The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Nærøyfjord is a branch of the large Sognefjord. It is 18 km long and 500 metres wide at its widest, featuring the famous heritage villages of Flåm, Aurland and Gudvangen. The narrow fjord, lined with dramatic mountains, is one of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring landscapes in the world.
There are plenty of exciting activities and ways to explore the Nærøyfjord area, including ferry rides, cruises and hikes. Below are some facts about the area’s most important destinations.
At the end of the fjord lies the picturesque village of Flåm, with its 350 inhabitants, traditional farm houses, and the famous Flåmbanen (the Flåm train line). Constructed in 1923, Flåmbanen is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Norway. The 20.2-km-long trainline between Myrdal and Flåm runs through a spectacular mountain landscape with dizzying heights, dark tunnels and the scenic Flåmsdalen valley.
When visiting Flåm, a ride on the Flåm train line is, of course, unmissable. However, the village also has several other attractions, including a beautiful old church built in 1670. There are also several restaurants serving excellent food, such as the brewery at Flåmsbrygga hotel and the cosy Bakkastova cafe. At Norge International Fisk where you can even sample fresh seafood straight from the fjord.
Things to do in Flåm
In summer weather, Flåm is also an ideal setting for outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing and camping. For braver travellers, there is a zipline which runs from Vatnahalsen to Flåm. At 1381 metres, it is the longest zipline in all of Scandinavia. It offers visitors the chance to observe the breathtaking landscape from the vantage point of a soaring eagle. The ultimate adrenaline rush, the zipline descends from the side of the mountain down into the valley at a speed of up to 100 km per hour.
Aurlandsvangen village, with its 777 inhabitants, lies in the other end of the Nærøyfjord. The village is known for its surrounding mountains and beautiful views of the fjord. It is also known for its gothic-style white stone church, built in 1202, which has a unique free-standing wooden bell-tower.
Above the village is the famous Stegastein viewpoint, a 4-metre-wide wood and steel lookout platform extending 30 metres out from the side of the mountain. From here it is possible to look directly into fjord from a dizzying height of 650 metres. Visitors are given the sensation of walking on a bridge in the sky. The platform offers panoramic views of the Aurlandsvangen village and several kilometres of the Aurlandsfjord.
At the other end of the Nærøyfjord is Gudvangen, a village with a special connection to Viking history. Its name “Gudvangen” translates to “Gud” (god) and “vangen” (place of worship). This might suggest it was a place in which heathen Viking gods were worshipped and possibly a site of pilgrimage.
Today Gudvangen is the site of the Gudvangen Viking Valley of Njardarheimr. This is an open-air museum in which travellers can immerse themselves in Viking history. Due to its location in a remote fjord village, Njardarheimr feels less like a museum and more like time travel. It is essentially a living, working Viking village. Here you can observe and participate in the daily life and activities of the Vikings.
You can also see Viking ships being built and proofed with tar, learn archery and axe throwing and have a traditional Viking meal (using authentic methods and ingredients) in front of an open fire. You can even attend the Chieftain’s banquet, an extravagant celebratory warrior’s meal! Children can learn how to play traditional games from the Viking Age and attend exciting and educational storytelling sessions to learn more about Viking history, myths and legends.
In July every year, a Viking Market is held, recreating the atmosphere of an authentic Viking trade fair, in which you can buy traditional arts and crafts, woodwork, textiles, leather and food, as well as watch Viking battles and musical performances.
Things to do in Gudvangen
Aside from the Viking village, a popular attraction near Gudvangen is the Kjelfossen waterfall, a set of three waterfalls cascading down the side of the mountain in staircase-like drops, the tallest of which is 149 metres. The view from below of Kjelfossen is a popular photo spot on the E16 highway.
At 166 km away (2 ½ hours drive), Flåm is an excellent one-day trip from Bergen. Buses rundaily from Bergen central bus station.
The Flåm railway from Flåm to Myrdal takes approximately 1 hour. It costs 550 NOK for adults or 274 NOK for children (return) or 390 NOK for adults or 195 NOK for children (one-way).
A special bus runs from Flåm to the Stegastein viewpoint. A combined return trip and entrance ticket costs 290 NOK for adults and 195 NOK for children.
The village of Gudvangen can be reached by car via the European Road E60 highway.
From Oslo, the easiest way to get to the Nærøyfjord area is by car (about 5 hours). Flights are available daily from Oslo to Bergen (about 50 minutes). From Bergen you can catch a bus or the train to Flåm. There are also daily trains from Oslo Central Station to Bergen (about 8 hours).
Should you wish to tour the Nærøyfjord area we are happy to arrange a suitable itinerary in collaboration with our partners. If you wish to see the whole area, we recommend spending 3-4 days. A visit to the area can also be combined with our one-day Oslo sightseeing tour which gives a combination of modern and historic Oslo with the best of the mountains and Fjords. We recommend that any visit to the Nærøyfjord area include stops at Flåm, Aurland, Stegastein and Gudvangen. Our driverguide will give you detailed and entertaining commentary on the area’s culture and history. Should you wish to try the Flåm zipline or the Flåm railyway these can be incorporated, or even a hike on foot up to Stegastein viewpoint.
Please send us a non-binding request to get in touch and we will propose an itinerary in collaboration with our partners. If you are a travel agent or incoming operator for Norway tours, we are happy to cooperate to create the best possible travel experience for your guests.
Gudvangen Viking Village is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. from 1 May to 21 October. Tickets are 195 NOK for adults and 98 NOK for children.
The Flåm zip line is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in summer and autumn. It is closed during the spring and winter months. Prices are from 700 NOK per person.