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Sorry -- this is a pretty long post. My husband and I are planning a two week trip to Norway next July. We’re going to rent bikes in Kristiansand and… well, assuming this is a reasonable itinerary, here's what we'd like to do:
1 – Arrive in Kristiansand
2 – Rent bikes, ride to Hara via Rte. 9
3 – Ride to Gudvangen via Hardanger tourist road, ferry to Laerdal, Aurland mountain road, spend night in Aurland area
4 – Ride to Lom via Valdresfrye tourist road
5 – Ride to Stryn via Sognefjellet tourist road
6 – Stay in Stryn; maybe day trip to Vagsoy
7 – Ride to Alesund via Geiranger ferry and Trollstigen
8 – Stay in Alesund, ride to Atlantic Road
9 – Stay in Alesund
10 – Ride to Jolster
11 – Ride to Bergen via Gaularfjellet tourist road and Balestrand
12 – Ride to Stavanger
13 – Ride to Kristiansand – either via Jaeren tourist road or via Lysefjord ferry, Lysebotn road and Sirdal
14 – Return bikes. Zoo. Sleep.
15 – Return home.
I’ve tried to keep the days around 200 miles or less, and maybe 8 hours a day on the bikes with ferries and occasional breaks (we’re fine with 250 mile days in the mountains here in the southeastern US, and we’re okay with riding in the rain). I’m sure I’m overthinking this, but since it’s our first motorcycle trip outside the US and we’re not at all familiar with the country (yet), I want to make sure I haven’t set us up for something we can’t do.
So… does this plan make sense?
(I told you it would be long. Thanks for reading all of this.)
I Spent 3 weeks in Norway a couple of years ago. Take lots of money, plenty of wet weather gear and have fun. Speed limits are are low and beware of the hefty fines in you're caught speeding. The mileage is ok, although it may take longer then you think. (The Alps/Dolomites are more spectacular)
Sounds like a great trip!
Regarding point no. 3, from Gudvangen to Aurland:
it's a short trip in a tunnel, you don't need a ferry The area is spectacular, and you will not be disappointed by the Aurland mountain road!
Check this link:
Hello Karen, to be honest I didn't looked every stop of your itinerary, but I rode that region in 2005 and I think it's not difficult to respect that itinerary, if you are a little elastic.
I think you'll be happy of your choice: Norway is a wonderful country, mainly in the region you want to visit.
Yes, as George1 told you, prices are very high, but you can spare lot of money cooking by yourself or eating at the fuel stations, and sleeping in campsites.
Campsites are everywhere and if you choose hytte (bungalows) you will be very comfortable.
On the other side, if money is not a problem, we wrote for nothing...
Coming from the states the cost of fuel will astound you, $9 a gallon! However, we're paying almost that much here in the UK. One thing that will be of help to you is making sure your credit card will work in their gas pumps. Generally people pay at the pump there. It will save you lots of time as you can wait a long time inside the gas station to get served. They're the local store and sell hot food as well. The hotdogs are usually pretty good along with their coffee. There is no problem finding gas in Norway generally especially in the area you're travelling in but make sure you fill up before you go over the mountains. I was there this year and cabins were around NOK 350. Camping around NOK 150. That was for 1 person, it may be more for 2. Don't get hung up on the cost of stuff, if you want just buy it in the supermarkets at around $2 a can. Outside of the main cities you won't find bars anyway except in hotels. You can pay up to $12 for a pint! Bergen is a lovely city and if you don't mind getting drunk at 5 in the afternoon check out when happy hour is as they practically give the stuff away.
Your route sounds pretty good. Remember that you'll be stopping a lot to take photo's though. There will be amazing views around every corner! Hardanger and the Trollstigen are some of my favourites. When you leave Kristiansand there is a nice alternative to the 9 on the 41. It follows the valley and there are some great views. I'd say that almost every road in that area is spectacular especially once you get onto the plateau and in the fjords, you can't go wrong. In the west it will rain, I can guarantee it, so be prepared. On your way to Geiranger on the 63 it's worth visiting Dalsnibba viewpoint for some spectacular photo's looking down into Geirangerfjord.
We've also got a direct-route itinerary, in case we get stuck anywhere -- fewer miles, skipping stops, that sort of thing -- and we're prepared for the possibility that we won't be able to go everywhere we'd like. But we're going to try.
We're doing mostly camping cabins, and getting food from gas stations and supermarkets. I'm actually relieved to hear gas is $9 a gallon -- I had figured about $10. (Good to know I'm not completely clueless about this!) We're putting away some cash for this and trying to budget around $150-$200 a day, but we'll be bringing a credit card just in case. Money's not really a problem now, but it probably will be when this trip is over.
The Gudvangen-Laerdal ferry is included just because we're tourists and we want to ride the boat. The road over the mountain is one of the things we can skip if the weather makes it difficult. If we don't have to skip it, we'll be in the tunnel the next day on the way to Lom.
And with the happy hour info, my husband's very much looking forward to Bergen now.
So... rain gear, money, camera (preferably waterproof). I think we're set.
Great, no one mentions midges, if they're anything like in Scotland it could be worth your while investigating and investing in repellents, Avon "skin so soft" seems to be highly rated(by the Royal Marines, known for their skin care expertise).
Location: Aussie expat in Switzerland half way RTW
Nordkap and Norway
Hi Karen & Hubby,
We are planning a similar trip but maybe a little earlier in the year, May and June. Who knows we might cross paths on the way down so perhaps we could meet up for a or something.
Actually on that note, my partner who is Norwegian coming from north of the Artic Circle in Sortland knows a lot about Norway and we'd be happy to share some of our knowledge of Norway with you.
It's important to note that eating and drinking out is prohibitively expensive, and I don't mean by a few dollars I mean by 300-1000% more expensive!
Don't plan on too many nights out, it'll eat your budget.
Also if you plan on camping, then it's helpful to know that it is your civil right in Scandinavia to camp anywhere. You can camp anywhere even on private property by not within (don't quote me) I think 50m of a house. You can use wood that you find (no chopped firewood) to make a fire. If on Private property you may be requested to move on after 1 day.
Correction -- the hubby now says "thanks anyway" for the Bergen info. He can't go. New job -- he checked today at work, and he won't have accrued enough vacation time by then.
I'm going, though (with his blessing, lucky for him -- I mean, lucky for me. Not lucky for him. I wouldn't have made his life hell if he'd tried to stop me, I swear. ) It's a shame he won't be there, but it's more money left over for another trip in 2012.
Oothef, it's funny that you mentioned Skin So Soft. My niece sells Avon, and I've already planned to order it. Now the poor girl wishes she lived closer so she could give me a pretty makeover -- I just want the bug repellent.
TurboCharger, have a safe trip. It looks like I'll miss you and your partner by a couple of weeks, but I'll gladly accept any knowledge you can share. My big thing was getting the route down, which I guess I've finally done. I guess now I have to find out the practical stuff. Tolls? Ferries? And of course I have an American credit card with no chip -- am I correct in thinking I might be better off just hitting an ATM every day and paying cash for everything? I don't like carrying cash if I don't have to, but I also don't want to be stuck unable to pay for things.
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