Norwegian fjords have an undisputed 'wow' factor. Whilst many people decide to explore them from the water, we give you the opportunity to explore them on a self-drive holiday, with pre-booked and exceptionally comfortable accommodation.
- witness the beauty of Lofthus, with the Folgefonna glacier reaching alongside emerald forests
- gorge on fresh cherries, plums and apples in Norway’s 'Orchard' of Hardanger
- admire Bergen from the top of Mount Floyen
- journey up the Flamsbana railway, which corkscrews past heart-stopping drops and towering waterfalls.
Exploring at your own pace has many benefits as does the lack of traffic on Norwegian roads and on this new 7-night itinerary, you’ll be ‘wowed’ at every corner as the scenery just keeps getting better and better.
'Orchard' of Hardanger
Fly to Bergen and enjoy a stunning drive along Hardangerfjord, Norway’s second largest fjord, before arriving at the beautifully situated town of Lofthus. Often referred to as the ‘orchard’ of Hardanger, this area has a wealth of fruit trees – spectacular cherry, plum and apple blossoms in May and plentiful fruit in August.
Stay at Hotel Ullensvang with its incredible views across the water to Folgefonna glacier, its gentle slopes ideal for a spot of summer skiing. The view of the towering mountains behind the hotel is equally impressive. Be sure to make the most of the facilities at the hotel and explore Lofthus - the interesting older part has narrow lanes, traditional timber buildings and the old stone church which dates from 1250.
Flam's corkscrew railway
Depart Lofthus and make your way to Flam, perhaps stopping en route at the Hardangervidda Naturesentre in Eidfjord where you can learn about the area’s nature and geology. Flanked by orchards and meadows, Flam sits on the edge of Aurlandfjord, a narrow offshoot of Sognefjord. Stay overnight at Flamsbrygga Hotel, a striking red-timbered property.
Flam is the terminus for the Flamsbana – the famous ‘corkscrew railway’ said to be one of the steepest and most scenic rail journeys in the world - alas a trip from start to finish takes just an hour, but it is highly recommended! The 29km branch line, dating from the 1920’s, climbs 900m through twists, turns and tunnels including a couple of 180° bends, hugging sheer mountainsides, travelling over breathtaking drops, past elegant waterfalls and other incredible features to the junction at Myrdal. You could also consider a single ticket then hike home or even rent bicycles to get you back to Flam – the 20km or so journey is pretty much downhill all the way!
From Flam continue to Balestrand - this is a delightful area that has been attracting visitors for over a century. Check in for a two-night stay at Hotel Kviknes on the shores of Sognefjord, the largest fjord in Norway and the second largest in the world.
Historic city of Bergen
Take a leisurely drive back to Bergen, the second largest city in Norway, where you’ll stay for the final two nights of this itinerary.
One of the most popular things to do here is admire the views over the city from the top of Mount Floyen, the most visited of the seven mountains that surround Bergen - the funicular railway transports passengers from the city centre to a height of 320m in just eight minutes.
Alternatively, the excellent waterfront fish market, which actually sells all kinds of produce and handicrafts, is also well worth a visit and the historical wooden buildings here present great photo opportunities. In fact there is so much to see and do here that it is highly likely you’ll want to extend your stay – if so, contact our reservations team to discuss your plans. Also, if you wish to extend or amend other parts of the itinerary please call our team to discuss.
On this itinerary expect the scenery to be fantastic and you won’t be disappointed!