Welcome to Norway in a Nutshell. A review of the fjord experience I undertook while visiting Bergen, Norway.
I’ll talk you through the logistics, the costs, my reviews and my recommendations.
It was a whirlwind of an experience, and something that has been on my bucket list since I was young. I still can’t believe I was able to do this, so I hope that you get to someday too!
Visiting Bergen, Norway
Before we start this blog post, you may want to also visit my YouTube channel where I have a video all about our trip to Bergen which also includes the Norway in a Nutshell experience from start to finish.
I will also have a dedicated YouTube video to this particular fjord experience in a little while, but for the moment, the Bergen Travel Vlog is a great place to start.
We visited Bergen on a bank holiday weekend, arriving on a Friday night and staying through until Monday. I will say that Bergen is a small city that you can explore fully in one day, but I was glad we had the three days to also fit in the fjord experience.
Bergen would be a great place to start if you’d like to travel across Norway and see a few different places while you’re there. We still have Loften and Oslo on our list to see in the future, plus the Northern Lights of course.
Things to see in Bergen include Bryggen UNESCO World Heritage Site, try some reindeer hotdogs, take the funicular to the top of the city and take in the amazing aerial views and say hello to some wild rams, and do a spot of Christmas trinket shopping.
Make sure if you’re visiting Bergen that you also bring an umbrella as it rains over 200 days of the year here!
Booking the experience and the cost
We booked the fjord experience on the Saturday, to do on the Sunday. We visited the tourist information centre located upstairs on top of the fish market and had a lovely experience with the customer service attendant who spent a long time talking us through the best routes, the costs and logistics of how the trips would work.
There was a train strike on the Sunday from Bergen to Voss, which meant a lot of our options would involve changing buses and trains quite a bit to make our final destination.
The main consideration we had to think about was how long we wanted to be on the boat through the fjord. There were a few options that were five hours each way along the fjord, which would be 10 hours in total on the water and some others that were 12-14 hours on the water.
We felt that would be too long, plus we had heard great things about the Flambana train, so wanted to be able to do this too.
We opted for the Norway in a Nutshell trip which we had to breakdown and travel parts by ourselves but everything worked like clockwork and couldn’t have been a smoother process.
As we had to divide the trip into parts, we had to book a bus replacement from Bergen to Voss, then a train from Voss to Myrdal and then the Flambana train from Myrdal to Flam and then the fjord cruise from Flam to Gudvangen and then finally the bus from Gudvangen all the way back to Bergen.
So in total, it cost us around £140 each.
The trip route and duration
We set off early on Sunday morning to catch the 7:50am bus from Bergen to Voss, but since we got to the station around 7.30am we were able to hop on an earlier bus which got us to Voss 20 minutes earlier than expected.
Voss is a ski-town, but we didn’t venture too far from the station, only to cross the road to a petrol station to grab some well-needed coffee and pastries and take a walk down to the wide expanse of grass looking across the water before heading back to the train station to catch our train to Myrdal.
Our train from Myrdal was a pleasant journey and was super quiet, meaning we could hop between each side of the train and take in all of the scenery from both sides.
I couldn’t believe the change in climate as the train journey continued. We left behind green grass and cold-is temperatures to what looked like the north pole with metres and metres of snow and passing through a blizzard.
It was incredible to see the difference in climate but also worried us that we hand’t dressed or packed accordingly.
Once we got to Myrdal, we had to change platform directly in front of us to hop on the Flambana train which is a spectacle in itself. It was a gorgeous old-school train (quite like the Hogwarts Express on the inside) with windows that you could open and stick your head out of.
We passed more and more incredible scenery (my YouTube vlog shows the insane views) and even got to stop and get off along the way to see a waterfall that was mostly frozen at that time.
The train journey is something that I would definitely recommend as part of your fjords experience, as driving through arctic snow and blizzards, to then coming back down into green fields and villages between mountains was amazing and something I’ll always remember.
We pulled into Flam and then had around three hours before our fjord cruise took off. We had definitely expected Flam to have a lot more things to see and do, but it had one bakery and one restaurant so there wasn’t too much to choose from.
We had a spot of lunch and then grabbed coffees to walk around the piers and take in the incredible views before our cruise set off.
The fjord cruise
The cruise took off from Flam and travelled upwards to Gudvangen, passing villages like Undredal on the way.
You were able to stand outside on the boat and take in the incredible views from every angle of the boat that even had an upstairs deck too.
We stayed outside for the most part of the cruise but it started to get very cold very quickly which made it a little unbearable to stand outside for the end. However, there was plenty of seating inside with lots of windows to still take in the amazing views.
There was also a shop on board the cruise which we took advantage of with the hot chocolates to warm our hands up from the cold.
Overall, the views were incredible and I’m quite glad we didn’t opt for the 10 hour cruise as we probably wouldn’t have been able to stay outside for long with the cold.
The cruise lasted for two hours and dropped us straight into Gudvangen Viking village where we then got the bus directly back to Bergen.
Looking back on the experience, I couldn’t recommend this enough. It was the most incredible experience of travelling through the Norwegian fjords and seeing where some people lived in the literal middle of nowhere.
I had so many questions – where do these people go to school? Where do they shop? Do they travel much? Do they have Amazon delivery? It was incredible to see such a different way of life and the incredible scenery that they get to wake up to every single day.
Plus, I need to mention the air quality. I felt like I had taken a breath for the first time in my life when I stepped foot in Norway. Oh if only London could have the same quality of fresh air.
For what we wanted to see and do, Norway in a Nutshell was incredible and I would totally recommend.
You can find the cruise options and more details of the trip we embarked on here.