The Big Scandinavia Tour

The first trip with our new converted Land Rover went up north. One says: the mosquitos arrive with the tourists – the mosquitos leave with the tourists and the tourists leave in mid-August. So we started the engine on August 14th heading towards Travemünde to take the ferry boat. Our destination was the North Cape through Finland and back home through Norway. Needless to say that I‘ve planned everything at home – roads, stages and things we had to see. But the good thing about individual traveling is the fact that today you turn to the right – tomorrow you turn to the left and above all you never really follow your plans……
All in all we made approx. 5‘900 miles in 3 1/2 weeks – with no break downs of course!

From home to the Ferryboat: Travemünde – Helsinki

Stage 1:
From Helsinki – Lahti – straight on to Mikkeli (Saimaa Basin) – road 62 – Anttola – on gravel to Juva

Stage 2:
via Kuopio – Isalmi – to Manamansalo (Oulujärvi).

Stage 3: (1. change….back to the east….)
Sotkamo – Kuhmo – on „Via Karelia“ – Lentira – no stage without „Pampa“ (mud or gravel), so further east – Vartius – along the russian boarder – Hietajärvi – Suomssalmi – Kuusamo till Kiutaköngäs at the Oulanka National Park

Stage 3: (2. change…..)
along Via Karelia (950) – Kotala – Sodankylä – then along the E75 to Ukonjärvi (Lake Inari)

Stage 4:
Inari – Karasjok – Lakselv (Norway) – Stabbursdalen National Park

Stage 5:
Cape North – Gjesvær – Kirkeporten

Stage 6:
E6 – Kronstad – Tverrelvdalen (Alta Canyon) – Øvre Alta

Stage 7:
E6 to Skibotn – side trip to the Skibotndalen – Kilpisjärvi (FI) – Saarikoski – and back to Skibotn

Stage 8:
E6 – Andselv – Rv851 – Rv84 – Tennevoll – Lund – Bones – Wolfscamp Bardu – Tennevoll

Stage 9:
E6 – Fauske – Løding – Rv17 (coastal road) – Saltstraumen – till Holand

Stage 10:
Crossing Holandfjord by ferry (without the car) – hike to Svartisen Glacier – back to the car – and along Rv17 to Sandnessjøen

Stage 11:
Rv17 to Namsos.

Stage 12:
Rv17 till Steinkjer – E6 – Trondheim – city tour, good parking possibility for off roaders and campers at the train station – further on E6 to Kongsvoll.
overnight stay at Kongsvold Fjellstue (Dovrefjell)

Stage 13:
E6 (10km) to Hjerkinn – short walk to the new mountain lodge at Dovrefiell National Park. Was great, we have seen two musk ox! – back on E6 – Oppdal – E70 – Rv62 – Rv660 – Åndalsnes – Rv63 – Trollstigenveien – Linge – ferry till Eidsdalen

Stage 14
Rv63 – Geiranger – side trip to Dalsnibba – Rv15 – Videseter – Rv285 also named „Gamle Strynefiellveien“ – Grotli – Lom – Rv55 Sognefjell – Turtago – Øvre Ardal – Rv 252 till Eidsbugarden

Stage 15:
back on Rv252 – E16 – Rv360 – Borgund Stavkirkje – Lærdalsøyri – Aurlands-or Snøveien – Rv50 – Hol – Rv7 – Ål – Fv to Leveld – toll road to Hemsedal – Fv to Lykkia – Nosi – till Fagernes
Fv = Farvegen are small – mostly gravel roads and often unmarked

Stage 16:
Rv51 – Bygdin – Jothunheimsveien – Rv255 – Skåbu – Vinstra – Peer Gyntveien – Forset – Synfjellveien – 251 – 33 – E16 – Begnadalen – Rv243 – Hedalen – Fv via Buvasskoia to Sokna – E7 – E16 till Oslo/Holmenkollen

Bad luck in Oslo:
Holmenkollen-Tower closed due to stroke by lightning…..
Edvard Munch Museum closed due to change of exhibition…..
and on the 2nd day rain…. rain…. rain….
Ok – no ferry boat to Germany but on the road further south!

Stage 17: (from here on nothing was planned!!)
E6 – Uddevalla (Sweden) – Mollösund – Göteborg – Helsingborg – ferry to Helsingør – 237 till Gilleleje (Dennmark)

Stage 18:
237 – 211 – Fredrikssund – via 53 – 23 – 57 – to E20 – bridge to Nyborg – E20 to Esbjerg – ferry to Fanø – round trip on the island.
Well, in fact we wanted to stay on the island for another day but dark clouds, strong winds and the weather forecast which announced heavy rain and hurricanes for the next days just made us driving on!
So back to Esbjerg – E20 to Kølding – E45 – Flensburg (Germany) – A7 till Bad Bramsted / near Hamburg (a „monster stage“)

Stage 19:
A short phone call to Switzerland: sunshine 82.5°F – in the evening, with our last Karhu‘s, we had a big cheers in the garden – at home!


Beautiful places:
Landscape and villages along the „Via Karelia“, Lake Inari. In the eastern part of Finland, most side roads are gravel roads. Good road sings on junctions. Mostly the name of a village following „-mentie or -ventie“ (for example Ahvenammentie) nevertheless it is recommended to have a detailed road map because along the Russian boarder you cannot trust in your navigation system. Tom Tom wanted to send us straight into the ditch!
If you like wide landscapes and solitude you will be happy in east Finland.


Beautiful places:

  • Stabbursdalen National Park – most northern pine forrest with trees up to 500 years – take the entrance east from the Camping (approx. 5 miles on a small unmarked gravel road)
  • Svartisen Glacier – approx. 3 1/2 hour hike to reach the ice from the ferry and back. Good hiking boots. If you don‘t take a guided tour (as we did) look after the ropes because the trail is not very good marked. You have to walk the same way back! There are guided glacier tours and ice climbing tours available.
  • Dovrefjell National Park and its musk ox.
  • Even you have your own bed, we strongly recommend a stay at the „Kongsvold Fjellstue“ – an old mountain Lodge at the E6, in the middle of „muskland“. They have good food and good wine!
  • The new mountain cabin at Dovrefjell with view to the Mt.Snøhetta. This building was designed by „ Snøhetta Architects“ (Oslo Opera/ Alexandria Library) and is only accessible by feet.

It would be to much to describe all the wonderful small gravel roads. Some were tollroads, some were free but all have been perfect to test the construction and interior of the car – JUST FUN!!!!!

If you decide to drive through norwegians „Pampa“ (Farvegens) we strongly recommend a detailed road map.

Wolfscamp in Bardu will get its own article

Specially in the northern parts, from mid-august on most tourists (and mosquitos) are gone. At Lake Inari it was cold and freezing at night. If you take the coastal road in Norway (Rv17) allow a bit more time because most ferry boats have already changed to winter schedule so you might wait a little longer (up to 1 hour). Many highland roads and farvegens are closed in winter. So from late September on you have to expect to change the route.
You will find more tourists on the road from Trondheim south along the well known places of interest.

click on the pic