- The trip is Norway condensed - strikingly beautiful fjords, scenic roads and exceptional views
- Your hotels are in sync with Norwegian nature and culture and the view from your windows is stunning
- The itinerary includes boating in the Hardangerfjord and the Geirangerfjord and a ride on the Loen Skylift
- Our usual additional services include a car with GPS and access to our on-site Concierge
Contact one of our Norway specialists + 44 (0) 20 3958 6120
NORWAY'S LAND AND SEA
YOUR TRIPOn the roads, Norwegians are careful and stick to the speed limit - the many speed cameras encourage them to do so. Driving is therefore leisurely and does not pose any particular problems. As you drive, you'll see some spectacular landscapes. In your hire car, you'll have a GPS so you roam freely safely and stress-free. At the end of each day, after travelling moderate distances, you'll get to a beautiful hotel. Wherever there's a fjord, your rooms will overlook them. Norway has a centuries-old tourist tradition and the hotels that we have chosen more often than not have retained the charm of old patina, brought to life by modern Scandinavian style. The food subscribes to the same idea. In Geiranger and Os, enjoy another true local tradition with access to the hotel spa. You won't only be getting near to the fjords by land; we have also arranged two boat excursions so that you see things from another perspective. And you won't be just anywhere; you'll be in Hardangerfjord and Geirangerfjord, two of the most famous fjords of all. Tickets for the Loen Skylift are also included. If there are any setbacks or you have a sudden urge to do something else, you can contact our local Concierge. It's their job to listen and act promptly.
Flight to Stavanger
Collect your hire car and spend two nights in the heart of Stavanger. The modern style, artsy influence and functional design of the hotel make travellers to Scandinavia feel right at home. The rooms are classic and comfortable. In the restaurant, a Swedish chef brings a hint of Americana to the old continent. The view from the Jacuzzi is enough to explain why the spa is located on the 14th floor. The sauna is a must - it's a great start to the trip.
Stavanger has retained its beautiful 18th and 19th century wooden houses. The cathedral - the Evangelical and Lutheran Church of Norway - is Gothic (13th century). The Stavanger kunstmuseum exhibits a stunning collection of Norwegian paintings from the 19th and 20th centuries. The super niche Norwegian Canning Museum (Norsk Hermetikkmuseum) might not have obvious appeal, but it's actually a charming and interesting place to visit to hear more about Norway's fishing (and canning) industries. The Norwegian Petroleum Museum (Norsk Oljemuseum), the only one of its kind in Europe, documents offshore research in the North Sea.
Option - A cruise through Lysefjord followed by a hike to Preikestolen, a natural granite cliff overlooking the fjord from a breath-taking 1,982ft. The approach (a 1,148ft ascent) through rock and heather, lasts about two hours.
Stavanger - Lofthus i Hardanger
Now head to Lofthus i Hardanger, east of Berger; a half-day drive, including a short ferry ride. Spend two nights on the Sorfjord, a branch of the Hardangerfjord. Your hotel dates back to 1846. The buildings have been extended and modernised over time to form a large establishment that has maintained a family feel and authentic character. Your bright room will open onto a majestic view of the fjord. The restaurants showcase regional ingredients with Mediterranean influences. The panoramic sauna and indoor/outdoor pool are amazing. It's particularly worth mentioning the 289ft lap pool that ends in an outdoor infinity pool.
Lofthus i Hardanger
Located on the banks of Hardangerfjord, the charming coastal village of Lofthus is considered to be the region's orchard. It's perfectly symmetrical farm plots descend the gentle slopes to the fjord and decorate the surroundings with greenery and flowers in spring. The view of the Folgefonna Glacier is particularly beautiful.
In the itinerary - a boat ride on the Hardangerfjord. You'll get the chance to admire the grandeur of the fjord from the water, and you might even spot seals, whales, dolphins, porpoises and ospreys overhead.
Lofthus i Hardanger - Heggenes
Now embark on another half-day drive to Heggenes, which lies between the Heggefjord and the gorgeous Jotunheim National Park. Spend a night in a large traditional wooden house surrounded by forests and lakes. The room decor is inspired by different countries - there's a French room, a Swedish room, and a New York suite, for example - and reflects the creativity of the owners, who are an ex-graphic designer and interior designer respectively. The vintage bathrooms are charming. Meals, which feature rustic cuisine from the Valdres region, are served at big, friendly tables. When the weather is cool, a fire burns in the dining room.
Heggenes - Geiranger
Nestled in one of the branches of the Storfjord, the small town of Geiranger is worth a day's drive. As you leave Heggenes, you'll see one lake after another in a hilly landscape with sparse vegetation, similar to the approaching peaks of the Scandinavian Alps. You'll be free to explore as you want as you head through the Otta Valley.
Stay for two nights in a large late-19th-century hotel. It's spacious and comfortable, and the rooms open out to the fjord. With its collection of cars from the twenties and thirties, you'll touch on the history of tourism in Norway. The restaurant uses produce created by local farms, harvests and traditional smokehouses and with menus strictly based around seasonality. The spa combines ambience, state-of-the-art equipment and a range of therapies from around the globe. The sauna and swimming pool are at the heart of the spa.
Not to be missed - A hike in the Geirangerfjord Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, this branch of the Sunnylvsfjord, which itself is a branch of the Storfjord, is one of the most visited and spectacular fjords in the country. It has steep walls and cascading waterfalls with evocative names, such as 'Seven Sisters' (De Syv Sostrene) and 'The Suitor' (Friaren), which sits on the other side. Dense vegetation clings to the cliffs. There are old farms up on the hills where life goes on almost unchanged over the centuries.
Geiranger - Loen
The road to Loen (around 2.5 hours) meanders through the Scandinavian Alps, in an almost unreal setting. Lakes and fjords are like giant mirrors reflecting the cliffs, snow-capped peaks and lush hillsides. Spend the night in Loen, in an old barn nestled in the valley of the impressive Nordfjord. The hotel is characterised by its mountain and fjord views, and its very pleasant wellness area, which as an indoor/outdoor swimming pool and beautifully relaxing spa treatments.
In the itinerary - explore the Geirangerfjord in an electric boat to continue your journey of discovery around the legendary fjord.
Included - Tickets for the Skylift, which reaches Mount Hoven (3,317ft) in minutes, in cable cars suspended over the hypnotic fjord waters. At the top, a panoramic restaurant opens onto Mount Skala, Lake Lovatnet Lake to the east, Jostedalsbreen Glacier and Olden village to the south.
Loen - Balestrand
Travel south to Balestrand, a small village also nestled in the valley of its fjord. Spend the night in the Sognefjord, at the foot of imposing, rocky cliffs. With its windows and balconies supported by slender, white columns, the hotel is a paean to Nordic romanticism. Your bedroom, which is in the historic building, has a cosy feel, with a predictably knock out view. The common areas are adorned with elegant neo-viking furniture, and works inspired by regional life. The food on offer is extremely good, making full use of the natural pantry that is Sognefjord. The wine cellar is stacked with fine wines.
Balestrand - Os
Now make your way to Os, about 19 miles south of Bergen. Spend two nights by the Bjornefjord. The hotel was built in 1896 in Swiss chalet style. Your room is simple and comfortable, overlooking the garden and the fjord. The restaurant combines the natural ingredients and international techniques that make new Norwegian cuisine so successful. The spa assimilates the natural surroundings with the clean lines of its contemporary architecture. Water, light, oak, soap stone and marble have all been used. Traditional Nordic treatments take on a new dimension here.
The hotel and its surroundings are incredibly charming. Steal away for a few hours while you explore Bergen. You simply must take a stroll around the old Hanseatic era harbour, Bryggen, and visit the museum that brings the 18th Century merchant league 'kontore' (counting house) back to life. Mariakirken (St. Mary's Church), built in the 12th and 13th centuries, was the church of German merchants for a long time. Dolk, Norway's top graffiti artist, has been very active in the town, and it still shows. Troldhaugen, the former home of Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg, is now a museum dedicated to the composer of Peer Gynt. The Leprosy Museum, housed in St. George's Hospital (18th century), may put you off at first glance, but it is truly fascinating. The Floyen funicular takes you up to the royal residence Gamlehaugen.
Bone - Bergen - Return flight
Included in the itinerary - Spa access and wellness kit available prior to return flight.
Drive to Bergen Airport, return your hire car and fly home.
A la carte
WITH A FEW EXTRA DAYS - OSLO
With its Scandinavian and northern character, Oslo sits in a fjord, at the edge of the vast pine and larch forests. Its location, with alternating towns and coastal countryside, is perfect for visitors, who can linger in front of the towering buildings, meander the colourful surrounding villages or hike through the forests of Nordmarka.
Hotspots include - The castle - the Royal Palace - the National Theatre - Kristian district - the National Gallery of Fine Arts - the Munch Museet - the residential and up-market atmosphere of the Fragnerkilenn marina - the trendy district of Hedgedehaugsveien - the Maritime Museum - swimming on Bigdoy Island - dinner on one of Akker Brygge's lively terraces against a backdrop of old sailing boats - strolling among the Vigelandsparken's 'sculpture garden' - a shopping session on Karl Johans gate.
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