Norwegian Roadtrip: Fjords And all

Norway - The Sturmers

Last year my sister and her husband escaped to Reykjavik for a wintry kid-free break to see the Northern Lights.  This year they wanted to try out Scandinavia in the sunshine, and headed to Norway for a four-night break.

Planning the trip

We wanted relaxation, fun driving, and beautiful scenery.  A bit of research online showed that the Juvet Landscape Hotel, and the nearby Trollstigen could offer us both.

Sadly, the Juvet hotel was already fully booked, but by then we had a plan.

Some incredibly helpful contributers on the Norway tripadvisor forum helped us to figure out an interesting itinerary, with around 3 hours driving time each day.

We booked flights from London Gatwick to Alesund airport directly with Norwegian Air, and booked our car hire through them as well.

Getting there

The 2 hour flight from Gatwick to Alesund was simple.

Unfortunately when we arrived, our car wasn’t ready.  I had booked the car rental through the airline and they had not given the car rental company (Sixt) the correct timings.  A lesson learned there!  But we were soon on our way into Alesund.

Exploring Alesund

Alesund was just a 20 minute drive from the airport, so a great stop for our first night.  It’s a small port town with a few bars and restaurants.

We had booked the lighthouse room at Hotel Brosundet, which is actually a small lighthouse down the road from the hotel.  My romantic notions were quashed when we entered the smallest ‘room’ I have ever seen.  The initial clue was when the receptionist said that there probably wouldn’t be enough room in there for our bags, and helpfully suggested that we keep them in our car.

We headed straight back to reception and asked to see a few rooms in the hotel, and opted for a bigger, nicer, and cheaper room in the main hotel.

That afternoon we strolled around Alesund (a nice little town, but nothing special) and had some drinks by the harbour and a lovely meal in Hotel Brosundet’s restaurant.

Heading down the coast

The next day we drove down the coast to stay in Krakenes lighthouse.  The driving was easy but we made a real error in not checking the ferry schedules in advance.  There were two ferries on our route, and one of them was on its lunch break when we turned up at the port.

We had a lovely lunch at Kraftasjonen in Maloy and picked up some sushi takeaway for our dinner, before driving the winding coastal road to the lighthouse.  We stayed in the ‘bridal suite’, which is essentially an apartment on the top floor of the lighthouse.  The manager was delightful and the lighthouse is in a beautiful setting.  There’s nothing to do there but it’s a nice place to chill out and watch the waves crashing.

Driving inland to see the fjords

On our second day we got back in the car and drove inland to Hotel Union Oye.  The sun was shining and the scenery was spectacular, driving alongside the fjords with snow-capped mountains in the distance.  The Hotel was great, a bit dark and old fashioned, but full of charm and the staff were lovely, with one of them singing in the bar after dinner.  We had lunch and dinner there (only one thing on the menu, fussy eaters beware!)  and the surrounding countryside is great for walking and jogging.

Navigating the Trollstigen

As we drove towards Trollstigen the roads became busier and we were definitely back on the beaten track.  We eschewed my chosen lunch stop (Jordbaerstova) as it was full of coachloads of tourists on a day trip from a cruise, in favour of a quick lunch at the Trollstigen Visitor Centre.  We jumped back in the car and drove down the windy path itself.  It was fun to drive, but the beauty is really in the distant photos of the whole road winding down the mountain, rather than the drive itself.

Norway Driving Roads

We headed towards Andalsnes and had a lovely coffee and cake stop at Sodahl-Huset, before driving towards our final stop, Rosvang Gaard.  Rosvang Gaard was absolutely everything you could want from a small farm hotel.  Beautiful well-kept rooms, stunning scenery, delicious food, and utterly charming hosts.  Albert and Otto are clearly perfectionists, and nothing was too much trouble.  We had a delicious dinner overlooking the fjord, with views that reminded me of the Kingdom of Arendelle.

Heading home

On our last day we had one final walk around the area near to Rosvang Gaard and then drove back to the airport.

What made the trip stand out to us?

We were definitely ‘off the beaten track’ this time, compared with last year’s trip to Iceland.  The drives were beautiful, especially when the sun was shining.  However, we hadn’t really given planned out much to do and see, rather than absorbing the views.  We struggled to find places to stop spontaneously for food and drink while we were on the road, there were plenty of supermarkets but not many easy local cafes, pubs or restaurants, although this may have been a blessing in disguise due to the high prices!

Norway Pancake

Would we return with the kids?

I wouldn’t rush back to this area with the kids – not our kids anyway!  I don’t think that they would be very excited about the prospect of sitting in the car quietly and enjoying the view, and then going out for lunch walks.  I’d love to go back again one day, especially to enjoy the hospitality at Rosvang Gaard, but I suspect that we have other places that we would like to see first.

Norway Mountain

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