Mighty glaciers carved Norway’s epic landscapes and the grand-scale majesty is everywhere, from soaring, snow-capped peaks to plunging river valleys, roaring waterfalls, and cobalt-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 in this beautiful Nordic realm. Connecting our journey with ferries, railways, funiculars, and private boats, we hike across high ridgetop trails, on the blue ice of a magnificent glacier, along the dramatic coast, and through waterside apple orchards. Along the way, we visit historic sites and welcoming family farms, attend a private concert, and enjoy hotels set right at water’s edge for enchanting views.
In addition to the outstanding leaders, the itinerary worked very well and seemed rather ingeniously put together—striking a good balance between traveling enough to see a variety of places and things but not spending too much time in transit. I also liked the reliance on public transportation where possible, which involved some fun travel by rail and water and felt less isolating than using only a private bus or van. I also much enjoyed the historical and cultural aspects of the trip, especially the very special visit to the Hardanger Folk Museum, the stave church at Borgund, the walking tour of Bergen, the RIB boat excursion from Flam, and visits to a goat farm and an apple farm.
— David R., Arlington, VA
Bergen / Sognefjord / Flåm
From Bergen, a funicular carries us up Mt. Fløyen for a hike with panoramic vistas, and we ferry to the beautiful town of Flåm through dramatic Sognefjord, with its 3,000-foot-high rock walls. After a visit to the 12th century Borgund Stave Church, built during the height of the Viking era, we boat through narrow, steep-walled Naerøyfjord, a World Heritage Site. One hike brings us to a goat farm where the owner, a cheesemaker, will invite us in for a lunch that includes her hand-crafted variety of goat cheeses.
Hardangerfjord / Ulvik / Lofthus
Our hike down a mountain trail brings us right to our hotel in Ulvik, nestled on the shores of Hardangerfjord in the heart of Norway’s apple-growing country. After lunch and cider tasting at a family-run apple farm, we boat to Lofthus, where we visit the cottage of composer Edvard Grieg and hike the coast to the Opo waterfall, Norway’s third highest. Our lovely hotel in Lofthus offers kayaks and rowboats for exploring the fjord.
Utne / Folgefonna Glacier / Bergen
One of our hikes brings us along the Kinso River to two massive waterfalls, and we use crampons and hiking poles (provided!) for our fantastic day of hiking on the Folgefonna Glacier (weather permitting), with views stretching out over magnificent Hardangerfjord. Depart on Day 11 via Bergen.