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  • Norway: Western Fjords Adventure
Overview

Traverse a landscape of dazzling fjords, cascading waterfalls, and historic villages.

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.

What Our Guests Have To Say About This Tour

We love Boundless

★★★★★
5 5 1
We love Boundless trips! Great design, great guides, great clients. We look forward to our next adventure.

Excellent Guides

★★★★★
5 5 1
The guides were excellent! They were enthusiastic, professional and tried to accommodate the different hiking levels in the group. They were also able to offer knowledge and insights into the culture and current state of their country.

Like Visiting Friends

★★★★★
5 5 1
It was like visiting friends in Norway who want to show off the best of the country and provide insider details that most visitors probably never hear. Even better, the only decisions we had to make were what to wear each day and what to eat off the breakfast buffet--making it a real vacation.

Great Guides

★★★★★
5 5 1
Einar was a great guide, full of enthusiasm and information. Rob is an excellent driver. His quiet competence may go unnoticed by others, but he was a big reason things went smoothly. Both were steady and unflappable.

Outstanding

★★★★★
5 5 1
The hikes were all great! Hard, even a bit challenging in some parts. Day 6 was perhaps the best as we spent time in the Voss Folk Museum and later with lunch at the Silvi Farm. While we expect the hikes and physical activities to be great, what stood out the most were the interactions with local farmers, museum guides and Randie (sp?) at the Silvi Farm. Outstanding!

Beautiful Hikes

★★★★★
5 5 1
Every hike was superb with beauty beyond words. Tears came to my eyes overlooking the Fjords and snow capped mountains.

So good I want to do it again

★★★★★
5 5 1
I can only say Wow Wow to our Norway Trip. It is the best trip I have done with Boundless Journey — and Norway is my 5th trip with you all. All the hikes were well chosen — the views were simply stunning. Yin and I loved every part of the trip - the food, the hotels, the hikes, the kayaking, the glacier walk and the boat trip out from Geianger. Both EIner and Rob did an outstanding job in making sure we were well fed in all aspects. The BBQ lunch they prepared for us was delicious. On a longer bus ride, they even got pizza for us. Both of them made our trip memorable and unforgettable. Einar was very personable and always ensured everyone was well taken care of. For every town we passed, he would talk about the place briefly. He would start the day by communicating what we would do for the day, how long the bus ride would be, and how long the activities would last. He is the best guide I have had with Boundless Journey. Rob was a very careful driver. He is meticulous, taking care of all the details. On our day hike from Balestrand, lunch boxes were not ready before we took off. Rob ran all the way to the mountain with 17 lunch boxes so that we would not be kept hungry. Both Einar and Rob made the trip wonderful and memorable! They are real gems for Boundless. I wanted to personally thank you, Einar and Rob for the well-crafted itinerary, well-chosen hiking routes and the activities. The trip was so good that I have been thinking about coming back next year to do the same trip.

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Itinerary &
Accommodations

Itinerary & Accommodations

Day 1

Hardangerfjord & Lake Bondhusvatnet

  • Activity Overview: Cultural touring and hiking
  • Activity Level: Easy, 700’ elevation gain/loss
  • Activity Length: 2-4 hours, up to 5 miles

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.

Accommodations
Ullensvang Hotel

Ullensvang Hotel
Lofthus 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.

Day 2

Husedalen Hike & Cider Farm

  • Activity Overview: Hiking
  • Activity Level: Moderate, up to 2,300’ elevation gain/loss
  • Activity Length: 2-4 hours, up to 6 miles

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.

Accommodations
Ullensvang Hotel

Ullensvang Hotel
Lofthus 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.

Day 3

Folgefonna Glacier Walk & Voss

  • Activity Overview: Glacier walk
  • Activity Level: Moderate, elevation gain and loss is based on the group and conditions on the glacier
  • Activity Length: 2-3 hours, 2-3 miles

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').

Accommodations
Hotel Store Ringheim

Hotel Store Ringheim
Voss, Norway

This 15-room historic hotel in a restored farmhouse offers views over different parts of the surrounding farm landscape and distant mountains.

Day 4

Sea Kayaking on Nærøyfjord

  • Activity Overview: Sea kayaking
  • Activity Level: Easy to moderate
  • Activity Length: 4-6 hours with stops, 5-8 miles

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.

Accommodations
Hotel Store Ringheim

Hotel Store Ringheim
Voss, Norway

This 15-room historic hotel in a restored farmhouse offers views over different parts of the surrounding farm landscape and distant mountains.

Day 5

Voss Folkemuseum, Farm Visit, & Stave Church

  • Activity Overview: Cultural visits and walking
  • Activity Level: Easy, 300' elevation gain/loss
  • Activity Length: 1-hour visits, 1-hour walking

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.

Accommodations
Kviknes Hotel

Kviknes Hotel
Balestrand, 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.

Day 6

Balestrand Hike

  • Activity Overview: Hiking
  • Activity Level: Easy to moderate, 1,870' elevation gain/loss
  • Activity Length: 2-4 hours, 4 miles

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.

Accommodations
Kviknes Hotel

Kviknes Hotel
Balestrand, 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.

Day 7

Skagastøls Lake Hike

  • Activity Overview: Hiking
  • Activity Level: Moderate, 1,475' elevation gain/loss
  • Activity Length: 5 hours, 5 miles

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.

Accommodations
Elveseter Hotel

Elveseter Hotel
Bøverdalen, 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.

Day 8

Geirangerfjord & Ålesund

  • Activity Overview: Hiking
  • Activity Level: Moderate, 1,200' elevation gain/loss
  • Activity Length: 2-3 hours, 2.25 miles

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.

Accommodations
Hotel Brosundet

Hotel Brosundet
Ålesund, 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.

Day 9

Departure

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.

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Dates &
Prices

Dates And Prices

2020
Trip Length

9 Days

Trip Dates

Jun 21-30, 2020

Jul 12-21, 2020

Aug 2-11, 2020

Take over a date for your group! See "Make It Private" on Dates & Prices tab.

2020 Land Cost

From $6,195 Per Person


Single Supplement

First two reserved:$250

Additional:$750

See single supplement policy below.

MAKE IT PRIVATE

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.

What's Included

  • Expert leadership
  • All accommodations
  • All meals from lunch on Day 1 to breakfast on Day 9
  • Two complimentary glasses of house wine or beer with dinners
  • All transportation during the tour
  • Park fees
  • Activities as noted in the itinerary
  • All gratuities except for those for your guide(s), which is at your discretion
  • Explorers Club savings on your next scheduled, small-group trip (conditions apply)
Single Supplement Policy

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.

What To
Expect

What To Expect

Physical Activity

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.

Glacier Walk

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.

About the Kayaking

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.

Meeting Point

Bergen, Norway

Departure Point

Ålesund, Norway

Traveling To and From

Most Convenient Airport for Arrival:
Bergen Airport, Bergen (airport code BGO)

Most Convenient Airport for Departure:

Ålesund Airport, Ålesund (airport code AES)

Weather

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.

Bergen

June

High: 63
Low: 50

July

High: 64
Low: 53

August

High: 64
Low: 53

Voss

June

High: 66
Low: 46

July

High: 69
Low: 51

August

High: 66
Low: 49

Ålesund

June

High: 57
Low: 49

July

High: 62
Low: 53

August

High: 61
Low: 54

When To Go

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.

Cuisine

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.

Guides

Featured Guides

About Our Guides

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.

From $6,195 / person* *airfare not included
9 Days
Reserve This Tour
  • Departure Dates: Jun 21-30, 2020
    Jul 12-21, 2020
    Aug 2-11, 2020
Take over a date for your group! See "Make It Private" on Dates & Prices tab.
Activity Level 3 Moderate

Moderate hiking, 3-5 hours per day (3-6 miles); full-day sea kayaking (no experience necessary).

Read about our Activity Levels
  • Group Size: 6-16 Guests

Make it Your Own!

This trip can be your own adventure by taking over one of our scheduled dates, or we can request a fresh one.

Prefer a Custom Tour?

Questions?

Our dedicated team of travel experts are here to help.

1-800-941-8010

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Early Booking Savings!

Save 5% on any 2020 scheduled tour—DOUBLE your savings to 10% by paying in full at time of reservation! Reserve directly with us by November 30th, 2019. Conditions apply. Call 1-800-941-8010 for more information or to reserve.

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