Experience Scandinavian culture and dramatic landscapes at a slower pace on this two-week adventure. You'll start in Norway's charming capital, known for its architecture, museums, trendy restaurants, and cafés. Next, head into the fjords to see some of the most beautiful scenery in the country from above in the mountains and and below on the sea, with hikes, boat tours, and more. You'll end on the colorful and historic wharves of Bergen.

Highlights

  • Tour Oslo and Bergen on walks with local experts
  • Cruise through craggy UNESCO-listed fjords
  • Learn the secrets of cheesemaking on a goat farm
  • Tackle a whitewater rafting trip down a scenic river

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Oslo Oslo
Day 2 Explore Oslo with a Local Oslo
Day 3 Oslo to Geilo & Afternoon Hike Geilo
Day 4 Explore Geilo & Surroundings Geilo
Day 5 Train to Flåm & Transfer to Aurland Aurland
Day 6 Hiking & Goat Farm Tour Aurland
Day 7 Explore Aurland Aurland
Day 8 Aurland to Voss with Kayak Tour & Viking Village Voss
Day 9 Explore Voss Voss
Day 10 White-Water River Rafting Voss
Day 11 Voss to Bergen Bergen
Day 12 Guided Bergen Walking Tour Bergen
Day 13 Fjordcruise to Mostraumen Bergen
Day 14 Depart Bergen  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Oslo

A lively sidewalk in Oslo's city center
A lively sidewalk in Oslo's city center

Welcome to Oslo! Norway's rapidly growing capital, which is still considered a small city, is surrounded by mountains and sea. Not only is the city center made for walking, but outlying neighborhoods—filled with charm and character—are easily accessible by public transportation. Jump on a tram, train, or bus and discover all that Oslo has to offer.

Take a half-day wander around Aker Brygge, an area on the Oslofjord that's made up of beautiful, modern architecture where you can find bars and a vibrant nightlife. It acts as a sort of courtyard for the city of Oslo and brings together both tourists and locals to enjoy the great food, atmosphere, and entertainment.

In the afternoon, you can use the city's reliable public transport to visit the Viking Ship Museum and the Norwegian Open-Air Folk Museum, which are both in the same area. Afterward, stroll along the Havnepromenaden (harbor promenade)—a new five-and-a-half-mile waterfront park—which combines sightseeing, history, art, architecture, and a little bit of adventure.

For dinner, you can head to the city's historic core, which buzzes with restaurants and cafés that offer a warm and cozy setting in cold weather and outdoor seating during the warmer months.

Day 2: Explore Oslo with a Local

The Oslo Opera House
The Oslo Opera House

After breakfast at your hotel, meet up with your guide for a custom private tour of Oslo. Although the town is fairly small—it takes 30 minutes to travel from one end to the other—there's still a lot to see and do. The city is known for its rich history and museums, some of which celebrate the macabre works of the Norwegian expressionist painter Edvard Munch. Oslo also has a fascinating maritime culture in the form of stunning Viking-era ships. 

Your guide, a native of Oslo, will organize the tour based on your interests. Some recommendations include:

  • Akerselva River Walk (4-5 hours): During this tour, you'll take the tram to the Akerselva River, a vital waterway that offers an abundance of local history. You will start with the Norwegian Museum of Science and Technology (on the north side of the river) and then head south to the Labour Museum (part of the Oslo City Museum) as your guide shares stories about the heart of Oslo's history. The river is 5 miles (8 km) long and passes waterfalls, swimming areas, forested areas, and wildlife—with lots of photography opportunities!

  • From Fjord to Forest (full-day): This outdoor tour takes you to a beautiful island just outside Oslo's harbor, which takes about 30 minutes by tram from the city center. No cars are allowed here, and the island offers a wide array of outdoor activities. You can choose an activity depending on the season or simply walk around one of the lakes while your guide shares the local history.

  • Holmenkollen Ski Jump (2-3 hours): If you have less time to spare, this tour will take you to a popular area called Holmenkollen, where a wooded range of hills can be reached by light rail from the city center in about 35 minutes. Open year-round, the Ski Museum & Tower offers over 4,000 years of snow sports, polar exploration, and an exhibition on snowboarding and modern skiing. You can head for the observation deck, which offers panoramic views of Oslo and then walk down to the ski jump while your guide shares stories about local trolls, legends, and castles.

For dinner, wander around the city's historic core, which buzzes with restaurants and outdoor cafés. If you're looking for Oslo's trendiest local scene, head east to 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.

Day 3: Oslo to Geilo & Afternoon Hike

Hit the trails in and around Geilo
Hit the trails in and around Geilo

After an early breakfast at your hotel in Oslo, you'll transfer to the railway station and take the train out of the city and towards the beautiful mountain village of Geilo

Located along the scenic Bergen Railway, Geilo enjoys close proximity to two of the country's best national parks: Hallingskarvet and Hardangervidda. This stunning area offers magnificent mountain scenery and activities for all ages. 

Hiking season starts at the end of June and lasts until the snow falls (usually October). There are several trails for every age and fitness level—some that are very easy (less than two miles) and some that are more difficult (up to 10 miles and more), so lace up your boots and pack a picnic. For an easy activity, take a spin on the summer chairlift with panoramic views of the region.

Day 4: Explore Geilo & Surroundings

Show off your catch [Photo Credit: Vinternatt.no]

There are plentiful options for you to choose from today as you explore Geilo. Here are a few potential options:

  • Fishing: Accommodate any level with a two-hour "fishing for beginners" trip, or spend the full day trying to land the perfect catch on a customizable guided outing. You can also take a fishing tour at Ustaoset.
  • Hiking: There's a wealth of trails available here. A short stroll at Ustaoset can include a history lesson and short hike up to a scenic viewpoint. Start in the Geilo city center for a hike up Urundberget. If you're looking for more of a challenge, try the Prestholt trek to the top of Hallingskarvet, a local favorite. Advanced hikers can tackle Tregastein at Ustaoset.
  • Day trip to Finse: Take the scenic train ride to Finse, the highest station on the entire Norwegian railway, sitting roughly 4,000 feet (1,222 m) above sea level.
  • Storytelling: Sit around a bonfire in the Huldreforest as you listen to folktales and Norwegian songs under the trees.

Day 5: Train to Flåm & Transfer to Aurland

The scenic train ride
The scenic train ride

After breakfast, head to the train station for your transfer westward towards the village of Flåm

This journey will take you through some of the highest train track elevations in the world. From small villages to remote countryside, the views from your window will be nothing short of spectacular. At its highest point, the tracks will take you 4,009 feet (1,222 meters) above sea level.

After a quick train-change in Myrdal, you will continue on to Flåm. Enjoy views of snow-covered mountains, deep fjords, and beautiful waterfalls as you make your way towards your destination. The train even makes a special stop at the Kjosfossen waterfall for photo ops. 

When you arrive in Flåm, you'll be transferred to the small, peaceful village of Aurland. This cozy fjord village sees fewer tourists than neighboring Flåm, making it a relaxed base for a slew of activities.

Day 6: Hiking & Goat Farm Tour

Take a scenic hike and stop at a goat farm for lunch.
Take a scenic hike and stop at a goat farm for lunch.

You’ll start your excursion with a boat ride through the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord. Along the way, enjoy views of Sagfossen Waterfall, which dramatically drops straight into the fjord.

On the way back, you’ll stop at Skjerdal pier, where the moderate hike towards Leim Dairy Farm begins. The uphill route ascends the valley, opening up to panoramic vistas. Take as many breaks as you’d like to admire the surrounding scenery of fjords, mountain slopes, and waterfalls. Upon arrival, you’ll enjoy a tour of the farm as your host reveals the secrets behind making the area’s famous and traditional goat cheese. Relax on the farmhouse terrace and sample the cheese while enjoying a lunch featuring local fare.

Afterward, you’ll hike back down to Skjerdal and return to Flåm, then back to Aurland for a peaceful evening in the village.

Day 7: Explore Aurland

Fjord views

Wake up with the amazing view over the fjord and enjoy a peaceful breakfast at your leisure. You have several options for how to spend your free day here:

  • Stegastein Viewpoint is the local viewpoint of the village, with a fantastic view over the Aurlandsfjord and the top of the mountains. Take the shuttle for the easiest way up. If you want to be more mobile, you can hike Mount Prest or other mountains nearby.
  • Turlidfossen is a majestic waterfall in the area, roughly a 40-minute walk from town along a forest trail.
  • Take a walk along the fjord.
  • Visit the town's many craft shops, including the shoe factory, glassblowing studio, and organic bakery.

Day 8: Aurland to Voss with Kayak Tour & Viking Village

Within the fjords

You'll leave Aurland today with plenty of adventure along your route.

You'll stop in Gudvangen, situated in the UNESCO-listed fjord of Nærøyfjorden. Hop in a kayak to explore the fjord on a peaceful paddle underneath its steep mountain edges.

Return to land for a lesson from some historic seafarers. The Njardarheimr Viking Valley lies in the heart of the unique Norwegian fjord landscape, the ideal setting for the town of Njardarheimr to bring to life the real history and culture of the Viking age. Here you can experience how the Vikings lived and worked and their impact on the world. The streets of this valley are populated by an international community of Viking enthusiasts.

Afterward, you'll make your way onto Voss.

Day 9: Explore Voss

Voss views

Explore the mountain village of Voss, perched between the famous fjords of Sognefjord and Hardangerfjord. There are plenty of options here, whether you prefer to stroll through town or up a mountain, or even try out some of the extreme sports that the village is known for.

Those in search of a rest day can check out the town's cafes, bakeries, and shops, or lounge on the lakeside beach. If you're feeling more ambitious, embark on a rafting, kayaking, or biking trip. Hikers can choose from options that include the easy path through the Bordalsgjelet Gorge, which leads up to a cascading waterfall; Gråsidetoppen, a roughly six-hour trek up a mountain that will give you an impressive view back across town; and the longest option, Mt. Lønahorgi, which will give you mountaintop views of the Fresvikbreen, Hardangerjøkulen, and Vossaskavlen glaciers.

Day 10: White-Water River Rafting

On the river

Exciting, fun, and suitable for beginners and experienced paddlers alike, a rafting trip is an unforgettable experience. Depending on water levels, you'll tackle either the Stranda or Raundal river. The Stranda runs roughly 5 miles (8 km) with nine impressive rapids and several scenic stretches. The grading is relatively low compared to the size of the rapids, giving you the optimum experience. The Raundal runs closer to 4 miles (7 km) through a beautiful canyon. Both routes take roughly three to four hours.

Day 11: Voss to Bergen

Approaching Bergen

Enjoy a ride on the Bergensbanen rail route with a scenic train trip from Voss to Bergen.

Situated on Norway's west coast, this wharf city of about 300,000 residents (one of the oldest port cities in Europe) is surrounded by ocean, mountains, and fjords, including Sognefjord, the country’s longest and deepest. Rich in culture and seafaring history, Bergen boasts a vast selection of cultural and outdoorsy activities. 

The cobblestoned streets are compact and walkable, so get out and explore lively restaurants and nightlife, thanks in part to a young student population.

Day 12: Guided Bergen Walking Tour

Bergen waterfront [Photo: visitnorway.com]

Explore Bergen today under a local guide's expert eye. Your guide can customize your tour to your interests, and there are some existing formats that previous travelers have enjoyed. Consider:

Walk Through History: This three-hour walk starts from the city center and travels through narrow streets up to the mountainside known as “Sandviksbatteriet” with spectacular views over the city. From here, the trail takes you to a small, hidden cabin rich in World War II history. During the walk, your local guide will offer stories of Bergen's history and culture.

Explore Bergen's Parks & Architecture: This easy three-hour walking tour visits notable exteriors and city parks starting with the largest church in Bergen, St. Johannes. From there, you will walk through the botanic garden and onwards to Bergen`s largest and most beautiful park, Nygårdsparken. You'll then walk through the city's narrow streets lined with traditional Bryggen houses and eventually visit Nordnes, another great park. Your guide will share stories of life in Bergen, as well as offer lesser-known activity and restaurant recommendations not frequented by tourists. 

Hike Mt. Sandviken: This 2.5-hour hike heads to Mt. Sandviken, one of the seven mountains surrounding Bergen, including a visit to Stoltzekliven—a local favorite consisting of 900 steps built by sherpas from Nepal. This trail is home to the steepest race in the world and features spectacular views from the top.

Day 13: Fjordcruise to Mostraumen

Kristoffer_B._Fürstenberg
Peaceful life [Photo by Kristoffer B. Fürstenberg]

After breakfast, your boat departs from Bergen's port and takes you through a deep fjord via Mostraumen strait to Modalen, one of the smallest municipalities in Norway with only 380 residents.

You will sail along the 16-mile (27 km) Osterfjorden and pass striking fjords, steep mountains, and spectacular waterfalls, so snag a spot on one of the sundecks to capture the views. Your captain will even sail the boat's bow right up to a rushing waterfall to get a splash of ice-cold mountain water before turning around in Modalen and retracing the magnificent landscape.

The trip will take about three hours, and the rest of the day is yours to further explore the city.

Day 14: Depart Bergen

A summer sunset in Bergen
A summer sunset in Bergen

It's time to say farewell to Norway! You can enjoy your last morning in Bergen with a leisurely breakfast, neighborhood stroll, or souvenir shopping before you head to the airport for your return flight home.

Map

Map of Norwegian Nature & Culture: Oslo, Bergen & Western Fjords & Mountains - 14 Days
Map of Norwegian Nature & Culture: Oslo, Bergen & Western Fjords & Mountains - 14 Days