Day 1 ARRIVE IN OSLO, NORWAY.
Welcome to Oslo! At 6 pm, meet your traveling companions for a welcome dinner at your hotel.
Day 2 OSLO.
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!
Day 3 OSLO–HEDDAL–VEMORK–TELEMARK.
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 Tinnsjø, 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.
Day 4 TELEMARK–LÅTEFOSS–BERGEN.
Enjoy scenic delights: the wild Hardangervidda mountain plateau, where Fridtjof Nansen prepared for his polar expeditions, and the thundering Låtefoss twin-waterfall. Then, drive through the orchards along Sørfjord, whose tranquil splendor inspired Grieg’s Morning Mood, and cross Hardangerfjord by FERRY. [LF] Meet the family that has owned the STEINSTØ FRUIT FARM for eight generations and hear all about their history, while you taste home-made apple juice and cider. Continue to Bergen, known for its associations with the Hanseatic League.
Day 5 BERGEN–VOSS–STALHEIM.
Time this morning to explore the narrow lanes of ancient Bryggen on your own and discover the colorful Bergen fish market. Later, travel via the popular lakeside resort of Voss to Stalheim. Why not join an exciting optional Flåm train ride?
Day 6 STALHEIM–SOGNEFJORD–FJAERLAND–LOEN.
This morning, enjoy a CRUISE on spectacular Sognefjord and Nærøyfjord. Next, visit Fjaerland’s excellent NORWEGIAN GLACIER MUSEUM and watch a thrilling 5-screen film. Then see Bøyabreen, 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 Europe’s mainland largest glacier. After pristine Lake Jølster and the Våtedalen Valley, follow the shoreline of the innermost branch of Nordfjord and arrive in peaceful Loen.
Day 7 LOEN.
Prepare for Norway’s latest spectacular tourism project: the [LF] 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 Skåla, Jostedal Glacier, and the Nordfjord, or follow one of the hiking trails on your own. Balance of the day at leisure.
Day 8 LOEN–GEIRANGERFJORD–DALSNIBBA–LOM–LILLEHAMMER.
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 lonely stave church. Drive through the wide Gudbrandsdal Valley, the lush dairy and timber land of Ibsen’s drama, Peer Gynt. Arrive in Lillehammer, proud host of the 1994 Winter Olympics. (B,D).
Day 9 LILLEHAMMER–EIDSVOLL–OSLO.
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 Mjøsa 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 [LF] farewell dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 10 OSLO.
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.