Norway Itinerary Suggestions

Hi, I'll be traveling to Norway in July. I'll have about 8 days there. We're trying to decide between going south to Stavanger or going north to Trondheim. If we go south I'm thinking 2 nights Stavanager, 2 nights Bergen, 2 nights Balestrand and the remainder in Oslo. Is that a good itinerary or is there something we'd be missing? I'm at a loss for timing if we go north, so any suggestions would be great. My husband has heard the Oslo to Bergen route on the train is more picturesque than Bergen to Oslo. Is that true? Any suggestions on driving instead of taking the train?
Thank you!

Posted by Moineau
Paris
3 posts

I haven't done the north, but here is my 2-pence for the "south". You shouldn't think too much in terms of cities, except for Olso and Bergen, but rather in terms of areas. In Bergen, make sure you spend a day on a fjord tour including the Naeroyfjord. From Bergen to Stavanger, I highly recommend taking the coast road, including ferries between islands: Haugesund and Skudeneshavn are beautiful in the summer. Take some time to buy fresh shrimp at the harbor and stop by the Viking Museum at Avaldsnes.
A day-trip from Stavanger: go to the Prekestolen cliff. It's a 2 hour hike, completely worth the effort, the view from up there is just amazing. If you decide to drive, I'd recommend taking E134 from Oslo to Stavanger and stopping overnight at Haukeliseter. It's an old farm turned into an hotel/hostel with a great range of prices from comfy rooms to dorms. Book the "lokal mat" meal for dinner, it's one of the best you'll have in Norway. And don't be shy: try the sauna by the lake, the view is breathtaking at night. On the way back from Bergen/Balestrand to Olso, take E7 across the Hardangervidda and look out for wild reindeer. Another option, if you decide to take the train to Bergen and then rent a car to drive back to Oslo, would be to follow the southern coast all the way. You'll get to see Haugesund and Stavanger, then you won't miss the adorable "white towns" of the south, like Mandal, Risor and Kragero. From Larvik to Horten, take the scenic Viking road. Whatever you decide, you'll have a blast if you can remember one rule: norwegian roads are SLOW. Plus you'll want to stop all the time to take a picture of the waterfalls, buy fresh berries on the side of the road, or simply enjoy the view. Allow plenty of time on the road, Norway is such a beaufitul country you'll want to see everything on the way.

Posted by Cynthia
Gig Harbor, Washington, USA
1202 posts

"If we go south I'm thinking 2 nights Stavanager, 2 nights Bergen, 2 nights Balestrand and the remainder in Oslo. Is that a good itinerary or is there something we'd be missing? " ............We spent a week driving in fjord country a few years ago. I would suggest l night Bergen, l night Balestrand, then 2 nights in Geiranger. On your full day in Geiranger, take the ferry round trip on the Geirganger fjord. A car gives you a chance to enjoy the views down from the mountain tops towards the fjords. We thought those views were more impressive than being at fjord level looking up at the mountains. Try to stop at Vik stave church just before the ferry across Sognefjord to Balestrand.

Posted by Ron
southwest, Missouri, U.S.A.
1359 posts

Hello Maria. Ride in railroad trains. I recommend : Day 1 : Oslo Day 2: Travel in train from Oslo to Bergen. Day 3 : Bergen. Day 4 : Fast boat on Atlantic Ocean and Sognefjord to Balestrand. Day 5 : Balestrand. Day 6 : Fast boat from Balestrand to Aurland. Boat from Aurland to Flam. Trains to Oslo. Day 7 : Train from Oslo to Lillehammer.
Day 8 : Train from Lillehammer to Oslo.

Posted by Tom
Hüttenfeld, Hessen, Germany
9130 posts

I enjoyed my time in Trondheim, but I'm not sure it's worth the effort to get there from Southern Norway. The only reason I visited was because it was a convenient side trip from where I was skiing in Sweden. Nice enough town, if a little too industrial around the edges. The fjord surrounding the area also isn't the type you usually see in travel photos. More like a large bay. So, good town to visit if you're in the area, but not one I would go far out of my way to see.

Posted by Maria
Minneapolis
2 posts

Thank you for all of your suggestions! Looking forward to our trip next month.