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Norwegian Mountains and Bergen

The RS Best of Scandinavia tour is filling fast and I am looking at other tour sites if it becomes unavailable. Bergen and the mountains on this trip look great and aren't offered elsewhere. They add Helsinki instead. If you have been recently, please comment on your experiences. Also, I am really interested in a mixed countryside experience, so how much non-urban exposure was available beyond viewing the world through a bus window?

All thoughts appreciated. Thank you

Posted by
960 posts

What do you want to know?

We did a self tour in Norway in July 2023, spending 4 nights in Bergen. One of our full days, we rode the funicular up Mt Fløyen and spent the day hiking. There are multiple trails/paths from the arrival area. The main path is more like a country road, but no vehicular traffic. There are various smaller paths off the main "trail" - we took a couple. Ranged from an easy stroll to a path that was narrower with roots, simple rock scramble, and unevenness. Nothing difficult that we encountered. The hiking and funicular arrival point above Bergen offer views of the harbor and city. As we hiked inland, there were options to continue to a ski lift area farther away.

We had perfect weather. If not so lucky, the entire venture would have been worthless. Quite honestly, Rick's itinerary "thrilling views of Bergen, islands, and fjords" is hyped in my mind. Yes, it was scenic. Beyond that? I don't know. I suppose it depends on a traveler's previous experiences.

Looking at Rick's itinerary, you can easily do the Norway in a Nutshell as an independent traveler as we, and most others, did. Rick provides you with an overpriced Oslo Pass and suggests various museums. I priced the pass out for our visit - it would not have paid off and I wonder how it is cost effective for his tours. My guess is that it is simply expedient. We toured Oslo's Fram Museum, Maritime Museum, and Kon-Tiki Museum by ourselves - very easy. Similarly, we visited the Open-Air Folk Museum on our own. Rick misses mentioning Oslo's Munch Museum which might be of interest to many.

I've had multiple visits to Copenhagen and environs. Denmark is so very easy to travel independently. I would have put together different spots than Rick picks. Again, I can see the expediency.

I can't comment on Sweden. Too little experience.

Posted by
8645 posts

I recently did a 15 day cruise along the coast of Norway all the way to Northkap. Lots of beautiful scenery! I thoroughly enjoyed it, but knew that I was missing seeing inland areas as well as contacts with Norwegians in day to day situations. I think that however you travel, there will always be some trade off or something that is missing. It is inevitable.

I think that the ideal trip would be one that combined some land experiences and travel with some cruise experiences. The land experiences could include travel by tour bus, by train, by regular bus, by car. Whichever you choose. The cruise experience could go from a traditional cruise line (I went with Princess) , to Norwegian luxury ferries Hurtigrutin , Havila, to regional ferries. https://nordnorge.com/en/ferry-routes-in-northern-norway/

Do keep in mind that Norway is expensive. Make sure to budget with that in mind.

Posted by
2147 posts

We just returned last week from a 15-day Viking cruise to Norway and Iceland. In addition to the ship’s included excursions, we did some private (fairly active) ones in Lofoten (Heart of Lofoten tours), Svalbard (Hurtigruten tours), and Reykjavik (Nice tours). We saw a lot of the beautiful countryside and would recommend all of these companies. The mix worked well for us.

We had planned to spend some extra time in Bergen but our first flight was cancelled. This snowballed into all the other flights needing to be rescheduled. We arrived just in time to board the ship. We’ve been to Bergen before and enjoyed a self guided walking tour and the Mt Fløyen Funicular. We also did private tours to Edvard Grieg’s house and a stave church. If you fly into Oslo (worth a few days), the train ride to Bergen is very scenic (takes about 7 hours).

Posted by
2674 posts

I did several road trips with my own car and Fjord Norway is a very good region for this way of travelling. Best travel time is between June and August. Norway published official landscape route tips. If you want to book seaside experience you can book port-to-port trips at Hurtigruten and Havila - they are much smaller than cruise ships for real close-to-coast routes and for avoiding the artificial cruise bubble,

Posted by
229 posts

We are in Oslo as I write and are doing Norway in a Nutshell tomorrow. We flew to Helsinki on 8/16, day ferry to Tallinn in the 2 days we were there, then overnight ferry to Stockholm on Viking line, 3 nights Stockholm, train to Copenhagen, 3 nights there, overnight ferry to Oslo and this is our 2nd night here. We stay 2 nights when we get to Bergen tomorrow evening, then home. We have enjoyed the trip, did all planning on our own ( we are 70, 71). It is a little longer than we would have liked in retrospect and a lot of changes of location and we have used every form of travel! But we have managed it and saw most of what we wanted to see. We didn’t push ourselves overly much, if we needed to come back to our hotel mid afternoon and rest, we did. We kept our meals somewhat simple. All but one hotel had great breakfasts included with our room, even the ferries so we ate a big breakfast and maybe just ice cream in the afternoon, then a simple dinner, nothing fancy. Had McDonalds a couple times. Food is soooo expensive. A meal of 2 sandwiches, side, one beer or wine each can be $80. Tonight we shared a medium pizza, I had a glass of wine, husband had a beer and it was $55. It was a nice restaurant with good service and atmosphere. I will do a trip report ASAP after we get home and recover!