Stop dreaming of the fjords and experience them for yourself with this 10-day road trip. Start by surveying them from above on the famous Pulpit Rock hike, then explore from the seafaring city of Bergen. Attempt some of the mountaintop hikes surrounding the town of Voss before you cruise or kayak through the narrow Nærøyfjord, cycle down the scenic path of the Flåm Railway, and visit one of the world's oldest stave churches before you end your trip in Oslo.

Highlights

  • Hike up to the top of the famous Pulpit Rock
  • Explore the seafaring city of Bergen via guided walking tour
  • Cycle down from the top of the scenic Flåm Railway
  • Cruise through the Nærøyfjorden close enough to brush the edge

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Stavanger Stavanger
Day 2 Hike Preikestolen Stavanger
Day 3 Stavanger to Bergen via Rosendal and Hardanger Bergen
Day 4 Guided Walking Tour of Bergen Bergen
Day 5 Explore Bergen Bergen
Day 6 Bergen to Voss & Explore Voss Voss
Day 7 Voss to Aurland & Fjord Cruise in Nærøyfjorden Aurland
Day 8 Flåm Railway and Cycling Trip in Flåmsdalen Aurland
Day 9 Aurland to Oslo & Explore Oslo Oslo
Day 10 Depart Oslo  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Stavanger

Stavanger's whitewashed cottages and cobbled streets
Stavanger's whitewashed cottages and cobbled streets

Welcome to Stavanger! 

Enjoy the calm atmosphere in this harbor city, where you'll have the chance to explore picturesque narrow streets with white wooden houses offering charming restaurants and pubs before turning in for the night. In addition to the area’s natural beauties, Stavanger is also famous for its historic architecture and street art, and hosts the annual Nuart street art festival.

Day 2: Hike Preikestolen

A view of Lysefjord from above
A view of Lysefjord from above

Get an early start today to avoid the crowds on your hike up to Pulpit Rock.

Start by driving to the starting point in Lysefjord, then hike to Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock) for a moderately difficult trek on one of the most beautiful trails in the world. This is a self-guided seasonal hike (May through October), but you won't be alone, as this is one of the more popular spots in the country.

The trip takes about five hours round-trip on mountainous terrain, with time to enjoy and photograph the famous views from Pulpit Rock, which rises 1,981 feet (604 meters) above sea level. It is recommended that you start your hike early in order to conserve daylight and avoid crowds. 

After your hike, return to Stavanger for another relaxing evening.

Day 3: Stavanger to Bergen via Rosendal and Hardanger

Cozy countryside

Set out on a road trip to Bergen today. There are three possible routes open to you. The one through Rosendal, located along Hardangerfjord, will give you a glimpse into life in Norway, with lots of cozy villages along the way. Stop at Baroniet Rosendal, a historic estate, for a snack and visit to the rose garden before you arrive in Bergen.

Norway’s second-largest city boasts a long history that can still be seen at spots like the old Hanseatic Wharf at Bryggen, where some of Bergen’s first buildings were built and rebuilt after the Great Fire in 1702. The cozy city center has plenty of shops to browse within its downtown, or you can venture into nature aboard the Fløyen funicular to take in the views from 1,300 feet (400 m).

Day 4: Guided Walking Tour of Bergen

Historic neighborhoods you'll explore
Historic neighborhoods you'll explore

Explore Bergen today under a local guide's expert eye. Your guide can customize your tour to your interests, and there are some existing formats that previous travelers have enjoyed. Consider:

  • Walk Through History: This three-hour 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 stories of Bergen's history and culture.
  • Explore Bergen's Parks & Architecture (3 hours): This easy three-hour walking tour visits notable exteriors and city parks starting with the largest church in Bergen: St. Johannes. From there, you will walk through the botanic garden and onwards to Bergen`s largest and most beautiful park: Nygårdsparken. You'll then walk through the city's narrow streets lined with traditional Bryggen houses and eventually visit Nordnes, another great park. Your guide will share stories of life in Bergen, as well as offer lesser-known activity and restaurant recommendations not frequented by tourists. 
  • Hike Mt. Sandviken: This 2.5-hour 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.

The rest of the day is yours to continue exploring the city on your own. A 24-Hour Bergen Card will allow you free bus travel and free admittance to most museums (as well as other attractions), so take advantage!

Plan your trip to Norway
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Day 5: Explore Bergen

Dramatic views

After breakfast, you'll have the entire day to explore Bergen at your own pace, perhaps taking advantage of any sites or walks you may have missed on your first day.

A few suggestions:

  • If you haven't done so yet, make 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. Then, take a leisurely stroll back down the path while discovering hidden troll sculptures along the way.
  • If you want to go even higher up, you can walk the stairs or take the cable car up to Mount Ulriken and enjoy the view.
  • Choose between one of several options for walking tours in the city center and/or hiking excursions in the surrounding mountains. 
  • Take an evening Segway tour that travels all over Bergen, including the top of Mount Fløyen, for a beautiful sunset view.

Museums to check out:

  • Old Bergen (Gamle Bergen) is a reconstruction of Bergen from the 18th century.
  • KODE 4 is an art museum with paintings by Munch, Astrup, Dahl, and other Norwegians, plus work by Picasso.
  • Bergen Maritime Museum offers exhibits of boats and ships, both historic and modern.
  • Bergenhus Fortress Museum reveals the military history of Norway, with exhibitions on historical wars, WWII and modern warfare.
  • Magic Ice Bar is an ice-art gallery with sculptures inspired by famous works by Norwegian and international artists, all made in crystal clear ice. 

Day 6: Bergen to Voss & Explore Voss

Along the water

Today you'll drive to the mountain village of Voss, perched between the famous fjords of Sognefjord and Hardangerfjord. There are plenty of options here, whether you prefer to stroll through town or up a mountain.

Those in search of a rest day can check out the town's cafes, bakeries, and shops, or lounge on the lakeside beach. If you're feeling more ambitious, embark on a rafting, kayaking, or biking trip. Hikers can choose from options that include the easy path through the Bordalsgjelet Gorge, which leads up to a cascading waterfall; Gråsidetoppen, a roughly six-hour trek up a mountain that will give you an impressive view back across town; and the longest option, Mt. Lønahorgi, which will give you mountaintop views of the Fresvikbreen, Hardangerjøkulen, and Vossaskavlen glaciers.

Day 7: Voss to Aurland & Fjord Cruise in Nærøyfjorden

Within the fjords

Drive to Aurland and explore the nature in Sognefjord. On the way, you'll stop for a cruise through the Nærøyfjord.

Surrounded by mountains, waterfalls, and peaks reaching up to 5,905 feet (1,800 meters) high, the Nærøyfjord is a UNESCO World Heritage site and considered one of the world's most beautiful landscapes. Try to resist the urge to reach out and touch the mountains as you cruise through its narrow passages, past tiny fishing villages and traditional wooden houses.

If you prefer to paddle, you can opt for a kayak tour through the fjord instead, before you spend your evening exploring the restaurant scene in Aurland. This cozy fjord village sees fewer tourists than neighboring Flåm, making it a relaxed base for a slew of activities.

Day 8: Flåm Railway and Cycling Trip in Flåmsdalen

Along the scenic railway

Pedal your way through the landscape today with a bicycle tour. You'll pick up your rental bike in Flåm, then hop aboard the Flåm Railway for the journey up to Myrdal along one of the world's most scenic and steepest train rides.

Once you've been transported to the top, it's time to make your way back down through the stunning Flåmsdalen valley under your own power. Stop whenever you feel compelled to take in the view as you gradually return to Flåm. You'll then head back to Aurland for the evening.

Day 9: Aurland to Oslo & Explore Oslo

Borgund stave church [Photo by Stephen Roth on Unsplash]

Head over the mountains to Oslo today. But don't miss a stop at the Stegastein Viewpoint before you go, which juts 98 feet (30 m) out from the mountainside, more than 2,000 feet (610 m) above the fjord.

Which route is open to you may depend on the weather. If you take the "snow road," stop in Lærdal to see the Borgund Stave Church. The church was built around 1130 or shortly thereafter, and still stands in its original Viking form. It's one of the oldest stave churches in the world and is on the UNESCO World Heritage list for its architecture and art forms from the Viking age, combined with Christian architecture. 

Once you arrive in Oslo, take some time to explore this multicultural city. Check out the Viking Ship Museum, which houses three ancient Viking burial ships, or celebrate calmer accomplishments as well at the Nobel Peace Center. Encounter the city’s artistic side at the Munch Museum, dedicated to Edvard Munch of “The Scream” fame, and Vigeland Sculpture Park, or go shopping in the hip cafes and shops of the Grünerløkka district.

Day 10: Depart Oslo

Modern waterfront architecture in Oslo
Modern waterfront architecture in 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.

Map

Map of Ultimate Fjord Road Trip: Lysefjord, Bergen, Voss, Aurland, & More - 10 Days
Map of Ultimate Fjord Road Trip: Lysefjord, Bergen, Voss, Aurland, & More - 10 Days