Day 1:ARRIVE IN OSLO, NORWAY.
Welcome to Oslo! At 6 pm, meet your Tour Director and travelling companions for a welcome dinner at your hotel.
Today gives you a good introduction to Oslo, the country’s hub of trade and industry. Sightseeing with a Local Guide features the National Theater, considered the home for Ibsen’s plays; the unique Storting building, seat of Parliament; and the Royal Palace, residence of Norwegian monarchs since 1849. Stroll through magnificent FROGNER PARK with Gustav Vigeland’s extraordinary sculptures; and visit the CITY HALL, where the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony is held each year. Afterwards, an optional excursion is available to see relics of Norway’s glorious seafaring past-including 1,000-year-old Viking ships!
Start your tour of the land of fjords, lakes, mountains, thundering waterfalls, and gleaming glaciers with a visit of HEDDAL STAVE CHURCH, the largest of the country’s remaining medieval wooden churches. Follow the narrow Rjukan Valley via Lake Tinnsjo, where saboteurs sank a ferry loaded with heavy water, dashing Nazi hopes of winning the race for the atomic bomb. Next is VEMORK, scene of the daring sabotage action celebrated in The Heroes of Telemark and recently registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Learn all about the dramatic events of 1943 from your Local Guide, and gain an insight into the technology of hydroelectric power generation, one of the pillars of Norway’s economy. Arrive in rustic, unspoiled Telemark.
A day of scenic delights: the wild Hardangervidda mountain plateau, where Fridtjof Nansen prepared for his polar expeditions, and the thundering Latefoss twin-waterfall. Drive through the orchards along the tranquil splendour of Sorfjord, which inspired composer Edvard Grieg’s Morning Mood, and cross Hardangerfjord by FERRY. Meet the family that has owned the STEINSTO FRUIT FARM for eight generations and hear all about their history. Taste home-made apple juice and cider, and enjoy lunch. Continue to Bergen, known for its associations with the Hanseatic League. An orientation drive shows you the charming Bryggen Hanseatic Wharf, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; the harbour; and the famous Fish Market.
Time this morning to discover colourful Bergen and explore the narrow lanes of ancient Bryggen on your own. Later, travel toward the popular lakeside resort of Voss, where you can join an exciting optional Flam train ride. Arrive in Stalheim, overlooking the beautiful Naeroydalen Valley.
Day 6:STALHEIM-SOGNEFJORD & NAEROYFJORD-FJAERLAND-LOEN.
Start today with a relaxing CRUISE on spectacular Sognefjord and Naeroyfjord. Next, visit Fjaerland’s excellent NORWEGIAN GLACIER MUSEUM and watch the spectacular Panorama Movie – 22 metres long and 5.5 metres high. Then marvel at Boyabreen, one of the branches that radiate from Jostedal Glacier into the surrounding valleys, and enjoy the rugged mountain scenery as you approach the tunnel underneath mainland Europe’s largest glacier. After pristine Lake Jolster and the Vatedalen Valley, follow the shoreline of the innermost branch of Nordfjord and arrive in peaceful Loen.
Prepare for Norway’s latest spectacular tourism project: the LOEN SKYLIFT, a cable car that brings you from the fjord to the top of Mount Hoven (over 3,300 feet high) in just minutes. Time to enjoy the breathtaking views of Lake Lovatnet, Mount Skala, Jostedal Glacier, and the Nordfjord. Discover one of the hiking trails at your own pace.
Head north via Lake Hornindal to Hellesylt to embark for a leisurely CRUISE on Geirangerfjord past the famous Seven Sisters cascade. Then, climb above the tree line to 5,000 feet for panoramic views from the GEIRANGER SKYWALK, Mount Dalsnibba’s new platform above the fjord. Continue to Lom and take pictures of its lovely stave church. Drive through the wide Gudbrandsdal Valley, the lush dairy and timber land of Ibsen’s drama, Peer Gynt, and arrive in Lillehammer, proud host of the 1994 Winter Olympics.
Start your day with a picture stop at the Olympic ski jump, followed by a guided walking tour of the unique MAIHAUGEN OPEN-AIR MUSEUM, an encounter with Norway’s culture and history and a fascinating collection of houses and farmyards. Enjoy a comfortable drive along lovely Lake Mjosa to Eidsvoll, where the country’s democratic constitution was signed in 1814, before returning to Oslo. Tonight, celebrate the success of your journey with a farewell dinner at a local restaurant.
Your holiday ends with breakfast this morning.