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Norway in April... how is the weather ? and other questions.

In cooperation with: Visit Norway
PA
Level Contributor
12 posts
1 review
Norway in April... how is the weather ? and other questions.

We are debating Norway (and Sweden) the week before Easter. We are a family of 5 peeps.

April seems this in-between season - trying to figure out what we can and can't do. We aren't afraid of cold, but would like to be able to do things.

=> Norway in a Nutshell - would consider renting a car and making this a 2 day trip.

- Will the roads be passable ?

- Will things be open ?

- Are there any family activities that kids would enjoy ? (they would love the sea kayaking, but I don't think it starts yet)

=> glaciers - is it worth it for a visit ? How much out of our way is the Jostedal ?

=> Ice Hotel or Snow Igloos in Arctic Circle.

- they look cool, but I'm afraid in April, not much is going on. Also, is the hassle factor of getting there really worth it ? I'd be more interested in the Snow Igloos, but to fly there is through Helsinki, so no direct flights from either Oslo or Stockholm.

=> Oslo - Stockholm - instead of flying or taking the train, we thought about renting a car and breaking it up with an overnight in-between. Is there anything interesting in-between or are we better off just moving between cities quickly ? Any good castle hotels that anyone has stayed in ?

thanks!

Stavanger, Norway
Destination Expert
for Western Norway, Stavanger
Level Contributor
7,616 posts
108 reviews
1. Re: Norway in April... how is the weather ? and other questions.

Hi,

Norway in a Nutshell (NiN): I may have misunderstood your comment here, but NiN is a registered trademark and is different packages offered by Fjord Tours utilising public transport. You can of course rent a car as you will be more free to explore the area and then just do the highlights of the NiN tour: The Flåm Railway and the fjord cruise between Flåm and Gudvangen.

You can make a stop along the way if you like when doing NiN. However, since you are visiting outside the tourist season the typical stop over destinations will be very quiet. One option though is to stop in Voss, which is a ski resort during the winter.http://www.visitvoss.no/en/

Roads: Yes, roads will be passable. Some roads may still be winter closed, but these roads are not a part of the main road network. Are there any specific roads you are thinking of?

Family activities: Perhaps skiing is an option if there is still snow in the mountains?

Glaciers: I think you are visiting too early for the glaciers. The visitors center in Jostedal opens May 1st . http://www.jostedal.com/

Ice Hotel and Snow Igloos in the Arctic Circle: Hopefully others will comment on this as I have no clue.

Oslo-Stockholm: Personally I think there is not much to experience between these two cities along the road. I would fly everytime! But let's see what others say. Our low-cost airline offers cheap tickets between these cities: http://www.norwegian.com/en/

Castle hotels in Norway: None as far as I know.

Even though April is outside the tourist season, Oslo offers more or less the same as during the summer. Most attractions are open all year around in our capital. For more details check out the official website: http://www.visitoslo.com/en/

Norway in a nutshell is available all year round and is a fun experience. Do it one way and then fly the other way (again check Norwegian for cheap flight tickets). Bergen is also a nice city all year around. http://www.visitbergen.com/en/

Another good sourse for information is this website: http://www.visitnorway.com/

Pippi

PA
Level Contributor
12 posts
1 review
2. Re: Norway in April... how is the weather ? and other questions.

thanks for the great response!

I've looked at the NIN site - they actually have a "Norway by car" tab that lists destinations and routes. I think it is the Hardangervidda plateau? I can't remember the name, but there is a tunnel that saves time, but apparently the scenery over the top was spectacular. I'd be concerned that in April, the mountain road wouldn't be open.

Right now, our proposed itinerary would have us fly into Bergen, spend about 2 days there, and then spend 2 days driving along the fjords to Oslo. Unfurtunately, the kids aren't skiiers yet.

good thoughts about flying between Oslo and Stockholm. I just checked and it is less expensive than I thought, so that is a great option!

I think everything we want to do in Oslo (and Stockholm... the final leg) will be open. We can always take cafe breaks since the kids like hot chocolate and tea if they get cold.

Our plan is to fly to Bergen mid-week April 13, 14th or so - drive to Oslo, spend a few days in Oslo and then fly to Stockholm - then fly home from there. Are we better to start in Stockholm and finish in Bergen ?

I assumed we would run into more things closed in Bergen/Norwegian countryside around Easter, but maybe we are better waiting if things will be more open and starting in Stockholm ?

Stavanger, Norway
Destination Expert
for Western Norway, Stavanger
Level Contributor
7,616 posts
108 reviews
3. Re: Norway in April... how is the weather ? and other questions.

Hi again,

Indeed you are right, Fjord Tours have posted suggested driving routes. These are not the same as the Norway in a Nutshell itineraries though. Bergen-Oslo via Hardangervidda mountain plateau is one option. This road is normally open during the winter, but occasionally closed due to snowy and windy weather conditions. Be prepared for icy and snowy conditions though even in April in the mountains. Your rental car should have winter tyres on.

If you drive the above route you miss out on the highlights of the NiN tours, which is the Flåm railway and the fjord cruise between Flåm and Gudvangen.

In Norway the Easter holiday starts for some already on Saturday 15th. This could also affect opening hours for attractions, so please check this upfront via the websites provided in my first reply. More about Easter in this thread in case you stay in Norway for a week or more: tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g190455-i550-k3886…

For recent trip reports if you have not already seen them; tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g190455-i550-k3785…

Oslo
Level Contributor
1,741 posts
150 reviews
4. Re: Norway in April... how is the weather ? and other questions.

The thing about Norway is the outdoors. With the televisions we have now, we might as well buy the video as driving through the landscape by car. You must get out to smell and feel the landscape.

April is really still winter, outdoor-wise. Ski-resorts like Hemsedal and Geilo will have open lifts and trails in April, while the snow will be gone along the coast and the spring flowers be in bloom in Oslo and Bergen.

The mountain roads will be open, but surrounded by (and maybe covered by) snow.

If you do cross country skiing, the conditions will be excellent at places like Finse (on the railway between Oslo and Bergen, but not accessible by car). The daytime temperature in the mountains might be 0-10 degrees celcius, the weather is normally sunny.

I have driven car to Stockholm, but prefer not to. It's a flat, boring farm landscape. The road goes straight ahead, but there is still a low speed limit, to keep you sufficiently bored.

The Swedish small towns are boring too. Ørebro with it's castle might be worth a visit, but I would have driven on to spend more time in Stockholm.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%96rebro_Castle

The Swedes are more sensible than the Norwegians. They have largely abandoned the unprofitable countryside. Much more seems to be going on in the countryside in Norway. But Stockholm and Gothenburg are vibrant and nice cities.

Oslo
Level Contributor
368 posts
3 reviews
5. Re: Norway in April... how is the weather ? and other questions.

I guess the tunnel you are talking about is Lærdalstunnelen (the world's longest). "The snow road" (over the top) has a really great scenery, but will be closed until June 1. BUT the road up the hills to Stegastein view point will be open all year - so you can see most of the scenery even in April.

http://www.vegvesen.no/Vegprosjekter/aurlandsfjellet/Utforte+anlegg/Stegastein

Some of the most beautiful roads (like road 63 Geiranger / Trollstigen and road 55 Sognefjellet) will be closed in April, but it's still a lot to experience:

* The road from Aurland to Stegastein

* Road 50 from Aurland to Østerbø

* Road 7 Måbødalen

* Road 613 Panoramavegen

* Ferries at Sognefjord, Hardangerfjord and Nordfjord (reduced schedule, but stll daily traffic)

Oslo
Level Contributor
17,246 posts
94 reviews
6. Re: Norway in April... how is the weather ? and other questions.

Excellent advice above.

Just to add:

The Oslo-Bergen train takes you across the same plateau as the Hardangervidda drive. Get last minute update before going by car on road 7 across Hardangervidda, be prepared to cancel or go alternate route.

Norway is the land of "homes and cottages, and no castles" as one poet put it. Even the occasional mansion is characteristically modest. :)

April is still cool (cold in the highlands and the interior), but weather is generally calm and bright (bring sunglasses and sun block for the snowy areas).

Oslo is a nice city, but Stockholm is one of the nicest cities in Europe.

7. Re: Norway in April... how is the weather ? and other questions.

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