This scenic six-day itinerary highlights some of Norway's most picturesque summer destinations. Settle into the historic port city of Bergen and use it as your base to explore the surrounding mountains and fjords. After discovering the city's colorful waterfront and character-filled cobbled streets, you'll set off into the countryside—climbing mountainsides on a steam train, sailing through the spectacular Sognefjord, and visiting the waterfront towns of Balestrand, Flåm, and Fjærland.

Highlights

  • Stroll Bergen's UNESCO-listed waterfront & cobblestone streets
  • Explore the fjord-side towns of Flåm, Balestrand & Fjærland
  • Experience spectacular scenery from the world-famous Flåm Railway
  • Cruise & kayak along Norway's longest, deepest fjord

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Welcome to Bergen Bergen
Day 2 Fjordcruise to Mostraumen Bergen
Day 3 Train to Flåm - Ferry to Balestrand Balestrand
Day 4 Explore Balestrand Balestrand
Day 5 Balestrand -> Ferry to Bergen Bergen
Day 6 Depart Bergen  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Bergen

Bergen's historic and photogenic waterfront
Bergen's historic and photogenic waterfront

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.

Start with a ride on 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. 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.

When evening rolls around, head out to dinner and immerse yourself in the city's delightful downtown. Some local recommendations 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 art gallery for art exhibitions and live music.

  • Matbørsen: three restaurants in one serving international cuisine in the gorgeous, airy space of the former Bergen Stock Exchange, built in 1862.

Day 2: Fjordcruise to Mostraumen

Sail along the sheer cliffs and icy waterfalls of Osterfjorden
Sail along the sheer cliffs and icy waterfalls of Osterfjorden

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'll 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 explore the city further.

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Day 3: Train to Flåm - Ferry to Balestrand

Jaw-dropping views surround the village of Flåm
Jaw-dropping views surround the village of Flåm

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 picturesque village of Flåm, sit back and have lunch at a café or the local microbrewery. Enjoy the serene nature or go for a stroll through town before you catch your mid-afternoon ferry ride (approximately two hours) to the picturesque harbor town of Balestrand through a portion of the Sognefjord—Norway's longest and deepest fjord. As the mountains come closer and higher, keep an eye out for eagles and seals. 

You'll arrive with enough time to have dinner in this fjord-side town, known for its 19th-century architecture. Some great local restaurants include Vikingertreff, Pilgrim, and Ciderhuset.

Day 4: Explore Balestrand

Explore the fjords by kayak
Explore the fjords by kayak

After breakfast at your hotel, you'll have the whole day to enjoy Balestrand and the fjord, perhaps by kayak or day-trip to Fjærland.

If you'd like to sign up for a kayaking excursion, your guide will pick you up and take you on a three-hour tour of the fjord. Kayaking is one of the best ways to absorb the natural beauty of these stunning mountains rising against the crystal-clear sea. After some basic instruction on how to paddle your vessel, set out with your group while an experienced guide teaches you about the culture and history of the fjord and surrounding towns.

Another option is to take a ferry north through the Fjærlandsfjord (a branch of the Sognefjord) to the village of Fjærland. Keep an eye out for Jostedalsbreen, the largest glacier in continental Europe. When on dry land, check out the Norwegian Booktown, which consists of several second-hand bookshops, some that are combined with cafés, art galleries, and souvenir shops. Also not to miss is the Norwegian Glacier Museum, an award-winning architectural marvel situated at the head of the Fjærlandsfjord. This hands-on museum is the leading center in Norway for knowledge regarding glaciers and climate change.

In the late afternoon, return to your hotel and spend the rest of the day in Balestrand, where you hike scenic trails around the town, visit St. Olav's Church, or explore the town's local museums.

Day 5: Balestrand -> Ferry to Bergen

Colorful houses line Bergen's waterfront
Colorful houses line Bergen's waterfront

After breakfast, you can decide which ferry to take to Bergen. This depends on whether you'd like more time in Balestrand (afternoon ferry), or if you're anxious to get to Bergen (morning ferry). 

Either way, once you arrive in Bergen, the rest of the day is yours to explore on your own. Enjoy your last evening wandering the city's cobbled streets and discovering its bustling bar and restaurant scenes.

Day 6: Depart Bergen

Enjoy a final morning in Bergen before your departure
Enjoy a final morning in Bergen before your departure

It's time to say farewell to Norway! Enjoy your last moments in this beautiful city with a leisurely breakfast, neighborhood stroll, or souvenir shopping before you head to the airport for your return flight home.

Map

Map of Explore Bergen, Fjords & Waterfalls - 6 Days
Map of Explore Bergen, Fjords & Waterfalls - 6 Days
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Written by A G, updated Feb 18, 2021