Off the rails
Hop onboard a train to Myrdal from Bergen (a two-hour journey northwest) to experience the Flåm Railway. One of the steepest trainlines in the world – almost 80 per cent of the journey has a gradient of 5.5 per cent – it’s the perfect introduction to Norway’s exhilarating landscapes, from fjords and waterfalls to wild forests and mountains.
Flåm Railway – one of the steepest trainlines in the world – is the perfect introduction to Norway’s exhilarating landscapes, from fjords and waterfalls to wild forests and mountains
Preikestolen – the ‘pulpit rock’ – is not for the fainthearted. Located south of Stavanger, 600m above the Lysefjord, this 25sq m plateau is the perfect spot to catch your breath and soothe sore muscles. The four- to five-hour hike is best done with an experienced guide. Book through Outdoor Life.
Home to hundreds of 18th- and 19th-century white timber houses, Stavanger’s fully pedestrianized Old Town is the largest surviving old wooden settlement in Northern Europe.Discover Stavanger
See the majestic rock from the comfort of a fjord cruise, where you can also immerse yourself in the waterfalls and islands of Lysefjord.Explore Norway
Did you know…
‘Bryggen’ means ‘the wharf’ in Norwegian. An important trade centre since the 1100s, all the buildings are similar in style, often three storeys high with timber cladding and tiled roofs.Book flights
Take the Fløibanen funicular up Bergen’s Mount Fløyen to hike back down – but if you’re feeling energetic, why not scale its 320m yourself? The two-mile hike takes you through pine-scented forests. Go with a guide, who can enlighten you about the local fauna and flora on the way, and you’ll be rewarded with views of Bergen.
See the sights of Stavanger before heading east in search of envy-inducing snapshots of the 26-mile Lysefjord. Hire a local guide and head to the top of the Kjerag mountain peak. The views at the summit are spectacular, including the famous Kjerag boulder – a gigantic egg-shaped rock delicately suspended nearly 1,000m above the fjord.
On the road
Got nerves of steel? You’ll feel at home on Stalheimskleiva, the half-mile highway that’s two hours northwest of Bergen. With a 20 per cent gradient, 13 hairpin bends and, in parts, sufficient width for one car only, this is Norway’s ultimate white-knuckle ride. Don’t forget to enjoy the view of Sivlefossen and Stalheimsfossen waterfalls.
If you’re on the lookout for something a little less extreme, try Magma Geopark, located just outside Egersund, about an hour’s drive from Stavanger. The undulating rock formations, with their lunar appearance, provide gentle-gradient walking routes – and have you wishing you’d paid more attention in geography class. Don’t miss the cycle tours through the depths of the 19th-century Blåfjell mines either.
It’s not all about outdoor pursuits. Bergen is home to the Unesco heritage site of Bryggen (the old wharf) and its Kode Museums feature works by Edvard Munch and Paul Klee. Foodies will love Stavanger, where you can find a host of restaurants serving Norwegian specialities and local delicacies such as halibut, herring and lamb.
Walk this way
The 29km Aurlandsfjord is a branch off Norway’s longest fjord, Sognefjorden. Deep and narrow, and surrounded by mountains that scale up to 1,800m, it’s the perfect place to take a hike. Book flights from London to Bergen and hire a car for seven-days.Book flights and car hire