Beautiful Norway tour reviewed by Graham and Jan, July 2018
"Overall – Excellent, but we were probably lucky in a couple of aspects: Great weather, and the fact that we had the minibus to ourselves. Our driver, though not a tour guide, was very helpful and showed us places to stop. Simply being able to observe the lush green valleys and snow covered mountain peaks over 3 days was great.
A few specific comments as follows:
Lillehammer – arrived around lunch time and discovered we were just in time to see the finish of the “Tour of Norway” bike race – a bonus. Hotel was great and we enjoyed a pleasant walk around the town.
Day 1 – Drive to Lom. A very scenic drive with a few stops suggested by the driver. It was a great day and Lom was a pleasant surprise with much more than we expected and a great hotel. With more time we could have done a few of the walks.
Day 2 – Drive to Geiranger. Again a very scenic drive. The only downside was fog on top of the pass which blocked the view from the top lookout. Also, when we got to Geirangar, we found that our scenic cruise had been cancelled due to a faulty boat. However, we took up the alternative offer of a “rib” boat (rubber speedboat), which was actually a better alternative – maybe not for less adventurous elderly people though. Our driver was flexible and helpful throughout the day – and every day.
Day 3 – Drive to Aurland via Beste Bakken hotel/ restaurant. This was another great day, sunny and clear. The mountain snow was beautiful as was the area around our lunch stop – which was a highlight. Being the only guests there meant personalised service from the hostess – though a bigger group would have found it equally enjoyable. We arrived at the Aurland viewing platform late in the afternoon after a long drive and the only downside is that the view is into the sun so not good for photography. Perhaps, it is an excursion which could be added to the next day. Our driver left us at the end of this day.
Day 4 – Free time around Aurland. A nice restful day away from tourists, we went for a couple of long walks and relaxed. Some guests might think this is a wasted day and the trip could be cut shorter by spending this day at Flam and the scenic railway. For us, though, it was nice to have a peaceful day and get some exercise, by climbing up one of the tracks next to the fjord. It also might be worth pointing out to other customers that Flam is only a 10 minute taxi ride away if they want to visit Flam on this day, although we had plenty of time in Flam the next day.
Day 5 – Flam Visit and railway. All went smoothly. Taxi pick up and return was fine as was the rail ride, which was spectacular - although after the drive through the mountains, the rail ride was not as spectacular as it would be for people who did not have our experience. We enjoyed a few hours in Flam, but noted that it was overrun with tourists from a cruise ship and we were pleased to be staying out of town. The fast ferry ride to Bergen was a great way to finish the day – another sunny day with good views of the fjiords and plenty of room to move around on the ferry.
Day 6 – Bergen. The hotel was great - just next to the ferry terminal and close to the airport bus stop. We enjoyed a meal in the hotel with a view across the harbour. We added an extra night so had time to explore Bergen including walking to the top of the lookout and taking the funicular down! Once again, we were lucky with the weather – sunny and warm.
We hope the above feedback gives you some ideas for some minor tweaks, but overall we would thoroughly recommend this tour as it enables a view of the countryside between as well as the fjiords and major cities. While we enjoyed both Stockholm and Oslo, the countryside in Norway was definitely the highlight."