This relaxed road trip includes peaceful islands, fjord-side villages, and hiking trails in Western Norway. After exploring Bergen with a local guide, rent a car and make your way to the remote island of Værlandet and stunning branches of the Sognefjord for your choice of outdoor activities that capitalize on the views. Finish the adventure with two nights in a historic family-run hotel before looping back to Bergen.

Highlights

  • Hike to Mount Fløyen—one of Bergen's seven peaks—and catch the sunset
  • Bike on a network of six bridges connecting small islands, including Værlandet
  • Visit the Norwegian Booktown and world-renowned glacier museum
  • Check out hiking trails in the Lusterfjord with forests, rivers, and waterfalls
  • Stop in Flåm for some lunch and Viking history on your way back to Bergen

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Bergen Bergen
Day 2 Explore Bergen with a Local Bergen
Day 3 Drive from Bergen to Værlandet Værlandet
Day 4 Self-Guided Bike Tour in Værlandet Værlandet
Day 5 Drive from Værlandet to Solvorn, via Fjærland Solvorn
Day 6 Hiking in the Lusterfjord - Return to Solvorn Solvorn
Day 7 Ferry to Urnes - Drive to Bergen Bergen
Day 8 Depart Bergen  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Bergen

Bergen's iconic architecture and surrounding mountains

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 student population.

Day 2: Explore Bergen with a Local

Let a local show you Bergen's best hiking trails

After breakfast at your hotel, meet up with a local resident 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.
  • Explore Bergen's Parks & Architecture (3 hours): This easy walking tour visits notable exteriors and city parks including Nygårdsparken and Nordnes. You'll also walk through narrow streets lined with traditional Bryggen houses while your guide shares stories of life in Bergen, as well as lesser-known activities and restaurants not frequented by tourists. 
  • 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!

  • Evening Segway Tour (2 hours): This fun guided excursion travels all over Bergen on two-wheeled motorized personal vehicles. Visit a number of key stops, including the top of Mount Fløyen for a beautiful sunset view.

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

Day 3: Drive from Bergen to Værlandet

Views from the fishing island of Værlandet

After breakfast in Bergen, pick up a rental car and begin your drive northward to the coastal island of Værlandet. This 120-mile (190 km) drive takes approximately 4.5 hours and includes a car ferry where you can get out and stretch your legs.

Upon arrival, you can explore the beautiful archipelago Værlandet and neighboring Bulandet at your own pace. This is the perfect place to absorb Norway's island culture. With only a few hundred residents, fishing and fish farming are still the most important industries here, but Værlandet is also famous for its greenstone breccia rock formations.

A good place to start is by following the signposted walk to Klettane where you'll pass a collection of picturesque small houses in Værøyhamna harbor. You can also make a dinner stop at Værlandet Guestharbour with a café and pub. Or simply unwind and take in the views from your room where endless horizons await!

Day 4: Self-Guided Bike Tour in Værlandet

Check out the island's attractions by bicyle
Check out the island's attractions by bicycle

Today, you'll set off on two wheels to sample the best of what Værlandet has to offer. A few suggestions include:

  • Ride the Nordsjøporten (North Sea portal)—a network of six bridges connecting the area's small islands like a string of pearls.

  • Check out the Norwegian Seabird Center, which illustrates the close ties between humans and seabirds along Norway's coast.

  • Give your legs a rest with coffee and cake at Gallery Værlandet.

  • Join a guided Sealife Safari to spot white-tailed eagles, sea eagles, and other seabirds and aquatic animals. Alternatively, the nearby island of Sørværet's nature reserve protects a unique wetland home to a wide range of birds and marine life.

Day 5: Drive from Værlandet to Solvorn, via Fjærland

Solvorn's charming waterfront
Solvorn's charming waterfront

Today, you'll drive east towards the idyllic fjord-side village of Solvorn. Though the direct route takes about 4 hours, you'll likely want to make a stop in Fjærland on the way. 

This is your chance to take in the views of Norway's longest and deepest fjord, called Sognefjord. While here, you can head for Fjærland's village center, called Mundal, and visit the Norwegian Booktown, which consists of several second-hand bookshops, some that are combined with cafés, art galleries, and souvenir shops located in old farmhouses and sheds.

Also not to miss is the Norwegian Glacier Museum, an award-winning architectural marvel situated at the head of the Fjærlandsfjord. This hands-on museum is the leading center in Norway for knowledge regarding glaciers and climate change.

From here, continue the drive to Solvorn and stay overnight at Walaker Hotel. This friendly property is the oldest family-run hotel in Norway, with over 370 years of history. Each night at 7:30 pm, the hotel staff hosts a four-course gourmet feast with wine for guests.

Day 6: Hiking in the Lusterfjord - Return to Solvorn

More trails near the Lusterfjord
Hiking near the Lusterfjord

Today, you'll have the freedom to pick between dozens of trails near the Lusterfjord. This beautiful area is home to some of the most spectacular mountains in Norway, including Breheimen and Sognefjellet, so there are plenty of options to choose from. 

A few suggested hikes include: 

  • Molden (4 hours): This trail focuses on a mountain called Molden, situated on a peninsula in the Lusterfjord. At the top of this well-marked trail, you will get a panoramic view to the fjord, Jostedal glacier and the mountain peaks of Jotunheimen.

  • Feigumfossen (4-5 hours): This scenic trail reaches one of the highest waterfalls in Norway with an impressive vertical drop.

  • Mørkrisdalen (5 hours): This trail heads through one of Southern Norway´s most spectacular, untouched valleys. You will walk along a big river with several scenic waterfalls for great photo ops.

Return to Solvorn each evening to relax after your day's adventures.

Day 7: Ferry to Urnes - Drive to Bergen

Urnes Romanesque church
Urnes Romanesque church

This morning, you'll take a scenic 35-minute ferry across the Lusterfjord between Solvorn and Urnes (sometimes called Ørnes) to see a UNESCO-listed wooden church built in the 12th century. This Romanesque structure (and Norway's oldest place of worship) is an outstanding example of traditional Scandinavian wooden architecture, bringing together traces of Celtic art and Viking traditions. Your ticket will include a fascinating 45-minute guided tour.

You can stay and have lunch in the village before driving back to Bergen on a scenic route. You'll travel along the south side of Sognefjord by catching the short ferry crossing (Manheller to Fodnes) towards Flåm. Continue through Gudvangen and make your way towards Bergen. Arrive with enough time to enjoy your last night in Norway!

Day 8: Depart Bergen

Snag one more walk or meal in Bergen before departing

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.