Richard Hammond describes this 7-night, self-guided walking holiday in Hardangerfjord, one of Norway’s greatest fjords, taking in unforgettable views and staying in high-quality fjordside hotels.
In a nutshell:
Discover Hardangerfjord, the southernmost of the three great fjords, staying in five high-quality fjordside hotels. Take journeys by boat, bus and on foot to reach the point where the Hardangerfjord meets the Hardangervidda mountains. Flexible options means you can enjoy the itinerary with a minimum of walking - or instead, follow colourful trails taking you both high above the fjords and down to the lower pastureland, offering a beautiful perspective of rural Norway.
Price: £1,295 per person (not including train travel to Norway or transfers)
What's included: Five historic hotels selected hotels; itinerant transfers; route notes and maps; 7 breakfasts; 5 picnics; 6 dinners.
Departures: May, June, July, August, September
Nearest station to start/end of trip: Voss (via Bergen)
How to travel by train to Voss: It is possibly to travel from London to Norway without flying, via Brussels, Cologne and Hamburg. Take the Eurostar to Brussels then either stay overnight in Brussels and take the morning train from Brussels to Copenhagen (or continue on to Cologne or Hamburg and stay overnight in either of those cities and depart the following morning for the train to Copenhagen). At Copenhagen, you'll then take the train to Gothenburg and Oslo before catching the final train to Voss (via Bergen). It takes about two days in total to travel from London to Voss. For more details on the train journey from London to Copenhagen, including some suggestions for where to stay near the train stations if you want to break up the journey and spend more time in Brussels or Copenhagen, see our flight-free journey planner: Train from London to Copenhagen.
Optional extra: you can book additional nights and/or hotel upgrades on to this trip.
What's the trip like:
Day 1 offers a choice of walks from your starting point of Voss. The longer, circular walk (8.5km, 3hrs) climbs above Voss to Folkemuseum before wandering above Vangsvatnet lake. An easier alternative is the circular walk (6.5km, 2hrs) skirting the end of Vangsvatnet lake to reach the Bordalsgjelet gorge through which the Bordalselvi river flows. Return via the bustling main shopping street in Voss.
On Day 2 a bus will take you to Ulvik, but you can opt to stop off at Granvin and walk the final 16km (5.5hrs) to your next hotel, taking in forests, pastureland, high moorland and the lake at Vatnaset. In Ulvik you will stay at the fjordside Brakanes Hotel. On Day 3 you will take a bus along the fjord and 1.4km Hardanger suspension bridge to Kinsarvik where you will stay for one night at the Kinsarvik Fjord Hotel. Here you can enjoy a steep 19km (6hrs) walk up to Husedalen - a pine-clad valley boasting four waterfalls.
The following day (Day 4) a bus will take you to Lofthus where you can take a circular 9km (2.5hrs) walk through fruit orchards to the to reach the Skrelhaugen Folk Museum. Here you will stay at the Hotel Ullensvang for two nights.
On Day 5 you can choose to walk either a moderate 7km (3hrs) climb to enjoy the picturesque viewpoint at Hoveden or the 18.5km (6hrs) circular walk via Queens' Trail, which offers views over the Sørfjord to the glaciers of the Folgefonna National Park. Then take a steep descent of the 616 stone Monks’ Steps, which date back to the 13th century.
On your sixth and final day, you will have time to walk 8km (2.5hrs) to the River Opo to see Norway’s third tallest waterfall before stopping by the village's restored 13th Century church on the way back. Early evening, you will take the scenic bus journey to the country’s second largest city, Bergen where you will spend your final night in the Clarion Hotel Admiral on the quayside.
How to enquire/book this holiday:
This holiday is provided by Inntravel, one of the founding tour operator members of Green Traveller. One of the great things about this holiday is its flexibility: you have a choice of start/end dates and you can add additional nights on to the itinerary. If you'd like to know more about this holiday, please see more details on the relevant page given below and if you'd like to book it, do contact them directly or complete their booking form and a member of their team will be in touch with you: