Tailormade tour Oslo, the Sognefjord and Bergen touring holiday Norway

8 nights/9 days

Oslo • Flåm railway • Balestrand • Bergen

This luxury Norway touring holiday by train and boat allows you to experience Oslo’s capital before embarking on an exploration of the dramatic Sognefjord. You travel on the scenic Flåm Railway and stay in the fjord town of Balestrand before taking a fjord boat to picturesque Bergen.
Holiday price guide

Available year-round subject to the opening period of the hotels, from £1,710 per person.

Luxury Norway touring holiday to Oslo, the Sognefjord and Bergen by air, rail and boat

Highlights

Oslo • Flåm Railway • Balestrand • Fjord trip • Bergen

Day by day

This touring holiday of Norway’s Sognefjord and Bergen begins with your arrival by plane into Oslo, where you spend three nights.

You have two full days in Oslo. Oslo, the capital of Norway sits on the country’s southern coast at the head of the Oslofjord. During your time here we highly recommend visiting the Bygdøy Peninsula, home to five national museums: the Viking Ship Museum, the Fram Museum, the Norwegian Folk Museum, the Kon-Tiki Museum and the Norwegian Maritim Museum. The Fram Museum displays the strongest wooden ship ever built which still holds the record for sailing the farthest north and farthest south. It is possible to board the ship and see how the crew and their dogs managed to survive in the coldest and most dangerous places on earth. There are also exhibitions on the Arctic and Northwest passage. The Viking Ship Museum displays finds from four different Viking burial sites around the Oslo fjord, whilst the Norwegian Folk Museum is an open-air attraction showcasing the diverse wooden architecture and history of the country and its traditions. Another major attraction is Akershus Castle and Fortress. Completed during the 14th century, this mediaeval castle had a strategical location at the very end of the headland and withstood several sieges throughout the ages. Guided tours of the fortress are available during the summer. As well as museums, Oslo is known for its green spaces, the most famous of which is the Frogner Park. Within this area is the Vigeland Sculpture Park, featuring more than 200 sculptures in bronze, granite and iron and one of Norway’s top tourist attractions. Housed in some beautiful gardens of its own, the Royal Palace is the official seat of the current Norwegian King and Queen. Take a tour of the palace during the summer or stop by to see the changing of the guard at 13:30.

Today you embark on one of the most scenic railway journeys in the world. Leave Oslo in the early morning on a direct train service to Myrdal, the start of the Flåm railway. This incredible journey descends 2,833 ft through mountainous terrain, passing towering cliffs, chasms and cascades. Leaving Myrdal station, the train travels down into the Flåmsdalen Valley, passing through two of the 16 tunnels en route. Following your passage through the Vatnahalsen Tunnel you will find yourself on a mountainside ledge hundreds of feet above the valley floor. Trains often stop briefly Kjosfossen, allowing you to take in the breath-taking 738-ft-high waterfall there. From here you pass through two more tunnels, including the longest one of Nåli, before arriving into Berekvam station 1,129 ft above sea level. Continuing downhill through five more tunnels and over the Hoga River, the valley will eventually start to widen out as you pass close by the Rjoandefossen waterfall. The journey ends in Flåm, where you have a couple of hours to explore this quiet and picturesque town before taking the boat across the fjord to Balestrand, which is your base for the next two nights. The boat journey today takes you along part of the Sognefjord, giving you more breath-taking views of some of Norway’s most spectacular scenery.

Balestrand is situated on the northern shore of majestic Sognefjord. We highly recommend using your time here to explore the stunning scenery, and the best way to do this is by boat. It is possible to take a ferry up the Fjærlandsfjord to Mundal, where you can visit the Glacier Museum. This features interactive exhibitions on the history of the area and its glaciers, as well as a panoramic cinema showcasing the glacier from every possible angle. For those interested in more active pursuits, Fjærland also offers the opportunity to hike on the glacier itself. At the top of Flatbreen, around a 3-hour hike from Fjærland, you will find the Flatbrehytta cabin and can witness beautiful views of the fjord. There are also excellent hiking opportunities closer to home; Balestrand offers many varied and well-marked hiking trails around the town and the surrounding mountains. In the summer you can go kayaking on the fjord and for a couple of months each year river fishing is a popular activity. Other attractions include the Norwegian Travel and Tourism Museum, which follows the tracks of the first explorers and how their discoveries led to the development of the Norwegian tourism industry which we see today, and the Sognefjord aquarium, entry to which includes the rental of a rowing boat or canoe.

Today you travel to your final Norwegian base of Bergen by boat, a journey of roughly four hours. The Sognefjord is the longest and deepest fjord in Norway and the second longest in the world. Depart early in the morning. Upon first leaving Balestrand the mountains will press in on all sides as you stop at the town of Vik and the quiet area of Nordeide. The fjord will occasionally open up, giving you breath-taking views across the calm water with the mountains in the background, before heading into more heavily forested area, interspersed with the occasional village and picturesque Nordic architecture. The boat will continue to stop at small at various points along the banks of the fjord, including at Vardetangen, the western-most point of mainland Norway. Continue through the winding narrow routes of the fjord before it opens out again as Bergen comes into view. Check in to your hotel for three nights.

Bergen is the second largest city in Norway and was the capital throughout some of the country’s most influential periods. One of your days here should start with a visit to the iconic Bryggen wharf, first established in the 14th century and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Its colourful buildings today house a small museum, shops and restaurants. Bergen is known  the city of the seven mountains, the most easily accessible of which is Fløyen, which can be reached by funicular from the city centre and awards spectacular views of the city and surrounding area. It is possible to take the funicular back, or you may want to hike back down at your leisure. For a fully immersive experience you should take the time to visit the Bergen Fish Market. Bergen has the busiest seaport in the country and the market offers an abundance of fish, shellfish, fruit and vegetables. Cultural attractions include the Troldhaugen, the former home of Edvard Grieg and today host to a museum about his life and works as well as a concert hall where you can hear his music performed. Bergen’s location in the fjords also makes it an excellent base from which to explore more by boat, and there are multiple options ranging from a quick trip to an all-day experience.

On your final day in Norway you board an early departure along the famously scenic Bergen railway to Oslo. This route will take you through more of Norway’s most stunning scenery. Emerging from the Ulriken Tunnel leaving Bergen, you will soon be travelling alongside the clear waters of the River Vossa before reaching the ski resort of Voss. Leaving here the track follows a spectacular canyon before ascending steeply along the tree line. You will pass by Myrdal, the starting station of the Flåm Railway, keeping an eye out for incredible views down a precipice into Flåmsdal and Sognefjord. Shortly afterwards the train passes through Finse, the highest railway station in Norway, and skirts along the northern shore of Lake Ustevatn, which can be frozen for three quarters of the year. The farms dotted among the hills will appear more frequently as you draw closer to Oslo before entering the final tunnel which announces your arrival into the capital. After a quick change of trains in Oslo, you will be on your way to the airport where you will board your flight home.

Special offers for this holiday>

Holiday price guide From £1,710 per person based on two people sharing a double or twin room and including second class rail travel. Plus class on Norwegian trains (except Flåm Railway) at a supplement of £130 per person.

Holiday Code SCFR01

Luxury Norway touring holiday to Oslo, the Sognefjord and Bergen by air, rail and boat

Special offers for this holiday>

Holiday price guide From £1,710 per person based on two people sharing a double or twin room and including second class rail travel. Plus class on Norwegian trains (except Flåm Railway) at a supplement of £130 per person.

Holiday Code SCFR01

Our prices include ● Return flights with British Airways from London to Oslo
● Second-class travel on all trains (Plus class available on certain trains can be booked at a supplement)
● Flåm Railway journey
● Express boat from Flåm to Balestrand and from Balestrand to Bergen
● 3 nights’ bed and breakfast in a Standard double room at Hotel Bristol, Oslo
● 2 nights’ bed and breakfast in a Standard double room at Kviknes Hotel, Balestrand
● 3 nights’ bed and breakfast in a Standard double room at Bergen Børs Hotel, Bergen
● Concierge service and Expressions Holidays regional helpful hints

Our prices do not include ● Early check-in or late check-out at any hotels (although we can arrange this on request at additional cost)
● Any other services not mentioned above, such as transfers and meals except breakfast at hotels
● Personal holiday insurance. This is essential and cover should be in place from when you book the holiday.
● Possible local tourist tax, usually the equivalent of £1 to £3 per person per night, and payable locally to the hotel
● Transfers

Additional information This holiday can be arranged throughout the year. Timings can vary depending on the month and day of the week.

Holiday price guide From £1,710 per person based on two people sharing a double or twin room and including second class rail travel. Plus class on Norwegian trains (except Flåm Railway) at a supplement of £130 per person.

Holiday Code SCFR01

Luxury Norway touring holiday to Oslo, the Sognefjord and Bergen by air, rail and boat

Highlights of Norway

The numerous fjords: Eidfjord – branch of the Hardangerfjord, Geirangerfjord – precipitous, one of Norway’s signature images, Hardangerfjord – rolling hills and pretty villages, Jossingfjord – vertiginous fjord in the flatlands of the south, Lysefjord – plunging cliffs, cruises and look out points, Naeroyfjord – narrow and very pretty, Sognefjord – Norway’s longest and one of the most beautiful, Trollfjord – very steep fjord on Lofoten, Vestfjord – sheltered bays and pretty villages separating Lofoten from the mainland. The Hurtigruten ferry that covers over 2500 km from Bergen to Kirkenes with over 30 stops. The Midnight Sun and the Northern Lights. Stave churches, beautifully preserved in wood, dating from Viking times, for example at Borgund, Lom, Ringebu and Urnes. Viking ships and artefacts, burial mounds and trinkets in museums throughout the country. The red, wooden houses perched stilts over the sea on the Lofoten Islands. The modern architecture of Oslo. Picking wild blueberries, sampling aquavit made from potatoes and caraway, and tasting reindeer steak with cranberries. The charm of Oslofjorden with its pretty, arty village and towns, harbours with sailing boats, islands offshore and beaches. Hike over the Jotunheimen and relish the natural landscape of this stunning National Park.

Cultural highlights of Norway

The architecture of stave churches dating from the Viking era and Viking treasure in museums around the country. The literature of Henrik Ibsen and Knut Hamsun. Folk tales and mythology. The music of Edvard Grieg and the art of Edvard Munch. Contemporary jazz and folk music.

Gastronomy of Norway

Norway’s gastronomy is a clear reflection of its land and sea. From the land come reindeer, venison, lamb, cured meats and potatoes of all types: boiled, roasted and fried. From the freshwater lakes and streams come salmon served grilled and smoked, and freshwater fish. Sea fish is a vast array of cod, haddock, shrimps, mackerel, fish soup, fish balls, salt cod. From the orchards particularly around the Hardangerfjord come apples, cherries and plums as well as berries of all sorts including blueberries, cranberries, bilberries and, a great delicacy, cloudberries. Cheeses include Jarlsberg and brown cheese. Coffee is almost certainly the national drink, followed by beer, of which there are all sorts of craft beers brewed locally, and Aquavit is the national spirit made from potatoes and caraway.

Facts in brief

Capital Oslo
Airport Oslo Gardermoen
Size 323,878 sq km
Population 4.4 million
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