Trip to Norway, from Sognefjord to Lofoten islands

August 20 - September 1, 2007

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Norway map and travel itinerary | Norway travel information | Norway Pictures and trip review
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NORWAY TRIP ITINERARY AND COUNTRY MAP

Suggested itinerary for a trip to Norway

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NORWAY TRIP DESCRIPTION AND TRAVEL INFORMATION

WHAT TO SEE AND WHAT TO DO IN NORWAY?

This trip review focuses on a voyage to Norway, visiting the most beautiful fjords, the Lofoten islands and the most picturesque cities and towns along the coast. Travel by airplane, train, rented car and cruise ship. The trip starts from Oslo, bound for Flam by train over one of the world's most beautiful railways, and then for Bergen by cruise ship crossing the Sognefjord, one of Norway's deepest fjord. The journey in Norway continues with a short flight from Bergen to Aalesund, a picturesque city surrounded by many fjords and crossed by several channels, before flying to the Lofoten islands, an archipelago north of the arctic circle, made of oddly shaped mountains descending straight into the sea and featured by colorful villages with fisherman's' houses. These islands are visited for four days using a rented car, allowing plenty of time for interesting hikes and sleeping in the traditional rorbuer (rorbu). The trip continues onto Bodo, Trondheim and finally back to Oslo, respectively by airplane and train, with sufficient time to visit each city. This trip doesn't include the traditional fjord cruise by Hurtigruten cruise ship, mainly because it is getting too crowded and attractive for tourists (regardless of the daily departures and huge capacity, the ships where fully booked many months before the scheduled departure). The trip was organized entirely through internet, without any travel agent.



HOW TO ORGANIZE A TRIP TO NORWAY?

Although there are many tour operators offering all-inclusive tour packages in Norway, this destination is particularly suitable for a trip entirely organized on your own, letting to better customize the route and all the options. Getting around in Norway is easy and fast thanks to the dense network of air routes that also serve the smaller remote villages, furthermore, most of the major cities are serviced by Norwegian railways and you may always hire a car to be even more free. Some tourists may prefer to get around Norway by cruise ships offering cabins and calling at many ports along Norwegian coast, but we have found this option to be too touristy and crowded (ships may be sold-out already many months in advance). Accommodation in Norway is provided by hotels and guesthouses of all the standards and any price; during your stay at the Lofoten Islands, we suggest to try a traditional Rorbuer (fishermen's houses) which can be cheap and very charming.

WHAT IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT NORWAY?

There is no best season to go to Norway, since any time of the year offers different opportunities depending on weather and snow coverage. So, choosing when to go to Norway depends only on what activities you would like to do there. Of course, for skiing, driving snowmobiles or having dog sledge tours, winter must be your choice (and the exact latitude where you want to go, also determines the exact month: Norway is almost 2000 kilometers long from south to north, not counting Svalbard islands in the middle of Arctic ocean!) For driving around, sightseeing by car, train or cruise ship, summer is probably the best time to go.



HOW TO BOOK THE TRAIN FROM OSLO TO BERGEN WITH SOGNEFJORD CRUISE?

All transport companies in Norway offer the possibility to book the services through their websites, which can be found with a simple search. However, we often receive requests to know where to book the train from Oslo to Bergen, but joining also the cruise in the Sognefjord. Any Norwegian train can be booked through the website of the Norwegian railways and here you need to book the train from Oslo to Myrdal and then connecting from Myrdal to Flam. The trip by boat from Flam to Bergen, that includes the Sognefjord cruise, is operated by a number of ferries, such as the one available at this link.

WHAT SHOULD I BRING FOR A TRIP TO NORWAY? HOW TO DRESS?

Although the climate of Norway is mitigated by the Gulf Stream and is far warmer than other countries of the same latitude, we must not forget that the weather is always subject to change very quickly, therefore, regardless of the season in which you are travelling, you should be prepared to deal with all the possible situations. The ideal condition is dressing in layers that can be practically added and removed, even during short hikes, preferring wool and synthetic clothes rather than cotton, as the latter usually doesn't help correct transpiration. You should never forget a good hat and a pair of gloves (even in summer) as well as an outer impermeable layer, suitable to block wind and rain. Other items that should not be missed during a trip to Norway are a good pair of sunglasses and a sunscreen with a high protective power, to be used for all the exposed parts of the body. If you suffer from motion sickness and plan to move by ferry onto open sea, it will be a good idea to bring suitable medication (cruises into protected fjords are anyway usually very smooth).



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NORWAY TRAVELOGUE - PICTURES AND IMAGES

Frognepark, Oslo, Norway Day tour in Oslo <<-- GO
Oslo is probably the least typical city of Norway, as it is big and quite chaotic. Anyway, it worth a visit, because of the nice green areas and the many museums.
Flam railway, Norway Travel from Oslo to Bergen by train and Sognefjord cruise <<-- GO
Even if Oslo and Bergen are linked by many flights lasting just one hour, it may worth to organize this 14 hours trip by train among one of the world's most scenic railways, followed by a spectacular cruise into Sognefjord, one of the Norway's deepest fjord.
Bergen, Norway Day tour in Bergen <<-- GO
Bergen is probably considered the Norway's most picturesque and nice city, known for the ancient wooden houses of the Bryggen district, now included among UNESCO heritage places, for the colorful fish market and for the vibrant charming streets.
Alesund, Norway Day tour in Aalesund <<-- GO
Aalesund is a new and picturesque city. Almost completely destroyed by a fire in the past century, Aalesund was built again in european style by Norwegian architects. The city hosts one of the most important fishing industry of entire Norway.
Reine, Lofoten islands, Norway Trip to Lofoten islands from Svolvaer to Reine <<-- GO
The Lofotens are a group of islands within the arctic circle, featured by oddly-shaped mountains having steep cliffs going straight into the sea. The Lofoten islands are populated mainly by fisherman's living and working among small colorful towns.
Reine, Lofoten islands, Norway Travel to Lofoten islands from Reine to Svolvaer by car <<-- GO
This trip by rented car throughout the Lofoten islands resumes driving back to Svolvaer via Stamsund and thus exploring the many smaller roads joining other towns along E10 "highway".
Bodo - Trondheim railway, Norway From Bodo to Trondheim by train <<-- GO
The trip from Bodo to Trondheim by the Norwagian railways lasts almost 10 hours, versus a one hour flight. Anyway, the train runs between spectacular scenery and, south of Bodo, it crosses the arctic circle along a mountain pass.
Trondheim, Norway Day tour to Trondheim <<-- GO
The oldest part of the city is full of history and is very picturesque because of the nice wooden houses and for the Gothic cathedral, one of the city's symbols. Trondheim is an important industrial city, well known for wood and fish processing.

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