This 8-day trip is the perfect mix of hiking and relaxation in three of the most beautiful areas of Southern Norway. Your first stop is in the mountain town of Geilo, situated between two national parks. From here, ride one of the steepest trains in the world to get to Aurland—your base for checking out the area's trails before ferrying to Bergen by way of Norway's longest and deepest fjord. Finish the adventure at a waterfront hotel that boasts a plethora of paths to choose from.

Highlights

  • Warm-up your hiking legs on the waterfront path and riverwalk in Oslo
  • Take an afternoon hike to the Hardangervidda Plateau from Geilo
  • Enjoy the peace and quiet in Aurland with nightly multi-course meals
  • Absorb the scenery as you travel by train and ferry to get between destinations
  • Hit an authentic Scandinavian spa on your last day and reward your muscles

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Oslo Oslo
Day 2 Explore Oslo with a Local Oslo
Day 3 Train from Oslo to Geilo - Afternoon Hike Geilo
Day 4 Flåm Railway - Transfer to Aurland - Afternoon Hike Aurland
Day 5 Free Day in Aurland Aurland
Day 6 Guided Hike - Fjordcruise to Bergen - Transfer to Solstrand Solstrand
Day 7 Free Day at Solstrand Hotel Solstrand
Day 8 Transfer to Bergen Airport - Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Oslo

Akrobaten pedestrian bridge in downtown Oslo
The Akrobaten pedestrian bridge in downtown Oslo

Welcome to Oslo! Norway's rapidly growing capital is still considered a small city, helped by the fact that it's 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, so jump on a tram, train, or bus and explore all of what Oslo has to offer.

Suggested activities include: 

  • Take a half-day and wander around Aker Brygge, an area on the Oslofjord made up of beautiful, modern buildings where you can find bars and abundant nightlife. It acts as a sort of courtyard for the city of Oslo and brings together both tourists and locals alike to enjoy the great food, atmosphere, and entertainment.
  • Spend the afternoon visiting the Viking Ship Museum and the Norwegian Open-Air Folk Museum by way of public transportation. Both museums are in the same area, so they pair well together! 
  • Walk 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.
  • Visit the Vigeland Sculpture Park, where 200 larger than life sculptures are placed throughout this green lung in the middle of the city. 

For dinner, explore the city's historic core buzzing with restaurants and cafés that stay cozy in cold weather, with several options that offer outdoor seating during summer months.

Day 2: Explore Oslo with a Local

Get to know more of Oslo on a half- or full-day tour
Get familiar with Oslo on a half-day or full-day tour

After breakfast at your hotel, meet up with your guide for a custom private tour of Oslo. Your guide, a native of Oslo, will find the right tour for you based on your interests. Here are a few ideas that past travelers have enjoyed:

  • Akerselva River Walk (4-5 hours): First, take the tram to the Akerselva River, an important waterway that offers an abundance of local history and the Norwegian Museum of Science and Technology (on the north side of the river). Then head south to the Labour Museum (part of the Oslo City Museum) while 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, so bring your camera!

  • From Fjord to Forest (full-day): This outdoorsy tour takes you to a beautiful island just outside Oslo's harbor, reached by tram in about 30 minutes from the city center. No cars are allowed here, so the island is full of recreation options. Choose an activity depending on the season, or simply walk around one of the lakes while your guide shares local history.

  • Holmenkollen Ski Jump (2-3 hours): If you have less time to spare, visit 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 presents over 4,000 years of snow sports, polar exploration, and an exhibition on snowboarding and modern skiing. Head for the observation deck offering panoramic views of Oslo, and then walk down to the ski jump while your guide shares stories about local trolls, legends, and castles.

The rest of the afternoon and evening is yours to explore on your own! For dinner, wander around the city's historic core buzzing with restaurants and outdoor cafés. If you're looking for Oslo's trendiest local scene, head east for 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.

During summer months, Oslo comes alive to celebrate extended daylight hours, with various festivals and celebrations happening each week.

Day 3: Train from Oslo to Geilo - Afternoon Hike

Hit the trails in and around Geilo
Pick between 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.

Restaurants in Geilo worth mentioning include Hallingstuene's Wine Bar for Norwegian food, Dr. Holms Hotel for family dining options, and Ro Kro—a longstanding café with outdoor seating.

Day 4: Flåm Railway - Transfer to Aurland - Afternoon Hike

Scenery between Myrdal and Flåm
Plenty of scenery between Myrdal and Flåm

After breakfast in Geilo, you can simply walk to the train station and board the train headed towards Flåm (Bergensbanen). There's a lovely journey ahead of you, passing one valley after the other. The journey's highest point is located at Finse Station, 4009 feet (1222 m) above sea level.

From here, the train journey climbs over the mountain to Myrdal where you'll change trains and embark the Flåm Railway, also known as one of the steepest and beautiful train journeys in the world. Look out your window for lush fjord landscapes, steep mountains, spectacular waterfalls, and snow-covered mountains. 

Upon arrival in Flåm, you'll be picked up and transferred to the Riverside Farm Lodge where you will spend the next couple of days, just 15 minutes away in Aurland. Settle in and enjoy lunch before you embark on an afternoon hike to Turlidfossen, a nearby waterfall. Feel the ice-cold spray from the falls as your guide shares local myths and stories related to the area and its nature. In fact, the first Vikings to set foot on Iceland sailed out from the Aurlandsfjord, which you'll see during a visit to Stegastein Viewpoint for a jaw-dropping panorama over the fjord and valley.

Each night of your stay, your hosts at the lodge prepare a three-course dinner made with mostly local and organic ingredients—sit back and relax after the day's adventures!

Day 5: Free Day in Aurland

Relax and enjoy the Aurlandsfjord
Relax and enjoy the Aurlandsfjord

This morning, wake up at the lodge and enjoy an organic breakfast at your leisure. Take note of the local way of life, which seems to move in slow motion compared to the rest of the world.

There are several options on how to spend your free day here. Perhaps you want to take part in a peaceful activity like paddling in a rowboat. In fact, there's a beautiful lake that very few people know about close to the lodge. You can also take a guided hike in the Aurland Valley, learn to fly-fish, visit local artists, bakeries, and centuries-old historical sites, or simply read a book overlooking the view. 

In the afternoon, hosts will serve lunch on the property. Make sure to take advantage of the lodge's sauna and hot tub before dressing for the evening! Like the night before, a three-course organic dinner will be shared with the owners and your fellow guests.

Day 6: Guided Hike - Fjordcruise to Bergen - Transfer to Solstrand

Let a local guide you through a top-rated trail

Today begins with a delicious Norwegian breakfast at Riverside Farm Lodge before you meet your guide for a lovely hike through the Aurland Valley on a trail that's considered to be one of the top ten hikes in the country. Feel the gravity as you cross the river on one of the breathtaking suspension bridges. Lunch will be served al fresco at a beautiful spot in the valley. 

Following the hike, you'll say your goodbyes and then head to the quay to catch your cruise to Bergen. Enjoy Norway's longest and deepest fjord, arriving in the evening. From the pier, you'll be picked up and transferred to Solstrand for your waterfront accommodations. This hideaway by the fjords is situated directly on the shore of Bjørnefjorden—18 miles (30 km) from downtown Bergen. Once you settle in, head to the restaurant for dinner with a view.

Day 7: Free Day at Solstrand Hotel

Views from your accommodations in Solstrand
Fjord views from Solstrand Hotel

Today is a free day to explore the area any way you'd like! The Solstrand Hotel's location is perfect for enjoying activities throughout the year—both in the immediate vicinity of the property and its surrounding area.

Hikers will be spoiled for choice with a range of wonderful opportunities, and the area boasts magnificent views of the fjord and surrounding mountains. 

For instance, there's a coastal path that runs along Bjørnefjorden from the Os town center, past Solstrand and onwards to Moldaneset. Relax, breathe in the fresh fjord air, and enjoy this leisurely stroll along the shore. There are more difficult hikes that can last 2-4 hours so make sure to chat with the hotel reception who can provide maps for different routes varying in length and difficulty.

If that's not enough, there are dozens of more walks and hikes on Lysøen and in the mountains that surround Bergen. The hardest part will be picking one!

Before dinner, consider an afternoon visit to the hotel spa where you can enjoy the heated outdoor pool or take a dip in the fjord at the bathing pier (year-round)—a great way to treat yourself!

Day 8: Transfer to Bergen Airport - Depart

Goodbye, Bergen!
Goodbye, Bergen!

It's time to say goodbye to Solstrand! At the designated time you'll be transferred to the Bergen Airport for your departure onward. Safe travels!

Map

Map of Hiking in Geilo, Aurland & Bergen - 8 Days
Map of Hiking in Geilo, Aurland & Bergen - 8 Days