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Should I add Norway in a Nutshell? Starting trip in Bergen, will have a car.

Our current plan is after a few nights in Bergen we will rent a car and drive north. The plan is Day 1 drive to Vikoryi/Vik (for the stave) and onto Solvorn for 1 night. Day 2 to visit Breheimsenteret Glacier and then onto Jotunheimen Mountains (haven't picked a town yet) for one night. Day 3 explorer the mountains and drive on to Oslo and give up the car. We are fine doing one night stays, I know most don't like it. We planned this based on the things we enjoy and want to see. However, are we missing something by not doing Norway in a nutshell? I have read mixed reviews on NIN on the forums and that the cruise portion is the best part. Is there a car ferry from Flam to Vik? Or should we take the train from Bergen to Flam then cruise to Vik and see if we can rent a car in Vik?

Posted by
26480 posts

There are many scenic components of the Norway-in-a-Nutshell route:

  • The Flamsbana train between Myrdal and Flam.
  • The Naeroyfjord ferry between Flam and Gudvangen.
  • The bus between Gudvangen and Voss (though some of the road is closed, making the route somewhat less scenic than it was in the past).
  • The regular rail line between Bergen and Oslo (especially the eastern portion)

I haven't travelled through Norway by car and haven't seen the north side of the Sognefjord. Your route will, I assume, give you good views of the fjords from above (which some consider the best views). What you will not be getting is a view of a narrow, scenic fjord from the water. Only you can decide how important that might be to you. Vacation itineraries nearly always involve weighing multiple, attractive options. What would you have to give up in order to include the Nutshell route?

DirectFerries.com says there's a once-a-day Norled passenger ferry (no cars) between Flam and Vik. It may be seasonal, because ViaMichelin.com gave me a road route between Flam and Vikoyri. I suspect this may be the so-called "express boat" that links Flam to Balestrand and Bergen, but I'm not sure. A ferry between Flam and Vik would not go into the Naeroyfjord, which is considered one of the two prettiest fjords in the country.

If the goal of going to Vik is just to rent a car (rather than seeing the Hopperstad stave church), a better bet might be to take the highly scenic Naeroyfjord ferry from Flam to Gudvangen and then the bus up to Voss. Voss is an adventure-travel center; I bet there are car rentals there.

Posted by
97 posts

Thank you. I will look into these options. We wouldn’t necessarily have to give anything up to do the NIN but I felt like doing the whole thing would be doubling back.

Posted by
26480 posts

I haven't researched this, car-wise, but I think the challenge may well be getting from the north side of the Sognefjord to the south side, where the various components of the NiN route are located.