- Show your kids the landscape and architecture that inspired the movie "Frozen"
- Meet the locals and sample traditionally-made cider and goat's cheese
- View the majestic Aurlandsfjord from the Stegastein platform
- Immerse yourself in Norway's culture and history in Oslo
|Arrive in Bergen, Explore
|Short Hike with a Local in Bergen
|Ferry to Balestrand, Explore the Town
|Discover Balestrand: Cultural Walk & Beach
|Orchard Tour & Cider Tasting in Balestrand
|Visit Stegastein Viewpoint, Ferry to Aurland
|Fjordsafari & Hike to a Goat Farm
|Train to Oslo & Explore the City
|Akerselva River Walk with a Local Guide
Day 1: Arrive in Bergen, Explore
Welcome to Bergen! This compact city of about 300,000 residents is one of Europe's oldest port cities― surrounded by the ocean, mountains, and fjords, it is both beautiful and historic. Take the easy ride from the airport on the Bybanen ("City Rail"), get settled in your accommodation, and then start exploring. You can get a good sense of Bergen simply by following your nose along its cobbled streets. Take the kids through Norway's medieval past with stops at the Fantoft Stave Church, a reconstructed example of traditional architecture, and the Rosenkrantz Tower, home to the city's leaders for hundreds of years.
Continue to the historic downtown wharf area of Bryggen (a UNESCO World Heritage Site). The kids will love the colorful wooden houses dating back to the 1700s, especially once you let them know these streets inspired the design of Arendelle in the movie "Frozen." Nearby you'll find the Maritime Museum―show the kids the boats and artifacts from throughout the city's seafaring history. Stop for a rest at one of the charming local cafés and bakeries, and when the sun goes down, continue the adventure with dinner in one of Bergen's world-class restaurants.
Day 2: Short Hike with a Local in Bergen
This morning, whip out the child carrier if needed for a gentle three-hour guided stroll through Bergen's historic buildings, monuments, and sites and up to Mount Sandviken and Stoltzekliven, a favorite route among the locals and home to one of the world's steepest races. Along the way, you'll navigate 900 steps built by sherpas from Nepal. The world record for running up the steps is 7 mins and 54 seconds―this may not be your day to beat that, but you can still enjoy a leisurely climb as you take in the incredible views.
Next, either head straight back down to town or continue onward to Mount Fløyen, a paradise for young children with its Troll Forest (how many of the mysterious creatures hidden there can you find), various playgrounds, and friendly goats. There is free canoeing available, as well as a café where the family can sample traditional svele (pancakes). Next door is a playground, so grab a coffee and relax. The most popular way back down the mountain is via the Fløibanen funicular, bound to be a hit with the kids.
Day 3: Ferry to Balestrand, Explore the Town
Start the day with a relaxed four-hour ferry cruise along the North Sea coast and the country's longest and deepest fjord, Sognefjord. This "King of the Fjords" is a narrow waterway offering views of cliffs, snow-capped mountain peaks, forested hillsides, and colorful villages, and was the inspiration for much of the landscape in "Frozen." You'll arrive in Balestrand―popular with tourists since the 19th century, its famous scenery has been home to some of Norway's most famous artists.
Day 4: Discover Balestrand: Cultural Walk & Beach
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Today is packed full of interesting activities, whether indoors or out: the choice is yours. There are plenty of family-friendly hikes―grab the child carrier and try the one-hour Nature Trail or the Klibberg Trail to discover remnants of an 8,000-year-old Stone Age settlement and scenic fishing spots along the way. Take a picnic and walk a section or two of the appropriately-named Waterfall Path for lunch with a spectacular backdrop. In the afternoon, why not relax at the beach while the kids play in the sand? Gamleheimsfjøra is a lagoon only 1 mile (1.5 km) from the village center.
If the day is more suited to indoor adventures, never fear― the village has many. The little ones can learn about local underwater life in the Sognefjord Aquarium (take advantage of the one-hour free canoe/rowboat ride if the weather clears). There is also a cinema where you can learn more about the fjord. Nearby you will find the Munken Gallery―pop in to see a collection of 50 carved depictions of the town's history, then stop by the Norwegian Travel Museum for a modern and engaging overview of Norway's tourism history and highlights. There's a great on-site café where you can refresh yourselves.
Day 5: Orchard Tour & Cider Tasting in Balestrand
Tradition and tastiness all in one tour, the whole family will enjoy tracing the journey from tree to bottle today. Balestrand is Norway's oldest fruit-growing region, with traditional methods dating back to the 12th century, and is well-known for its delicious cider. Your first stop is to the Ciderhuset organic orchard on the beautiful banks of the Sognefjord, where your guide will take you through the basics of apple growing, showing you how trees are carefully selected and nurtured to produce the best cider.
Next, you'll head to the Cider House restaurant near the village center, where you'll taste five cider varieties. Your hosts will teach you about cider's full spectrum of tastes, depending on which fruit is used: sweet dessert apples, acidic cooking apples, or bitter cider apples. You'll start with a light and easy "veranda cider" and end with a heavy tannin-infused variety. If you're peckish, feel free to order food from the restaurant and experience the fun of pairing your drinks with bold and savory local dishes. There's a play area for the kids so you can sit back and relax.
Day 6: Visit Stegastein Viewpoint, Ferry to Aurland
This morning, relax as the express ferry sweeps you and your family on from Balestrand to Aurland, a quaint village on the shores of the Aurlandsfjord. Once you arrive, you're in for a treat―you and the family will be spending two hours at the Stegastein viewpoint, one of the most popular attractions in the country. A stunning sight, the platform stands 2,132 feet (650 m) above the Aurlandsfjord, jutting out 98 feet (30 m) from the cliffs. Designed to resemble a walkway through the air, you will enjoy unbeatable views of the fjord.
Day 7: Fjordsafari & Hike to a Goat Farm
Today the family will enjoy an active adventure from the fjords to the mountains! Start the day with a boat ride through the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord. Soak up the view while your local guide entertains you with the history and legends of the area. Along the way, enjoy views of the Sagfossen waterfall, which drops dramatically straight into the fjord. The boat will drop you off on the way back at Skjerdal Pier, where the next part of your trip will begin.
Day 8: Train to Oslo & Explore the City
Your family's transport this morning is a trip highlight in its own right. The Flåm railway line is considered one of the world's most beautiful, with views of quaint villages, fjords, snowy mountains, and waterfalls (you and the kids will be awed by the stunning cascades of Kjosfossen). You'll also pass through some of the highest train elevations in the world, up to 4,000 feet (1,219 m) above sea level. You'll take a five-minute bus to Flåm and change trains in Myrdal. Next stop, Oslo!
Norway's growing capital still has a small-city vibe, thanks to the mountains and seaside that surround it. The center is easily explored on foot, and public transport to outlying areas is convenient―so once you've settled into your accommodation, get exploring! Options for a stroll include the Aker Brygge, a scenic waterfront area with great dining, or the Havnepromenaden ("Harbor Promenade")—a new 5.5-mile (9 km) development that will take you past Oslo's most impressive modern architecture.
If you're after a more cultural slant, the Open-Air Folk Museum is great for kids. Wander through the various sections, which cover everything from farming to apartment life through the centuries. See traditional buildings, including a medieval Stave church. You can also visit the Vigeland Sculpture Park, home to 200 larger-than-life sculptures. Let the kids run around while you take in the impressive artwork. Finally, the Munch Museum is a must-see. For dinner, head to the city center, which is abuzz with restaurants and cafés.
Day 9: Akerselva River Walk with a Local Guide
A great walk for kids, this custom tour along the scenic Akerselva River will take you through Oslo's beautiful woodland, past waterfalls, historic buildings, and modern eateries, and to some of its most interesting institutions. You'll also cross some of the city's most beautiful bridges, including the Fairytale Bridge, lined with sculptures inspired by Norwegian legends. Bordered by recreation areas, there is plenty of space for the kids to run about or for a picnic.
You will start with the Norwegian Museum of Science and Technology― with over 100 interactive installations, this will be a hit with the little ones― and then head south to the Labour Museum while your guide shares stories about the heart of Oslo's history. A hidden gem, this small museum paints a vivid picture of the history of the city's workers. After your tour, continue relaxing by the river. If the weather is warm, it is clean enough to swim in, so feel free to let the kids have a paddle!
Day 10: Depart Oslo
Sadly, it's your last day in Norway! If you have time, why not explore Oslo further? Take a leisurely breakfast on one of the waterfront promenades, then do some shopping or pop into one or two of the museums. If you head to the Munch Museum, there's a great playground next door, or try out Norway's longest outdoor slide at Tøyen—the park even has a slide wide enough for the whole family. Afterward, head to the airport for your flight. Safe travels!
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