We got a new name
Visit Flåm has become Norway’s best.
Visit Flåm has become Norway’s best.
Flåm has activities for everyone. Occasionally, you might even find it difficult to choose if you only have one day available. That’s why we’ve put together the perfect agenda for you if you’d like to experience one of the world’s most beautiful railway journeys, the Flåm Railway, challenge yourself with the Flåm Zipline and explore spectacular nature at close quarters at Rallarvegen and the Nærøyfjord. Of course, there’ll also be time to try out and learn about the fascinating culinary culture here in the area.
Start your day with plenty of time to enjoy your breakfast at the Fretheim Hotel. Fresh bread and other baked goods from Flåm Bakeri, crispy bacon from Haugen Gardsmat and fresh vegetables from Sogn Jord- og Hagebruksskule and Lærdal make sure you keep your energy levels up throughout your active morning.
From the breakfast table, you’ll then move on to one of the hotel’s nearest neighbours, the Flåm Railway. Named one of the world’s most beautiful railway journeys by both Lonely Planet and National Geographic.
Don’t forget to wear decent footwear and clothing you can move around in!
The section of railway between Flåm and Myrdal has also been named one of the greatest engineering feats. The Flåm Railway, just over 20 kilometres long , took almost 20 years to complete, from 1923 to 1940. 80% of the section is at a gradient of 5.5% and it has no fewer than 20 tunnels – one of them even passes through a 180-degree curve!
After about 50 minutes, which includes a stop for photos at Kjosfossen, you’ll leave the train at Vatnahalsen 811 metres above sea level, just before the terminal at Myrdal.
All of Flåmsdalen is suddenly there beneath you
So now the time has come to increase your heart rate a bit. From Vatnahalsen station, you follow the signs a couple of hundred metres to the starting point of the Flåm Zipline. From the viewing platform, you have panoramic views over Flåmsdalen and the hairpin bends down to Kårdal farm. In a couple of minutes, you’ll be suspended from a wire and flying down there!
So okay, it’s entirely normal for you to find your heart rate going up a bit. After all, this is the longest zipline in Scandinavia – 1,381 metres – with a maximum speed of around 100 kph.
Did you know that the zipline tradition was common at farms along the fjords long before ziplining became a popular high adrenaline activity? It used to be used to transport goods, hay, cheese and even animals to and from farms.
When you get down to Kårdal with your feet firmly on the ground, we recommend you have a sit-down for a little while at one of the tables between the farm buildings. Share your experiences and slow your breathing with a Norwegian svele pancake with brown goats cheese from Rallarrosa Stølsysteri. New experiences await you soon.
Rallarrosa Stølsysteri is open from June to September every year. At the café, you can buy everything from Norwegian svele pancakes and brown cheese to yoghurt made from goat milk.
When you’ve decided who went down the zipline fastest, you’ll collect bikes and helmets that you’ve booked through Flåm Zipline.
Your return to Flåm passes along the last part of Rallarvegen – and of course, you’ll be cycling. Most of this ride is downhill, so here all you have to do is enjoy the view over the clear blue river, little waterfalls, the tiny farmyards, vivid green land far up on the mountainside – and don’t forget to watch out for goats along the way. Spare a thought for the people who lived between the crags under the steep mountainsides several generations ago as you trundle past.
When you approach the fjord, you’ll arrive first at the old centre of Flåm. Stop and check whether Flåm Church, which dates back to 1670, is open. The naivist murals, which probably date back to the early 18th century, are completely unique. Among other things, you can see animals such as lions and deer, as well as religious buildings with cupolas that wouldn’t look out of place a little further east.
When you’re back in Flåm, you’ll return your bike and take a stroll to Flåm Bakeri. Time for lunch! Buy a sandwich, some local fruit juice from the Sognefjord, and maybe something sweet to go with it? Their cinnamon buns are to die for! Flåm Bakeri is a little artisan bakery staffed by bakers who love their craft and make all kinds of things. You already tried their bread at breakfast.
We recommend that you take your food down to the shore and sit down there with it for a little while. You’ll probably find plenty to talk about. Then head back to your hotel room for a quick shower and a change of clothes.
Now it’s time for you to enjoy some even more beautiful nature. Board the electric boat at the quayside, and find yourself a seat either at the front of the boat or out on deck. The sailing to Gudvangen takes two hours, one hour out of the Aurlandsfjord and one hour into the Nærøyfjord.
No wonder the Nærøyfjord and surrounding area are on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. Untouched, raw and beautiful, with incredibly steep mountainsides, magnificent waterfalls and small rural communities and farms where produce can be grown. And could there be a more relaxing way to experience than aboard a fjord cruise, sailing on one of the award-winning boats Future of the Fjords or Vision of the Fjords, which run on electricity and sail quietly through the fjord. A 400-metre guardrail on the outside and an exquisite Scandinavian interior with windows from floor to ceiling inside ensure that you can enjoy magnificent views no matter where you are.
Just after Undredal, you’ll be able to glimpse Stigen gård up on the mountainside. This farm gets its name, Stigen, because you used to have to climb a ladder to get there – word “stige” in Norwegian means “ladder”. So who were these people who settled here? Nowadays it’s a B&B in the summer season, and all 14 beds are fully booked for a couple of years ahead. An idea for your next visit, maybe!
Once you arrive at Gudvangen, you’ll join the shuttle bus, which will take you back to Flåm in 20 minutes.
When you arrive back in Flåm, you’ll have time for a quick rest in your room before your table at the restaurant is ready. And if you like, obviously you have time for an aperitif at the Lobby Bar before dinner. And that’s when it’ll be time for you to try some of the wonderful produce from this fantastic landscape.
Fretheim Hotel and Restaurant Arven have strong links to the region and a love of good ingredients. This restaurant focuses primarily on local, seasonal produce. Which means that no matter what you choose from the à la carte menu, you can be sure it’s made from seasonal ingredients that were produced during your stay and as locally as possible. And organically as well, as far as possible. But what could be more organic than a lamb that’s spent all its life out here in the mountains, even if it doesn’t come with an eco-label?
Goats are and have also been an important resource in Aurland, so you’ll most likely find a hint of this in many of our dishes. You might find white goats cheese in your salad starter, or goats cheese caramel in your dessert. One thing’s for sure – there’s no need to be sceptical. Our chefs know exactly what they’re doing.
But it’s not time to say goodnight just yet.. Believe it or not, Flåm has even more to offer – even though it only has 350 permanent residents. If you went down to the shore previously, you’re sure to have noticed the Viking style building. And this is where we recommend you end your evening.
Ægir Bryggeripub has a wide selection of microbrewery beers, and of course Ægir’s own local options are right at the top of the list. Choose your favourite, or try a selection.
If you’ve had quite enough excitement for one day, you’re also very welcome to just relax at the comfortable Lobby Bar at Fretheim Hotel instead. And if the weather is warm enough,enjoying the light summer’s evening out in the garden is wonderful too.
You’ll certainly have had a busy day. And in the morning, more experiences await you in beautiful Western Norway. Maybe you’ll travel onto the mountain community of Myrkdalen for a mountain hike, or more cycling?
So now it’s time to say goodnight and enjoy the stillness of this historic hotel. Maybe you’ve booked an historic room where you can imagine the days when the hotel was built as accommodation for English lords who came here to fish for salmon? Sleep well. You have another breakfast the fate to look forward to in the morning.