Very few places in the world have scenery as dramatic as the Norwegian fjords. Known for staggering peaks, deep-blue waterways, charming seaside hamlets, giant glaciers, and lush forests, the landscape is as grand as the legends and folktales told in the region.
Experience the essence of the Norwegian fjords on this epic adventure. From the historic city of Bergen, to the small, yet sophisticated city of Ålesund, we kayak and hike through this majestic region. Our coastal journey is complimented by travel inland, where fjord arms, glaciers, and mountains greet us with fewer crowds and impressive vistas. Along the way, we embrace local culture with visits to working farms, seaside villages, and historic stave churches. A trip to the UNESCO-protected Western Fjords will make you feel as if you have crossed into the farthest corner of the Earth.
Hardangerfjord & Lake Bondhusvatnet
Welcome to Norway! Our adventure begins with a walking tour of the UNESCO World Heritage City of Bergen. Tucked between mountains and fjords, a meandering tour along Bergen's cobblestone streets will guide us through its seafaring heritage. Our visits today include Bryggen, once the epicenter of Bergen's fishing and trade industry, and a ride on the local funicular up Mt. Fløyen, which offers outstanding views over the city.
Mid-morning we transfer to the Hardangerfjord region, home to wild and rugged mountains rising from the fjord, verdant farmland, and storybook villages. We have lunch in the rose garden of a historic manor house, before hiking to the beautiful glacier-fed Lake Bondhusvatnet. If time allows, we may continue around the lake almost to the edge of the Bondhus Glacier tongue.
Later this afternoon we cross the Hardangerfjord between Utne and Kinsavik, arriving shortly afterward at our hotel in Ullensvang, ideally-located along the fjord.
Ullensvang HotelLofthus Hardanger, Norway
The Ullensvang Hotel has been run by the same family for five generations and offers the perfect balance of rich traditions with modern facilities on the beautiful Hardangerfjord.
Husedalen Hike & Cider Farm
Our hike today begins in Kinsarvik and wends through the Husedalen Valley along one of the most beautiful trails in Norway. We see a succession of stunning waterfalls on the way from Kinsarvik to the Hardangervidda mountain plateau, the largest high mountain plateau in northern Europe. Because the hike is an out-and-back trail, it can be shortened for those who prefer a less strenuous day.
Early this evening, we are met by a local farmer who will walk with us to the Alvavoll Fruit & Cider farm. Here we learn about the production of apples, pears, plums, honey, apple juice, and cider, and have an opportunity to taste some of the world-famous cider produced in the Hardanger region. Dinner will follow back at our hotel.
Folgefonna Glacier Walk & Voss
This morning, a 1.5-hour drive brings us to the Folgefonna Glacier, the third largest in Norway. After a safety briefing, our experienced glacier guides take us for a walk across the ice. Surrounded by the Hardangerfjord, Rosendal Alps, and the North Sea, this promises to be an exhilarating adventure.*
Afterward, we transfer to Voss (approximately 2 hours) and our hotel for the next two nights. Known for outdoor and adventure activities, Voss is a charming, small town in the lake district, situated between the mountains and the fjords. Most of the melting water from snowmelt and rainfall comes through this region, and the lakes, rivers, and waterfalls are ever-changing depending on the water flow.
*Our guides continuously monitor conditions on the glacier. If conditions are better for snowshoeing, we will trade in our crampons for snowshoes. If it is unsafe to be on the ice, we will hike to the Hovden Viewpoint, an alpine plateau with stunning views of Sorfjorden—one of Norway's most striking fjords (3-4 hours, 4.5 miles, elevation gain 1500').
Hotel Store RingheimVoss, Norway
This 15-room historic hotel in a restored farmhouse offers views over different parts of the surrounding farm landscape and distant mountains.
Sea Kayaking on Nærøyfjord
Today, we venture into the waterways of Norway—the fjords! Our morning begins with a 45-minute scenic transfer to Gudvangen, where we gear up for a glorious day of kayaking on the Nærøyfjord, named by UNESCO as one of the world's natural wonders. Our guides offer expert instruction, and all necessary equipment is provided.
Our adventure takes us past unique rock formations, waterfalls, and local small-scale farms. We stop for a break at a suitable landing point and enjoy a delicious barbecue cooked by our guides.
The return journey in the afternoon brings very different views, looking at the inner part of the fjord back toward Gudvangen. Upon completion of our kayak route, we enjoy some light refreshments before returning to our hotel, where we have a chance to freshen up before dinner.
Voss Folkemuseum, Farm Visit, & Stave Church
After breakfast, we take a short walk from our hotel to the Voss Folkemuseum to be transported back in time. When the museum was founded in 1917, one of its goals was to preserve the old farmstead at Mølster (Mølstertunet), where all the buildings still stand where they were once built. The wooden walls of the buildings have been weathered brownish-grey and the roofs are covered with turf or ancient slates. Inside the old farmhouse the walls still give off the pungent smell of smoke from the open hearth.
From here, we drive to the historical hotel and viewpoint of Stalheim, offering extraordinary views of the Nærøy Valley. A short hike up the side valley brings us to the farm of Sivle, where we enjoy a local meal and hear about the old traditions of summer farming.
As we depart, we take the steep serpentine road leading down the front side of the mountain between two cascading waterfalls. To the north is the Sivlefossen waterfall, and to the south, the Stalheimsfossen waterfall. As melting water plunges over the cliff edge it makes its way from the mountains to the fjord.
Early this afternoon, we visit the Hopperstad Stave Church in Vik. Believed to have been built around 1130, it is one of the oldest stave churches in existence. Inside, we see examples of carvings from the Middle Ages, and a guided tour of the church offers insight into the era connecting modern day Christianity and Viking beliefs.
Later today, we cross the Sognefjord and reach the township of Balestrand to check in to our waterfront hotel.
Kviknes HotelBalestrand, Norway
This historic hotel boasts a large art collection, an onsite restaurant and bar, and beautiful views. Past guests have included Kaiser Wilhelm II and other prominent figures.
Today's hike takes us from the Kreklingen Nature Trail to the stunning Buraasi lookout point. As we climb through moss covered forests and pine-clad trails, our vista opens up at approximately 1870 feet where we have staggering views of Balestrand and the majestic Sognefjorden. Here we enjoy a picnic lunch, or nistepakke, before our descent.
Later this afternoon, our guide will lead an optional Heritage Walk along the coast where we learn about this historic village and the life of the artists who lived here in the 19th century. Others may enjoy a bit of free time before we gather again for dinner.
Skagastøls Lake Hike
This morning, we depart for Jotunheimen National Park, also known as "the home of the giants." From the historical Turtagrø Hotel, we follow a stream through the lush Skagastøl Valley towards Skagastøl Lake. We can sense the ancient mountaineering history of this trekkers' paradise, as the mountains here were first climbed by British lords in the 19th century. At this high alpine lake we enjoy a picnic lunch surrounded by glaciers and vertical peaks before our descent.
This evening, we stay at the unique Elveseter Hotel, rich in Norwegian history and filled with beautiful artwork.
Elveseter HotelBøverdalen, Norway
This old family farm estate has been in operation since the 1870s. In the last century, the estate has been transformed into a beautiful hotel with modern facilities and folk décor.
Geirangerfjord & Ålesund
We enjoy a scenic drive past Lom as we head to the Geirangerfjord region this morning. Geirangerfjord was granted UNESCO status in 2005 and offers stunning views of several waterfalls, including the famous Seven Sisters.
We embark on a hike from Vesterås farm, an idyllic old working farm sitting high above the town. After about an hour, we arrive to the thundering Storseterfossen waterfall, which we can walk behind. Upon returning to the farm, we enjoy a traditional lunch before heading into town for a different view of Geirangerfjord.
Our final drive takes us to the coastal city of Ålesund. Here, we make our way up to the Mount Aksla lookout, which offers fantastic views of the city.
We gather this evening for our final dinner and celebration of our journey, where we raise a glass to new friendships, shared memories, and the many adventures Norway has to offer.
Hotel BrosundetÅlesund, Norway
Ideally-located on the water, Hotel Bosundet has a contemporary and rustic design. A central fireplace and onsite restaurant create a particularly welcoming and cozy communal space.
After breakfast, you are free to depart at your leisure. The airport is a short taxi ride from our hotel.
Please note that this is a typical itinerary, and actual activities may vary due to weather conditions, local events, and to allow serendipity to play a hand in your experience. Accommodations are as outlined in the itinerary, although we reserve the right to change these or the order visited should the need arise.
Jun 21-29, 2020
Jul 12-20, 2020
Aug 2-10, 2020
Take over a date for your group! See "Make It Private" on Dates & Prices tab.
From $6,195 Per Person
First two reserved:$250
See single supplement policy below.
10+ Guests: $6,195 per person
4 to 9 Guests: $6,795 per person
Make it Private price is based on Land Cost only, and a guarantee of the specified number of guests in double occupancy. For groups smaller than the numbers shown, or those requiring single occupancy, we reserve the right to adjust the per person price. Additionally, some trips have minimum group sizes. Please call 1-800-941-8010 for details.
Accommodations (hotels, tents, cruise cabins) are based on double occupancy. A single supplement is paid by participants who specifically request single accommodations, subject to availability. If you reserve at least 120 days prior to departure, you may be eligible for a reduced or free single supplement.* This is generally limited to the first one or two solo travelers to reserve, and the reduction is outlined in the pricing for each trip. Please note, free or reduced single supplements are not combinable with other offers or promotions.
If you are traveling alone and wish to share accommodations, we will try to match you with a roommate of the same gender. If you reserve at least 120 days ahead and a roommate is not available, you will only be charged a “forced” single supplement in the amount of 50% of the standard single supplement* (unless otherwise noted in the detailed itinerary). Single accommodations are limited so you are encouraged to reserve early!
*This may not apply to certain trips with unique accommodation arrangements. Please see specific trip information for more details.
Boundless Journeys' trips are designed for energetic and flexible individuals who like to be active and have a spirit of adventure and a positive attitude. Western Fjords Adventure is rated 3, moderate, on a scale of 1-5 (with 5 being the most strenuous). The hikes on this trip are day hikes with minimal vehicle support. The hikes will be easy to moderate with some longer options, averaging 3-5 hours per day and 3-6 miles. Elevation gains vary from approximately 300 ft. - 2300 ft. with shorter options on our more challenging days.The sea kayaking excursion is suitable for beginners and no experience is necessary. We may cover 5-8 miles in 4-6 hours, depending on weather and water conditions.
A glacier walk is planned for Day 3, weather permitting. All necessary equipment is provided, including crampons and ice axes. The guides we hike with are experienced mountaineers with a great deal of knowledge about glaciers and safety procedures. After being fitted with gear and a safety briefing, we head onto the ice itself for a unique perspective on the importance and beauty of glaciers. If conditions are better for snowshoeing, we will trade in our crampons for snowshoes. If it is unsafe to be on the ice, your guide(s) will offer a hike instead.
We have a large fleet of kayaks, both double and singles. All kayaks are expedition rigged with rudders and low backrests (in order to not get in the way of the sprayskirts). Our guides are usually able to find the best kayak fit for the person. We provide neoprene booties, a sleeveless long john wetsuit, a paddle jacket with a hood, a PFD, a sprayskirt and also a waterproof box for cameras or cellphones as well as a dry bag. No prior experience is needed.
Most Convenient Airport for Arrival: Bergen Airport, Bergen (airport code BGO)Most Convenient Airport for Departure: Ålesund Airport, Ålesund (airport code AES)
Summer in Norway brings long days full of sunshine and warmer temperatures. You are unlikely to have sunshine every day, but it is also unlikely for it to be cloudy for long. June, July, and August see 18-20 hours of daylight. The following are average temperatures in the fjord regions of Norway during the summer months.
Summer in Norway is short, and the best weather for hiking and outdoor pursuits is generally from June through August. Landscapes of lush greens, ripe fruits, and wildflowers peak this time of year. While it is often bright and sunny, cool and/or wet weather is possible any time of year, and the weather can change quickly in the mountains and on the coast.
Norwegians love fish — smoked, grilled, fried, salted, cured, poached, pickled. Menus for most meals will have fish options. In addition, you will find a variety of meat dishes, soups, root vegetables, and salads for lunches and dinners. Breakfasts offer breads, cheeses, yogurts, muesli, and yes, more fish. It is common even for small hotels to offer meals buffet-style, as this allows travelers to try traditional local dishes alongside more familiar fare. Simply put, Norwegian cuisine is hearty and fresh. Please inform us of any specific dietary restrictions, and we will do our best to accommodate you. Please call our office with any questions or concerns about our ability to meet your needs.
Einar has been working in the outdoors for more 30 years. When not guiding groups in the summer months, Einar manages the local ski school in Voss. He is often found on the largest glaciers, in the deepest valleys, or the highest mountain peaks of Norway, and always returns with a big smile on his face and plenty of stories to share. His guests appreciate his great sense of humor and depth of knowledge. In his free time, Einar enjoys kite surfing, kayaking Norway's whitewater rivers, and backcountry skiing. He is fluent in Norwegian and English.
With a Boundless Journeys guide, your experience is that of friend and local adventurer. We believe strongly in working with local guides, experts in the areas to which we travel, and they hold the keys to unlocking the hidden delights of your chosen destination. Although you will never know they are at work—the mark of a truly great leader—our guides make magical things happen and add a dimension to your trip that you could not experience on your own. Over the years we have forged bonds with some of the best guides in the world, and we typically work with a small team of guides in each region. You will be informed of the guide for your trip one month prior to your departure.
Moderate hiking, 3-5 hours per day (3-6 miles); full-day sea kayaking (no experience necessary).
This trip can be your own adventure by taking over one of our scheduled dates, or we can request a fresh one.
By: Katya d'Angelo
These two lovely Norwegian cities offer so much to visitors who want to spend an extra day exploring independently.BergenOur Norway: Western Fjords Adventure meets in Bergen, but we don't spend…
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