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A ride on the Flam Railway
by Tom Read the Blog
Nothing we have ever done comes close… One life, live it!
Alan Holley, Great Nordic Odyssey
Day 1: fly to Bergen Fly to Bergen. Collect your rental vehicle from the airport and set off to the first destination. There are several options driving to Lofthus, ranging from a 2.5 hour drive and crossing the Hardanger bridge, taking the longer tourist route or using the fjord ferry services taking up to 3.5 hours in total. Your accommodation for the first two nights is at Hotel Ullensvang (approximate journey time 3.5 hours / distance 145 km). Day 2: 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. The hotel has incredible vistas across the water to Folgefonna glacier and the view of the towering mountains behind the hotel is equally impressive. Perhaps explore Lofthus - the interesting older part has narrow lanes, traditional timber buildings and the old stone church which dates from 1250. Day 3: Lofthus - Flam Depart Lofthus and trace the coastline north. Continue through Brimnes to Eidfjord and perhaps visit the Nature Centre where you can learn about the area's nature and geology. Turn back and take the Hardangerbridge across the fjord, then travelling north to Voss with its attractive lakeside setting. The striking church is well worth a visit with the interior as unusual as its exterior. From Lake Vangsvatnet continue to Flam. Flanked by orchards and meadows, Flam sits on the edge of Aurlandfjord, a narrow offshoot of Sognefjord.
Flam is the terminus for the Flamsbana - the famous 'corkscrew railway' said to be one of the steepest and most scenic rail journeys in the world - alas a trip from start to finish takes just an hour, but it is highly recommended! The 29km branch line, dating from the 1920's, climbs 900m through twists, turns and tunnels including a couple of 180° bends, hugging sheer mountainsides, travelling over breathtaking drops, past elegant waterfalls and other incredible features to the junction at Myrdal. Overnight stay at the Flamsbrygga Hotel, a striking red-timbered property (approximate journey time 2 hours / distance 122km). Day 4: Flam - Balestrand If not experiencing the railway today, set off from the Flamsbrygga and drive through beautiful countryside to Vangsnes, where a 12m hilltop statue of a legendary Viking chief looks down over the jetty. From here take the ferry across to Dragsvik, drive to Balestrand on the shores of Sognefjord, a delightful area that has been attracting visitors for over a century. Check in at Hotel Kviknes, home for the next two nights (approximate journey time 2.5 hours / distance 118km). Day 5: 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 6: Balestrand - Bergen Drive west along the fjord, still admiring the scenery, to Lavik and take the ferry across to Oppedal, ready for the leisurely drive south back to Bergen (approximate journey time 4 hours / distance 215 km). Return the rental car to the city office before spending the last two nights in Bergen at Clarion Hotel Admiral or similar. Day 7: Bergen The day to explore this wonderful city - take the Floibanen up to Mount Floyen for amazing views over the city - the funicular railway transports passengers from the city centre to a height of 320m in just eight minutes; visit the waterfront fish market, which actually sells all kinds of produce and handicrafts; wander around the old wooden houses on the famous Bryggen or perhaps relax in a cafe after some shopping time. Day 8: depart Bergen If travelling home later today, you’ll still have time for a little shopping or sightseeing before heading to the airport and your flight home, depending on your chosen route. You’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to things to pass the time in Bergen so why not consider extending your stay for another night or two? Notes
- The itinerary above is a suggested route, but if you prefer to change any of the details, or extend your stay anywhere, then please call our travel specialists to discuss the options.
- September is considered as low season, so some facilities such as excursions, tourist attractions and restaurants may be closed during this period.
All tour descriptions and conditions are given in accordance with the information of Discover the World