TURBO TOUR TO THE SOGNEFJORD

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 took the Flåm Railway from Flåm to Myrdal and then train back to Oslo.

Visit Sognefjord

Visit Sognefjord is the official destination company for the Sognefjord area.

Hotels and accommodation in the Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord area

Overview of hotels and other places where you can spend the night in the area around the Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord.

About season and other important information

SEASON – July to August, depending on temperature and snow. This is a landslide-prone area, always make your own evaluation about this danger before and during this tour. The biking along the Flåmsdalen Valley and the hike along the Old Royal Postal Road takes place in avalanche-dangerous terrain.

NOTE – This is a summer hike. During spring and and after rainfall there is a higher risk of landslides.

INFORMATION ABOUT ROADS – Remember that many of the roads in western Norway are prone to landslides, especially in rainy and snowy weather. 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.

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 cycled 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 Line. Soon after Finse we arrived at Myrdal Station (867 masl) and I left the train there at 05:00 hrs.

Biking down the Flåmsdalen Valley

Biking down the Flåm Valley.
Biking down the Flåmsdalen Valley.

Since I brought my bike on the train, I 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 Flåmsdalen Valley, mostly downwards, towards Flåm at the inner part of the Aurlandsfjord.

NOTE –  you must book a place for the bicycle on the train in advance, and that it costs extra to bring a bicycle on the train. The bicycle is transported on the train in a separate freight wagon. Meet up in good time in advance due to this.

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 Flåmsdalen Valley was steep, slippery and rocky but it turned out well and I was soon down in the main valley.

The Flåmsdalen 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.

Fjord Cruise on the Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord

Fjord Cruise on the Nærøyfjord.
Fjord Cruise on the Nærøyfjord.

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.

Walking the Old Postal Road by the Nærøyfjord

Hiking along the Nærøyfjord. I met a group kayakers.
Hiking along the Nærøyfjord. I met a group kayakers.

I had arranged in advance to be picked up by Svein in his boat at Gudvangen. Svein and his boat took me to Bleiklindi, a good starting point for walking the Royal Postal Road to Styvi which is situated six kilometers further out the fjord.

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.

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

Leaving the Nærøyfjord.
Leaving the Nærøyfjord.

At Odnes I had a break near the outlet of the river Odneselvi. 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. There I met Kjellaug and Botolv, whom I am lucky enough to have met so many times before on previous visits. They served freshly baked waffles with strawberry jam and homemade juice to a tired man, and it tasted excellent.

The last ferry from Gudvangen sailed out the fjord. To inform them to stop at Styvi I turned on the flasher at the quay. I said goodbye to Kjellaug and Botolv and boarded the ferry. From the ferry I could see Styvi and the mountains become smaller, and soon both Styvi and the Nærøyfjord disappeared when the ferry turned around Mt Beitelen and into the Aurlandsfjord.

 

NOTE – In the past, you could turn on the flashing lights on Styvi to give a signal to the boats in traffic on the fjord to stop at Styvi and take you on board. I am not sure if this is still current practice.

Flåm Railway to Myrdal and Bergen Railway back to Oslo

Back at Flåm, at the innermost part of the Aurlandsfjord, I entered the train on Flåm Railway. Flåm Railway is one of Norway’s most spectacular with its 1 to 18 gradient and 20 tunnels taking you up the Flåmsdalen 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 Flåmsdalen 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 few nights in Flåm or Aurland to experience even more in this area.

Video from another hike along the Nærøyfjord

Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord – What to See and Do

FJORDS NORWAY - The UNESCO Protected Nærøyfjord
Nærøyfjord.

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. On 14 July 2005, the Nærøyfjord together with the Geirangerfjord became part of our common UNESCO’s world heritage.

From Flåm you can take part in a fjord safari or a fjord cruise on the Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord. You can take this fjord cruise as a round trip (both ways) or one way combined with bus between Flåm and Gudvangen. See the great view from Stegastein viewpoint, 650 meters above Aurland. Taste the local goat’s cheese in Undredal or in Skjerdal, two villages by the Aurlandsfjord.

Flåm Railway is the train journey from mountain to fjord, perhaps the most beautiful railway in the world. You can 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 lower part of Aurlandsdalen, which is also the most popular, starts from Østerbø and ends at Vassbygdi in Aurland.

The Flåm Valley is a beautiful adventure. The valley between Myrdal (866.8 masl) and Flåm by the Aurlandsfjord is 18 kilometer long. The valley is narrow and the mountains are steep, and there are waterfalls and rivers wherever you turn around. Flåm Valley is a great place for hiking and biking. Flåm Zipline sends you off at over 100 kilometers per hour, you are just hanging in a thin steel wire high above the valley.

By the Nærøyfjord, we have the small villages of Gudvangen, Bakka, Styvi and Dyrdal. Styvi is the only place without permanent inhabitants during the winter, and is together with Dyrdal without road connection. Gudvangen is one of two ports where the iconic ferry trip along the inner part of the Sognefjord departs and arrives. Visit the Viking village Njardarheimr in Gudvangen and experience the history and culture of the Viking Age.

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.

Hotels and accommodation in the Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord area

Overview of hotels and other places where you can spend the night in the area around the Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord.

Sakte – Stay and Explore the Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord 



“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.

FJORDS NORWAY - Reis Sakte - Hiking towards Skjerdal and the Aurlandsfjord
Reis Sakte – Hiking towards Skjerdal and the Aurlandsfjord.

How to travel to the Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord area

Many roads lead to the Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord area.
Many roads lead to the Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord area.

It is easy to travel to Flåm and Aurland, the Aurlandsfjord and the Nærøyfjord. Almost “all roads” go to Flåm and Aurland, and you can also travel there by train, bus and boat. It is only a short distance between the two neighboring villages of Flåm and Aurland.

You can start this fjord adventure by train from Oslo or Bergen to Myrdal station. Then you get to experience the Bergen Railway between Oslo and Bergen and Flåm Railway, one of Norway’s most spectacular railway lines, from Myrdal station to Flåm, which is located down by the Aurlandsfjord. If you take Flåm Railway, you get to experience the beautiful Flåmsdalen valley at the same time.

There are several daily bus departures between Oslo/Bergen and Flåm.

The nearest airport is Sogndal Airport at Haukåsen near Kaupanger. Most flights that go to and from Sogndal Airport come from and go to Oslo and Bergen. From the airport to Flåm, it is 70 kilometers by road, including a wonderful crossing of the Sognefjord by ferry.

 

HOTELS - LINKS - FAQ

Here you will find an overview of recommended HOTELS in addition to SPA & BATH HOTELS and OTHER ACCOMMODATION PLACES in Western Norway. The combination of beautiful nature, activities that you can do in all four seasons and a stay at a great accommodation is unique. A stay in one of these places will do you good, both for body and mind.

There are ten restaurants that have awarded Michelin stars and Michelin awards in Western Norway. Eight of the Michelin restaurants are in Stavanger and two in Bergen. Here you will find FJORDS MICHELIN, where you will also find a list of recommended hotels in Western Norway, recommended by Michelin.

USEFUL LINKS is a list of websites with great information on Norway and the Fjords. FAQ is an overview of articles that answer the most common questions you have when planning to visit the fjords in Western Norway.

Biking Flåm Valley and Hiking along the Nærøyfjord – Map Overview