Photo: “The Norwegian Champagne - Home made cider from The Cider House, Balestrand (Sune Eriksen)

Acquaint yourself with Norway’s passionately made microbrews, cider from delicious apples that have been exposed to almost 24 hours of daylight, and local food from mountains and sea. Your self-guided road trip includes visits to two breweries, two cider houses and some of our favourite local food and drink establishments. This journey starts and ends in Bergen. 

Season: Primary season May - September, variations available all year. Can be tailored to your palate and desires.  
Highlights: Watch the finest Norwegian apples turn into the world’s best cider; experience the wildest nature and fjords; meet passionate local food and beverage entrepreneurs; venture on the famous Flåmsbanen and have lunch on Hurtigruten. 
Price per person: € 3170/ $ 3450/NOK 29 950) *Based on two people travelling together. *Rental car can be arranged if needed at additional cost. Drinks other than those listed in tastings cost extra. 
Includes: Includes 9 nights twin room accommodation with breakfast and 6 dinners (dinner one night included in the three hotels where you are staying two nights); Beer tasting at Ægir and Kinn breweries; cider tasting at Utne Hotel; Cider tasting and lunch at The Cider House; The Flåm Railway Flåm - Vatnahalsen (return trip), Hurtigruten journey Florø - Bergen with lunch; 3-course set menu at Restaurant 1877.

Video: Meet Åge and Eli-Grete at Ciderhuset in the picturesque village of Balestrand. (Scott Sporleder / Matador Network / www.fjordnorway.com)

 

Itinerary

Photo: Fruit trees in bloom in Hardanger

Photo: Fruit trees in bloom in Hardanger

DAY 1: Bergen - Hardanger (120 KM) 

Welcome to fjord and cider country!
Leaving Bergen behind, the journey ahead is a marvel. If the fjords haven't made you gasp yet, they surely will now. It’s no secret that Hardanger is picture postcard-beautiful, and there are thundering waterfalls or fruit trees in bloom everywhere you look. The drive from Bergen takes you along part of the Scenic Route Hardanger, where the Steindalsfossen waterfall is worth a stop. The ferry from Kvanndal to Utne feels almost like a fjord cruise. Your home for the next two days is the charming Utne Hotel, dating back to 1722. Your stay includes a taste of local ciders in the cider room and a three-course dinner based on local produce and traditions. 

 
Photo: Alde Cider

Photo: Alde Cider

DAY 2: tastes of hardanger

An introduction to Hardanger's ciders and food traditions
Utne Hotel is known for their "sveler" (Norwegian pancakes) served with homemade raspberry jam and sour cream. Today will be tailored to your liking:

Cultural attractions Agatunet and Hardanger Folk Museum are worth exploring to learn more about traditional cooking techniques in smokehouses. The local "Hardingfele" (folk fiddle) exhibition is a must. Farm visits to local cider producers Alde Cider and Norway's largest fruit storage, Hardanger Fjordfrukt will be arranged for those who want to learn more about cider production. 

For those who want a hardcore hiking option, the spectacular full-day hikes on Dronningstien or iconic Trolltunga are bucket-list options. Bring along a 'matpakke' (packed lunch) from Utne Hotel and wash it down with Hardanger apple juice. 

 
Photo: The Flåm Railway (Sverre Hjornevik)

Photo: The Flåm Railway (Sverre Hjornevik)

DAY 3: utne - flåm (140 km) - vatnahalsen

Stalheimskleiva, Ægir Brewery and the Flåm Railway
Make an early start from Utne and detour to Ulvik for a farm visit to Ulvik Frukt og Cideri. Continue through Stalheimskleiva - Northern Europe's steepest road with amazing waterfall views- to Flåm. Make sure to arrive in time for Beer Tasting and Story Telling at Ægir Brewery at 16.00. Ægir is one of Norway's best known microbreweries and has won many prices for its beer.

Venture on the early evening departure of the Flåm railway to Vatnahalsen. Vatnahalsen Mountain Hotel is only accessible by train, and has a philosophy based on locally sourced products and sustainable activities. Enjoy tonight's dinner 820 metres above sea level.   

 
Photo: Stegastein Viewpoint (Kjetil Rolseth)

Photo: Stegastein Viewpoint (Kjetil Rolseth)

DAY 4: VATNAHALSEN - SKJOLDEN (140 km)

Morning dairy walk, Stegastein Viewpoint and Luster
After breakfast, we recommend walking 2 km down the Myrdal hairpin bends towards Rallarosa Dairy where the goats roam freely and you can sample cheese made from goat’s milk. Continue another 6 km by foot to Berekvam and get the train to Flåm from here. 

Back in the car, continue to Stegastein Viewpoint – you’ll never get a more breathtaking fjord view than this. The Scenic Route Aurlandsfjellet will take you past the charming village of Lærdal – look out for newly picked fruits and berries sold along the road. Today's final stop is Skjolden Hotel far inside the world's longest fjord, Sognefjorden, in the foothills of Jotunheimen’s mighty mountains. Prepare to be amazed by the dedicated hosts, who do magic with local products from Luster and Skjolden, and can offer beer from their own brewery. 3-course dinner. 

 
Photo: Jostedal Glacier. (Anders Gjengedal/visitnorway.com)

Photo: Jostedal Glacier. (Anders Gjengedal/visitnorway.com)

DAY 5: SKJolden & luster exploration

Glaciers, Mountains and Meatballs
This area has so much to offer, and we will help tailor the day to your preferences. An attraction not to be missed is Jostedalsbreen – Europe's largest glacier on the mainland. A short guided tour on the blue ice or a paddle trip can be combined with lunch at Jostedal Hotel, where Laila's homemade 'kjøttkaker' (meatballs) are famous. Take the opportunity to learn more about glaciers at Breheimsenteret.  Second night at Skjolden Hotel. 

 
Photo: Kviknes Hotel

Photo: Kviknes Hotel

DAY 6: SKJOLDEN - BALESTRAND (101 km)

Urnes Stave Church, Solvorn and Cultural Walk
A 45-minute drive will take you to Urnes Stave church - Norway's oldest and possibly most spectacular example. From here, take the ferry across to Solvorn, and continue for one and a half hours along to the fjord to Balestrand; a village so idyllic that Disney used it as inspiration when creating the movie Frozen

The family-run, Swiss-style hotel Kviknes has welcomed guests since 1877, and is now a modern hotel with the charm of bygone days. Enjoy a peaceful afternoon exploring the hotel grounds and bask in the landscape and architecture that Disney fell in love with. Four-course dinner on historic ground. 

 
Photo: Cider tasting at The Cider House in Balestrand

Photo: Cider tasting at The Cider House in Balestrand

DAY 7: The Ciderhouse 

Cider highlights, fjord culture and nature
Another day that can be tailored to your liking. We recommend a morning mountain hike or fjord paddle, or a visit to the Sognefjord Aquarium. Today's highlight is lunch and cider tasting at The Cider House, run by the Eitungjerde Høyvik family. They are as passionate about the quality of their products as they are about sharing their knowledge with you. You will get to taste a range of their products based on local apples and plums. Lunch is based on seasonal ingredients with a Turkish twist.

Lazing in the hotel garden is the perfect way to spend this afternoon. Second night at Kviknes Hotel. 

 
Photo: Utsikten, Gaularfjellet by Jiri Havran

Photo: Utsikten, Gaularfjellet by Jiri Havran

DAY 8: BALESTRAND - FLORØ (159 KM)

From Fjord to Coast: Art on Scenic Route Gaularfjellet
For most people, Gaularfjellet is a well-kept secret. Expect a serene experience where the quality is in the details. Stop at the jaw dropping Viewpoint designed by Code Architecture, and take a walk over the flexible steel bridge across the Likholefossen waterfall for a vertiginous encounter with the forces of nature. Continue to Florø where Kinn Brewery and its' new beer cafe is located. This microbrewery was started in 2009 and produces a range of flavoursome beers in the English and Belgian style. Overnight on the harbour in Florø.

 
Photo:  The medieval church on Saga island Kinn (Fjordkysten). 

Photo:  The medieval church on Saga island Kinn (Fjordkysten). 

DAY 9: visit to saga island kinn

Visit to Kinn Brewery & Kinn Viking Island
Kinn brewery takes its name from the island of Kinn; a fertile, verdant green island that features in the Norse Sagas, located off the coast of Florø. Bring some lunch with you (and perhaps some local beer) and get on the morning ferry to Kinn. Immerse yourself in the history and delightful landscapes of this picturesque island with its medieval church before returning to the mainland in the afternoon. Guided tours are also available. 

The last evening ends in style with a dinner and beer selection at Quality Hotel Florø. 

 
Photo:  Hurtigruten Coastal Kitchen (Trym Ivar Bergsmo / Hurtigruten)

Photo:  Hurtigruten Coastal Kitchen (Trym Ivar Bergsmo / Hurtigruten)

DAY 10: FLORØ - BERGEN (6 hrs)

Hurtigruten Lunch & the City Among Seven Mountains
Many people's bucket lists include a trip on the Hurtigruten, and today you get the chance to sample the 11 day voyage along the Norwegian coast. Take the car on board and depart from Florø at 08.15 for a six hour voyage to Bergen. Enjoy lunch made by the coastal kitchen on board. 

The beer and cider adventure ends in Bergen. Enjoy a leisurely afternoon in the city, and round it off with a feast at Restaurant 1877, where the three course menu is paired with beers from Bergen's own brewery 7 Fjell (Seven Mountains).