Reposting this in the appropriate forum... ....
We are two families with three kids (5, 6 and 9 yrs old) coming from Oslo in August. Our focus is on seeing the sights, but also on keeping the trip relaxed (we will have a rental car for the entire trip). Instead of rushing through with crowds on the NIN, this is what we are planning:
DAY 1: Rent a car from Oslo to Aurland. Spend the night in Aurland
DAY 2: Drive to Gudvangen and get on the 3 hr Gudvangen-Kaupanger-Lærdal car ferry (instead of the crowded Flam-Gudvangen ferry) to see Nærøyfjord and Sognefjord. From Lærdal , drive back to Aurland and spend the night in Aurland. Note that we are skipping the Flam railway because we'll be driving around the region by car for few days so we will get a nice view of the scenery.
DAY 3: Drive from Aurland to Balestrand using this route: Aurland -> Stegastein View Point -> Laerdal via Horndalen Scenic route -> Fodnes -> Manheller by car ferry -> Sogndal -> Hella -> Dragsvik by car ferry -> Balestrand. Spend night in Balestrand.
DAY 4: Excursion to Fjaerland and the Jostedal Glacier, or maybe just drive to Nigardsbreen. Spend night in Balestrand.
DAY 5: Leave Balestrand and drive to Oslo using this route: Balestrand -> Dragsvik -> Vangsnes by car ferry -> Vik -> Oslo. OR Leave Balestrand and drive to Bergen.
So essentially, we are spending 2 nights in Aurland and 2 nights in Balestrand. We are taking in the fjords and other scenery by not doing any of the standard NIN things. What do you think?