Day 1:ARRIVE IN OSLO, NORWAY.
Welcome to Oslo, ancient capital of Norway! At 6 pm, meet your Tour Director and travelling companions for a welcome dinner at your hotel.
Today gives you an introduction to Oslo, the country’s hub of trade and industry. Sightseeing with a Local Guide features the National Theater, considered the home for Ibsen’s plays; the unique Storting building, seat of Parliament; and the Royal Palace, residence of Norwegian monarchs since 1849. Stroll through magnificent FROGNER PARK with Gustav Vigeland’s extraordinary sculptures; and visit the CITY HALL, where the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony is held each year. Afterwards, an optional excursion is available to see relics of Norway’s glorious seafaring past-including 1,000-year-old Viking ships!
Depart the city and drive northwest through Hallingdal, a large valley with rich traditions in iron production, cattle trade, and typical folk art, music, and dance. Visit the BORGUND STAVE CHURCH, dating back to 1180. Then, travel through the world’s longest road tunnel (15 miles) to Aurland, and arrive in the picturesque village of Flam, situated at the head of Aurlandsfjord. You may wish to join an exciting optional cruise on the famous Naeroyfjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
This morning, experience a breathtaking ride on the FLAM RAILWAY, which passes through 20 tunnels and climbs to an elevation of 2,833 feet. Along the way, stop for pictures at Kjosfossen waterfall. At Myrdal mountain station, change trains and continue on the scenic Bergen Railway to Voss. Here, board your coach and head south, crossing the Hardanger Bridge, one of the longest suspension bridges in the world. Continue along the shore and arrive at the historic Ullensvang Hotel in its idyllic setting between the mountains and the Hardangerfjord. It was here that composer Edvard Grieg wrote his most famous pieces-and his cabin still stands in the hotel gardens.
Nature’s splendour is on full display today, as you travel south around Sorfjord and then north to the peaceful village of Utne. Cross the fjord by FERRY, and continue your journey on the Hardanger National Tourist Road to Norheimsund. Stop at the majestic Steinsdalsfossen waterfall, where a trail leads you behind the cascading falls without getting wet. Later, arrive in lovely Bergen, the “City of Seven Mountains,” founded in 1070. Tonight, why not sample regional dishes at a traditional restaurant?
Guided sightseeing features an orientation drive to see the main sights like Bergenhus Fortress with its medieval Hakon’s Hall and Rosenkrantz Tower, the charming Hanseatic Wharf, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the harbour, and the famous Fish Market. Then, step back in time and explore Bryggen on foot along narrow, cobblestone alleyways past colourful wooden houses. Also see the 12th-century St. Mary’s Church, where Hanseatic merchants attended religious services until the 1870s. Tonight, celebrate your unforgettable trip with a farewell dinner at the hotel.
Your holiday ends with breakfast this morning.