These notes are based on
our experience of two trips in May and reflect the route we took.
Our reasons for that route are explained later.
Bergen to Voss - train
Local train from
Bergen. About one minute after departure is a long tunnel which
emerges by Sørfjorden. A run along the side of the fjord
is followed by a climb past Dale (where the sweaters come from)
Voss to Gudvangen - bus
The bus leaves from
outside the station (try to get a front seat) and runs through
pleasant scenery to Gudvangen. The bus shuns the tunnel of the
new road and takes the old road up to Stalheim where it stops
at the Turisthotell for pictures down to Nærøydalen
and the new road. The journey continues down Stalheimskleivane
to the new road by a steep, narrow road with incredible hairpin
bends. (NOTE we believe the Stalheim section is omitted in winter).
After this the rest of the bus ride to Gudvangen seems tame!
Gudvangen to Flåm
Be sure to get the
right ferry. The first part of this leg is down Nærøyfjord,
then into Aurlandsfjord. These are parts of the upper reaches
of the long Sognefjord. Apart from a few farms there is little
settlement until you reach the head of Aurlandsfjord and, eventually
Flåm. There is a useful commentary on the journey.
Flåm is very small
with little more than the railway station, two touristy shops
and a general store. When we have been there it has been very
quiet. However in summer cruise liners call and then it probably
We have heard that when it
is busy the ferry can get full, so it may be advisable to ensure
you get on board in good time if there is a crowd.
Flåm to Myrdal -
This stretch is on
the amazing Flåmsbana which climbs 2,800 feet in twelve
miles. It is difficult to know which is more breathtaking - the
scenery or the engineering. At one point the track makes a complete
spiral totally inside the mountain. A stop at Kjosfossen lets
you admire the waterfall - impressive when the snow is melting.
Having left summer conditions in Flåm on both trips we
arrived at Myrdal in winter.
Myrdal to Bergen - train
Return to Bergen
by express from Oslo. Good views across the plateau, then descending
through valleys to Voss and so back toBergen.
Check the weather
forecast first - it would be pretty miserable in wet weather.
The trip operates all year and is by scheduled services which
vary according to the time of the year. Book in advance if possible
- some rail services need seat reservations.
Which way round?
We chose to go 'clockwise'
for a number of reasons. Going down the hairpins is probably
more exciting than going up them - certainly the views from the
front of the bus were marvellous. When we went in May the whole
trip took two hours less than going the other way round so we
got a full evening in Bergen. Finishing the journey in a guaranteed
seat on the express from Myrdal was a more comfortable end to
a tiring day than a local train would have been from Voss.
Depending on timetables some
of these points may not apply when you make the trip, but they
raise some issues worth thinking about.
More information and pictures
See external links
Page L2 for relevant websites.
Pictures we took on Norway in a Nutshell are here.