Enjoy the great Norwegian outdoors with a number of exciting activities. You'll start with a few days cross-country skiing in Hemsedal before heading towards the glacier area of Jostedalsbreen. Here, you'll hike to the Blue Ice Cave, learn about glaciers, and ride a cable car to the top of a fjord. Then, you'll stop in Flam for a scenic fjord cruise and a trip along the Flam Railway. The trip will end in exciting Oslo.

Highlights

  • Ski the various valley, forest, and mountain trails at Hemsedal
  • Hike or ski to the Blue Ice Cave on Jostedalsbreen Glacier
  • Ride 3320 feet on the Loen Skylift to the top of a fjord
  • Cruise through the UNESCO-listed Næroyfjord
  • Ride the Flam Railway, one of the world's highest train rides

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Drive to Hemsedal Hemsedal
Days 2-3 Skiing in Hemsedal Hemsedal
Day 4 Drive to Hjelledalen Hjelle
Day 5 Explore the Blue Ice Cave Hjelle
Day 6 Ski Day or Breheimcenter Tour Hjelle
Day 7 Loen Skylift & Flam Flåm
Day 8 Næroyfjord Cruise & Flam Railway Flåm
Day 9 Drive to Oslo Oslo
Day 10 Depart from Oslo  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Drive to Hemsedal

Hemsedal landscape
Hemsedal landscape

After arriving at Oslo International Airport, you'll pick up a pre-reserved rental car and begin your adventure.

Your first destination is Gol, which is about 2.5 hours away. You'll drive through the beautiful Hallingdal Valley, which provides spectacular views of mountains and lakes. Once you in Gol, you can take a break from driving to enjoy a delicious local lunch and to visit the Gol Stave Church—famous worldwide for its unique architectural design.

Once you've rested, you can continue driving towards Hemsedal, a popular Norwegian ski resort area. You'll spend the night here, cozying up in your accommodation and preparing for a day of skiing in the morning.

Days 2-3: Skiing in Hemsedal

View of Hemsedal
View of Hemsedal

Spend the next two days playing in the snow. Hemsedal has great opportunities for cross-country skiing, with 87 miles (140km) of machine-groomed trails through valleys and forests, and 68 miles (110km) of marked mountain trails.

Most apartments and cabins in the valley offer direct entrance to the tracks, which means that you can start skiing as soon as the day breaks! You will find camp fire sites throughout the trail, where you can take breaks and recover your energy.

Day 4: Drive to Hjelledalen

River in Lom
River in Lom

After breakfast, you'll start a long drive to Hjelledalen along the Valdresfly National Scenic Route.

Enjoy this open and serene road as you come across excellent views of the magnificent Jotunheimen and Jostdalsbreen National Parks.

As this is a long drive, we recommend that you start early. This way, you can make several short stops along the way to stretch your legs and take pictures of the landscape. 

Upon arriving at the picturesque village of Hjelledalen, you'll check in to your cabin. Depending on your time of arrival, you might be able to squeeze in a short adventure. The area near Hjelledalen is exceptional for natural excursions, given its proximity to Jostedalsbreen National Park. There are plenty of skiing opportunities around, and you can hire a local guide to take you exploring steep glaciers and snowy mountains. 

After your excursions, you can head back into town for a hearty meal.

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Day 5: Explore the Blue Ice Cave

The beautiful Nigardsbreen Blue Ice Cave from outside
The beautiful Nigardsbreen Blue Ice Cave from outside

Get excited to explore the incredible Nigardsbreen Blue Ice Cave at Jostedalsbreen National Park. 

The Nigardsbreen Glacier houses a magic world of ice and snow. During wintertime, the glacier displays bright blue colors and freezes enough so that visitors can safely enter underneath it into the beautiful Blue Ice Cave. Being inside the cave is an unforgettable experience. You'll be able to listen to the sounds of ice from within, and see how the ice creates the landscape.

This guided hike will take about 5-6 hours, and will take you through incredibly beautiful scenery. There may also be opportunities to ski around the area.

Day 6: Ski Day or Breheimcenter Tour

People hiking on Jostedalsbreen Glacier
People hiking on Jostedalsbreen Glacier

Today, you'll have a choice the exploring more ski trails around the area or visiting the Breheimcenter. The center is the authorized visitor area for both Breheimen and Jostedalsbreen National Parks, which boast 9 of the 30 largest glaciers in Norway. In fact, Jostedalsbreen Glacier has the honor of being the largest in the entire country!

The exhibition at the center is informative and interactive, showing how the climate and the glaciers have changed over the years. You'll learn about the area's amazingly diverse nature, from its deep valleys to its towering mountains. Catch a film at the cinema and virtually tour under, on, and around the majestic glaciers.

Day 7: Loen Skylift & Flam

Loen Skylift
Loen Skylift

Early in the morning, you will depart from Hjelledalen and drive to spectacular Loen. Here, you will be able to ride the exciting Loen Skylift, a new attraction and adventure arena in the inner part of Nordfjord.

The cablecars lift you from the base of the fjord to about 3320ft (1011m). Once on top, you will get sweeping vistas of the expansive landscape at your feet. You can even dine here for the most scenic meal of your life! 

Once you're back in the ground, you'll continue the drive to Flam, where you will rest for the evening. The area is known for its majestic fjords, which are complemented by valleys, waterfalls, and a romantic railway.

Day 8: Næroyfjord Cruise & Flam Railway

Flam Railway
Flam Railway

After breakfast, it's time for a scenic cruise on the Næroyfjord. You start by sailing through the idyllic Aurlandsfjord, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The boat then continues through the narrow Næroyfjord before arriving in Gudvangen. The entire trip takes about four hours, so you'll spend most of your morning soaking up the beauty of your surroundings. 

You'll return to Flam by bus and get some lunch before your next adventure: boarding the Flam Railway. As one of the world's steepest train rides, this journey presents you with endless idyllic scenery, including small villages in the remote countryside. At their highest point, the tracks will take you 4000ft (1220m) above sea level!

Day 9: Drive to Oslo

Views of Hallingskarvet National park
Views of Hallingskarvet National park

It's time to head back to Oslo. Don't worry! The drive will prove as beautiful as the rest of the trip has been.

You'll pass over the Hallingskarvet National Park and several ski resort areas. If you have time, you can make a quick stop at the park, which has lovely hiking trails that vary in length and difficulty.

Arrive in Oslo in the afternoon. After checking into your hotel, you'll have free time to make the most of the bustling nightlife of the capital city.

Day 10: Depart from Oslo

Oslo port at night
Oslo port at night

Enjoy your last morning in Norway by walking around Oslo, relaxing in a café, or visiting local boutiques for one-of-a-kind souvenirs.

Then, drive back to the airport to drop off your rental and catch your onward flight.

Map

Map of Self-Drive Tour of Norway: Hemsedal, Hjelledalen & Flam - 10 Days
Map of Self-Drive Tour of Norway: Hemsedal, Hjelledalen & Flam - 10 Days