Thursday, August 16, 2012

Expert Tips for Traveling to Norway

Once again we have some great travel tips and insight from Borton Overseas, an Official Travel Partner of Sons of Norway! This time we are hearing from Scandinavia Specialist, Katherine Wolf. 

What is your geographic region of expertise?
Since my mother hails from Oslo, I was blessed to enjoy frequent visits to Norway throughout my life, with a focus primarily on eastern Norway. During my formative years, we had a family cabin in Trevatn, Norway (near Gjøvik) and shared a family home with our Norwegian relatives on the Oslofjord in Son, Norway (near Moss). I also spent time in Sandefjord, Gudbrandsdalen, Hardangerfjord, Sognefjord, and Bergen.

What type of experiences do you like sharing with your clients?
Mostly leisure and nature activities, including swimming, hiking the forest trails, and boating during summer months, as well as cross country skiing and ice skating in the winter. There is a fabulous cultural side of Norway as well, including visits to key museums in the cities of Oslo, Bergen, Trondheim, and Stavanger.

Tips for traveling to this location: 
1 - Bring a sense of adventure and openness to the idea of nature embracing city life. The city of Oslo is surrounded by forests, so while many travelers will focus primarily on the key museums, you should remember that you can combine culture with nature very easily in Oslo and surrounding communities and that these are easily accessible by public transportation.
2 – Most visitors travel through the country in such a fast pace that is seems their goal is to see as many places as possible, rather than to experience the country, the nature, and its people. Removing one or two places in the itinerary in favor of adding enriching experiences and extra nights in each place will change your trip from ordinary to extraordinary.

Name one item you CAN leave at home:
Formal attire. While it's enjoyable to dress up, you won't need a cocktail dress here... pack smart!  Sporty elegance is the fashion tip here; for women, you might consider a nice pair of pants and a crisp white shirt with a beautiful scarf or shawl (perfect for those breezy evenings). Men, you don't need a formal jacket or tie for most restaurants; instead, a crisp shirt and nice pair of pants and elegant casual shoes will work wonders.

Top 3 things to see:  
1) Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock) in Stavanger – one of the most famous views in Norway.
2) The fjords! Visit Geirangerfjord with its Seven Sisters Waterfall, Hardangerfjord, or the Sognefjord.
3) Norsk Folkemuseum in Oslo - Norway’s largest museum of cultural history.

Top 5 things to do: 
1) Walk through Nordmarka Forest in Oslo for incredible exposure to nature and some marvelous vistas of the city below. Consider lunch at Frognerseteren's Cafe Seterstua during your active hiking day. 
2) Take a ferry from Oslo to Drøbak and visit this quaint village on the Oslofjord. There is a beautiful park with a beach, perfect for families that might want a leisurely day on the water, as well as quaint shops and restaurants. This everyday village may even tempt you for an overnight stay.
3) In the winter, consider a few nights in Gålå (north of Lillehammer) for access to some of the most amazing ski trails (both cross country and downhill) and the peace and quiet of a top-of-the- world feeling that you can only get with endless stretches of white snow plateaus that seem to go on forever.
4) Visit Nidaros Cathedral and Ringve Museum in Trondheim, a nice pairing of two very special places exposing you to rich history and culture.
5) Enjoy ice cream! Order Softis med Krokan. Translation - soft serve ice cream with toffee sprinkles. 

How can Borton Overseas help you get there and have a great experience? 
The Scandinavia Specialists of Borton Overseas can take your ordinary point-to-point journey and turn it into an extraordinary once-in-a-lifetime experience by incorporating unique experiences not generally offered on the average travel websites. We combine the standard logistics that are necessary for a successful trip (air, lodging, and other transportation) with our personal expertise and experiences along with our close relationships to the local suppliers and guides.

A traditional city and fjord tour program can be transformed into an extraordinary vacation with a few unique experiences. Consider that adding a fishing excursion, a special dinner in a 19th-century timber building in Lofoten, a fjord kayak trip that includes a visit to a seal colony, an overnight on an isolated skerry, a northern lights and dog sled adventure through a crisp Arctic landscape ending with a traditional Samí dinner and overnight in a Samí Lavvu tent. Whether traveling for summer or winter, our Scandinavia Specialists will listen to your heart’s desires and craft a vacation that will stay with you for the rest of your life.

I don't know about you, but this certainly has me thinking about a trip to Norway! Make sure and keep an eye out for posts with travel tips in the future and don't forget that Sons of Norway members get a 5% discount on qualifying packages booked through Borton Overseas!

No comments: