This exciting, yet relaxing, adventure combines cultural and outdoor elements across Western Norway for the ultimate summer road trip. Start in Oslo where you'll have a day to check out the capital before traveling by train and ferry to pick up your car. From here, drive around farms, villages, and towns with opportunities to hike, bike, kayak, and river raft in the area's glorious scenery. You'll eventually drop off your car and catch a fjordcruise to Bergen's colorful wharf, loaded with restaurants.

Highlights

  • Walk through Oslo's sculpture park to see 200 larger than life sculptures
  • Drive to Fjærland for a glacier museum and guided kayaking excursion
  • Hike to your hearts content with dozens of trails to choose from near Lom
  • Have lunch in Geiranger overlooking a beautiful UNESCO-listed fjord
  • Bike around the Artist Trail, a year-round open-air art exhibition in Kalvåg

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Oslo Oslo
Day 2 Train to Flåm - Ferry to Leikanger - Farm Stay Luster
Day 3 Drive to Fjærland - Hiking & Kayaking - Drive to Gaupne Gaupne
Day 4 Visit Urnes Stave Church - Hike to Molden Gaupne
Day 5 Drive to Lom (Sognefjell National Scenic Route) Lom
Day 6 Hiking in Lom & Jotunheimen National Park Lom
Day 7 Guided River Rafting in Skjåk Lom
Day 8 Drive to Geiranger - Explore the Geirangerfjord - Drive to Kalvåg Kalvåg
Day 9 Explore Kalvåg Kalvåg
Day 10 Return to Leikanger - Fjordcruise to Bergen Bergen
Day 11 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 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.

Suggested activities include: 

  • Take a half-day and wander around Aker Brygge, an area on the Oslofjord made up of gorgeous, modern buildings where you can find bars and abundant nightlife. It acts as a sort of courtyard for the city of Oslo and brings together both tourists and locals alike to enjoy the great food, atmosphere, and entertainment.
  • Spend the afternoon visiting the Viking Ship Museum and the Norwegian Open-Air Folk Museum by way of public transportation. Both museums are in the same area, so they pair well together.
  • Walk along the Havnepromenaden (harbor promenade)—a new five-and-a-half-mile waterfront park, which combines sightseeing, history, art, architecture, and a little bit of adventure.
  • Visit the Vigeland Sculpture Park, where 200 larger than life sculptures are placed throughout this green lung in the middle of the city. 

For dinner, explore the city's historic core buzzing with restaurants and cafés that stay cozy in cold weather, with several options that offer outdoor seating during summer months.

Day 2: Train to Flåm - Ferry to Leikanger - Farm Stay

Ferry across this branch of the Sognefjord
Ferry across this branch of the Sognefjord

After an early breakfast, catch a ride on the Flåm Railway, regarded as one of the most beautiful train rides in the world. The journey is steep in places and passes through waterfalls and stunning landscapes, so keep your camera close. 

When you get to the picturesque village of Flåm, sit back and have lunch at a café or the local microbrewery. Enjoy the serene nature or go for a stroll through town before you catch your mid-afternoon ferry ride to Leikanger through a portion of the Sognefjord—Norway's longest and deepest fjord. As the mountains become closer and higher, keep an eye out for eagles and seals. 

Upon arrival, walk to the car rental office to pick-up your vehicle for the drive to a farm in the village of Skjolden. Get ready for some peace and quiet during your stay at the farm, which is run by hard-working hosts who try to make your stay memorable. The ancient buildings on the property were constructed using old, Norwegian traditions, and all meals are prepared with organic ingredients from the farm.

Day 3: Drive to Fjærland - Hiking & Kayaking - Drive to Gaupne

Hike and/or kayak in Fjærland
Hike and/or kayak in Fjærland

Today, you will take your rental car on a day-trip to Fjærland—where the glacier meets the fjord!

Upon arrival, choose between a variety of guided activities. Some ideas include:

  • Mundal Valley Hike (6.2 miles/10 km; 3-4 hours): This gentle and peaceful valley walk passes through green fields that have been farmed for generations since the Viking Age. The hike starts in Mundal, the center of Fjaerland, near the tourist office. You'll walk slowly up the valley to view the staggering peaks rising towards the sky like giant trolls. The hike traverses a gravel road, but the last bit is on a narrow track, leading you to an area in the meadow used seasonally for grazing milking cows and sheep. Here you'll have lunch before returning to Mundal.

  • Kayaking in Fjærland (2-4 hours): Paddle the calm fjord in Fjærland in sea kayaks while viewing the glaciers either with a guide or on your own. The Fjærlandfjord is well suited for beginners, as conditions are mostly calm and distances are fairly short. Skilled kayakers will be able to experience more estuaries, nooks, and crannies along the fjord.

  • Mundal Family Hike (2.1 miles/3.5 km; 2 hours): This short guided hike, perfect for families, is located close to the village center of Fjaerland (Mundal). The hike makes a loop where you'll spend most of the time on a trail in the woods, while the last section offers views of the fjord as you return to Mundal.

Following your adventures, you'll drive to Gaupne for the next leg of your trip.

Day 4: Visit Urnes Stave Church - Hike to Molden

Urnes Stave Church
Urnes Stave Church

This morning, you'll drive to Solvorn and take the ferry to Urnes. This short ride will take you to one of the 28 remaining stave churches in Norway, the UNESCO-listed Urnes Stave Church. It was built in the 12th and 13th centuries and is an outstanding example of traditional Scandinavian wooden architecture with traces of Celtic art, Viking traditions, and Romanesque spatial structures.

After the visit, you will make the short drive to experience the powerful 715 foot high (218 m) Feigumfossen Waterfall. There is a marked path up to a lookout point under the waterfall. It takes about 45 minutes from the parking lot to the viewpoint which is 492 feet (150 m) above sea level.

From here, take the ferry back to Solvorn in time for lunch. If feeling energized, you can take a bigger hike—about four hours—with stunning views of the Lustrafjorden with Nes and Høyheimsvik in the foreground. As you begin, you'll eventually head along a path that rises steeply until you reach Svarthiller with its fine view towards Urnes on the other side of the fjord. The path winds its way past steep crags and then levels out where you'll continue to the cairn on the top of Molden, 3661 feet (1116 m) above sea level.

Following your hike (or hikes), return to Gaupne.

Day 5: Drive to Lom (Sognefjell National Scenic Route)

Scenery along today's drive
Scenery along today's drive

After breakfast, it is time to stay goodbye to Gaupne for the drive to Lom in Jotunheimen National Park. Get ready for a very scenic route between these two destinations—along the Sognefjell National Scenic Route—with plenty of detours on the way. 

The drive begins along the beautiful Lusterfjord where you'll eventually make your way up to Sognefjellet, on a scenic narrow road from the fjord to the mountain. Eventually, you will pass by Turtagrø, which is a lovely place to stop for coffee. This is a famous cabin for local hikers in Norway. The surroundings are breathtaking with steep mountains as far as the eye can see (on a clear day!).

As you enter Lom, your expectations will only increase as you find yourself surrounded by towering mountains. Make your way up the summit with the option to stop at various viewpoints and soak in the beauty of the natural surroundings.

If you arrive early enough, stop at the bakery in Lom and stock up on goodies for tomorrow's hike. From here, you'll head to your hotel and enjoy a traditional Norwegian dinner upon arrival.

Day 6: Hiking in Lom & Jotunheimen National Park

There are dozens of trail options around Lom

After breakfast in Lom, hit the trails and glaciers, of which there are enough to spend a week or more. Hiking in the Lom area gives you the opportunity to choose between a range of different destinations; from easy and family-friendly to more extreme and advanced.

An obvious choice is Jotunheimen National Park, 'Home of the Giants', which is about 45 minutes by car from Lom. This is a largely undisturbed mountain area in Eastern Norway, covering an area of more than 2,100 miles. The mountain range is Norway’s most popular national park and includes the country’s two highest mountains Galdhøpiggen and Glittertind, as well as rivers, valleys, lakes, waterfalls, and more than 60 glaciers.

In fact, the area has the largest concentration of mountains (more than 275 summits) higher than 6,000 feet in Northern Europe and offers some of the most scenic hiking on the continent ranging from short strolls to difficult treks led by a private guide (optional).

You can go hiking in the afternoon for a mere 2-3 hours and still climb one of these mighty peaks! For a full-day experience, combine a glacier- and summit-tour. For the more advanced mountaineer, there's an option including glacier-crossing and summiting as many as ten peaks!

For a moderate, family-friendly glacier hike, consider a guided trip on the popular Bøverbrean glacier, with a duration of 5-6 hours. 

On your return to Lom, visit the area's local farms. This region in Norway has a long culinary tradition and some popular local produce include herbs, cured meat, sausages, cheese, jam, and bread.

Day 7: Guided River Rafting in Skjåk

A fun adventure in Skjåk
A fun river adventure in Skjåk

After a nice Norwegian breakfast today, you will drive for about an hour to Skjåk where you will be met by a local guide for a fantastic rafting experience. Don't worry about your experience (or lack thereof)—you can choose between several different levels of difficulty (ages 7 and up).

During this fun adventure, you will pass through several big rapids like Ofossen and the famous wave of Skjaak where both Norwegian- and European Championships have been held in the sport of rodeo kayaking.

If you prefer a different activity, you can instead choose to paddle a canoe in calm water or join a moose safari. In fact, there are plenty of options for getting outdoors in this beautiful area.

No matter how you spend your day, you'll return to Lom in the late afternoon in time for dinner.

Day 8: Drive to Geiranger - Explore the Geirangerfjord - Drive to Kalvåg

The UNESCO-listed Geirangerfjord
The UNESCO-listed Geirangerfjord

After breakfast in Lom, you'll travel to the scenic fjord-side town of Geiranger along the Geirangerfjord—a deep blue UNESCO-protected fjord surrounded by dramatic snow-covered mountains, waterfalls, and lush vegetation. In other words, keep your camera close! 

If the weather is good, you can rent bikes or go for a paddle in the fjord. There are also plenty of short cruise options. Otherwise, you can explore Geiranger by foot with cafés, shops, and galleries for souvenirs. The town's restaurants and eateries take pride in creating fresh food with a local twist, like Geiranger Brewery, which is partly located in a boathouse so you can enjoy more of those views

From here, you'll continue further west the fishing village of Kalvag on the beautiful fjord coast. along the way, consider stopping at the white sandy beach of Grotlesanden. Upon arrival in Kalvåg, enjoy a magnificent meal at Knutholmen.

Day 9: Explore Kalvåg

Spend the day seeing the sights in Kalvåg
Walk or bike around Kalvåg's best attractions

After a hearty breakfast, it's time to head outdoors and discover Kalvåg's environs. A bicycle is a great way to visit local sights while taking in the seaside atmosphere.

The nearby Vamråk Herring Saltery—today part of the coastal museum—gives an exciting glimpse into the evolution of the modern fishing industry. Further down the road, the 17th-century Smørholm Trading Center was an important gathering place for travelers, locals, and fishermen between Nordfjord and Bergen. Finally, you won't want to miss the Artist Trail, a year-round open-air art exhibition.

Bird lovers and wildlife photographers should instead spend the day sea kayaking from Kalvåg. The coast is home to numerous species and experiences two major avian migrations of hundreds of thousands of birds each year. You can either rent kayaks on your own or join a private guide for either half-day or full-day tours.

If you're looking for an adventure, head to nearby Hornelen, the tallest sea cliff in Europe, for some hiking or even rock climbing.

Day 10: Return to Leikanger - Fjordcruise to Bergen

Arrive in Bergen with time to explore the streets for dinner options
Arrive in Bergen with time to explore the streets for dinner options

After breakfast today, you will depart Kalvåg for the return drive back to Leikanger where your road trip originally began! Upon arrival, return your car and get to the port in time to catch the fjordcruise to Bergen. The boat ride takes about four hours and offers food and drink for purchase onboard providing a relaxing experience.

Get ready to be impressed by Bergen—one of the oldest port cities in Europe, surrounded by ocean, mountains, and fjords. Rich in culture and seafaring history, Bergen boasts a vast selection of cultural and outdoorsy activities. 

Make sure to check out the Bryggen area of downtown to view old wooden houses dating back to the 1700s (a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site). The cobblestoned streets in this area are compact and walkable, so you can easily sample Bergen's lively restaurants and nightlife, thanks in part to a young student population.

Day 11: Depart Bergen

A summer sunset in Bergen
A summer sunset in 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.

Map

Map of Norway's Fjords, Farms & Mountains - 11 Days
Map of Norway's Fjords, Farms & Mountains - 11 Days