- Walk through history during a local tour in Bergen
- Spend a full day skiing in Geilo
- Enjoy a wintercruise along the narrow Nærøyfjord
- Discover the northern lights in a reindeer sled
- Bundle up for a night staying in the Igloo Hotel
|Day 1||Arrive in Bergen||Bergen|
|Day 2||Local Bergen Tour||Bergen|
|Day 3||Geilo by Train||Geilo|
|Day 4||Geilo Ski Day||Oslo|
|Day 5||Scenic Railway to Aurland||Aurland|
|Day 6||Wintercruise on Nærøyfjord - Viking Valley||Aurland|
|Day 7||Flåm Railway to Oslo||Oslo|
|Day 8||Explore Oslo with a Local||Oslo|
|Day 9||Flight to Tromsø||Tromsø|
|Day 10||Northern Lights by Reindeer Sled||Tromsø|
|Day 11||Dogsledding - Tromsø Wilderness Exploration||Inner Tromsø|
|Day 12||Transfer to Alta||Alta|
|Day 13||Snow Mobile - Igloo Hotel||Alta|
|Day 14||Depart Norway|
Day 1: Arrive in Bergen
Welcome to Norway!
Bergen, a cobblestoned wharf city (one of the oldest ports in Europe) on the west coast is surrounded by ocean, mountains, and fjords. This includes Sognefjord, the country’s longest and deepest fjord.
Rich in culture and seafaring history, this walkable city boasts a vast selection of cultural and outdoor activities, not to mention lively restaurants and nightlife that's kept alive by a young student population.
If there's time, you can ride to 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. Afterward, take a leisurely stroll back down the path while discovering hidden troll sculptures along the way.
You can also check out the Bryggen, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that's downtown of Bergen. Here, you can view the waterfront wooden houses that characterize the city and date back to the 1700s. It's also worth visiting one of the city's charming local cafés and bakeries.
Day 2: Local Bergen Tour
After breakfast, you will meet up with a local guide for a custom tour of Bergen.
Your guide, who was born and raised in Bergen, will arrange a tour for you based on your interests.
Here are a few walk or hike ideas that past travelers have enjoyed:
- Walk through history: This three-hour walk starts from the city center and takes you through narrow streets up to the mountainside known as “Sandviksbatteriet” with spectacular views over the city. From here, the trail leads to a small, hidden cabin rich in World War II history. During the walk, your local guide will offer local stories of Bergen's history and culture.
- Explore Bergen's parks & architecture: This easy walking tour visits notable exteriors and city parks starting with the largest church in Bergen: St. Johannes. From there, you will walk through the botanic garden and onwards to Bergen`s largest and most beautiful park: Nygårdsparken. You'll then walk through the city's narrow streets lined with traditional Bryggen houses and eventually visit Nordnes, another great park. Your guide will share stories of life in Bergen, as well as offer lesser-known activity and restaurant recommendations that are not frequented by tourists.
The rest of the day is yours to continue exploring the city on your own. In December, the city will be beautifully decorated for Christmas and you may find a festive market to visit.
Day 3: Geilo by Train
You'll have the morning to enjoy Bergen before you take a train out of the city and towards the beautiful mountain village of Geilo.
Located along the scenic Bergen Railway, Geilo is in 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.
You'll arrive in time for a late dinner. Restaurants in Geilo worth mentioning include Hallingstuene's wine bar for Norwegian food, Dr. Holms Hotel for family dining options, and Ro Kro which is a longstanding café with outdoor seating.
Day 4: Geilo Ski Day
You'll have a full day for skiing in Geilo or, if you don't want to ski, you can choose a hike in this scenic region.
A recommended skiing trip is around Ustedalsvannet. This exhilarating ski trip is 6 miles (10 km) long.
In the evening, you'll travel to Oslo airport, where you'll spend the night.
Day 5: Scenic Railway to Aurland
After breakfast, you'll go to the train station for your transfer westwards towards the village of Flåm.
This journey will take you through some of the highest train track elevations in the world. From small villages to remote countrysides: the views from your window are nothing short of spectacular. At its highest point, the tracks will take you 4009 feet (1222 meters) above sea level.
After a quick train-change in Myrdal, you will continue on to Flåm. Enjoy views of snow-covered mountains, deep fjords, and beautiful waterfalls as you make your way. The train also makes a stop at the Kjosfossen waterfall where you can take photographs.
After arriving, you can transfer to Aurland. Aurland is a small town idyllically placed in the innermost corner of the Sognefjord. You'll have time in the afternoon to check out the Stegastein Viewpoint, a national landmark created by Todd Saunders, a well-known Norwegian architect. You can end the day with a dinner at one of the Aurland's famous restaurants such as Duehuset Pub. Here, you can sit on the outdoor terrace with fjord views while enjoying your meal.
Stay overnight in small and cozy Fisherman's cabin by the fjord.
Day 6: Wintercruise on Nærøyfjord - Viking Valley
In the morning, you'll join a fjord cruise and discover the spectacular landscape of this UNESCO World Heritage area. This is a round-trip with a boat and bus. The narrow Nærøyfjord is surrounded by steep mountains and snow-covered peaks that stand 5 906-feet (1800 meters) above sea level, with thundering waterfalls and picturesque villages along the fjord.
You will then arrive in Gudvangen, the home for Njardarheim, and also known as The Viking Village. This is a living village that will give you insight into the fascinating Viking history of this region.
After your visit, private transport will be arranged to transfer you back to Aurland.
Day 7: Flåm Railway to Oslo
Today, after breakfast, transfer to Flåm from where you'll experience one of southern Norway’s most popular attractions: the quaint, old-timey Flåm Railway, considered to be one of the steepest and most beautiful rail journeys in the world. The route passes waterfalls and stunning mountain landscapes, so you'll want to grab a window seat.
When you arrive in Norway's capital, take advantage of anything you may have missed at the beginning of the trip. Perhaps you'd like to head back to the waterfront and historic core for dinner. If you've already done this and want to try something new, head to the up-and-coming "Løkka" neighborhood and check out a slew of hip restaurants and bars.
Day 8: Explore Oslo with a Local
After breakfast, you'll embark on a three-hour excursion to discover Oslo in the most authentic way possible: with a local expert guide. And there's quite a bit to see in a relatively small space (it takes a mere 30 minutes to travel from one end of Oslo to the other by metro).
The city is known for its rich history and museums, some of which celebrate the macabre works of the Norwegian expressionist painter Edvard Munch. Others recount fascinating maritime history in the form of stunning ships of the Viking Era, while others celebrate music and even ski history.
The guide will tailor the experience to your preferences and interests, or you can defer to their expertise as they lead you around the city on an impromptu adventure.
Possible activities include:
- Strolling the cobbled streets of Damstredet in central Oslo. This historic road is lined with well-preserved wooden houses dating back to the late 1700s/early 1800s.
- A walk along the Akerselva River which is is an iconic landmark in the city.
- A visit to Grünerløkka, a bohemian enclave that abounds with street art, funky cafés (which offer some of the best coffee in the world), dance clubs, and independent fashion boutiques.
- The Mathallen Food Hall, where you can savor the flavors of Norway and abroad, at over 30 different eateries. Here you'll find everything from paella and Southeast Asian street food to Norwegian cheeses and cured meats.
The rest of the day is free for you to explore Oslo or relax as you please.
Day 9: Flight to Tromsø
This morning, you'll take a flight to Tromsø, the largest city in Northern Norway!
When you arrive, get to know the "Gateway to the Arctic". Surrounded by snowcapped mountains, Tromsø is a lively place with 65,000 inhabitants. The city has a large student population and is famous for its robust music and film culture.
A well-recommended activity in Tromsø is a ride on the cable car, which runs up to a mountain ledge in just four minutes. The two gondolas, known as Seal and Polar Bear, have a capacity for 28 passengers each. From the viewing platform at the upper station, you can enjoy spectacular panoramic views of Tromsø and the surrounding islands, mountains, and fjords.
Day 10: Northern Lights by Reindeer Sled
The best way to enjoy the crackling snow and clear night-time sky printed with green waves from the northern lights is by riding a sled that's gently pulled by a reindeer.
Reindeer Sledding is the oldest known form of transport in the north and central part of the Sami culture. The sledding takes place as a "raid" where each reindeer and sled are bound together in a long row with the lead reindeer in the front. As you experience this unique Sami cultural tradition, you'll also get to enjoy unforgettable views of the northern lights.
In the evening, you can also get to know the culture of the indigenous Sami people during an excursion led by a traditional guide where you'll taste Sami food, see and learn about Sami artifacts, and hear stories and joik (traditional Sami song).
* If conditions change, the duration of the reindeer sledding may be amended. The Reindeer Sledding is subject to snow and when there is not enough snow we offer Reindeer Feeding and a Sami Culture Experience instead.
Day 11: Dogsledding - Tromsø Wilderness Exploration
After breakfast today—you will be picked up in Tromsø for your Dogsledding adventure—which also includes fishing and trapping wild game across the wilderness at Trapper's farm.
The tours usually vary depending on the day's conditions. To transport us into and through the rough nature, we will use sled dogs in the winter.
The next couple of days will consist of memorable experiences you will never forget! While all meals are included and prepared with local ingredients, you'll also join the local guide and catch some of your own food.
The accommodation at the farm will be in the small, cozy cabin next to the dog yard. You will have your own room but you'll be cooking and eating together with your traveling companion and guide. You might spend a night or two out in the wilderness (depending on what’s on the agenda), sleeping in a tent or under the open sky next to a warm bonfire. The food will include the catches of the day along with some local and traditional ingredients. You’ll also get a unique insight into local history, culture, and traditions. The faithful Greenland dogs will also join our tours every day.
* For this excursion, we recommend packing sunglasses, woolen underwear (preferably 100% wool), a wool or fleece sweater, a camera, sunscreen, spare clothes, and a small backpack.
Day 12: Transfer to Alta
After breakfast in Tromsø, you'll transfer to the bus station for the journey east towards Alta. This five to six-hour ride consists of forests, mountain plateaus, dramatic coastlines, and two ferry rides across stunning fjords.
After arriving, you'll check into your hotel in town and then start exploring. Many visitors head for the Alta Museum which features Northern Europe’s largest concentration of rock art made by hunter-gatherers. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is comprised of rock carvings and rock paintings made from 7,000 to 2,000 years ago and depicts rituals, symbolism and religious beliefs from the pre-Christian ages. If there is a lot of snow on the ground, you won't be able to view the rock art itself, but the museum still makes a worthwhile stop while in the area.
In the evening, you can wander around town and visit the Northern Lights Cathedral, a modern architectural icon. There are also several restaurants to try for dinner, including Alta Bistro and Restaurant Havblikk, Trine og Trasti for local ingredients or a chic, cozy space called Du Verden Matbar that serves Nothern Norway's traditional dried fish.
Day 13: Snow Mobile - Igloo Hotel
Today, you will travel to the northernmost Igloo Hotel.
While you can expect some cold temperatures outside, once you're bundled up in your sleeping bag in the igloo, you will forget that you're sleeping in a room made of ice.
In 1999, the ice hotel was started as a unique tourist attraction, and every year since we have built up a new ice hotel in Sorrisniva. We are the first in Norway and the second in the world to make a hotel entirely out of snow and ice.
As you enjoy the ice architecture and artwork, you can also look out for the northern lights in the evening.
Day 14: Depart Norway
After breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport for your departure. See you next time!