Picture a winter wonderland and an autumn fairytale – all at the same time! Enter, Fjord Norway. Rolling countryside highways, coastal roads running parallel to the North Sea, glaciers and lakes filled with fresh snow, and fjord cruises among some of the world’s narrowest inlets – it’s your recipe for an ideal roadtrip through Norwegian paradise.
Your hit list for this visit has Bergen and Flåm as absolute must-dos, and Ålesund if you’ve got some more time on your hands.
Stay in the center of Flåm or Aurland (less than fifteen minutes away by car), both little villages located right on a branch of the famous Sognefjord.
Spend a day in the region with a morning cruise on the Nærøyfjord, the best known branch of the Sognefjord, followed by a bus to Voss to explore the little neighbouring village, taking the train back on the scenic Flåm railway from Voss or Myrdal.
Drive three hours from Flåm to the lovely port of Bergen, commonly known as the official gateway to Norwegian Fjord Country. Spend two-three days here, exploring the port city and cruising deeper into the fjords.
If you are lucky enough to be there during peak season (May-September), take a cruise deep into the Hardangerfjord – the fourth longest in the world! If not, don’t sweat it! October is a lovely time to visit with the fall colours in full bloom, adding a beauty to your drives and cruises unlike any other – stop along the way to see the apple trees in full bloom!
Take a cruise on the Osterfjorden with a ride through the narrow Mostraumen strait for a lovely morning spent out on the water, watching as the clouds descend onto the waterfront homes amidst the orange and red hues of the surroundings.
And don’t be disappointed – you haven’t missed Hardangerfjord – in fact, prepare for the drive of a lifetime as you work your way towards….
Bergen – Oslo
End your trip in Oslo (if you’ve got a few more days, head on further north to Ålesund to cruise the Geirangerfjord!) and take a full day to truly enjoy the BEAUTIFUL drive from Bergen.
For the most scenic route, follow E13 until you hit the E7, or the National Tourist Route also known as Hardangervidda. This lovely highway is one of the few nationally acclaimed routes in the country and does not disappoint as it takes you through the Hardanger region, bringing you into the fjord and its villages. Make a stop at Vøringfossen, a lovely waterfall in the fjord, and hike up to the falls if you’ve got time. Head to the fjord village of Eidfjord to make a pit stop at Fiell & Fjord for some coffee and cake.
Past fjord country your scenery changes into winter wonderland as you continue on the E7 and reach the Hardangervidda plateau, snowbound with glaciers surrounding you on either side. Driving in October you’re almost guaranteed to have some fresh powder on the mountains, and there’s nothing like a short snowball fight on the shoulder of the road to take a quick break from the drive. There are plenty of viewpoints across the plateau for the perfect Instagram – we stopped at nearly all of them. Make the most of it before you head back down to the North Sea and continue your coastal drive as the colours change back to their reddish-green hues and temperatures rise again.
Easily the highlight of our trip, this drive is about seven hours, but will likely turn into a nine or ten hour drive as you make stops along the way for your pictures (you can’t help but!), so budget a day for it and SAVOUR it, it truly is spectacular – the perfect final hurrah to your fjord road trip.
Where to Stay in Fjord Norway :
Flåm & Aurland
Airbnb gave us the best options and easily the most picturesque homes!