I expect to spend about a week in Norway in May or June. I've never been. What should I see? I'll be traveling with one other adult. We're active and like seeing nature, but in more of a day-trip way than a "let's backpack the PCT!" way.
How should we plan on traveling in country and what can't we miss?
Great choice!! I went to Trondheim as an exchange student. It was a great year! Especially for someone who likes seeing nature! You can't miss the great fjords of the West part of the country. It's my only regret I've never been to Sognefjord and Geirangerfjord. But I know Bergen and Stavanger, that are for sure beautiful cities, but I guess you don't need to spend more than 3 days down there. Trondheim of course is a city I love, you should definitely go there, even more if you plan going there in May! The 17th May is the national day and the whole city celebrate its constitution, the streets are literally full of colored people and the pubs crowded and lively! But I have just one word for your trip : Lofoten. It's my best experience ever! I've been there both in winter and summer. It's just the most amazing place I've ever seen! I guess it's more welcoming in June, when the sun never comes down and the villages not empty. But please don't miss the Lofoten Islands! (just look at pictures and you'll see I'm not kidding) ;)
To sum up, if I was you, I'd chose between 2 possibilities :
• you can rent a car from south and drive the whole way up to Lofoten, first Stavanger the Bergen through the western fjords (if you have enough time but it's a long way, otherwise the inland is quite nice as well), Trondheim and then the beautiful desert while crossing the arctic circle ;
• you can chose the Hurtigruten Cruise as well, from Bergen to Lofoten. You'll stop in a lot of nice cities and sail inside the fjords. It's not like a cruise, it's a lot more exciting and dynamic, but it's true you're less free than the first choice.
I hope it's helpful and not too vague. Actually the first choice will be mine, even if I already did that, cause it's been a trip full of unexpected experiences : fire places along the road, fishing attempts, parties with fishermen… If you have any question I'll gladly help you! :)
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First grab a copy of Rick Steves' Norway book. He will amaze you with all the things you can do in a week in what I think is the most beautiful country in Europe.
Don't miss the Sognefjord. From Oslo, northern Europe's most scenic train. bus and boat trip takes you up and over the country's mountainous spine and into the land of shiplap dreams. The tourist board calls it "Norway in a Nutshell" and that's just what it gives you.
I spent 2 weeks in Norway and completely agree about the Lofoten Islands. Besides the amazing scenery there, Lofotr Vikingmuseum in Borg is really interesting: http://www.lofotr.no/ It is a living museum including a reconstructed Viking Longhouse - the world's largest. Demonstrations are done by people dressed of the period and in summer you can participate in rowing one of their Viking ships. One thing I noticed in the Lofoten Islands is that public transport was a bit inconvenient, so I rented a car there. I also ending up flying back to the mainland rather than taking the ferry to save time.
I spent 2 days at Geirangerfjord which was well worth it. Also nearby is Ålesund, a scenic town that was totally rebuilt in the Art Noveau style after a devastating fire in 1906. It lies on several islands and was fun to explore.
If I only had about a week, I would consider flying to the Lofoten's (if you want to go there), rather than driving from Oslo (which is where I imagine you will fly into?). Driving from Oslo to Bodo has a drive time of about 16 hours. From Bodo, the ferry takes 3-4 hours to get you to the islands. I just did a quick, random check on Norwegian for a one-way flight from Oslo to Bodo on June 2nd and came up with 75 Euro for the 1hr 40 min flight to Harstad/Narvik Airport. Gas in Norway is expensive too, so flying might even be cheaper. Perhaps fly in one direction and drive in the other so you can make stops in-between... It would still be a lot of ground to cover.
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Hope you like rain, because its raining almost everyday in Norway.. Yahh!