“My husband and I would like to spend about 14-16 days in Norway during the spring or fall of 2018 to keep expenses down from those of peak season. We have a few things we really want to see--ancestral home sites--and beyond that our interests are mainly in scenery, history and local artisans. We prefer not to take overnight cruises unless necessary. Prefer to stay in B&B type lodging places. We will fly into Oslo. The most difficult place it seems for us to get to is my ancestors home farm on Lysefjorden--named Haheller. I think it has been recently designated as a historical site. I've been told that access is only by water. We want to go there, go ashore and spend a bit of time exploring and taking photos. My husband's ancestors came from the Nesna and Molde areas. We hope you will be able to advise us on when to come for best prices and weather; how to get to Haheller and then a trip designed to include great scenery, historical interest and cultural/artisan highlights.”
Linda Veråsdal, a local specialist from Norway, helped this traveler put together a customized itinerary.
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Trip planning highlights
16 days of Norwegian Heritage
Summary of the trip planning conversation
Thank you very much for your message and interest in Norway! I am from Norway and have been working and traveling in the country for many years. I love working with travelers and help customizing holidays! Early next week, I shall be doing the research on the best way to approach your ancestral homes, as that is probably the highlight that we should focus on. Then I shall fit in the other elements of the trip, keeping in mind your interests, a bit of hiking, no overnight cruises etc. Please feel free to let me know any more details, that will really help me tailor this well.
Thank you! More information: my husband's ancestral farm is Valla, one of 3 farms in a group allied Vasdal, near Nesna. He also wants to see Hemnes but no specific site. He also wants to see Otroy Island near Molde. He also mentioned the Cathedral in Trondheim.
Here is the itinerary I have in mind:
Day 1: Arrival Oslo
Day 2: Spend a day to explore the town
Day 3: Train from Oslo to Stavanger
This is a 7 - 8 hrs train journey and takes a big part of the day!
Day 4: Lysefjorden
This day might have to be done as a private tour with a local guide and hired boat. I am still looking into this, and it looks like the regular boat will stop there when they have passengers. BUT if you have a guide, you might get more of the history as well. It is quite an amazing place.
Day 5: Spend the day in Lysefjorden before taking the afternoon ferry to Stavanger
Day 6: BUS from Stavanger - Bergen
Day 7: In Bergen - Balestrand
In the morning - local guiding with our local expert who can give you an insight to the history of Bergen
In the afternoon take the ferry to Balestrand
Stay at a historical hotel by the fjord
Day 8: Balestrand - Flåm - Bergen
Take the ferry to Flåm
Take the Flåm Railway to Bergen and overnight in Bergen
Day 9: Bergen Hurtigruten
Take the Hurtigruten to Molde. I know this is an overnight journey... You can also rent a car if you prefer to drive.
Day 10: Arrive Molde in the late afternoon
During the day, you will also sail into Geirangerfjord.
Day 11: Car rental to see Nesna and other places nearby
Day 12: Day in Molde - Hurtigruten to Trondheim
spend the morning and day in Molde
Another night onboard Hurtigruten
Day 13: Arrive Trondheim and spend the day exploring the city. For example visit the Nidaros Cathedral
Overnight in Trondheim
Day 14: Take the train to Oslo Gardernoen and airport to spend the last night by the airport
Day 15: Depart Norway and Oslo
We like the itinerary but have a few changes to check out. Days 4 and 5 are listed as seeing Lysefjorden. Are we staying somewhere on the fjord overnight? From Bergen on Day 9, we'd prefer to take the Hurtigruten all the way to Nesna and take a rental car with us on the ferry. Then we would drive to family sites in the Nesna area and then drive back to Molde. I'm assuming we'd be able to do this and get back to Molde sometime on Day 12? (Or 13?) in Molde we need to get over to Milesund Island. The next day we would resume your itinerary with Hurtigren to Trondheim and so on.
The only reason for both nights in Lysefjord is to stay by the fjord as you mentioned. But the visit can be done in a day and back to Stavanger. Hurtigrute does go into Geiranger region, but you are not able to go off the ship, as it will only turn around. Another alternative is to drive from Bergen via Geiranger.
Here are some revisions to the itinerary:
- After Lysefjorden and Bergen, take the Hurtigruten from Bergen to Molde. The following day, rent a car to visit sites and bring it onboard Hurtigruten.
- Hurtigruten to Nesna and drive to sites.
- From Nesna, drive down to Trondheim and deliver your car there.
- Trondheim to Nesna is about 500km. But Nesna to Molde is 665 km. Two full days of driving.
We can check options for the car. It may not make sense price wise to bring a car from Molde to do the drive... How does that sound?
That makes sense! We like your new proposals! We'll go with whatever makes the most sense regarding the car. We'd probably like two days to drive from Nesna down to Trondheim so we can stop more often.
Sounds good! I will add it in a trip plan for you and cost it out. Are you any closer for when to travel? May is a nice time. Beginning is good, less travelers and still snow has gone many places (but you never really know!). However on the west coast, it is often not much snow at all! September is also normally a nice time to travel. Autumn is coming, but we still often have very nice weather then!