Explore Norwegian fjords, mountains, villages and cities at your own pace. Drive from Oslo to the Telemark region, Norway's cradle of skiing.
Enjoy the trip along this canal from the deck on one of the historical canal boats M/S Henrik Ibsen & M/S Victoria - little has changed since it was done 150 years ago. Relax on-board as the historical landscape, steep mountains in the grand western fjords, narrow channels, open water and lakes pass you by. Continue to the Hardangerfjord and stay at the historic Ullensvang hotel. Explore the Norwegian fjords and mountains before arriving into Bergen.
This 7 day self drive exploration gets you to best of the Norwegian fjords and valleys, staying in boutique hotels with many meals included.
|Tour Provider||50 Degrees North|
|Number of Days||
1 to 20
|17 May 2019||05 Sep 2019||Available||AUD $3,283|
Pick up your car from central Oslo (or Gardermn airport) in the morning, and drive to Rjukan (2h50m) in Telemark. Telemark is the heartland of modern day skiing in Norway and worldwide, where Sondre Nordheim pioneered in new ski techniques in the mid 1800’s.
At Rjukan you will stay at the magnificent Gaustablikk Hotel at the foot of Gaustatoppen (1883m). Rjukan is famous for the heavy water plant at Vemork held by the Germans during WWII, and which was sabotaged by the ‘Heros of Telemark’. The plant is now the Norwegian Industrial Workers Museum, and well worth a visit to gain some in-depth knowledge about the WWII events.
The morning is at your leisure in Rjukan, and we recommend either climbing Gaustatoppen, or taking the Gaustabanen - a unique cable car that gs inside the Gaustatoppen mountain. You can also venture to the other side of the valley and take the Krossobanen cable car up onto the Hardanger Mountain Plateau. Krossobanen is the first cable car to be built in Northern Europe.
In the afternoon continue your drive south to Dalen (1h30min) Stay at the historic Hotel Dalen built in a Swiss style in the late 19th century. The hotel is a landmark for Norwegian cultural heritage. Dinner is served in the hotel restaurant and is inspired by Telemark as a region with high quality products and long culinary traditions.
In the morning join either of the two historic canal boats MS Victoria or MS Henrik Ibsen on the famous Telemark Canal from Dalen to Ulefoss. Departing from Dalen you may always start your day with a delicious on-board breakfast. For guests having spent the night at the Dalen Hotel breakfast is included. You will pass 14 locks and arrive in Ulefoss in the early afternoon, from where the canal bus takes you back to Dalen. Overnight Dalen Hotel with half board.
Spend a free day in Dalen to explore the region by bike or on foot. There is plenty of beautiful nature and history in the area. You can also go caning, fishing or horse riding, or just relax at the hotel with a good book. Be sure to watch for beavers working hard in the lake close by. Overnight Dalen Hotel with half board.
It's time to leave Telemark behind and head towards the famous fjords and Lofthus (3h20min). Part of your way will follow the Hardanger route, one of Norway's eighteen National Tourist Routes. Be prepared for a beautiful but slow drive with frequent photo stops, and take a refreshing break at the twin cascades of Låtefoss waterfall, where the spray from the plunging falls softly showers the road while it disappears under an old stone-vault bridge and onwards.
In Lofthus, you will stay at the historical Ullensvang Hotel, which dates back to 1846 and is owned and run by the same family to this day. The hotel is beautifully situated on the shores of the Hardangerfjord, with a magnificent view of the fjord, the mountains and the Folgefonna glacier. The hotel beautifully combines local traditions, history and modern comforts.
Overnight in Ullensvang Hotel with half board.
Spend a free day in Lofthus to explore the region. We recommend taking the hop-on hop-off Hardangerfjord Cruise (daily from mid-June to early August) on board a veteran boat to visit Aga, an authentic farm village dating back to 13th century and then continuing onwards to Utne and the Hardanger Folk Museum. For those who are fit and active, the starting point to the famous Trolltunga hike is only a short drive away from your hotel. The hike itself takes 8-10 hours and if you would like to do it with a local mountain guide, please ask us for more information. Alternatively you could visit one of the local fruit and cider farms or spend a relaxing day at the Ullensvang hotel.
At the hotel you have all the ingredients for a leisurely day out. The fjord garden is the place to be on a sunny day as situated directly by the water, you have beautiful views over the fjord from your sun chair. You could also explore the fjord with a rowing or paddle boat, available at the hotel in the summer months. To freshen up, a dip in the fjord or a swim in the Ullensvang Bath (minimum age 18) is recommended. Heated indoor and outdoor pools with a waterfall and Jacuzzi effects and panoramic sauna are perfect for relaxing after busy days on the road. For the whole family there is a brand new and Europe’s longest outdoor swimming channel (88 m) which ends up in an outdoor infinity pool. There is also indoor swimming pool, sauna, Jacuzzi and Japanese foot massage pool which are open for the whole family. Entry to the swimming facilities is free of charge for the hotel guests.
Overnight Ullensvang Hotel with half board.
The stunning fjord-view drive continues today from Lofthus to Bergen, and here you can choose to either follow the main road via Voss (2h30min), or to continue along the tourist route (3h) and follow the road along the fjords and through the mountains to Bergen. Either way, allow some time for stops as both routes pass by stunning waterfalls and beautiful views.