Bergen, Ålesund & Beyond - Heritage Awakened
Connect with fjords, mountains and our neverending coastline
Best suited for
Travellers seeking the best of fjord Norway
Imagine a far-flung place that touches you at the core. Where you can let your internal compass guide your senses to seek what lies beyond. Find a place where time stands still, so remote as if sometimes you were the only one that existed. Feel the wind gently touch your face, a heart full of joy. Taste the richness that lives in the soil. Listen and discover something inside of yourself while seeking what lies beyond. A renewed sense of self. People and places that touch your heart.
On this journey we invite you to experience historic boutique hotels, incredible UNESCO world heritage and thriving rural communities! Rather than being a spectactor, we invite you to engage in keeping our natural and cultural heritage alive; find inspiration in how interior design can reawaken history, connect with locals in the thriving communities, and whilst being active in the midst of our UNESCO protected fjord landscape, take the time to reflect on why it is truly worth protecting. On this journey, you'll discover why UN's SDG 11.4 - 'Strengthen efforts to protect and safeguard the world’s cultural and natural heritage' is so close to our hearts.
Itineraries are designed by our travel curators in collaboration with our partners to give you the most rewarding experience possible.
Please note that itineraries can be tailored to your specific wishes, when you make an inquiry.
Bergen: The gateway to the fjords
You’ll begin and end in Bergen, the Gateway to the most spectacular Norwegian fjords and home to one of Norway's eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The best known of these is ‘Bryggen’, Bergen’s historic harbourside wharf.
There are numerous domestic and international flights into Bergen. We will arrange for a driver to pick you up at the airport and invite you to spend your first night in the elegant family-run boutique hotel Opus XVI where hosts Britt and Alexander with their team will introduce you to their Grieg heritage. Dinner is served in the hotel’s popular brasserie where Norwegian produce serves as ingredients in delicious French-inspired dishes.
Explore Bergen at your own pace
Wake up to that wonderful feeling of being on holiday. There is no rush and the day is yours to explore Bergen whichever way you feel like; go for a jog through the charming Vågsbunnen neighbourhood, walk leisurely along the colourful UNESCO wharf, or enjoy a spur of shopping.
In the evening, step onboard one of our two coastal cruise liners, Havila or Hurtigruten for an overnight cruise North to Ålesund, where you will arrive the next morning. This is the start of what is known as one of the world’s most beautiful sea voyages.
Spectacular architecture in awesome natural landscapes
Pick up your rental car on arrival in Ålesund and head straight towards Valldal. Here, check into either Juvet Landscape Hotel or Kilsti Compact Lodge for the next two nights.
Whereas Juvet represents one of the first landscape hotels in Norway, Kilsti represents the modern trend of micro retreats in the wilderness. Large windows with immediate access to spectacular natural views in any kind of weather.
While here, you will get to explore Tafjord; part of our UNESCO heritage protected fjord landscape. Due to its location slightly off the beaten track, this fjord has a much more authentic feel than the more known and visited Geirangerfjord. With your own private guide, venture on a leisurely mountain hike to a pasture farm and enjoy spectacular fjord views; kayak or stand up paddle the fjord, or rappel down the Zachariasdammen dam. Spending quality time with a local insider will give you the chance to be introduced to the enthralling stories of the area; stories of the great tsunami, avalanches, and rural lives of people of the fjords through the seasons.
In Winter, this is a great alpine area to go randonee skiing.
Scenic Route Geiranger - Trollstigen to Art Nouveau City Ålesund
Today you will be driving on the Norwegian Scenic Route Geiranger - Trollstigen and discover how Norwegians can live just about anywhere! Drive past narrow mountain ledges and secluded forests. Geiranger-Trollstigen offers several highlights like 'The Eleven Hairpin Bends' of Trollstigen and the dramatic view from Ørnesvingen down to the Geirangerfjord; one of Norway's UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Drive on the fjord ferry and cruise from Geiranger to Hellesylt on your way to Ålesund, where you will return your rental car.
Ålesund is known as the ‘art nouveau city’, which you will discover on a morning architecture walk. On the night of 23 January 1904, a devastating fire raged through Ålesund, destroying 850 houses and rendering 10,000 people homeless.
The rebuilding project was undertaken by young Norwegian architects influenced by the popular European architectural style at the time, art nouveau. See the street buildings that are adorned with towers, colourful ornaments and intricate details, on a privately guided walk
Settle into a junior suite with sea views at the intimate, harbour located hotel Brosundet, which believes in creating experiences satisfying all five senses – paying attention to what is seen, heard, smelled, tasted and felt.
At the hotel’s restaurant Apotekergata No. 5 you will discover a menu where nature dominates, and the seasons dictate. From the highest peak to the deepest sea – and everything in between. In the cocktail bar you can enjoy carefully selected whiskies and lavish champagne tastings.
Cruising through the Hjørundfjord to Norangsdalen valley
A luxurious meeting with mythical fjords and the locals who know every inch of them
Of all Norway’s 1732 fjords, our hands-down favourite is the Hjørundfjord – a 35-kilometre arm of the larger Storfjord, carving its way through the Sunnmøre Alps. We cannot think of a better way to experience it than through our signature experience: a private cruise in a yacht with a captain who knows the fjords and the surrounding areas like the backs of his hands. You will get acquainted with the traditions of the locals as you cruise at about 25 knots through the fjord landscape. Key stops include the popular Christian Gaard Bygdetun where you can enjoy lunch and local stories surrounded by the majestic Sunnmøre Alps. Your cruise will end in Øye, where Mariann and her team will be ready to welcome you to the historic Hotel Union Øye.
Unwind among the majestic Sunnmøre alps
Living the fjord and mountain Dream
Without a doubt, Øye is a place to let your shoulders down, unwind and just be, maybe read a good book in the inviting garden. It is also a destination where you can truly follow in the footsteps of great explorers who have come to savour the good life, adventures and tranquillity in magnificent surroundings since 1891.
A private guide will take you cycling through the idyllic Norangsdalen valley - rich in both nature and culture. Here on the West Coast there are no real physical boundaries beyond your own – the landscape is traced by roads waiting to be explored. Thanks to our electrical bikes, and the expertise of your guide, you will be sure to complete a delightful trips with joyful energy to spare. Joy riding, at its memorable best.
Other activity options include hiking peaks such as Mount Slogen and Saksa, fjord kayaking and snorkelling in the Lygnstøylsvatnet lake. The water was formed in 1908 when a landslide from the mountain dammed up the river that runs through the valley, and the road and mountain farms ended up underwater. In the water you can still see the old road, the farm walls and the gate. In Winter, the surrounding peaks are popular venues for mountain to fjord randonee skiing.
From fjord to coast
Part of the pleasure of driving is not having to drive, but rather being a passenger free to enjoy the surrounding landscapes. Driving through Norangsdalen valley might just be one of the most beautiful drives there is. You will be picked up by a driver-guide after breakfast who will take you on the 3-5 hour drive through the dramatic mountain and coastal scenery all the way to where Norway is at its wildest - Bremanger. Here you will find the little fishing village Kalvåg where Knutholmen is an integrated part of the local community; a family-run hotel with historic sea houses in stunning surroundings, and a restaurant known for its excellent seafood. Thanks in large part to Svein Inge and his family, the Kalvåg community has now become a favourite summer destination among Norwegians, including the Queen herself.
Check in for a 3 night stay and settle into the rhythm of local coastal life. The warmly decorated rooms at Knutholmen vary from exclusive apartments to bright airy lofts, and small, charming rooms with a sea view.
Slow down in the fishing village of Kalvåg
What better way to preserve our cultural heritage than to actually live in it?
Wake up next to the ocean. Enjoy long summer nights on the harbourfront, indulging in seafood delicacies from the Knutholmen kitchen. Stroll through streets with restored wooden buildings housing craft shops, galleries and museums, while sea eagles circle overhead. On a village walk, you’ll get to hear stories about the people who have lived on the remote surrounding islands for thousands of years.
With your own guide, hike up to a storm-watching cabin in all weathers – this extraordinary cabin sits on the edge of rocky terrain with panoramic views over the open sea.
The cabin has been carefully sited in the terrain with regard to views, interventions in nature and material use. It’s well worth the hour it takes to get there: the view is outstanding, and so is the lunch.
Board a boat to go fishing for crab and lobster, and catch sight of the wild sheep frolicking up- and downhill on the surrounding islands.
And in the water just outside is a totally new floating sauna – the perfect playground for adults who want to dream of swimming like Lewis Pugh or Wim Hof while marinating in hot steam. This is also the perfect place to enjoy a cold Knutholmer – a beer developed especially for Knutholmen by local brewery Kinn.
Return to Bergen
Loop back to the beginning
Get on the local express boat and travel like a local while cruising the coast south to Bergen. Norled is one of Norway’s largest ferry and express boat operators and has invested significantly in eco-friendly technology.
Settle in back at the Opus XVI for a final night in Bergen. Dinner tonight is served at Restaurant 1877, situated just a stone’s throw away in a former meat market dating from 1877. As you eat at the heart of Norway’s cultural and nature capital, you’ll feel the past coming to life around you.
When it is time to leave the next morning, we’ll make sure to have a driver ready to take you back to the airport, wave you goodbye and welcome you back to explore other parts of Norway - perhaps in a different season.
Personalize and book the Bergen, Ålesund and Beyond journey
This journey has been curated to offer a luxurious journey to far-flung places that touches you at the core. It can be booked as proposed or further personalized to you.
With our flexible terms, we hope to provide you with all the certainty and adaptability you need when booking your well-deserved escape.
Read more about our pricing here.
Want a journey fully tailored to you?
Our travel curators create bespoke itineraries based on your wishes.
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Do you have questions about our itineraries? Here are some of the ones we get asked most often.
Our local expertise and network, our sustainable approach, digital itineraries and passion for Norway provides a journey like no other. All our curated itineraries can be personalised further to you; you tell us about your interests, and we will propose accordingly. We design experiences with our partners, many of these are not available unless you are an Up Norway guest. We use technology to enhance our personalised service, not to replace it; you will receive your itinerary in our app where you have access to necessary details and recommendations, and can easily reach us through chat while travelling if you need advice or assistance. When you travel with us, we save you from frustrating internet searches and travel logistics.
No! These itineraries are put together by our team and meant as inspiration. They can be booked as is or personalised further to you. You choose your desired starting date, and we confirm availability and the exact price based on your desired room types, other activities or destinations you might like to add etc. You will be provided with a complete travel plan in a digital itinerary and travel independently.
No, all the details you need, such as confirmations and reservation details will be provided in your digital itinerary.
You can pay by card via the secure international payment solution Stripe or via international bank transfer.
Before we confirm availability for your requested dates, we ask for a advance trip-design payment of min NOK 3000,- to cover the time that goes into planning your journey, confirming availability and prices. This amount also ensures that we do not hold reservations with our partners unnecessarily. The amount goes towards your trip, but is non refundable should you choose not to book.
When you are ready to confirm your trip, we ask for a 15% deposit payment, and 45 days in advance of your trip, full payment is due. Please note that the deposit may be higher if items in your trip require advance payment to our partners.
Pauline SolheimTravel Curator