This relaxing weeklong journey starts in the capital city of Oslo before heading west, via the steepest train in Norway (Flåm Railway). From here, embrace the slow-paced local culture of Aurland while staying two nights at a secluded and upscale lodge that serves organic cuisine. Take part in some light hiking and paddling and then cruise the Sognefjord by ferry, finishing the adventure in scenic Bergen — Norway's UNESCO-listed second largest city surrounded by seven mountains.

Highlights

    • Walk along Oslo's new Havnepromenaden (harbor promenade) at sunset
    • Sit back and enjoy the scenery on a train headed to Flåm
    • Soak in the views of the Aurlandsfjord from a rowboat or hiking trail
    • Ferry to Norway's second largest city in the country's longest fjord
    • Explore Bryggen's wooden houses — a UNESCO World Heritage Site 

Overview

This accessible itinerary is great for first-timers and checks off several must-see destinations. You'll fly into Europe's fastest growing capital and have the rest of the day to check out the thriving waterfront. If there's time, head for the city's charming historic quarters, outdoor sculptures, and museums along the Akerselva river (running from Maridalsvannet through the center of Oslo), not to mention cool cafés and restaurants serving New Nordic cuisine. 

Next, you’ll travel to Myrdal to catch the Flåm railway, one of the world’s most beautiful train rides before transferring to the village of Aurland, where you'll stay two nights at a special high-end, family-owned lodge with nightly three-course dinners. Take in the waterfalls and majestic fjord views any number of ways. You’ll soon be on your way to Bergen, a city known for colorful wooden houses and a stately museum exploring the history of the Hanseatic League. Tour the city with a local or wander through neighborhoods on your own, where you can browse the shops and get a taste of some of the world’s best seafood.

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Oslo  Oslo
Day 2 Oslo City Tour Oslo
Day 3 Flåm Railway - Riverside Farm Lodge Aurland
Day 4 Aurland Slow Travel Aurland
Day 5 Aurland - Sognefjord - Bergen Bergen
Day 6 Bergen City Tour Bergen
Day 7 Depart Bergen  

Day 1: Arrive in Oslo

One of Oslo's up-and-coming neighborhoods.

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.
  • 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 to see 200 larger than life sculptures are placed throughout this green lung in the middle of the city. 

Day 2: Oslo City Tour

Many restaurants offer outdoor dining during summer months. 

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 by metro. 

Oslo is known for its museums, some of which celebrate the famous works of Edvard Munch or the stunning ships of the Viking Era, while others celebrate niche interests such as music and ski history. 

The city also has a popular café culture, with locals and visitors enjoying some of the best coffee in the world. In warmer weather, there's nothing like sitting outside on the patio with coffee and a pastry or sandwich on freshly baked Norwegian bread. On chilly days, stepping into one of Oslo's local cafes will make you feel cozy and warm. 

During summer months, the city comes alive to celebrate extended daylight hours, with various festivals and celebrations happening each week. 

If you really want to feel like a local and experience all that Oslo has to offer, hook up with a local guide and get an exclusive tour around town. 

Day 3: Oslo - Flåm Railway 

The Aurland Valley is dotted with historic farmhouses.

After breakfast, head to the train station for your trip to Norway's western coast. 

This journey will take you through some of the highest train elevations in the world. From small villages to remote countryside, the views from your window will be nothing short of spectacular. At its highest point, the tracks will take you 4000 feet above sea level! 

After a quick train-change in Myrdal, you will continue to Flåm. Sit back, relax, and take in snow-covered mountains, deep fjords, and beautiful waterfalls as you make your way towards the charming and scenic village of Flåm. 

Once you arrive in Flåm, you will be greeted by your guide and transferred to a special place in the secluded Aurland area — the eco-friendly Riverside Farm Lodge, a restored farm from the 19th century that feels a world away from the tourist scene in nearby Flåm.

Here, you'll be served Norwegian cuisine in the lodge's old converted smokehouse. After lunch, take a trip to Turlidfossen, a nearby waterfall, and learn about Norse myths and folklore related to the region. Snack on tea, coffee, and hot cinnamon rolls at the top of the hill overlooking the Aurlandsfjord.

Next, head back to the lodge and relax. There are seven rooms and two suites decorated with the help of a Norwegian interior designer named Gunvor Røkholt. Staying here is a comfortable, yet high-end experience allowing you access to stunning natural surroundings and unique activities. 

In the evening, staff will prepare a three-course organic dinner using ingredients from the onsite garden and surrounding area. Dinner will be shared with the friendly family of owners and other guests staying on property.

Day 4: Aurland Slow Travel

Enjoy the lodge's secluded grounds.

This morning, wake up at the lodge and enjoy an organic breakfast at your leisure. Take note of the local way of life, which seems to move in slow motion compared to the rest of the world.

There are several options on how to spend your free day here. Perhaps you want to take part in a peaceful activity like paddling in a rowboat. In fact, there's a beautiful lake that very few people know about close to the lodge. You can also take a guided hike in the Aurland Valley, learn to fly-fish, visit local artists, bakeries, and centuries-old historic sites, or simply read a book overlooking the view. 

In the afternoon, hosts will serve lunch on the property. Make sure to take advantage of the lodge's sauna and hot tub before dressing for the evening! Like the night before, a three-course organic dinner will be shared with the owners and your fellow guests.

Day 5: Aurland - Sognefjord - Bergen

Check out this sleek viewing platform for photographs.

After breakfast on the farm, your guide will take you to the Stegastein Lookout platform -- a national landmark created by Todd Saunders, a well-known Norwegian architect. When you're done taking in the views, you'll be led further up the mountain for a hike. 

Explore the pasturelands of Aurland and meet a local sheep farmer whose family has been on this land for many years. The farmer will prepare and share lunch with you as you look out over the vistas before your guide drives you to the village of Aurland for markets selling goods from local craftsmen and women. 

From here, you will be dropped off at the port to travel to Bergen by boat. Board your ship in the afternoon and take in the views of the longest and deepest fjord in Norway. 

You'll arrive in Bergen with time to enjoy dinner out on the town.

Day 6: Bergen City Tour

Take a walk up the hillside for panoramic views.

After breakfast, explore the town 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.

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.

Bergen has more to offer travelers who want a truly local experience. Here are a few suggested day tours and activities that can be arranged with local guides:

  • Walk Through History: The hike 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 from World War II. During the hike, your local guide will offer local stories of Bergen's history and culture.
  • Hike Three of Seven Mountains: On this 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 nice spot along the trail, including Norwegian “Kvikklunch” with coffee or tea.
  • Boat to Mostraumen: This day-trip departs from Bergen's port and takes you through a deep fjord to Modalen, which is one of the smallest municipalities in Norway with about 380 residents! You will sail along Osterfjorden and pass steep mountains and spectacular waterfalls. 

Day 7: Depart Bergen

Bergen's walkable streets.

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.

Note: This trip can also be reversed starting in Bergen and ending in Oslo. There's also an option of adding a day and staying overnight in Balestrand, a fjord-side town known for its 19th century architecture. While here, take a fjordcruise in the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Nærøyfjord, where the passageways are so narrow, you can practically reach out and touch the mountainside. 

Map

Map of Norway Slow Travel: Oslo, Aurland & Bergen - 7 Days
Map of Norway Slow Travel: Oslo, Aurland & Bergen - 7 Days