Text: Øyvind Heen
The Nærøyfjord and Aurlandsfjord are located in the southern part of the county of Sogn og Fjordane. Aurland, Flåm and Gudvangen are small towns situated by the two fjords. Experienced hikers can walk alone, but it would be necessary to plan well ahead. Guided hikes are available from Heritage Adventures. There are hotels and hostels in the area, and several places to put up a tent along the fjord. Be careful not to put up a tent where you are not supposed to. Read more about the rights of access.
The Bergen Railway
It had to be a "turbo trip" to the Nærøyfjord this time. After some planning and a few telephone calls, I put on my rucksack and cycled down to the local train to Oslo, from where I took the night express train towards Bergen.
Finse Railway Station between Bergen and Oslo, at 1,222 metres above sea level, is the highest point on the Bergen Railway. Next station after Finse is Myrdal (865 metres above sea level), and I left the train here at 5 am.
Cycling the Flåm Valley
I started the bicycle tour from Myrdal at 5:30 am, down the last part of Rallarvegen (the Navvies Road) towards the Flåmsdalen Valley. It was a magic atmosphere in the dark. The waterfalls were frothing and roaring. The air was fresh and cold. I was completely alone.
Soon I was down in the wild and beautiful Flåm Valley with its steep mountains, wild rivers and vertical waterfalls. The path had now become a road, and the twenty kilometre long bicycle ride to Flåm was easy.
Boat trip on the Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord
The bicycle was left at Flåm, and at 9 am I entered a ferry. Two hours later I arrived at Gudvangen, and then got a ride with Kystled Nærøyfjord further on to Bleiklindi.
Bleiklindi is a good starting point for walking the Royal Post Road (Den Kongelige Postveg/Kongevegen) to Styvi. The route is six kilometres long, and you walk beside the Nærøyfjord all the way.
Most of the people I saw that day were either in boat, canoe or kajak, but I also met a few on land. The boat traffic had increased since last time I was here, probably due to the status as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
At Odnes, a small headland, I had a break near the outlet of the river Odneselvi. The cold clear water from the river tasted good. And the view towards the fjord and the surrounding mountains with its numerous waterfalls was spectacular.
The walk continued out the fjord, passing Klungrenes before arriving Styvi at 4:30 pm. Styvi is the end point of the Royal Post Road (Den Kongelige Postveg/Kongevegen), with Norway's smallest post office. They also have a small café and a special farm museum with tools and equipment that has been used on the farm for several hundred years. The café and museum opens on request.
The last ferry from Gudvangen approached Styvi. To inform them to stop at Styvi and pick me up, I turned on the flasher at the quay. I stepped onboard the ferry, and soon Styvi, the steep mountains and the Nærøyfjord disappeared when the ferry turned around the Beitelen mountain and into the Aurlandsfjord.
- Length: The Nærøyfjord is a 17-kilometre long branch of the 204-kilometre long Sognefjord
- Depth: Varies between 10 and 500 metres
- The Nærøyfjord is only 250 metres wide at the narrowest, and more than one kilometre at the widest
- The name Nærøyfjord originates from the norse god 'Njord', the god of the sea
- The Royal Post Road (Den Kongelige Postveg/Kongevegen) along the Nærøyfjord has been part of the Christiania Postal Road since 1647
- 25 waterfalls end into the Nærøyfjord. You can see many of them from the Royal Post Road (Den Kongelige Postveg/Kongevegen)
- The Nærøyfjord and the surrounding area are included on UNESCO's World Heritage List
Information about the walk
You can do this walk by your own, or you can use a guide. Fjord Tours together with Heritage Adventures offers different guided tours in the Nærøyfjord and Aurlandsfjord area.
Walk on your own
If you want to walk without a guide, it needs some planning in advance. You can start the walk from Bleiklindi or Styvi. The ferry from Fjord1 between Flåm and Gudvangen has several daily departures during the summer season, and stops at request at Styvi. If you want to leave the Nærøyfjord from Styvi, you can turn on a flashlight at the quay to give signal to the ferry to stop and pick you up. You can also book in advance to make the ferry stop at Styvi; Contact Fjord1 by telephone (+47) 55 90 70 70.
Kystled Nærøyfjord provide transport across the fjord between Bakka and Bleiklindi. Bakka is situated five kilometres out the fjord from Gudvangen. You need to drive, walk or take a taxi from Gudvangen to Bakka (walk the old road outside the tunnel). You can also make an appointment on the ferry from Fjord1 so they can let you off at Tufto, further out the fjord. Then you have a one-kilometre walk to Bakka.
Getting to the Nærøyfjord and Aurlandsfjord
You can travel by train both from Oslo and Bergen to Myrdal Railway Station. From Myrdal you travel by train down the Flåm Railway to Flåm, which is the starting point for this adventure.
If you want to cycle the Flåm Valley from Myrdal to Flåm, you can rent bicycles at Café Rallaren beside the train station at Myrdal. You can leave the bicycles down at the train station at Flåm. Book bicycles in advance.
From Bergen you can travel by express boat to Flåm. You can also travel by car or bus from Oslo, Bergen and Trondheim.
Where to stay
Tenting by the Nærøyfjord
You can continue the walk to Skalmenes, one kilometre further out the fjord from Styvi. Skalmenes is a nice place for tenting. The path between Styvi and Skalmenes is more overgrown, and you have to cross the river that runs beside Styvi. This can sometimes be difficult due to high water level on the river. Bring your own food and drinks; it is far from the nearest store.
In the fjord guide for the Nærøyfjord and Aurlandsfjord, you will find all the information you need about how to get to the area, where to stay overnight and what to do and see.
When to travel
The best time to do this walk is between 1 May and 30 September. In this period, the ferries have several daily departures. And you can experience three seasons; the spring in May, summer in June, July and August, and the autumn in September.
Who can join
The terrain is partly flat with some uneven intervals. We recommend hiking boots and rainproof clothes. This is an easy walk, and anyone who can walk a distance of six kilometres can join this adventure.
Price for guided walk
At Fjord Tours, you can order this guided walk from NOK 800 (approximately 100 Euro), including lunch. Fjord Tours also offers train tickets from Oslo or Bergen to Flåm, boat tickets, bus tickets and accommodation. You can buy a special Fjord Pass with discounts on stays at hotels, guesthouses, cabins and apartments in Fjord Norway.
Train from Oslo/Bergen to Flåm
- Full price from Oslo to Bergen is from NOK 858 (approximately 107 Euro). The lowest price (Minipris) for adults is from NOK 439 (approximately 55 Euro).
- Full price from Bergen to Flåm is from NOK 493 (approximately 62 Euro). The lowest price (Minipris) for adults is from NOK 439 (approximately 55 Euro).
Minipris must be purchased at least one day prior to departure. This can be sold out. You can order tickets at the Norwegian State Railways (NSB).
Boat from Flåm to Gudvangen
- Return fare adults Flåm to Gudvangen: from NOK 360 (approximately 45 Euro).
- One-way fare adults Flåm to Gudvangen: from NOK 255 (approximately 32 Euro).
- Children up to 16 years: 1/2 price.
You can rent bicycles at the Café Rallaren at Myrdal Train Station from the beginning of May to the end of September. Price from NOK 250 (approximately 31 Euro).
Transport across the Nærøyfjord to Bleiklindi
Kystled Nærøyfjord offers transport across the fjord to Bleiklindi, the starting point for the walk. The boat takes five to six persons. The total cost is from NOK 200 (approximately 25 Euro). Additional cost from NOK 50 per extra crossings (approximately 6 Euro).
Destination Aurland and Lærdal