- Stroll the colorful, cobbled streets of UNESCO-listed Bergen
- Sail Norway's deepest, longest fjord to Balestrand
- Hike past glaciers in the mountain valleys of Mundal
- Ride the world's steepest railway to Flåm
- Sample cool Nordic culture and cuisine in Oslo
|Arrive in Bergen
|Ferry to Balestrand
|Day Excursion to Fjærland
|Balestrand to Flåm --> Train to Oslo
Day 1: Arrive in Bergen
Welcome to Bergen! One of the oldest ports in Europe, this cobblestone wharf city boasts a spectacular setting, surrounded by ocean, mountains, and fjords. Its easily walkable center offers a vast selection of cultural and outdoorsy activities, not to mention a lively restaurant and nightlife scene thanks to its large student population.
If there's time, be sure to ride the Fløibanen funicular (or hike the trail on foot) to the top of Mount Fløyen—one of Bergen's seven peaks—for the best views of the city. Take a leisurely stroll back down the path while discovering hidden troll sculptures along the way.
Also, make sure to check out the Bryggen area of downtown to view the waterfront wooden houses that characterize the city. Dating back to the 1700s, the whole neighborhood is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Day 2: Ferry to Balestrand
Enjoy a typical Norwegian breakfast before strolling down to the pier to catch the ferry to Balestrand. This "fjordcruise" takes you into the longest and deepest fjord in Norway, with 3,200 foot (1000 meter) mountain walls rising out of the sea. Lean back, and enjoy cruising through the breathtaking scenery.
Disembark at Balestrand’s charming harbor, and settle into your accommodation before heading out to explore the town’s picturesque waterfront and cozy restaurants and bars.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Day 3: Day Excursion to Fjærland
Today, you’ll catch the ferry from Balestrand to the magical glacier village of Fjærland. Here you can explore the town center, known as Mundal, famous for its many second-hand bookshops made from converted farmhouses and sheds. Visit the many charming cafes, art galleries, and shops, or stop in at the award-winning Norwegian Glacier Museum nearby.
If you want to venture deeper into the breathtaking landscapes, take a gentle hike through the Mundal Valley, passing green fields and old saeters (high mountain pastures) or spend the afternoon kayaking past glaciers and discovering hidden estuaries in the calm fjord.
After a day spent in this rural idyll, catch the ferry back to Balestrand in the afternoon.
(In the off-season, the "fjordcruise" ferry does not run, but you have the option to rent a car and drive an excellent scenic route to Fjærland.)
Day 4: Balestrand to Flåm --> Train to Oslo
Spend the morning in Balestrand before heading down to the pier to cross the fjord to Flåm. This small town feels like Norway in a nutshell, with its beautiful natural setting and traditional wooden houses. As a travel hub for the Sognefjord, it connects the Flåmsbana Railway to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Nærøyfjord. Surrounded by steep mountains and clear blue fjords, Flåm is the perfect base for outdoor adventures.
In the afternoon, take the Flåm Railway to Myrdal. This train journey is considered one of the steepest and most scenic in the world. The train stops several places where you also have the opportunity to disembark for photos and explorations. In Myrdal, change train towards Oslo, and watch as the landscape begins to change as you travel east towards the capital.
Upon arrival, settle into your hotel in Oslo, and rest up for a day of exploring tomorrow.
Day 5: Explore Oslo
After breakfast at your hotel, you'll have the entire day to discover Oslo at your own pace.
- Head to Nordmarka Forest for a dose of nature. Just 20-30 minutes from the city center, this vast area offers nature trails, wildlife, and nordic skiing, to name a few. Another hiking option is Grefsenkollen, overlooking Oslo, the fjord, and the surrounding forests.
- Take a long walk along the Akerselva—a river that flows through the city—for a real Oslo experience. The 5-mile (8 km) hiking trail extends through preserved working homes from different eras.
- During the summer months, you can hit the beach! The best city options include Huk, a popular area with sunbathing and swimming, and Paradisbukta, a beautiful beach where you can find sun chairs and a café with free wifi. There's also a swimming spot in the city center in the Tjuvholmen neighborhood.
- Get a taste of the sauna culture that is thriving in Oslo. A cool option is KOK’s Floating Saunas, where you can enjoy the invigorating combination of a hot sauna and a jump into the crisp water of the Oslofjord (year-round.)
- For shopping, head to Frogner, better known as the epicenter for Oslo’s affluent West End. Admire the shops and 19th-century architecture. While here, you can also visit Frogner Open-Air Public Bath, a nice place to spend a few relaxing hours by the pool.
- Jump on the metro to Tryvann and test your fear of heights at Høyt og Lavt Klatrepark—a climbing park for all ages with all levels of difficulties. During winter months, the park becomes a ski area.
- Foodies can explore the Mathallen Foodhall, an indoor market with cafés, eateries, and specialty shops featuring Norwegian producers.
Don’t miss visiting some of the city's top-notch museums as well. Some recommendations include:
- The Fram Museum, dedicated to telling the story of Norwegian polar exploration.
- The Norwegian Maritime Museum offers exhibits on coast culture and maritime history, covering a number of subjects including shipbuilding, boat models, fishing, marine archeology, and shipping.
- The Kon-Tiki Museum showcases vessels and maps from the Kon-Tiki expedition, as well as a library with about 8,000 books.
- The Munch Museum is dedicated to the life and works of the Norwegian artist Edvard Munch.
- The Nasjonal Museum displays the country’s most extensive collection of art, architecture, and design, with up to 400,000 works.
For dinner, if you're looking for Oslo's trendiest local scene, head east for Grünerløkka, which many inhabitants refer to affectionately as "Løkka." This once-run-down sector of Oslo is now the site of refurbished apartments, fashionable cafés, and hip restaurants. Check out Night Hawk Diner, Villa Paraiso, and Colonialen.
Day 6: Depart Oslo
It's time to say farewell to Norway! Enjoy your last moments in this beautiful city with a leisurely breakfast, neighborhood stroll, and/or souvenir shopping before you head to the airport for your departing flight.