Bergen and the Fjords Holidays
Norway’s iconic fjords are an international benchmark for natural beauty. Jumping off from the historic Hanseatic town of Bergen, explore the fjords of this tremendously tortuous coastline by Hurtigruten cruise or local ferry, by car, train – or a combination of all three!
Popular Bergen and the Fjords Holidays
Hike and Spa
Over the Roof of Norway
Norwegian Fjord Highlights
The Hidden Fjords
Hurtigruten Classic Round Voyage
Norwegian Fjord Odyssey
Whether weaving through the serene landscape on one of our self-drive itineraries, or exploring the towering mountains, winding rivers and thundering waterfalls on an group tour, you’ll find the Norwegian fjords to be one of the most magical and unspoilt destinations in the world.
Known as the ‘city between seven mountains’, the historic city of Bergen is the gateway to Norway’s fjords and is perfectly placed to explore the flora and fauna of this tremendously tortuous coastline.
From the breath-taking to the simply charming, Norwegian fjordland encompasses destinations such as Sognefjord, which at its highest point rises above 1,700m, and the superbly green village of Flam, from which you can take the famous Flam Railway to the very top of the mountains. Another not-to-be-missed is Alesund, which National Geographic describes as ‘the backdrop for a Nordic fairy-tale – with a modern plot twist’.
In a spectacular coastal setting, sheltered by hills, forests and straggling islands, Bergen is the gateway to the breathtaking fjords. It is also a fascinating city in its own right and after just a 2 hour flight from the UK you can be soaking up the atmospheric old warehouse quarter, terraces of tiny wooden houses, meandering alleyways and impressive art galleries and museums.
For panoramic views of the city, take the short ride in the quaint funicular to the top of Mount Floyen or perhaps onto the highest point, Ulriken. Then take an easy walk through delightful scenery back down to the hustle and bustle of the Torget, the open-air fish market selling everything from mounds of prawns and crab claws to flowers and local handicrafts.
From Bergen it’s a hop, skip and a jump over the mountains to the western fjords. These giant clefts in the landscape running from the coast deep into the interior are nature’s work of art, formed when the glaciers retreated, and sea water flooded the U-shaped valleys. Thanks to the warming Gulf Stream, the Norwegian fjords enjoy a mild climate and remain virtually ice-free, inhabited by seals, porpoises and an abundance of different fish.
One of the most bountiful places in Norway cuts diagonally inland and has the perfect climate for fruit growing – a visit in late spring or autumn will delight all the senses. The mountains rarely lose their snowy peaks and the waterfalls, especially Voringfossen, are simply awe inspiring. There are a number of routes crossing this fjord by boat and a trip to Utne, one of many charming fjord communities, is like stepping back in time. Here you’ll find the oldest hotel in Norway and the Hardanger Folk Museum.
This high mountain plateau provides activities and experiences which will put you in touch with local nature whether you prefer to be on two wheels or two feet. High up in the Jondal municipality above Odda are countless natural attractions, one of the most impressive is Trolltunga, the trolls tongue. This unique rock formation juts out over the southern branch of Hardangerfjord and affords breathtaking views – a good 8 hour hike but well worth the effort.
The scenic route north to Flam may be a short drive but be prepared for it to take a while as you add the unavoidable photo stops. Once there, board the breathtaking corkscrew railway which winds its way through the Flamsdalen to the highest point, Myrdal. With cycle hire available in Flam, you can opt to cycle back down to Flam or perhaps take the train part way and finish with a gentle stroll through the countryside, all downhill!
Don’t miss an opportunity to cruise into the world’s narrowest fjord and admire the surrounding sheer-sided mountains.
Many superlatives have been used to describe the king of the fjords, and rightly so. The mighty Sognefjord is the longest and deepest of the country’s fjords and perhaps the most captivating; its sheer size is awe-inspiring, stretching inland from the coast for some 200km. This incredible natural formation gives rise to many attractions along its shores. Don’t miss the highly photogenic Urnes Stave Church as its unrivalled Norse carvings are a real gem.
Head further north to this snowy covered expanse, continental Europe’s largest glacier. It has glacial tongues on all sides which offer diverse views and the chance to really grasp its scale and beauty whatever way you decide to explore it. The Norwegian Glacier Museum in Fjaerland is not only a striking structure but it provides an interactive exhibition about all aspects of glaciology.
Winding its way from the coast to inland Norway encompassing ocean, mountain and glacier along the way. Home to one of the oldest horse breeds in the world which actually display markings still seen on wild horses, a half day riding excursion provides a fitting way to enjoy this area. As you approach the inner Nordfjord, three spectacular valleys stretch up towards Jostedalsbreen, which just reach out to be explored.
One of the region’s smallest fjord, but also one of its breathtaking, an absolute jewel tucked away under lofty mountain ranges. The journey itself to the village of Geiranger is spectacular – the Trollstigen (“Troll’s Ladder”) route negotiates the mountain by means of eleven hairpins! With opportunities to hike, kayak or simply cruise the rippling waters, the natural beauty can be appreciated on many levels. If time allows, this area warrants at least a couple of nights to enjoy one of the highlights of your time in fjord Norway.
A beguiling ferry and fishing port, its streets flanked by handsome buildings, whose pastel-painted facades are lavishly decorated with turrets, towers, floral patterns, dragons, faces and even the odd Pharoah, dating from 1904 when the town centre was destroyed by fire and rebuilt in this idiosyncratic Art Nouveau style. The 418 steps up to Mount Aksla provide a stunning view across the coastal islands as well as inland across the breathtaking Sunnmore Alps.
This is a landscape not to be hurried, take your time to really appreciate the Western Fjords in all their grandeur; they are undeniably the most enticing and spectacular landscape in Norway.