DAY 1 - OSLO & THE BERGEN RAILWAY
Your Arctic Circle/Midnight Sun-bound rail adventure gets underway in Oslo
This incredible rail voyage departs from Oslo. Our capital is without doubt worth a couple of nights stay and explore before your train journey commences. Easy access to the fjord and surrounding forests allows the people of Oslo to indulge in a wide range of favorite activities all year round.
The Oslo - Bergen Railway to Myrdal has the distinction of being the highest major rail route in Northern Europe. You will pass through desolate mountain terrain and see snow-covered peaks even in mid-summer.
Your first night will be spent at the highest point along the Bergen Railway, 1222 meters above sea level at the historic hotel Finse 1222, overlooking the stunning Hardangerjøkulen Glacier(Hardanger Glacier). This hotel sits in the midst of one of Norway’s most scenic and beautiful mountain regions and is only reachable by train, bicycle, or foot. The hotel itself while steeped in history, has (as of summer 2021) refurbished under the auspices of the famous architecture firm, Snøhetta, who have strived to create a balance between tasteful modern furniture and its elegant history.
Alternatively, if you want to take your pace a little slower, we can arrange for 2 nights at a charming eco lodge in Aurland where you can dive a little deeper into the region, exploring on foot or via row boat.
DAY 2 - The Flåm Railway
Europe's steepest railway
The Flåm Railway is Europe’s steepest railway line, dropping 862 metres (2831 ft) down to the fjord below. Lonely Planet Traveller awarded the journey from Myrdal to Flåm one of the "best train journeys in the world", and it won't take you long to see why.
After arriving at the bottom, a fjord cruise along the majestic (and UNESCO protected) Nærøyfjord awaits. It's a truly out of this world experience: cruising through a fjord with mountains towering more than a thousand metres above your head.
We invite you to spend the night in a boutique hotel in the Finnegaarden Trading House. This quaint hotel is situated right next to the iconic narrow wooden allies of the UNESCO protected Bryggen Wharf. Dinner tonight is served at Restaurant 1877, situated just a stone’s throw away in a former meat market dating from, yes, you’ve guessed it, 1877.
DAY 3 - Explore Bergen
...and embark on a sea voyage
Your agenda for today is exploring the Hanseatic city and whilst there’s undoubtedly plenty to do, we will help you make the most of the day regardless of your interests. Peruse the aforementioned allies of Bryggen Wharf and their charming craft shops and take the Fløibanen to the top of the mountain for panoramic views out of the city. Other ways to spend the day might include visiting Troldhaugen - the home of famous Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg and viewing the art at the KODE galleries.
From Bergen, the journey continues late in the evening aboard the Hurtigruten, often described as the world's most beautiful sea voyage. Sleep through the night in your cabin, while the ferry slips north at a comfortable pace.
DAY 4 - Wake up in Art Nouveau city Ålesund
Start your day with the most amazing view as you wake up on board the iconic Hurtigruten. Enjoy breakfast before you meander your boat down the iconic and famous Geirangerfjorden. These really are front-row seats to epic nature!
The afternoon will see you docking in Ålesund - also known as the Venice of the North. The city, which is perched across 7 islands was built in an art-nouveau stile at the turn of the 20th century giving Ålesund a truly unique and distinct appearance. Your home for the next two nights is a boutique hotel that sits on the edge of one of these waterways and boasts a rather magnificent fireplace.
We will book you in for a topographic menu at Apotekergata 5. The restaurant is a firm favourite among the Up Norway team.
DAY 5 - Ålesund & Beyond
The course of the day today will be decided based on your interests - we can truly recommend a leisurely hike to Alnes lighthouse and Godøya with one of our favourite nature guides. Godøya is an island outside of Ålesund famous for its beautiful nature and mountain Storhornet, offering a fantastic 360° panorama view of Ålesund and the Atlantic Ocean.
Alternatively spend the day at sea level exploring Ålesund via kayak along the waterways that divide the islands. The adventure will take you to various points in the city where you may uncover some of the dark history that lies behind its colourful facade.
DAY 6 - The Rauma Railway
From Ålesund via Åndalsnes to Trondheim
After travelling like a local to the town of Åndalsnes another wonderful rail adventure is on the agenda. The Rauma Railway from Åndalsnes to Dombås is known as one of Norway’s wildest and most beautiful train rides. Shoot through the beautiful Romsdalen with iconic natural attractions such as 'Trollveggen' (the Troll Wall), Europe's tallest vertical cliff. Cross the old granite 'Kyllingbru' (Chicken Bridge), Norway's most photographed bridge and an architectural gem. It took ten years to build it using granite quarried from the nearby mountains. The whole trip lasts 1 hour and 40 minutes.
Switch trains in Dombås and continue on another two hours to the pilgrims' city of Trondheim. Overnight at Britannia Hotel - a regal hotel dating all the way back to 1870 - the hotel had a grand reopening in 2019 after being restored to the glories and elegance of its origins. Dine in style at the brasserie and take your first steps into uncovering why Trondheim is famous the world over for excellent restaurants and cuisine.
DAY 7 - PILGRIMS' CITY: TRONDHEIM
City exploration and excellent local food
Start the day with a stroll in the picturesque old town with its colourful wooden houses, cafes and small shops. While in the city, don't miss the chance to visit the largest medieval cathedral in the North, Nidarosdomen, which has been a pilgrimage site for nearly 1000 years.
Surrounded by countless large- and small-scale food producers, Trondheim is the city in Norway with the strongest focus on local food. The city is scattered with high quality restaurants, and we'll be sure to give you our top recommendations.
DAY 8 - NORDLAND RAILWAY & ARCTIC CIRCLE REGION
The Nordland Railway is known as "The Polar Express", as it crosses the Arctic Circle on its journey to Bodø. You will hurtle through stunning landscapes, passing more than 40 stations, crossing 290 bridges and plunging into 150 tunnels on your way to Bodø.
Upon arrival in Mo i Rana you will make a detuor to Lovund island. The 90 minute journey will slowly reveal more and more of the iconic island which can easily be identified by its mountain, which rises out of the ocean some 625 metres above sea level. The young island community of 500 at Lovund is here for the same reason as the puffins who outnumber them: the fish. You will stay at the convivial Lovund Hotel, with a direct view of the Træna mountains across the water.
DAY 9 - An arctic paradise island needs to be enjoyed
A coastal paradise needs to be enjoyed
Find peace while watching the heaving sea through the floor-to-ceiling windows in the stylish hotel lounge, soak up the glow of the midnight sun and taste world-class salmon. Join one of the other friendly locals for a stroll around the island and try the extraordinary fish-feeding driving range (practise your golf while knocking salmon-food into the water). Otherwise, you can kick back and seize the opportunity to relax, reflect, and dream away.
DAY 10 - Arctic Pasture to Table
To Elise From Marius
Enjoy breakfast before heading back towards the mainland. The ferry and local transfer will take you back to Nesna before being whisked to the end of a fjord and our friends Elise and Marius. Situated at the end of the Ranfjord, this charming restaurant and hotel will provide a stunning backdrop for which to enjoy a gourmet menu in the evening. Marius will prepare a feast of locally-sourced, fresh ingredients in a pasture-to-table concept.
DAY 11 - Last stop Bodø
Crossing the Arctic Circle
After breakfast, board the Nordland Railway again to Bodø. Crossing the Arctic Circle is a highlight. Enter the Arctic zone in sustainable fashion, and recharge with Nordic energy from the midnight sun.
Step off the train for the last time for now. Check in to your hotel in the city centre, and discover Bodø's street art and vibrant emerging restaurant scene. Be brave – try the local specialty, dryfish at one of our favourite restaurants - Lyst På.
For those of you who still have the taste for adventure, you may step aboard a RIB-boat and witness the world’s strongest whirlpools. Experience the swirling maelstrøm up close as you slip safely into the vortex to witness nature’s raw power.
DAY 12 - Continue travelling, go home or just move here!
The path you take onwards from here is up to you. Nature and food lovers might continue their adventure into Lofoten - a chain of islands that offer resplendent views and rugged coastlines. Here you may to explore the Cheese Trail of Lofoten. Connections to the far north are also plentiful for those who want to venture even further off the beaten track and for those who might have to leave us - there are multiple flights to Oslo most days.