Mountains, Glaciers, and Nordic Culture

Overview

Mighty glaciers carved Norway’s epic landscapes and the grand-scale majesty is everywhere, from snow-capped peaks to plunging river valleys, roaring waterfalls, and deep blue fjords. The fjords are enormous, and we’ve chosen three of the most spectacular—Sognefjord, Hardangerfjord, and ethereal Naerøyfjord—for our unique hiking journey. Connecting our travels with an ingenious mixture of ferry, railway, funicular, and private boat rides, our trails bring us across high ridges, through lush, green farmlands, into deep forests, along the dramatic coast, and even onto the blue ice of a magnificent glacier. In between hikes, we explore lovely little coastal villages, taste the wares at a family-run goat farm and an apple farm that makes delicious ciders, and enjoy a musical performance at a local museum. Our accommodations are in charming hotels right at water’s edge for unrivaled views.

Itinerary at a Glance

Days 1-3
Bergen / Sognefjord / Flåm

From Bergen, a funicular carries us up Mt. Fløyen for a hike with panoramic vistas, and we ferry to beautiful Flåm through dramatic Sognefjord, with its 3,000-foot-high rock walls. After a visit to the evocative 12th century Borgund Stave Church, built during the Viking era, we travel by RIB (inflatable boat) through steep-walled Naerøyfjord, a World Heritage Site, to hike to a family farm where goats are raised. We learn about life on this lovely farm as we enjoy lunch and taste some delectable goat cheeses.

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Days 4-7
Hardangerfjord / Ulvik / Lofthus

After a quick ride on the Flåm Railway, our ridge hike through green farmlands brings us right down to our hotel in Ulvik, nestled on the shores of Hardangerfjord. This is Norway’s lush orchard country, home to tens of thousands of fruit trees, first cultivated here by Cistercian monks in the 13th century. After lunch and cider tasting at a family-run apple farm, we boat to Lofthus, where we visit the cottage of composer Edvard Grieg, who wrote his Holberg Suite while staying in this village. Following in Grieg’s footsteps, we hike along the Opo River to reach two magnificent waterfalls, the Opo and the Skriklo. Our hotel in Lofthus is a delight and offers kayaks and rowboats for exploring the fjord.

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Days 8-11
Utne / Folgefonna Glacier / Bergen

We hike along the Kinso River past massive waterfalls, and take a scenic drive up to the Folgefonna Glacier, the third largest icecap in Norway, for a fantastic day of glacier hiking, complete with helmets, ice axes, and crampons (no previous experience necessary). Views from atop the glacier stretch out over magnificent Hardangerfjord and, on a clear day, out to the North Sea. Depart on Day 11 via Bergen.

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Highlights

Highlights

Our creative use of ferry rides, railways, and private boats brings you to Norway’s most stunning realms
Hike in breathtaking landscapes of mountains, glaciers, and tranquil fjords, visit welcoming family farms
Savor a thriving cultural heritage in quaint fishing towns
Enjoy charming waterside hotels with spectacular views

Details

Length: 11 days
Cost From: $5995  
Arrive: Bergen, Norway
Depart: Bergen, Norway
Lodging: 10 nights hotels
Meals: All meals included (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Activity: Hiking / Trekking, Cultural Adventures
Trip Level:

9 hiking days on moderate trails with some steep sections, 3-5 hours a day, with one optional 6-hour glacier hike