Current as of: April 25, 2024 - 05:39

Walking the Fjords

Walking the Fjords Trip Notes

  • Ways to Travel: Guided Group, Private Group Adventures
  • Destination: Norway
  • Programmes: Walking & Trekking
  • Activity Level:

    3 out of 7 - Moderate

  • 9 Days: Flight Inclusive
  • 9 Days: Land Only
  • Ages: 16+
  • Trip Code: TSH
  • Carbon Footprint: 19kg CO2e

Trip Overview

Hike through dramatic fjord landscapes

The Norwegian fjords are rightly ranked as one of the natural wonders of the world. No visitor leaves underwhelmed by the contrast of snow-capped mountains, steep green hillsides and powerful waterfalls plunging into calm, clear fjordic waters. Most tourists come by coach and crowd into a few busy hotspots, whereas we discover these classic landscapes on foot, providing unique access to areas of tranquil beauty and high panoramic viewpoints.

In the fjords, we stay in two locations. Our first base is Nes Farm: a cosy family-run guesthouse looking towards the Feigumfoss waterfall across Lustrafjord. Our second is Fjærland Fjordstove Hotel: also family run, this time on the waterfront in the town of Fjærland. Both neighbour Sognefjord (known as the King of the Fjords), Jotunheimen (the highest mountains in Norway), and the massive ice cap of Jostedalsbreen.

Walking the Fjords

At a Glance

  • Two nights at a hotel in Bergen, three nights in a guesthouse and three nights at a hotel in the fjords
  • Five days of walking
  • Group normally 4 to 15, plus leader. Minimum age: 16
  • Altitude maximum: 3,770ft (1,1150m), average: 1,640ft (500m)
  • Travel by minibus, train and ferry
  • Option to travel by train to your adventure

Highlights

  • Hike through stunning fjordic scenery
  • Ride the Flåm railway, one of the most beautiful train journeys in the world
  • Enjoy a boat trip on the Unesco-listed Naerøyfjord (Narrow Fjord)
  • Visit the Norwegian Glacier Museum
  • Trek to the Nigardsbreen glacier with a short boat trip across a glacial lake

Is This Trip for You?

This trip is graded Activity Level 3 (Moderate). For more on our trip gradings, visit our Activity Level Guidelines page.

We walk on easy, well-maintained trails, which may be steep in places. On average we walk for three hours in the morning and two in the afternoon, including stops. On the longest day, we may walk for up to seven hours including stops.

The itinerary for all departures may also be altered or modified from time to time depending on the weather, the conditions of the route, the abilities of the group, or other local factors. The leader will discuss these changes with you if and when they occur.

Adult min age: 16

Min group size: 4

Max group size: 15

Itinerary

Walking the Fjords

Land Only

  • Start City: Bergen
  • End City: Bergen

Land Only Itinerary

Day 1
Start Bergen

The adventure begins in Bergen. We’ll have a welcome briefing at the hotel helmed by our leader, then head out for a guided tour of Norway’s second city.

Accommodation: Thon Orion Hotel (or similar)

Day 2
Ferry to Sogndal; transfer to Nes Gard

In the morning, we have a short transfer to Bergen pier where we board the ferry to Sogndal. Although this is not a cruise, it is a very scenic journey into the Sognefjord, the longest and deepest fjord in the country. On arrival, we have a 30-minute (approximate) transfer to Nes Gard, our hideaway in the fjords for the next three nights.

Accommodation: Nes Gard (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3
Warm-up walk to Molden peak, an excellent viewpoint for Sognefjord

We start the week with a lovely warm-up walk to the top of Molden Peak (3,360ft/1,116m), where we can marvel at the profound chasm that is Sognefjord. We also visit the 12th-century Urnes Stave Church, a Unesco-listed landmark with traditional wooden architecture and a heavenly fjordic backdrop.

Accommodation: Nes Gard (or similar)

Distance covered: 4mi (6km)

Ascent: 2,034ft (620m); Descent: 2,034ft (620m); Activity hours: 4

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4
Transfer to Jostedal valley; walk and boat trip on glacial lake; optional glacier walk

After breakfast, we have an approximately 40-minute transfer to Jostedal National Park, the home of Jostedal glacier, a mammoth ice cap covering vast swathes of the park itself.

It has nearly 30 glacial arms and today we visit two, starting at Bergset glacier, a mighty ice wall covering the upper part of Krundalen valley. We then walk to Nigards glacier, getting so close it’ll feel like you can almost touch it.

If you’d like to get even closer, you can join an optional guided walk on the glacier, using crampons and an ice axe to help you navigate.

Accommodation: Nes Gard (or similar)

Distance covered: 6mi (10km)

Ascent: 656ft (200m); Descent: 656ft (200m); Activity hours: 6

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5
Hike into Mørkrisdalen Valley

Today we hike into Mørkrisdalen, one of the most scenic valleys in Norway. The walk starts in a narrow canyon dominated by a waterfall. As we continue, the canyon opens into a wide valley of moorland with wildflowers and traditional Norwegian summer cottages.

Afterwards, we say goodbye to Nes Gard and transfer (approximately 1hr 30min) to our second hotel in the fjords, the Fjærland Fjordstove Hotel in Fjærland. This hotel has an incredible waterfront location with panoramic views of the glacier.

Accommodation: Fjærland Fjordstove Hotel (or similar)

Distance covered: 7mi (11km)

Ascent: 1,148ft (350m); Descent: 1,148ft (350m); Activity hours: 6

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6
Walk to Anestølen and Lake Tverrdalsvotni

After a short morning transfer (approximately 20 minutes), we begin our walk by following a mostly flat gravel road which offers panoramic views of the Barnakona peak. We will arrive in Anestølen, which is a summer farm for goats and enjoy our lunch while our tour leader tells us stories about how farming life has evolved here over the years. There can be up to 600 goats each summer. Afterwards (and a chance to take selfies with the goats), we will continue on the same path until we get to Lake Tverrdalsvotni. The second part of the walk after Anestølen is a bit steeper and rocky in some sections. We return back down along the same path and continue our walk until we meet our transfer vehicle to take us back to the hotel.

Accommodation: Fjærland Fjordstove Hotel (or similar)

Distance covered: 7mi (12km)

Ascent: 1,640ft (500m); Descent: 1,640ft (500m); Activity hours: 5-6

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7
Visit the Norwegian Glacier Museum; Besshovden hike

We start the day with a five-minute transfer to the Norwegian Glacier Museum, an angular slice of modern architecture backdropped by the ancient mountain peaks. Here we enjoy a fascinating insight into the local landscape, the glaciers and how the climate crisis is impacting them.

After, we have a 10-minute transfer to our start point for today’s hike. The walk is one of the most popular in the area and when we reach the top of Besshovden mountain, we see why. From the summit, we enjoy majestic views of the Fjærlandsfjorden fjord and the Jostedalsbreen glacier. During summer, you may even see people securing hammocks to spend the night under the stars.

Accommodation: Fjærland Fjordstove Hotel (or similar)

Distance covered: 6mi (10km)

Ascent: 1,312ft (400m); Descent: 1,312ft (400m); Activity hours: 4-5

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8
Ferry through the Naerøyfjord (Narrow Fjord); Flåm railway to Bergen

After breakfast, we have a transfer (approximately 2hr 30min) to Gudvangen and take a ferry through the Unesco-listed Naerøyfjord (Narrow Fjord) – a real highlight of the trip. The excitement continues immediately, as we jump on the Flåm railway to Bergen, regarded as one of the most beautiful train journeys in the world. On arrival in Bergen, we take a 10-minute transfer to our hotel.

Accommodation: Thon Orion Hotel (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 9
End Bergen

The adventure ends in Bergen after breakfast. You can begin your return journey home, but if you’d like a bit more time to explore the city, speak to your sales representative about extending your stay.

Meals included: Breakfast

Ascents, descents and distances

All ascents, descents and distances listed above have been measured by our local partners or tour leaders, in many cases with satellite-based mapping software. Please note, different GPS measuring devices can give differing results, particularly on winding paths or in mountainous terrain. Measurements stated throughout these trips notes are given to help you understand the types of terrain and distances you will encounter. Timings stated will vary depending on the pace of your group.

Accommodation

Hotel & Guesthouses

Walking the Fjords

You spend two nights at a hotel in Bergen and six nights in a guesthouse and hotel in the fjords.

The Bergen stay is a standard tourist-class hotel with en suite facilities.

Nes Farm, on the banks of Lustrafjord, is a private guesthouse. Double rooms are en suite, while single rooms are two bedroom private apartments with shared facilities. All the rooms are different and are individually decorated. Some of the rooms have a sloping ceiling.

Fjærland Fjordstove Hotel is on the waterfront in Fjærland. It is a former guesthouse, converted into a hotel in 2012. It has 15 rooms, all with views of the fjord or mountain.

Single supplement from £ 520

Accommodation - Pre Trip

Pre-tour accommodation available in Bergen on request.

Accommodation - Post Trip

Post-tour accommodation available in Bergen on request.

Food & Drink

Seven breakfasts, seven packed lunches (made yourself from the breakfast buffet) and six three-course dinners are included.

An evening meal is not included on the first or last night in Bergen, but there are plenty of lovely restaurants to visit. At Nes Farm and the Fjærland Fjordstove Hotel, the owners prepare excellent home-cooked food, often with fruit from their own farm. There is a strong focus on locally grown produce.

Transport

Transport via private bus, train and ferry to and from Lustrafjord.

Weather & Seasonality

From June to September, Lustrafjord has about 15 days a month with some kind of precipitation. When the sun shines, expect temperatures to average 18C-22C (64F-72F). Expect some rainfall, even though warm and sunny weather is not infrequent in this area and summer rain is also common.

Joining Instructions

Key information

Start hotel: Thon Orion Hotel, Bradbenken 3, 5003 Bergen
Phone: +47 55 30 87 00
Recommended arrival time: Check-in is from 3pm and the welcome briefing will be at 4pm, followed by the orientation walk of Bergen
Airport: Bergen Airport (BGO)

Getting to the start hotel

The start hotel is approximately 30 minutes’ drive from the airport. Exodus provides one group arrival transfer from the airport, which is timed to coincide with the arrival of a chosen flight from London, UK. You may join this transfer at no extra cost, provided you can be at the airport before the transfer leaves. Speak to your sales representative for the group arrival transfer times or alternatively you can make your own way to the start hotel by using local public transport or by catching a taxi.

If you would like further information on joining this trip, please speak to your sales representative.

Catching your return flight

There’s a group departure transfer to the airport for customers who Exodus booked onto a chosen flight to London, UK. Please speak to your sales representative if you wish to join. If the group departure transfer does not suit your flight time, you can also make your own way to the airport by using local public transport or by catching a taxi.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Location start: Bergen
Location end: Bergen

What To Take

Essential Equipment

  • Day sack (approximately 30 litres)
  • Warm jacket
  • Waterproof jacket and trousers (pants)
  • Gaiters
  • Gloves and warm hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Good waterproof trekking boots (fully leather is best)
  • Sun hat
  • Water bottle

Optional Equipment

  • Walking poles
  • Insect repellent
  • Eye shield for light sleepers
  • Swimming costume

Practical Information

Visa

Norway

Travellers from the UK, US and EU normally do not need a visa to enter Norway. Please note, visa requirements often change and it is your responsibility to obtain any required visas for this trip. Therefore, we recommend that you check with the nearest embassy or consulate of your chosen destination(s), including any countries you may be transiting or transferring through.

Some local governments provide guidance on what visas their citizens need. To help, we’ve gathered a selection of useful links below.

Vaccinations and Health

Norway

There are no required vaccinations. However, you may want to consider vaccinations for tetanus, rabies (bat lyssavirus) and tick-borne encephalitis (TBE). Please confirm with your doctor or travel clinic.

If you’re a UK citizen, please note that your UK-issued European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC) are still valid and offer the same cover as the Global Health Insurance Cards (GHIC) in the EU. This gives you medical care at a reduced cost, and in some cases for free, in many European countries, but should not be considered a substitute for adequate insurance. Once your EHIC has expired, replace it with a GHIC.

Local Time

Norway's time zone: Europe/Oslo (UTC +02:00)

Electricity

Norway's electricity: Plug types C (two round pins) and F (two round pins) – 230V, 50Hz

Walking the Fjords

Money

Norway's currency: Norwegian krone (NOK)

ATM Availability

Credit or debit cards are useful for paying for drinks, souvenirs and extra excursions. ATMs are found throughout Bergen, but there are none close to Nes Farm. Please do not bring travellers cheques.

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

Norway is the most cashless of the Nordic countries, so we recommend you mostly pay using credit or debit cards. Please note, you can only pay by credit or debit card at Nes Farm and at the Fjærland Hotel. 

Optional activities:

  • Glacial walk on Day 5: Approximately 800 Norwegian kroner (US$80), paid locally.

Tipping

Tipping is not customary in Norway, although people tend to round up bills in restaurants.

People, Places & Planet

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Important Information

Water safety

This trip includes time by a lake, river or sea, where there may be opportunities to swim. You should always seek local advice before deciding whether to swim. Open-water or wild swim spots should be treated with extreme caution. Information on how to keep yourself safe while swimming is shown here.

Important Information

Your safe participation 

When booking this trip, you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability, please call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary. 

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely take part in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity. 

By booking this trip you agree to our Booking Conditions which clearly state that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these rare instances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred. 

How to Book

  1. Check availability: Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.
  2. Secure your place: You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.
  3. Complete your booking and payment

When you’re ready to book, go to our website for online bookings, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque.

After booking

You will receive your booking confirmation letter and invoice, which includes extra information and guidance about your travel arrangements.

Full joining instructions, including local emergency numbers and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately two to three weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier, please contact our office or your travel agent.

Trip Note validity

These Trip Notes are valid from the “Current as” date on page one. They will occasionally be updated after booking and before departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary, customers will be written to separately. They will also receive a link to the most up-to-date Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions before travelling.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons – climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best-possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

Licensing

Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582, issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA – The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all money paid to us for your trip is fully protected.