After you complete this trip, please come back to the Forum and relate your experiences outside Oslo. In all sincerity, I'd like to know how this works for you. The only suggestion I will offer is this: it appears that you will be picking up & dropping off a rental car in different locations - don't be surprised if there is a fairly hefty fee. I'm sure you will enjoy wherever you go, Norway's coastal and fjord country is at least pretty and often spectacular.

Posted by
441 posts

In general a doable plan, little rushed through to me at nice occasions.

Some thoughts:

A.1) If you even fly to Harstad (EVE) and seem to have a rental car I suggest to spend two days more to explore Vesteralen islands. On Andoy island you will find a very scenic route and providers for a bird safari (Puffin Safari in Bleik) and for whale watching. Both I can highly recommend - did both two times. Also some unexpected high-quality street art on Andoy.

A.2) After that you can drive down to explore Lofoten two days. If you want a special experience up there: Take Hurtigruten ship from Risoyhamn to Svolvaer. One of the most scenic parts and ship will drive into famous Trollfjord. Amazing experience. You can take rental car with you but you need to make reservation in advance. Also some other things to know when using Hurtigruten but absolutely a highlight.

B) I would shorten down the time in Oslo to 1-2 days with your number of available days. Maybe do that at the end and just directly fly on to Harstad after arrival.

C) I would spend a day in Bergen. It is to me one of the most beautiful coastal towns of Europe: Bryggen, fish market, Floyen, ...

D) Lom is really far away from Balestrand-- it is a mountain region. And why: because of stave church? There are closer ones at Vikøyri and at Kaupanger. How do you want to dirive to Lom? Public t. or rental car? There is no rental car provider in Balestrand. Or ferry to Flam? Also no provider there. So, how to?

E) The ferry from Bergen to Balestrand is less scenic than ferries inside country, e.g. Aurlandfjord or Naeroyfjord.

F) In total you might think of using a NiN offering or to rent a car for 4-5 days trip back to Oslo which is a real nice and relaxed experience. One-way rental cost more but that you seemed to plan already. Can help with route but the question is if you want to do that.

Posted by
3 posts

Thank you for the feedback.

We found a car rental location in Balestrand (http://leigebil.no/) that we thought would work for that portion of the trip, allowing us to avoid one way drop off fees. So far they have not responded to my emails so I don't know if they are actually a viable option or not.

We realize that the ferry from Bergen to Balestrand may not be terribly scenic, but were using it as a means to an end simply to get to Balestrand.

We thought that the half day in Bergen on the 20th and most of the day there on the 21st would be enough since everyone seems to say one day is sufficient. Will we need more time?

Based on the suggestions here, we are likely going to take Lom out completely.

We have really been struggling with the logistics of how to best make this trip work and are certainly open to suggestions.

Thanks again.

Posted by
441 posts

We thought that the half day in Bergen on the 20th and most of the day
there on the 21st would be enough since everyone seems to say one day
is sufficient. Will we need more time?

Based on the time you have it will be good for a nice impression.

Just as idea for June 21-26.
Take train from Bergen to Voss. Take a rental car there, do a car round trip, drop-off car back in Voss and take train from Voss to Oslo.
Route could be: Voss, Trollafossen, Hopperstad Stave Church, Balestrand, Gaularfjellet, Fjaerland (books, glacier museum, Boyabreen), Kaupanger Stave Church, Aurlandsfjellet, Stegastein, Flam (Flamsbana and Naeroyfjord), Stalheimskleiva, Oppheimsvatnet, Voss.

Do not try to enter the route into Google Maps. Currently the fjellets are closed (winter), therefore GM would show you correct but not wanted information. Even in summer hard enough to convince the tool from the most scenic way.