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Norwegian Fjords: 1 Week

7 nights
An introduction to probably Europe’s most beautiful secret.

This is part of our Hidden Europe series of routes. They cover smaller distances focussing on a specific geographical area. With shorter journeys, they are designed to be stress-free. Although this route lends itself to an active lifestyle with a huge amount of adventure activities to choose from, equally, the Norwegian Fjords is one of the most beautiful parts of Europe so it is also attractive for those who want to just marvel at nature!

TRIP DETAILS
DESCRIPTION
WHAT'S INCLUDED

 Route: Bergen Balestrand Flam Voss Bergen

Nights: 7

Countries Visited: 1

Accommodation: Hand picked 3 or 4 star hotels with breakfast included.

Transport: Travel by boat and train during the daytime.

Optional Experiences: You can add extra experiences to this route which will extend the duration of the holiday. They include hiking in Trolltunga, mountain biking in Ovre Ardal, visiting a Glacier from Fjaerland and winter sports in Gol and Myrdal.

Sustainability: This creates 2kg of carbon emissions! Flying the same route would be 57kg!

Reviews:    All independent reviews

Imagine a place where nature’s grandeur takes your breath away at every turn, where towering cliffs plunge into crystal-clear waters, and where serene beauty envelops you in a tranquil embrace. Welcome to the Norwegian Fjords, an enchanting wonderland that beckons travelers seeking awe-inspiring experiences.

You will start and end you trip out of Bergen, Norway’s second largest city, but in-between you will be getting deep into nature. Experiencing the fjords by rail, boat, hiking and even biking and kayaking if you so wish!

This is the perfect trip for anyone wanting to explore the unique and lesser-visited side of Europe in a short time frame, but we can also customise any route to suit your needs!

– All overland and ferry transport tickets from the first to the last city.

– All possible seat reservations – not just the compulsory ones!

– Accommodation in top-rated, centrally located hostels or hotels – tested by us

– Walking or public transport directions between the stations and your booked accommodation.

– Travel Disruption Protection – alternative travel included if there is a strike or similar disruption.

– 24hr emergency phone number to use while you’re away.

– Personalised travel pack with your travel times, accommodation information, directions, language guides and things to see and do in each location.

– Exclusive discounts on attractions across Europe.

 

Trip Details
 

Route: Bergen Balestrand Flam Voss Bergen

Nights:

Countries Visited:

Accommodation: Hand picked 3 or 4 star hotels with breakfast included. 

Transport: Travel by boat and train during the daytime.

Optional Experiences: You can add extra experiences to this route which will extend the duration of the holiday. They include hiking in Trolltunga, mountain biking in Ovre Ardal, visiting a Glacier from Fjaerland and winter sports in Gol and Myrdal.

Sustainability: This trip only creates 2kg of carbon emissions! Flying the same route would be 57kg!

Reviews:    All independent reviews

Trip Description
An introduction to probably Europe’s most beautiful secret.

Imagine a place where nature’s grandeur takes your breath away at every turn, where towering cliffs plunge into crystal-clear waters, and where serene beauty envelops you in a tranquil embrace. Welcome to the Norwegian Fjords, an enchanting wonderland that beckons travelers seeking awe-inspiring experiences.

You will start and end you trip out of Bergen, Norway’s second largest city, but in-between you will be getting deep into nature. Experiencing the fjords by rail, boat, hiking and even biking and kayaking if you so wish!

This is the perfect trip for anyone wanting to explore the unique and lesser-visited side of Europe in a short time frame, but we can also customise any route to suit your needs!

What's Included?

  • All overland and ferry transport tickets from the first to the last city.
  • Accommodation in top-rated, centrally located hotels, tested by us
  • Walking directions between the stations and your booked accommodation.
  • A personalised travel booklet with maps, language guides, top tips, and more.
  • Peace of mind with alternative travel included if there is a strike or similar disruption.
  • Access to our 24hr emergency phone number while you’re away.
Itinerary

Bergen (1 night)

Bergen, Norway, is a vibrant and picturesque city surrounded by stunning natural landscapes. Whether you’re interested in exploring its rich history and culture or enjoying outdoor adventures, Bergen has plenty to offer. Here are some of the top things to do in Bergen:

  1. Bryggen Hanseatic Wharf: Explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site, known for its colorful wooden buildings that date back to the Hanseatic period. Stroll through the narrow alleys and visit local shops and galleries.
  2. Fløyen Funicular (Fløybanen): Take a ride on the funicular to the top of Mount Fløyen for panoramic views of Bergen and the surrounding fjords. Enjoy hiking trails and family-friendly activities.
  3. Fish Market (Fisketorget): Sample fresh seafood and local Norwegian dishes at the lively Fish Market. It’s a great place to immerse yourself in Bergen’s culinary scene.
  4. Troldhaugen (Edvard Grieg Museum): Visit the former home of the famous composer Edvard Grieg. Explore the museum and beautiful gardens, and if you’re lucky, catch a live piano concert.
  5. Norwegian Fisheries Museum (Norsk Fiskerimuseum): Learn about Norway’s fishing industry and maritime heritage through interactive exhibits and historic vessels.
  6. St. Mary’s Church (Mariakirken): Discover Bergen’s oldest existing building, dating back to the 12th century, and admire its stunning architecture.
  7. Boat Tours: Take a boat tour to explore the magnificent fjords around Bergen, such as the Sognefjord, Nærøyfjord, or Hardangerfjord.
  8. Hiking: Bergen offers numerous hiking opportunities. Popular trails include Mount Ulriken, Mount Fløyen, and the Seven Mountains (De Syv Fjell) trail.
  9. KODE Art Museums: Explore the KODE museums, which house an extensive collection of Norwegian and international art, including works by Edvard Munch.
  10. Gamle Bergen Museum: Step back in time by visiting this open-air museum featuring well-preserved 18th and 19th-century wooden houses and streets.

With its combination of natural beauty, cultural richness, and outdoor activities, Bergen has something to offer travelers of all interests.

   Boat to Sogndal – 4.5 hours

Balestrand (2 nights)

Balestrand is a picturesque village located on the northern shore of the Sognefjord, Norway’s longest and deepest fjord. This charming village is nestled amidst breathtaking natural surroundings, making it a popular destination for tourists seeking serene landscapes, outdoor activities, and cultural experiences.

  1. Natural Beauty: Balestrand is renowned for its spectacular natural beauty. The village is surrounded by towering mountains, lush forests, and crystal-clear waters. The stunning landscapes of the Sognefjord region, with its deep blue fjord waters and dramatic cliffs, are a major draw for visitors.

  2. Outdoor Activities: Outdoor enthusiasts will find plenty to do in Balestrand. The area offers excellent opportunities for hiking, with numerous trails catering to different skill levels. Mount Hoven, with its panoramic views accessible by the Loen Skylift, is a popular hiking destination.

  3. Cultural Heritage: Balestrand has a rich cultural heritage. The village has been a source of inspiration for artists, both past and present. Painters like Hans Dahl and Nikolai Astrup found inspiration in Balestrand’s unique light conditions and stunning vistas. Visitors can explore local art galleries to appreciate the artistic legacy of the area.

  4. Historic Architecture: The village boasts historic and well-preserved architecture, including Swiss-style and dragon-style buildings. Notable among them is St. Olafs church, built in the stave church tradition, featuring distinctive twin spires.

  5. Local Cuisine: Visitors can savor traditional Norwegian cuisine in local restaurants. Seafood, particularly salmon and trout, is a highlight on many menus. You can also try local delicacies and drinks, including cider made from regional apples.

    Boat to Flam – 1.5 hours

Flam (day visit)

Flåm is a small village located in the heart of the Norwegian fjords, known for its stunning natural beauty, serene atmosphere, and its position as a gateway to some of Norway’s most iconic fjordland experiences. The village is characterized by towering mountains, lush green valleys, and cascading waterfalls. The Aurlandsfjord’s calm, crystal-clear waters are perfect for reflecting the stunning scenery.

You will have a little time to explore the quaint little village before stepping aboard the Flåm Railway (Flåmsbana) which is one of the world’s steepest railway lines. It will take you on a thrilling journey through the mountains, passing through numerous tunnels and offering spectacular vistas of the fjords, waterfalls, and countryside. You will then change train to take the iconic Bergen line to Voss.

    Flam railway and train to Voss – 2.5 hours

Voss (2 nights)

Voss, located in the Hordaland region of Norway, is a charming town surrounded by stunning natural landscapes. It’s a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and adventure seekers. Here are some of the things you can do in Voss:

  1. Extreme Sports and Adventure Activities: Voss is known as the adventure capital of Norway. You can indulge in various thrilling activities such as paragliding, skydiving, BASE jumping, white-water rafting, and kayaking. The town also hosts the annual Ekstremsportveko (Extreme Sports Week), featuring various extreme sports competitions.

  2. Skiing and Snowboarding: During the winter months, Voss is a fantastic destination for skiing and snowboarding. Voss Resort offers slopes for all levels, and there are opportunities for cross-country skiing in the surrounding areas.

  3. Hiking: Explore the stunning Norwegian landscapes by hiking in the Voss area. Popular trails include the hike to Mt. Lønahorgi and the Voss Trail, which offers beautiful views of the fjord.

  4. Fjord Tours: Take a scenic boat tour on the nearby Nærøyfjord, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The fjord’s dramatic landscapes and crystal-clear waters are a must-see.

  5. Voss Folk Museum (Voss Folkemuseum): Learn about the region’s history and culture at this open-air museum, which features historic buildings, exhibitions, and artifacts.

  6. Vangskyrkja Church: Visit the beautiful Vangskyrkja Church, known for its distinctive architecture and stunning stained glass windows.

  7. Cultural Experiences: Immerse yourself in Norwegian culture by attending local events, concerts, and festivals. Voss Jazz Festival and Voss Cup are some of the annual events to look out for.

  8. Voss Waterfall Park: Explore the beautiful Tvindefossen and Skjervsfossen waterfalls, both easily accessible from Voss.

  9. Outdoor Picnicking and Relaxation: Take advantage of the peaceful surroundings and enjoy a picnic at one of the local parks or by the lakeside.

  10. Mountain Biking: If you’re into mountain biking, Voss offers a range of trails suitable for all levels of riders.

  11. Shopping: Stroll through Voss town center and explore local shops for souvenirs, handmade crafts, and Norwegian products.

  12. Dining: Savor Norwegian cuisine in Voss’s restaurants and cafes. Try traditional dishes like rakfisk (fermented fish) and fårikål (lamb and cabbage stew).

Voss is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, and its stunning natural beauty makes it an ideal destination for those seeking adventure and a taste of Norwegian culture.

    Train to Bergen – 2 hours

Bergen (1 nights)

Return to Bergen for another night to rest after a whistle-top adventure of the fjords. By now you might be more itnerested in the places to relax and eat and drink! Bergen offers a lively and diverse nightlife scene with options for everyone, from cozy pubs to trendy clubs and live music venues. Here’s a glimpse of the nightlife in Bergen:

  1. Bryggen: The historic Bryggen area comes alive at night with its charming pubs and restaurants. It’s a great place to enjoy a drink with views of the harbor.

  2. Fisketorget: While the Fish Market is primarily a daytime attraction, some seafood restaurants in the area stay open in the evening, offering fresh catches and seafood dishes.

  3. Clubs and Bars: Bergen has a range of clubs and bars catering to different tastes. Venues like Hulen, Inside Rock Café, and HAVN offer live music, DJs, and a mix of music genres.

  4. Kvarteret: This cultural center hosts concerts, club nights, and events. It’s a hub for the local music and arts scene.

  5. Rick’s Café: Known for its cozy atmosphere and extensive drink menu, Rick’s Café is a popular spot for both locals and tourists.

How to get there

The quickest way to get to and from the UK will be to book a flight to Bergen. You can also fly to or from Oslo and we can arrange your train travel to the fjords. Alternatively, if you want to travel from the UK to the Fjords all the way by train, then please get in touch and we can plan a route for you!

Optional Experiences

Turn your fjord holiday into a truly memorable experience by adding on these specially selected experiences which have been designed to fit in seamlessly with your core route. Please note that these experiences will extend the duration of your itinerary. Please contact us before booking if you want to alter any of the activities.

Glacier visit from Fjaerland (2 nights) - summer only

From Balestrand, take a small passenger ferry direct to Fjaerland (1 hour) which, in our opinion, is the nicest and quietest fjord in Norway! This is as remote as it gets, so expect complete tranquillity. You will be staying at the family-owned 3-star Fjaerland Fjordstove hotel which only has 14 rooms so must be booked early! You can either do nothing (for one in our busy lives!), relax in a sauna, hire a kayak or go for walks.

Included, is a trip to the Glacier museum and visit to the glacier itself!

Cost: £619 per person (based on 2 sharing)

Added on as a detour from: Balestrand

Total nights added to itinerary: 2

Fjaerland Hotel
Glacier Museum
Glacier

Hiking and Mountain Biking in Ovre Ardal (3 nights) - summer only

Visit the lesser-know area of Ardal for an incredible adventure of kayaking, hiking and mountain biking. Very popular with Norwegians, but hardly discovered by foreigners, this is a really hidden gem of Norway. You will experience hiking, kayaking and mountain biking in one of the most beautiful areas of Norway. 

Your itinerary is:

Day 1 – From Balestrand, you will take a boat to Sogndal and then bus to Ardal. Arrive in the afternoon, check in to the hotel and then head to the water for 3 hours of kayaking on the fjord.

Day 2 – Rent a mountain bike and cycle a 3 hour route on mostly flat ground and then all the way down from Sletterust to Øvre Årdal, experiencing the spectacular hairpin turns from Tusenmeteren and down the mountainside.

In the afternoon, start your hike with your guide through the spectacular mountains, passing waterfalls, rivers, bridges and more. You will be staying at a typical Norwegian farmhouse up in the mountains, where few tourists go!

Day 3 – Hike back down to Ardal for one more night in Ardal.

Day 4 – Take your onward transport by bus and boat back to regain your route in Flam. 

Cost: £929 per person (based on 2 sharing in the 3 star hotel and farmhouse)

Added on as a detour between: Balestrand and Flam

Total nights added to itinerary: 3

Alpine Skiing in Myrkdalen (3 nights) - winter only

More snow falls in Myrkdalen than almost anywhere else in Europe and is known for its excellent skiing and snowboarding opportunities. The resort offers a variety of slopes suitable for skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels, from beginners to experts. There are groomed trails, off-piste areas, and terrain parks for freestyle enthusiasts. The ski season typically runs from November to April, but this can vary depending on snowfall.

The price includes accommodation in the 4 star Myrkdalen ski resort hotel and a 2 day ski pass. 

Cost: £799 per person (based on 2 sharing)

Added on as a detour from: Voss

Total nights added to itinerary: 3

(more nights can be added – enquire for price)

Hike to Trolltunga (2 nights) - all year

The Trolltunga hike is one of Norway’s most iconic and challenging trekking experiences, renowned for its dramatic rock formation that resembles a troll’s tongue jutting out over a precipice. Located near the town of Odda in the Hordaland region, this guided hike offers stunning views of the surrounding fjord landscapes and is a bucket-list adventure for many outdoor enthusiasts. You will travel by bus from Voss to Tyssedal for the first night and then glamping on the mountain on your second night before returning to Tyssedal for your last night and returning back to Voss by bus. 

Cost: £1279 per person (based on 2 sharing in the  3 star hotel and in a dome of up to 6 in the mountain)

Added on as a detour from: Voss

Total nights added to itinerary: 3

Distance and Duration:

  • Approximately 28 hrs • 20-28 km return • 800 m ascent

Difficulty:

  • The Trolltunga hike is considered challenging due to its length and the varying terrain. Hikers must be in good physical condition.
  • The trail includes steep ascents, rocky sections, and potentially challenging weather conditions, particularly in the shoulder seasons when there may be snow and ice