Norway is stunning beyond expressions, almost, like a poem, written by the God of Gods. I couldn’t be more fortunate to visit this beautiful country, full of lovely people, and spectacular views. Although, any trip to Norway is incomplete until you take the Norway in a Nutshell tour. Oslo alone is not enough to fall in love with Norway, wait until you explore further into the cold breeze of snow-capped mountains, and World’s longest fjords.
Not only, did Norway in a nutshell tour introduce me to World’s most scenic fjords, but, also some of the most stunning landscapes, plunging waterfalls, draped valleys, and snow peaks. For as long as I remember, my camera encapsulated the beauty of Norwegian forests, glaciers, luxuriant fjords and candle-lit ski resorts. Your tour can typically kick off from Bergen, Oslo, and Voss. Whichever, embarkment you choose it will incorporate, the essential highlights, Flamsbana train voyage and a scenic ride.
Norway in a Nutshell, Scenic ride from Bergen to Gudvangen
My excursion began in the Norway’s historic capital, Bergen. You have probably heard of the Bryggen Wharf, with the wooden houses from a bygone era. Visiting in person, further, adds an uncovered perspective to this well-preserved landmark! I enjoyed several activities in Bergen, including a stroll by the tiny wooden houses along the wharf, ride up the Mount Fløyen funicular, and an opportunity to capture some incredible light shows. Another key point is that this 10th century colourful port, of Bergen, is also a gateway to the Norwegian fjord journey.
Take an early morning bus from Bergen to Gudvangen, a small village, set in the innermost part of the Nærøyfjord. The bus ticket on this route will cost you $25 or less. The 2.5-hour bus journey will navigate along the Haus, Osteroy, Dale, Evanger, Voss Oppheim and Stalheim route. Soon after, you will enter the old Viking village of Gudvangen, enveloped by surreal mountainous beauty, waterfalls and the Fjord harbour-side.
This breathtaking village features a 19th-century Fjordtell hotel, with a restaurant, outdoor terrace, and Viking rooms. I bought the best reindeer burger, I have ever tasted from the on-site restaurant, along with a cup of hot steaming coffee to go with the cold weather. In other words, arrive early to take pictures, grab a coffee and to simply enjoy the tranquil vibes of this location. Also, you can use the waiting time to browse through the gift shop and buy unique Norwegian souvenirs.
Norway in a Nutshell, whopping hold on Sognefjord (Gudvangen – Flam)
Gudvangen looks almost like a different magical port, once you board the cruise. A perfect natural photography landscape with luxurious ferries in sight.
I was travelling by the traditional cruise and in no time secured myself a fjord-view seat, on the 3rd-floor deck. As the cruise begins to sail, the larger than life part of the journey unfolds.
Nearly a dozen seagulls swarm and chase the cruise, while, expecting you to feed them. They fly at the same speed as the cruise, which allows onlookers, an up and close look. As much as, Seagulls are known to be a dangerous species, feeding them was indeed one-of-the most memorable experiences of my life.
The rest of my 2.5-hour, Sognefjord, Naeroyfjord, and Aurlandsfjord, cruise journey went by admiring the ice-age mountainous marvels in the World’s narrowest fjord. This part of Norway will also give you a glimpse the Precambrian Age Rocks that were formed millions of years back. In 2005, Nærøyfjorden fjord made it to the UNESCO’s World Heritage List. Arrive at Flåm, famous for Norway’s best goat cheese. This central junction connects Oslo to Bergen, with the help of trains, bus or a boat.
Therefore, don’t be surprised to spot a lot of people in this small tourist depot. They are mostly travellers, nut-shellers or guests staying at Flam to explore nearby destinations.
Things to do in Flam
You will have a few hours in Flam, before you board the World’s best part train, Flamsbana. Use this time to explore the museum, souvenir stores, bike-rentals, restaurants, shoe factory, boutique stores and eat an ice cream under the sun. The marketplace is soaked up in shades of red, yellow and white. If you are staying in Flam, then I suggest you try renting out the electric car or the bike.
From striking Flam to enchanting Myrdal and Finse 1222
After a short wait, you will notice “Flamsbana” arriving at the railway station. This party-train has been listed the best, amid those with a picturesque view. Flamsbana takes you through 20 steepest and narrowest tunnels connecting Flåm to Myrdal. Flamsbana is a train ride through 20 steepest and narrowest tunnels, connecting Flåm to Myrdal. What more, it even takes a quick photo stop, at the colossal Kjosfossen Waterfall. An audio tour will guide you throughout the journey, narrating the history of places and their importance.
There are plenty of valley views for tree-huggers, while, techies can luxuriate in the free, high-speed, onboard Wi-Fi. Likewise, Foodies must try the Norweigan and continental from the train’s restaurant. The train stops at Myrdal Station, on the Bergen-Oslo line. From here, you can either board a train to Oslo, to conclude your tour, or halt at Geilo, Norway’s best Ski Village. Note that, Finse1222 is a stop-over town, famous for film shootings. The train fare to Oslo will cost you $16 if booked in advance.
This candle-lit, Vestlia Resort features rooms with wooden furnishings and door-to-door Ski facility. It’s an ideal accommodation for solo travellers, couples, families and bloggers who love well-cooked food and sophisticated ambience. Whether you are seeking solitude or thrill in outdoor sports, Vestlia caters to all types of necessities. Try skiing, hiking, ski-sailing, biking, strolling in the village, and glacier walks in Geilo.
Oslo, The Final Destination
Conclude your trip in Oslo, Norway’s modern capital, and most commercial city. In Oslo, visit the famed Frognerparken, Oslo City Hall, Viking Ship Museum, Danstredet, Bygdoy, and Holmenkollen ski jump arena. The most famous shopping stop is the Oslo City Mall, along with the streets of Stenersgata, lined with branded stores, ice-cream outlets and high-end restaurants. That is to say, a trip to Stenersgata will make you happy as a clam.
Norway in a Nutshell – Tour Operators and Costs
Fjord Tours offers, well-organised, ferry, train, and bus voyage for you to experience Norway on a panoramic platter. The customisable, “Norway in a Nutshell” trip, runs year-round, allowing you to dictate your favourite stopovers. The best time to take this trip is between July and August. All in all, a Norway in a Nutshell, excursion, is not inexpensive, but the experience is worth every penny spent. Regardless, of where you arrive from, the price of the ticket remains flat throughout the year. A round-trip from Bergen to Myrdal costs $172, wherein, $370 for a return from Oslo.
Make an advance reservation, preferably online, or buy tickets in person, at the Voss station. Norway in a Nutshell trip will cost you around $400 and you must carry additional $200 for food and shopping. A souvenir will cost between $10 to $50, while a jacket and other similar items between $50 – $500.
Norway, in a Nutshell, is a trip for free-thinkers, willing to pursue different modes of transport. The alternate way to enjoy this trip is to rent a cycle or drive from city to countryside.