Norwegian Fjord Odyssey

from £2058
including flights
12 nights Sep, May-Aug

Overview

It isn't difficult to fall in love with Norwegian fjords. The scenery is packed full of picture-postcard sights on this 12-night self drive itinerary. Uncover scenery that is both imposing and breathtaking with plenty of time to relax and enjoy your surrounds although we suspect you'll be very busy with your camera!

Highlights

  • Drive the breathtaking Trollstigen and Eagle's Road
  • Climb Aksla for stunning views over Alesund
  • Ride on the Loen Skylift taking you from fjord to mountain in just five minutes
  • Enjoy the incredibly scenic Flamsbana railway
  • Explore spectacular fjord scenery at Geiranger, Sognefjord and Hardangerfjord

What's Included

  • Return flights from Gatwick to Bergen
  • Accommodation in rooms with private bathroom
  • All breakfasts, 7 dinners
  • 11 days car rental
  • Unlimited mileage

Full description

This holiday starts and ends in Bergen. Enjoy the bustling market for its fresh fish, produce and handicrafts; stroll around the historical wharf buildings at Bryggen, and ride the funicular railway to the top of Mount Floyen, just a few of the many things you can do here.

The charming art nouveau town of Alesund, with its brightly painted buildings, offers many water-based activities, or perhaps just relax in one of the harbour-side cafes and watch the sailing boats.

The spectacular Highway 63 or 'Golden Route', literally winds its way between Andalsnes and Gerainger, and includes the famous Trollstigen (Troll's ladder) and Eagle's Road. The views are incredible and there's no doubt you'll make plenty of photo stops at the lookout points along the way. Geirangerfjord is one of the region's smallest fjords and arguably the prettiest.

Countless waterfalls, fjord-side hamlets, the famous Flamsbana 'corkscrew' railway, 'Top Gear' roads and the chance to touch the arm of glacier, make this a truly special itinerary. The hotels featured are of a very high quality, often wonderfully located with the most amazing views. You can often rent bicycles, head off on boat trips or go hiking, as well as enjoy the peaceful settings of many of these properties which lend themselves perfectly to kicking back.

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Authentic holidays for passionate travellers

Prices & Dates

Prices from per person based on two sharing, unless stated otherwise

Departure Duration Car category Twin Price (pp)
May - Sep 2019 12 nights VW Golf (or similar) £2,058

What's Included

  • Direct return flights from London Gatwick to Bergen
  • Accommodation in rooms with private bathroom
  • All breakfasts, 7 dinners
  • 11 days car rental with Avis based on VW Golf (or similar - other vehicles available on request)
  • 24 hour emergency assistance from our team during your holiday
  • No surcharge guarantee

Itinerary & Accommodation

Itinerary & Accommodation

Day 1: fly to Bergen

Fly to Bergen and transfer by regular airport coach service to the city centre (payable locally) and then a short walk or taxi to your accommodation - Clarion Hotel Admiral or similar for two nights on breakfast basis.

Day 2: Bergen

A day at leisure to explore this wonderful city. One of the most popular things to do here in Norway's second largest city is admire the panoramic views 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, Torget, the excellent waterfront fish market, which actually sells all kinds of produce and handicrafts, is also well worth a visit. The historical wooden wharf buildings at Bryggen, recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, now house a collection of studios for artists and crafts people and make for a fascinating afternoon's stroll. The city also presents some great photo opportunities - in fact there is so much to see and do here that is it highly likely you'll want to extend your stay!

Day 3: Bergen - Forde

Make your way to the car rental office and collect your vehicle. Drive north through the lush fjord scenery, crossing Norway's deepest, Sognefjord at Yttre Oppedal (ferry payable locally). It is possible to drive all the way to Alesund (approximately 8 hours) in one day, but we have included a welcome break half-way in the journey at Forde in the heart of Sogn and Fjordane, stay overnight at Scandic Sunnfjord Hotel (approximate driving time 3.5 hours / distance 185 km).

Day 4: Forde - Alesund

Follow the shores of the lake, Jolstravatnet then reach the beautiful town of Skei. Head north through Vatedalen valley, to Sandane, possibly stopping off at the Nordfjord Folke Museum en route. Continue to Alesund via three ferry journeys (ferries payable locally - approximate driving time 5.5 hours / distance 265 km). Check into Hotel Brosundet for your two nights accommodation. Once luggage-free, you'll have time to explore Alesund and enjoy the traditional waterfront buildings which are quaint, colourful and definitely worth a photograph or two.

Day 5: Alesund

At leisure to enjoy this wonderful art nouveau town, Norway's largest fishing town. Much of the town was rebuilt in 1907 following a huge fire that destroyed the old centre. For the best views of this lovely waterfront town, climb 418 steps to the top of Aksla hill - it's worth the effort! Perhaps take a guided city tour, visit a museum or two or for the more adventurous try one of the wildlife sea safaris on a rib boat. There is plenty here to do and with a good choice of restaurants and cafes you may need longer.

Day 6: Alesund - Geiranger

Set off on a drive which hugs the edge of Romsdalfjord to the little town of Andalsnes, known as the 'village between fell and fjord'. Surrounded on three sides by lofty peaks, from here it's onto the 'Golden Route' which winds its way south to Gerainger. This amazing trans-mountain road, which wouldn't look out of place in a Top Gear report, negotiates the landscape through 11 hairpin bends and steep inclines. You'll see Trollveggen (Troll's Wall), the highest vertical cliff in Europe - at 1100m, not surprisingly a favourite with experienced mountaineers. Continue your ascent on the famous Trollstigen (Trolls ladder) past Stigfossen waterfall (another Top Gear reference!) which drops 200m close enough to the road to cover vehicles in spray. As the land levels out stop at Utsikten for another great panoramic view - you'll see some of the vast mountains named after chess pieces that dot the horizon including the Bispen and Kongen (the Bishop and the King) at 1462m and 1614m respectively.

Continue on Highway 63 to Valldall, descending to Norddalsfjord. Here in June and July, roadside stalls are bursting with fresh strawberries - Norwegians claim they are the best in the world! Take the ferry across to Eidsdal (payable locally) from where the road climbs, twists and turns before descending into the fjord-side town of Geiranger. This section is known as Ornesvingen or 'Eagle's road' - the highest point is 620m above sea level and from here you can see the Seven Sisters falls. Check into Hotel Union Geiranger for a two night stay (approximate driving time 2.5 hours / distance 112 km).

Day 7: Geiranger

A day at leisure to enjoy the hotel and its scenic surrounds. To see Geirangerfjord at its best perhaps drive to one of the many viewpoints where platforms, often with a minimal mix of steel and glass barriers to keep you safe, allow you to enjoy the stupendous vistas practically uninterrupted - however some lookout points are more 'natural' so be careful if you suffer from vertigo! Flydalsjuvet is a mere 320m above sea level whereas Dalsnibba comes in at 1500m and offers the Daddy of all views over the fjord. Or you can walk up to Skagefla, one of the most popular of the abandoned farms perched on the banks of the fjord that can be found around here - perfectly preserved for generations to come. Throughout the summer season, you might like to visit the striking octagonal church, Geiranger Kirke, built in 1842. A shot of the fjord with this impressive wooden structure in the foreground is one that many a visitor takes home.

Day 8: Geiranger - Balestrand

There are a couple of ways to drive to Balestrand. Take the car ferry to Hellesylt (payable locally), notable only for the waterfall that crashes down a little way from the dock, and drive on road 60 heading south to Stryn. Alternatively, drive south from Geiranger to road 15 and continue to Stryn this way. Nearby is Briksdal from where you can take an easy 45-minute walk to the Briksdalsbreen glacier arm. The Briksdal Glacier is part of the Jostedal Glacier National Park and it sweeps down from a height of 1200m to the lush, narrow Briksdal Valley - a beautiful sight that attracts visitors from all over the world. After Stryn is the village Loen which has the Skylift from Hotel Alexander, taking you on a scenic ride from Fjord to mountain top in just 5 minutes for spectacular views and hiking trails. Continue your drive and you'll come to Skei. Take a break before continuing or drive down to Sogndal but before heading along the shores of Sogndalsfjord to Hella you might like to make a detour to visit the famous Urnes Stave Church, the oldest in Norway. Reached via car ferry from Solvorn (payable locally), a hamlet of pretty timber properties on the shore of Lustrafjord, you'll be faced with a 10 minute hike up to the church but the building and the views are worth it. Once back on the Sogndalsfjorden road, Highway 55, make time to enjoy the beautiful Kvinnefossen en route to Hella. Cross over to Dragsvik by car ferry (payable locally) and continue to Balestrand where you'll check in at Hotel Kviknes for a two night stay (approximate driving time 5.5 hours / distance 285 km).

Day 9: Balestrand

A day at leisure to explore Balestrand on foot or by bicycle, make use of the facilities at your hotel, go hiking in the mountains, take a boat trip or perhaps rent fishing equipment or a rowing boat and head down to the water.

Day 10: Balestrand - Flam

Check out of the hotel and take the car ferry from nearby Dragsvik to Vangsnes (payable locally), where a 12m hilltop statue of a legendary Viking chief looks down over the jetty. Continue the drive to Flam for an overnight stay at the Flamsbrygga Hotel, close to the terminus of the famous 'corkscrew railway' said to be one of the most scenic railways in the world. A return trip on the railway is an optional excursion but one that we highly recommend (approximate driving time 2.5 hours / distance 125 km).

Take a trip on the Flamsbana corkscrew railway, one of the world's steepest railway lines on a normal gauge. A return trip takes only a couple of hours and is definitely recommended. The 29km branch line, dating from the 1920's, climbs 900m through twists, turns and tunnels including a couple of 180 degree 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 hiking back or even renting bicycles to get you back to Flam - the 20km or so journey is pretty much downhill all the way! Be sure to check the train times with our office as it would be a crime to miss it!

Day 11: Flam - Lofthus

Take the road from Flam to Voss, then continue and cross the Hardangerbridge (toll payable) and a short drive south along the shores of Sorfjorden. At Lofthus, check into Hotel Ullensvang for a two night stay (approximate driving time 2.5 hours / distance 125 km).

Day 12: Lofthus

A day at leisure to enjoy the fantastic variety of facilities at Hotel Ullensvang. Try the indoor swimming pool or brave a dip in the fjord; play tennis; spend time in the fitness suite; go kayaking; hiking or rent a bicycle and explore.

Day 13: depart Bergen

To get back onto the road to Bergen we recommend a couple of routes: the scenic route heads south to Odda and around the tip of Sorfjorden, back up along its western shore to Utne. Or you could choose the quicker route by driving back to Brimnes and crossing the Hardangerfjord bridge to Bruravik, then continue on route 7 to Bergen, dropping the car off at the airport before your flight home.

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Scandic Sunnfjord Hotel, Forde

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Clarion Collection Hotel Bryggen, Alesund

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Hotel Union Geiranger

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Hotel Kviknes, Balestrand

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Grade: Superior

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Flamsbrygga Hotel, Flam

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Grade: Superior

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Hotel Ullensvang, Lofthus

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Grade: Deluxe

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Excursions

Other Information

This holiday starts and ends in Bergen. Enjoy the bustling market for its fresh fish, produce and handicrafts; stroll around the historical wharf buildings at Bryggen, and ride the funicular railway to the top of Mount Floyen, just a few of the many things you can do here. 

The charming art nouveau town of Alesund, with its brightly painted buildings, offers many water-based activities, or perhaps just relax in one of the harbour-side cafes and watch the sailing boats.

The spectacular Highway 63 or 'Golden Route', literally winds its way between Andalsnes and Gerainger, and includes the famous Trollstigen (Troll's ladder) and Eagle's Road. The views are incredible and there's no doubt you'll make plenty of photo stops at the lookout points along the way. Geirangerfjord is one of the region's smallest fjords and arguably the prettiest.

Countless waterfalls, fjord-side hamlets, the famous Flamsbana 'corkscrew' railway, 'Top Gear' roads and the chance to touch the arm of glacier, make this a truly special itinerary. The hotels featured are of a very high quality, often wonderfully located with the most amazing views. You can often rent bicycles, head off on boat trips or go hiking, as well as enjoy the peaceful settings of many of these properties which lend themselves perfectly to kicking back.

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