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Is it worth jumping off the NIN ferry and staying overnight at town along the way

I am planning a trip for my family and am making arrangements to do Norway in a Nutshell (NIN) over a couple days.
- Start in Oslo and take train to Flam
- Stay in Flam and take the The Fjords Tour in the morning
- There are options to get off the ferry at Aurland, Drydal, Styvi and Underal - Is it worth spending a night at one of these places and doing some hiking,biking or kayaking ? Can you even rent bikes or kayaks at any of these places? Are there hiking trails? How do i find a place to stay?
- I am assuming i would get back on the ferry and make our way to Gudvangen - is that correct?
- Rick Steves guide book also mentions being adventurous and hopping off the NIN tour and taking a different ferry to Balestrand or Solvorn - How would we accomplish this?
-Are there fun activities to do at these places such as kayaking, biking or hiking?

- If we jump off NIN and go to Solvorn or Balestrand, how do we get back on the ferry going though the Naerofjord to Gudvagen?

Thanks for any assistance!

Posted by
1421 posts

The short answer is yes, it is worth getting off the main NIN and visiting the places you mentioned. And yes, there is hiking, biking, kayaking and if you want, glacier hikes and skiing. Hiking, kayaking and biking are all available in Flam and Balestrand. Glacier hikes can be done at Nygardsbreen, close to Solvorn. How much time do you have? With a little extra work you can get to and from Balestrand (for example) via express ferry from Flam. You could then rejoin the NIN. Solvorn would probably require a car - although I'm sure there's a bus.

Posted by
27328 posts

It's not so easy to find information about transportation in that area--at least I have struggled with it. You might be able to get some schedule information by starting with the Rome2Rio website. Get yourself a map of that part of Norway. Start plugging origins and destinations into Rome2Rio. It will tell you ways to get where you want to go. Do not trust the fares, travel times or frequencies it displays. They were not reliable even pre-COVID. I doubt they've improved in the last two years. But if you keep clicking through the website, you will eventually find the name of the bus or boat company operating each suggested transportation link. You can then go to those websites (Rome2Rio usually provides a clickable link) to get exact schedule information--though I'm not sure all companies know today precisely what they will be doing this summer.

With a family involved, I wonder whether it would be worth it to find a Norwegian company to work with on this? I'm sure the fee would be substantial; everything's expensive in Norway. But it might be worth it to have plans put together by folks who know what transportation is available.

Alternatively, you might seek out a car rental in the area so you don't have to be limited by bus schedules. If you Google car rental Balestrand, you'll get several links (not all in Balestrand).