We two couples are going to Norway for 2 weeks early Sept. and want to enjoy exploring small towns. Any suggestions? On the way back to the US we're stopping for 3 days in Reykjavik. Any suggestions there?
Do spend several hours in the Blue Lagoon. And, use the white silca stuff on your face. Your skin will love it. I bought some to take home and have purchased more on line. Also, take the Volcanoes tour. And, I took a tour of the city. Both were very good. They eat horse meat. There are more horses than people in Iceland. Also, they will probably try to get you to eat the Sheep's Head Soup. Salmon is delicious every where; fish in general was super. Enjoy!
I stayed in Oslo for three days & took trips out from there. Rick's trip to ski jump was spot on including the stop for the apple dessert. Then, I took Norway in a Nutshell (ask at the tourist office or in Rick's book) from Oslo to Bergen. I recommend an "Open Jaws" flight. Go into Olso and out from Bergen. Enjoy!
With 2 weeks you have time to see so much more than Oslo and bergen. Norway is great for driving tours. See if you can pick up a car in Bergen and drop it in Oslo. Then you could fly into Oslo, take the "nutshell" route via train and boat to Bergen, and drive from there up the coast on route 1 (via ferries across the fjords). Detour to Ballestrand on Sognefjord and Dalsnibba on Geirangerfjord. Spend some time (a day or two) at Alesund. You will also want to drive the Trollstigen: http://www.visitnorway.com/us/Where-to-go/Fjord-Norway/The-Geirangerfjord/What-to-do-in-the-Geirangerfjord-area-and-Trollstigen/Attractions-in-the-areas-of-the-Geirangerfjord-and-Trollstigen/Trollstigen-mountain-road/ Then head toward Molde and follow eastward through the Sunndal (I think it is Route 70 at this point). Sundallsora is a nice little town for an overnight. At Oppdal, turn left and head up to Trondheim. You could loop through Roros if you have time. Spend a night in Trondheim---lots of history there. Then return to Oslo on the E6, via Dovrefjell National Park and Lillehamer. I've driven that loop a couple of times and would happily do it again. Bring lots of money.
Thanks so much, Ann and Lola. Both of you have good ideas. Now we'll hope for some Iceland info too.
You should look on the Iceland Air, Iceland and/or Reykjavik, and Reykjavik Excursions websites and pick and choose what looks appealing...I won't reinvent the wheel here. Iceland is an amazingly friendly country for tourists and has tons of online resources for planning day trips, trying out restaurants, and getting around outside of Reykjavik. I went there twice - once on a layover (Iceland Air has a great program of encouraging free layovers in the country combined with decent prices for European flights) and the other time just to check out more of Iceland. Strolling around Reykjavik is tons of fun and can take up 3 days easily (check out the museums, such as the National Museum and others you can find on "things to do" on the Tripadvisor website). Reykjavik Excursions has a variety of different daily tours to see sites outside the city (e.g Golden Circle, Blue Lagoon, horse riding on the lava fields, trips to a lovely national park called Thingvellir, etc) - they'll pick you up wherever you're staying and drop you off afterwards. It was as easy as pie being in Iceland and finding things to do.
hi, just a comment about the horsemeat. there was a show about Iceland and one of the persons interviewed said that ....
"no horse goes unwanted in Iceland" happy trails.
Some suggestions for Iceland - Blue Lagoon National Museum of Iceland Hallgrimskirkja church; walk down shopping street Skolavordustigur Reykjavik 871+-2 museum & nearby, City Hall "Golden Circle" tour (Geysir (thermal area), Gullfoss (waterfall), Thingvellir (natural and historical area)). You could either drive a rental car or sign up for a bus tour. South Coast drive - there are some small former fishing towns, one with a restaurant serving great lobster soup. Also several pretty waterfalls, the famous unpronounceable volcano Eyjafjallajökull that erupted in 2010 and a glacier (where you can sign up for a glacier walk)
Whale watching boats
"They eat horse meat." Based on the scandal that errupted last month, so does most of Europe by now, if unintentionally... I've only seen the areas around Oslo and the drive between Åre and Trondheim, but my perception of "small town Norway" is that unless the town sits in a particularly scenic location, there's not a whole lot to see. Most of the small towns are either modern suburbs, or very small hamlets with a few painted wooden houses.
Thanks ALL of you for excellent first-hand observations on both Norway and Iceland. This really helps us plan our trip.
The driving route I recommended is scenic the whole way. And yes, some of the towns,,like Sundalsora and Oppdal, are quite modern, but the setting is beautiful. Mand Roros is not at all modern,MIT is a designated World Heritage site,,well,worth a look.