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Europort, Netherlands to Ulvik, Norway...

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Europort, Netherlands to Ulvik, Norway...
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...with kids and a caravan and no covid so next year.

I'm putting together a road trip from the Europort in Netherlands to Ulvik in Norway. The intention is to spend 1 week getting there, 2 weeks in the Fjords and 1 week travelling back. We have kids so would limit driving to 4-5hrs a day and have a couple of days in spots. The reason for the "end point" being Ulvik is because we cruised 10 years ago and said we'd return and camp there. We plan to work remotely so will set up a base in 2-3 places to allow us to do that.

I've got an idea of the route but would love to have some input from experienced road trippers on the best way to get there.

The only must is Legoland at Billund.

Would appreciate any itineraries. Thanks!

13 replies to this topic
Oslo, Norway
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1. Re: Europort, Netherlands to Ulvik, Norway...
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Tough road journey from Netherlands through Germany - if possible do motorways on a Sunday when there is less commercial traffic. Plan well and find things to do/see instead of sticking to motorways.

Several ferries from Denmark to Norway/Sweden - choose according to convenience and price. Tend not to be cheap for mobile home/caravan. Ferries from Hirtshals to Norway would be the most effective and save you a couple of days of not-so-interesting driving.

Include as much of the national tourist routes as possible - https://www.nasjonaleturistveger.no/en

Ekk
Oslo, Norway
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2. Re: Europort, Netherlands to Ulvik, Norway...
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Ferry from Hirtshals. Roads 9,e134 and 13 to Ulvik. You can also go via Stavanger

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3. Re: Europort, Netherlands to Ulvik, Norway...
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Thank you so much for this. Why do you say it's a tough road? We've only driven in the south of Europe so have no knowledge of the roads in this part.

Is it worth just getting the ferry to and from Bergen since we have the kids to miss out a large chunk of driving?

Oslo, Norway
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4. Re: Europort, Netherlands to Ulvik, Norway...
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Netherlands and German motorways are really unpleasant drives, with many roadworks and queues and much heavy vehicle traffic. With a mobile home/caravan you are stuck in the lorry file with German drivers wizzing past at 200 km/hr, and on some roads you are prohibited overtaking on the outside lane with a large vehicle/caravan.

Would help to give you specific advice if you update your profile with location.

Edited: 12 June 2021, 19:00
Oslo, Norway
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5. Re: Europort, Netherlands to Ulvik, Norway...
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The ferry from Denmark to Bergen (or Stavanger) is a fine way to skip some driving, but I think the most important thing is to skip the loop through Sweden (unless you have some business there). On a ferry kids are not stuck in the car.

The ferry to Stavanger does not save much compared to Kristiansand. The ferry to Bergen skips some 400 km, but relatively slow road so some 6-7 hours net driving (not including breaks and detours). Kristiansand has a popular zoo.

Road 9 means Setesdal valley, the valley is some 200 km long

https://www.visitsorlandet.com/setesdal/

https://en.visitsorlandet.com/listings-southern-norway/klatreskogen-high-wire-adventure-park-in-evje/87556/

https://en.visitsorlandet.com/setesdal/listings-setesdal/rafting-at-trollaktiv-in-evje/3800/

Harstad, Norway
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6. Re: Europort, Netherlands to Ulvik, Norway...
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Yes, the ferry Hirtshals-Bergen would make sense. It is overnight and rather pleasant.

In southern Europe the toll roads are sometimes almost empty as there are parallell non-toll roads of equally good quality, especially in Spain and partly also in Portugal. Less so in France, but from my experience, only the A9 from the Spanish to the Italian border is very busy, except around big cities like Paris and Lyon. In Germany you will almost always hit delays and slow traffic, there are simply too many cars and the road network is not very modern or well maintained, sometimes only two lanes, and some Germans drive agressively. Traffic can be dense in Denmark too.

Driving through Germany on a Sunday makes sense.

With a caravan you would need to find a camping, so perhaps search for a camping related forum on where to stop along the route.

Oslo, Norway
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7. Re: Europort, Netherlands to Ulvik, Norway...
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Not sure about the quality of these sites, but can be a start

https://campingportalen.no/

https://camping.no/en/

NAF is the car owner's association (serious and reliable)

https://www.nafcamp.no/

Visitnorway is the official site

https://www.visitnorway.com/hotels-more/caravan-camping/kid-friendly-camping-sites/

Castrop-Rauxel...
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8. Re: Europort, Netherlands to Ulvik, Norway...
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Biggest road problem will be the Elbe tunnel in Hamburg. Bottleneck and really dense traffic at rush hour. Try to schedule the crossing at an appropriate time.

Europort to Billund is 8h driving - -so plenty of choice for the night over stop -- between Osnabrück and Hamburg. A2 (via Hannover) or A1 (through Bremen) is no big difference. There seems a way passing Leer (via A31 and A 28), this might have less traffic.

Stay a FULL (or nearly full) day at Billund/Legoland.

Either try to squeeze some of the way to Hirtshals at the end of the day, or take it really slow. As a child my parents camped near the ferry over night, so no problems to reach it in time in the morning.

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In Germany you don't need to use a camping site for a night. You are allowed to park and stay for a short time (less than 10h) to "recover your fitness to drive".

Driving with a caravan in Germany is not so bad -- the lorries are about as fast as you, and with the caravan you don't need to max your speed. Schedule the breaks (i.e. 2h at midday, incl. some supper to eat and a bit sleep for the next driver). But indeed traffic in Denmark and Norway is much more relaxing.

Nijmegen, The...
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9. Re: Europort, Netherlands to Ulvik, Norway...
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For at least one way consider the Kiel to Oslo ferry (assuming Legoland is only a must one way).

I'm assuming you're driving from the UK (because Europoort is an industrial area with the only point of interest for a regular person is the arrival of the ferry from England) so will have a right hand driven car. That in combination with a caravan is not something I would not recommend at all. With a caravan and 4 to 5 hoirs driving a day this is literally going to take days: 400 to 500max a day. Europoort Billund in itself would be a 2 day drive. Billund to Hirtshals for the ferry is a 3 to 4 hour drive. Bergen to Ulvik is a 3 hour drive. For the way back: Ulvik to for instwnce Oslo is over 5 hours (but not worth it breaking the journey). Then 20 hours ferry to Kiel and Kiel to Europoort is a 7 to 8 hour drive so probably 2 days as well.

Are you comfortable driving a right hand drive car with a caravan on roads where cars will be flying by with speeds which are double your speed. I assume you know how to use mirrors with a caravan amd are experienced in doing so.

I would actually recommend flying out to Billund, Aarhus or maybe even Copenhagen and rent a car from there. It'll be safer, less stress and more quality time. The route through the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark is, boring... To say the least.

Klofta, Norway
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10. Re: Europort, Netherlands to Ulvik, Norway...
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> Why do you say it's a tough road? We've only driven in the south of Europe so have no knowledge of the roads in this part

Is it worth just getting the ferry to and from Bergen since we have the kids to miss out a large chunk of driving?

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yes , caravan and kids, your best is the ferry to Bergen.

from Rotterdam to Hamburg, for quiet driving with a caravan, ride the most in Netherlands, it's flat boring slow, perfect for you. ie ride to Oldenburg, so you have only the chunk Bremen-Hamburg with potential jam. Hamburg-Flensburg is usually ok, Danmark is relaxed.

but even if you drive the usual route after Hengelo to Osnabrück, it's a relatively quiet chunk in Germany in fact, compared to Ruhr gebiet or the Frankfurt-Kassel-Hannover chunk for instance.

Sunday is best but then not evening, you don't want to be caught in dense end-of-weekend traffic. Yet, on Osnabrück-Bremen-Hamburg no big deal.

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