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Norway in a Nutshell or Sognefjord in a Nutshell

Taking recommendations on the Forum, have reservation to stay in Balestrand. Any suggestions on tour- Norway in a Nutshell to Flam then ferry to Balestrand or Sognefjord in a Nutshell which stops in Balestrand?

Posted by
1600 posts

We have only done the NIN from Oslo to Flam, but we also overnighted in Balestrand. We preferred Flam. The narrowest and most scenic part of the Sognefjord is the Naeroyfjord so bre sure whatever tour you do includes it. A fun way to see the fjords was a fjord safari, we did this from Flam. Highly recommend it especially if you include the hike to the goat cheese farm.

Posted by
1354 posts

Hi again! I think it was partially my response to your previous post that got you this far, so maybe I can help again.

Where are you starting and ending? If you start in Oslo, you want to do Sognefjord in a Nutshell. It follows the same route as NiN from Oslo to Flam, and then you take the ferry to Balestrand, do your overnight stay there, and then continue to Bergen.

If you're heading from Bergen to Oslo, you can do the same thing in reverse.

If you really want to do the full itinerary of NiN, you'd have to backtrack from Balestrand to Flam. I didn't do that, so I can't comment on whether that's a better choice. I enjoyed Sognefjord in a Nutshell, but I'm sorry I missed sailing through Nærøyfjord. Either way, I think it's a fine journey.

Posted by
479 posts

We're working on a similar NIN/Balestrand itinerary for 2020. Maybe you've already visited this website with links to several helpful schedule/timetable sites (unless you're booking with the official NIN consolidator who can arrange it all for you.) https://www.visitflam.com/information/timetables/

(We plan to start in Bergen, and the challenge seemed to be getting to Flam from Voss/Gundvangen in time for the afternoon ferry to Balestrand; it seems "doable" based on preliminary research.)

Good luck. Please post a report on how it worked out when you get home.

PS - Just noted Lane's post. We've been hitchhiking on his experience and tips on the Forum; he's the guru on this topic. Thanks, Lane!

Posted by
7 posts

We are planning our trip there in June. We will bus/train from Oslo to Flam then take the Norled ferry to Balestrand to spend the night. The next morning we have scheduled a RIB trip with Fjiord Tours to the Naeroyfjord and back, will have 4 hours to enjoy Balestrand before taking the Norled ferry to Bergen. We will arrive about the same time as if we continued the NIN tour via bus/train back to Bergen. I think we will enjoy the extra time in Balestrand.

Posted by
13 posts

Yes Lane, following your recommendation we have reserved two nights in Balestrand with water view - thank you. Just debating NiN or Sognefjord in Nutshell. We will start in Bergen and end in Oslo.
Did you make reservation in ferry from Flam to Balestrand ahead of time?
Fjord/ cheese trip sounds interesting, will look into it.

Posted by
150 posts

I have been struggling with the same dilemma over the past few months, as I planned a trip through the Baltic countries for this coming June/July. What it boiled down to for me was whether to take the ferry from Bergen to Balestrand, spend two nights there and get myself down to Flam for the NiN to Oslo, or to do the full NiN route from Bergen to Oslo, with a stay in Flam or elsewhere. The biggest drawback with Plan A was that I would miss cruising the Nærøyfjord, trading it instead for the cruise from Bergen to Balestrand. Ultimately, (after watching a YouTube video condensing the whole trip from Bergen to Balestrand down to ten minutes) I opted for the Nærøyfjord route. I just felt that the two hours on the Nærøyfjord boat, plus ferries in the Sognefjord, would be more than enough boat time. So, I recently booked the NiN trip all the way from Bergen to Oslo, and scheduled a two night layover at Flam (arrives 13:30). I then booked the Norled ferry to Balestrand (departing 15:30). I stay two nights in Balestrand, then get the Balestrand-Flam express ferry at 8:30, arriving 10:30, and continue with my NiN route at 12:20, arriving in Oslo at 19:05. Hopefully, it will all work out as scheduled!

Posted by
13 posts

Thank you to Lane and others for the helpful information. We have decided on the Sognefjord in a Nutshell from Bergen to Oslo with two nights in Balestrand.
Now more questions, we will take a train back to Bergen from Oslo. Do we buy a flex ticket now? Or as in some places there are times frames when it is best to buy the tickets.
We will be in Norway on May 17th probably in Bergen, but are there any recommendations for the best place to be for the holiday?
Any suggestions for day trips from Bergen?

Posted by
13 posts

Thank you to Lane and others. Had a wonderful couple of weeks in Norway that included the Sognefjord in a Nutshell with two nights at the Balestrand Hotel and recommend anyone going to Balestrand to make a reservation there with Unni and Eric.
We were in Bergen for the National Holiday, Constitution Day May 17th. It was the highlight of the trip and a very special celebration of Norwegian tradition. Strongly recommend being there if it works with your travel plans.

Posted by
1354 posts

Thanks for coming back and sharing. I'm so glad I was able to help you plan your itinerary, and that you enjoyed staying at the Balestrand Hotel as much as I did.