Norway

Into the Fjords Walk

Trip code: W14NF 5 (1 reviews)

Self-guided walking

14 nights,
hotel-to-hotel

Level: 1 to 3

SUMMARY

  • Meander through fjord land allowing you to see these incredible wonders up close
  • Gain some unforgettable memories of this unique country as you discover it up close on foot and cruising along the magnificent fjords
  • View dramatic glaciers and cascading waterfalls as you walk along a wide selection of routes
  • Famed for impossibly sheer-sided fjords, a striking area with rich historic heritage
  • Stay in intriguing fjord-side towns with sensational views

WHAT'S INCLUDED?

  • 14 nights accommodation
  • All breakfasts and 9 evening meals (if Midtnes) or 12 (if Kviknes)
  • Comprehensive route directions

TRIP DESCRIPTION

This 14-night multi centre walking holiday takes you through fjord land 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 here ages ago, as you travel in the wake of fishing boats making your way down the narrow fjords. The glaciers are equally dramatic as are the cascading waterfalls. You can see ancient farms and villages along the sheltered fjords as well as visiting the intriguing city of Bergen.

We have put together a 2-week holiday with two options to shorten to 1 week ( see WALKING IN BALESTRAND) combining great walking with the 'must sees' of this beautiful region. We have chosen a wide variety of walks to suit all abilities and 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, you may also choose to sample the local cider, fruit juices, smoked lamb and other produce. The striking landscape is incomparable and so this holiday will appeal to those who not only wish to gain some unforgettable memories of this unique country, but also to explore it up close.

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, with most including half board and with picnic lunches easily found at all locations. Please note 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.

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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.

Voss lies next to a lake not a fjord or the sea - the town is at the eastern end of Vangsvatnet, and is a centre for outdoor activities. In the winter it is a ski resort and is equally popular for walking, cycling, fishing, rafting, kayaking and paragliding in the summer.

Something of a cultural centre, Voss has many festivals throughout the year, a 13th century church and the highly recommended Voss Folkemuseum, on the slopes north of the town at Molster farm. Guided tours are offered, or you can look around yourself.

You stay at Park Hotel Vossevangen.

hotel details

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Park Hotel Vossevangen , Voss

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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.

Day 2: Walks Around Voss

Choose from three walks of varying difficulty:

Bordalsgjelet Gorge 7 KM/ 4.5MI/ 1.5 HRS

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 12 KM/ 7.5 MI/ 4.5 HRS

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.

Grasidetoppen 26 KM/ 16.5 MI/ 8 HRS OR 17 KM/ 11 MI/ 6 HRS

This is a long and challenging walk up the mountain south of Voss, rising to 1307m. However, the walk can be shortened by taking a taxi at the beginning and/or the end, so that you walk from Gjelle. Otherwise, you pass the Bordalsgjelet gorge to walk up through forest to some farms and pastureland at Gjelle. After passing a small sawmill, you rise steeply up through forest again to a viewpoint and picnic table by a mountain hut. The walk continues to climb, passing through the full succession of vegetation types to alpine and rocky tundra. Views from the high parts are extensive in all directions.

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

hotel details

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(Upgrade Option) Fleischer’s Hotel, Voss

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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 3: Walks Around Voss

See Day 2 Walks

You stay at Strand Hotel.

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Strand Hotel, Ulvik

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The beautiful 3* Hotel Strand has an open terrace overlooking the waterfront with views of the Hardanger fjord, a great place to relax after a long day walking. Breakfast is a buffet with a wide selection of hot and cold dishes. The hotel restaurant also offers an evening menu which combines Belgian and Norwegian cuisine, with dishes made using ingredients from a local farm.

All 50 rooms feature television, telephone and private bathroom with WC, shower/bath and hairdryer on request.

Extra nights: Please contact us for details.

Day 4: Arrive in Ulvik

Take a bus from Voss to Ulvik.

A small, quiet town on the shore of Ulvikafjorden, which is a small branch off Osafjorden, which itself is a branch off the head of Hardangafjorden - the latter is the second longest fjord in Norway and the fourth longest in the world, stretching 179 kilometres (111 miles). The area immediately around Ulvik is relatively sheltered and fertile and is well known for its fruit growing. You can visit a cider farm whilst here. If you wish to explore further afield, we understand that a bus ride to Osa is worth the trip.

You stay at (Upgrade Option) Brakanes Hotel.

hotel details

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(Upgrade Option) Brakanes Hotel, Ulvik

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Located on the shores of Hardangerfjord, the 4* Hotel Brakanes is surrounded by stunning orchards and the sparkling waters. Set within its own grounds on the water’s edge, this hotel has several lounges and a bar, an indoor swimming pool, sauna and good restaurant which serve a wide variety of first-class cuisine. Many rooms also have balconies and fjord views.

All 142 spacious rooms feature free Wi-Fi, television, telephone and private bathroom with WC, shower/bath and hairdryer.

Extra nights: Please contact us for details.

Day 5: Walks Around Ulvik

Choose from two walks of varying difficulty:

Granvin to Ulvik on the Old Post Road 15 KM/ 9.5 MI/ 3.5 HRS

The route follows the old post road which, until about 1900, was the main road between Granvin and Ulvik. It was only used in the summer as part is too steep for horses with sledges. You pass through farmland and forest, and skirt round the pretty lake Vatnasetvatnet. You will see some typical Norwegian holiday cottages, seemingly in the middle of nowhere. Having risen gently up to 580m above sea level the route descends towards Ulvik. When you encounter the steep sections, imagine how it must have been for horses and carts along this route!

Solsavatnet Lake and Osafjorden viewpoint 16 KM/ 10 MI/ 5 HRS

This is a walk of three parts. Firstly, there is an easy walk eastwards from Ulvik which takes you gently upwards and into the fruit growing area for which Ulvik is famous. There are two farm shops, and you can sample the local cider, fruit juices, smoked lamb and other products. Continue up past several Viking burial mounds. This easy start forms the access to two loops in the hills east of UIvik. Both start from the same place, and you can do either or both. If you do them both, the route is in effect a figure of eight.

The loop that goes in a northwest direction to Solsavatnet Lake is the tougher one. It ascends steeply up on the left side of the Sysegili watercourse. You walk through woods and pastureland, passing farms on the way. The highest point is a rocky hill providing views all around. The other loop is easier and heads south-easterly, rising gently across the lower slopes of Kristinuten to an elevated viewpoint overlooking the Osafjorden.

Finally, you return to Ulvik through the orchards - this could be the time to stop at a cider farm!

You stay at Flamsbrygga Hotel.

hotel details

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Flamsbrygga Hotel, Flam

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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.

Day 6: Walks Around Ulvik

See Day 5 Walks

You stay at (Upgrade Option) Freitham Hotel.

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(Upgrade Option) Freitham Hotel, Flam

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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 7: Arrive in Flam

Take a bus from Ulvik to Flam.

Undoubtedly a tourist honey pot, Flam is bustling 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 Midtnes Hotel.

hotel details

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Midtnes Hotel, Balestrand

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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.

Day 8: Walks Around Flam

Choose from these walks of varying difficulty:

Naroyfjorden -The Royal Postal Route from Styvi 11 KM/ 7 MI/ 4HRS

This is an easy walk along the side of the majestic Naroyfjorden, part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The route follows an old post 'road' - Den Kongelege Vegen or The Royal Postal Route - which was part of a network between Bergen and Oslo. Styvi has got the smallest post office in Norway.

Aurlandsvangen to Flam, via Otternes 10 KM/ 6.5 MI/ 2.5 HRS

A surprisingly varied route. After a bus or ferry ride to Aurlandsvangen, you may wish to explore this pleasant village. The walk starts along the road to Flam but soon ascends the hillside to the farming area of Li. Views of the fjord are plentiful. In high season you can pay to visit the cluster of 17th century farm buildings at Otternes, before descending to the shore of the fjord. The last section is a level walk back to Flam.

Down the Flamsdalen, via the Navvies Road 21 KM/ 13.5 MI/ 4.5 HRS

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.

Aurlandsfjorden viewpoint: Hovdungo from Undredal 7 KM/ 4.5 MI/ 3 HRS

This route rises up to a magnificent viewpoint, from the picturesque village of Undredal ('marvellous valley'), which is located 13km along the fjord from Flam. From below, the route looks improbable if not downright impossible!

A steep climb up a small but distinct path, through woods with occasional viewpoints, takes you to the large cliffs directly behind the village. Above the cliffs, you ascend through thinning woodland to the pastures of Hovdungo, with stunning views along the fjord. The route would not suit someone nervous of heights.

You stay at (Upgrade Option) Kviknes Hotel.

hotel details

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(Upgrade Option) Kviknes Hotel, Balestrand

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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 9: Walks Around Flam

See Day 8 Walks

You stay at Grand Hotel Terminus.

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Grand Hotel Terminus, Bergen

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The historic 3* Hotel Terminus in Bergen is extremely pleasant and renowned for its classic style and cosy atmosphere. It is very close to the train station and within walking distance of Bergens most popular attractions.

All 131 rooms feature free Wi-Fi, television, telephone and private bathroom with WC, shower/bath and hairdryer.

Day 10: Arrive in 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 Augustin Hotel.

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Augustin Hotel, Bergen

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The historic Augustin is Bergen’s oldest family-run hotel, owned by the same family for four generations. It is within walking distance of the port and city centre and has a pleasant atmosphere with a fine blend of traditional style and modern design. The hotel restaurant boasts top quality ingredients from the ‘riches of the sea’, whilst their 400 year old wine bar has a very wide selection to choose from.

All 130 rooms feature free Wi-Fi, television, telephone and private bathroom with WC, shower/bath and hairdryer.

Extra nights: Please contact us for details.

Day 11: Walks Around Balestrand

Choose from these walks of varying difficulty:

The lower slopes of Raudmelen 8 KM/ 5 MI/ 2HRS OR 11 KM/ 7 MI/ 3 HRS

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.

Exploring around Dragsvik 6 KM/ 4 MI/ 2.5 HRS

A pleasant bus ride takes you round the relatively shallow Esefjorden to the village of Dragsvik, with its busy ferry port. Our route goes along the north shore of the headland from the port, before climbing up onto the hill behind - the lower slopes of Tjuatoten. A winding path passes through varied forest with plenty of viewpoints. At the highest point, a path branches off to ascend Tjuatoten, but our route descends steeply down to the village. Below the main road you can explore an arboretum with specimen trees from 1870-90, planted by the local priest. There is a great swimming spot (purpose-made) to take a dip in the fjord.

Raudmelen and Kallbakk 14 KM/ 9 MI/ 4.5 HRS

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.

Day 12: Walks Around Balestrand

See Day 11 Walks

Day 13: Arrive in Bergen

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.

Day 14: Walks Around Bergen

Choose from these walks of varying difficulty:

An easy circuit on Mt Floyen 5 KM/ 3 MI/ 1.5 HRS OR 9 KM/ 6 MI/ 2.5 HRS

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 15 KM/ 9.5 MI/ 5 HRS

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.

Mount Lyderhorn 8 KM/ 5 MI/ 2.5 HRS

Mount Lyderhorn is the westernmost of the hills that are traversed by the annual '7-mountain' hike / race around Bergen. Our route takes an easy way up from Gravdal to the lake of Skaleviksvatnet where there are superb views over Bergen. From the summit there are also panoramic views in all directions.

Day 15: Departure from Bergen

Take a bus or train from your hotel to the airport for your return flight home

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The above prices do not include any travel.

These prices include our standard flights.

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 11:05/14:00. Take a taxi or the bus from Bergen Airport to Bergen Train Station, which is not included and is therefore payable locally. The train from Bergen to Voss is included 16:29/17:49. Return: Take a taxi or the bus from your Bergen Hotel to Bergen Airport, which is not included and is therefore payable locally. Norwegian Air - Bergen to London Gatwick 18:40/19:40

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.

Standard transfers
Please note on this trip, train and ferry travel is included when booking a flight inclusive trip. Any bus journeys required are not included in the price and tickets can be purchased on the day locally. If booking a land only trip, the trip starts at Voss and so travel to Voss is not included.

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

A very well planned itinerary, with good hotels and a varied range of hiking options at each location. Transport between locations worked smoothly and the ferry trips were amazing. Do be prepared for the risk of wet weather at some stage.

Christopher Jones, 8 Aug 2023

 


Self-guided walking

14 nights,
hotel-to-hotel

Level: 1 to 3

This trip is currently unavailable, please call us for further details.

Call: 01606 720199