This trip takes you through the Western Norway coastline, seeing some of the greatest and most striking fjords the country has to offer.
Best time to visit: May to September
Ride the Oslo-Bergen Railway
The best place to start your trip? Norway’s distinctive capital, Oslo. There’s a lot to explore in the streets and sites previously roamed by Vikings. But it also makes for a great introduction to life and culture in Norway, before a week’s worth of exploring its landscape.
Experience Norway by rail with a trip on the Bergensbanen. The Bergen line, or Bergen railway is 371-kilometre’s long and connects Bergen to Hønefoss, just outside Oslo. There really is no better way to witness miles of breathtaking Norwegian landscapes, as the train weaves through lakes, rivers, waterfalls and rugged mountainous countryside.
This 300-mile train journey is often referred to as ‘Norway in a Nutshell’ as it offers a wide cross section of Norway’s natural surroundings. It’s not often you can witness bright ice-blue lakes, waterfalls, rolling green hills and snow-capped mountains on the same train journey. It’s a great way to travel with young children, who can dip in and out of the aesthetic appreciation and catch up on some sleep after a long journey.
Hike to Pulpit Rock, Preikestolen
Even if you’ve never been to Norway before, it’s likely you’ve seen photos of Pulpit rock. The flat, table-top platform sits at more than 604 metres above land, overlooking the Lysefjorden below. Only 25 by 25 metres across, the plateau can become busy during the summer.
Find this staggering naturally-formed viewing platform in Strand in Rogaland county, Norway. Experience Preikestolen from the Lyse fjord, on a guided sightseeing boat or car ferry. Hiking enthusiasts can enjoy a long trek up the mountain, stopping off to take in the captivating scenes, or for a quick cool-off in one of the many mountain streams along the way.
On a clear day, there’s no better viewpoint to experience panoramas of the western Norwegian countryside and landscape. The spot has been named one of the world’s most spectacular viewing points by Lonely Planet. It’s popular with proposing couples for this reason and is arguably one of the most famous tourist attractions in Ryfylke.
Make sure you check the weather before you head off and don’t leave too late in the day (to avoid a return hike in the dark). When it’s snowing or weather conditions are extreme, the trail can become hairy, so be prepared for a change of plan.
Enjoy a brief stroll in Flåm
The train will take you to Flåm, the picturesque hamlet tucked up within the mountains where you can get a ferry through the grand Songefjord to the city of Bergen.
The Sognefjord (nicknamed the ‘King of the Fjords’) is the largest and deepest (reaching a maximum depth of 1,308 metres) of them all. It’s one of the longest in the world, stretching for 127 miles. The best views of the entire ferry from Flåm to Bergen can be experienced in the first two-hours of the trip, where imposing mountains cinch the fjord in at parts, and tower over the fjord.
Ascend the Bergen Funicular for sweeping views
Stop off at the bustling seaside city of Bergen, a lively historic harbour town surrounded by not one or two, but seven mountains on all sides. Brightly coloured waterfront store fronts and houses characterise the port, where you can find designer shops sat alongside traditional, port-side restaurants.
The fish market is a real highlight, but not for the fainthearted seafood lover. Here you can try whale burgers, monkfish, smoked whale meat, sea urchins and live king crabs. (For land-based earthly delights, we recommend the reindeer sausage.)
After sampling the best the city has to offer, we’d recommend the Fløibanen funicular, one of Bergen’s better-known attractions. With the five to eight-minute journey to the top station offering far-reaching views over Bergen.
It’s more tourist-heavy than other parts, but you can understand why. The views overlooking the fjord are unparalleled. If you’re feeling adventurous and want to expend some energy, purchase a one-way ticket and you can hike the rest of the journey down, taking in the views.
If you aren’t travelling with kids and you can wait until the evening, do so! Most of the locally docked cruise ships have left town by this point, the funicular is less crowded, and you can enjoy the city views at sunset on your descent.
If you’re travelling in May, know that this is Bergen’s festival season, so queues may be a little longer than normal. One of the best things about Bergen is that it serves as a gateway to some of Norway’s most famous and spectacular fjords.
Fancy a trip to Norway but not sure where to begin? Get in touch with Camel Collection today for tips and recommendations.
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