Inspiration

Reasons you MUST visit Flam & the fjords this year!

Norway is a popular destination for travellers from all over the world, and there are an infinite number of great destinations to visit. However, I dare say that the Aurlandsfjord and Flåm area is the best place to visit in Norway. And that’s not just me being biased because I grew up there. Keep reading for the top reasons why you must visit Flam and the Aurlandsfjord on your next trip to Norway!

As you may know, there are four main villages scattered around the Aurlandsfjord that make up this area: Flåm, Aurland, Gudvangen and Undredal. All have their own charm and their own compelling reasons to visit. As Flåm is the most popular to visit, it’s the one I chose to name in the title of this article. But know that I will cover all four of them in this list of reasons to visit Flam and the fjords.

If you still aren’t sure of which village you want to see, head over to my local’s guide to the region here.

front of boat on norwegian fjord in flam

8 Reasons you MUST visit Flam and the fjords this year

If you are planning a trip to the fjord area, you might already be aware of what a great destination it is. But if you have only just decided on visiting Norway, and still haven’t quite landed where in Norway to go yet, this guide should be what you need. Hopefully I can convince you to visit Flam and the Aurlandsfjord this year. I promise you, you won’t regret it!

Without any further ado, I give you some of the top reasons you need to visit the Aurlandsfjord area.

#1 Bucket list things to do

This one easily falls in at the top of the list, as it is one of the main reasons people want to visit Flåm in the first place. There are some truly bucket list activities to be found in the area, with the two major ones being the Flåm Railway (as you may know, it has been named one of the world’s most scenic railways) and of course the Nærøyfjord (listed by UNESCO on their World Heritage List).

These two alone are reason enough to visit the region, and you simply cannot leave Norway without crossing either off them off your list!

Top activities

  • The Flåm Railway
  • Fjord Cruise through the Nærøyfjord
  • Fjordsafari
  • Flåm Zipline
  • Gudvangen Viking Village

#2 It’s perfect any time of year

The Sognefjord, Flåm and Aurland are popular destinations for people wanting to experience Norwegian nature at its best; the majestic mountains, the fjords and the serenity. Summer is by far the most popular time of year to visit, but people are slowly starting to open their eyes to visiting the fjords in the Spring, Autumn and Winter, and the area is becoming an all year round destination! Whether you are here in the Spring, Winter or the Autumn – you will always leave the fjords feeling refreshed and in awe of the impressive nature surrounding you.

More and more service and activity providers are staying open year-round, as well, so the area is truly becoming a year-round destination!

#3 Perfect blends of adrenaline and relaxation

Moving on to another reason you need to add the Aurlandsfjord to your list. The activities that have started to emerge in the later years really show off the destination from its best side. Whether you are looking for an adrenaline-filled adventure by the fjords, or you are looking for a trip to relax and unwind; you can have it all here!

girl in robe looking over the fjord

Flåm Zipline is the longest (and fastest) zipline in Northern Europe, whilst Fjordsafari will take you on a fast-paced adventure across the fjord. Whether you prefer flying through the Flåm Valley, or zooming across the water, these activities will fill the cup of any adventure-seeker.

On the other hand, the recently opened Fjordsauna is the perfect treat after a day of exploring, and you can rent the sauna for a private experience with your travel companions. There is nothing more relaxing than enjoying a glass of bubbles (the sauna is BYOB) in a hot sauna overlooking the fjord, with the option of jumping in if you get too hot (to be fair, jumping in the cold fjord is quite adrenaline-filled as well).

So, one of the reasons Flåm and the Aurlandsfjord is such a perfect place to visit is simply that the activities available to you are so varied! There is something for all here.

Browse everything there is to do in Flåm here.

#4 Local food & drinks

Another great reason to choose Flåm and the Aurlandsfjord as your destination is that there are some great options for local foods to try in the area. From a local brewery with award-winning beer to one of the most famous goat’s cheeses in Norway (it’s true), there are lot’s of reasons foodies will want to visit.

Local food and drinks not to miss

  • Goat’s cheese from Undredal or Skjerdal
  • Beer from Ægir Brewpub
  • Local meat from Haugen Gardsmat (available at most restaurants in the area)
  • Pastries from either Marianne’s Bakery or Flåm Bakery
  • Vegetables from Sogn Jord- og Hagebruksskule (the local agricultural school – many restaurant kitchens in the area are supplied by their vegetable garden)

#5 World-class hiking

Of course, it is impossible to talk about reasons you should visit the area without mentioning hiking. There are some great hikes to choose from here, whether you are looking for steep, strenuous hikes offering breathtaking fjord views, or more leisurely paced walks around the villages. Regardless, you’ll find the right hiking trail for your needs. From the famous Aurlandsdalen valley to the lesser known Hovdungo and Ramnanosi, there are some truly epic hikes in and near Flåm for you to choose from. In short, if you are an avid hiker, and want to find some of the best fjord views in Norway, you need to spend a few nights here.

Popular hikes

couple on the aurlandsdalen hike

#6 Unique and historic hotels

Moving on along the list, I recommend you visit Flam and the fjords to stay at some of the unique hotels we have here. Regardless of the type of accommodation you prefer, you’ll find somewhere special to stay here. From the historic Fretheim Hotel (part of Norway’s historic hotels) and Vangsgaarden Gjestgiveri (where you can stay in a traditional Norwegian “rorbu” – fisherman’s cabin – by the fjord), to staying in a tiny house with a fjord view, there are some great options here.

No matter which of the four villages you end up staying in and what price range you are looking for, the accommodation selections are all great!

Head this way for my complete guide to accommodation in Flåm!

Hotels in the area worth noting

#7 It’s easily accessible from most major cities in Norway

Another reason why the Aurlandsfjord is such a great place to visit is that it’s accessible regardless of where in Norway you are travelling from. If you are flying into Oslo or Bergen, getting to the area is very easy!

The end of the Sognefjord happens to be the start of one of the world’s most famous railways. The Flåm Railway – Flåmsbana – connects the fjords to the Oslo-Bergen Railway, and was originally built as a way for the boats entering the fjords to have access to the major Norwegian cities. Today it has up to 10 daily departures each way in the Summer season, and is a must for many visitors to the area. You can book your ticket from Bergen or Oslo to the heart of the fjords on the Vy website.

Another way of arriving to the fjords is by bus, which is also my favourite mode of transport in Norway. The major bus companies operating the area are Nettbuss and Nor-Way. On their websites you can book your tickets in advance, and even chose your seats. Nettbuss (now owned by Vy) operates from Oslo and westwards to the fjords, and the journey over the Hemsedal mountain is incredibly beautiful. In addition, there is free WiFi on board, so you’ll be entertained all the way to Flåm.

Additionally, if you are arriving by boat (as many do), Flåm Marina & Apartments are happy to provide a place on their docks for rent. Just contact them directly and they’ll get you sorted – all year round.

#8 (Viking) History and heritage

Last, but not least; one of the things that has made Norway such a popular place to visit (other than our breathtaking nature) is our Viking heritage. Whether you are a huge fan of the show Vikings, or just found the Viking age to be interesting when learning about it in school, a visit to Gudvangen at the end of the Nærøyfjord will be great fun.

Here, you can visit Njardarheimr, a Viking village where you can roam around and learn everything there is to know about the cultural significance of the Vikings in Norway. You can purchase handcrafted products and listen to stories, sample some authentic dishes and get a tour of the village. This is a great way to spend a few hours, and I highly recommend visiting Njardarheimr if you are travelling with children!

More reasons to visit Flam and the fjords

Now that I have listed some of my favourite reasons you should make Flåm and the Aurlandsfjord the destination of your next Norway trip, I hope you understand why I love this place so much! Of course, there are way more reasons to visit, and I invite you all to come experience them for yourselves.

Have you been to the area? What did you think? Please leave a comment below to share!

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