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Norway or Sweden – any holiday tips?

5 replies

RosieT · 02/01/2003 10:47

Guess it's that time of year again... We're thinking about a summer holiday, and fancy the idea of Norway or Sweden. We had a lovely holiday in Denmark a couple of years ago, but the thought of slightly more dramatic scenery appeals. Norway always used to be thought of as a somewhat expensive holiday option ? is this still the case? And what about self-catering options?
Our ds is four ? does anyone have any tips? MalmoMum, are you there?

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Tissy · 02/01/2003 11:12

We went to Norway last year with 2 13 year-old boys.

We got a Stena-Line ferry from Newcastle to Bergen (I think!) and drove from there about 4 hours North to the holiday park, which has self-catering chalets, with grass on the roof! The holiday park was advertised in the ferry brochure and bookable as a package- discount for booking early if I recall correctly.Can't remember how much the package cost, but it wasn't extortionate.

The scenery certainly is dramatic- rather like Scotland only more so! The mountains are higher, the country roads are windier (i.e. more bends, not more wind!), LOTS of ferries needed to get about the place.

There was plenty to do- we visited a glacier, and the glacier museum, which has lots of hands-on exhibits about glaciers, and an IMAX-type film show. There was a train that went up a valley (name of both train and valley escape me), which was spectactular-it's apparently the steepest track in Europe (the world?)and each carriage of the train has several independent braking systems.
Halfway up the train stops at a viewing platform so the passengers can get out and look at a spectacular waterfall and you get a "surprise" visit from a mountain nymph, who appears from nowhere, then disappears again. We had a boat trip along very narrow fjord, and drove through the longest tunnel in the world (?)which has stopping places, and diferent coloured lights to keep you awake. There was a folk museum with plenty of indoor and outdoor exhibits, and well-laid out country walks.

The weather was good- some wet days, but warm, and the people very friendly, and universally English-speaking.

Down-side: eating out v.expensive, even chips and burgers, so if you go S/C I'd recommend packed lunches. Many roads have tolls, so you have to allow for this(a very annoying and expensive toll booth is on the road just before the glacier centre- so if you've driven for 90 mins to get there you have to pay up- turning back isn't an option).Because of the number of fjords, there are hundreds of ferries, which are often not shown on the map, so you have to allow plenty of time for a journey.

We loved our holiday, and would go back there, but perhaps to a different area, as we'd "done" all the attractions in our area by the end of 10 days.

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janh · 02/01/2003 12:45

Rosie, we went to Sweden last summer (and met Malmomum/dad/boys which was great fun!) and had a wonderful time - we stayed with a friend so I have no idea what accomodation costs are like but we found food (self-catered mostly) very reasonable, the people v friendly and generally with good English, the scenery lovely and the roads empty and a pleasure to drive on. The weather was superb too but we were lucky to catch the best summer they have had for about 100 years! (Petrol is quite a bit cheaper than here, surprisingly.) No bugs either, but some people we met on the ferry home who had been cycling in the forests further north said the flies/midges are a big problem there.

We stayed on an island called Oland in the SE, on the Baltic, very long and narrow and with lovely beaches and lots to do, water parks and crazy golf and that kind of thing. The DSs (9 and 14) loved it.

We travelled with DFDS, Newcastle to Gothenburg, mid season it cost about £700 return but that included 2 double cabins each with en suite. The crossing takes 24 hours and there are organised activities for the kids. However Ryanair fly to various Swedish destinations for about £39 so doing that and hiring a car might well be cheaper (not to mention quicker), have you tried googling for fly/drive packages at all?

Incidentally I was browsing through holiday sites last night and asked DS2 where he would like to go this summer and like a shot he said Sweden again!

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Philippat · 02/01/2003 13:37

We're going to Denmark and Sweden this year (mainly because a trip to Finland was so fantastic when I was pregnant - if you haven't thought of Finland I'd really recommend it - beautiful place and has the highest ratio of children to adults in Europe! and they use euros which is more than you can say for the rest of scandinavia. I do love the euro, so convenient but hey, that's another thread. But it does mean prices are more reasonable than they used to be).

The swedish/danish/finland tourist info online is really great and they've sent me tons of stuff by mail, including a lot of info about self catering places. The main place on the web that does self catering seems to be www.novasol.com. To be honest their website is a bit of a nightmare to get to work (it looks like all their cottages are booked when they are not) but they were very helpful when I emailed them.

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MalmoMum · 05/01/2003 23:12

We are going back to the UK soon and are intefor a intennding to spend lots of summers back here afterwards. In the south of Sweden we did have a fairly continous summer temp of 25 degrees plus this year, so Mediterrean without the crowds of fuss.

If you liked Denmark last time, you would prob like Denmark again (ish). Sweden has the reputation of being less relaxed. You could take the ferry from Copenhagen to Oslo but it would be a long drive to the scenic west coast.

I don't think it's cheap in Scandiavia but it is pretty child friendly. Remembering that Scandi lunch is at 11.30 - 12 00 and supper is at 6.00 pm is useful. If you can get to know some locals it would make a good holiday great.

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pluto · 31/01/2003 19:45

Hello Rosie. I'm half Swedish and spent most of my summer hols in Sweden when I was a kiddie. When pg with ds I had a nostalgic trip touring the country with DH and spent a lot of time staying in some very posh Youth Hostels (Vandarhem). You just need to join the YHA to be able to stay in them. Youth hostels in Sweden are really kiddie friendly. Sweden is not expensive it you don't want hotel accommodation. Going back with DS this summer to stay with rellies. We're really lucky as Ryanair fly direct to their hometown!

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