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One week Norway itinerary

My husband and I will visit Norway for a week in late May 2019. Nothing is final, but we plan to fly into Oslo and out of Bergen and will rent a car. Between the two, we want to visit Lillehammer and the fjords, possibly staying in Aurland (other recommendations?). We are not big museum people, but enjoy scenery and being among the locals. My rough plan is this: Oslo, 1-2 nights, Lillehammer, 1, Aurland, 2-3 nights, and Bergen 1-2. Touristy sights are not a must with us, but we enjoy finding the beauty off the beaten path. Thanks!

Posted by
838 posts

I suggest you travel to Oslo from Gardermoen airport and from there to Lillehmmer by train and arrange to pick up your rental car once you are set to depart Lillehammer. You will regret having a car in Oslo.
Fuel prices are very high in Norway, but the roads are excellent. A little pre-arrival car rental research is advised.
The open air museum in Lillehammer (Maihaugen) is one of the best in Scandinavia.
I love Norway - you will, too.

Posted by
1838 posts

With 7 days I would reduce Oslo to 1 night and a HoHo bus tour.

By car plan around max. 300 km per day.
Do you know Norway's official scenic routes already?

On your way from Lillehammer to Aurland you can drive via Sognefjell (assuming that winter closing is over). From Kaupanger you can take either car ferry to Gudvangen through very scenic Naeroyfjord or ferry Mannheller - Fodnes and scenic route Aurlandsfjellet with beautiful outlook Stegastein. In Lærdalsøyri it is important not to follow the signs to Flam which will guide you through over 20 km long Laerdalstunnel below the route Aurlandsfjell. The north entry of this route is a little hidden.

From Aurland it is obvioulsly to drive route 13 to Bergen, minimum until Vossevangen, from there detours are worth exploring. Before do not miss to drive one-way serpentine road Stalheimskleiva and to stop at beautiful waterfall Trollafossen (Tvidenfossen).

Around Hardangerfjord you will find a lot of places worth visiting. Some of them are listed in scenic route Hardanger.

I recommend also to check weather and traffic news regularly.

Posted by
254 posts

I agree with 95% of what Blue439 said. I differ a bit on the road conditions and would say that SOME of the roads are excellent. In the fjord and mountain areas, however, many roads are rather narrow by US standards or are understandably very twisty as they ascend mountains. Erik had a post on 8/11/18 about the topic of roads that is worth reading. If you go off the beaten path to find beauty you may find rather slow going in places. But it will be beautiful and the locals are typically very friendly. Enjoy

Posted by
27 posts

Thanks for the information from all. I’m not worried about driving since my husband is German and has driving all over Europe, including Rome, Australia, New Zealand, and the tiny roads of Ireland. :) What I am worried about is figuring out when ferries are necessary. MarkK - I appreciate your information. I know there are scenic routes, but have not gotten specific. I did look at the link, thank you. When I dig deeper, will specific places to stop and ferry locations be given? I’ve planned many overseas trips, but for some reason am struggling with Norway. I know where I want to go, just am flustered about how to get there! Thanks so much!

Posted by
1838 posts

There are some smaller special things to be aware of when driving in Norway - even if you have a world-travelled husband as driver. I tried to summarize that driving specifics of Norway (German language but your husband seems to be native speaker).

In your specific case it is important to understand that you have ferries as part of regular public traffic (e.g. the one I mentioned Mannheller - Fodnes. They operate regularly, no reservation needed, first come, first serve. At your date of travel you will not wait.

The car ferry Kaupanger - Gudvangen is a tourist ferry which drives less frequently and needs in high season to be booked prior to be on the safe side.

Hope that helps a little bit. You can also send me a pm to exchange via e-mail if you prefer that.