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4th October 2017
Not until the first decade of the 20th century, when Bergen and Oslo became linked by rail, could the two cities be reached from each other except by making an arduous trek over the Hardangervidda, Europe’s largest mountain plateau. This 100-square kilometre stretch of land became one of the main crossing points for traders, herders and dignitaries who followed the many trails alongside rivers and lakes overlooked by mountains and, at the highest point near Finse, the Hardangerjøkulen glacier.
The Bergen Line rail link, known as the journey ‘Across the Roof of Norway’, was officially opened by King Håkon in 1909. Planning a railway across the Hardangervidda mountain range was no small task and at one point, in Taugevatn, the line is 1,301 metres above sea level, making it the highest and most challenging in northern Europe.
'Norway in a Nutshell' is perhaps western Norway's most famous excursion and features the journey on-board the magnificent Flåm Mountain Railway which descends from the mountain to the fjord in 55 minutes. The journey then continues for a glorious trip by boat along the Aurlandsfjord and into the narrow Nærøyfjord, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, before crossing the mountain by bus to Voss and continuing to Bergen.
A truly wonderful short break for anyone who loves cities and spectacular scenery.
Day 1 - Arrive Oslo
Arrive at Oslo Airport by air from the UK. Independent transfer to Oslo city centre.
3 nights OSLO - Comfort Hotel Børsparken*** or Hotel Bristol**** (B)
Days 2 & 3
The Norwegian capital is currently having a renaissance with the help of Tjuvholmen and Oslo's Opera House injecting an edgy and contemporary side to the city. Contrasting nicely are some of Oslo's most well-loved and cultural attractions including Vigeland Sculpture Park and the Edvard Munch museum where you can get upclose to 'The Scream', one of the world's most recognisable paintings.
For more activities please see our Excursions tab.
Day 4 - 'Across the Roof of Norway' and 'Norway in a Nutshell'
Morning departure by rail for the spectacular journeys ‘Across the Roof of Norway’ from Oslo to Myrdal and 'Norway in a Nutshell' from Myrdal to Bergen featuring the Flåm Mountain Railway and fjord cruise. Your luggage will be transported directly from your hotel in Oslo to your hotel in Bergen so you only need to take a day bag with you.
3 nights BERGEN - Augustin Hotel*** or Clarion Admiral Hotel****
Days 5 & 6
Explore Norway's second largest city with its charming and colourful Hanseatic harbour (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), funicular railway to the viewing point at the top of Mount Fløien and the numerous shops, cafes and restaurants clustered within easy walking distance of one another.
Day 7 - Depart Bergen
Transfer from the city centre by airport bus to Bergen Airport for your return flight home.
Departure Day: Daily From London Heathrow Airport with SAS
Departure Dates: May - Sep
Duration: 6 nights
Price: based on two people travelling together and sharing a twin/double room with shower and WC
Comfort Hotel Børsparken and Augustin Hotel (3 star options)
£1125 per person
Hotel Bristol and Clarion Admiral Hotel (4 star options)
£1315 per person
N.B. Alternative regional airports available for departure subject to flight schedules and availability. Please telephone 01274 875199 and as for details.
Hotel Bristol ****
Hotel Bristol is a very traditional, historical hotel. As soon as you enter the main lobby area you experience the unique style that characterizes the hotel and an air of elegance which has been maintained since the hotel welcomed their first guests in 1920. Perfectly located just off Karl Johan’s Gate, the citys main street, with the Royal Palace at one end and Storting (Parliament) at the other. The hotel has 251 rooms (10 of which are suites) all equipped with TV, mini-bar, hairdryer, trouser press and telephone. The hotel has a spa and gym, bar, conference centre, garage, room service and wireless internet access. The hotel also has two restaurants; Bristol Grill, focusing on international and Norwegian dishes using local produce and Hambro’s Cafe, a popular Italian bistro.
Comfort Hotel Børsparken - Oslo ***
Located in the heart of the capital, Comfort Hotel Børsparken is surrounded by beautiful neo rennaissance and art nouveau architecture. This hotel provies perfect location for exploring the wonderful city of Oslo. Only two blocks from the popular shopping street Karl Johan and within walking distance from the central train station and airport shuttle. Rooms are spacious and can be accessed via an elevator, they are also equipped with cable television, wifi and ensuite bathroom.
Augustin Hotel, Bergen ***
The Augustin Hotel has an extremely handy location, centrally located but in a quieter street just set back from the main harbour area. It is a short walk to most of the city's main attractions including Bryggen (the old Hanseatic harbour), the main shopping streets, the Aquarium, the express boat terminal and the funicular railway. It is actually Bergen's oldest family-run hotel now managed by the fourth generation of the Smørås family; the oldest part of the hotel was built in Art Nouveau style in 1909, however, since then the hotel has expanded, incorporating old neighbouring houses and building new wings. The hotel has a popular intimate dinner restaurant (closed Sundays) where their excellent buffet breakfast is also served, and a lovely 400-year-old cellar bar, Altona. During the summer months (June - August) you will find free waffles served between 1600 and 1800 in the lounge area next to Reception. Free tea and coffee is also available here all year round, 24 hours per day. All bedrooms are equipped with TV, phone, hair-dryer, mini-bar and trouser press. Lift to all floors.
If you are on a fly-drive holiday with Scandinavia Only, and spending a night in Bergen with your car, we will pre-book and include car parking as part of your stay. The car park is just across the road from the hotel and is outdoor.
CLARION HOTEL ADMIRAL (4 star) - Bergen
Clarion Hotel Admiral is the only true waterside hotel in Bergen with the best view of Bryggen (the Hanseatic harbour) , Vågen and Fløyen. The hotel was completely renovated in 2014 and is now an extremely stylish yet supremely comfortable and easy-going hotel. Centrally located in the heart of Bergen and within a couple of minutes walk of the fish harbour and main shopping street, the hotel is actually an old storehouse which dates back to 1904. The hotel has a lovely restaurant called Kitchen and Table and an area called the Living Room both of which are, as the names suggest, places to relax with good food, either a glass of wine, a cup of tea or just with other people or perhaps a good book - the whole point is that you should feel at home! All bedrooms included in our tours are with harbour view and are equipped with satellite TV, telephone, trouser press, mini-bar and hairdryer and free WiFi. These rooms also have a small balconette directly overlooking the water. Lift to all floors.
Please note, rooms at the Admiral have twin beds which are pushed together, each with their own set of bedlinen, but which cannot be separated.
Activities in Oslo
This is the classic Oslofjord sightseeing, passing the fortress, the Opera House and idyllic islands with small summer houses.
Duration: 2 hours
Departs: Saturday, Sunday and Monday 10.30 13.00 15.30
Price per person: NOK 269
Norwegian Evening on the Fjord
Enjoy an evening cruise on board a sailing ship. Traditional Norwegian prawn buffet is also served.
Duration: 3 hours
Departs: May - Sep 19.00
Price per person: NOK 395
Jazz and Blues Cruise
Evening cruise with live music on board a sailing ship. Traditional Norwegian prawn buffet is included.
Duration: 3 hours
Departs: 7 pm Wednesdays (Jazz evening) Saturdays (Blues evening) June 6 - Aug 15
Price per person: NOK 429 19.00
Who is this holiday suitable for?
Everyone! It especially suits those who like history, culture and nature as you have two wonderful, contrasting cities to explore - with an impressive collection of museums between them - with a full day's journey between which features some of western Norway's most spectacular scenery.
How does the luggage transfer operate?
We didn't want our clients to have to carry heavy luggage with them between the two cities, especially as this would have involved lifting suitcases on and off the trains, ferry and bus. We have therefore included a luggage transfer service for one suitcase per person. The downside is that you have to leave your suitcase at the hotel's reception desk on the morning of departure, ready for pick up, between 0600 and 0745. To make this early pick up more palatable we recommend leaving your luggage the night before and having a few toiletry items in your hand luggage for convenience.
Will I be able to get something to eat and drink on the train?
Absolutely, though the snacks available are very simple. Travelling in Komfort Class you will be provided with unlimited tea/coffee for the journey and we recommend you buy your own snacks in Oslo before departure to eat along the way. If you would like us to organise a meal for you on the train (we can pre-book something more substantial - similar to a generous airline meal) then let us know. Prices start at around £15 per person (now you can see why we recommend buying your own snacks beforehand...!).