Norway

Walking in Balestrand

Trip code: W07NB 5 (1 reviews)

Self-guided walking

7 nights,
hotel-to-hotel

Level: 1 to 3

19.0Kg CO2e

Headwater
Navigation App

SUMMARY

  • Meander through the land of the fjords, seeing these incredible wonders up close
  • View dramatic glaciers and cascading waterfalls as you walk along a wide selection of routes
  • Gain some unforgettable memories of this unique country as you discover the region on foot and by cruising along the magnificent fjords

WHAT'S INCLUDED?

  • 7 nights accommodation
  • All breakfasts and 4 evening meals (if Midtnes) or 6 (if Kviknes)
  • Headwater navigation app

TRIP DESCRIPTION

This 7-night multi centre walking holiday takes you through fjordland, allowing you to see these incredible wonders' up close. Carved by a huge sheet of ice that covered Northern Europe over several ice ages, these famous jagged steep-sides really do take your breath away. Surrounded by towering mountains, you can truly appreciate the immense power of these forces of nature. Little has changed since Viking longboats set sail from here ages ago, as you will witness when you travel in the wake of fishing boats, making your way down the narrow fjords. The glaciers are as dramatic as the cascading waterfalls. You will see ancient farms and villages, dotted along the sheltered fjords, as well as visiting the intriguing city of Bergen.

We have chosen the best walks to suit all interests, some of which climb up the rugged terrain offering the most dramatic views across the fjords, whilst others give you the opportunity to explore interesting museums, lush vegetation and local wildlife. Translucent deep lakes and roaring waterfalls are easily spotted along these walks and you will also enjoy sampling the local cider, fruit juices, smoked lamb and other produce. The views of striking landscapes are incomparable, as this holiday will show.

Your hotels are a mixture of 2, 3 and 4 star, with upgrade options at each location. They have been specifically chosen for their location, customer service and food, and most include half board, with picnic lunches easily found at all locations. Please note the hotels in Bergen and the Midtnes Hotel in Balestrand are on a bed & breakfast basis due to the wide variety of restaurants available in the area.

This holiday involves transfers between locations by public ferry or bus and therefore no luggage transfers are provided. Travellers take their own belongings when they move to the next hotel, but are not expected to take them on any of the recommended walks. The journeys between locations are part of the overall experience, especially the ferry trips across the fjords. The public transport is reliable and efficient and all the information will be provided for you. Ferries are included in the overall pricing. Extra transfers which might be needed for some of the walks are not included in the pricing.

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DAY-BY-DAY ITINERARY

 

Day 1: Arrive in Voss

Arrive into Voss and enjoy an afternoon or evening in this pretty town.

Unlike the other locations on this holiday, Voss is next to a lake not a fjord or the sea - the town is at the eastern end of Vangsvatnet. Voss is a centre for outdoor activities, being a ski resort in the winter and popular for walking together with cycling, fishing, rafting, kayaking, paragliding and other such sports in the summer.

You stay at Park Hotel Vossevangen or (Upgrade Option) Fleischer’s Hotel.

hotel details

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Park Hotel Vossevangen , Voss

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Hairdryer
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Tea/coffee


Centrally located in Voss, the comfortable 4* Park Hotel Vossevangen offers a friendly service overlooking the stunning waterfront. All food served in their restaurant is locally sourced and well presented with excellent variety.

All 122 rooms feature free Wi-Fi, television, telephone and private bathroom with WC, shower/bath and hairdryer.

Breakfast and evening meal are provided.

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(Upgrade Option) Fleischer’s Hotel, Voss

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Pool
Hairdryer
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TV
Tea/coffee


Conveniently located close to the train station, the historic 4* Fleischer’s Hotel is set between stunning lakes and peaks, not too far from the beautiful landscapes surrounding Sognefjord. Dating back to 1864, they have hosted princes, princesses, kings, queens and emperors who came to experience the unique atmosphere of the area. Now run by the fifth generation of Fleischer’s, they offer delicious contemporary meals in a classical setting. The hotel also has an indoor swimming pool, gym and sauna available to all guests.

All 110 rooms feature free Wi-Fi, television, telephone, tea/coffee making facilities and private bathroom with WC, shower/bath and hairdryer.

Breakfast and evening meal are provided.

Day 2: Walks around Voss (7km/4.3mi or 12km/7.5mi)

Choose from walks of varying challenge:

Bordalsgjelet Gorge

This is quite a short and easy walk to a nearby gorge, south of the town. There you will find dramatic walkways, with protective fencing, to view the gorge. Very little climbing is involved (unlike most walks in Norway!) and it would be good for a spare couple of hours or if the weather is unsuitable for going higher.

Hangur & the Red Cross hut

This circuit takes you up the mountain immediately to the north of Voss. First, a short walk leads to the Folk Museum at the top edge of the town, which is worth visiting. Thereafter, you climb up through forest to the top station of the cable car, with great views over Voss. Beyond this, you cross varied and more open terrain, with views in all directions. The Red Cross Hut is located by a mountain lake (Valbergstjorni), a good place for a dip on a hot summer's day. Descend through attractive forest, ending with an easy walk along the hillside back to the folk museum.

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Day 3: Flåm

Take a bus from Voss to Flam.

Flam is undoubtedly a tourist honey pot - but you can get away from the crowds on most of our walks. There is more scope for walking in this area than at our other centres in Norway and the choice of walks we have described reflects this. If you wish to mix your walking with some sight-seeing, there are quite several attractions, many of which our walks do take in.

You stay at Flamsbrygga Hotel or (Upgrade Option) Freitham Hotel.

hotel details

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Flamsbrygga Hotel, Flam

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

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TV


The small and intimate 3* Flamsbrygga Hotel situated on the Flåm Harbour, has a contemporary and rustic style, yet delicate and modern. It is built in a traditional way using Norwegian timber, driftwood, stone and glass. Some rooms have a balcony overlooking the beautiful fjord. Enjoy a unique experience at Ægir BrewPub where they produce and serve world-class beer and delicious food inspired from the Viking Era.

All rooms feature free Wi-Fi, television, telephone and private bathroom with WC, shower/bath and hairdryer.

Breakfast and evening meal are provided.

Room upgrades: Please contact us for details.

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(Upgrade Option) Freitham Hotel, Flam

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

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WiFi
TV
Safe


Originally a large farm, this historic Swiss chalet style hotel boasts both mountain and fjord views, as well being directly adjacent to the Nærøyfjord UNESCO World Heritage site. The 4* Fretheim Hotel offers historic tours of the hotel every day at 6pm and the cosy restaurant serves delicious Norwegian cuisine based on organic ingredients. There are also several elegant lounges with a fireplace, library and a bookable hot tub.

All 122 rooms feature free Wi-Fi, television, telephone, safe, tea/coffee making facilities and private bathroom with WC, shower/bath and hairdryer.

Breakfast and evening meal are provided.

Room upgrades: Please contact us for details.

Day 4: Flåm (21km/13.0mi or 6km/3.7mi)

Choose from walks of varying challenge:

Down the Flamsdalen, via the Navvies Road

After enjoying a ride up the world-famous Flamsbana railway, from Flam to Myrdal, you can get to know Flamsdalen (the Flam valley) better by walking back down. The most impressive scenery is in the upper half, so you may choose to catch a train back down the lower section. A great alternative to a long walk along roads is to hire a bike at Myrdal station - and let gravity do the work! You just drop the bike off at the station in Flam when you have finished the ride.

Aurlandsdalen Canyon

Rocky, steep, muddy and often quite exposed, this is a tough walk which takes you along a dramatic canyon, with massive cliff faces, high waterfalls and magnificent views.

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Day 5: Balestrand

Take a ferry from Flam to Balestrand.

Balestrand is a small town on the shore of Sognefjorden, nestling below an excellent walking area. It is located halfway along the 180km long fjord which is 1100m deep at this point. You may see porpoises and otters if you are lucky. You may find Balestrand quite peaceful by comparison to Flam.

You stay at Midtnes Hotel or (Upgrade Option) Kviknes Hotel.

hotel details

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Midtnes Hotel, Balestrand

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

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Overlooking the Sognefjord, the 2* Midtnes Hotel is very comfortable and has a lovely, homely atmosphere. They have several cosy lounges, one with an open fireplace, and a sun-terrace with a wonderful panoramic view of the Sognefjord.

All 30 rooms feature free Wi-Fi, telephone and private bathroom with WC and shower/bath.

The hotel is on a bed & breakfast basis and there are plenty of restaurants to choose from in the evenings.

Room upgrades: Please contact us for details.

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(Upgrade Option) Kviknes Hotel, Balestrand

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

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TV


This grand 18th century historic hotel is beautifully located beside the Sognefjord and has been with the Kvikne family since 1877; they have passed on its old-world charm and atmosphere through the generations. Graced with an extensive artwork and antique collection, this hotel really embraces its own special style. The elegant restaurant serves delicious locally sourced cuisine – they place great emphasis on memorable culinary experiences.

All 190 rooms feature free Wi-Fi, television, telephone and private bathroom with WC, shower/bath and hairdryer.

Breakfast and evening meal are provided.

Room upgrades: Please contact us for details.

Day 6: Balestrand (8km/5.0mi or 14km/8.7mi)

Choose from walks of varying challenge:

The lower slopes of Raudmelen

The mountain behind Balestrand, called Raudmelen, is very popular as it provides great walking and wonderful views. This walk explores the lower slopes of Raudmelen and we provide two options. After walking up through the town you enter the forest where there are a number of nature trails. Our easier option then traverses southwards along the hillside to Skasheimsdalen. The route then traverses back at a lower level to the nature trails area and down into Balestrand. A more challenging walk climbs up from the nature trails area to a viewpoint called Orrabenken. Climbing a little further you turn south along the hillside through a more open area to the highpoint, Fjaerestadstolen (altitude 430m), where there is a summer farm and former milking hut. A steep descent takes you back down to join the easier route.

Raudmelen and Kallbakk

This circuit above Balestrand is a great walk. You ascend through woods on a well-used path onto the ridge that leads up to the airy summit of Raudmelen. As you go up, the views just get better and better. It's not surprising this is a popular walk. Our route continues on to a col beyond the summit, then drops steeply down to the south via a less used path into a wild valley with the old summer farm of Kallbakk perched at the far end. The route then descends steeply again through forest and finally you have an easy walk along the historic waterfront of Balestrand back to your hotel.

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Day 7: Bergen (5km/3.1mi or 9km/5.6mi or 15km/9.3mi)

Take a ferry from Balestrand to Bergen.

There is some surprisingly good walking close to the city of Bergen which is surrounded by hills with little or no development. You can quickly get into quite wild areas although you are unlikely to be on your own. Apart from the walking there is plenty to occupy a day or two in Bergen. The famous funicular railway runs from very close to the city centre and is popular. A cable car goes to the highest viewpoint in Bergen, the summit of Mt Ulriken, and is a short bus ride away. The old town is very nice to wander around - the jewel in the crown is the area on the east side of the Vagen harbour, called Bryggen - this is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The fish market, in a modern building on the opposite side of this harbour is worth a visit.

An easy circuit on Mt Floyen

This is a lovely walk in the woods at the top of the Floibanen funicular, which runs from near the city centre. There are great views over Bergen and beyond. Note you probably wouldn't want to do this walk if you have done or are planning to do the Vidden Plateau walk. If you are up for a slightly more challenging walk, you can go further up past the Brushytten cafe to make a circuit of the rocky hill called Blamanan.

Mt Ulriken & the Vidden Plateau

This is a very popular walk and remarkably wild given it is so close to the city centre. For much of the route you have panoramic views, west over Bergen to the North Sea and inland to the north, east and south.

You stay at Thon Hotel Orion or (Upgrade Option) Thon Hotel Rosenkrantz Bergen.

hotel details

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Thon Hotel Orion, Bergen

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

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Thon Hotel Orion is a newly renovated 3* hotel. The staff do their utmost to provide a good service so that guests feel welcome. The hotel is in walking distance to Torgalmenningen, Fløibanen funicular and other sights in the center. All rooms have en-suite facilities and T.V, Safe, Mini Bar, Telephone, Hairdryer and Wi-Fi.

Breakfast is provided.

Room upgrades: Please contact us for details.

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Thon Hotel Rosenkratz Bergen, Bergen

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

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The 4* Thon Hotel Rosenkrantz Bergen is located in the center of Bergen, right by the Bryggen. From the hotel you have restaurants, shops, the Fløibanen funicular and other sights in the immediate vicinity. All rooms have en-suite facilities and T.V, Safe, Mini Bar, Telephone, Hairdryer and Wi-Fi.

Breakfast is provided.

Room upgrades: Please contact us for details.

Day 8: Departure from Bergen

Take a bus or train from your hotel to the airport for your return flight home or choose a couple of extra nights here to enjoy this stunning city.

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These tour only prices are based on two people sharing. Single supplement from £528.

These flight inclusive prices are based on two people sharing. Single supplement from £528.

OPTIONAL UPGRADES
  • Flights from London Gatwick to Bergen with Norwegian
  • Other flights, including regional departures
  • Alternative flights, including regional departures
TRAVEL DETAILS

Our aim is to provide holidays that are unbeatable for choice and flexibility. We've listed our most popular travel options below, however you aren't limited to these - we can tailor-make virtually any holiday to suit.

Air prices include our standard flights/transfers
Out: Norwegian Air London Gatwick to Bergen, then taxi or bus from Bergen Airport to Bergen Train Station, payable locally, then train from Bergen to Voss Return: Taxi or bus Bergen to Bergen Airport, payable locally, then Norwegian Air, Bergen to London Gatwick

Alternative Air Travel
Alternative flights, onward rail to your holiday area, and connecting private transfers can be arranged from most UK airports. If you would like to use one of the many 'low cost' airlines, we can book these on your behalf. We can also book UK shuttles to connect with your onward flight, please call for details and prices.

Alternative transfers
If you require alternative transfers (because you will be arriving at a different time to our standard flights), then we can usually arrange these for you (there may be an additional charge).

To find out more about the travel options available call our sales team on 01606 720199, use our live webchat (we're open until 10pm today) or email sales@headwater.com

Should you require overnight airport accommodation, airport parking or even a uniformed chauffeur to take your car from your departure terminal and park it for you, we can arrange this for you through Holiday Extras. You can book airport parking, airport hotels and executive lounges through their website or contact us for further details. Early booking is recommended to obtain the best availability and prices.

REVIEWS

This was my very first experience with some kind of a organized trip by a company like you.

I really enjoyed that everything was planned for me , including food and I could just choose the hikes and enjoy the nature and stunning landscape while hiking.



Laura Churchman, 19 Jun 2024

 


Self-guided walking

7 nights,
hotel-to-hotel

Level: 1 to 3

19.0Kg CO2e

Headwater
Navigation App

7 nights from £1539

CHOOSE A DEPARTURE

Call: 01606 720199