This 13-day Nordic adventure delivers the highlights of western and central Norway in all their autumn glory. Begin in Bergen, a historic port city where you'll stroll cobbled streets and ride cable cars up to mountain lookout points. The next leg takes you to Norway's stunning fjords and on scenic hikes and train rides before wrapping up with food tours in Oslo, dinners at mountaintop restaurants, and day trips to rugged islands.

Highlights

  • Tour Bergen's historic wharf and ride up to mountain viewpoints
  • Cruise along the waters of Norway's famous fjords
  • Visit beautiful countryside villages for food tastings and cultural tours
  • Enjoy food and city tours of Oslo, Norway's energetic capital
  • Hike to incredible mountain viewpoints overlooking the fjords

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Bergen, Visit Ulriken Mountain Bergen
Day 2 Bergen Walking Tour With a Local Guide Bergen
Day 3 Fjord Cruise to Aurland, Visit Stegastein Viewpoint Aurland
Day 4 Cheese Tasting in Undredal Aurland
Day 5 Nærøyfjord Cruise & Viking Valley Tour Aurland
Day 6 Scenic Train to Oslo Oslo
Day 7 Oslo Food Tour With a Local Guide Oslo
Day 8 Scenic Train to Åndalsnes, Dinner Atop Nesaksla Mountain Åndalsnes
Day 9 Hike to Rampestreken Viewpoint Åndalsnes
Day 10 Bus Journey to Ålesund Ålesund
Day 11 Full-Day Geiranger Fjord Cruise Ålesund
Day 12 Day Trip to Runde Island Ålesund
Day 13 Depart Ålesund  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Bergen, Visit Ulriken Mountain

Views across Bergen to the sea
Welcome to Bergen! Situated on Norway's west coast, this wharf city of about 300,000 residents is one of the oldest port cities in Europe. Its enviable location lies surrounded by ocean, mountains, and fjords, including Sognefjord, the country's longest and deepest. Upon arrival at the airport, you'll hop aboard the local light rail system for a ride into the city.
 
After checking in to your hotel, you can explore Bergen's cobbled streets. Check out the historic wharf area of Bryggen (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) to view colorful wooden houses that date to the 1700s. Nearby is the Maritime Museum, which contains boats and artifacts from throughout the city's seafaring history. 

Later, make your way just outside the city to Mount Ulriken. Standing nearly 2,109 feet (643 m), this is the highest of the Seven Sisters mountains of Bergen. Ride a cable car to the summit for incredible panoramic views of the city below and the surrounding fjords and ocean. Afterward, you can sit for a three-course lunch at the chic mountaintop restaurant. 

Day 2: Bergen Walking Tour With a Local Guide

Bergen's UNESCO-listed Bryggen district
Discover Bergen from a local's perspective today. A three-hour cultural walk will take you to the city's most incredible sites, both famous and hidden. Stroll along the old wharf of Bryggen and visit the 13th-century Bergenhus Fortress. Along the way, your expert guide will reveal fascinating historical details about Nordic kings and the Hanseatic League. You'll then delve even deeper into the city as you leave the tourist trail to visit neighborhoods, landmarks, and viewpoints beloved by the locals.

Day 3: Fjord Cruise to Aurland, Visit Stegastein Viewpoint

Look out over the Aurlandsfjord from the Stegastein Viewpoint
This morning, you'll board a ferry for the five to six-hour ride from Bergen to the village of Aurland. This spectacularly scenic cruise will take you along the country's longest and deepest fjord, Sognefjord. As you pass through the "king of the fjords," you'll be treated to breathtaking views of soaring cliffs, snow-capped peaks, forested hillsides, and colorful villages. 

Upon arrival, head out for a two-hour excursion to the Stegastein Viewpoint, one of the country's most popular attractions. This man-made platform stands 2,132 feet (650 m) above the Aurlandsfjord, jutting out 98 feet (30 m) from the cliffs. The views are unbeatable and feature vast panoramas of the fjord below. After enjoying the sights, you can take an optional hike before returning to Aurland.

Day 4: Cheese Tasting in Undredal

Traditional Undredal goat cheese
Traditional Undredal goat cheese
The town of Undredal, which sits on the banks of the Aurlandsfjord, is famous for the artisanal goat cheese it has been producing for centuries. Enjoy a tasting of this delicious regional offering on a short tour of Undredal's Eldhuset (House of Cheese), where you'll learn all about local traditions in cheesemaking, including pasture farming and the final production process.

The experience includes sampling other products, which, depending on the season, might include white and brown goat cheeses, smoked goat sausage, and artisanal bread with sour cream, cloudberry jam, and local fruit juices. If this tasting tour whets your appetite, you can stay and book a table for a full lunch or dinner highlighting locally sourced ingredients. Afterward, you'll return to your hotel and have the afternoon free to explore more of Aurland.

Day 5: Nærøyfjord Cruise & Viking Valley Tour

Nærøyfjord's narrow passage
Nærøyfjord's dramatic scenery
After a hearty Norwegian breakfast, walk down to the pier and board a boat that will cruise along the gorgeous Nærøyfjord to the village of Gudvangen. One of only two fjords that have earned the UNESCO World Heritage designation, Nærøyfjord is so narrow that as you travel, it will appear as though you can reach out and touch the mountain cliffs on either side of you.

Upon arrival in Gudvangen, you'll visit Viking Valley. This recreation of an authentic Viking village brings to life the history and culture of that bygone age. Join the inhabitants and travel 1,000 years back to the age of Njord, the god of trading and sailing. You'll interact with these residents and learn the rich history of the Vikings, their religion, their seafaring culture, and even their traditional boats. After spending some time wandering the village, you'll return to Aurland for the evening.

Day 6: Scenic Train to Oslo 

Pass picturesque Norwegian scenery on the way to Oslo
Get ready for the train journey of a lifetime this morning as you board the Flåm Railway. This line is renowned for being the most scenic railway in the country and one of the most beautiful anywhere in the world. The route will take you from small villages to the remote countryside, and at times the tracks will ascend to 4,000 feet (1,200 m) above sea level. The route travels east from Aurland to Oslo, and you'll transfer to your hotel on arrival.

After settling in, you can head out and explore Norway's charming capital, which retains its small-city energy due to the surrounding mountains and tranquil seaside. Oslo's charismatic downtown is for walking, and its fun outlying neighborhoods are easily accessible by public transportation. One idea is to wander around Aker Brygge, a scenic waterfront area home to a boardwalk lined with fun bars and abundant nightlife options. 

For some culture, the Open-Air Folk Museum showcases Norwegian history, traditions, and architecture at a beautiful outdoor site in the Bygdøy area. You can also visit the Vigeland Sculpture Park, a green lung in the middle of the city home to 200 larger-than-life sculptures. Head to Oslo's historic core for dinner, which is abuzz with restaurants and cafés that stay cozy even as the autumn chill sets in.

Day 7: Oslo Food Tour With a Local Guide

Oslo's waterfront Akershus Fortress
You're in for a tasty treat today as you embark on a food tour of Oslo. You'll meet your local foodie guide at the designated time next to Oslo's central station. From there, walk to the Akershus Fortress, where you'll learn a bit of local history amid great harbor views. During this walk, you'll stop in at a couple of restaurants. The first is Hallenthat, which offers top-quality seafood. The focus here is on sustainability, and during the visit, you'll learn all about the delicious Norwegian seafood you'll get to sample.

The next restaurant is Stock. Here, the team focuses on dishes made from scratch, which are often served alongside craft beers produced in its own brewery. The restaurant operates with an open kitchen, so while you're enjoying the tasting, enjoy unobstructed views into the restaurant's engine room. Afterward, you'll part ways with your guide and head back into the city armed with your newfound knowledge of the Oslo culinary scene.

Day 8: Scenic Train to Åndalsnes, Dinner on Nesaksla Mountain

Cross Kylling Bridge on the way to Åndalsnes
Trade Oslo for the mountains today with a comfortable and scenic train ride to Åndalsnes, a small town on Romsdalsfjord. This regional route features a breathtaking look at the Norwegian countryside, with a significant stretch of the trip hugging the shore of Mjøsa, the country's largest lake and one of the deepest in all of Europe. Also on the journey are views of snow-dusted peaks in several national parks, including Dovrefjell–Sunndalsfjella, Rondane, and Reinheimen. Upon arrival, check in to your hotel in this idyllic mountain town and relax.

In the evening, enjoy a very special dinner experience. Board the Romsdal Gondola and ride it 5,508 feet (1,679 m) to the top of Nesaksla Mountain. The trip takes about five minutes, and once at the top, you'll sit at a mountaintop restaurant. The relaxed atmosphere is perfect for couples and families, and the real highlight is enjoying your meal amid spectacular 360-degree views of the surrounding peaks and the fjord below.

Day 9: Hike to Rampestreken Viewpoint

Trek to the observation deck at the Rampestreken Viewpoint
Lace up your best hiking boots today for a trek to Rampestreken, a stunning viewpoint that sits 1,804 feet (550 m) above sea level and overlooks Åndalsnes and the fjord beneath. Despite the steepness of the ascent (the last leg in particular), this is a moderate hike that only takes about 2.5 hours up and back. The trail is clearly marked throughout, and the last portion just below the viewpoint changes from a land path to stone steps constructed by Nepalese sherpas. 

The viewpoint is indeed incredible; however, from here, you can choose to continue the hike to the very top of the mountain. This summit is called Nesaksla, and it's only another 20 minutes from Rampestreken. Most of the path up is on stone steps, and once you reach the top, you'll be rewarded with more sweeping vistas. After the adventure, head back down the trail and spend the rest of the day enjoying Åndalsnes.

Day 10: Bus Journey to Ålesund

Ålesund will take your breath away
Ålesund will take your breath away
Head west toward the sea today with a bus journey from the terminal in Åndalsnes to Ålesund. Located at the edge of Norway's western fjordland, Ålesund is known as one of the most charming places not only in Norway but in all of Scandinavia. The impressive Art Nouveau architecture here resulted from rebuilding efforts following a devastating fire in 1904. The scenic drive takes around two hours, and you'll check in to your hotel when you arrive. 
 
You'll then have some free time to walk down the charming streets or visit the countryside for a nature hike. If the weather's nice, head out on the water for a stand-up paddleboarding session. For a fun and unique outing, hike up Ålesund's Sukkertoppen (Sugar Top) hill, which affords excellent views of the city, fjord, and coast. Plan at least 2.5 hours for this excursion. 

Day 11: Full-Day Geiranger Fjord Cruise

Geirangerfjord's incredible scenery
This full-day fjord cruise takes you from the coastal town of Ålesund through the narrow straits of Storfjord and Geirangerfjord. As you cruise on a ferry, you'll be treated to all the dramatic scenery for which Norway is deservedly famous. This includes dramatic valleys, soaring cliffs, snow-capped mountain peaks, plunging waterfalls, and dense forests set ablaze with colorful foliage.  

This sea-to-fjord route follows the same path as the people of Norway once did before the country developed its road network. The itinerary is also flexible, so you can make stops at sites and landmarks as requested. This allows you the freedom to get up close with some of the area's famous waterfalls, like the Seven Sisters and the Suitor.

After the boat docks in the quaint village of Geiranger, take some time to explore. Recommended activities include enjoying lunch at one of the town's cafés, taking an e-bike ride along nature trails, and visiting the Norwegian Fjord Center to view its fascinating historical exhibits. Then, in the afternoon, you'll start your return journey back to Ålesund.

Day 12: Day Trip to Runde Island

A puffin relaxes on Runde
Today, you'll embark on a day trip from Ålesund to the island of Runde via bus and high-speed ferry. This sparsely inhabited island (with a population of about 150) is known for its steep cliffs and grassy plateaus. Visitors to Runde can enjoy many fun outdoor activities, including hiking, diving, fishing, and boat tours around the island.

However, Runde is most famous for the more than 500,000 birds that migrate here from April to mid-August. But this is an excellent birding destination year-round, as more than 230 species have been spotted on the island. These include Atlantic puffins, skuas, razorbills, and even white-tailed eagles. Upon arrival, you'll be able to hike around and spot some of these incredible specimens. After a few hours of enjoying Runde's nature and scenery, you'll return to Ålesund.

Day 13: Depart Ålesund

 Colorful Jugenstil houses in Ålesund

Alas, your autumn adventure in Norway has come to an end. At the appropriate time, you'll transfer to the terminal in Ålesund, where you'll board a bus for the 20-minute ride to the airport. From there, you'll catch your connecting flight home. Safe travels!

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Map

Map of Autumn in Norway: Bergen, Aurland, Oslo, Åndalsnes & Ålesund - 13 Days
Map of Autumn in Norway: Bergen, Aurland, Oslo, Åndalsnes & Ålesund - 13 Days