7 nights: 5 x ULLENSVANG, 2 x BERGEN
A fly-drive holiday combining the breathtaking region of Hardanger with the charming city of Bergen.
- Dates & Prices
- Price Includes
Hardanger is a region of vast orchards overlooked from across the fjord by the Folgefonn Glacier. Lofthus, located within an easy 2½ hours drive from Bergen, is a great base to explore this region.
This holiday can be as leisurely or as active as you choose to make it , with your hire car providing full flexibility to explore the region at your own pace. You are surrounded by fjords, glaciers, waterfalls and mountains – perfect for simply sitting back to enjoy the view with a good book and a glass of wine. However, we also recommend fully immersing yourself in your natural surroundings with walks in the mountains, kayaking on the fjord or hiking on a glacier!
Nearby villages and farms provide excellent opportunities to mingle with the locals and sample the delicious local produce in this region. Hotel Ullensvang almost provides a holiday in itself; directly overlooking Sørfjord, an arm of the Hardangerfjord, there are plenty of areas to sit and relax with a cup of coffee, a hot chocolate or a glass of wine. There is a beautiful dining room overlooking the fjord and their famous dinner buffet table has something for everyone.
In addition to all of this their indoor activity centre includes a swimming pool, golf simulator, squash and tennis courts, pool, table tennis and a fitness room. Their relax department has saunas, hot tub, massage chairs and a solarium with a variety of spa treatments available on request. There is also a large fjord- side veranda/garden from where it’s possible to rent rowing boats, pedalos and bicycles. However, the piéce-de-la-resistance must surely be their wonderful outdoor swimming lane, at 88 metres long it is Europe’s longest outdoor swimming channel, culminating in an outdoor infinity pool. Lovely for when you’ve kicked off those hiking boots!
Complete your stay in Norway with a final two nights in Bergen – Norway’s second largest city and famed for its charming and colourful Hanseatic harbour listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Day 1 | Kvamskogen - Hardanger - Lofthus (99 miles)
Arrive Bergen Airport by air from the UK. Collect your hire car.
Leave the suburbs of Bergen city and cross Kvamskogen, the mountain plateau between Bergen and Hardanger. Before arriving in the fjordside village of Norheimsund, we recommend you make a side trip to Steinsdalsfoss (waterfall). A walk behind the falls makes for a very refreshing break. Drive alongside the fjord, via Øystese and Granvin, and across Hardangerbrua, a huge suspension bridge crossing Eidfjord to Sørfjord, both arms of the Hardangerfjord. Short drive alongside Sørfjord to the village of Lofthus.
5 nights LOFTHUS - Ullensvang Hotel (4*)
Meals included today: Breakfast, Dinner
Days 2 - 5 | Explore Hardanger
The Hardangerfjord region offers spectacular nature whether you're looking for active pursuits or cultural ones. Keen hikers will love the number of trails, for all abilities, which depart directly from the village or within an easy drive. Everything from a 20-minute relaxing fruit trail walk to Queen Sonja's favourite 6-hour panoramic trail. Or for the ultimate hike, how about Trolltunga, a spectacular rock formation jutting out 700 metres above Ringedalsvatnet lake!
The Måbø Valley and Vøringfoss Falls - with a vertical drop of 183 metres - are a popular day trip from Lofthus. The Norsk Nature Centre at Øvre Eidfjord provides greater insight into the history and nature of the region and is adjacent to an excellent gift shop and cafeteria.
Directly across the fjord from Lofthus is the tiny village of Utne, home to Agatunet, an idyllic hamlet with buildings ranging from the Middle Ages to present-day. Here you will also find the Hardanger Folk Museum and open-air museum.
The outdoor activity centres located in Eidfjord and Voss offer a range of active pursuits such as horse-riding, white-water rafting, kayaking, glacier hiking and much more.
Drive to Voss, park the car and enjoy a round trip on the famous 'Norway in a Nutshell' - perhaps western Norway’s most famous excursion, this trip takes you through some of Norway's most beautiful fjord scenery. You can experience the breathtaking Flåm Railway (Flåmsbana), the Aurlandsfjord, the narrow Nærøyfjord and the steep hairpin bends of Stalheimskleiva.
Or how about hiking the Queen's Trail which begins at Røte, just a 10-minute drive from your hotel? The views are spectacular and returning to your hotel for a swim and a sauna before dinner is the perfect end to a full day's activity.
Meals included all days: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 6 | Lofthus - Bergen (99 miles)
Retrace your journey (or take an alternative route) to Bergen.
2 nights BERGEN - Thon Hotel Rosenkrantz (4*)
Meals included today: Breakfast
Day 7 | Explore Bergen
Explore Norway's second largest city famed for its charming and colourful Hanseatic harbour listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will find plenty of things to do, such as taking the funicular railway to the viewing point at the top of Mount Fløien, great hiking routes, and enjoying the city's excellent array shops, cafes and restaurants.
Meals included today: Breakfast
Day 8 | Homeward bound
Drive to Bergen Flesland Airport and return your hire car before your return flight/s home.
Departure Day: Daily (subject to flight schedules)
Departure Dates: 01 May – 23 Sep 2020
Duration: 7 nights
Price from: £1995 per person, based on two people travelling together in one car and sharing a twin/double room throughout. Single supplement on request.
Deposit: £200 per person
It is important to read the Terms and Conditions which apply when making a confirmed booking with us. By asking us to confirm your booking, we are entitled to assume that you have read and understood our terms and conditions, and agree to them.
- Scheduled return flights with SAS in Economy class from Heathrow Airport to Bergen (via Oslo) including 23kgs of checked luggage and one piece of hand-luggage (max 10kgs) per person. Taxes included. Alternative departure airports are available on request.
- Car hire with Europcar for a period of 7 days with pick-up at Bergen Airport on day 1 and drop-off at Bergen Airport on day 8. Rental is based on a 5-door VW Golf or similar with space for two suitcases and insurance for one driver (extra drivers at a supplement). Includes Collision Damage Waiver (excess NOK 9500), basic protection package, city/airport surcharge, unlimited mileage and tax.
- 5 nights at the 4* Hotel Ullensvang in Lofthus based on a standard fjord-view double/twin room including daily buffet breakfast and buffet dinner. Free car parking.
- 2 nights at the 4* Thon Hotel Rosenkrantz in Bergen based on a standard double/twin room including daily buffet breakfast. N.B. Parking is not included however, there are two car parks close by.
- A copy of the vintage motoring gazetteer ‘Motoring in Norway’.
- Quality regional road map.
- Detailed motoring itinerary and travel document wallet.
- 24-hour emergency telephone assistance.
- Financial Protection.
- Personal travel insurance.
- Road tolls – approx. £40 to be paid via Europcar locally. NB! This is for the most direct route travelling via Norheimsund and the Hardanger Bridge. Should travellers wish to vary this route, additional tolls may apply.
- Parking in Bergen
Ullensvang Hotel (4* plus) – Lofthus
This hotel is most certainly one of our favourites! Owned and managed by the Utne Family since 1846, it is one of the finest hotels in Norway and has a wonderful location, directly overlooking Sørfjord, an arm of the Hardangerfjord. The hotel has plenty of areas to sit and relax with a cup of coffee, a hot chocolate or a glass of wine. Those who like a little tipple will no doubt enjoy pre and post-dinner drinks in one of the bars, followed by dancing to live music. There is a beautiful dining room overlooking the fjord and and their famous dinner buffet table has something for everyone. In addition to all of this their indoor activity centre includes a swimming pool, golf simulator, squash and tennis courts, pool, table tennis and a fitness room. Their relax department has saunas, hot tub, massage chairs and a solarium with a variety of Spa treatments available on request (please ask for further details). There is also a large fjordside veranda/garden from where it’s possible to rent rowing boats, pedalos and bicycles. And the piece de la resistance must surely be their wonderful outdoor swimming lane, at 88 metres long it is Europe’s longest outdoor swimming channel, culminating in an outdoor infinity pool. Lovely for when you’ve kicked off those hiking boots!
The view from the hotel’s gardens was a great source of inspiration to the composer Edvard Grieg, and his little wooden hut, in which he composed some of his greatest works, still sits in the hotel’s garden. As a homage to this view we wanted all our clients to be able to fully appreciate it from first thing in the morning until last thing in the evening. For this reason all Scandinavia Only clients receive rooms with a guaranteed fjord view.
Thon Hotel Rosenkrantz (4*) – Bergen
Thon Hotel Rosenkrantz has an enviable location directly in Bryggen, Bergen’s Hanseatic harbour. Set behind the main wharf buildings that line the harbour’s facade, the hotel has the benefit of being centrally located and yet is still quiet. The hotel is just steps away from Fløibanen, the funicular railway to the summit of Mount Fløyen, and to the harbour, fish market and numerous restaurants, bars and cafes.The hotel offers a variety of room types with standard and superior rooms being the ones primarily featured in Scandinavia Only’s holidays. Both room categories have very comfortable beds with both doubles and twins being available. All bedrooms are comfortably furnished and with bath or shower and WC, hairdryer, TV, mini-bar, bathrobe and slippers, safe, iron/ironing board and tea and coffee making facilities. Free Wi-fFi.
A lavish Scandinavian buffet breakfast is served daily in the breakfast room and a complimentary evening buffet meal is available to all hotel guests at certain times of the year from Monday to Thursday (if you feel the latter could be important to your stay please check dates before booking).
There is a multi-storey car park directly across the road from the hotel (payable locally) making it a very convenient hotel for those with a hire car.
The hotel has a lift to all floors and has wheelchair accessible rooms and allergy-friendly rooms.
Sightseeing from Lofthus
- Scenic Driving Routes including Norwegian Scenic Route Hardanger, Hardangervidda and the Glacier road
- Hiking – numerous walks are available from easy to very demanding including the Fruit Trail in Lofthus, The Monk Steps, Bondhus Valley Hike, Hæreid Viking Burial Site, Buer Glacier Valley Hike, Husedalen Valley Waterfall Hike, Vøringfossen Waterfall Canyon Hike, Mt. Oksen, Queen Sonja’s Panoramic Hiking Trail, and Trolltunga.
- National Parks – Hardangervidda – the largest national park in Norway with a vast mountain plateau and Folgefonna which spans the Folgefonna glacier which offers glacier hiking and summer skiing.
- Hardangervidda Nature Centre – located at Eidfjord at the foot of Vøringsfossen (waterfall). The visitor centre focuses on nature, climate, environment and the Hardangervidda National Park.
- Vøringfossen Waterfall near Edifjord – one of the most famous waterfalls in Norway, located along the Norwegian Scenic Road Hardangervidda. A new step bridge was opened in August 2020 which spans the falls. Stunning viewing platforms, parking and toilet facilities are available.
- Waterfalls – Steindalsfossen near Norheimsund, Låtefoss – twin waterfall close to Odda, Skjervsfossen – located between Hardanger and Voss.
- Agatunet Farm – a folk museum and listed hamlet with 30 buildings showcasing western Norway’s building traditions from the Middle Ages to present day, traditional costume and with cosy café, museum and shop.
- Sima Power plant and Kjeåsen Mountain Farm – Sima Power Plant is located at Simdal and is one of the largest hydroelectric power stations in Europe. From here you can either walk (nice but steep footpath) or drive (traffic up every hour and down every half hour) to Kjeåsen Mountain Farm – located on a mountain side, 650 m above sea level affording great views of the surrounding area.
- Fruit and Cider Farms in the Hardanger region – Steinstø Fruit Farm, Syse Farm, Hardanger Saft – og Siderfabrikk and Ulvik Frukt & Cideri.
- Cider Cruise – new for 2020 includes a boat trip along the fjord onboard ‘Vision of the Fjords’, Cider Farm Visit and Cider Tasting.
- Outdoor activities inc. RIB Safaris, kayaking, guided hiking, Glacier trips and cycling
- ‘Norway in a Nutshell’ from Voss – perhaps western Norway’s most famous excursion, this trip takes you through some of Norway’s most beautiful fjord scenery. You can experience the breathtaking Flåm Railway (Flåmsbana), the Aurlandsfjord, the narrow Nærøyfjord and the steep hairpin bends of Stalheimskleiva.
- Take the funicular railway to the top of Mount Fløyen for spectacular views of the city.
- Take a stroll around Bryggen, the old Hanseatic harbour and UNESCO World Heritage Site, with its collection of shops and restaurants.
- Learn more about Bergen’s history at the Hanseatic Museum and Schøtstuene.
- Visit Troldhaugen – home of composer Edvard Grieg and now a living museum. Concerts are held throughout the summer season.
- Take the cable car to the summit of Mount Ulriken which has an altitude of 643 metres above sea level.
- Enjoy fresh fish in one of Bergen’s excellent restaurants – from sea to plate!
To book this holiday either telephone us on 01274 875199 (this is our preferred option as it gives us the opportunity to chat with you!) or email your booking request to email@example.com
It is suitable for everyone but most especially for those who like driving and the freedom that a car provides to explore side trips along the way. Young children may become a little bored as amazing scenery is not such a priority at this age, however older teenagers will enjoy the excitement of the hairpin bends and the availability of outdoor activities at each destination.
Norway is a huge country with a tiny population so it stands to reason that the roads are not the most crowded you will ever drive on! Like all countries around the world you will find the cities the busiest and more challenging to negotiate, but in Bergen (the busiest destination you will be driving around) you will find you have time to think about where you are driving.
There are no routes on this holiday that a 50 seater coach or lorry is not allowed to drive on so this may make you feel a little better about being in a much smaller vehicle.
Norwegians are very courteous drivers overall, though they do have a habit of putting their foot down when racing to catch the next ferry. Just take your time though and let them pass you - you'll no doubt meet them again, one place forward, in the queue at the ferry quay.
There really isn't a specific dress code anywhere in Norway. For example, men are not expected to wear a tie to dinner you will not be turned away for wearing jeans. However, these are 4 star hotels and many Norwegians will go to the hotels for a short-break holiday as a way to celebrate and they will wear their 'best clothes' in the same way that we often do under the same circumstances.
Certainly the restaurants of these hotels would request that guests do not wear trainers or shorts for dinner! Smart casual is the rule of thumb. If you really want to dress up though then feel free - you won't be on your own. The point we are making is that it is not a requirement.
Trolltunga has a spectacular viewpoint, there is very little to compete with it! However, it is a challenging hike and not suited to those whose main experience is a spot of leisurely walking/hiking for 2 or 3 hours. We can pre-book a guided tour for you, so just ask if you are interested in this.