The journey from the small village of Flåm to Balestrand covers a distance of 74 miles (119 km). The most scenic and efficient way is by Ferry or Express boat where you’ll travel through the Sognefjord. Though it’s important to note, ferry and boat service are seasonal.
Traveling by car allows you to go at you at your leisure without relying on any schedules and at any time of year, weather permitting.
You'll want to consider this Bergen Flam and Hardangerfjord 5 days tour where you'll ride on the steepest train in the world and take a fjord cruise through the Hardangerfjord.
By Ferry or Express boat
Duration: 1.5-2 hours
Traveling by express boat or ferry is the most convenient and relaxing way to get to Balestrand. The ferry offers crossings 7 days a week with a travel time of an hour and fifteen minutes. Ferries depart once a day in the afternoon. Ferry service is offered from the beginning of April until the end of September. Ferries cross through the UNESCO- protected fjord, Nærøyfjorden.
The express boat goes once a day with an early departure of 6 am Monday-Friday. There is no service on the weekends. However, traveling via boat is only offered in the summer months from the end of June to mid-August, so keep this in mind when planning your trip.
Make sure you have your camera charged and ready to capture the magical landscapes.
By Car or Private Transfer
Duration: 2.5-3 hours
There are two principal routes you can take by car. The quickest and shortest route is via the E16 and RV13 highway with a travel time of around 2.5 hours. Soon after you begin your trip, you’ll want to stop in the town of Gudvangen, a UNESCO world heritage site with views of the Nærøyfjord. You can also visit the Viking Experience, a recreation of a Viking village with historical reenactments.
You’ll pass by several lakes valleys and farmland before reaching the Sognefjord. The last leg of the journey, you’ll cross the Sognefjord via the Vangsnes-Dragsvik ferry. The ferry takes 30 minutes and is operated by Norled. While aboard, this is a good opportunity for a bathroom break, to buy a snack from the kiosk and take some photos of the fjord from the vantage point of being on the water.
Once you cross, Balestrand is only a 15-minute drive away.
Ferries depart at 12:15 am and 1:25 am and start again at 6:05 am with the last one at 11 pm. You will want to time your crossing with the ferry schedule because some crossings are more frequent than others depending on the time of day with departures anywhere from 30 minutes to every hour and 35 minutes.