Norway in a Nutshell® + Historic Balestrand
Oslo | Flåm | Balestrand | Voss | Bergen
Daily Departures April 01 - September 25
This unique journey is an expanded version of the traditional Norway in a Nutshell® and incorporates a fascinating side journey to Balestrand, located on the pristine waters of the Sognefjord. Visit the Kviknes Hotel, the oldest fjord hotel in Norway, filled with artwork from famous personalities who visited or made their home in the village. The traditional architecture of the main building is constructed entirely from wood, and it’s easy to see why the expansive view from these intricately-carved balconies overlooking the phenomenal craggy fjordscape have inspired generations of travelers.
NOTE: All of our Norway in a Nutshell series itineraries are sample itineraries with suggested number of nights. Tour nights and locations can be added or subtracted from each tour as needed.
Day 01: Oslo
Arrive at Oslo Airport today and transfer to your hotel on your own for check-in. After settling in, the rest of the day is at leisure to explore this exciting Scandinavian capital!
Also known as the Viking capital of Norway, Oslo is a diverse mixture of modern and ancient. There are so many options for exploration and discovery: the fascinating Viking Ship Museum—which houses Viking ship findings from Gokstad, Oseberg, and Tune—is located here, along with the Vigeland Sculpture Park, Akershus Fortress, and the World War II Resistance Museum.
Overnight at your hotel.
Base 4* Thon Hotel Opera / Upgraded 5* Hotel Continental
Day 02: Oslo
A traditional Scandinavian buffet breakfast greets you early this morning at the hotel. After breakfast, the day is free to wander the city and get a feel for the Nordic atmosphere. Today you’ll have the opportunity of taking one of our optional tours and excursions, such as the Oslo Food Tour, listed at the end of this itinerary.
Overnight at your hotel and prepare for your next adventure: the fjords.
4* Thon Hotel Opera / 5* Hotel Continental
Day 03: Oslo – Myrdal – Flåm (Flåm Railroad)
You’ll leave Oslo Station this morning aboard the train, taking in the incredible mountainscapes around you as you journey 5 hours to Myrdal and embark for a special 1-hour journey on the world-famous Flåm Railway. Descend 2,838 feet down the side of the Sognefjord, gorgeous views of the surrounding nature and wildlife at every turn.
Arrive in the enchanting fjord town of Flåm, located at the tip of the Aurlandsfjord. Waterfalls cascade down the side of the mountains, colorful cottages dot the hillside, and snow lines the roof of the world above—even in summertime! The remainder of the day is free to settle in and do some short sightseeing around the town.
Accommodations and dinner tonight are at an outstanding four star hotel with panoramic views of the fjord.
Day 04: Flåm
After a sprawling buffet breakfast this morning, you have part of the day to enjoy the historic fjordside village of Flåm on your own. There’s a lot to see and do in this tiny village, such as biking the Rallarvegen road or taking a fjordsafari to explore the Nærøyfjord region from the docks (activities available for purchase locally).
Enjoy the morning and early afternoon before walking the few feet from your hotel to Flåm’s docks, where you’ll take the last express boat to Balestrand: a beautiful town right on the banks of the Sognefjord, there’s an amazing amount of history here and a lot to explore. Transfer to your hotel, a historic gem overlooking one of the most magnificent bends of the Sognefjord, and enjoy a sprawling smorgasbord dinner—the traditional buffet dinner of Scandinavia.
Day 05: Balestrand
A buffet breakfast in your hotel’s dining room overlooking the calm waters of the Sognefjord awaits this morning. Enjoy an entirely free day to relax and experience quintessential fjord life in this charming town.
Smorgasbord dinner and overnight at your hotel.
Day 06: Balestrand – Flåm – Gudvangen – Stalheim Canyon – Voss
This morning after breakfast enjoy a free morning, then embark from the pier in Balestrand on an express boat back to Flåm, arriving in time for lunch. You’ll depart from here on a spectacular fjord cruise down the Aurlandsfjord and the Nærøyfjord to Gudvangen, the breathtaking harbor village at the head of Stalheim Canyon.
Board the bus and be prepared to press your nose to the glass: the deep mountain clefts and stunning waterfalls of Stalheim Canyon are an unbelievably beautiful sight filled with mountain flowers and verdant greenery. You’ll arrive in the resort town of Voss about an hour later, and transfer to your hotel on your own. The bus station is a 1-minute walk from your hotel.
Overnight at a historic hotel on the banks of the Vangsvatnet, a major lake through which the Vosso River flows.
Day 07: Voss
After your buffet breakfast, the day is free to walk around Vossevangen town and explore the nearby lakefront. There are some exciting local excursions you can reach on foot or by taxi, such as a VossVind indoor skydiving experience or the Voss Folk Museum (activities available for purchase locally).
Overnight at your hotel.
Day 08: Voss – Bergen
Depart Voss late this morning after a buffet breakfast at your hotel via the Bergen Line (Bergen Railway). Arrive in center-city Bergen in the early afternoon and check in to your hotel, located right on the same avenue as the UNESCO-rated Bryggen Harbor.
Enjoy the rest of the day to settle in and relax, taking advantage of Bergen’s small-town cosmopolitan atmosphere and exploring the city’s local shops or grabbing a bite to eat (recommendations upon request).
Overnight in your hotel; both offer a light complimentary evening meal.
Base 4* Thon Hotel Rosenkrantz / Upgraded 4*+ Clarion Collection Havnekontoret Hotel
Day 09: Bergen
This morning you’ll enjoy another delicious Scandinavian buffet breakfast. On your last full day in Norway you can take advantage of one of our optional tours and excursions, such as the Bergen City Walking Tour, listed at the end of this itinerary.
You’ll have a free afternoon and evening to enjoy a last night in Norway and shop for souvenirs. Overnight at your hotel.
4* Thon Hotel Rosenkrantz / 4*+ Clarion Collection Havnekontoret Hotel
Day 10: Depart Bergen
This morning, enjoy a final Norwegian buffet breakfast at your hotel before departing for the airport on your own.
- 9 nights’ accommodations in Oslo, Flåm, Balestrand, Voss, and Bergen, including daily Scandinavian buffet breakfast and 3 dinners (Fretheim Hotel, Kviknes Hotel), in centrally-located or first-class hotels (all rooms with private facilities)
- Train ride between Oslo – Myrdal, standard class (includes required seat reservations)
- Train ride on the world-famous Flåm Railway
- Express boat Flåm – Balestrand
- Express boat Balestrand – Flåm
- Fjord cruise (2-hour) on the spectacular Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord
- Bus tour through the impressive Stalheim Canyon to Voss
- Train ride on the Bergen rail line from Voss to Bergen
- Detailed Norway in a Nutshell® tour itinerary and tour brochure with trip information
- Oslo Food Tour with a local English-speaking guide
- Walking tour of Bergen with a local English-speaking guide
NOTE: Tour nights and locations can be altered and/or additional nights are available for booking at any hotel on this itinerary. There is an upgrade available on the train between Oslo and Myrdal to Komfort Class. It includes a PC jack, coffee/tea, and a Norwegian newspaper for $20 p.p. per train. This does not apply to the Flåm train or the local Voss-Bergen trains.
2019 STARTING PRICES | DAILY DEPARTURES ON REQUEST
P.P. double/twin: Base hotels from $1982 / Upgraded hotels from $2222
Single supplement from: Base $595 / Upgraded $751
Suggestions for Activities and Sights
Please ask us for more information about the tours and excursions listed below.
Oslo – Oslo Food Tour
In the late morning you have the option to meet back at your hotel and begin an Oslo Food Tour, a glimpse into the genuine cuisine of Oslo through its harbor, vibrant riverside, and market halls. The tour explores the cultural heart of Norway’s capital, and you’ll traverse the city for four hours—discovering local food gems and taking in the sights on foot. The tour ends mid-afternoon. Price: $188 p.p.
Bergen – Bergen City Walking Tour
Head out on a city walking tour of Bergen with a local guide! The tour will take you through both Bergen’s most famous sights and the lesser-known, including Bryggen Harbor, the Bergen Fortress area, the train station, and some of Bergen’s most historic landmarks. The guide is very knowledgeable about the history of each place you visit—from Bergen’s founding in 1070 through the Middle Ages and WWII to the present—and there will be ample time for questions. Price: $480.