“My 2 sisters and I are surprising my mother with a trip to Norway for her 70th birthday. My grandparents were Norwegian, but my mother was born in Canada and has never been, although its been a life-long dream for her. We are looking to spend about 5 days in Oslo and then about 5 days touring Bergen and the Fjords. The Oslo portion of the trip, would preferably be unstructured as we plan to rent a flat, mostly cook our own meals, visit cousins and explore at our own pace. The fjord portion would probably need to be a bit more structured, but we would prefer not to be rushed from place to place. I think we need at least 2 days in Bergen and perhaps overnight in a few different towns. We would really it to include a short cruise. Because of our heritage, we would really like to get the flavour of the "real Norway", and see things of cultural and historical significance, not just the touristy stuff. That's about it! The group consists of myself and 2 sisters (all I'm late thirties) and my mother and aunt, both 70. My mom does have some health issues that would rule out hiking or intensive walking.”
Linda Veråsdal, a local specialist from Norway, helped this traveler put together a customized itinerary.
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Trip planning highlights
3 Cities | Fjords and Mountains
Summary of the trip planning conversation
Thank you very much for your message and interest in Norway!
My name is Linda, KimKim expert for 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!
What a fantastic surprise for your mum. She is lucky having daughters like you! Your division of the trips sounds good. I would be happy to find a good apartment for you for Oslo. Oslo is also nice to do a bit unstructured. there are many options within walking distance or buy a week traveling card.
For the second part of the trip. As you want two days in Bergen, that leaves us with 3 - 4 days for the fjords. A couple of suggestions for you;
1) take the train down to Flåm and Sognefjord. Here you will experience Flåm Railway, one of the steepest (and most beautiful) train journeys in the world! In Flåm area continue either to auland or Balestrand for a couple of days. Here you can get a taste of the "real Norway". Small places, culture being preserved and beautifully located. You will also have time to do a cruise into Nærøyfjord (listed on UNESCO). you can take the boat to Bergen.
2) travel by bus to Hardangerfjord area for a couple of days here. This is famous for its apples and also beautiful settings (as Sognefjord). You can also here take the ferry to Bergen.
Let me know what you think about my above suggestions.
I am looking forward to plan this special trip with you!
Have a nice weekend,
Hi Linda, I spoke with my cousin after connecting with Kim Kim yesterday and it looks like we are going to have to incorporate a trip to Trondheim into our plans... Apparently that is were our family originates from and there is a family home, a street with the family name and some graves to see. So, now we are thinking 3 days on Oslo (still in a flat) 2 nights in Trondheim (ideally a flat, but a hotel would be ok) and then 5 nights going down the coast. So, we will need to figure out how we are getting from Oslo to Trondheim (car? Train?) then also figure out how we are going to do the fjords and where we will stay along the way. I love the idea of smaller, bed and breakfast type of lodgings but I'm not sure what is available. Also love the idea of the flam railway. I wanted to also ask, we don't speak any Norwegian... If we are getting around mostly on our own, how difficult will it be?
Thank you for your reply and more information. Including Trondheim creates a nice round trip for you. Have a look at this brief itinerary and let me know what you think:
Day 1 - 3: In Oslo
Day 4 - 5: Take the train and Flåm Railway to Flåm and Aurland for a couple of nights. A short cruise on the Nærøyfjord, and get to know the local culture.
Day 6: Ferry to Bergen
Day 7: In Bergen and in the evening take the Hurtigruten / coastal steamer to Honningsvåg.
Day 8: Onboard the cruise ship. Sail into Geirangerfjord during the day..
Day 9: Arrive Trondheim, early morning.
Day 10: In the afternoon take the train to Oslo Gardermoen airport for overnight
Day 11: Fly out from Oslo...
Let me know what you think. It is a really nice journey!
Hi linda! The proposal looks great. Only 2 issues... First the dates! For child care reasons (as in I'm leaving mine with my husband!) the trip need to go from August 1st - 10th give or take a couple of days. Second, aboard the Hurtigruten I was hoping to put my aunt and mom in a suite and they are fine paying the extra. Is this possible? If we can make those modifications I think we'll be good to book!
Hi Katie, YES, both issues are fine! Let me make the changes and I will get back to you.
Really nice to put your mum and aunt in a suite!
Hi Katie, just to let you know I received your booking!
Welcome to Norway - I am looking forward to have you in our country!
I wish you a great Sunday!
Just returned from a totally epic trip to Norway, planned with great care by our awesome specialist Linda. Linda service was nothing short of perfect. She listened to what we wanted to do during our visit, understood and respected our budget and planned a trip for us that maximized our dollars and used our travel days very efficiently. Without Linda's help I am certain that we would not have been able to see so much of the country in such a smooth and logical manner and would never have found the interesting, charming and cost efficient accommodations that she did. In addition that tours she planned were spot-on and unique to our family. I was really impressed with Linda's ability really get a sense of what we truly wanted out of the trip (i.e. to experience the "real" Norway, not a tourist version). We had so many wonderful experiences, but I would say the best was probably our stay in Aurland. Our accommodations were amazing (cabin overlooking the fjord) and our tour of the area with Mathilda was just amazing, and included a hike to a beautiful lookout and glassblowing with a local artist. Our tour through Bergen with David was equally awesome. He gave us a local's view of the "scene" in Bergen and had so many great recommendations for restaurants, kafe's, shop's etc. that were off the tourist-path. I think the best part of the tours were that both guides were lovely and engaging and happy to chat and share about what life is like in Norway. We also took the Hurtigurten which was really interesting and fun and ended our trip in Trondheim which is a simply beautiful, young, fun city. I think it is worth mentioning two very important things: 1) Linda really did a great job ensuring all of our booking and travel transitions were smooth and easy to follow, including arranging taxis and pick/ drop off and being considerate of train/boat/travel times to ensure we were not wasting time waiting or were stuck in one place with hours to kill and nowhere to go. 2) When there were a couple of (very minor) hiccups with hotel bookings, Linda was accessible, available to help and dealt with the issues immediately. It was very comforting to know that she was available to help during our travel. Well done Linda! Truly was a trip of a lifetime and my mother was so impressed and happy. Best, Katie