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Norway road trip - 11 days in June

I'm planning a trip to Norway in June 2023, but finding it a bit difficult to piece everything together into a smart itinerary. I have an idea of some of the sights and areas we want to see, but I am struggling to put them in the best order. Also seeing that accommodations are booking up quickly, I want to lock some options in asap! We have 11 full days in Norway not counting sailing days.

It will be me, my husband and our 6 month old. We are looking to really enjoy beautiful scenery and nature on this trip. I'm an avid hiker, but with the small child we will limit ourselves to easy, short walks. We enjoy mixing our stays between small cities/towns and remotes scenic stops. I'd like to have the option of organised tours, along with time that we enjoy exploring on our own. While we don't want to do tent camping, we're open to more cabin stays in beautiful locations. With having the small child, I'd like to avoid single night stays and try to have at least 2 nights in each stop.

We will be arriving and departing from Kristiansand via the new ferry route from The Netherlands (where we live). We will be bringing our car with us so that we can enjoy scenic drives. We won't be going to Oslo and want to focus on the western part of the country.

Here's some areas I'm interested in:
-Stavanger
-Lysefjord
-NiN and Sognefjord area, looking at Balestrand as a home base but open to other options (a must)
-Bergen (a must)
-Geirangerfjord
-Ålesund

I'd love to get in all the above, but when factoring in driving times and trying to slow things down and relax, I think the list needs editing.
If having to choose between Lysefjord or Geirangerfjord, which should I cut? Same for Stavanger or Ålesund.
In which order would be ideal driving up from Kristiansand?
And when driving back to Kristiansand, what route would be best? Also what might be a good option as a stopover to break up the drive?
Is there anything I'm missing that would be a must-see?

Posted by
7834 posts

We did a great 11 day cruise up to the North Cape of Norway stopping at six ports including Stavanger, Geirangerfjord, Alesund, Flam, Tromso and the North Cape port. Also, we had been to Bergen on an earlier cruise.
You probably don't want to do a cruise like we did, but we loved it, didn't have to pay expensive lodging and meals on the Norwegian economy.
Geiranger is the best fjord and should be enjoyed by boat or ship. It is amazing. Also, the surrounding Mountains are super.
Stavanger is great, I think the Pulpit is the place to go.
Alesund and Flam, we did the Path of the Trolls, which was amazing.
Bergen has a cable car that you can take up the mountain, but also consider a fjord cruise.

Posted by
27362 posts

It's sort of impossible to recommend what to do about the three fjords when you have only seen two of them--in my case, the Naeroyfjord arm of the Sognefjord and the Geirangerfjord. I will say that I don't think you need to see three fjords on an 11-day trip.

Since you're skipping Oslo, the Songnefjord and Balestrand may not be as convenient for you as they are for folks traveling between Oslo and Bergen. However, the drive down from the Geirangerfjord is probably very scenic.

Posted by
1828 posts

We will also be exploring fjord Norway in June. I have been working on our itinerary for over a year (retired, so I have lots of spare time to do that!). We are flying in and out of Oslo, but days 2-11 might work for you.

1 Arrive Oslo. Go to city center and stay near train station.

2 Scenic train to Bergen. We have been there before, so we are OK with just a few hours there.

3 Get rental car . Drive to Balestrand via FV 13

4 Loop drive around Sognefjord, including Gudvangen to Kaupanger ferry. 2nd night, same hotel

5 Drive to Geiranger via Lom

6 Drive those two twisty mountain roads to Andalsnes, push on to Alesund. We eliminated the Atlantic Road

after several comments on this forum that the lengthy detour wasn't worth it .

7 Explore Alesund area, 2nd night, same hotel.

8 Drive to Loen via Oye Valley. Explore Loen area, do skylift if weather is good. If not, try again next morning.
9.Drive to Borgund stave church, slight detour back to Laedal for the night. 10. Drive to Ullensvang after detour to Vorringfossen.
11. Explore Hardanger fjord area. 2nd night, same hotel.
12. Drive to Oslo airport. Return car, stay at airport hotel ( Not a huge difference in car rental fees to return Bergen rental car at Oslo airport.)

13 Fly home Oslo- Reykavik - Seattle.