The RV13 road was established as a Discovery Route in the 1880s when travellers came by horse and carriage to experience this spectacular landscape of mountains, glaciers, crystal clear rivers, roaring waterfalls and pristine fjords. The area is also known for its hydroelectric power plants, beautiful scenery and spectacular cliff-edge landmarks Trolltunga and Pulpit Rock.
The route can be taken as either a one-way route or a round trip starting and ending in Bergen or Stavanger. You will be travelling on Scenic Route Ryfylke and Scenic Route Hardanger. Get ready for a week of unforgettable adventures and activities among towering mountains, deep fjords and endless waterfalls.
Season: Summer, May – October, Duration: 7 nights/8 days. Variations can be tailored with more or less activities, and/or more or less nights. Winter variations available with skiing, snow shoeing and ice skating adventures. Can also be arranged with public transport.
Price per person from: NOK 14 600 / approx. € 1560 / $ 1825
Includes: 7 nights higher-end hotel accommodation with breakfast; spa access in two hotels; Stavanger half-day bike rental; Lysefjorden RIB safari; Pulpit Rock guided off-the-beaten-track hike; Mo salmon safari; Røldal stave church visit and outdoor lunch; Tyssedal Via Ferrata experience; Agatunet entry and cider tasting; Voss climbing, high ropes and rafting experience with lunch; Bergen eco food tour; ferry (with vehicle) one way Bergen – Stavanger, & Up Norway Digital Travel Guide.
DAY 1: Adventure starts in stavanger
Noon: Your adventures kick off at high speed, in an RIB (rigid inflatable boat) from the city centre towards Lysefjorden – 'The Fjord of Lights'. Taste the 'water of wisdom' straight from the waterfall and get the frog's eye view of Pulpit Rock before returning in Stavanger 1 hr 30 min later.
Have lunch in the colourful street Øvre Holmegate before spending the afternoon and evening exploring Norway's oil capital with a self-guided itinerary by bike. Visit The Norwegian Petroleum Museum for an interactive introduction to how oil and gas were created millions of years ago, and see the impressive 'Swords in Rocks' monument at Hafrsfjord.
Tucking into Stavanger's gourmet food scene is a must. Restaurants such as Re-Naa and Sabi Omakase are internationally acclaimed, and with good reason. The restaurant scene includes treats to suit every wallet.
DAY 2: PreIkestolen off the beaten track
Let the road trip begin! Allow 1 1/2 to 2 hrs by road/ferry to Preikestolen Fjellstue, where today's adventure begins. In 2016, approximately 285,000 hikers made their way up to Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock), a vertiginous slab of rock that dangles an impressive 604 metres above the Lysefjord. Avoid the crowds by taking an ‘off the beaten track’ hike with a guide. Embark by crossing Refsvatn lake by canoe, and continue to the rock on foot through splendid nature while switching between official footpaths and off-trail hiking.
Continue on the RV13 road for an hour to get to your accommodation for the night: a tranquil spa on the banks of the fjord. Your stay includes free use of the wellness facilities; spa treatments can be ordered at extra cost.
DAY 3: Salmon safari & ENERGY
Never heard of a salmon safari? Neither had we the first time we ventured on this surprisingly enjoyable experience. Another stretch along the Discovery Route will take you to a tranquil farm by a wild salmon river where an extraordinary experience awaits. Equipped with a wetsuit, snorkel and mask, you will drift with the current in Suldalslågen river current. Watch the salmon swimming by, and be amazed by the colours of the underwater vegetation changing in the light shining through the crystal-clear water. Pure magic.
A detour on Scenic Route Ryfylke takes you through Sauda on your way to The Energy Hotel, where you will spend the night. The architecture by Peter Zumthor at Allmannajuvet Zinc mines is worth the trip. Include a stop at Svandalsfossen, where 540 steps take you right up to the powerful waterfall and the lush, magical vegetation growing everywhere.
DAY 4: STAVE CHURCH & OUTDOOR LUNCH
Wake up in a place which serves as a rare interesting insight into Norwegian industrial history. At The Energy Hotel, the minimalistic architecture creates the perfect frame for a spectacular meeting with nature.
Continue to Røldal to see a beautiful stave church in the middle of a little valley surrounded by majestic mountains. The church was built between 1200 and 1250, and is famous for its healing crucifix. Indulge in an outdoor lunch with the locals where preparation and cooking is as much a part of the experience as eating. Enjoy a leisurely afternoon with a good book or exploring the many mountain trails on foot. Overnight in a village hotel near Odda.
DAY 5: VIA FERRATA & CIDER
At first sight, Tyssedal is not the most charming village. But its importance in world history more than makes up for that, as you'll discover during the day. This hike starts with a guided tour of the Norwegian Museum of Hydro Power and Industry. As you climb the pipelines up the mountain, you will experience first-hand the everyday life of the navvies who built the power station; a fine introduction to Norwegian industrial history in the midst of spectacular views. Packed lunch at Lilletopp before returning to fjord level.
Make a detour via Agatunet – a beautiful agricultural village with original Middle Age dwellings. Here, a local farmer will ply you with regional ciders. Hardanger is known for its idyllic orchards where apples, plums and cherries are turned into exquisite juices and quality ciders. Continue to the historic Hotel Ullensvang by the mighty Hardangerfjord, where you can swim in Norway's longest outdoor pool and relax in the spa after days of adventure.
DAY 6: HiGH SPEED ADVENTURES
The discovery continues in Voss. We love it when adults get to play, and this is the day for it. Start your day at a forest climbing park where you'll be let loose for a swinging time. Fly on ziplines through the treetops, past waterfalls and across the river. After these arboreal high jinks, make your way to the rafting base where you will be served a warm lunch before an afternoon rafting trip. Gear up and head off to mess about on the river. Overnight at historic hotel in Voss.
DAY 7: BERGEN
We're willing to bet you've never experienced as many tunnels within such a short time as the last 2,5 hours to Bergen.
Check into your harbourside hotel, have lunch in one of our favourite cafes, and get ready for a 'Taste of Bergen' – a self-guided culinary city tour. Using our digital itinerary, you will navigate between eco-friendly samples of traditional and authentic Norwegian food in different city locations. You may walk at your own pace and stop to visit attractions on the way.
DAY 8: LOOP BACK TO the Start
Spend the morning as you please. A guided morning run is a fun way to see the city from an insider's perspective and comes highly recommended.
After lunch, step on board the ferry. A 5 hr 30 min trip along the coast will take you back to where you started, richer by one whole week of adventures. Arrive in Stavanger at 19.00.