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After 10 years of thinking about OSD, we finally pulled the trigger on a V60 CC for early August delivery. Having scoured the many great tips on the forum, it seems that most people take only a few days to drive around. This will be our summer vacation with two high school age kids, including one going off to college, and we want this to be an epic road trip. Has anyone here done a road trip across Sweden, Norway and Denmark and be able to offer some tips? Our rough plan right now is to fly into Stockholm, take a couple days there sight see there (we've been there once before during a cruise), then train or flight to Gothenburg to pick up the car, followed by a 12 day road trip - something like this: https://goo.gl/maps/569qFk9tFvbQEYaL8. It is about 1,500 miles of driving and ferries, but we've done two US cross country drives in less time than this, so I think it is all doable. We're skipping Copenhagen since we spent a few days there before prior to a Nordic cruise and want to see more stuff off the beaten path. Anyone here done something similar?
 

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I am already jealous.
I think it is very doable but I have not attempted it myself.

I have never been to Norway, so no first hand experience, but mountain roads will take longer to traverse than plains. One wants to make a few stops and enjoy scenery. Let's wait for people with first hand Norwegian experience.

Krzyś
 

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I Leave on June 4 to take delivery on July 1 for a 15 day Norway trip with my OSD XC40 and return late July. With the Volvo we are going to Lillehammer, Åndalsnes, Geirangerfjord, Balestrand, Bergen, etc, so not too different than what you are doing. Using advise from others, I tried to keep the driving each day at most around 3 hours according to Google since many said you will probably take double the travel time and have several days without driving. We made our reservations several months ago, so I can't tell you if the best hotels will still be available. We will be driving on at least four of the National Tourist Roads of Norway including the Trollstigen. My wife was not too crazy about bike riding or driving mountain roads in Italy, so it is going to be interesting. No mountain bike rides this time, but we will be kayaking in the Geirangerfjord and Fjærland.
 

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North Italy around Lake Como is awesome; biking would be a great and fun challenge, but there are tourists AND Italian F1 wanna-bes on those roads, hehehe...
 

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After 10 years of thinking about OSD, we finally pulled the trigger on a V60 CC for early August delivery. Having scoured the many great tips on the forum, it seems that most people take only a few days to drive around. This will be our summer vacation with two high school age kids, including one going off to college, and we want this to be an epic road trip. Has anyone here done a road trip across Sweden, Norway and Denmark and be able to offer some tips? Our rough plan right now is to fly into Stockholm, take a couple days there sight see there (we've been there once before during a cruise), then train or flight to Gothenburg to pick up the car, followed by a 12 day road trip - something like this: https://goo.gl/maps/569qFk9tFvbQEYaL8. It is about 1,500 miles of driving and ferries, but we've done two US cross country drives in less time than this, so I think it is all doable. We're skipping Copenhagen since we spent a few days there before prior to a Nordic cruise and want to see more stuff off the beaten path. Anyone here done something similar?
Sounds like a wonderful family trip......you all will have many great memories. Be sure to include the factory lunch and tour!!! :)
 

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Unfortunately, the factory is closed at the time we're going. We've toured Ford's F-150 plant before and also Jaguar/Land Rover plant in UK, so I am not devastated.
 

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If you're going to miss the factory tour I would say don't skip the museum. Helps establish that love for the car your buying I think. So much to see in Stockholm but I'm sure your aware of that already.We ruled out Norway since we were traveling in March but did the loop through Denmark, making the stop at Legoland/Lego House. On our trip I was told of museum in Fredrickshavn that I wish we would have had time to see.. I would check it out - Bangsbo - a WW2 military bunker.
 

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Prepare to be on spectacular two-lane roads with a max speed of 40/60/80km for the majority of time. Strongly recommended, but compares in no way to a US road trip.
 

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After 10 years of thinking about OSD, we finally pulled the trigger on a V60 CC for early August delivery. ... and want to see more stuff off the beaten path. Anyone here done something similar?

You will love the OSD experience and your tour!

Many years ago, we did a tour of Sweden and Norway when we picked up a Saab from Trollhattan just north of Gothenburg. We had a stopover in Stockholm to tour the city before flying on the Gothenburg to pick up the Saab.

In 2015, we picked up our V60 from Gothenburg after a stopover in Amsterdam to see the tulip festival (only Apr-May) and also visit Bruges. We then toured Denmark by taking the ferry to Helsingor (Hamlet’s Castle), coming back through Frederikshavn, as you are.

Since the factory is closed during part of the summer, you might want to ask for a tour of the Brand Experience Centre. I managed to arrange this through the Factory Delivery Centre (FDC) and it was an interesting peek into their design, safety, and environment exhibits. You’ll all like the safety exhibits (https://flic.kr/p/ttLRYC).

https://www.volvocars.com/intl/buy/explore/experience-volvo-cars

In picking up the car, its fun to get a video or shot of them driving your car into the “Delivery Room”. You might find some good gifts at the adjacent gift shop (better than the one at the Museum, we thought). There is a very nice lunch served for you at the FDC too.

Get used to the car on the little test track they have before then driving on to the Volvo Museum on the nearby waterfront, just past the “Volvo University” buildings. Its a must, to see the historical cars, The Saint’s P1800 sports car, full-size Lego XC90, jets, racers and prototypes.

http://www.volvomuseum.com/en/

Norway is beautiful - one giant picture postcard! Oslo is Wonderfull. Its Viking museum is not to be missed. Vigeland sculpture park was interesting if weather is nice. In Bergen, enjoy a huge serving of fresh shrimp at the seafood market on the harbour before walking around and touring the old Hanseatic buildings and museum. We also enjoyed the old wooden Fantoft Stave Church nearby and the Grieg Museum. Roads are good, but it can take longer than you think to get from point A to B.

Thirty minutes (25 km) south of your ferry port of Hirtshals in Denmark, is a well known abandoned lighthouse set amongst huge sand dunes on the ocean cliff, Rubjerg Knude Fyr (https://flic.kr/p/twciqP).

In Denmark, we went to the northernmost tip, Skagen, about 40 min from your landfall at Hirtshals. It was an artist’s town because of the “quality of the light” (https://flic.kr/p/teJrrH). Its a big tourist destination with shops, art gallery and restaurants. You can also walk out to the northernmost tip of Denmark where the Baltic Sea churns into the North Sea and put your foot in both https://flic.kr/p/tezXFY 😉. The winds and sand dunes have famously buried the lower stories of the signature kinds of churches in northern Denmark like this one in Skagen https://flic.kr/p/teJEbF.

In Billund, we found you could go through Legoland for free if you go after 5pm, but you may want to stay there longer. An interesting site nearby is Man Meets the Sea, a 9 metre tall white monument of four seated figures, west of Esbjerg 60 km (55 min from Billund) (https://flic.kr/p/szm4Fe). Further afield, 30 min south, is Ribe, the oldest town in Denmark, founded in the 800’s, with its medieval timbered centre.

On your trip up to Aarhus from Legoland, you may want to go through Jelling on the way to see the two big famous 10th C Viking rune stones identified with the creation of Denmark as a nation and its conversion to Christianity. There are also the two huge Viking burial mounds around the church and stones.

Parallel to Aarhus and 30 min away (45 km) is Silkeborg in the Lake District of Denmark. We stopped by the scenic lake at the tiny Silkeborg Museum to see the two bog people preserved from the Iron Age (4th C BC).

A must see is the ARoS Aarhus Art Museum! Fascinating and many interactive exhibits. Famous rainbow panorama on top (https://flic.kr/p/teADWj), Famous sculpture, of crouching Boy (4.5 m) watching you as you enter.

On the way to Frederikshavn, you may want to stop to see Voergaard Slot (castle) (https://flic.kr/p/szmq5F). Pretty impressive from the outside, but was closed when we were there.

On the ferry back to Sweden, we were amazed at all the people buying multiple cases of beer to take back to Sweden since it was duty free on ship and much, much cheaper than in Denmark.

Have a fabulous trip and enjoy your Volvo.

bcz
 

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After 10 years of thinking about OSD, we finally pulled the trigger on a V60 CC for early August delivery. Having scoured the many great tips on the forum, it seems that most people take only a few days to drive around. This will be our summer vacation with two high school age kids, including one going off to college, and we want this to be an epic road trip. Has anyone here done a road trip across Sweden, Norway and Denmark and be able to offer some tips? Our rough plan right now is to fly into Stockholm, take a couple days there sight see there (we've been there once before during a cruise), then train or flight to Gothenburg to pick up the car, followed by a 12 day road trip - something like this: https://goo.gl/maps/569qFk9tFvbQEYaL8. It is about 1,500 miles of driving and ferries, but we've done two US cross country drives in less time than this, so I think it is all doable. We're skipping Copenhagen since we spent a few days there before prior to a Nordic cruise and want to see more stuff off the beaten path. Anyone here done something similar?


When we did the OSD - our roadtrip is very similar to yours. We racked up about 1,200 miles of driving & ferries.

Here's a google map for reference, its not exact but close enough for you to get idea: https://goo.gl/maps/iWKcJZm1qpNHKDRn6

We flew into London for a few days and then flew into Gothenburg. Picked up the car and off to Oslo. Then we headed up north to the Fjords - which I'm sure you and your family will enjoy alot. The drive was great and some may have concerns about small roads - it really wasn't a problem in my opinion. Take your time and common sense, it will be just fine. I really enjoyed Bergen and Stavanger (I would recommend hiking Pulpit Rock and surrounding areas if you have time).

From Stavanger we ferried overnight to Denmark (map shows driving to Kristiansand but we hopped on ferry at Port in Stavanger) and made our way down to Legoland. I wouldn't recommend Legoland unless you guys are big Lego fans and just want to make the trip out there. It was somewhat underwhelming and everything was very similar to other Legoland. Only went cuz my kids are young and big Lego fans and based on our roadtrip - it wasn't too much of a sidetrip on way to Copenhagen. (By the way, no special lego collections - except maybe the Lego House.) Since you are skipping Copenhagen, maybe hit up Roskide & Helsignor (Hamlet Castle - remember to brush up on your Shakespeare). And for the super car fans, when you ferry back to Sweden, stop by Angelholm to check out Koenigsegg. Its a small office and no public tours that I know of; unless you buying their car. After dropping off car back in Gothenburg, we trained it to Stockholm for a few days.

If you would like to spend more time off the beaten path, I would probably recommend keep your driving mainly to Norway. Had the most fun road tripping in Norway and the natural scenery & environment was probably the best in my opinion compare to Sweden & Denmark. Since you are traveling north - maybe check out Atlantic High Way. It might be a great, fun drive to remember!
 

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This sounds like a great trip. We did a similar trip 4 years ago, but sadly shorter. We drove from Volvo to Moss Norway and on the next day to Stavenger. The drive is beautiful and there are many places you will want to stop. Outside of Stavenger is Pulpit Rock a must see if your in Norway (per Trip Advisor). https://www.visitnorway.com/listings/preikestolen/185743/ From Stavenger or Bergen, you can take a ferry to Denmark. We absolutely agree an the assessment by bcz about ARoS in Aarhus. In addition, we liked some of the other museums, the shops, the waterfront park, cafes along the canels, etc. We spent 2 days and wished we had made it 3. AirBnB worked well for us in both Moss and Aarhus. This year we plan to stay longer in Stockholm and take the train to Goteborg.
 

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Aarhu

After 10 years of thinking about OSD, we finally pulled the trigger on a V60 CC for early August delivery. Having scoured the many great tips on the forum, it seems that most people take only a few days to drive around. This will be our summer vacation with two high school age kids, including one going off to college, and we want this to be an epic road trip. Has anyone here done a road trip across Sweden, Norway and Denmark and be able to offer some tips? Our rough plan right now is to fly into Stockholm, take a couple days there sight see there (we've been there once before during a cruise), then train or flight to Gothenburg to pick up the car, followed by a 12 day road trip - something like this: https://goo.gl/maps/569qFk9tFvbQEYaL8. It is about 1,500 miles of driving and ferries, but we've done two US cross country drives in less time than this, so I think it is all doable. We're skipping Copenhagen since we spent a few days there before prior to a Nordic cruise and want to see more stuff off the beaten path. Anyone here done something similar?
What Airbnb are recommended in Aarhus? We need a small place for two. LOVE this thread
 

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In 2015, we picked up our V60 from Gothenburg...

bcz
I don’t know why but I somehow missed seeing your trip report and photos. Thanks for your amazing contribution. Your photos really capture the Europe of my imagination.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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I don’t know why but I somehow missed seeing your trip report and photos. Thanks for your amazing contribution. Your photos really capture the Europe of my imagination.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Here is a link to some of our photos starting from our Volvo pickup and after our stopover to visit Amsterdam and Bruge.

https://flic.kr/s/aHskHaRryz

We did all the "Volvo things" in Gothenburg - Swedish meatball lunch, Factory Tour, Brand Experience and Museum. Got some great "winter clear outs" from the gift shop, including a great winter parka and a model of our car to have while waiting for our Volvo to arrive back home for our "second delivery". FDC kindly stored them for us till we returned to drop off our car.

We drove south to take the ferry across to "Hamlet's Castle" in Helsingor. On our way to Copenhagen, we stopped to see the lovely Louisiana art gallery :thumbup: and the largest Renaissance castle in Scandinavia (one of the finest in Europe), Frederiksborg Castle :thumbup:. In Copenhagen, we stayed at a great condo apartment, Stay, and took transit or walked to tour the many sites, like Tivoli, Carlsberg Glyptotek (fantastic gallery), the royal castles, etc. Our route from there took us to Odense of Hans Christian Andersen fame, and then the other sites I mentioned in the above post.

It was a wonderful holiday and such fun to have our new car for the travels.

bcz
 

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If you like mountains and fjords, you will love Norway.

We spent two weeks driving in Norway and enjoyed every minute of it. We started and ended in Gothenborg, stopping along the say in Oslo, Geilo, Bergen, Sogndal, Stryn, Alesund, Lillehammer and Karlstad (Sweden, where Norway and Sweden signed their separation in 1905). In accordance to our preferences, we made sure that the distances between "hotel" points were not excesive so we had time to enjoy the views. Frankly, it was one of the best decisions we made.

Regarding your plan, my only "concern" is the length of the driving legs in Norway. Except for some sections on the E-highways, the rest of the highways have a max speed limit of 70kph (~45mph). Once you are there, you'll understand the speed limit: most of these highways are very curvy and not very wide. Most of the highways are essentially 1.5 lane roads: in some places, if there is traffic coming from the opposite direction, you will need to get really, really close to the edge of the road. Also, there are plenty of radars and I've been told that the fines are nasty so you may want to think twice before speeding.

I don't want to scare you: driving in Norway is awesome. Norwegian drivers are very considerate and patient. But if you want to see country (not just get from point A to point B), then the trips will take a *lot* longer than what google underestimates.
 

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Great pics, thanks for sharing.
 

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I am already jealous.
I think it is very doable but I have not attempted it myself.

I have never been to Norway, so no first hand experience, but mountain roads will take longer to traverse than plains. One wants to make a few stops and enjoy scenery. Let's wait for people with first hand Norwegian experience.

Krzyś
I just returned from 12 days in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. Most of the time was spent in Norway. Here's a quick summary of our trip: We left Gothenburg the day after we picked up the car. We did this mainly because we wanted to take the early ferry to Fredrikshavn, Denmark and have the rest of the day in Skagen. We took a test drive to the ferry terminal and arrived in plenty of time for our ferry (which we prebooked). The ferry trip was uneventful-there's restaurants and tax free shops onboard. Arriving in Denmark and driving to Skagen was also pretty effortless (especially since I wasn't driving! But my husband seemed fine with it).

We only spent an overnight in Skagen (wanted to see where the Baltic and North seas meet) and then took the ferry from Hirtshals, Denmark to Larvik, Norway. The weather wasn't great and the water was a bit rough so I planted myself at a table in the bar where I had a commanding view of the water and the skyline. A note about the ferries-for some reason business class seats on both Stena and Circle line ferries are in enclosed cabins. While this lends an air of exclusivity, I hated it because it was confining and, if you are even a little prone to motion sickness, I do not recommend it. We were travelling in an off season so both ferries were rather empty. There were plenty of places to sit on several decks without paying for upgrades.

WARNING! When we docked in Larvik, Norway. we exited the ferry and joined the queue for nothing to declare. However, the efficient Norwegian customs woman waved for us to stop and began questioning us about our car with the red plates. Were we importing this car into Norway??? Several thoughts went through our minds-will they have us pay thousands of krona in tax?! Will we be able to just turn around and get back on the ferry and go back to Denmark?! Will we be able to call someone at Volvo to straighten this out?! Fortunately, none of those questions had to be answered BUT she did want to see the registration information that Volvo gives you in that black binder. So...do not pack that important item in the back in some piece of luggage. Keep it handy in the glove box or someplace where you can get to it in case a slightly confused customs person questions you. Once we explained what we were doing and showed her the paper work she relaxed a bit and soon we were on our way again.

From Larvik, we drove to Oslo. We left the ferry about 4:30pm and chose to take the quickest route to our hotel, which was in the Frogner area of Oslo. The google maps timing was pretty accurate and we were there in about 90 minutes. Our hotel had a car park and we didn't take the car out again until we began our drive west toward Flam and the fjords. We split the drive to Flam by staying overnight in Gol. There's not much to see there, which was fine because we really wanted to just get there, relax, spend the night and start out fresh in the morning so we could get to Flam for an afternoon fjord excursion. We spent two nights in Flam.

At this point, I would have loved to continue west to Bergen but my husband had to get back to the states by a certain date so from Flam we headed back east. Spent a night in Geilo. Then drove the next day out of Norway (stopping in the border town of Swinesund to collect a refund for the VAT tax we paid for gifts/souvenirs) and continued south to Grabbestad, Sweden. We were going to stay in Fjallbacka but couldn't find a place with parking. From Grabbestad we headed east to Lidkoping (home of the famous OSD destination of Lacko Slott!), spent the night at a wonderful B&B and then headed back to Gothenburg.

Driving in Norway was fine. There are a lot of tunnels, including one that is about 15 MILES long. Inside this tunnel are three areas where they have replicated the Northern Lights. It's rather impressive. There are also mountain roads with lots of turns but again, with normal precautions, there were no problems. Not too much traffic-in fact, the word "lonely" comes to mind for some of them.

I bought a National Geographic map of Southern Sweden and Norway from Amazon before we left. We used the GPS system in the Volvo XC90, but the map gave a big picture and enabled me to dictate which roads I wanted us to take when the GPS was routing us on the fastest or most direct route. The longest drive we had was from Geilo to Grabbestad, but that was by choice due to taking certain more scenic roads instead of the fastest way. I think that day's drive lasted about 7 hours. Most of the drives we did were about 4 hours so we could enjoy the town we stopped in. We stopped at interesting sites (Stave churches and scenic overlooks), ate our ham and cheese sandwiches (taken from the breakfast buffet-one hotel even provided foil and bags for us) at amazing places such as the Voringfossen waterfall, and didn't feel rushed or stressed with the driving. Actually, the only really stressful drive in Norway was up to the Stegastein Lookout outside of Flam. This was the proverbial single lane, hairpin turn mountain road that you may have read about. We went very early in the morning and, even encountering a car/van or two on the way up, had the whole lookout to ourselves.

We had a great trip. I wouldn't change anything unless, of course, I could have added a few more days and then I would have gone to Bergen. Hope this helps.
 

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Thanks for the trip report. We will be taking the Gothenburg - Frederikshavn ferry on the same day we pick up at the FDC. Good to know that part was effortless. But we will heed your suggestion to keep the Volvo paperwork handy in case the Denmark customs agents get curious about our red plates.

The bright side about missing Bergen this time is that now you can start planning your next OSD!
 
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