I often get emails from readers with questions about their trip to Norway, whether it’s because they have read a post on my main blog or on this one. Usually, a quick email back can provide the answer (or just sending a link to a specific blog post), but when I received the email below I got an idea!
Why not answer these questions in a blog post?
That way, it can be helpful for other travellers as well, as I am sure more than one person has come across these issues when planning their trip to Flåm and the western fjords.
Below is an email I recently received, from a traveller planning their trip to Norway next summer!
Norway Trip Planning Question
When I planned my trip to Norway next year (July), I found your website. I find it pretty useful. I wonder whether I can ask you a couple of questions. First, do you know how many bus companies run the route from Voss to Gudvangen (one section of Norway in a nutshell)? When I tried to find the bus schedule for July, I couldn’t find it (maybe it is too early). I found two different bus schedules from Vybus4you and Norway’s best (It seems that Norway’s best is the Visitor Center of Flam. Does it also offer bus services? I am a little bit confused). Could you please help me out?
Second, I would like to stay one night at Flam and continue Norway in a nutshell the next day. I may take Voss gondola before I take the bus to Gudvangen (do you think I will have time to take Voss and gondola and then take the bus to Gudvangen?) and I am also interested in Flam Zipline after I read your article. Do you think I have time to take Flam Zipline the next morning after I stay one night at Flam? I will appreciate it if you have any suggestions about my trip from Bergen –> Voss –> Gudvangen –> Flam –> Myrdal –> Bergen in two days (stay one night at Flam). Thank you very much.– Flåm Travel Guide reader
Below I will try my best to answer this question, in the hopes that it is helpful to more than one of you.
I have tried to split it question by question using headers.
Bus companies operating between Voss and Gudvangen
Vy and Nor-way are regional buses, traveling through the areas on their way to Bergen, Oslo or even Ålesund. Their bus stop is by the main road (I have gone into more detail about this in my “Norway in a Nutshell on your own” post).
Skyss is the transportation provider for the city of Bergen and surrounding districts.
I also want to add that this question was sent in November, asking about bus schedules for July the following year. This would be too early (as the reader suggests themselves). Most of the companies put tickets out 3-6 months in advance (sometimes even less).
Does Norway’s Best offer bus services?
The reader is correct in that Norway’s Best is also the company operating the Visitor Center in Flåm. This is the main tourist information and ticket office in the village.
They do offer bus services, but not to Voss. Their buses go to the Stegastein Viewpoint, and as a shuttle between Flåm and Gudvangen (to correspond with the fjord cruise).
Read later: These are my top recommendations for fjord cruises from Bergen
Staying overnight in Flåm on a Norway in a Nutshell-esque itinerary
I am so happy this reader has decided to stay overnight in Flåm! As you know, I grew up there and love it when people visit!
I have covered hotels in Flåm and my recommendations before, so I won’t go into too much detail. But I will say that I recommend booking the hotel as early as possible.
Doing the Voss Gondola on the way to Flåm
The reader asks if there is time to do the Voss Gondola after getting off the train from Bergen and before taking the bus to Gudvangen.
There is definitely time for this! The train from Bergen to Voss takes max 1,5 hours – so if you take an early train you should be fine. Aim to get to Voss by around 10 in the morning, and aim to leave for Gudvangen by 2 in the afternoon to make the most of your time.
In the summer there should be a fjord cruise leaving Gudvangen around 4-5, which I would recommend. That way you still have the evening in Flåm for a nice dinner and to relax at your hotel.
Going on the Flåm Zipline before travelling back to Bergen
Finally, the reader asks about going on the Flåm Zipline the next morning, before heading back to Bergen.
I have covered the Flåm Zipline extensively in this post, so I won’t go into too much detail about it.
My initial answer is that yes, there is time to go on the Flåm Zipline on this day, before catching the train to Myrdal and then onwards to Bergen.
However, I would like to point out that to get to the top of the Zipline, you have to take the Flåm Railway about 90% of the way. The zipline takes you back down the valley a little bit, and then you would either have to walk to one of the middle stations (Blomheller or Berekvam) or back up to Vatnahalsen station.
Regardless of which option you choose, I would set aside at least an hour for the walk. Maybe more, to be sure.
This means that you would have to carry your luggage for the walk. You will also have to wait for the next train, book your train tickets accordingly, and then take the Flåm Railway back up to Myrdal to catch the Bergen Railway.
This is completely doable, just something to keep in mind! If you are to do this, I recommend booking the Zipline for the earliest time slot possible (they usually open at 10).
From Myrdal you continue on to Bergen as normal.
Answering Questions about Flåm and Norway in a Nutshell
I hope this was a helpful and valuable way to answer this question!
To me, this is a great way of doing it, as I get a lot of questions via mail and don’t always have the capacity to answer them as detailed as I would like. Hopefully this will help more people, and maybe even reduce the emails I get!
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