HOW TO DO THE FAMOUS NORWAY IN A NUTSHELL TOUR BY YOURSELF

HOW TO DO THE FAMOUS NORWAY IN A NUTSHELL TOUR BY YOURSELF

Norway in Nutshell tour, or called NiN is a Norway most popular tour which takes people through Norway’s most breathtaking UNESCO-protected fjord and mountain scenery, as well as a trip on Europe’s top scenic rail journey. You can start the tour in Oslo and end in Bergen, vice versa or start and end in Bergen. You can also break the journey by staying in Voss, Gudvangen or Flam instead of doing it as one long day trip. More about the NiN can be read here. Tour from Oslo to Bergen start from 2,269 NOK and Bergen to Bergen start from 1,880 NOK. Even though it is called a tour, it is not like a normal tour where you get a guide and traveling in a group. Instead you will be traveling with public transportation such as trains, bus and take the cruise using a set of tickets already booked for you by NiN Tour and you will follow the same set of schedule along with everybody else. It’s a simplified process if you do not want to be bothered doing separate bookings for each part of the journey and pay a little fee for the ease of process.

But if you want to have more flexibility and lower the cost down especially if you are traveling as a family you can always arrange the exact same trip by yourself. You can save cost more if you travel from Oslo to Bergen or vice versa Vs Bergen to Bergen route because you can get cheaper train cost from Oslo to Myrdal or vice versa if you book ahead. The cheapest promo fare for the train run by Norway National Railway is called Mini Pris.

I’m going to breakdown how to do Norway in a nutshell DIY both for route Bergen to Bergen like what we did, and Bergen to Oslo and vice versa. If you are going to take Bergen to Oslo route or vice versa, most likely you are going to travel with your suitcases. You can use a porter service which will transfer your suitcases to your Hotel in Bergen/Oslo. During the trip I have seen people carrying their suitcases, but most of them travel light.

BERGEN TO BERGEN

Combination 1
Train Bergen to Voss
Local Bus from Voss to Gudvangen
Naeroyfjord cruise from Gudvangen to Flam 12.00-14.00 (Summer-winter) and 17.30-19.30 (summer) or 17.50-19.50 (winter). If you take the late afternoon cruise you will have to stay the night in Flam. Not recommended to take in winter because it will already be dark
Train Flam to Myrdal (Flam Railway)- 55 minutes journey. Start from 09.00 and the last one at 14.10
Train Myrdal to Bergen

Combination 2
Train Bergen to Myrdal
Train Myrdal to Flam (Flam Railway)- 58 minutes journey. Start from 10.00 and the last one at 19.18
Naeroyfjord cruise from Flam to Gudvangen 09.30-11.30 and 15.00-17.00 (winter) or 15.20-17.20 (summer)
Local Bus from Gudvangen to Voss
Train Voss to Bergen

OSLO TO BERGEN

Train Oslo to Myrdal
Train Myrdal to Flam (Flam Railway)- 58 minutes journey. Start from 10.00 and the last one at 19.18
Naeroyfjord cruise from Flam to Gudvangen 09.30-11.30 and 15.00-17.00 (winter) or 15.20-17.20 (summer)Local Bus from Gudvangen to Voss
Train Voss to Bergen

BERGEN TO OSLO

Train Bergen to Voss
Local Bus from Voss to Gudvangen
Naeroyfjord cruise from Gudvangen to Flam 12.00-14.00 (Summer-winter) and 17.30-19.30 (summer) or 17.50-19.50 (winter). If you take the late afternoon cruise you will have to stay the night in Flam. Not recommended to take in winter because it will already be dark.
Train Flam to Myrdal (Flam Railway) – 55 minutes journey. Start from 09.00 and the last one at 14.10 Train Myrdal to Oslo

HOW TO BUY THE TICKET

Naeroyfjord cruise click here
Ticket cost: Adult 530 NOK, children (4-15 yo) 280 NOK, children (0-3yo) free
The cruise only run twice a day so this need to be booked soon, then follow by Flamsbana. The rest of the connecting train are more flexible and timing should be booked to fit around the cruise and Flamsbana schedule.

Flamsbana Railway
Thru Vy apps or website https://www.vy.no/en/
Ticket cost: Adult 370 NOK, children 6-17yo 93 NOK, children 0-5yo free

Other connecting Trains also Thru Vy apps or website https://www.vy.no/en/
Ticket cost differ depending on the time and cheaper if bought in advance

Local Bus Voss – Gudvangen
This can not be booked in advance and you don’t need to worry because it there are lot of passengers they will just add the bus. Ticket can be bought thru Skyss Billet Apps or Skyss Website , as you wait for the bus or from the driver (more expensive). The bus stop is just outside the train station and very hard to miss.
Bus fee: Zone E to E1 Adult 61 NOK Child 31 NOK

PLACES OF INTEREST

VOSS

Most people who takes NiN did not spend time looking at Voss because if they follow the schedule, it only leaves 15 minutes spend in Voss. And if you travel with suitcases it’d be hard to walk around. We took an earlier train from Bergen to Voss because it was cheaper and had around 40 minutes to stroll around Voss. There was a big beautiful lake in front of the train station which was frozen when we came in March. The town of Voss is next to it. Voss has two ski resorts, Myrkdalen Fjellandsby and Voss Resort and also has other name as Extreme Sports Capital of Norway. You can take the gondola when you stepped out from the train and it will transport you to the mountain in less than 9 minutes. If you are into skiing and went in winter, you can take stay in Voss for skiing and then continue NiN from there. If you come in summer you can also hike to waterfall and kayaking in the lake.

GUDVANGEN

Gudvangen Village taken from the bridge

A small fjord village in the heart of the beautiful Naerotfjord and is surrounded by the high mighty mountains and a breathtaking fjord landscape. The famous Naeroyfjord cruise take place from Gudvangen and Flam and is named the world’s most beautiful and spectacular fjord. Naeroyfjord was also the inspiration of Arendelle landscape in Frozen Movie. In the fjords, you will find the same waterways, mountains, and steep cliffs that you see in Frozen movie.

There is more to Gudvangen than just a port for the Fjord cruise. The view of the village taken from the bridge itself is breathtaking.  There is Viking Village you can visit all year round and the Gudvangen Fjordtell Hotel offer kayaking tour in the fjord.

We have 1 hour in Gudvangen to stroll around, take pictures from the bridge and buy food from Joker supermarket next to Gas station and had a picnic. There is a souvenir shop and a cafe next to the Cruise port but the kitchen was not working when we were there. You can store your suitcases inside the souvenir shop while you stroll around to see the Viking Village.

VIDEO RECAP OF OUR Journey from Voss to Gudvangen

NAEROYFJORD CRUISE

The narrow and spectacular Naeroyfjord is surrounded by steep valley sides and snow-covered peaks that rise 1,800 meters above sea level, with thundering waterfalls and picturesque villages along the fjord.

Regardless of the season, a cruise on the Naeroyfjord will be an unforgettable experience. Every season leaves its own unique touch on the fjord landscape: Frosty colors, white mountain peaks and ice-covered waterfalls during winter time. Blooming deciduous trees and birds chirping during the spring. Green trees and long, bright nights during the summer. And a golden terrain with fresh and clear air during the autumn. The only difference is there will be less people onboard the cruise in winter Vs in the summer.

The vessel cruises: Vision, Future and Legacy of The Fjords are all environmentally-friendly vessels. All vessels running on battery power only thru the fjord and keeping to a speed of less than 10 knots. There is a bar inside the cruise where you can purchase light meals, snacks and hot/cold beverages.

Video recap of Naerofjord Cruise Gudvangen to Flam

FLAM

The small picturesque village of Flam, is situated innermost in the Aurlandsfjord and is home of the Flam Railway and Naerofjord cruise. Flam is nestled in the Aurlandsfjord, an arm of the 204-km long and up to 1308 meter deep Sognefjord.

We only had 30 minutes in Flam before our train departed so we could only do a quick stroll and went souvenir shopping. There were several factory outlet shops and cafe near the cruise port. The Flam railway is just next to the cruise port.

FLAM RAILWAY

Flamsbana

The Flam railway construction commenced in 1924 and the railway finally opened in 1940. The Flåm Railway is one of the world’s steepest train rides built on normal tracks, and close to 80% of its tracks run through a rise of 55%. The Vatnahalsen tunnel spirals in and out of the mountain and is an impressive work of engineering. The 20 km long train ride takes you from the high mountains and down to the fjord. 

The Flåm Railway was recognized as one of the world’s 25 most beautiful train rides by The Society of International Railway. The National Geographic Traveller Magazine mentioned the Flåm Railway on their list of top ten train rides in Europe and the Lonely Planet Traveller recognized the railway as ”the world’s best train ride”.

Remember to sit on the right if you take the ascending train from Flam to Myrdal

Over the one hour journey, the train takes us from sea level at the Aurlandsfjord in Flam to Myrdal mountain station, situated 867 meters above sea level. From the vintage train compartment, we enjoyed the changing scenery of the Flam Valley. Before ascending into the more impassable sections of the valley, the train runs through agricultural landscapes, the old Flam village centre and the old church. The sparkling blue river follows the railway for large parts of the trip, and you will pass small farms in locations you’d think no one could live. The train takes a five-minute photo stop at the Kjosfossen waterfall where we can get out from the train and go out onto the platform.

Kjosfossen Waterfall

Video recap of of our journey on Flam Railway: Flam to Myrdal

MYRDAL STATION

This remote train station perched high up in Norway mountainous “rooftop” at 866 meters above sea level. Myrdal serves as the junction between the Oslo-Bergen train line and the famous Flam Railway

This was the last full day of our Norway Winter Trip. and we were sad that we had to finally ended the holiday and bid farewell to this beautiful country. I hope you enjoyed reading our trip stories.

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