- Soak up Oslo's modern cultural sites, including an airy waterfront art museum
- Take your pick between an abundance of hiking trails near the village of Geilo
- Check out award-winning Stegastein Viewpoint for views of the Aurlandsfjord
- Hike your way to a working goat farm for cheese tastings and lunch
- Tour lesser-known areas of Bergen with a local (choose between a walk or a hike)
With vast, varied landscapes and plentiful activities, Norway is an outdoor paradise. A big portion of this itinerary focuses on the mountainous area between Oslo and Bergen, characterized by steep cliffs and trails. In fact, you'll stay two nights in the village of Geilo where you can relax, hike, and bike to your heart's content (keep an eye out for reindeer and arctic foxes that roam these parts).
You'll continue west by train towards Sognefjord, one of Norway's most famous fjords. In fact, the entire west coast of Norway is a maze of waterways, cliffsides, and mile-long views. Visit charming villages like Flåm and Aurland, and on one particularly adventurous day, speedboat and hike to a goat farm and connect to a ferry ride through the King of Fjords.
It's not all about the outdoors, though. This trip includes plenty of cool Scandinavian culture in Norway's two largest cities bookending both sides of the itinerary. You'll start off with free time to explore Oslo's museums, modern architecture, and New Nordic cuisine before you meet up with a guide for a private tour of the city. Your last two nights will be based in Norway's historic Hanseatic wharf city, which stays young and fun with a large student population.
|Day 1||Arrive to Oslo||Oslo|
|Day 2||Explore Oslo with a Local||Oslo|
|Day 3||Train to Geilo||Geilo|
|Day 4||Relaxing, Hiking or Biking in Geilo||Geilo|
|Day 5||Train to Flåm -> Transfer to Aurland||Aurland|
|Day 6||Hiking & Goat Farm Tour -> Ferry to Bergen||Bergen|
|Day 7||Explore Bergen with a Local||Bergen|
|Day 8||Depart Bergen|
Day 1: Arrive in 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 beautiful, 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.
- 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.
- 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! If you'd rather stick to the waterfront, head for the sleek Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art.
- Visit the Vigeland Sculpture Park, where 200 larger than life sculptures are placed throughout this green lung in the middle of the city. The sculptures depict the ups and downs of life and the raw emotions of human beings. Bring your camera!
Day 2: Explore Oslo with a Local
After breakfast at your hotel, meet up with your guide for a custom private tour of Oslo. Your guide, a native of Oslo, will find the right tour for you based on your interests. 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.
The rest of the afternoon and evening is yours to explore on your own!
For dinner, wander around the city's historic core buzzing with restaurants and outdoor cafés. If you're looking for Oslo's trendiest local scene, head east for Grünerløkka, which many inhabitants refer to affectionately as "Løkka." This once-run-down sector of Oslo is now the site of refurbished apartments, fashionable cafés, and hip restaurants.
During summer months, Oslo comes alive to celebrate extended daylight hours, with various festivals and celebrations happening each week.
Day 3: Train to Geilo
After an early breakfast at your hotel, take a train out of the city and towards the beautiful mountain village of Geilo.
Located along the scenic Bergen Railway, Geilo enjoys 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.
In the summer and early autumn months, Geilo is well-known for its hiking and mountain biking opportunities, as well as white water rafting, fishing, and horseback riding. Hiking season starts at the end of June and lasts until snow falls (usually October). For an easy activity, take a spin on the summer chairlift with panoramic views of the region.
Restaurants in Geilo worth mentioning include Hallingstuene for Norwegian food and a wine bar, Ro Kro -- a longstanding café with outdoor seating, and Dr. Holms Hotel for family dining options.
Day 4: Hiking, Biking, or Relaxing in Geilo
Today you'll have a full day to take advantage of this mountain village and all the outdoor activities both here and in nearby national parks!
There are several hiking trails for every age and fitness level -- some that are very easy (less than two miles) and some that are more difficult (up to 10 miles and more), so lace up your boots and pack a picnic.
For a bigger adrenaline rush, there are dozens of bike trails ranging in length and difficulty. Geilo Bike Rental is the area's largest bike hire and they offer everything you need for a day of biking including protective gear and tutorials. Friendly staff will provide area maps for downhill biking trails or a more relaxing ride around the lake.
If exploring local towns in scenic settings sounds more fun, this area consists of several small villages that can be reached year-round by bus or train like Dagali, Ustaoset, Haugastøl, and Hol, although the largest (and main shopping and dining center) is Geilo.
Day 5: Train to Flåm - Transfer to Aurland
After breakfast, you'll have some free time to spend in Geilo before taking the train to Myrdal. From here, you'll switch to the world-renowned Flåm Railway, which is even more scenic than the Bergen Railway, as it passes through steep fjord landscapes and waterfalls.
When your train arrives in Flåm, you'll be transferred to the peaceful town of Aurland, north along the Aurlandsfjorden. If there's time, you may want to visit Stegastein Viewpoint — an open-air lookout designed by a renowned Norwegian architect with stunning fjord views. Finish the day with dinner at one of the area's restaurants, like Duehuset Pub with an outdoor terrace and fjord views.
Day 6: Hiking & Goat Farm Tour - Ferry to Bergen
After breakfast in Aurland, you'll meet at Flåm harbor and take a fun speedboat tour through the Aurlandsfjord and the Nærøyfjord and then transfer towards the wharf town of Skjerdal, where you'll start a 1.5-hour (3.5 km) hike towards Leim Goat Farm.
During the hike, you will be surrounded by breathtaking fjord views and waterfalls. At the goat farm, you can learn secrets behind the making of traditional goat cheese, and then take part in a cheese tasting and delicious lunch made of local produce. You'll hike back down to Skjerdal and drive back to Flåm's port by minivan.
From here, you'll catch your five-hour afternoon ferry to Bergen through the stunning Sognefjord, arriving to the city in the evening.
Day 7: Explore Bergen with a Local
After breakfast, meet up with a local for a custom private tour of Bergen. Your guide, who was born and raised in Bergen, will find the right tour for you based on your interests. Here are a few walk or hike 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!
Hike Three of Seven Mountains (5-7 hours): On this longer hiking trip, you will have the opportunity to climb three of the seven mountains surrounding Bergen: Mt. Ulriken, Mt. Rundemannen, and Mt. Fløyen. Lunch will be served at a scenic spot along the trail along with the Norwegian treat “Kvikk Lunsj”, plus coffee or tea.
The rest of the day is yours to continue exploring the city on your own. You'll also be equipped with a 24-Hour Bergen Card allowing you free bus travel and free admittance to most museums (as well as other attractions), so take advantage!
Day 8: Depart 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.