Winter is not an easy time for planning a splendid journey in Norway. Many of the activities, scenic routes or hiking trails are closed and unavailable for the off-season time, or the most beautiful sightseeing points are not exactly as beautiful as in summer after all. Too many limits on what is actually possible to do, aren’t there? That is why this trip was particularly difficult for us to plan with so many calls done with no success got concerning glacier hiking, kayaking or simply visiting some waterfalls. We were fully satisfied with what we managed at the end, so let us share several tips.
The preparation for the road trip in Norway was fully described in the first part of this series, which also contains a detailed information on budget, transport, accommodation etc.
And now straight to the point. What did we see and what was worth of being seen.
A beautiful waterfall with an easy access behind it. The closed souvenir shop suggests a large number of tourists in a more appropriate time.
A short stop for some more beauty.
Even if Odda is considered as an “industrial town”, it still looks perfectly cosy with those wooden colorful houses surrounded by a stunning nature. Besides, Odda is the gateway for the famous Trolltunga hike (inaccessible in winter) and glaciers (guess what! Inaccessible in winter).
20 km from Odda starts a hiking trail to the lake Bondhusvatnet. Not difficult at all even in particular weather conditions, but more than rewarding, this scenic trail will end with a gorgeous view on the lake, forest under the fluffy snow, cliffs and a picturesque bridge. The boats near the lake suggest rowing as a summer activity, but even in December it was all right. :)
Buerdalen Valley and Glacier
Quite an ambitious try from our side as obviously the glacier is not accessible during this time of year, but we wanted to see at least a glimpse of it. And we did! Even if it was far and small, it was more than visible, moreover we had some more of winter beauty to contemplate, including these lovely and friendly cows.
A little town which two different travel guides unanimously call “the choice of our editors office”. In the places like this I can’t help wondering: what do people do here on their free time…
A view which makes you feel vertigo and I’m sure that you don’t see such a scenery too often. I think with some imagination you can visualize what it looks like in summer.
Skiing in Voss
A separate article on skiing in Norway is on its way!
That was the busiest day which started with a cruise from Flåm to Gudvangen. This Nærøyfjord cruise is one of the region’s musts, considering that it is listed in the UNESCO World Heritage, which you can guess by the amount of Chinese tourists EVEN the 2d of January. The cruise can be booked at the Fjord1 site – make sure you do it in advance as well as booking a bus back to Flåm which, for some reason, departs almost the second the cruise arrives to Gudvangen which doesn’t really leave any time to have a proper walk. Bad logistics, but what can one do?
The cruise however is breathtaking and even the announcements in Chinese wouldn’t spoil this so Norwegian experience.
If the cruise didn’t overfed you with beauty, don’t hesitate to drive 15 km from Flåm to see what there is to see. ⤵
If you are still motivated and if the daylight allows, make the extra 50 km to see an authentic Norwegian church in a typical architecture. It’s amazingly well preserved and it’s hard to believe that this church stands here since the XII century! The access to the church is possible only during the tourist season, but even walking around justified those extra 100 kilometers we had to cover. On your way to the church you will pass by Lærdal Tunnel – the world’s longest road tunnel which is 24.5 km long! It’s not a funny crossing but feels like an achievement. :)
The day of our departure – tired and exhausted we still enjoyed a walk in Bergen. The old town, wooden houses in the harbor, a cable car for a view on the whole city, which is, by the way, the second biggest of Norway. Yet again, not all the activities are available in winter, but you can always pop in the tourism office for more information.
Needless to say that the moment we got to the plane we gave ourselves a dozen of promises to be back in summer, to see the fjords when it’s warm, to enjoy the white nights, but hey! It was a winter that we came to see after all. :)