- Hike up to Mount Fløyen—one of Bergen's seven peaks—and catch the sunset
- Take a half-day guided kayaking tour in the serene Hardangerfjord
- Stay two nights at a hotel with a private beach and outdoor pool (and fjord views!)
- Wander through Oslo's up-and-coming streets in Grünerløkka and Aker Brygge
|Day 1||Arrive to Bergen||Bergen|
|Day 2||Train to Voss - Drive to Lofthus||Ullensvang|
|Day 3||Free Day in the Hardangerfjord||Ullensvang|
|Day 4||Drive to Voss - Bus to Gudvangen - Cruise to Aurland||Aurland|
|Day 5||Aurland - Ferry to Flåm - Train to Oslo||Oslo|
|Day 6||Oslo City Tour||Oslo|
|Day 7||Depart Oslo|
Day 1: Arrive to 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, college-aged population.
Day 2: Train to Voss - Drive to Lofthus
Today, enjoy a leisurely morning in Bergen and then take a midday train to Voss (about 1.5 hours long). From here, you'll rent a car and drive to Lofthus in just under an hour. You'll then check into Hotel Ullensvang where you'll stay two nights. This is a great home base for your Hardangerfjord visit with a wellness center, swimming pool, private beach, fjord views, and notable cuisine.
The Ullensvang area offers a great starting point for many exciting activities, including a wide range of marked hiking trails to choose from (it is a known fact that some of the best hikes in Norway are in this region). One of the highlights is an old trail up to Nosi (about 2.5 hours) rewarding you with views of waterfalls, the Hardangerfjord, and Folgefonna Glacier. Nosi is 3,116 feet (950 m) above sea level and along the way, you will walk through orchards and climb the medieval stone steps to Munketreppene. This is also one of the gateways into Hardangervidda National Park.
Summer skiers of all levels can head to Fonna Glacier Ski Resort, located on the northern part of the Folgefonna Glacier in the middle of Hardanger. Fonna is known for being the leading summer ski resort in Europe with a season that lasts from May until September/October. You will get a spectacular scenery from the top ski lift station with views over the fjord and even the North Sea on sunny days.
Day 3: Free Day in the Hardangerfjord
After breakfast, you'll have a full day to explore the 3rd largest fjord in the world at 111 miles (179 km) long. The Hardangerfjord region has been an important European tourist destination since the 19th century and offers spectacular nature opportunities.
Choose between a number of trips, either on the water of the Hardangerfjord or at the foot of the Hardangervidda mountain plateau. Some ideas include:
- Take a Hardangerfjord cruise, which sets sail between Eidfjord and Ulvik several times a day. Plan around three hours for a round-trip journey.
- Take a day-trip to experience Norway's most famous waterfall, Vøringfossen, which offers copious amounts of water plunging from the top at 597 feet (182 m).
- Stop at the Norsk Natursenter (Norwegian Nature Center) to learn more about the area's flora and fauna before setting out in the flat and gentle river terrain of Hardangervidda National Park. Pick up a map with hiking routes here or in Eidfjord's tourist office.
- Visit the Kjeåsen Mountain Farm, a small settlement built under impossible conditions, to celebrate the fortitude of the region's intrepid settlers.
- Rent a kayak and paddle out on your own or take a guided three-hour paddle tour along the Hardangerfjord. An instructor will teach you the basics of kayaking and safety procedures before you set out, while an experienced guide will explain the history and wildlife of the area. During the trip, there will be short stops including one where you can fill your drinking bottle with some of the purest water on the planet that comes from a small waterfall. This trip is suitable for ages 10 and up.
- Visit the Viking Burial Mounds—home of the largest Iron Age site in western Norway. The tourist office can point you in the right direction and offer a basic map with a marked 90-minute walking trail. Another way to reach these mounds is with the Troll Train that drives up to the Hæreid Plateau where the most accessible graves are.
Day 4: Drive to Voss - Bus to Gudvangen - Cruise to Aurland
After an early breakfast at Hotel Ullensvang, it is time to travel to Aurland. First, you'll drive back to Voss and return the rental car. Then, connect to a local bus that will take you to the mountain town of Gudvangen—just in time for your fjordcruise to Flåm. This is a beautiful boat journey lasting about two hours that takes you through the UNESCO-listed Nærøyfjord, a water passage so narrow at times that you will feel as if you can reach out and touch the mountainside.
Once you reach Flåm, connect to another short boat ride to Aurland in the mid-afternoon. This is a peaceful village next to the Aurlandsfjord where you can truly experience small town Norwegian culture. When you arrive in Aurland, disembark and walk to your guesthouse located by the fjord for the night.
Day 5: Aurland - Ferry to Flåm - Train to Oslo
After breakfast at your hotel, you'll have time to relax in Aurland and take in the views before jumping on a short ferry ride back to Flåm. When you arrive, sit back and have lunch or coffee at a café. Suggestions for dining include:
- Aegir Brewery & Pub for authentic Viking culture inside the restaurant's historic wooden structure
- Flåm Marina and Apartment Café for lighter fare and a peaceful atmosphere
Sit back and enjoy the serenity or go for a stroll through town before you catch a ride on the Flåm Railway, 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. After changing trains in Myrdal, you will continue to Oslo.
When you check into your hotel, drop your bags and take advantage of your time here! 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 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 core buzzing with restaurants and cafés that stay cozy in cold weather, with several options that offer outdoor seating during summer months.
Day 6: Oslo City Tour
The opportunities for experiencing culture in this amazing Scandinavian city are endless. Oslo is located in the heart of Norway between the water and evergreen forests—and though it's the capital of Norway, it only takes 30 minutes to travel from one end to the other on its metro system.
If you really want to feel like a local and experience all that Oslo has to offer, hook up with a private guide and get an exclusive tour around town. Here are a few ideas that past travelers have enjoyed:
- Akerselva River Walk (4-5 hours): On this tour, you'll take the tram to the Akerselva River, an important waterway which offers an abundance of local history. You will start with the Norwegian Museum of Science and Technology (on the north side of the river) and then head south to the Labour Museum (part of the Oslo City Museum) while your guide shares stories about the heart of Oslo's history. The river is five miles (8 km) long and passes waterfalls, swimming areas, forested areas, and wildlife, so bring your camera!
- From Fjord to Forest (full-day): This outdoorsy tour takes you to a beautiful island just outside Oslo's harbor, reached by tram in about 30 minutes from the city center. No cars are allowed here, so the island is full of recreation options. Choose an activity depending on the season, or simply walk around one of the lakes while your guide shares local history.
- Holmenkollen Ski Jump (2-3 hours): If you have less time to spare, this tour heads for a popular area called Holmenkollen, where a wooded range of hills can be reached by light rail from the city center in about 35 minutes. Open year-round, the Holmenkollen Ski Museum & Tower presents over 4,000 years of snow sports, polar exploration, and an exhibition on snowboarding and modern skiing. Head for the observation deck offering panoramic views of Oslo, and then walk down to the ski jump while your guide shares stories about local trolls, legends, and castles.
Day 7: Depart Oslo
It's time to say farewell to Norway! Enjoy your last few hours walking around Oslo's neighborhoods, relaxing in a café, or visiting local boutiques for one-of-a-kind souvenirs.