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      our holidays > Journeys > Norway > Bustling Cities & Serene Fjords

Bustling Cities & Serene Fjords

Oslo, Bergen & Sognefjord

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We are keen for as many customers as possible to review their holiday. To make it easier to do so, since 2 October 2015 we have included a specific review section on our post-holiday questionnaire, and this is what we now publish here, unedited. Read our full review policy >

Mr G Darcy  Maidenhead September 2018

An excellent holiday which we thoroughly enjoyed. Oslo and Bergen are interesting cities and the city walking notes were very good guides and very informative and an excellent way to explore the cities. Our personal highlights were the boat journeys and staying so close to the fjords. The beauty of the fjords and the surrounding mountains is breathtaking and very relaxing.

Mr P Clayton  Wolverhampton August 2018

For those who enjoy a mix of culture and the great outdoors this holiday is a must. A highlight of Oslo was the trip to the Viking Museum, accessed by ferry across the Oslo Fjord followed by a short walk through a residential area. All of our connecting travel throughout the holiday ran like clockwork, easy and accessible thanks to the excellent notes to guide us and saved wasting precious time attempting to navigate ourselves, that said all Norwegians tend to speak perfect English and are very helpful if asked. Train and boat journeys throughout the trip are a pleasure with fabulous scenery at every turn. Balestrand is stunning, we would recommend hiring bikes from the tourist office to appreciate the local area. We took a 20km cycle ride around the fjord on a quiet road which only briefly becomes a little busy when a car ferry disembarks. Onwards to the Fjaerland Fjordstue, an intimate, quaint hotel with fabulous views of the fjord and glasier.  The owner, Bard, ensures a relaxed, laid back stay, his pre-dinner talk is fascinating so don't miss it.  The food is a gastronomical delight and the staff very friendly.  We hired a motor boat from Bard and explored the fjord from a different perspective, later walking the (beautiful of course!) mile or so to the Glasier museum which was fascinating. In Bergen we took the finicular railway up to the park which overlooks the city (complete with lake and friendly goats!) We can't thank Inntravel enough for (yet again) organising a most memorable and enjoyable holiday. 

Mr K Halliday  Abingdon August 2018

The whole week was excellent. The choice of hotels was very good - all well positioned. There are two full travelling days amongst the seven - if you enjoy travelling by train and boat ( as I do) then that is excellent. This was our first experience of Inntravel and it provided just the right mix of being organised (i.e hotels and travel tickets booked) together with the level of independence that we like when visiting a country. Balestrand and Fjaerland are relatively quiet places - if this suits you and you like exploring on foot, bike or boat then there is plenty to do. Do be prepared for some wet weather - you can do everything if you have some decent waterproofs and footwear. 

Clare and Duncan, Cambridge   August 2018

A well planned holiday giving a flavour of Norway. We were very lucky with the weather so we had stunning views on the train and boat trips. Would definitely recommend for people who can’t walk as much as they used to but still want to see stunning scenery but also don’t mind being in touristy spots.

Recommendations:

  • Take the  glacier bus trip at Fjaerland  in the morning after arrival (not the same afternoon as arrival on the ferry as suggested in the Inntravel booklet) as the morning trip takes you to the museum and two glaciers with a nice cafe at the second one (only one glacier with afternooon trip)  with plenty of time to enjoy a leisurely lunch back at the hotel before catching the afternoon ferry.
  • In Bergen, go for the funicular railway a little later in the day once the cruise ship parties have cleared the queues. It is definitely worth taking a single trip up to the top but enjoy the leisurely walk back down the easy, winding paths (about 45 mins) with plenty of view points.

Extra tips on information provided:

  • Balestrand walks- the walks in the hills behind the hotel are well signposted, there were one or two very slight changes from the route description in the InnTravel notes as some tree clearance work had blocked the path but you can see where to go from where other walkers had been.
  • Bergen weather is very quickly changeable so definitely take brollies/waterproofs even if weather looks fine to start with.
  • Location of airport bus stop in Bergen - all bus stops are well signposted except the one at the fishmarket (Torget) for the airport. We had to ask at the tourist info office in the end. The stop is in the layby by the bookshop on Torgallmeninngen.

Advice about holiday choice - we loved this trip, perfect for us, but others may not enjoy:

  • very early train from Oslo (6:25) (too early for hotel breakfast) with a long journey to change at Myrdal for Flam.
  • Flam popular with  massive cruise ships so packed with tourists,  shops all geared up for tourists
  • Bergen also popular with cruise ships (4 were in port when we were there) so main tourist attractions are very busy.
  • Norled ferries are big and comfortable but are purely a means of getting from A to B rather than for sightseeing although if you get a window seat the views are amazing - weather permitting (all seating is inside). The ferry from Balestrand to Bergen was packed and took a long time.
  • Not for people who want wall to wall sunshine, can’t cope with rain or want to escape from crowds.
Anon   August 2018

We were very impressed with everything. We used Inntravel to go to Spain too and would definitely use you again. Thank you.

NSL   August 2018

With hindsight I wish I had booked an extra night in Fjaerland. When we arrived we went for a walk (route from Tourist Info) but couldn't complete it as had to rush back to the hotel for dinner. The next day we went to the museum and visited the glaciers but again had to rush back to catch the boat. I didn't have time to just walk around and browse through the bookshops and I would have liked to spend longer in the museum.

Anon   July 2018

Excellent, well organized trip. We enjoyed it very much. 

Mrs T Prince  London July 2018

We very much enjoyed this trip, I felt we had a good overview of Norway seeing both major cities and the scenery in between. I loved the ferries, much to my surprise and found the fiords breathtakingly lovely. The main train was clean and comfortable and the Flåm railway a treat. We thought the choice of hotels good and I was gald I chose the upgraded rooms especailly at Kvikners. I wonder if you might consider offering a B and B option here. We had this for our extra night and ate their bar food rather than the buffet; I found this much more to my taste. The joy of using Inntravel was that all the thinking had been done yet we were still travelling independently.

Anon   July 2018

This was an excellent and enjoyable introduction to Norway. We had a fabulous holiday - thank you Inntravel. I enjoyed the day we spent in the museums on Bygdoy, Oslo and was disappointed that we ran out of time in the Fram museum. Note that some museums are closed on a Monday. I would recommend visiting the Glacier museum in Fjaerland the following day as we only had about 30 mins in the museum (the film took up quite a lot of this time). Travelling around Norway by train and boat was far easier than I had anticipated and the scenery, as we went across the mountains and along the fjords, was stunning. The displays and videos at the travel and tourism museum in Balestrand showed other equally beautiful areas Norway (for future holidays). We chose a busy time to go up the furnicular railway in Bergen, but the queue moved quickly and we had a relaxing lunch in the relatively peaceful and elegant cafe at the top. 

Mr D Smith  Cardiff June 2018

The combination of train and boat travel on consecutive days was stunning and entirely comfortable. The hotel at Flam for one night was excellent, and gave a chance to explore the fjord.  We think your clients might find this preferable to the rushed journey onto Balestrand proposed the original itinerary.

Anon, June 2018   June 2018

If you visit the Glacier Museum in Fjaerland straight from the boat you get a brief time in the Museum and visit only one glacier.  If instead you go on the following morning, you visit two glaciers and have longer to explore the Museum.  The bus takes you back to Mondal in plenty of time to have lunch and catch the afternoon boat.

Lynbo Sussex   June 2018

We particulary liked the Flam railway and the guided notes walk at Balestrand. The Ciderhuset was a delightful end to a fabulous walk. The Magic Streams were a great way to enter Bergen and the Hotel there was lovely. You must play the Norwegian shove halfpenny in the bar.

Ms C Abbott  USA August 2017

Exceptional travel in all areas of the trip I booked. I simply loved the experience. A very calm and beautiful place to visit....Norway. Lived up to all my expectations.

Mrs E Hinchliffe  Scarborough August 2017

An excellent journey as we've come to expect from Inntravel over the last nearly 30 years. Very good introduction to Norway. Balestrand was our favourite - such a beautiful setting and so peaceful once the coach tours had left for the day.

anon   August 2017

An excellent holiday. All the booking, tickets and information from Inntravel were good, as ever. Given there were lots of different transports and tickets, these all went smoothly so the journeying from city to fjords was a pleasure. It was a fascinating window into Norway and certainly helps us to know what bits we would like to explore more of, namely the fjords.

Our particular highlight was Fjaerland which had a wonderful tranquil and calm quality at the head of the fjord with views of the glacier. The hotel there was beautifully located and we did indeed hire the wooden rowing boat circa 1962 to go out on to the fjord. The staff there were very warm and welcoming and the food was excellent. The proprietor and chefs take a real interest in using local produce to create gourmet meals and it was a real pleasure.

One other thing other travellers may wish to know is that the Tourist Information Centres in Oslo and Bergen have a ticketing system and big queues. So when validating the Oslo card you need to allow time to wait to do this. Also we made the error that whilst the date you put on the Oslo card is Valid From, the Bergen card is Valid Until so ours expired before we had started!

Mrs A Jackson  Sheffield August 2017

Highlights of the trip were Bergen - we loved the Bryggen and the views from the top of mount Floyen via the funicular railway - and the walks we did in Balestrand and Fjaerland. We had booked extra nights in Oslo and Bergen which was great but our extra night in Balestrand was rather a waste - we had not realised just how small Balestrand and Fjaerland are! 

Most churches and the cathedral in Oslo were shut all the days we were there which was disappointing. The info sent by Inntravel was excellent - the only thing missing was how to buy a public transport ticket! Would definitely use Inntravel again! 

Anon   July 2017

Highlights: Rainbow at Balestrand and the hotel's museum; tranquility of Fjaerland. Tap water is always provided for free on the tables.

Anon   July 2017

All in all it was a fantastic trip with a great itinerary. The main advantage to us was that it was self-guided, and that we weren't in a large tour group. The travel pack you provide is excellent.

The suggested walking route in Bergen is recommended. If you want to avoid the cruise ship passenger queues, travel on the Fløibanen Funicular after 6pm.

 

Mrs J Buckley  Keighley July 2017

This holiday exceeded our expectations it was a perfect blend of time in the cities with access to the museums and restaurants etc and time in Fjordland with the spectacular scenery and wonderful walking. The variety of travelling modes gave a lovely overview of the country. You could do as much or as little as you like and reflecting on everything we did and saw we still arrived home feeling wonderful relaxed.

HIGHLIGHTS: We enjoyed everything but especially the museums on Bygdon island and Vigeland sculpture park in Oslo. The glacier at Boyabreen and walking to mundalsdalen in Fjaerland and Burasai in Balestrand. Bergen was amazing and the view from the top of the funicular was well worth queueing for. We will definitely be returning to this amazing country.

Mrs B Thompson  Beaconsfield June 2017

The fjord boat rides were amazing. The food in Fjaerland was wonderful.

We loved the tourism and glacier museums and the long days and the quality of the light made it a superb holiday.

alias   June 2017

Highlights: Both fjord hotels and locations. Munch paintings at Oslo and Bergen. Visit to Greig's home and museum outside Bergen.

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