Take advantage of Norway's long summer days with this self-drive adventure from the fjords of the south to the unspoiled nature and idyllic fishing villages of the Lofoten Islands. Set out from Bergen to kayak and cruise through the iconic fjords as you skip between charming towns like Flåm, Balestrand, and Geiranger. Then, fly north into the Arctic Circle to reach the Lofoten archipelago—where you'll hit the road again for island hopping, horseback riding, and whale watching in the land of the midnight sun.


  • Ride the famous Flåm Railway from fjord shores to the summit
  • Take in the incredible views of the fjords from the top of the Loen Skylift
  • Cruise through the waters of the UNESCO-list Geirangerfjord
  • Spot puffins and whales off the isle of Værøy in the Lofoten Islands

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Bergen, Norway's "City of Seven Mountains" Bergen
Day 2 Drive to Flåm, Ride the Flåm Railway Flåm
Day 3 Kayaking on the Aurlandsfjord Flåm
Day 4 Drive to Balestrand, Visit St. Olaf's Church Balestrand
Day 5 Scenic Fishing Trip on Fjærlandsfjorden Balestrand
Day 6 Balestrand Orchard Tour & Cider Tasting Balestrand
Day 7 Drive to Solvorn, Explore Urnes Stave Church & Jostedalsbreen National Park Solvorn
Day 8 Drive to Loen, Ride the Loen Skylift, Visit Lovatnet Loen
Day 9 Drive to Geiranger, Hike the Waterfall Way Geiranger
Day 10 Geiranger Fjordsafari, Drive to Ålesund via Trollstigen & Åndalsnes Ålesund
Day 11 Fly to Bodø, Drive & Ferry to Reine & the Lofoten Islands Reine
Day 12 Kayak Tour on the Reinefjord Reine
Day 13 Wildlife Sightseeing Cruise to Værøy Reine
Day 14 Drive to Svolvær, Beach Hopping in Svolvær, Visit Henningsvær Svolvær
Day 15 Horseback Riding Adventure in Lofoten Svolvær
Day 16 Fly to Oslo, Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Bergen, Norway's "City of Seven Mountains"

Rent a Car in Bergen
Discover the colors of Bergen, one of the oldest ports in Europe

Welcome to Norway! Upon arrival at the airport, you'll pick up your rental car and head into the gorgeous city of Bergen, one of the oldest ports in Europe. Once you arrive in the "City of Seven Mountains," check into your hotel, then explore the town. Norway's most important shipping city and the former capital, Bergen, is known for its seafood and world-class artists.

The most famous attraction is the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bryggen, where historic wooden buildings line Vågen, the harbor's northern edge. For 400 years, this area was a hub for trade and now houses the Hanseatic Museum. Try fresh seafood at the Market House, see the 12th-century stone fortress of Bergenhus, and ride the Fløibanen Funicular to the top of Mount Fløyen—one of Bergen's seven peaks. 

Day 2: Drive to Flåm, Ride the Flåm Railway

Savor the scenic views from the Flåm Railway, one of the world's steepest train rides

After breakfast at your hotel, make the picturesque three-hour drive to the fjordside village of Flåm. Park your car, hop aboard the Flåmsbanan (the Flåm Railway), and slowly start the ride up to Myrdal—a beautiful journey along one of the world's most scenic (and steepest) train journeys. The route passes vertical mountain walls and foaming waterfalls like Kjofjossen (with a photo stop), then cuts through 20 tunnels. In one hour, the train travels from sea level at the fjord to the high mountain station. 

When you reach Myrdal, make your way back down to Flåm (via railway). Back in the storybook village of Flåm, you'll have the rest of the afternoon free to explore. When evening starts to fall, take a short walk to the nearby Fretheim Hotel for dinner with a fantastic view of the fjord and the surrounding mountains.

Day 3: Kayaking on the Aurlandsfjord

Kayaking offers spectacular views of the surrounding mountains.
Kayak through the spectacular waters of Aurlandsfjord

Grab a kayak and a paddle for a three-hour trip through the spectacular Aurlandsfjord. Learn the basics of kayaking with your guide before hopping aboard a stable, double kayak. From the beach in Flåm, you'll paddle out into the fjord to experience the majesty of the surrounding peaks and endless waterfalls with a front-seat view. Kayak past Otternes Bygdetun, a "farm cluster" preserved from the 17th century that's now a museum, before continuing toward Fronnes. Here, you can see ancient Viking-age gravemounds and even remains.

Along the way, you'll gain a real feel for the peaceful fjord landscape and learn more about the area's history from your expert guide. Make sure to look out for local wildlife—if lucky, you'll spot porpoises, eagles, seals, or otters. After returning to Flåm, you'll have the afternoon free to relax in the peaceful town or embark on more adventures, like biking, hiking, and ziplining.

Day 4: Drive to Balestrand, Visit St. Olaf's Church

Visit St. Olaf's Church
Visit St. Olaf's Church in Balestrand, a 19th-century reproduction of a traditional stave church

Today, make the three-hour drive from Flåm to the Norwegian town of Balestrand, which necessitates a ride on the car ferry crossing the incredible Sognefjord. This picturesque town, situated ride on the fjord, is known for its water views, enormous mountains, wooden villas, and a charming town square. Drive up to Gaularfjellet for spectacular views at the modern Utsikten viewpoint, wander past former artist villas on the Heritage Trail, or visit the Lunde Arboretum to see local plants and access the nearby beach. 

One of Balestrand's most famous sites is St. Olaf's Church, an imitation of a traditional stave church, completed in 1897 in honor of an Englishwoman who married a Norwegian man and wished on her deathbed that an English church be built in the town. Therefore, this seemingly Norwegian relic—a gorgeous, traditional wooden structure—is owned and operated by the Church of England.

Day 5: Scenic Fishing Trip on Fjærlandsfjorden

Photo taken by Mark M
Take a fun fishing trip through the picturesque Fjærlandsfjorden

Join a local fisherman today for a cruise through the beautiful scenery of Fjærlandsfjorden. Set sail from Balestrand, see the famous red dragon villas from the water (local chalets built Viking-style with painted red with dragon carvings), and learn more about the area's local history from experts.

Cross the Sognefjord, Norway's deepest and longest fjord, before entering the waters of Fjærlandsfjorden. As you take in the epic views from the water, you'll learn the basics of fjord fishing from your captain. Try catching local species like sea trout and spot other endemic wildlife such as golden eagles and sea otters. You'll cruise back to Balestrand later on and have the rest of the day free to explore at your own pace.

Day 6: Balestrand Orchard Tour & Cider Tasting

Taste cider made from organic apples in the Norwegian town of Balestrand
Embark on a delightful and refreshing fruit-tasting tour in Balestrand, which sits among the oldest fruit-growing region in Norway. Your day will begin with a visit to a charming organic orchard nestled on the serene banks of Sognefjord. Here, you'll meet your guide, who will introduce you to the fascinating world of apple growing. They'll educate you about various local traditions related to apple cultivation that have been prevalent since the 12th century, offering a glimpse into the region's rich cultural and agricultural heritage.

After you tour the orchard, proceed to the Ciderhuset (Cider House), where you'll taste five distinct varieties of locally brewed cider. As you sip on the different ciders, your hosts will help you understand and appreciate the diverse spectrum of flavors. These ciders are not only beverages but an integral part of the local culture, embodying the spirit and tastes of Balestrand. The Ciderhuset also offers a restaurant where you can enjoy delicious local dishes to pair with your cider, such as smoked salmon and traditional meatballs. 

Plan your trip to Norway
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Day 7: Drive to Solvorn, Explore Urnes Stave Church & Jostedalsbreen National Park

Trip to Urnes Stave Church
Catch a quick ferry to visit the Urnes Stave Church

Say farewell to Balestrand and make the 1.5-hour drive to the village of Solvorn on the shores of the Lusterfjord. After you arrive, board the scenic 35-minute ferry across the fjord that delivers you to Ornes, famous for its 12th-century wooden church. Urnes Stave Church is Norway's oldest place of worship and an outstanding example of traditional Scandinavian wooden architecture.

Return to Solvorn on the ferry and drive to the nearby Jostedalsbreen National Park, home to the largest glacier in Norway, which covers half the surface of the entire park. The park is also famous for its wide variety of natural environments, all within a short distance of each other, that range from valleys with lush vegetation to mountains and glacial landscapes.

From Jostedalsbreen National Park, there's also easy access to Fjærland, a bucolic village on the shores of the Fjærlandsfjord. Head to the village center, Mundal, and visit the Norwegian Booktown, which consists of several secondhand bookshops, cafés, art galleries, and souvenir stores, as well as the Norwegian Glacier Museum, an interactive museum dedicated to glaciers and climate change. Return to Solvorn afterward to check into your hotel.

Day 8: Drive to Loen, Ride the Loen Skylift, Visit Lovatnet Lake

Loen Skylift
Take in the incredible views of Lovatnet Lake from the top of the Loen Skylift

Take in the scenery on today's two-hour drive from Solvorn to Loen, a gorgeous village in the shadow of the vast Jostedalsbreen glacier. Once you arrive, go from sea to sky on the Loen Skylift, a spectacular attraction that lifts tourists to the top of Mount Hoven at 3,316 feet (1,011 m) in about five thrilling minutes. Once you arrive at the mountain station, stop for a meal at Hoven Restaurant, with its panoramic views of Mount Skåla, the Jostedalsbreen glacier, and the Nordfjord. Explore the mountain's comprehensive network of trails on foot before taking the Skylift back down to Loen.

Near Loen is the Instagram-famous Lake Lovatnet, known for its otherworldly blue-green color. Join a kayak trip or rent your own rowing boat, and rent a fishing rod to try catching a trout. After you visit the lake, head to the Loen Via Ferrata, a bridge hanging 2,500 feet (750 m) above the fjord, for still more stunning views before you settle into your accommodations in Loen for the evening.

Day 9: Drive to Geiranger, Hike the Waterfall Way

Waterfalls along the Geirangerfjord
Hike along the Waterfall Way for views of the Geirangerfjord

Bid farewell to beautiful Loen and drive 2.5 hours to the gorgeous town of Geiranger. Situated at the head of the UNESCO-listed Geirangerfjord, this tiny hamlet is surrounded by mountain peaks, lush vegetation, and many waterfalls. The best way to take in the views and view one of the many waterfalls up close is to hike on the Waterfall Walk.

This scenic route runs from the center of Geiranger up to the Norwegian Fjord Centre and climbs 327 steps to the viewpoint of the rushing Storfossen Waterfall. Head back down to town when you're ready to put your feet up, and get an early night in preparation for tomorrow's adventures.

Day 10: Geiranger Fjordsafari, Drive to Ålesund via Trollstigen & Åndalsnes

Alesund blossoms in spring and summer
 Ålesund is filled with blossoms in spring and summer

Experience Geiranger from the water today on a fast-paced Fjordsafari cruise, ideal for seeing the many famous waterfalls that flow into the fjord up close. On this hour-long tour, you'll boat by the De Syv Søstre (the Seven Sisters), the Brudesløret (the Bridal Veil), Syltevika, and Skageflå, all of which rush into the still waters of the fjord. 

Return to Geiranger afterward, then hop in your car for the four-hour drive to the gorgeous town of Ålesund. Take the longer, famous Norwegian Scenic Route Geiranger-Trollstigen, which takes you through a dramatic mountain pass that zigzags through eleven hairpin bends in the Romsdalen Valley. Enjoy the twisting road before stopping and exploring the town of Åndalsnes. Known as the mountaineering capital of Norway, hiking opportunities abound here if you feel like stretching your legs. 

From Åndalsnes, continue 1.5 hours to Ålesund, one of Norway's most beautiful cities. For panoramic views of Ålesund's Art Nouveau architecture and the surrounding archipelago and fjords, head to the Mount Aksla Lookout.

Day 11: Fly to Bodø, Drive & Ferry to Reine & the Lofoten Islands

Take a scenic drive to the countryside near Bodø
You'll land in the town of Bodø, surrounded by unspoiled northern countryside

Return your rental car today and hop on a flight up to the northern coast of Norway and the beautiful town of Bodø. Once you arrive, you'll pick up another rental car and have some free time to explore more of Bodø with a visit to the Norwegian Aviation Museum, the largest aviation museum in the Nordic countries, or a walk along Mjelle Beach. Take a guided tour of the Arctic Coastal Walk to learn about the geology and Viking history of the area, or check out the world's strongest tidal current at Saltstraumen.

Then, it's time to board the three-hour car ferry from Bodø to Reine via the port of Moskenes, on the famous Lofoten Islands. Upon arrival, you'll disembark and make the short 10-minute drive to Reine, which is considered one of the most beautiful villages in the world. You'll stay the next three nights in a traditional rorbuer—red and white fisherman's cabins converted into accommodations for travelers—with incredible views of the granite peaks jutting straight out of the sea. 

Day 12: Kayak Tour on the Reinefjord

Kayaking near the village of Reine, Lofoten Islands
Kayak near the village of Reine in the Lofoten Islands

The best way to experience the jaw-dropping beauty of Reine is with a kayak tour of the surrounding Reinefjorden. Lofoten's pristine environment and deep fjords offer the perfect surroundings for paddling a kayak, especially in the summer, when you can experience the watery landscape under the midnight sun's rays.

Meet your experienced and knowledgeable guide to get an introduction to paddling techniques and safety instructions before you set out on the fjord. With your guide, you'll paddle around nearby islands such as Sakrisøy and Hamnøy or inside the Reinefjord. Experience Reine Harbor, as well as small islands with bird colonies, wild shores, and white beaches surrounded by majestic mountains. Your guide will tell stories about the landscape and life in the region and give you an overview of Lofoten, its history, and the people who live here, before you return to town.

Day 13: Wildlife Sightseeing Cruise to Værøy

Wildlife Sightseeing to Værøy
Spot whales on a wildlife cruise to Værøy

Experience more of the Lofoten Islands today with a wildlife sightseeing cruise. From the southern tip of Lofoten at Lofotodden National Park, you'll cross one of the strongest currents in the world and sail along the shores of several small islands toward the island of Værøy. Pass through the habitats of marine wildlife and seabirds, with chances to see eagles, puffins, seals, orcas, and possibly even blue whales.

During the trip, the guides on board will be on the lookout and share their knowledge of this specific area's wildlife, history, and geography. Once you arrive at Værøy, the boat will dock for four hours, allowing you to explore this gem of an island. Set off on your own by foot or bicycle, wander the small town center of Sørland, or head for Røssnesvåg and its famous lighthouse. On the way back, the search for wildlife continues, and the onboard kiosk will be open, serving food and drinks.

Day 14: Drive to Svolvær, Beach Hopping in Svolvær, Visit Henningsvær

Beach hopping to Svolvær
Beach hop as you drive from the Lofoten Islands to Svolvær

Get back on the road and spend a leisurely day making your way through the Lofoten Islands toward Svolvær, where you'll stay the night. It's a two-hour drive, but you'll take your time and stop at various secluded beaches along the route, many with stretches of soft white sand and turquoise-blue water. 

Don't miss a detour to Henningsvær, home to some of the most well-preserved architecture of the traditional Norwegian fishing villages. Henningsvær is Lofoten's liveliest spot and the artistic heart of the island, with quirky cafés and local galleries. Henningsvær consists of several islets spread peacefully among the waters of Vjestfjord

Once you arrive in Svolvær, explore the region's capital at your leisure. Have a drink in a frozen wonderland at Magic Ice Lofoten, and visit the Lofoten Krigsminnemuseum, a museum commemorating Norway's place in World War II. For the truly adventurous, climb the Svolværgeita, an imposing rock formation that looms above the city. 

Day 15: Horseback Riding Adventure in Lofoten

Geilo horseback riding
Ride Icelandic horses through the beautiful Lofoten Islands

Celebrate the penultimate day of your Norwegian adventure with a horseback ride through the windswept Lofoten landscapes. Suitable for both beginner and experienced riders, the ride will take you along sandy beaches, past ancient remnants from the Viking Age, and on ridges with beautiful open views toward Gimsøy.

Ride by racks of stockfish and out to the small and pleasant fishing harbor of Hovsund before heading back to Svolvær, where you can spend the afternoon however you like. Pay a visit to the local brewery for a tour, sample the famous cinnamon buns at Lysstøperiet, or savor the freshest seafood or hearty Nordic fare at a cozy local restaurant. 

Day 16: Fly to Oslo, Depart

Bergen's not short on scenery
Enjoy the sites of Oslo before catching your departing flight

Today, drive to Svolvær's airport, where you'll return your car before flying to Norway's capital, Oslo. Spend the afternoon exploring the beautiful, fjordside city. Walk along Oslo's main thoroughfare, Karl Johans Gate, which leads to the home of the Norwegian monarchy at Palace Park. Continue your walking tour to explore the many shops along the waterfront, as well as notable museums like the Nobel Peace Center and Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art.

At the end of the day, it's time to say farewell to Norway. Take the local train to Oslo's airport and catch your departing flight. Safe travels, wherever the road takes you next! 

More Great Norway Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Norway? Check out these other Norway itineraries, explore different ways to spend 16 days in Norway, or discover the best time to visit Norway.


Map of Discover Norway's Southern Fjords & Northern Islands - 16 Days
Map of Discover Norway's Southern Fjords & Northern Islands - 16 Days