What is the best way to spend 3 days to do NIAN ? We definitely want to do Sogneford (sp ?) boat trip but not sure where to spend the night and what to do around the area. Will be coming from and going back to Oslo to catch a late/overnight train to CPH. We are just in the early stages of planning our vacation and I haven't done a lot of reading yet but I am confused with this part of our trip. Thanks for your help !
Get a hold of Rick's Scandinavia or his Snapshot Norway book, pronto. He has ALL the details of your sightseeing options for this area, along with exact transit and lodging details. One thing I can clarify is that NIAN is many separate pieces, with separate tickets but coordinated times. You can do them all in one day, or break them up.
the typical NIAN as booked is a 24 hours roundtrip (Oslo-Sogneford-Bergend-Oslo).
As stated by Harold you can break it up and book each phase as separte segments. That tack adds some cost and increased planning effort. Not that any of those issues can't be over come, just a degree of complexity. Seriously, there is a degree of being "rushed" in the basic package. That said, spending a day in the fjord or better, if you have never been to Bergin, use your additional 24-48 hours exploring the town and surrounding sites. We wished we could have spent more time in Bergin or a night in the hotel at the top of the "S" curves (LOL). Postcard sight! check out the NIAN site and it will help you customizing your expience.
Though I wouldn't say it was the 'best' way to do the nutshell in 3 days, here's what we did and really enjoyed it. On day 1 we traveled Oslo to Myrdal to Flam to Balestrand where we spent 2 nights in the Balestrand Hotel with a beautiful view of the fjord. On day 2 we relaxed and took a ferry to Vik to see a stave church, and returned to Balestrand. On day 3 we traveled by ferry from Balestrand to Gudvangen including the midt-fjord transfer, bus to Voss, and train back to Oslo. We skipped Bergen. We did this in mid-June and bought all the tickets at the Oslo train station two-days before we began the trip. Have a great trip!
An out-and-back from Bergen works real well. You get in done and over with.
Thanks for the replies. I was confused about the route and how to go about the entire trip, like when to stop etc. Anyway, right now, we are thinking of going on an overnight train to Bergen, then do the Nutshell roundtrip the next day then fly out to Stockholm the following day. OR start the Nutshell from Oslo, spend the night at Stalheim Hotel, take the bus to Voss then to Bergen the next day then fly out to Stockholm the following day. I am still playing around with our IT but doing the Nutshell is a definite yes !
"Anyway, right now, we are thinking of going on an overnight train to Bergen, then do the Nutshell roundtrip the next day then fly out to Stockholm the following day. " This is unnecessary backtracking. "OR start the Nutshell from Oslo, spend the night at Stalheim Hotel, take the bus to Voss then to Bergen the next day then fly out to Stockholm the following day." This is a better plan. The NIAN can be done as a round trip from Oslo, a round trip from Bergen, one way from Oslo to Bergen, or one way from Bergen to Oslo. All of these take most of a day (Oslo back to Oslo is the longest). You should do the one that makes the most sense with the rest of your trip. And, you can break up any of these four routes at any point (as I said above, while the times are coordinated to do it in one day, the tickets are separate). I'll repeat my plug for Rick's books: he lays it all out much better than I can. Once you see it in the book, it will be very clear.