'Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.'
5 nights in Norway.
While Norway wasn’t high up on my bucket list, I have always dreamed of viewing the Northern Lights. With Tromso positioned the furthest North, Norway was the perfect destination. Ticking off all the boxes, natural beauty, weather, food and accessibility. I was ready to plan our Norwegian expedition.
Norway isn’t a huge country, however its filled with natural splendour, our itinerary;
2 nights Bergen
2 nights Tromso
1 night Oslo
Bergen we come! Our flight from Paris to Bergen was just 2 hr 15min, direct on Airfrance.
Our first stop was Bergen, the second largest city in Norway, and the gateway to the Fjords. We found a quaint, clean town, with not many shopping options 😉
But we weren’t here for shopping!
Bergen is best explored by foot, stroll through the old streets and alleyways, take in the unique charm of the town.
Places to visit:
- Bergenhus Fortress
- Bryggen- stroll along the UNESCO-listed wooden buildings, explore the alleyways and hidden stores, of the colourful, wooden warehouses.
- Take Fløibanen funicular to the top of Mount Fløyen, take in the magnificent views of Bergen.
- Torget Fish Market
We spent 2 nights in Bergen, which was enough to the above list and then take a day trip to explore the surrounding Fjords.
Our tour ‘Private customisable tour to Sognefjord and Flam from Bergen”
I prefer private tours, it’s a bespoke experience, we skip through the places that don’t interest us, add multiple coffee breaks (Norway has great coffee btw) and we don’t feel rushed at the photo ops.
With an early start to our 11 hour day, our guide picked us up at 7.45am. We drove through the countryside to the town of Voss (no, the famous ‘Voss” water is not bottled here!)
We stopped along way;
Nærøydalen Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
We made our way down the steep Stalheimskleiva Road, which was nerve wrecking, (closed from 1 Oct- 1 April annually, due to weather) to the ancient village of Gudvangen.
Our Fjord cruise departed from Gudvangen. The Viking village is worth a visit, a brief overview of the Viking era, which is a huge part of the Scandic culture, especially interesting if you’ve watch ‘The Vikings’ on Netflix.
We cruised from Gudvangen to Flåm aboard a passenger ferry, exploring the scenic area around the Aulandsfjord and Nærøyfjord.
Lunch at Flåm marina. Our day is incomplete without a sweet fix, we made sure to visit the famous Flåm Bakery, renowned for their kanelboller. We then hopped on board the Flåmsbana railway from Flåm to the mountain railway station Myrdal, located 867m above sea level.
Considered one of the most beautiful — and steepest — railways in the world.
The journey was scenic journey, with views of canyons, mountainsides and waterfalls. the train makes a brief stop at the gushing Kjøsfossen waterfall. A mysterious woman with long hair and a red dress emerged from the forest, dancing to a Norwegian folk song. She is the Huldra, an elusive forest spirit from Norse mythology. According to local folklore, she lures men into the woods to seduce them. That was a wonderful surprise, we thought we stopped for the photo op, we were about get back onboard, when the music began to play.
We got back onboard the train and continued our journey to Myrdal where we changed trains and headed to Voss. Our guide was waiting at the station, and drove us back to our hotel in Bergen.
There is a tour available- Norway in a nutshell, which covers some of this route, its self tour package. I chose the private tour option as it included a lot more insight into the countryside. Its wonderful chatting to the guides and getting some local expertise.
My Bergen guide;
Where to stay;
Where to eat;
With an abundance of fresh seafood in Bergen, you won’t go hungry, the quality of ingredients are of a very high standard.
Lysverket (Michelin star restaurant)
Bien Centro (pizza / pasta) easy dining
Jamie’s (Jamie Oliver’s restaurant)
Baker’s Bun (must have the skolleboller)
Next stop Tromso…