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About Norway Self Drive 5 - Fjords of the Norwegian West Coast
The best of the west! Bergen, gateway to the fjords, Flam railway, Alesund with its striking Art Noveau architecture, Trondheim and its pretty wooden houses and majestic cathedral, not forgetting a mini cruise on one of the most stunning fjords in Norway.
Duration: 7 days
START - Bergen/ Finish - Trondheim (or Oslo)
If you wish to extend your stay and visit the Norway's capital then we can arrange for train tickets from Trondheim to Oslo, or perhaps you would like an overnight boat tour down the Norwegian west coast, back to Bergen.
Arrive into Bergen Airport, pick up your rental car and drive to the centre of Bergen, one of Norway's most important cities. Depending on your arrival time we recommend some sightseeing in Bergen. Visit the fish and flower Market, the old port of Bryggen, and the Hanseatic quarters. It is also possible to take a funicular ride up Fløien mountain to enjoy a panoramic view of Bergen and the surrounding area. Another possibility is to drive through the small islands and coastal villages in the region of Bergen.
Accommodation at a centrally located 3 * hotel in Bergen.
After breakfast depart from Bergen and drive via Dale to the town of Voss. Descend the Nærøy Valley, passing the Stalheim Canyon, to the fjordside village of Flåm. In Flåm board your train for an exhilarating ride on the Flåm Railway to Myrdal, a masterpiece of engineering ascending 2,838 feet in less than an hour. The descent from Myrdal to Flåm offers opportunities for photo shots of some exciting waterfalls and mountain scenery. After returning to Flåm, drive via Gudvangen at the head of the Nærøy Fjord, continue across the Vika Mountains to Vangsnes, for the short ferry crossing (not included) to Dragsvik and the beautiful resort of Balestrand.
Dinner and accommodation at Kvikne’s Hotel, or similar.
Today is a free day so you have the opportunity to enjoy the outstanding beauty and nature of the fjords. The day starts with a traditional Norwegian buffet breakfast in the hotel’s elegant restaurant. You may want to spend the morning relaxing on the hotel terrace, breathing in the fresh mountain air and enjoying the spectacular views. We can also recommend a visit to the local aquarium and art gallery, or you may prefer to rent a bike or a rowing boat from the hotel (not included), or even go on foot up to the nearest mountains. The view from the highest peaks can take your breath away! A walking tour of the village of Balestrand where you can enjoy beautiful summit walks in varied terrain could also be an option. Balestrand has a good, varied and well-marked network of walking paths, so that almost everyone can find something which will suit them. Some of the paths have information points along the way to tell you about the natural surroundings and the animals that live here. The paths also offer viewpoints, benches and picnic sites. Many are accessible from the centre of Balestrand. Dinner and accommodation at Kvikne’s Hotel, or similar
Breakfast at the hotel. Early morning ferry crossing Dragsvik – Hella (not included). Pass the Jostedal Glacier, the largest in Europe, to the village of Skei. Descend to the beautiful Nord Fjord, making a detour at Olden to visit the world-famous Briksdal Glacier. The journey up to the glacier will be made in open cars at 11.45 to give you the best of views. Continue via Stryn to the picturesque village of Hellesylt. From here you embark the ferry at 15.30 for the mini-cruise along the spectacular Geiranger Fjord, possibly the most impressive of all the Norwegian fjords. During the cruise you will pass some magnificent waterfalls, such as the Bridal Veil and the Seven Sisters.
Dinner and accommodation at a 3 * hotel in Geiranger
After breakfast drive to Eidsdal for a short ferry crossing to Linge (not included) before reaching the famous Road of the Trolls. Surrounded by high peaks this mountain road has its name from the old folk tales of trolls and dwarves. Continue west to Ålesund. Ålesund is built right next to the Atlantic Ocean at the centre of a group of islands. In 1905 it was devastated by fire but was rebuilt within 3 years in the fashionable style of the time, Art Nouveau. East of the town centre a winding road climbs through a lovely residential district to the top of Mount Aksla, a promontory overlooking the town and ends at Fjellstua (the Mountain Lodge) from which there is a stunning view of the town and the various islands.
Accommodation at a centrally located 3* hotel in Ålesund.
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before departing from Ålesund to Vestnes for a ferry to Molde (not included). From Molde continue north. If time/weather permits, we recommend a hike to the Troll Church, an amazing construction of three limestone grottos with underground waterfalls. To make a trip to the church you will need waterproof footwear (preferably Wellington boots) and a torch. It is about an hour and a half's hike up a steep path from the car park on the RV 64 road. Afterwards enter the scenic route through the Atlantic Highway, which is often referred to as the most beautiful stretch of road in the world. Drive through the Atlantic Ocean tunnel to Kristiansund, through the city and continue to Kanestraum for ferry to Halsa (not included). Continue along fjords and mountains to Trondheim, a charming town of colourful wooden houses and small shops. We recommend a visit to the Nidaros Cathedral (Nidaros Domen). The Cathedral has always played an important role in Norwegian history, especially due to a close connection to the Royal Family. The Norwegian crown jewels are on display in the Archbishop’s Palace right next to the cathedral. Accommodation at a 3* hotel in Trondheim
Breakfast at the hotel. Drop off rental car at local office.
Why not stay a few extra days to include Oslo by train or take the Hurtigruten coastal ferry back to Bergen.