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Scandinavian Tour

Dear folks,
Recently I was reading a RS scrapbook memoir of last years Scandinavian tour. It sounded lovely, but I was surprised to see that there was only one fjord expedition, that being the Songefjord tour. Should I plan extra days on the west coast to see more or do most people feel satisfied to see the largest one and call it a day?

Posted by
18891 posts

I'm planning a trip of my own to Scandinavia. I spent a lot of time reading through the Norway forum here to get the views of a lot of people. I'd recommend that you do the same. These are a few of the kernels of information/opinion I gleaned:

  • Several people found the fjords more picturesque from above (rental car very helpful here) than from ferries on the water. I'm prepared to believe this is a matter of opinion, but on a long-ago trip to Switzerland I discovered that a full day on a lake boat was several hours too many for me; the scenery--though beautiful--doesn't change very fast. The experience on the very fast inflatable boats (RIBs) may be different.

  • I think multiple days in a row on the water without breaks for hiking, etc. (again, easiest with your own car) could get repetitive, so I'd probably want to intersperse some town/city sightseeing between fjord trips if I wasn't going to fill part of each day with local hiking. Bergen is very popular. Fewer people make it farther north to places like Alesund and Trondheim.

  • It seems unanimous that the narrower fjords are more picturesque, so the Nærøyfjord branch of the Sognefjord would be the best in that area. The Geirangerfjord is also very popular. The Hurtigruten ferries go into that fjord on their northbound trips, or you could take one of the shorter ferry trips after getting yourself up to one of the ports, I guess by bus or rental car.

  • Because of the challenging terrain, it can take quite some time to move from town to town in Norway unless you choose to fly. To visit a second fjord area could well take the better part of three days -- one day to get yourself into position, one day for a lot of fjord time, and one day to travel on to your next stop. Norway is expensive, so that repositioning time comes at a substantial cost.

Posted by
1465 posts

From my own tours to and through Norway I fully recommend nature lovers to spend 7-10 extra days on top for a car round trip. Even 3-5 days can be enough for a scenic round trip.

There is so much to explore: fjells, fjords, waterfalls, parts of glaciers, hiking trails, ...

Some good inspiration you will find by screening the official National Scenic Routes. But to be honest there are so much more routes and places worth exploring.

Posted by
6603 posts

The Getsingerfjord is magnificent. Add time to your visit to Norway, do not rush through it.

Posted by
4873 posts

We did a wonderful cruise of Norway to the North Cape and I would say the best fjord we saw we Geiranger.

Posted by
1465 posts

I guess Suki means Geirangerfjord?

Photo 1: End of fjord from street above Geiranger.

Photo 2: In Geirangerfjord by ferry with Seven Sisters Waterfall and a cruise ship.

Posted by
4873 posts

We have done several days in Copenhagen and toured sites on day trips near that city. Also, we did 2 nights in Stockholm prior to taking the train to Copenhagen for another cruise.

There are advantages to a land trip of Norway, but both of these options on the link don't visit some fantastic places that we did on our cruise.
We have been to Bergen, Geiranger, Alesund, Flam, Stavanger, Tromso and Honnigsvag (for the North Cape).
In every port we took a tour of the countryside going up mountains, visiting fantastic scenic sites. We took one that included a rail trip, another to the North Cape that was special (also, visited Hami people).

We did our Norway cruise in mid-June and were told that Geiranger was cut off by a snow storm a week earlier. I wouldn't want to be on a highway in that event.

Doing a combination of a land trip and cruise is great.

Posted by
7475 posts