PrimorTravel

The Three Absolute Best Day Trips from Bergen

I’m always telling people to check if they can fly into Bergen instead of Oslo because Bergen is beautiful and tourists are often a bit underwhelmed by Oslo. But maybe my favorite thing about Bergen is the city’s stunning surroundings. Bergen is near some of Norway’s most incredible fjords, waterfalls, and mountains, which means that even if you’re only visiting for a short time you can still get out and see what Norwegian nature is all about.

There are so many different day trips from Bergen you could take, and I know all the options can be overwhelming. So I thought I would narrow down the list for you with my top three choices for Bergen day trips. And of course if you’d like you can always extend your trip for a bit and spend a night or two in these places.

And if you want more tips for planning your trip through southern Norway, I’ve gathered all my best advice in a 93-page ebook covering my top recommendations for places to visit (both on and off the beaten path), the best times of year to visit, how long to visit for, the best accommodation choices, transportation, what to eat, what to pack, and a sample itinerary that covers my personal favorite route through the south. You can purchase The Southern Norway Travel Guide here.

best day trips from Bergen Norway, including Hardanger, Sognefjord, and Voss

Hardangerfjord

hardangerfjord in bloom norway in may

The second longest fjord in Norway, Hardangerfjord is probably best known for its beautiful springtime views when the fruit trees are in bloom, which usually happens in May. But this fjord is beautiful anytime of year, and just two hours from Bergen, making for a wonderful day trip from the city.

Bergen to Hardangefjord day tours

If you won’t be renting a car, or if you want to see the fjord by boat, there are lots of guided trips of Hardangerfjord on offer, including this small cruise from Bergen and this minivan tour from Bergen. Or you could even take this epic day trip from Bergen to both Hardangefjord and Folgefonna Glacier, Norway’s third largest glacier.

Sea kayaking on Hardangerfjord

One of the best ways to experience the quiet majesty of the Norwegian fjords is by kayak, and this sea kayak tour leaving from Jondal looks incredible. 

Helicopter tour over Hardangerfjord and Trolltunga

Or if you want a truly epic experience, you can take this helicopter tour from Bergen over Hardangerfjord, glaciers, waterfalls, and Trolltunga (Troll’s Tongue), Norway’s most famous cliff. Or a cheaper option is this fjord and mountain helicopter tour from Bergen. 

And if you decide to rent a car you can make lots of stops along the way, or even spend a night along the fjord. You can book your rental car here, and read all my tips for driving in Norway here.

Hiking Trolltunga

You could also carry on to Odda and then hike Trolltunga the next day, though be aware that Trolltunga is an expert level hike. Even if you’re an experienced hiker I’d advise doing this hike with a guide, and if you want to avoid the crowds (Trolltunga is one of the most popular hikes in Norway), this overnight guided Trolltunga hike is perfect. 

Hardangerfjord accommodation

My favorite accommodation on Hardangerfjord is probably Ullensvang Gjesteheim. It’s set on a farm right by the water and one of the prettiest spots along the fjord. It’s super cosy, with the sweetest owners and a delicious breakfast. Check current rates here.

Or if you wanted to stay on the other side of the fjord, this vacation home looks gorgeous. And then of course there is the famous Hardanger Panorama Lodge treehouse, which I haven’t stayed at yet but is definitely on my bucket list! Check current rates and availability here

Sognefjord

aurlandsfjell view sognefjord bergen norway

Sognefjord will definitely make an appearance on anyone’s list of the best fjords in Norway. Sognefjord is Norway’s longest and deepest fjord, and the second longest and second deepest in the world, stretching over 200 kilometers and 1,000 meters deep at its deepest points. Several of its branches are probably the most popular fjords for tourists to visit, both because of the beautiful views and their relative easy accessibility from Bergen.

As Norway’s longest fjord, there are of course so many different places along the fjord that you could visit on your Bergen fjord day trip, as close as a couple of hours by train or 2.5 hours by car from Bergen. 

You could take the express boat from Bergen into Sognefjord stopping at Aurland, Flåm, or Balestrand, among other places, or do the popular Norway in a Nutshell public transportation route. I’ve made a detailed guide for Norway in a Nutshell here.

But if you want the freedom to explore on your own, stopping for all the photos you want, explore Sognefjord by car. 

If you’re driving from Bergen you’ll definitely want to drive down the Aurlandsfjellet and Sognefjellet National Scenic Routes, both of which take you along the prettiest fjord and mountain views.  

Sognefjord has a lot of branches, and my two favorites are probably Nærøyfjord and Aurlandsfjord. The village of Aurland is absolutely stunning, and as it’s on the popular Norway in a Nutshell route there’s a lot to do here, including the famous Stegastein viewing platform, which offers incredible views over the fjord. 

Sognefjord accommodation

While you can easily see some of Sognefjord on a day trip from Bergen, if you want to really explore the different branches of the fjord you may want to spend a night or two along the fjord. 

I’ve compiled a list of incredible accommodation spots along Sognefjord here, but my personal favorites are: 

Fjærland Fjordstue Hotel in Fjærland dates back to the 1930s and sits right on the fjord. It even has a private beach!  Check current rates and availability here 

Fretheim Hotel in Flåm is a beautifully decorated, refurbished 1800s manor house, with luxurious rooms all with mountain or fjord views. The railway station and ferry port are both an easy 5-minute walk from the hotel, so it really is incredibly convenient.  Check current rates and availability here

The Walaker Hotel in Svolvorn, Lustrafjord is Norway’s oldest hotel, dating all the way back to 1640! The hotel is located in the quiet village of Svolvorn right by the beach. The hotel is also nearby the 12th century Urnes Stave Church and Jostedalsbreen Glacier. Check current rates and availability here

Voss

voss mountain

Voss is known as Norway’s adrenaline capital and is only 1 hour 45 minutes from Bergen by car, or just a little over an hour by train, making it an easy day trip from Bergen. 

The town itself doesn’t look that special, but some of Norway’s best outdoor adventure activities are based out of Voss. From river rafting to rock climbing to skiing to sky diving, Voss really has it all.

And if you’re visiting in the winter you’ll definitely want to hit the slopes in Voss. Voss has two ski resorts, Myrkdalen Fjellandsby and Voss Resort. Many of Norway’s world champion and Olympic athletes have trained in Voss and Voss apparently has more medals per capita than any other place in the world!

While you can definitely fit in some outdoor adventures on a day trip to Voss from Bergen, Voss would be a great place to spend a night or two, if you have the time. In fact I would say while Hardangerfjord and Sognefjord are perfect day trips from Bergen, Voss really would be best if you have a night (or longer!) to spend here. 

You can read my full guide for things to do in Voss here, but some of my favorite activities include:

Guided sea kayaking through the Nærøyfjord from Voss

There’s seriously no better way to experience a fjord than from a kayak, and from Voss you can take a guided sea kayaking tour through Nærøyfjord, which is one of the prettiest branches of Sognefjord. Fjord kayaking is very calm, so you don’t need any prior kayaking experience. Check current prices and availability here

Whitewater rafting through the Raundal valley

Voss is famous for rafting, and a whitewater rafting tour along the Raundal River takes you through a number of Grade III rapids, while being suitable for beginner and experienced rafters alike. Check current prices and availability here

River kayaking courses

Voss is the perfect place to learn the whitewater kayaking, or level up your skills if you already have experience. You can choose an introductory, novice, or intermediate course based on your level. Check current prices and availability here

Rock climbing 

Lønahorgi mountain and Uskedalen, a fjord valley outside of Voss, offer Western Norway’s best climbing from beginner to expert levels. You can book guided rock climbing to fit your level here.

Voss accommodation

Staying at a mountain hytte, or cabin, is just about the most Norwegian thing you can do, and Voss is a great place to get that experience. This Voss cabin is located in Skulestadmo, 100 meters from Bavalls ski lift at Voss Resortand will give you that typical Norwegian experience of going to the hytte. Check current rates and availability here

Otherwise you could stay downtown by the train station at either the brand new Scandic Voss or the historic Fleischer’s Hotel

 



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