We are just returning from an 8 day trip to Norway. 2 days/nights in Bergen, 5 nights in Flam, with a final day/night in Bergen before moving on. We wanted to go to Balestrand as a day trip from our base in Flam but the infrequent ferries between Flam and Balestrand made a day trip a bit difficult. Overnight is best. My pre trip research suggested a lot of hikes from Balestrand are waiting for you though.
We were slightly hesitant with staying for 5 nights in Flam on account of the daily cruise ships and hoards of tourists disembarking. It turned out that we really loved Flam. There is a day or two (or more) of hiking options from Flam center. I will leave you with a short trip report for the Flam area with what we did, which may give you some ideas. I found researching this trip (especially the fjord areas) to be a bit more challenging than our other trips to Europe.
Day #1: Train Bergen to Flam. We saw the dancing maiden halfway down the Flam railway. Walked around Flam.
Day #2: Day trip on the 2 hour fjord cruise from Flam to Gudvangen (spectacular), grabbed some lunch and hit the Viking Village (it was merely ok). Return to Flam by bus. Watch tourists climb back on their giant cruise ship while we had a beer on our deck of our rented cabin on the fjord. Enjoyed a more peaceful Flam from 6pm onwards.
Day # 3-4: We rented a car from Flam E-Mobility rental. We drove to Aurland for the Stegastein Viewpoint (recommended) and other hikes. My favorite hike was in the Aurland Valley (from Flam, drive 8 KM to Aurland, right on 50 for about 7 KM’s). Hikes in the valley had different micro climates at every corner we turned. Rocky, lush, waterfalls, rapids, old camping cabins, sheep etc. Hiking was slow, some due to the elevation gain but mostly because I kept needing to take pictures. Trails criss-crossed the area and while there were no fjord views, there were also no tourists. You could take a bus to this hiking trailhead but figuring out the bus schedules proved difficult to us. We were glad we had a car for part of our stay in this area. You mentioned Aurland. It was a cute town, quiet. We tried to have lunch one of the days but nothing was open (it was a holiday but many options to eat were open in Flam). So, plan accordingly.
Day #5: Stayed in Flam. Hiked to Flam church and Brekkefossen. Shopped. Eiger Brewery has great beer and pretty good food. Other restaurants and cafe’s were decent as well.
Day #6: Train back to Bergen. Bergen has some great hikes in the hills above/around town. The town is easy to get around on foot. Good restaurants and great beer bars. Looking forward to having a $6 pint when I get home vs the $14/pint in Norway.
Hope this helps a bit. Let me know if you have any other questions.