This picturesque five-day itinerary hits key summer spots using various means of transportation for a true Nordic adventure. You'll start off in your home base of Bergen, the country's 2nd largest city (complete with a UNESCO World Heritage Site), and explore the streets and surrounding mountains on your own and with a local guide. From here, take two day-trips involving a scenic train ride, a ferry through the longest fjord in Norway, and a fjord cruise to nearby waterfalls — all while returning to Bergen each night to enjoy its restaurants and nightlife.

Highlights

  • Explore Bryggen's historic wharf dating back to the 1700s
  • Tour lesser-known haunts of Bergen with a local 
  • Take a relaxing ride on the Flåm Railway and have lunch
  • Boat through stunning fjords and get up close to mountains and waterfalls
  • Enjoy evenings in Norway's 2nd largest city for stunning sunset views

Overview

With vast, varied landscapes and plentiful activities, Norway is an outdoor-lovers' paradise. A major portion of this itinerary focuses on two of the most famous fjords of which there are over a thousand along the coast: Osterfjord and Sognefjord. In fact, the entire west coast of Norway is a maze of waterways, cliffsides, and mile-long views. 

If that's not enough, some of the tallest waterfalls in the world are located here and many of them provide a link between the mountains and the fjords. Several of the most scenic can be seen in the southwestern parts of the country, and the best time to experience them will be in May and June, when melting ice and snow from the mountains create the highest water levels. 

This trip will also appeal to those who want to experience the culture and historic sights of Bergen, Norway's Hanseatic wharf city (not to mention its restaurant scene, since you'll be based here for the duration of your trip). You'll even get to spend a half-day exploring Bergen with a local guide before embarking on two day-trips involving boats and trains with amazing panoramas in every direction. Any amount of time in Norway won't seem like enough, but five days is a great start. 

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Welcome to Bergen Bergen
Day 2 Explore Bergen with a Local Bergen
Day 3 Train to Flåm -> Ferry to Bergen Bergen
Day 4 Fjordcruise to Mostraumen Bergen
Day 5 Depart Bergen  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Bergen

Bergen's waterfront at dusk.

You've arrived to Norway! This cobblestoned wharf city (one of the oldest ports in Europe) on the west coast is surrounded by ocean, mountains, and fjords, including Sognefjord, the country’s longest and deepest.

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, and 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 (a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site).

This walkable city boasts a vast selection of cultural and outdoorsy activities, not to mention lively restaurants and nightlife thanks in part to a young student population.

Some great local options include:

  • BarBarista: A funky coffee shop, restaurant & music venue.
  • Bryggeloftet & Stuene: A traditional mountain lodge restaurant.
  • Zupperia: An eclectic European restaurant right on the Bryggen wharf.
  • Bare Vestland: A basement-level eatery specializing in Norwegian tapas.
  • Pygmalion Økocafe and Galleri: A healthy, organic restaurant located in a historic space with a fireplace and an art gallery for art exhibitions and live music.
  • Matbørsen: Three restaurants in one serving international cuisine in a gorgeous, airy space -- the former Bergen Stock Exchange, circa 1862.

Day 2: Explore Bergen with a Local

Check out the views from above town.

After breakfast, meet up with a local for a custom private tour of Bergen. Your guide, who was born and raised in Bergen, will find the right tour for you based on your interests. Here are a few walk or hike ideas that past travelers have enjoyed:

Walk Through History (3 hours): This 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 local stories of Bergen's history and culture.

Hike Mt. Sandviken (2.5 hours): This 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! 

Hike Three of Seven Mountains (5-7 hours): On this longer hiking trip, you will have the opportunity to climb three of the seven mountains surrounding Bergen: Mt. Ulriken, Mt. Rundemannen, and Mt. Fløyen. Lunch will be served at a scenic spot along the trail along with the Norwegian treat “Kvikk Lunsj”, plus coffee or tea.

The rest of the day is yours to continue exploring the city on your own. You'll also be equipped with a 24-Hour Bergen Card allowing you free bus travel and free admittance to most museums (as well as other attractions), so take advantage!

Day 3: Train to Flåm -> Ferry to Bergen

Enjoy a relaxing ferry ride on the Sognefjord.

After an early breakfast, catch a ride on the Flåm Railway, regarded as one of the most beautiful train rides in the world. The journey is steep in places and passes through waterfalls and stunning landscapes, so keep your camera close. 

When you get to the charming village of Flåm, sit back and have lunch at a café. Suggestions for dining include: 

Aegir Brewery & Pub for authentic Viking culture inside the restaurant's historic wooden structure. 
Flåm Marina and Apartment Café for a peaceful atmosphere and lighter fare. 
Enjoy the serene nature or go for a stroll through town before you catch your mid-afternoon scenic ferry ride (approximately five hours) back to Bergen by way of the Sognefjord -- Norway's longest and deepest fjord.

You'll arrive with enough time to have a late dinner and explore Bergen by night.

Day 4: Fjordcruise to Mostraumen

Get up close to rushing waterfalls on this boat trip. 

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 5: Depart Bergen

The walkable streets of Bergen.

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 return flight home.

Map

Map of Explore Bergen, Fjords & Waterfalls - 5 Days
Map of Explore Bergen, Fjords & Waterfalls - 5 Days

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