Accomplish a stunning variety of trails on this active 9-day itinerary while staying in some of Norway's best cities. After an expert-curated tour of Oslo, take an overnight train to Stavanger—your gateway for legendary hikes in the Lysefjord: Pulpit Rock and Kjerag. Then, ferry to Bergen where you'll explore the city by foot culminating with a cruise (and hike) to a farm in the Hardangerfjord, nicknamed 'Queen of the Fjords'.

Highlights

  • Pick between a beautiful river or forest for your guided hike in Oslo
  • Snap photos of Pulpit Rock and Kjerag, two of Norway's best landmarks
  • Reward yourself in the charming city of Stavanger following day-hikes
  • Cruise to the Hardangerfjord where you'll meet farmers and livestock
  • Hike to the top of Mount Fløyen for memorable sunset views of Bergen

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Oslo Oslo
Day 2 Explore Oslo's Trails with a Local Oslo
Day 3 Oslo - Train to Stavanger Stavanger
Day 4 Hike Preikestolen Stavanger
Day 5 Hike Kjerag Stavanger
Day 6 Stavanger - Ferry to Bergen Bergen
Day 7 Explore Bergen's Trails with a Local Bergen
Day 8 Rosendal Cruise & Hike to Kjedestøl Bergen
Day 9 Depart Bergen  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Oslo

Akrobaten pedestrian bridge in downtown Oslo
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 the 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.

For dinner, explore the city's historic center, which is abuzz with restaurants and cafés that stay cozy in winter and offer patio seating during summer months.

Day 2: Explore Oslo's Trails with a Local

The Akerselva River is beautiful in all seasons

Today, you have the day to explore Oslo's natural wonders with a local expert. A popular option is to take a long walk along the historic Akerselva River. The river is 5 miles (8 km) long and passes some of the city's best museums, as well as waterfalls, swimming areas, forested areas, and wildlife. 

You can also take public transportation to Europe's largest urban forest, called Nordmarka. Check out the well-marked area on your own (trail maps are available) or join a guided hiking tour where you'll be led through dirt paths, rocky passages, and deep forests as you make your way to the viewpoint of Vettakollen—a locals' only destination for one of the best views in all of Oslo. This stop is perfect for a panoramic lunch (bring your own or purchase along the way at a café in a local forest cabin).

After lunch, continue through the forest until you get to the shores of Sognsvann, one of Oslo's prettiest lakes—great for a swim if the weather permits. The tour ends here, with easy access to a metro stop for your return to Oslo's city center where you'll have the rest of the evening to enjoy at leisure.

Day 3: Oslo - Train to Stavanger

Streets of coastal Stavanger
A charming street in coastal Stavanger

After breakfast, you'll walk to Oslo Station and board a train to Stavanger—the coastal city on the southwestern tip of Norway. Although the journey is over seven hours long, it's filled with incredible scenery. So sit back, relax and watch the coastal landscapes of southern Norway glide past you. 

In the evening you'll arrive in Stavanger and will have the chance to explore its narrow streets with white-washed wood houses, charming restaurants, and pubs before turning in for the night.

Day 4: Hike Preikestolen

Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock)
Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock)

After breakfast, head to the ferry for your journey to Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock). This is a self-guided seasonal hike (May through October), and one of the most popular spots in the country. The trek takes about five hours roundtrip on hilly terrain, accounting for plenty of time enjoying (and photographing) the famous views from Pulpit Rock, which rises 1,981 feet (604 meters) above sea level. 

For an off-the-beaten-path and more challenging experience, join a guide to visit Pulpit Rock a different way, taking little-known forest trails that are off the tourist map. You'll cross a lake by canoe before hiking in near solitude to a viewpoint above Preikestolen that few people ever get to see. Then, you'll head to the plateau to enjoy the more classic scene. Stay overnight in a cabin near the base of the hike.

Day 5: Hike Kjeragbolten

Kjeragbolten or "Kjerag"

Rise and shine! Today, you'll set out on your hike with a local guide early in the morning to beat the crowds. This is a  challenging six-hour hike with 2,624 feet (800 m) of elevation gain that ends at the famous Kjeragbolten—a massive boulder solidly wedged into the crevasse of the mountain. This is one of the most beautiful hikes in Scandinavia with stunning views of the mountains, fjords, and Norwegian countryside. 

Day 6: Stavanger - Ferry to Bergen

Bergen's colorful waterfront

Today, you'll travel by ferry from Stavanger to Bergen, Norway's 2nd largest city. The scenic journey takes about five hours, so sit back and relax. 

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 great place to start is the Bryggen area of downtown where you can view old wooden houses dating back to the 1700s (a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site). 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 7: Explore Bergen's Trails with a Local

Shopping street in Bergen
Bergen's hilly streets

After breakfast at your hotel, meet up with a local resident for a custom private tour of Bergen. Your guide, who was born and raised in Bergen, will find the right hike or walk for you based on your interests. Here are a few ideas that past travelers have enjoyed:

  • Walk Through History (3 hours): This walk starts from the city center and travels through narrow streets up to the mountainside known as “Sandviksbatteriet” with spectacular views over the city. From here, the trail takes you 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.

  • Hike Mt. Sandviken (2.5 hours): This hike heads to Mt. Sandviken, one of the seven mountains surrounding Bergen, including a visit to Stoltzekliven—a local favorite consisting of 900 steps built by sherpas from Nepal. This trail is home to the steepest race in the world and features spectacular views from the top!

Following the tour, 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 (especially at sunset), and take a leisurely stroll back down the path while discovering hidden troll sculptures along the way. 

Day 8: Rosendal Cruise & Hike to Kjedestøl

Reflections in the Hardangerfjord

After an early breakfast at your hotel in Bergen, make your way down to the Strandkaien pier, next to the fish market in the city center. The ferry for Rosendal departs at the very end of the pier and is clearly marked. Board your fjordcruise and relax on this scenic journey to the Hardangerfjord, known as the "Queen of the Fjords". The one-way journey takes just under two hours and there are drinks and snacks to purchase. Keep your camera close to capture the steep mountains and cascading waterfalls along the route—best spotted from the top deck. 

From here, you'll travel back in time several hundred years to experience the traditional life of the dairy farms in Norway's highlands. The tour starts with a mile-long walk (1.5 km) from Dinglowhile while you imagine the quiet life in the mountains. Keep an eye out for animals like goats, sheep, and cows, as well as beautiful birds.

At Kjedelstøl, you will be greeted by the budeier (farm ladies) similar to those who worked here long ago. They will serve you fresh coffee and homebaked melkekake, a traditional baked good similar to the French crepe. 

Following the hike, you will be taken back to the pier in time for the return to Bergen, arriving in the late afternoon.

Day 9: Depart Bergen

Sunset view over Bergen

It's time to say farewell to Norway. Enjoy your last morning in Bergen with a leisurely breakfast, neighborhood stroll, or souvenir shopping before you head to the airport for your flight home.