July 26, 2012

Norway Trip Itinerary

Norway is outrageously beautiful.

The Sognefjord

I think I planned a really great itinerary for a quick five night/six day visit to Norway exploring Oslo, the Sognefjord and the Lusterfjord by train, ferry, bus and car. It was the perfect mix of unique places to stay, time on the road vs. relaxing, and of course, food!

DAY 1: We started in Oslo. Arriving early in the morning from the airport by train, we walked to our hotel just a few blocks away. The Clarion Bastion is a nice small hotel with a huge benefit- tons of free food in the all-day cafe and laundry machines. Norway is very expensive and this is a big money saver.

We spent the day exploring Oslo and saw the major sights: the Viking Ship Museum, City Hall, the Fort... 


DAY 2: The next morning we got on the 8:11 am train to Balestrand. The train took us high up into the mountains above the treeline, where we got or first taste of the country's stunning arctic landscape. We transferred onto the small, famous Flam Railway train that took us steeply down into the Sognefjord. At the edge of the water, we hopped a ferry to our destination for the night: Balestrand. I suggest staying at the Kvikne's hotel.

Myrdal train station

On the Flam railway

On the ferry to Balestrand

View of the fjord from Balestrand

Kviknes Hotel from http://www.flickr.com/photos/miltoncorrea/1374896082/
DAY 3: The next morning we took the earliest ferry to the village of Vik across the fjord to see the incredible Hopperstad stave church. It is magic - straight out of Lord of the Rings.

Hopperstad stave church

That afternoon we took a local bus from Balestrand to Sogndal, where we rented a car. Time for the road trip! We drove up the Lusterfjord to Nes Gard. In Nes Gard we stayed at the little inn called, simply, Nes Gard. Fresh, delicious Norwegian meals were included. This place has incredible charm and is one of our favorite places we've ever stayed at in our travels. I still think of it when I need to go to "a happy place".

short bus getting on the ferry

Nes Gard

DAY 4: After a serene night sleep in Nes Gard, we rose early for the 10 minute drive to Solvorn, where we rented bikes then took the ferry across the fjord to see the Urnes stave church. From there we rode our bikes up the fjord taking in the waterfalls and enjoying our picnic lunch.

Apple orchard in Solvorn

Urnes stave church

picnic lunch
DAY 5: Following another night as Nes Gard (where we saw an 11:00 pm sunset!), we woke up excited to drive up to the northern end of the Lusterfjord and over Sognefjellet road through the Jotenheimen ("The Home of the Giants") mountains. Windy roads lead up to windswept glacial peaks then down into Lom or the Vaga area and the Lom stave church.

Lom stave church
Next on to the Valbjor farm... our night here was a fairytale...

Valbjor farm in Vaga

DAY 6: On our last day in Norway, we drove south back to Oslo, stopping at more stave churches and Lillehammer along the way.


  1. Looks like a wonderful trip! I was actually in Norway the same time you were and we had to change our plans for hitting the Solvorn, Luster (where my some of family is from), Lom, Lillehammer areas due to driving time from Oslo. This is a great guide for my next trip! :)

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