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How many days in Songefjord?


I'm taking a trip to Norway at the end of the month and am in the process of finalizing my plans. I'll be there for 9 days and will be flying in to Oslo where I have two full days (after arrival) and then an overnight train to Bergen booked where I will pick up a car to begin exploring the Fjords. I have the car for 5 full days and am trying to determine how many days I should spend in the Sognefjord area.

Here's my current plan:

Day 1: Drive to Solvorn stopping at Hopperstad Stave Church (overnight in Solvorn)
Day 2: Drive the Sognrefjellt road and hike the Nigardsbreen glacier (overnight in Solvorn)
Day 3: Travel to Aurland or Flam and visit the Borgund Stave Church and Otternes Farms (overnight in Aurland or Flam)
Day 4: Fjord cruise from Flam to Gundvangen (overnight in Aurland or Flam)
Day 5: Leisurely return to Bergen, perhaps stopping at the Edvard Grieg home while I still have a vehicle

Then one full day in Bergen before flying home from Bergen.

I'm trying to determine if this is a good plan, as in is it too much to do, or will I get bored and not have much left to do in the area? According to Google Maps all of these trips would have about 4 hours of driving time, I'm not sure how accurate that is for the area, but I'm thinking about be a good amount of time allowing lots of other time for random and planned stops. Also, in terms of staying in Aurland or Flam, does anyone have any recommendations which might be better? I've read the Rick Steves guide over and over and can't decide! :)

Thanks for your help!


Posted by
9110 posts

It looks pretty good. Two thoughts:

. You'll need a couple of hours at Troldhaugen.

. Flam sucks. Stay anywhere else.

Posted by
54 posts

Troldhaugen, Edvard Griegs home is worth a few hours. And if you are in Bergen without a car, it was easy by tram and a beautiful walk.

Posted by
57 posts

This seems like a reasonable plan. I did roughly the same itinerary in four days, so you'll probably have some time to see some other things. In addition to the Sognefjellet road, I also loved the Aurlandsfjellet, which is a very scenic way to get from Aurland to Borgund Stave Church. The Stegastein viewpoint above Aurland has amazing views of the fjord. One tip for the Sognefjellet road: consider bringing a picnic lunch or something to snack on. We didn't, and had a hard time finding much to eat that day!

I'm glad to see you're visiting Nigardsbreen glacier, which was the highlight of our trip. I 'd also suggest seeing the remarkable carvings at Urnes Stave Church, which is right across the fjord from Solvorn. We stayed in Solvorn—very quaint and charming. I agree with the above poster about Flam—staying in Aurland is probably the better option. We stayed in the fjordside cabins at Vangsgaarden.

Posted by
2829 posts

I'd re-consider the overnight train to Bergen, and instead rent a car in Oslo and drive to Solvorn via this route (Google Maps) on Rv50 (a secondary route through the Hardangervidda. It is only (start-to-end) 1h30 longer than driving to Solvorn from Bergen and the central sector is absolutely stunning (Youtube time-lapse videos of parts of that route 1 and 2)

Posted by
7 posts

First of all, thanks for the feedback everyone, it makes me feel much better about being prepared to go!

I've decided to go ahead and stay in Aurland versus Flam and as for picking up the rental car in Oslo over Bergen I had originally planned on doing that, but the one-way fees for dropping it back off in Bergen where I fly home from nearly doubled the overall cost, which is already about $100/day plus fuel (and this was the cheapest option I could find).

Posted by
388 posts

the itinerary looks good. Aurland would be a good place to base yourself.

Posted by
6 posts

Sounds like you finished your trip but I'll add my thoughts for others reading this post. Just got back from the fjord trip. So glad I stayed in Balestrand instead of Flam. Flam looked really boring -- you don't yet have a good view of the fjord. You're at the very end of a fjord, and seemed you'd be without much sunshine with the high mountains surrounding you. You do have a good view of 12 story cruise ships docked in port. (Why take photos of a huge cruise ship when you could be out on the fjord?) And there is just nothing to do in Flam. Once I got off the Myrdal to Flam train, I waited a few hours in Flam and caught the ferry to Balestrand. Now Balestrand is everything you dream about the fjords. Fantastic views. Good base for taking long walks and hikes, and you can rent bikes, or take ferry side trips to little village areas. I stayed in the less desirable part of the Kviknes Hotel (the newer part) but loved it. You could walks the grounds and the grand old hotel. I then took the ferry back to Flam to continue the Nutshell tour, but you can also take the ferry straight from Balestrand to Bergen...although you'd miss the seeing the best fjord, the Naeroyfjord, and on the way to Gundvangen.