Tailormade tour Jotunheimen National Park and Fjords touring holiday Norway

11 nights/12 days

Oslo • Aurlandsfjord • Tindevegen scenic road • Jotunheimen • Lillehammer

This fly-drive holiday features two areas of Norway of stunning, natural scenery: the dramatic mountain landscapes in the Jotunheimen National Park which includes the Galdhøppigen mountain, the highest in Norway, and the majestic scenery of the Aurlandsjford, a southern branch of the Sognefjord. Also included are two nights in Oslo at the beginning and a night near Lillehammer at the end.
Holiday price guide

Available year-round subject to the opening period of the hotels. From £2,660 per person.

Luxury 11 night Norway fly-drive holiday with 4 nights on the Aurlandsfjord and 4 nights by the Jotunheimen National Park

Highlights

Oslo • Aurlandsfjord • Tindevegen scenic road • Jotunheimen • Lillehammer

Day by day

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The capital of Norway, Oslo, sits on the country’s southern coast at the head of the Oslofjord. Explore the national museums located in the Bygdøy Peninsula: the Fram Museum, the Norwegian Folk Museum, the Norwegian Maritim Museum, the Viking Museum and the Kon-Tiki Museum. The Fram Museum displays the strongest wooden ship ever built which still holds the record for sailing farthest south and the farthest north. The Norwegian Folk Museum is an open-air attraction showcasing the diverse wooden architecture and history of the country and its traditions. For a further insight into the history of Oslo in particular, visit Akershus Castle and Fortress. Completed during the 1300s, this mediaeval castle’s strategic location at the end of the headland enabled it to withstand every siege throughout the ages. At the castle is also the poignant Norwegian Resistance Museum. Oslo is also known for its green spaces, the most famous of which is Frogner Park, home to Vigeland Sculpture Park. This features more than 200 sculptures in bronze, granite and iron and is one of Norway’s top tourist attractions. Housed in some beautiful gardens of its own, the Royal Palace is the official seat of the Norwegian King and Queen.

Today you collect your hire car and drive north-west through initially the pretty rolling fields and pine trees north of Oslo passing through historic towns, many with charming churches such as Bromma. You pass through the town of Gol, with an open-air museum that contains a replica of the town’s 13th century stave church. Closer to Aurland, you reach Borgund, home of another famous stave church, dating from about 1200. The last part of your route is through the Laerdal tunnel, or you can take the old route, the National Tourist Route Aurlandsfjellet, over the top of the mountains (allow more time). This road is open usually from 1 June until 15 October and is 1,306 metres above sea level at its highest point. The most direct route from Oslo to Aurland takes about 5 hours so you will need all day, allowing for stops to visit places of interest. You have four nights in Aurland.

The location of your hotel is perfect for exploring the southern part of the Sognefjord. Aurland is a fjord-side village surrounded by lush countryside. Boat trips on the fjord are possible and you can take a ferry to Flåm for a ride on the famous Flåmsbana. There is an annual jazz festival one weekend in May. Nearby you can also walk in the mountains of the Aurlandsdalen and fish in the fjord. You can visit the fjord by rib-boat too. At Gudvangen are the white caves, there the Sogn Folk Museum in Kaupanger and the famous Stegastein viewpoint at 650 metres above the fjord on the road over the Aurlandsfjell mountain. The area is also rich in Viking heritage, and there are several burial mounds in the village. In the Viking village of Njardarheimr you experience life in the area one thousand years ago. There is also a shoemaker’s museum at Aurland.

Today you leave the Aurlandsfjord to drive northwards to the Jotunheimen National Park. The journey can take as little as three hours if you use the Laerdal tunnel but for the scenic journey between June and October, you can take the old road over the mountains. From Laerdal the road hugs the side of the Sognefjord and then the Årdalsvatnet. You might want to stop for a coffee or fuel in Øvre Årdal before the road zig zags out of the valley above the Tindevegen waterfall. Much of this road is single track with passing points. This is the Tindevegen high mountain panorama road which is an automatic toll road (NOK 90). The road is paved but narrow and steep; it is open from May until November. As the road meanders through the mountains there are viewpoints and some places to stop. Views of the Hurrungane peaks and Store Skagastølstind mountain in the east and the Sognefjord and Skjolden in the west can be had. By the Mefjell parking and picnic place you cross from Vestland to Innlandet. To your east and north-east is the mountain range and peaks of Galdhøppigen and the Jotunheimen mountains.

Situated in Eastern Norway between Oslo, Bergen and Trondheim, Jotunheimen National Park covers an area of roughly 3,500 square km and is home to some of the most famous hiking trails in the country. The area was originally known as the Home of the Giants in Norse mythology due to the fact that Norway’s 23 highest mountains are all located within its borders. The two highest of these are also the focal points of two of Norway’s top three most iconic hikes. A popular starting point for the Galdhøppigen hike is Spiterstulen Mountain Lodge, which lies 1,100 metres above sea level. From here the round trip is roughly 13 km long and usually takes 5-7 hours, reaching three peaks over 2,000 metres high. Start by crossing the bridge at Spiterstulen, following a clear path which was renovated by Sherpas in 2010 through the forest. Following the red “T”s which mark the trail, you will ascend first Svellnose, then Keilhaustopp, before eventually reaching Galdhøppigen at 2,469 metres above sea level. You may want to stop at the Spiterstulen Mountain Lodge again on your way back for an authentic evening meal before returning to your hotel for the night. Spiterstulen is also one of the main starting points for the hike up the second highest mountain in Norway, Glittertind. This mountain has a permanent snow-cap and involves crossing the Glitterbrean Glacier. It is important to check the weather conditions before embarking on this hike, as crampons may be required depending on the conditions on the final ascent. For those looking for a more challenging, yet perhaps even more scenic, hiking route, the Bessegen ridge hike is recommended for experienced hikers only and starts with a scenic 20-minute ferry ridge from Gjendesheim to Memurubu. Jotunheimen is home to over 50 marked trails and you will find roughly 70 more in the surrounding area, meaning there is something to suit all ages and ability levels. On the opposite end of the altitude scale, the Dumma Valley features a series of labyrinthine caves home to narrow passageways and underground waterfalls carved out by the River Dumma. Other popular activities here include climbing and rafting. The River Sjoa is considered the best river in Norway for rafting, and there are also options to go canyoning and river boarding on the crystal blue waters. The town of Lom is a picturesque settlement famous for its striking Stave Church, which is one of the biggest of its kind in Norway and dates back to 1158. Other attractions here are the Lom open-air museum and the Norwegian Mountain Centre, which features an exhibition about Vikings, folklore and fairy-tales of the region. No visit to this town would be complete without a visit to the Lom Bakery to try one of its country-renowned cinnamon buns.

You leave the Home of the Giants today to drive south in the direction of Oslo but stopping for a night near Lillehammer. You pass through the picturesque Gudbrandsdalen and should stop to visit the famous stave church at Ringebu. This church is one of the most famous in Norway and dates from about 1220. It was constructed traditionally without the use of a single nail but instead the wood is dovetailed, and tar was used to protect the timber. Nearby is the Ringebu Rectory, dating from 1743, and an historic experience in its own right. The driving time is about three hours.

It takes about 90 minutes to drive from Lillehammer to Oslo airport today so time your departure for your flight. Return your hire-car to the airport.

Special offers for this holiday>

It was an excellent holiday - due to excellent planning on your side. Super efficient, very professional.
Mrs F, Holiday to Norway, Oct 2023

Holiday price guide From £2,660 per person

Holiday Code SCFD05

Luxury 11 night Norway fly-drive holiday with 4 nights on the Aurlandsfjord and 4 nights by the Jotunheimen National Park

Special offers for this holiday>

It was an excellent holiday - due to excellent planning on your side. Super efficient, very professional.
Mrs F, Holiday to Norway, Oct 2023

Holiday price guide From £2,660 per person

Holiday Code SCFD05

Our prices include ● Return flights from London to Oslo
● Hire of a group B car for 10 days
● 2 nights’ bed and breakfast in Oslo – choose between Hotel Continental, Amerikalinjen and Hotel
● 4 nights’ bed and breakfast at 29/2 Aurland in a Historic double room
● 4 nights’ bed and breakfast at Elveseter Hotel in a standard double room
● 1 night’s bed and breakfast at a hotel in or near Lillehammer in a standard double room
● Concierge service and Expressions Holidays regional helpful hints

Our prices do not include ● Early check-in or late check-out at any hotels (although we can arrange this on request at additional cost)
● Any other services not mentioned above, such as transfers and meals except breakfast at hotels
● Personal holiday insurance. This is essential and cover should be in place from when you book the holiday.
● Possible local tourist tax, usually the equivalent of £1 to £3 per person per night, and payable locally to the hotel
● Transfers Oslo

Additional information This holiday can be arranged from May to beginning of October. Timings can vary depending on the month and day of the week.

It was an excellent holiday - due to excellent planning on your side. Super efficient, very professional.
Mrs F, Holiday to Norway, Oct 2023

Holiday price guide From £2,660 per person

Holiday Code SCFD05

Luxury 11 night Norway fly-drive holiday with 4 nights on the Aurlandsfjord and 4 nights by the Jotunheimen National Park

Highlights of Norway

The numerous fjords: Eidfjord – branch of the Hardangerfjord, Geirangerfjord – precipitous, one of Norway’s signature images, Hardangerfjord – rolling hills and pretty villages, Jossingfjord – vertiginous fjord in the flatlands of the south, Lysefjord – plunging cliffs, cruises and look out points, Naeroyfjord – narrow and very pretty, Sognefjord – Norway’s longest and one of the most beautiful, Trollfjord – very steep fjord on Lofoten, Vestfjord – sheltered bays and pretty villages separating Lofoten from the mainland. The Hurtigruten ferry that covers over 2500 km from Bergen to Kirkenes with over 30 stops. The Midnight Sun and the Northern Lights. Stave churches, beautifully preserved in wood, dating from Viking times, for example at Borgund, Lom, Ringebu and Urnes. Viking ships and artefacts, burial mounds and trinkets in museums throughout the country. The red, wooden houses perched stilts over the sea on the Lofoten Islands. The modern architecture of Oslo. Picking wild blueberries, sampling aquavit made from potatoes and caraway, and tasting reindeer steak with cranberries. The charm of Oslofjorden with its pretty, arty village and towns, harbours with sailing boats, islands offshore and beaches. Hike over the Jotunheimen and relish the natural landscape of this stunning National Park.

Cultural highlights of Norway

The architecture of stave churches dating from the Viking era and Viking treasure in museums around the country. The literature of Henrik Ibsen and Knut Hamsun. Folk tales and mythology. The music of Edvard Grieg and the art of Edvard Munch. Contemporary jazz and folk music.

Gastronomy of Norway

Norway’s gastronomy is a clear reflection of its land and sea. From the land come reindeer, venison, lamb, cured meats and potatoes of all types: boiled, roasted and fried. From the freshwater lakes and streams come salmon served grilled and smoked, and freshwater fish. Sea fish is a vast array of cod, haddock, shrimps, mackerel, fish soup, fish balls, salt cod. From the orchards particularly around the Hardangerfjord come apples, cherries and plums as well as berries of all sorts including blueberries, cranberries, bilberries and, a great delicacy, cloudberries. Cheeses include Jarlsberg and brown cheese. Coffee is almost certainly the national drink, followed by beer, of which there are all sorts of craft beers brewed locally, and Aquavit is the national spirit made from potatoes and caraway.

Facts in brief

Capital Oslo
Airport Oslo Gardermoen
Size 323,878 sq km
Population 4.4 million
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