I didn´t have much time so it had to be a “turbo-tour” to the Sognefjord this time. After some planning and a few telephone calls I knew where and when to go. Maps to use: Rallarvegen 1:50000 and Nærøyfjorden 1:50000.
The next 31 hours, I experienced the Bergen Railway, Biking the Flåmsdalen Valley, joined a Fjord Cruise on the Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord, hiked along the Nærøyfjord and the Flåm Railway from Flåm and back to Myrdal.
SEASON & SAFETY – Many of the activities and attractions mentioned on this website are open only in summer and are closed in winter. This also applies to many of the roads and accommodations mentioned. Season and opening time will vary. It depends on where it is and what activity, attraction, road and accommodation it is, it usually opens in the summer and closes in the autumn, depending on i.a. the amount of snow and the risk of avalanches in the area. Read more about season, important safety information and your own responsibility… SAFETY – BEFORE YOU GO HIKING – THE NORWEGIAN MOUNTAIN CODE IMPORTANT! The weather can change dramatically in the Norwegian mountains. This is why you should follow the Norwegian Mountain Code when hiking and biking in Norway. It can change from summer and sunny weather to winter and frost in minutes! Always bring good clothes and hiking shoes. And have enough food and water in your rucksack. We recommend you to join a Guided Tour. NOTE! Most of the hikes described on this website are intended for experienced hikers and bikers that know the area. Maps to use: Rallarvegen 1:50000 and Nærøyfjorden 1:50000. It also often happens that this mountain area is shrouded in fog. SEASON & WEATHER: July to August, depending on temperature and snow. It is recommended to avoid this adventure if there are ice and snow in the terrain and on the road/trail. The biking along the Flåmsdalen Valley and the hike along the Old Royal Postal Road takes place in avalanche-dangerous terrain, always make your own evaluation about this danger before and during biking and hiking in this area. Seasons mentioned on this website are approximately dates. Always check the weather before you go biking/hiking. For safety reasons it is recommended to avoid biking/hiking in Thunderstorms and in fog and bad weather! IMPORTANT! Remember that many of the roads in western Norway are prone to landslides, especially in rainy and snowy weather. This may include rock falls, rockslides, landslides, debris flows, mud flows, erosion, snow avalanches and rock avalanches. Some of the roads are particularly well-known for their high level of mass movements exposed over them. The road along the Flåmsdalen Valley and to Bakka are two of these exposed roads. Use the information you find on fjords.com at your own risk and your own responsibility. Errors and omissions may occur. Always make your own evaluation. Adapt your own risk to your own skills and by choosing where, when and how you travel. Fjords.com is not a guide or a travel planner, and the information on the pages should not be used accordingly. Marked and mentioned routes are not accurate and will also often change for various reasons, always look for updated information.
The Bergen Railway to Myrdal
The weather forecast looked good, with sun and clear blue skies predicted from mid-day the next day.
I put on my rucksack and headed down to the local train towards Oslo. From Oslo I took the night express train towards Bergen. The train passed Finse at 1222 masl, which is the highest point on the Bergen Railway. Soon after Finse we arrived at Myrdal Station (865.5 masl) and I left the train there at 05:00 hrs.
Biking down the Flåm Valley
I had ordered a bike from Cafe Rallaren at Myrdal Station in advance, and picked up the bike and started biking at 05:30 hrs, down the last part of Rallarvegen (the Navvies Road). Then I continued on the 20 kilometer long road along the Flåm Valley, mostly downwards, towards Flåm at the inner part of the Aurlandsfjord.
It was fog and drizzling rain, but the atmosphere was magical in the dark. The waterfalls were frothing and roaring, the forest with it’s numerous trees were covered with moss. The air was fresh and cold. I was completely alone and it was wonderful. The hairpin trail down towards the Flåm Valley was steep, slippery and rocky but it turned out well and I was soon down in the main valley.
Towards Flåm and the Aurlandsfjord
The Flåm Valley is wild and beautiful with it’s steep mountains and vertical waterfalls. The trail had now become a road and the 20 kilometers from Myrdal to Flåm was an easy ride. The road is more or less downhill or flat all the way and at 08:30 hrs I arrived at Flåm down by the Aurlandsfjord, the end point of my bicycle tour. I left the bike down at Flåm Station, at a designated place for bikes from Café Rallaren. The bike was then taken care of and transported back to Myrdal, this was included in the rental price.
At 09:00 hrs I boarded the boat for a Fjord Cruise on the Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord. It sailed out the Aurlandsfjord and into the Nærøyfjord, and two hours later I arrived at Gudvangen after a boat trip along two of the most spectacular and beautiful fjords in the world.
The UNESCO Protected Nærøyfjord is an 18 kilometer long branch of the worlds second longest fjord, the Sognefjord (204 kilometers long). The Nærøyfjord is only 250 meters at the narrowest, and more than one kilometer at the widest. The depth varies between 10 and 500 meters. The surrounding mountains are up to more than 1400 meters high. Along the Nærøyfjord, we have the small villages Gudvangen, Bakka, Styvi and Dyrdal. Styvi is the only place without permanent inhabitants during the winter, and Styvi and Dyrdal are without road connection.
Boat across the Nærøyfjord to Bleiklindi
I had arranged in advance to be picked up by Svein from Kystled Sogn in his boat at Gudvangen. Svein helps people who need conveyance over the fjord. If you want a shuttle across the fjord as I did, you should contact Kystled Sogn and book the boat in advance. The boat can take you over from Bakka or Gudvangen, depending on what is most convenient for you. You can also contact Nærøyfjorden Camping if you want conveyance across the Nærøyfjord.
Svein and his boat took me to Bleiklindi, a good starting point for walking the Royal Postal Road to Styvi, six kilometers further out the Nærøyfjord. I had a lengthy break at the Quay at Bleiklindi. The weather was cloudy when I arrived, but when I started the walk, the sun was shining brightly from a clear blue sky.
Note! If you take a Fjord Cruise from Flåm to Gudvangen, some of the boat departures stops on request at Styvi so you can either leave or board the boat there. Note that not all boats have this stop at Styvi, check the Fjord Cruise Time Table for more information about the departure and arrival ports. Also note that if you are at Styvi and want to inform the boat to stop there and take you onboard, you need to turn on the flasher at the quay at Styvi (check if this is still valid). You can leave the boat at Styvi and hike along the Nærøyfjord to Bleiklindi (the starting point in my story). If you have not agreed in advance with Kystled Sogn to meet you at Bleiklindi and take you across the fjord to Bakka or Gudvangen, you must walk the same way back to Styvi and board the boat at Styvi for return to Flåm or Gudvangen.
Walking the Old Postal Road by the Nærøyfjord
I had been kayaking the Nærøyfjord several times before, but I have never walked this trail and seen the fjord from land. It was a fantastic experience to see the fjord from another perspective. The Nærøyfjord was like a painting, with new motif’s turning up for almost every step I took. Most of the people I saw were either in boat, canoe or kayak, but I also met a few on land. The boat-traffic had increased since last time I was there, probably due to status as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Styvi Fjord Farm and ferry back to Flåm
At Odnes I had a break near the outlet of the river Odneselvi. I was drinking cold clear water from the river while enjoying the view towards the fjord, the mountains, the boats and the kayaks passing by. Then the walk continued out the fjord, passing Klungrenes before I arrived at Styvi at 16:30 hrs. Styvi was the end-point of the trail, and the view from there is spectacular. Kjellaug and Botolv from Styvi are staying at Styvi every summer, serving people waffles and coffee. They also have a farm-museum with old tools etc. Styvi has got the smallest post office in Norway and they have their own postal code, 5748 STYVI, despite the fact nobody lives there during the winter.
Flåm Railway to Myrdal and Bergen Railway back to Oslo
Back at Flåm, at the innermost part of the Aurlandsfjord, I entered the train at the Flåm Railway. This railway is one of Norway’s most spectacular with its 1 to 18 gradient and 20 tunnels taking you up the Flåm Valley to Myrdal. After a short stop at the wild and beautiful Kjosfossen Waterfall, the journey continued to the end station Myrdal which I had left 16 hours earlier. I had a few hours waiting time at the Railway Station at Myrdal before I boarded the night-train, this time in the opposite direction towards Oslo. I was tired but also full of impressions and experiences.
A fantastic day by the Sognefjord was at its end. I could hardly bear waiting for the next chance to come back to my favourite place on earth.
Information/Summary about my “Turbo Tour”
On a little more that a day I was biking the Flåm Valley from Myrdal to Flåm. I then took a Fjord Cruise from Flåm to Gudvangen and hiked the old Royal Postal Road along the Nærøyfjord before I joined a Fjord Cruise back to Flåm and took the Flåm Railway from Flåm to Myrdal.
I started and ended this adventure in Oslo, with the Bergen Railway from Oslo to Myrdal and then back to Oslo the following night. All this took only 31 hours in total from/to Oslo Central Station. The train departed from Oslo at 23:25 hrs and arrived at Myrdal at 04:34 hrs. The return started at Myrdal at 01:04 hrs and I arrived in Oslo at 06:13 hrs. Note that the times for the trains may change, check VY and the Flåm Railway for correct time tables.
To do this in 31 hours is tough, not much sleep, but very nice. Anyway, if you have the time, I would stay a night or ten in Flåm or Aurland to experience even more in this area.
Flåm, Aurland and Gudvangen are perfect starting points for experiences in and around the Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord, two of the world’s most beautiful and dramatic fjords that are also included in UNESCO’s World Heritage List. Join a fjord safari or a fjord cruise. See the fantastic view from Stegastein viewpoint and taste the local goat cheese in Undredal. Visit the Viking village Njardarheimr in Gudvangen and experience the history and culture of the Viking Age. You can also walk along the Nærøyfjord or enjoy the fjord view from the surrounding mountains. Flåm Railway is the train journey from fjord to mountain, perhaps the most beautiful train journey in the world. Combine this train journey with cycling along Rallarvegen which goes from the high mountains via Flåmsdalen Valley to Flåm. Aurlandsdalen Valley is one of Norway’s most popular hikes. The Nærøyfjord and Aurlandsfjord are both part of the 204 kilometer long Sognefjord which is located in the northern part of the county of Vestland, in the middle of Western Norway.
“Sakte” is a collaboration between companies that provide adventures, accommodation, dining and short-travelled food- and products. “Sakte” are located in the area around the Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord and is an offer for those who want to contribute to a sustainable society in the world heritage area.