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Oslo-Balestrand-Bergen-Oslo itinerary

Hello Fellow travelers: I am looking at the following itinerary. Basically, we'd like to do an Oslo-Bergen round trip, and include two nights in Balestrand. It is our first time to Norway too, and I would very much appreciate your advice on the following itinerary. Since I could not find a standard NIN route, I stitched up legs together. (Thanks BB for the super helpful information here: https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/norway/bergen-sognefjord-stave-church-oslo-how-to-details).

Day 1: Leaving Oslo 6:25 am, arriving Flam 13:10 on train (with a change in Myrdal). Leaving Flam 15:30, arriving Balestrand 16:55 on boat.

Day 2: Balestrand. We are thinking to take the ferry to Fjaerland in the morning, and a hike in Balestrand in the afternoon.

Day 3: Leaving Balestrand 7:50 am, arriving Bergen 11:55 on express boat.

Day 4: Goofing off in Bergen. (activity suggestions welcome!).

Day 5: Leaving Bergen at 8:40am, do the standard NIH route (Bergen-Voss-Gudvangen-Flam-Oslo), arriving in Oslo at 22:35.

We booked all trains and boats ticket, except the Bergen-Voss-Gudvangen leg, since the online system does not allow you booking that particular train (why?). On the phone, the train representative said that there will always be "standing room" if necessary.

As a general question: it makes me a bit nervous that the minpris tickets are non-refundable. That is, if an earlier leg runs late (due to weather or anything), we are completely responsible for buying a new ticket). The question is: can you count on bus/train/boat in Norway run on schedule? :-)

Happy travels!
--Lauren

Posted by
6 posts

I am going to Norway for the first time, too, and I want to do something similar to you and Lane from the other thread about this topic...only I want to do it in two days. I am also looking for advice. I am piecing this together myself as well. So far I have:
Day 1:
Bergen train to Voss 6:51 a.m.-8:10
Voss bus to Gudvangen 8:30 a.m.-9:20
Gudvangen ferry to Flam 9:30 a.m.- 11:45
Flam train to Myrdal - 12:20 p.m.- 1:15 - walk about Myrdal for a while
Myrdal train back to Flam - 3:59 p.m-4:55 - overnight in Flam

Day 2:
Flam ferry to Balestrand 6 a.m. - 8
Balestrand ferry to Fjaerland and back to Balestrand 8 a.m.- 4:50 p.m. (full day) or ? p.m. (half day)
Balestrand ferry to Bergen - want to see the entire Sognefjord! 4:55p.m. - 8:45

I am wondering if these ferries are timed to work with each other or if the connections in Balestrand are too tight. Does any one know?

Lauren, is there a particular hike you have in mind for Balestrand? Maybe we should take the half day trip to Fjaerland and get back early enough to do that and be sure we get our ferry back to Bergen.

Sue

I have not booked any tickets yet; that is next on my list.

Posted by
1359 posts

Lauren, I did the exact same Day 1 and Day 3 as you when I was in Norway last week. The connections were straightforward. This route is designed for people to do what you're doing, so I can't imagine that you'll be stranded anywhere.

Doglover, there is no walking around to do in Myrdal. There is nothing there. No town. Just like three houses. It's just a train station where you can connect from the NSB to the Flam Railway. The people I saw who rode the Flam Railway round trip just stayed on the train and rode directly back.

Balestrand has some hiking trails; my hotel (the Balestrand Hotell, which I highly recommend, especially if you get a room facing the fjord) had maps available. I took a really short hike up there, and it seems like some nice and well-marked hiking trails through thick forest.

I don't know if the Fjaerland ferry that gets back to Balestrand at 4:50 coordinates with the express boat to Bergen that leaves at 4:55. All the ferries I saw are run by Norled, so, they probably do, but ask them to be sure.

Posted by
16807 posts

While the reservation departing Oslo is highly recommended, reservations departing Bergen have never seemed to be. It looks like one reason is the additional regional trains running from Bergen to Voss and Myrdal which don't continue to/from Oslo. I also don't think the Voss-Gudvangen bus takes reservations.