Tailormade tour Sognefjord fly-drive holiday Norway

7 nights/8 days

Gol ● Balestrand ● Sognefjord ● Geilo

This luxury Norway fly-drive touring holiday gives you insight into the incredible Sognefjord, Norway’s longest and deepest fjord, using Balestrand as your base and a hire car to get around. You fly to and from Oslo and stop in the towns of Gol and Geilo en route. Plenty of opportunities for visiting historic Stave churches, crossing the fjords by ferry and taking mountain hikes.
Holiday price guide

Available year-round subject to the opening period of the hotels. From £1,630 per person.

Luxury fly-drive Norway touring holiday with 5 nights on the Sognefjord and overnight stops in Gol and Geilo.

Highlights

Gol • Balestrand • Sognefjord • Flaerland • Geilo

Day by day

Your holiday starts with a scheduled flight from London to Oslo. Collect your hire car from the airport and then embark on the 3-hour drive northwest towards Gol. Leaving Oslo, this will take you first through a heavily forested area before you pass several small towns, eventually skirting alongside the beautiful Lake Krøderen. Arrive at your hotel which is situated about 20 minutes’ drive outside the town of Gol and check in for one night. You may wish to explore some of the nearby attractions including the Gol Stave Church, a copy of the original which was built in the 1200s. This beautiful church features detailed carvings and bright woodwork, making it a popular site for weddings. This area is also home to many excellent mountain trails, making it perfect for both hiking and mountain biking. Forested valleys combine with high mountains to give beautiful views of Jotunheimen, Hemsedal and Hallingskarvet. If you want to extend your stay here let us know and we can arrange it for you at the time of booking.

Today you continue through the stunning Norwegian scenery to Balestrand. Your surroundings become more mountainous as you drive through the county of Vestland, and you will find yourself in mountain passes pressed in on all sides by majestic peaks. Cross the Sognefjord by car ferry and then by bridge before skirting along the edge, following the water as it widens out. One more car ferry ride will take you across to the opposite side of the Esefjord to your destination, and the final stretch of your journey consists of skirting this narrow inlet around its peak and into the small fjord-side town of Balestrand. Check in to your hotel for five nights.

Balestrand is situated on the northern shore of the majestic Sognefjord, the longest and deepest fjord in Norway, and is an excellent base from which to explore some of the best scenery and activities the country has to offer. The best way to experience the fjord is by boat, and there are regular services taking passengers up to Fjaerland along the Fjaerlandfjord branch, passing tiny picturesque villages, waterfalls and imposing mountains. One of the main attractions in Fjaerland is the Norwegian Glacier Museum. This fascinating exhibition gives an insight into the formation, research and future of the glaciers in the region, including a panoramic cinema showcasing the Jostedalsbreen Glacier from every possible angle. For those seeking a more exhilarating glacial experience, it is also possible to walk on the glacier itself. Taking up almost half of the Jostedalsbreen National Park, the Jostedalsbreen glacier is the largest in mainland Europe. There are multiple options for hiking on the glacier, all of which are run by experienced guides, varying length and group size. You will be able to hear the ice melting as you cross it, and in April and May it is possible to cross the glacier on skis. For a slightly more relaxing trip, there are many other hiking routes in and around the national park, all of which are easily reached from Fjaerland’s central town of Mundal. These routes will allow you to take in the beautiful scenery of the fjord, mountains and glacier. Closer to your hotel in Balestrand, hiking routes offer frequent viewpoints and picnic sites, allowing you to make a day of this enjoyable outing. For a panoramic view of Balestrand and the Sognefjord, the Orrabanken route climbs to 370 metres above sea level and is suitable for most fitness levels. The Fossetien walking route takes you past 7 mountain lakes and 14 waterfalls, including the incredible Likholefossen, where you will cross the churning waters as they plunge to the rocks below. Another popular activity here is kayaking on the calm waters, commonly up the short branch of the Esefjord on the north side of the Sognefjord. You may wish to spend one of your days here embarking on the Flam railway, Norway’s most famous scenic railway journey. Start by taking the early express boat across to Flam, the starting point of the railway line. This incredible journey ascends 2,833 feet through mountainous terrain, passing towering cliffs, chasms and cascades. The valley will start to narrow as you pass close by the Rjoandefossen waterfall before you cross the Hoga River. Arrive into Berekvam station at 1,129 ft above sea level shortly before passing through the longest tunnel on the line. Trains often stop after this at the station of Kjosfossen, allowing you to take in the 738-ft-high waterfall there. The final stretch sees you travelling alongside a mountain ledge hundreds of feet above the valley floor. Arriving into Myrdal, you will have enough time to stretch your legs before boarding the return service in time to catch the boat back to Balestrand. Other popular attractions in Balestrand itself 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 leave Balestrand and travel to Geilo en route back to Oslo. Start by retracing your tracks around the Esefjord and across the Sognefjord. You will then travel through a more mountainous region, passing close by Lake Vassbygdevatnet, before traversing the winding roads intersected by tunnels which take you up a narrow mountain pass, offering stunning views of the landscape each time you turn the corner. Continue through the mountain valleys, passing luscious green hillsides and multiple clear blue lakes, before arriving into Geilo, a sprawling town and your base for the next night. Geilo is mostly known for being an excellent skiing destination, but there are also numerous activities available during the warmer months. Its proximity to the two national parks of Hallingskarvet and Hardangervidda make it an easy base from which to go on multiple hiking routes, including the Prestholtseter trail which rises almost 500 metres to the top of the Hallingskarvet mountain range, giving you wonderful views of the Hardangervidda mountain plateau and the Hallingdalen valley. Other popular activities here include mountain biking and rafting on the Numedalslagen River, considered one of Europe’s best rafting rivers.

On your final day in Norway drive from Geilo to Gol and retrace your steps back to Oslo airport. Return your hire car and board your flight back to London.

Holiday price guide From £1,630 per person.

Holiday Code SCFD01

Luxury fly-drive Norway touring holiday with 5 nights on the Sognefjord and overnight stops in Gol and Geilo.

Holiday price guide From £1,630 per person.

Holiday Code SCFD01

Our prices include ● Return flights with British Airways from London to Oslo
● Hire of a group B car for 8 days
● 1 night’s bed and breakfast in a Standard double room at Storefjell Resort Hotel, Gol
● 5 nights’ half board in a Historic room with fjord view at Kviknes Hotel, Balestrand
● 1 night’s bed and breakfast in a Double room at Vestlia Resort, Geilo
● 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 breakfasts 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 in any cities

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

Luxury fly-drive Norway touring holiday with 5 nights on the Sognefjord and overnight stops in Gol and Geilo.

Hotels included in this tour

Holiday price guide From £1,630 per person.

Holiday Code SCFD01

Luxury fly-drive Norway touring holiday with 5 nights on the Sognefjord and overnight stops in Gol and Geilo.

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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