Please sign in to post.

Staying overnight on the Sognefjord without a car

I am an older woman, and will be travelling alone to Norway's fjord country this coming summer. I don't want to rent a car (and don't know if I even could, because of my age); however, I am very happy taking the train, bus, ferries, etc. I will be based for three days in Bergen, then would like to spend some time in and around the Sognefjord before going on to Alesund. I "did" the NiN trip many years ago, and don't really want to repeat it, especially as it sounds as if Flam and Myrdal are quite overrun with cruise ship passengers nowadays.

I was planning to stay two nights in Balestrand or Solvorn, or someplace like them, and take local ferry or boat trips around, and also visit a couple of stave churches. However, when I looked at those very tiny villages on Google maps, there's really nothing to see or do there for someone who isn't interested in hiking, mountain climbing, sports, etc. I'm beginning to feel that I would be very bored during my free time. However, I definitely don't want to get involved with a lot of cruise ship passengers in Flam, Myrdal or maybe even Aurland.

Bergen is too far for constant day trips, I think. Does anyone know if there's a "medium" size village on Sognefjord with local ferry/boat connections, a few decent restaurants and maybe something to do even if it's just walking around looking at the pretty village? I'd love any suggestions as to an interesting village to stay at.

All ideas and thoughts will be greatly appreciated.


Posted by
16893 posts

It's probably true that you mostly make your own entertainment in these small fjord towns, whether that's hiking, knitting, or reading. Sorry, I don't have any personal experience of a more lively home base.

From Balestrand, you can fill a full day with the boat excursions to the Hopperstad Stave Church (requires 7:50 a.m. start) and to Jotesdal Glacier and museum (either afternoon or all day). The one-mile stroll described along the main road sounds like it's all flat, along the waterline. The town is also well placed if you want to take the Express boat to Bergen. Balestrand also has a new Museum of Travel.

See also:

Posted by
6 posts

Thank you so much for your reply. I had to make a quick decision, and chose Balestrand! I'm very happy to hear that this was probably a good choice. I will print out your suggestions for local day trips and follow through on them. The owner of the Balestrand Hotel, where I just booked a room, has been extremely nice, and has warned me to get my local transport reservations as soon as possible; it sounds like everything will be busy, busy, busy.

Cordially, Susan

Posted by
16 posts

I'm so happy you chose Balestrand. I'd go back there in a minute. It's got a little bit of everything (including one of the best hotel smorgasbords ever at Kviknes Hotel--the hotel itself seemed expensive so we stayed in a smaller place just down the way). Sometimes you will discover the little things--different kinds of apples, etc. (OK so brought home poster about apples grown in Norway...funny souvenir. Enjoy one of the most beautiful places in the world. We did not have a car--just did the Nutshell route out of Oslo. Happy travels.

Posted by
1819 posts

Kvikne's Hotel has a lovely "lounge" room, filled with antique carved furniture. It's called the dragon room - be sure you check it out!

Hertz and Europecar supposedly have no upper age limit for rentals. Driving in Norway is very easy - we did it a few years ago. The roads get towards the top of a mountain, then you drive into a tunnel. Very few of the nail-biting switchbacks one often finds in the mountains.

The drives between Voss and Flam and Flam and the ferry to Balestrand are really gorgeous. Too bad about the excessive number of cruise ship passengers, but there are sites where you can check when the cruise ships will be in the area. Maybe you can find a "no cruise ship" day.