Breathtaking Norway is one of the most naturally appealing holiday destinations in the world and has left many a visitor in awe of its splendour. One of the country’s greatest highlights is the ‘Norway in a Nutshell’ excursion offering the opportunity to experience the exquisite natural beauty of mother nature at her finest. Our tour combines a stay at an historic lakeside hotel in Vradal, in Norway’s Telemark region with a stay at Stalheim, one of Europe’s most dramatic hotel locations, right in the heart of fjord country. Both hotels offer good facilities and high standards of food, accommodation and service. Other tour highlights include the Vemork heavy water sabotage site, the Hardangerfjord, the Sognefjord and the delights of Denmark with its half-timbered buildings, romantic castles, old towns and friendly people.
The 3 star superior Quality Straand is a super family run hotel on the shore of Lake Nisser. All en-suite bedrooms have TV, minibar, hairdryer, radio and telephone all are served by lift. There is a lovely restaurant offering buffet style meals, bar, terrace and lakeside gardens and an impressive indoor swimming pool and wellness centre.
This splendid hotel offers ensuite rooms with all modern comforts in a setting that fully warrants its incredible reputation as one of the finest country hotels in the Norway. Facilities at the hotel include an elegant restaurant, comfortable lounge bar, large panoramic terrace and garden. A lift serves all floors.
Friday From your front door to the waiting Club Class coach for the drive to Folkestone during which a light breakfast is served. Boarding the morning train a glass of champagne and snacks set the holiday mood. Arriving in Calais we begin our drive through Belgium to Holland and our overnight hotel, the Postilion, in Deventer, close to Arnhem.
Saturday A fine buffet breakfast before heading north through Germany passing the cities of Bremen & Hamburg before crossing the Danish border to reach our overnight hotel, the Scandic Kolding, in the town of the same name early evening well in time for dinner.
Sunday After breakfast we drive through North Jutland to Hirtshals where we board the midday high speed ferry to Norway’s south coast. There will be time to relax on board, sample some refreshments and enjoy the ships facilities. Mid afternoon we arrive in Larvik for a scenic drive through wonderful Lakeland scenery crossing the Telemark Canal to arrive at our hotel in Vrdal for a 3 night stay. After check-in a late dinner will be served in the restaurant.
Monday A full day at leisure to relax in Vrådal. The hotel has great facilities including an indoor swimming pool, large panoramic terrace, lounge and a wonderful garden that sweeps down from the hotel and right to the lake shore and beach. In the afternoon we can, on request, arrange a cruise on Lake Nisser on the veteran boat, MS Fram. The Fram dates from 1909 and the scenic cruise includes narrow straits, a journey between the small islands and through an old lock. To set the scene for tomorrows excursion we have arranged an evening showing of the Hollywood film, ‘The Heroes of Telemark’, at the hotel after dinner.
Tuesday Full day panoramic excursion across the Hardangervidda Plateau, the largest mountain plain in Europe and the largest of Norway’s National Parks with spectacular views of its wild scenery and beautiful lakes, to the Telemark heavy-water sabotage site at Vermork. The fascinating visit offers an insight into Norwegian Industrial Heritage but of most interest is the film and exhibits relating to the incredible story of the partisan sabotage mission to destroy Hitler’s heavy water plant that was located at this site. Eventually succeeding, they halted German efforts to build a nuclear bomb.
Wednesday This morning we head north to the fjords and our next hotel in Stalheim. Wonderful scenery as we first cross the Haukelifjell Mountain Road and descend to Odda and a branch of the Hardangerfjord. After a stop for refreshments we continue along the shores of the fjord. Overlooked by the huge Folgefonn Glacier, our road is flanked by colourful fruit trees on one side and by the deep waters of the Hardanger on the other. We make the short ferry journey across the Hardangerfjord to Kvanndal. North then, past Voss and many waterfalls towards Gudvangen before climbing up to the Stalheim Hotel for a 3 night stay.
Thursday The ‘Norway in a Nutshell’ excursion is one of Norway’s greatest highlights. The day starts with a coach transfer for the descent from Stalheim to the port of Gudvangen where we board the Fjord Cruise for the leisurely journey to Flåm, sailing down the Naeroyfjord, Europe’s narrowest, and the Aurlandsfjord. Surrounded by sheer sided mountains up to 1800 metres high, this branch of the Sognefjord is amazingly beautiful. There are many mountain top farms to be spied along the way before arriving into the very charming port of Flåm. There will be time at leisure before joining the fantastic Flåm Railway for a return journey to Myrdal, with unforgettable views of mountains and waterfalls en-route. Our return to the hotel includes a visit to fascinating Stalheim Museum.
Friday A superb day tour to the mighty Sognefjord, from Stalheim we climb the soaring Vikafjell before a scenic descent to the Sognefjord. Using a small fery we cross to the north shore and actually drive through the Kvinna waterfall to spend time in Sogndal . Now on to Mannheller for another short ferry crossing, this one to Fodnes and on to Laerdal a very pretty town with a tranquil setting surrounded by mountains. We have time to explore not least the quarter, “Gamla Laerdalsoyri” which consists of traditional wooden houses which have been lovingly restored. We also visit the Norwegian Wild salmon Centre. Our drive back to the hotel takes us to the huge medieval stave church at Borgund one of the most distinctive in Norway, where we stop for photos and through the world’s longest road tunnel, some 24 kms in length.
Saturday Another very scenic day as we head south along the old Oslo to Bergen post road and travel through beautiful scenery as we make for the coast and our last Norwegian hotel, the Grand Farris in Larvik, arriving in time for dinner.
Sunday An early breakfast at the hotel before we board the Color Line fast ferry from Larvik back to Denmark. Disembarking in Hirtshals at midday we make our way through Jutland and southern Denmark to the German border and on to our overnight hotel in the great Hanseatic port and city of Hamburg.
Monday An interesting day as we drive through northern Germany and into Holland to spend time in the historic city of Arnhem, famous for the battle fought by British paratroopers in their heroic but failed attempt to hold off the German army in WW2. We continue to the coast and the Hook of Holland for the relaxing overnight cruise ferry back to the UK. Accommodation is in 2 berth outer cabins.
Tuesday Early morning we approach the port of Harwich and after time for breakfast we disembark for the drive through Suffolk to return to our home area and waiting taxis approximately midday at the end of a tour to remember.
Fenn Holidays Ltd, Whittlesey Road, March, Cambridgeshire PE15 0AG