- Explore the hilly, cobblestoned streets of Bergen, loaded with cozy cafés
- Ride scenic buses and ferries to get to lesser-known villages and islands
- Take a guided half-day hike in Fjærland with a local storyteller
- Spend a night in the fishing town of Florø and sample its notable microbrewery
- Rent bicycles on Værlandet island and look for wild species of birds
|Day 1||Arrive in Bergen||Bergen|
|Day 2||Bergen - Fjordcruise to Fjærland||Fjærland|
|Day 3||Guided Hike in Fjærland||Fjærland|
|Day 4||Bus to Florø - Explore||Florø|
|Day 5||Ferry to Værlandet - Explore||Værlandet|
|Day 6||Self-Guided Bike Tour in Værlandet||Værlandet|
|Day 7||Ferry to Bergen, via Askvoll||Bergen|
|Day 8||Depart Bergen|
Day 1: Arrive in Bergen
Welcome to Bergen! Situated on Norway's west coast, this wharf city of about 300,000 residents (one of the oldest port cities in Europe) is surrounded by ocean, mountains, and fjords, including Sognefjord, the country’s longest and deepest. Rich in culture and seafaring history, Bergen boasts a vast selection of cultural and outdoorsy activities.
A few suggestions for your first day:
- Be sure to take 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.
- Check out the Bryggen area of downtown to view old wooden houses dating back to the 1700s (a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site), along with Bergen's best historical sites and museums. For a rest, stop in one of the charming local cafés and bakeries.
The cobblestoned streets are compact and walkable, so get out and explore Bergen's lively restaurants and nightlife, thanks in part to a young student population.
Day 2: Bergen - Fjordcruise to Fjærland
After breakfast in Bergen, you'll make your way to colorful port and take a scenic fjordcruise through the Sognefjord, Norway's longest and deepest fjord.
It doesn't end there! When you arrive at the village of Balestrand, disembark and catch another connecting fjordcruise to Fjærland, which travels through the Fjærlandsfjord (a branch of the Sognefjord), known as the 'green fjord' due to its glacier water falling from waterfalls. With both water routes combined, you'll have plenty of time to marvel at the majestic mountain and fjord views.
Once you arrive in Fjærland, check-in to your hotel and get out and explore your surroundings. The small village boasts the glacier Jostedalsbreen, the largest mainland glacier in Europe, as its nearest neighbor. To give you a sense of the quaintness here, there are only 300 residents in Fjærland; a good place to start is heading to the town's waterfront where you can take in views of the Fjærlandsfjord.
You can also visit the Norwegian Glacier Museum, a hands-on museum, said to be the country's leading center for the dissemination of knowledge with regard to glaciers and climate change.
Day 3: Guided Hike in Fjærland
Today, you'll join a private guide for a half-day hike (5-6 hours) in the Fjærland area. The trail you end up taking will be discussed in advance depending on your preferred scenery and degree of difficulty. No matter which option you choose, your guide will regale you with local history and entertaining stories along the way.
Following the hike, return to the hotel where you'll have the rest of the day to spend as you please. Make sure to visit Fjærland's village center and Norwegian Booktown, which consists of several second-hand bookshops, some combined with cafés, art galleries, and souvenir shops located in farmhouses and sheds. It's also worth visiting Hotel Mundal—an elegant wooden hotel from 1891.
Day 4: Bus to Florø - Explore
Today, you will take the bus to Florø, the westernmost city of Norway, surrounded by fantastic landscapes and islands.
Here are a few suggestions of things to do:
- Walk up to the Utsikten viewpoint, about 20 minutes by foot from the center of Florø. Maps and directions can be found at the tourist information office in the center of town. This wide trail is relatively easy (though a bit steep in some places) and passes bunkers from WWII along the way.
- Rent bicycles from the tourist information office and take a self-guided tour of this coastal area. Bikes for all ages are available and the cost includes a helmet and lock.
- Take a historic city walk in Strandgata, the main street in the center of Florø. Follow the information sign in both Norwegian and English, which leads you along a row of buildings that boast historical significance.
- Arrange a guided tour and tasting at Kinn Bryggeri. Located in the center of Florø, this microbrewery offers a range of non-pasteurized and unfiltered beers brewed in town.
Day 5: Ferry to Værlandet - Explore
After breakfast in Florø, you'll head back to the harbor to take the express ferry (40 minutes) to Askvoll. From here, join another short ferry to the remote Værlandet where you'll spend the next two nights—the perfect place to absorb Norway's island culture. With only a few hundred residents, fishing and fish farming are still the most important industries here, but Værlandet is also famous for its greenstone breccia rock formations.
Spend the rest of the day exploring the beautiful and peaceful landscapes at your own pace. A good place to start is by following the signposted walk to Klettane where you'll pass a collection of picturesque small houses in Værøyhamna harbor. You can also make a drink or dinner stop at Værlandet Guestharbour with a café and pub.
Day 6: Self-Guided Bike Tour in Værlandet
Today, you'll have the day to explore the island on two wheels where you can sample the best of what Værlandet has to offer.
Here are some suggested points of interest:
- Visit the Nordsjøporten (North Sea portal)—a network of six bridges connecting the area's small islands like a string of pearls.
- Check out the Norwegian Seabird Center, which illustrates the close ties between humans and seabirds along Norway's coast.
- Steel your nerves and your legs with coffee and cake at Gallery Værlandet.
- Join a guided Sealife Safari to spot white-tailed eagles, sea eagles, and other seabirds and aquatic animals. Alternatively, the nearby island of Sørværet's nature reserve protects a unique wetland home to a wide range of birds and marine life.
Day 7: Ferry to Bergen, via Askvoll
This morning, you'll have time to relax before it's time to leave Værlandet island and the peaceful surroundings. In the afternoon you'll catch the ferry back to Askvoll and then connect to another ferry headed to Bergen. Keep your camera close as you sail into this picturesque harbor.
Upon arrival, check-in to your hotel and then hit the streets for your last evening in Norway. Perhaps you'll want to get another look at historic Bryggen or sample a cool restaurant you may have missed at the beginning of the trip.
Day 8: Depart 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.