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Oslo Bergen Alesund - 9 days

Hello!

I am planning to spend 9 days in Norway this summer with friends, I thought I'd share my draft itinerary here to seek your inputs and tips/suggestions, would be grateful if you review them and comment, specially regarding Days 5, 6 and 9. We will be renting a car all the way, 3 of us will take turns and drive. We've had experience driving in Iceland and few other countries.

Day 1: Oslo

Day 2: Oslo

Day 3: Oslo - Scenic route Hardangervidda - Bergen (7h / 465 km)

Day 4: Bergen

Day 5: Bergen - Gudvangen - Fjord2 Car Ferry - Kaupanger - Stryn - Scenic route Gamle Strynefjellsvegen - Grotli (8h / 363km) => Total time includes 3h ferry

Day 6: Grotli - Geiranger - Trollstigen - Alesund (5h / 233 km)

Day 7: Alesund

Day 8: Alesund - Scenic Route Atlanterhavsveien - Alesund (6h / 294 km). Alternatively spend the day in Alesund

Day 9: Alesund - Oslo (7h / 507 km) - Fly out of Oslo at 5 pm same day (We plan to leave Alesund around 6-7 am) => Can we rely on Google Maps estimates ?

We would probably take multiple breaks along the way and take in the sights. We would like to try and do an activity (eg. Kayaking) on one of the fjords if possible.

I had a look at the scenic routes below and tried to include them in the itinerary.
https://www.nasjonaleturistveger.no/en/routes

Thx!
Ash

Posted by
1425 posts

I love that Norway has those National Tourist Routes. I did the Gaularfjellet route when I was in Norway two years ago, and it was just stunning, and it made me want to go back to see more of the country. I only had a car one day and did the rest of my sightseeing by train and ferry (or on foot).

The problem with your plan (days 3, 5, and 6) is that you are estimating drive times based on Google maps, which are for direct, non-stop travel at the speed limit. If you don't stop along the way to enjoy the scenery and do some hikes, you are going to miss so much of the glorious natural beauty of Norway. You need to allow much much much more time for these drives than you've allotted. If Day 3 doesn't take you from sunrise to sunset, you're going too fast.

By comparison, here is the route I drove: https://photos.app.goo.gl/U9S4nenxHFHMjTD18. It was 241 km and Google suggests four-and-a-half hours. I started at from Balestrand at 8:30 am and got back at 7:00 pm -- 10 1/2 hours.

I can't comment about Day 9 based on any personal experience, but there is no way I would ever drive 507 km to get to the airport in time for a 5pm flight the same day. You just don't know what might happen.

I would rethink this if I were you. Otherwise you're going to see all of Norway through the car windows and not going to have ample opportunity to get out and really experience it.

Posted by
3236 posts

Am currently in Norway run ragged by driving, you simply can’t do your plan unless you are robocop.

All the fjords are nearly identical so what matters is seeing one in good weather which requires a few days staying put.

Highways are poor quality and twisty. Geiranger to Trollsigen to Ålesund is 6 hours.

Ålesund to Oslo 10 hours?

Without eating or potty stops, much less enjoying the view, plan on 30 kph/ 20 mph for highways in the fjord areas, and all but the first and last half days of your itinerary are in fjord areas.

Suggest you train to Bergen, fly to Ålesund, rent a car for 3-4 days and loop around slowly (50% of time raining/ poor visibility) then fly to Oslo.

Have driven all over Norway and have yet to see a divided highway much less a freeway, except near Oslo.

Posted by
4 posts

Thanks a lot Lane and Tom for your amazing insights and for instilling some sense, currently reviewing this with my friend. Will post the revised itinerary soon :-)

Posted by
4 posts

Hello!

We revised our itinerary, hope this one is not as crazy :-) Do let us know if you've any suggestions / advice!

Day 1: Oslo

Day 2: Oslo

Day 3: Oslo - Bergen by train (7h)

Day 4: Bergen

Day 5: Bergen - Leikanger (We might do the Stegastein viewpoint and the Aurlandsfjellet scenic route on the way)

Day 6: Leikanger - Hjella (We might do the
Gamle Strynefjellet scenic route later in the day)

Day 7: Hjella - Geiranger - Trollstigen - Alesund (Covering Dalsnibba and Flydalsjuvet viewpoints on the way)

Day 8: Alesund
(We might cover Scenic Route Atlanterhavsveien if possible, alternatively spend the day in Alesund)

Day 9: Alesund - Oslo (Flight)

Thanks again for your inputs!!

Ash

Posted by
3236 posts

Be sure to price out one way fee for car rental which can run $1000. Avis one way returns ending in Oslo more like $130.

Sorry, it’s god awful expensive in Norway. Note that Clarion hotel rates include a fabulous dinner and breakfast.

Posted by
4 posts

Thanks.. Yes we found a deal around 800.. Pick up at Bergen on day 5 and drop off at Alesund on the last day

Posted by
3236 posts

Other:

You’ll probably incur about $100 in various tolls (tunnels, bridges, new highways, congestion zones) that is billed to the car transponder.

I had 3 pump credit card experiences:

  1. Took credit card at pump no PIN

  2. Credit card failed at pump used debit card with PIN

  3. Credit card failed at pump so pressed pay inside then did

All 3 transactions generated $150-$190 holds.

Cheapest fuel outside Oslo was at Valldalen which is on your route. Ålesund also cheap coming in from the east.

Also you can fly home from Ålesund and skip Oslo, Ålesund >> Amsterdam via KLM then Delta home.

Posted by
1425 posts

I think you are on the right track now.

My only suggestion is that you might want to travel from Oslo to Bergen on the Norway in a Nutshell itinerary, rather than by train all the way. You can read about the itinerary at https://www.norwaynutshell.com/original-norway-in-a-nutshell/. (You don't have to book it there, though. You can book each leg separately if you prefer.) This makes day 3 a very long day (about 12-13 hours instead of 7), but the things you'll see make it worthwhile in my opinion.

Have a great trip!

Posted by
3236 posts

You can do the nutshell if you want, but there are already fjords galore on your itinerary and each fjord is nearly identical.