Get to know Norway's biggest cities and hike along the country's famous fjords on this 9-day itinerary. Beginning with an expert-curated tour of Oslo, you'll take an overnight train to coastal Stavanger—your gateway to day-hikes at legendary Pulpit Rock and Kjeragbolten. Finally, relax on a scenic ferry ride to Bergen, where you'll explore the city by foot and even take a cruise to Hardangerfjord—the "Queen of the Fjords."

Highlights

  • Experience the best of cosmopolitan Oslo with a local guide
  • Hike Pulpit Rock and Kjerag, two of Norway's natural landmarks
  • Spend three nights in Stavanger, a charming coastal town
  • Cruise from Bergen to Hardangerfjord—the "Queen of the Fjords"

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Oslo Oslo
Day 2 Hidden gems tour with a local expert 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 Bergen City Tour Bergen
Day 8 Fjordcruise to Hardangerfjord Bergen
Day 9 Depart Bergen  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in 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: Oslo city tour

National Oslo Opera House

The opportunities for culture in this city are endless. After breakfast, you'll meet a professional guide who will show you Oslo from a local's perspective. You can choose to tailor this three-hour excursion to your specific interests or defer to your guide and let their expertise inform the itinerary.

Highlights include strolling famous Damstredet, a small street lined with wooden houses from the 1800's, and visiting the trendy Grünerløkka neighborhood and its eclectic food court Mathallen. A walk along the Akerselva River should not be missed, as it's a central part of the history of Oslo.  

Oslo is also known for its museums. Some of these celebrate the macabre, expressionist works of Norweigan painter Edvard Munch, while others feature exhibits and artifacts from the Viking Age. There are even museums celebrating local music and ski history. Be sure to stop in at one and learn about the heritage of this fascinating country. 

Day 3: Oslo - Train to Stavanger

Streets of 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)

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 Kjerag

The Kjeragbolten

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 meters) 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

Today, ferry to Bergen along Norway's western coast. The scenic journey takes about five hours, so sit back and relax. Once you get to Bergen, you'll have the evening to explore this walkable waterfront city and choose from many excellent eateries for dinner.

Day 7: Bergen City Tour

Shopping street in Bergen

After breakfast, explore on your own or meet up with a guide for a local tour of Bergen—the second largest city in Norway, with about 300,000 residents. Rich in culture and seafaring history, this walkable city boasts a vast selection of cultural and outdoorsy activities.

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. You should also 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 historical sites and museums. 

Day 8: Fjordcruise to Hardangerfjord

View of the Hardangerfjord

On your last full day in Norway, head to the harbor to catch a lovely cruise ride to Rosendal. This trip will sail through the fjords of Bergen to the Hardangerfjord, known as the "Queen of the Fjords"—keep your camera close to capture the steep mountains and cascading waterfalls along the route. 

Arrive in Rosendal and enjoy a guided tour of a manor dating back to 1665 and lunch prepared with herbs and vegetables grown onsite. (along with coffee, tea, and pastries of course). FInish with a stroll in the manor's romantic rose garden before returning to Bergen. The rest of the evening is yours to enjoy. 

Day 9: Depart Bergen

Farewell, 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.

Map

Map of Norway's Best Cities & Hikes - 9 Days
Map of Norway's Best Cities & Hikes - 9 Days