Norway's most awe-inspiring spectacles are undoubtedly its fjords, which stretch across the country. This luxurious two-week itinerary will take you to some of the most scenic as you hop between elegant boutique hotels and waterfront lodges. Enjoy serene rowboat trips and kayaking on the Sognefjord, plus take a tour of the UNESCO-listed waterfront in Bergen. In between, you'll embark on mountain hikes, go cider tasting, unwind in floating saunas, and enjoy an authentic Viking dinner.

Highlights

  • See the best of Oslo, like the dazzling Opera House, on a city tour
  • Ride the famous Flåm Railway to Norway's most beautiful fjords and mountains
  • Soar over Art Nouveau Ålesund and its surrounding fjords by private helicopter
  • Go kayaking, ride cable cars, and enjoy picnics in Norway's glorious countryside

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Oslo, City Insider Tour Oslo
Day 2 Scenic Flåm Railway Trip & Sognefjord Cruise, Transfer to Aurland Aurland
Day 3 Fjord Hike, Rowboat Ride, Hot Tub & Viking Dinner Aurland
Day 4 Morning on the Farm, Transfer to Balestrand Balestrand
Day 5 Cider Tasting, Kayaking on the Sognefjord Balestrand
Day 6 Transfer to Fjærland, Floating Sauna Fjærland
Day 7 Besshovden Mountain Hike Fjærland
Day 8 Transfer to Bergen, Bryggen Wharf Tour Bergen
Day 9 Bergen Viking Walk, Dinner at Cornelius Seafood Bergen
Day 10 Ride the Ulriken Cable Car, Overnight Cruise to Ålesund Ålesund
Day 11 Arrive in Ålesund, Scenic Helicopter Tour Ålesund
Day 12 Day Trip to Geiranger: Kayaking & Waterfalls Ålesund
Day 13 Ålesund Guided Walking Tour Ålesund
Day 14 Depart Ålesund  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Oslo, City Insider Tour

Look out over the Oslofjord from your 6-star city hotel (photo courtesy of The Thief)

Welcome to Norway! You're going to see more than a few of this Nordic gem's highlights over the next two weeks, and it all starts in the dynamic capital of Oslo. Located on the shimmering waters of the Oslofjord, this city is all Scandi style, modern and progressive yet steeped in tradition and a Viking history dating back thousands of years.

Your driver will meet you at the airport for the ride into the city and The Thief. Not a criminal—rather, this luxury waterfront hotel is where you'll be staying. It features spacious guest rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows and rainshower baths. There's also a spa on site where you can take the edge off the flight with a massage, facial, hammam, or other treatment. And regarding stars, The Thief is second to none—British newspaper The Independent has rated it as Norway's first 6-star hotel.

Newly refreshed, you'll meet a private guide for an insider city tour. During this three-hour excursion, you'll travel around Oslo's famous landmarks and visit hidden gems. These include the 19th-century Royal Palace, the Gustav Vigeland Sculpture Park, the Kistefos Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Nobel Peace Center, inspired by the lives and works of Nobel Peace Laureates. You'll also visit Holmenkollen, a northern suburb and mountain featuring a 1,640-foot (500 m) ski jump that's a regular venue for international skiing competitions.

Day 2: Scenic Flåm Railway Trip & Sognefjord Cruise, Transfer to Aurland

Flåm Railway
All aboard the Flåm Railway, Norway's most scenic train

Rise and shine! This morning, you'll leave the city for the UNESCO-recognized beauty of the Norwegian countryside. Transfer to the terminal after breakfast and embark on a full-day ride on the famous Flåm Railway to the impressive Sognefjord—Norway's longest and deepest fjord. The beauty of this scenic train ride is that you have the freedom to hop off along the way to explore the colorful fjord villages of Balestrand or Flåm.

Once at the fjord, you'll transfer to a ferry for a scenic cruise. Known as the "King of the Fjords," as you ride along this narrow waterway, you'll enjoy views of towering cliffs, snowcapped peaks, forested hillsides, and colorful villages. After the boat ride, you'll transfer south to the nearby Aurlandsfjord.

Here, at the fjord's eponymous main town, is your lodging for the night: 29|2 Aurland. Nestled in the green meadows of the Aurlandsdalen Valley, this historic country property began life as a fishing lodge for a British lord. Today, it's a family-run boutique hotel with a friendly staff that includes a private chef and artist-in-residence. The owners will happily arrange outdoor activities during your stay, and each night, a gourmet dinner of organic ingredients is served in the smokehouse.

Day 3: Fjord Hike, Rowboat Ride, Hot Tub & Viking Dinner

Get bird's-eye views over Aurlandsfjord from the Stegastein Viewpoint

You've got a full day ahead as you set off in the morning to explore the mountains of Norway's gorgeous Fjordland. Specifically, you'll hike up to the Stegastein Lookout, which sits on the precipice of a fjord. The panoramic views in this UNESCO-listed region are the very same you see emblazoned on postcards and in travel magazines about Norway.

After snapping plenty of photos, you'll transfer to the waterfront village of Bakka. Then, hop in a traditional wooden rowboat for a leisurely ride across the glassy waters of the fjord. It's a cherished tradition in these coastal communities, and as you row, your private guide will impart fascinating tidbits about Norway's rich maritime heritage.

Later, you'll return to Aurland and enjoy a nice long soak in a Scandinavian bath. These traditional outdoor hot tubs are not only made of wood but also heated by a wood-burning stove. So kick back, relax, and let the hot tub work its magic. Newly refreshed, you'll then sit down at a charming Norse-style microbrewery that serves Viking-esque food and ale. The hearty dinner includes smoked reindeer, fish soup, and pork shank, followed by a dark chocolate ganache cake (vegetarian options available). Paired with the meal will be five craft beers—one for each course!

Day 4: Morning on the Farm, Transfer to Balestrand

There's no finer hotel in the Fjordland than the Kviknes (photo courtesy of Kviknes Hotel)

Embark on a leisurely stroll this morning around a local pasture farm. It's a great opportunity to take in some fresh air and enjoy the bucolic surroundings of this picture-postcard region. You'll spend time on the farm, meet the locals, and learn about the daily working life of a Scandinavian farmer. Capping the experience will be a delicious farm-fresh lunch.

Afterward, you'll board a ferry for a one-hour cruise across the fjord to Balestrand. Travelers have been flocking to this idyllic village on the Sognefjord since at least the 19th century. It's so dazzling that even some famous Norwegian artists have permanently relocated here.

You'll stay at the Kviknes Hotel. This 4-star "Jewel of the Sognefjord" sits on the waterfront and is one of the largest hotels in the region, featuring 190 rooms. The demi suites are the stars, individually decorated and featuring fjord views. Dating to the 19th century, an entire wing of the hotel preserves its history, with an impressive first floor decorated with original art and antiques. Guests have access to a scenic dining room with a well-stocked wine list—or opt for room service (a rarity in the fjords).

Day 5: Cider Tasting, Kayaking on the Sognefjord

Sip Balestrand's best ciders at a fjord-side orchard

Save room during breakfast because afterward, you'll head into town to discover the fruits of Balestrand—literally. Norway's oldest fruit-growing region has been using traditional farming methods since the 12th century and is well-known for its cider. Your first stop on this tasty tour is an organic orchard on the Sognefjord. There, 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. Then, visit the cider house, where an expert will lead you through a tasting of the best ciders produced on the property.

Then, grab a paddle and hop in the seat of a kayak for a three-hour exploration of the Sognefjord. As you glide across the water, your experienced guide will reveal fascinating tidbits about local lore as you enjoy the surrounding mountain views. You'll also pass by cascading waterfalls and colorful villages located on the waterfront, making for a truly memorable ride. Afterward, you'll return to the hotel.

Day 6: Transfer to Fjærland, Floating Sauna

Take a dip in the fjord after a session in the floating sauna (photo courtesy of Fjærland Fjordstove Hotel)

It's another morning of travel as you board a ferry for the two-hour cruise to Fjærland, a small village on the Fjærlandsfjord (one of the branches of Sognefjord). This beautiful town is also a hub for hikers who want to tackle the nearby Bøyabreen Glacier.

Upon arrival, you'll check into another historic accommodation: Fjærland Fjordstove Hotel. This white clapboard property from 1937 enjoys a privileged location along a narrow branch of Norway's longest fjord. Rustic-chic rooms are tastefully decorated to preserve the property's historical ambience, while the place to be is at the spacious restaurant and lounge. After a long day of hiking and kayaking, there's no better place to relax than the overwater terrace, which offers the finest fjord views around.

After checking in, take the edge off the day's travels with a nice long session in a "floating sauna." Only in Norway can you enjoy this unique experience, which involves spending one hour in a sauna perched on a raft floating on the fjord. If you like, once the session is complete, do like the locals and dive into the fjord to cool off and get the blood circulating.

Day 7: Besshovden Mountain Hike

Take a stroll around Norway's most famous "book town" after a morning of mountain hiking
More incredible views await, as this morning you'll embark on a privately guided out-and-back hike to the top of Besshovden. This mountain rises 1,968 feet (600 m), and from its summit, you'll be treated to panoramic views of the glassy Fjærlandsfjord. As a reward for all your exertion, there's a plateau at the top covered in soft heather where you can take a seat, relax, and enjoy the scenery.
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Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
 
After your three-hour adventure, return to your hotel for an afternoon of relaxation or take a stroll around the tiny village. Known as Norway's "book town," Fjærland is home to countless secondhand bookstores and "honesty libraries" tucked among the historic clapboard cottages and repurposed shopfronts. 

Day 8: Transfer to Bergen, Bryggen Wharf Tour

The Bryggen waterfront in Bergen is a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Time to say goodbye to Fjærland! In the morning, you'll board a ferry for the five-hour cruise south to Bergen. This charming port city is famous for its UNESCO-listed Bryggen Wharf, filled with colorful, historic buildings.

You'll stay in the heart of this area at the Bergen Børs Hotel. Located in the former stock exchange building across from the harbor, this 4-star hotel is one of the few luxury options in town, featuring modern rooms with high ceilings, arched windows, and herringbone floors. The impressive dining options include a "seafood cathedral" adorned with restored frescoes and a Michelin-starred Nordic restaurant that serves a seasonal menu.

After checking in, stretch your legs on a guided (or self-guided) walking tour of Norway's most famous neighborhood: the Bryggen waterfront. As you stroll the cobbled streets along the wharf, you'll pass historic wooden buildings with gabled facades and overhanging eaves. These date to the 18th century and reflect Bergen's medieval origins when it was a prominent trading hub in the Hanseatic League. To learn more about this history, visit one of the area's museums. One fine option is the Schøtstuene, with exhibits detailing how Hanseatic merchants lived and traded in Bergen for 400 years.

Day 9: Bergen Viking Walk, Dinner at Cornelius Seafood

Tuck into some fresh Nordic seafood at Cornelius Restaurant

Walk in the footsteps of the Norse kings this morning as you hit the streets of Bergen on a Viking heritage walk. This private, three-hour jaunt begins at your hotel around 9 am, and from there, you'll trace the origins of Norway's famous saga known as "Norske Kongesoger." Written by Snorre Sturlason, the stories take you through Ynglinga, early medieval Scandinavian history, and the times of Vikings and kings.

Your guide will share swashbuckling stories of local, regional, and cultural history and point out key viewpoints, monuments, and historical landmarks. Hear about the legends and tales stored in the ancient harborside fortress of Bergenhus and chart a path through the remains of Alrekstaðir, the 10th-century estate that hosted the Battle of Fitjar and lay at the foot of Bergen's Mount Ulriken. Before you part ways, get to know your guide a little better over a cup of coffee at a local café.

You'll have the remainder of the afternoon to relax and enjoy the city on your own. Then, in the evening, return to Bryggen and cruise across the harbor to nearby Holmen Island. Awaiting you is an exclusive dinner reservation at Cornelius Seafood Restaurant. Sitting on the waterfront and offering spectacular fjord and mountain views, this gourmet bistro is one of the most exciting culinary experiences in town. Expect a five-course menu celebrating the fresh seafood of Norway's west coast, like shellfish and cod, all cultivated and curated by expert chefs on a daily basis.

Day 10: Ride the Ulriken Cable Car, Overnight Cruise to Ålesund

A ride up to the top of Ulriken reveals the best views of Bergen

First up on the day's agenda is a real treat: an ascent up Mount Ulriken, one of Bergen's Seven Sisters (the seven prominent mountains around the city). Head over to the station, where you'll hop on a cable car for a ride 2,109 feet (643 m) up to the top of the mountain. From the viewing platform, you'll be treated to some of the finest vistas of the city and surrounding fjords and mountain peaks. Before traveling back down, you can opt for a brisk nature hike around the platform.

In the evening, you'll transfer to the harbor and board a Havila cruiser for an overnight voyage north to Ålesund. Havila is the premier ferry company in the region, featuring eco-friendly cruise ships that can sail for hours with zero emissions. Onboard, the spacious cabins feature Nordic decor and are equipped with flatscreens and WiFi. As for dining, the ship's team of chefs has created a menu featuring traditional dishes from the local towns and villages along the route. They even handpick the freshest ingredients.

Once you've settled in, feel free to spend the rest of the day on deck enjoying the fjord and mountain views. You can also view the northern lights and the midnight sun while seated in a comfortable lounge chair under the glass roof. Or perhaps you'd prefer to enjoy the views from a Jacuzzi heated by the ship's surplus heat? 

Day 11: Arrive in Ålesund, Scenic Helicopter Tour

 Your Ålesund retreat features opulent interiors within traditional turf-roofed cabins (photo courtesy of Storfjord)

The ship will arrive in Ålesund around 9:45 am. If any one city in Norway can rival Bergen for sheer beauty and history, it's this coastal gem. At the harbor, a driver will pick you up for the ride to Storfjord. This 5-star boutique hotel is ideally situated on a secluded hillside overlooking the Storfjord and the Sunnmøre Alps, guaranteeing total serenity.

The hotel features 30 well-appointed rooms across a handful of traditional Nordic cabins, each re-imagined with a modern, luxurious design. When you're feeling peckish, head to the hotel's gourmet restaurant, which highlights locally sourced ingredients. Also on offer here is an extensive collection of cheeses from local producers and some tasty, locally brewed ale.

After checking in, you'll transfer to the local airport and hop aboard a helicopter. Then, take to the skies for a private, 30-minute flight over Ålesund and the nearby fjords. The bird's-eye views during this ride are nothing short of incredible, presenting the majesty and splendor of the Norwegian coast laid out below. After flying around the fjords and the Sunnimore Alps, you'll return to the airport and transfer back to your hotel.

Day 12: Day Trip to Geiranger: Kayaking & Waterfalls

Views of the Seven Sisters waterfalls, near Geiranger village
There's no shortage of outdoor activities in the gorgeous Geiranger area

Rise and shine! This morning, you'll hop in a private car for a scenic drive south to Geiranger. This postcard Norwegian town sits at the end of the UNESCO-listed Geirangerfjord, one of the most beautiful fjords in a nation with no shortage of such landmarks. In the summer months, Geiranger comes alive with a range of exciting outdoor activities and cultural experiences for visitors of all ages.

Popular warm-weather activities include hiking and kayaking, so grab a paddle and hit the fjord! As for hiking, the most popular trek is the Fosseråsa National Trail. Packed with memorable scenery, this route will take you from the center of Geiranger up to Storsæterfossen, an epic waterfall nestled in the mountains at 1,804 feet (550 m) above sea level. The route is divided into three sections, with the first two leading up past hillside farms—keep an eye out for wildlife like red squirrels and deer—on stone steps built by Nepali Sherpas (really). At the end of the day, you'll return to Ålesund.

Day 13: Ålesund Guided Walking Tour

Downtown Alesund
Ålesund's historic center is a treasure trove of Art Nouveau landmarks

It's not hyperbole to describe Ålesund as a fairy-tale city. Discover its many charms firsthand when, after meeting an expert local guide, you'll set off on a private walking tour. Over three hours, you'll pass beautiful Art Nouveau landmarks, most of which sprang up when the city was rebuilt after a devastating fire in 1904. You'll learn fascinating details about the city and the Great Fire, plus visit other historical marvels, like Ålesund Church, a Gothic Revival stone church dating to the 19th century.

Afterward, return to the hotel to spend the final evening of your trip enjoying your 5-star retreat's wellness treatments and outdoor hot tub. Toast your adventures with a forest-to-table dinner in the soaring, lodge-style dining room, or book a "lavvu experience," where you'll dine by candlelight in a traditional Sámi tent within the forest.

Day 14: Depart Ålesund

The Art Nouveau city of Ålesund at sunset

It's been a jam-packed couple of weeks, filled with rich history, great food, incredible scenery, and memorable adventures. Now it's time for the journey home. In the morning, meet your driver for the ride to Ålesund's airport, where your international flight awaits. Safe travels!

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Map

Map of Luxury Escape to the Norwegian Fjords - 14 Days
Map of Luxury Escape to the Norwegian Fjords - 14 Days