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- Best seller
14 days - Independent tour with emphasis on city stays and some fabulous fjord scenery.
This classic self-guided tour gives you the best of the Nordic capitals and the dramatic fjord & mountains of Norway. Travel by rail and local ferries with ample time to digest the scenery and the modern Scandinavian capital cities.
Highlights include a day trip to Tallinn, overnight voyage to Helsinki through the magnificent Baltic Sea archipelago, Norway in a nutshell and great cities such as Stockholm, Copenhagen and Bergen. Enjoy new attractions such as the ABBA museum and the Blue Planet Aquarium in Copenhagen.
Independent - departs any day all year. One of our best sellers!
- Day 1
- Arrive Copenhagen
- Day 2
- Wonderful Copenhagen - small and intimate capital.
- Days 3 - 4
- Historic Bergen - Hanseatic wharf, fish and flower markets.
- Day 5
- Norway in a Nutshell
- Days 6 - 7
- Modern Oslo - visit the Viking Ship and other interesting museums.
- Days 8 - 9
- Charming Stockholm
- Day 10
- Overnight ferry to Helsinki
- Days 11 - 13
- Cool Helsinki with daytrip to Tallinn
- Day 14
- Depart Helsinki
- Start Place
- Copenhagen, Denmark
- End Place
- Helsinki, Finland
- Countries Visited
- 14 Days
- Easy independent holiday suitable for singles & couples
Local bus, trains, boat/ferry and local flights.
- All hotel accommodation in shared double/twin room with private facilities
- Daily breakfast
- All train, bus and boat/ferry tickets as per itinerary, including day trip to Tallinn
- Seat reservations on intercity trains where available
- Flight Bergen to Copenhagen including taxes
- City passes/cards in Copenhagen (24hrs), Bergen (24hrs), Oslo (48hrs) and Helsinki (48hrs)
- 24-hour emergency service
- Taxes and service fees
Arrive in Copenhagen any time and make your own way to our centrally located hotel. Plan for your evening meal well in Copenhagen as there are many world class restaurants to enjoy. Or just head down to Nyhavn for a beer and some snacks with the locals.
Accommodation71 Nyhavn Hotel
Optional Add Ons
Copenhagen has a long history, and many delightful attractions and sights - you will never run out of something to see or to do. The city is small and cosy, an ideal way to explore the city is by foot, and public transport.
You will have a Copenhagen Card on hand allowing you to free travel on buses and trains within the cities metropolis, as well as free entrance to over 70 museums and attractions. Be sure to visit the new Aquarium if you are interested in design and fish! This new aquarium is included in the Copenhagen card.
If Viking ships and history interests you, consider a trip out to Roskilde Viking Ship Museum. Or the Louisana Art Gallery for art lovers.
Be sure also to climb the tower of Church of our Savior - the spiral stairs were on the outside of the tower and it offers a great aerial view of the city! Not for the faint hearted though.
Accommodation71 Nyhavn Hotel
Optional Add Ons
Days 3 - 4
A morning flight takes you north to Bergen, the gateway to the fjords. Make your own way to the hotel. You have the evening and the next full day to explore. Recommended sights of interests are the Hanseatic harbour ‘Bryggen’, Fløibanen Funicular, Edward Grieg’s house at Troldhaugen and the Fish & Flower market. The Bergen Card will guide you around the city with free entrance to the cities museums, free public transportation and so much more.
Optional Add Ons
After breakfast you depart from Bergen by train. Today you will experience Norway's most popular round trip; Norway in a Nutshell. The excursion takes you through some of the most beautiful scenery in Norway's fjord region, and over the mountains to Oslo.
Days 6 - 7
The Norwegian capital has a great deal to offer the discerning traveller, and you have two full days to discover the city with the help of an Oslo Pass. We can recommend visiting some of the Oslo highlights, including the Viking Ship, Kontiki & Fram museums, the Vigeland Sculpture Park, Ekerbergeparken and the Holmenkollen Ski Jump and Museum. A walk around the centre of town to view the Parliament, the Castle, the Harbour area and the new Opera House is well worth it.
Optional Add Ons
Days 8 - 9
In the morning catch a 6-hour train ride through the Swedish countryside to Stockholm. Sweden's capital is charming, vibrant and surrounded by beauty and water - hence its nickname, Venice of the North! Stockholm offers interesting museums and castles; the city offers a warm atmosphere and the old town has charming small alleyways boasting several famous restaurants.
On one of your afternoons here, be sure to make time for a visit to the ABBA museum with great interactive exhibits - a glass of champagne (for Dutch courage to get on stage & the pure fun of it) to accompany your tour is recommended! On the other hand, take the serious option & visit the Nobel Prize museum in the Old town.
Optional Add Ons
The morning and early afternoon is free in Stockholm before boarding the overnight voyage to Helsinki through the magnificent Baltic Sea archipelago. Accommodation in seaside cabins with shower/WC.
AccommodationOutside twin cabin with sea view and private facilities
Days 11 - 13
You have two full days to explore this fabulous eastern Nordic capital. We recommend a walking tour of the city, which is known for its great mixture of neo-classical buildings, orthodox style churches and bars and restaurant scene. You have the opportunity to visit the Senate Square, Uspenski Cathedral, Parliament House, New Opera House, Sibelius Park & Monument and the Underground Temple. The included Helsinki card offers free entrance to almost 50 museums and use of public transportation. Need to take a break - head to the Kotiharjun Sauna, the last traditional wood-burning sauna in Helsinki.
On one of your days in Helsinki we have included return tickets for the ferry from Helsinki to Tallinn. Your trip to Tallinn would normally take a full day departing Helsinki at 07:30 in the morning and arriving back in Helsinki at 19:30. The ferry trip each way takes 2 hours and suddenly you are at the shores of this Eastern beauty. The infinitely charming medieval Old Town is well worth the visit. The cobblestone streets and medieval buildings are a whole world away from what you can expect from Helsinki, Stockholm, Oslo, or Copenhagen. Tallinn feels distinctly Eastern, its architecture reminding the visitor of other beautiful Eastern European Old Towns, such as those of Prague, Krakow, or Riga. Through its history, culture, and location, Estonia connects Eastern Europe, Central Europe, and Scandinavia, offering something altogether different in comparison to your itinerary so far.
Be sure to also check out the option of a day trip from Helsinki to Porvoo on a heritage sailing boat.
Optional Add Ons
Our services end after breakfast.
Dates & Prices
All prices listed are per person and based on Director's Choice hotel categories.
31 Oct 2018
31 Oct 2018
31 Oct 2018
31 Oct 2018
New attractions are opening all the time in these destinations - ask us for advice about tickets should be pre purchased before you depart.
Interactive Tour Map
Practical information about Scandinavian Hotels
- Hotel rooms in Scandinavia are normally furnished with twin beds, which can be moved together to form a double bed or placed separately. Please note that single rooms are generally smaller than doubles, and are often equipped with a shower instead of a bath. Purpose-built triple or family rooms are likewise unusual in Scandinavian hotels. Whilst it is possible for 3 persons to share a room, this will normally be a double room with an extra bed, with correspondingly less space to move about in.
- It is also unusual to have a porter at hotels to carry your luggage.
- There is free wi-fi in many hotels in Scandinavia.
- Unexpectedly, all forms of Scandinavian accommodation rarely provide tea and coffee facilities in their rooms. If you are lucky, a kettle will be supplied but nothing else. Please ask at reception for some provisions when you arrive or just carry a small selection from home.
- Please also note that in Scandinavia - in particular, during winter - the included lunch will often be a hearty warm soup with bread.
- More remote hotels in Lapland will offer dinner at an additional cost. In some spots, there will be limited choices else where. Generally, you get a very nice home-cooked Scandinavian dinner. However, you may sometimes find only one or two choices only for your main course.
- In Scandinavia, it is normal for washing and laundry facilities to be in the basement. If you are staying in apartment type accommodation, check downstairs or ask for assistance.
Travel insurance is compulsory for all tours with 50 Degrees North. Please ensure that you have this organised as we will need to see proof of this upon issuing your tour documentation. Please contact us for a quote or visit http://www.suresave.net.au/
Practical budgeting information before your departure to Norway
Norway has a few items that typically surprise travellers when visiting Norway for the first time. Alcohol and luxury items are heavily taxed and therefore prices are higher than you would expect. On the other hand, necessities such as bread and milk, are taxed low and therefore are great value.
We recommend that you bring all the alcohol you’re allowed to bring into the country when you arrive. There are many lovely parks and balconies where you can enjoy your duty free. However, be sure not to bring more than you’re allowed!
As of May 2014, the allowances according to Visit Norway are:
Minimum age: 18/ 20*
1 litre of beverages with more than 22% up to and including 60% alcohol per volume as well as 1½ litre with more than 2.5% up to and including 22% alcohol per volume or three litres with more than 2.5% up to and including 22% alcohol per volume
2 litres of beer with more than 2.5 % or other beverages with more than 2.5% up to and including 4.7% alcohol per volume.
This means that you may for example bring with you five litres of beer provided you do not have any other alcoholic beverages with you.
*For importing alcoholic beverages with more than 22% alcohol per volume the minimum age is 20.
It’s illegal to bring extra alcohol into Norway and can end up costing you. Another thing you should bring and not buy in Norway is razor blades. Good razor blades in Norway are expensive.
Self-catering in Norway
Written by Jayde Kincaid, who married a Norwegian, and was happily (albeit with some hesitation) introduced to a world of Norwegian every day food habits.
At 50 Degrees North, we want to encourage our travellers to try local Norwegian food & drink. This may seem difficult in Scandinavia in general without a large budget, and in particular Norway. Some of the more remote villages you might visit have limited restaurants or cafes, some of which can be pretty expensive. There is certainly no street food! One way to get about sampling local food is by self-catering. You will find plenty of friendly locals in the small town grocery stores and supermarkets who will be happy to help you picking out local ingredients. Just don’t be shy – ask! And, don’t rush – make your local small town shopping part of your holiday experience. Read the local notice boards, and enjoy an ice cream out the front when you have finished. It is what the locals do!
Note: Statoil cups - a good idea to save money as you drive around Norway: purcahse a Statoil (petrol station) metal cup and you get free refills of coffee, tea and hot chocolate at the Statoil stations.
Norway has an extensive range of grocery stores, and in most small villages you will find at least one, if not two or three grocery stores. However, they do have limited opening hours, and except for ‘Bunnpris’, they are all closed on Sundays. You will see the weekend hours shown in brackets on the store sign out front. If you are arriving in a larger town, we do suggest you stock up with some staples before you head out into the mountains or on a coastal drive.
A few tips:
• Plastic bags are NOK1-2 and you will always need to pack your own shopping.
• You can recycle your bottles and cans for a receipt that you can cash in. Recycling points are found in all stores.
• Alcohol sold in food stores (mainly beer and cider) is restricted by government regulation to certain hours. This varies slightly, but on weekdays alcohol sales stop at 8pm regardless and on Saturdays at 6pm. Outside these hours and on Sundays you can only buy alcohol in licensed restaurants or bars.
• Any alcohol over 4.7% can only be bought at special government controlled liquor store (Vinmonopolet). These are very rare in smaller remote towns and villages, so stock up before you leave the city.
Meatballs or “meatcakes’: these come in all shapes, sizes and quality. They are generally really tasty and a bit better than what you find at IKEA. Also pick up a packet of dried ready-made brown sauce that goes with them. Be on the look out for Lingonberry sauce/jam, or even fresh lingonberries that you can use to make a fresh sauce (little red circular berries). Don’t add too much sugar, they are served quite tart.
If you want to try to make this brown sauce yourself, buy some ‘brunost’ (brown cheese), the required creams and follow the recipe below.
Hotdogs: known as ‘pølse’ in Norwegian, hot dogs are abundant in Norway. Cheap and cheerful – pølse is THE fast food of Norway. They are sold at service stations, newsagents, corner stores and fast food outlets. Pølse come with a dazzling variety of toppings and bread. Some of the pølse highlights would be the bacon wrapped ones, sprinkled with dried onion, mustards and mayonnaise. You will also find them wrapped in waffles (mostly in and around Fredrikstad) or the Norwegian pancake, ‘lompe’.
Note: there are strict requirements by the Food Safety commission for traditional pølse to be of the highest quality and they have even set requirements for what types of ingredients are allowed.
Like Norwegian beer, you will find seasonal pølse – Christmas pølse (Julepølse) is obviously found only in the lead up to the celebrations.
If you are planning to eat Norwegian style, use boil pølse on the stove and add to meals with potatoes and stew.
Note; steer away from tinned cheap pølse and meatballs.
Fish cakes: these also come in lots of variation and are generally served with a white sauce and lots of parsley. The Norwegians also use a basic white sauce on broccoli with cheese on top. These fish cakes are often found in fish shops, fried or steamed, ready to eat. A great fast snack.
Reindeer: we strongly suggest you try reindeer meat when you are travelling in the far north. It generally comes frozen, so look for finely cut reindeer meat in the freezer section. It is a more expensive option, but absolutely delicious albeit quite gamey. Be sure to get mushrooms, a small amount of brown cheese and rømme (crème fraiche). Fry it all up in a pan - a bit like a beef stroganoff. Serve with boiled potatoes or rice.
Mushrooms: if you are travelling in the chanterelle harvest season (mid/late August), be sure to try them. They are the yellow mushroom found in autumn. Or better still, have a look around the pine forests and pick some. Be sure to image search them before you head out so you know what to pick. They are really delicious with the brown cheese sauce and reindeer.
Salmon, prawns & fish: always be on the look out for a chance to buy fresh fish. Yes, it is possible to smooth talk a fisherman at the harbour. Or look for the local fish-kiosk or fish-shop. Be on the look out for small signs pointing you in the direction of fresh fish sales – ‘reker’ (shrimps, not prawns) or ‘fersk fisk’ (fresh fish) are the words you need.
Norwegians are very proud of their shrimps – and of course completely justified. Their shrimps are small and tasty and harvested from the cool North Sea. Norwegians traditionally serve them with mayonnaise and lemon. Peel them and pop them on a fresh white slice of bread. Mayonnaise is layered on top with dill, pepper & salt.
Smoked Salmon: Norwegian smoked salmon is the best in the world hands down. Be sure to try all the different varieties you see – often, in larger supermarkets or delis, you can try before you buy.
Tubed ‘kaviar’ (caviar): this is a must try. It is cheap and perfect for the travellers pantry. This is what my husband craves like an Australian abroad would crave vegemite.
Norwegian pre-made dips and salads: the Norwegian supermarkets have a large range of premade salads and dips. They last quite a while and are good fillers for sandwiches. Our favourite are the cubed beetroot salad and the potato salads. They come in easy-to-carry and pack-up containers – perfect for picnics. Tubed mayonnaise is also handy for picnics.
‘Leverpostei’ (liver pate) in many variations can also be found in the supermarket. This pate is normally served on brown bread then topped with sliced red onions or sweet pickles. Protein rich and very tasty if you like pate – it is found on most Norwegian breakfast tables.
Yoghurt: now – this is an interesting one. Norwegian yoghurt comes in a variety of styles - some can be very runny, sour and low fat. There are varying names/codes for each sort. You might like to check with a local when you are buying yoghurt to be sure you are getting what you want. Some of the yoghurt comes as though it is milk, in normal milk cartons - sour runny yoghurt is NOT nice in your coffee.
Bread: the Norwegian supermarket bread generally comes un-cut. You can either cut it in the shop – ask for help the first time you do it. They have industrial bread cutting machines near the bakery section. The bread can be quite plain in the main supermarkets so be on the look out for boutique bakeries in the larger towns if you enjoy fancy bread. Also keep an eye out for the Norwegian flatbread, Lefse, which is similar to Mexican tortillas. Usually served with butter and sugar, sometimes cinnamon too. Occasionally made with potato.
Waffles: Norwegian waffle stalls are similar to the sausage sizzle or hot dog stand. It is the most common fundraising or community building food product. Don’t expect sickly sweet jams or whipped cream – you will find these fresh chewy waffles served with sour cream and home made tart berry jams. Never go past one!
Chocolate: we recommend that you try the ‘FREIA’ milk chocolate during your stay. It melts in your mouth.
Berries: if you travel in early autumn (mid/late August) this is berry season. Forest berries that is. Ask a local and head up into the hills or forest in search for berries. You may find; blueberries, lingonberries, rasberries and if you are up north or in the central mountains; the rare yellow cloudberries.
On a self-drive journey, always be on the look out for small farm shops or stands along the road. Things you cannot drive past:
Strawberries: if you are travelling in the strawberry season – you MUST try Norwegian strawberries. They are seriously amazing. Grown in the nutritious earth that has the chance to rejuvenate through a long winter.
_And if you go past a self-pick strawberry farm, put everything else on hold and enter! Norwegians wait all year for this event. _
New potatoes: be on the look out for new season potatoes – they are often sold in little stands beside the road. Often on an honesty basis; i.e. grab a bag and put the money in an allocated tin.
Basic Brown Cheese Recipe – can be used with meatballs, reindeer, with added mushrooms.
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 2 tablespoons flour
• 3⁄4 cup light cream
• 1⁄2 cup chicken broth (optional - just use water if you cannot find this)
• 1 cup shredded gjetost or brown goats cheese
• 3⁄4 cup rømme (crème fraiche)
• 2 tablespoons chopped parsley or 2 tablespoons fresh dill
Using the meat dish that has been browned off, remove as much oil from the pan as possible and blend in butter and flour. Remove from heat and blend in light cream. Add chicken broth, bring to boil, stirring and cooking until thickened. Mix in Gjetost cheese. Turn heat low.
Blend some of the sauce into the rømme (crème fraiche), then return all to sauce. Add chopped parsley or fresh dill.
Happy shopping and cooking!